NEO founder Erik Zhang: consensus algorithm dBFT is about to be completed

10 Jan, 2019 | Updated: 10 Jan, 2019
by Will Heasman
NEO founder Erik Zhang: consensus algorithm dBFT is about to be completed

NEO consensus algorithm dBFT has been in the works for over half a year. Now according to Eirk Zhang, founder of NEO, the project is near completion.

Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) is - apart from a mouthful to say - a consensus algorithm, much like proof of work or proof of stake, which was developed and popularized by the NEO project team. The point of all consensus algorithms is to overcome one quizzical problem that plagues all decentralization: The Byzantine Generals Problem.

This problem gave rise to such consensus algorithms as a way to avoid the Byzantine Generals Problem which is, effectively - and in fairly reductive terms - proof of honesty within a decentralized protocol.

The NEO team developed dBFT as a way to combat this universal problem. The designed system comprised of nodes, delegates, and a speaker and works much like the infrastructure of a country and its government. The citizens, (nodes) vote for delegates (bookkeeping nodes), much like how state representatives are chosen for Congress during elections.

Delegates implement the will of the citizens (ie. keep track of a transaction and record them upon the ledger). Delegates are also chosen, at random, to become the speaker. Speakers verify the transactions on the ledger, creating a block; this then gets sent back delegates of which 2/3rds are required to ensure the speaker's proper verification of said block before it gets added to the network. If less than 1/3rd of delegates agree on the speaker verified block a new speaker gets elected at random and the cycle continues.

Semantics aside, Zhang asserts that implementation of this new consensus algorithm will provide more “strict finality” adding that confirmations will be reduced to just one with an estimation of 15 seconds completion time:

Zhang stated in a further tweet that NEO wishes to eventually run “large scale commercial applications” highlights the ways in which the project intends to achieve this goal:

According to Malcolm Lerider, Senior R&D manager at NEO, DBTF is purpose built with such goals in mind:

"dBFT is invented by NEO and has proved to work well. It is a consensus algorithm developed with perfect finality, meaning that all transactions are 100 percent final after the first confirmation. The blockchain cannot fork with dBFT, and high-value chained transactions are trivial and executed much faster. It is built with regulatory and business use cases in mind." He said.

Zhang received a fair bit of support with this latest development; with many congratulating the months of hard work:

Read more: NEO organizes 2nd DevCon event in Seattle, 'We keep on going'; Update: NEO's Erik Zhang responds to claims of a security flaw allowing theft; NEO releases decentralization roadmapEthereum Classic hit by 51% attack, seeing double spends totaling $460,000

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