Blockchain in the lens of BFT

In a 2014 piece to the NYTimes, Marc Andreesen wrote: “Bitcoin is the first practical solution to a longstanding problem in computer science called the Byzantine Generals Problem.” This was both an insightful comment and an overly optimistic one. It shed insight to the link between the decentralization technology of Bitcoin and the world of distributed … Continue reading Blockchain in the lens of BFT

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The BFT lens: Hot-Stuff and Casper

This post is the first in a series discussing: Today I am going to overview a new algorithmic foundation called ‘Hot-Stuff the Linear, Optimal-Resilience, One-Message BFT Devil’ (in short, Hot-Stuff), developed jointly with my colleagues Ittai Abraham and Guy Gueta, and harness it to explain the safety and liveness of Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget. The key take-aways are: We have excellent … Continue reading The BFT lens: Hot-Stuff and Casper

The Greek Tragedy of Industrial Computing Research Labs

The recent passing of Bob Taylor resurfaced the fascinating love-hate relationship of industrial research labs across generations.   In 1970, to prepare itself for a future of digital documents, Xerox founded the Palo Alto Research Lab (PARC) and brought George Pake to manage it. Pake set up several labs within PARC, among them the Computer … Continue reading The Greek Tragedy of Industrial Computing Research Labs

Flexible Paxos: A new breed of scalable, resilient and performant consensus algorithms is made possible

Summer was buzzing with intern activity at the VMware Research Group (VRG), working with all the research team and with David Tennenhouse, Chief Research Officer of VMware, and Chris Ramming, director of XLR8 and VMAP. Here I chose to share one story from our productive summer. Early in the summer one of the interns, a … Continue reading Flexible Paxos: A new breed of scalable, resilient and performant consensus algorithms is made possible