What is the Byzantine Generals Problem?
The term Byzatine is a reference to the Byzantine empire’s two generals that were preparing for war and were both required to be in agreement about the upcoming attack on their opposition. If any one of them were to be in disagreement, the plan would end in failure.
The following issue appeared in the form of the need for communication, which was performed via a medium; a messenger. The messenger in the Byzatine era was detailed to use a certain amount of time to deliver their message and during said period, the message could be lost, destroyed, or altered, potentially causing delayed response, or loss of troops and the war itself.
Even if the message is successfully delivered, there is still the probability that either a general or the messenger themself is dishonest and has malicious intentions in altering the message to allow oppositions to conduct their own attacks. The aforementioned event went on to eventually become the Byzantine Generals Problem, a term used in computer communications.
What is Byzantine Fault Tolerance?
Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) is the solution to the Byzantine Generals Problem, wherein the general consensus between the generals is considered to be the final approach and the message that is delivered is required to have immutable properties. In the current era, this can be applied to Bitcoin’s blockchain network’s solution.
The relation between Byzatine and Blockchain
Blockchain is a technology well adept in terms of storing information in a decentralized manner, which also became a point of attraction for malicious hackers’ attempts to control and manipulate the network as well. It is because of this that the Byzantine solution can be considered integral. Without the BFT mechanic, transferred information can be duplicated or altered easily, hindering the credibility of blockchain technology, especially when there is an absence of a central authority to take responsibility.
Uses of Byzantine Fault Tolerance
The Byzantine Fault Tolerance concept is applicable towards the development of proving the validity of information in various consensus mechanisms on blockchain networks, like Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake, which relies on the BFT concept through the use of general consensus.
2. The Flight Industry
Autopilot systems can also rely on the Byzantine Fault Tolerance concept as it can be applied in maintaining an aircraft system’s functionalities even if its sensors are damaged.