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What is Byzantine Fault Tolerance?

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) is the means by which a distributed system, such as a blockchain network, screens out bad, outdated or incomplete information in order to maintain collective accuracy.

Overview

What it is: Byzantine Fault Tolerance is a protocol that addresses the challenge of validating information in a distributed network, this is also known as the Byzantine Generals Problem.

What it does: This method, when implemented in a computing network environment, provides a very high level of confidence that every node is acting on the same data at the same time.

Why it matters: Without a Byzantine Fault Tolerance solution blockchain technology couldn’t function, as decentralized consensus could never be reached in a trustless network. The more efficiently a company can achieve Byzantine Fault Tolerance, the more likely their system is going to be used and bought by other companies.

What to do about it: Companies exploring the use of Blockchain-related technologies should consider up-front how to address distributed data validation issues, using approaches such as BFT. Given how the application and data landscape is becoming increasingly fragmented due to trends such as microservices and IoT, these solutions and the thinking behind them may also have a broader application.

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