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How Blockchain Technology Solves The Byzantine Generals Problem?

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When Satoshi Nakamoto developed the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), he encountered several fundamental computer science problems, one of which is known as the Byzantine Generals Problem.

Concept

Consider a scenario in which a Medieval kingdom is besieged by two Byzantine Generals who must coordinate their attacks to conquer the city.

However, the issue lies in the fact that their military forces are positioned on opposing ends of the city. To establish communication, they must deploy spies across the urban landscape to relay messages.

As the spies must traverse enemy territory, the Generals require a method to ensure the authenticity of the messages they receive. Otherwise, there is a risk that the enemy could substitute some of the spies and provide the Generals with false information.

How Do They Do It?

Essentially, both Generals will dispatch numerous spies, as many as possible. They are not overly concerned about which spies turn out to be reliable. Their primary focus is on the number of spies conveying the same message.

If a significant portion of their spies are delivering consistent information, then it is likely to be accurate. While the enemy may sway some spies, it probably could not influence most of them.

Blockchain Consensus Mechanism

This principle forms the foundation of every blockchain. There is no requirement to trust any specific individual; rather, trust is placed in the majority. Hence, they are frequently described as “consensus algorithms,” as consensus denotes “an agreement of the majority.

Bottomline

In situations where trust is not an option and conditions are hostile, this is the most efficient way to determine the truth. This approach ensures that information is validated through the collective agreement of multiple independent sources, minimizing the risk of manipulation or deceit in hostile environments where trust is scarce or unreliable.

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