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Crypto Terms:  Letter B
Jun 19, 2023 |
updated Apr 03, 2024

What is Byzantine Generals’ Problem?

Byzantine Generals’ Problem Meaning:
Byzantine Generals’ Problem - The Byzantine Generals' Problem refers to the difficulty that decentralized systems have in reaching a single truth.
2 minutes

Let's find out Byzantine Generals’ Problem meaning, definition in crypto, what is Byzantine Generals’ Problem, and all other detailed facts.

Researchers from the SRI International Research Institute suggested the problem back in 1982.  Moreover, the Byzantine Generals’ Problem refers to the hardship decentralized systems have in agreeing on a single truth. Also, a question appears whether it is achievable to create harmony in a computer network made of geographically arranged nodes.

On purpose or by accident nodes can equip flawed data about transactions, and it has to be sorted out. Proof-of-stake and proof-of-work algorithms are used by the most well-known cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to solve this issue.

To put things into perspective, there are several Byzantine generals that surround the city, nevertheless, they can only interact with one another by messaging. Generals have to decide whether they will retreat or attack. However, there are unidentified traitors among these generals and they are constantly taking action against forming a general agreement.

As a result, there is confusion over which decision-making process the generals should choose to use in order to develop an ordinary strategy without being influenced by the traitor's actions. Nonetheless, it is unknown if such an algorithm exists at all.

Worth adding that only decentralized systems encounter the Byzantine Generals’ Problem since they are the ones that aren’t able to authenticate the information they get from other network users.

Besides, the problem is closely related to cryptocurrencies, since they are the "generals" who must agree on which transactions occurred and when.

As reported by the researchers' investigation, an algorithm that should be adopted by generals is attainable. But there is a necessity that the number of loyal generals needs to be far bigger than the number of those who aren't. In reality, even if there are five generals and one of them is a traitor, an agreement can still be obtained.