Fast Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance is trickier than you might think

Over a decade of improvements to the seminal PBFT work have turned out to have safety or liveness issues, as demonstrated in a recent ArXiv note we posted: Revisiting Fast Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance. Ittai Abraham, Guy Gueta, Dahlia Malkhi; with Lorenzo Alvisi, Rama Kotla, Jean-Philippe Martin. [ArXiv 2017]  [pdf]

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Blockchain/BFT

In the early 2000's, a group of activists advocating the wide-spread use of cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies were engaging over the `cypherpunks' mailing-list in an effort to create an anonymous, monitor-free digital cash. Step by step, they jointly built the ingredients that eventually led to the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009. The story of the … Continue reading Blockchain/BFT

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