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Distributed Consensus

Overview#

Distributed Consensus is the process of reaching Consensus on one result among a group of Entities (Community)

Distributed Consensus becomes difficult when the Entities or their communication medium may experience failures. (Unreliable protocol).

Distributed Consensus requires all parties in the Community to reach a “consensus” on a single state of the Distributed system.

Any consensus protocol has three key properties based upon which its applicability and efficacy can be determined. [1]

  • Safety – A consensus protocol is determined to be safe if all nodes produce the same output and the outputs produced by the nodes are valid according to the rules of the protocol. This is also referred to as consistency of the shared state.
  • Liveness - A consensus protocol guarantees liveness if all non-faulty nodes participating in consensus eventually produce a value.
  • Fault Tolerance – A consensus protocol provides fault tolerance if it can recover from failure of a node participating in consensus.

Distributed Consensus and Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchains)#

Distributed Ledger Technology provides the absolute truth of the state of the Distributed system. Distributed Ledger Technology uses mathematics (Cryptography), economics, and game theory to incentivize all parties in the system to reach a consensus on a single state of the Blockchain.

Every new block that’s added to the blockchain in this manner adds more security to the Distributed system because an attacker who wants to create new blocks that overwrite a part of history would need to consistently solve for the puzzle faster than anyone else in the network. This is practically impossible to do, making it impossible to alter the data inside these blocks. This is why users trust continue to trust the Blockchain.

When a Transaction happens on the blockchain, the Trust Anchor is the miners who are giving up their resources to do some work to ensure no double spending.

Distributed Consensus Examples#

More Information#

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