University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar > Tendermint: Byzantine Fault Tolerance in the age of Blockchains

Tendermint: Byzantine Fault Tolerance in the age of Blockchains

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Tendermint is a new protocol for ordering events in a distributed network under adversarial conditions. More commonly known as Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus or atomic broadcast, the problem has attracted significant attention in recent years due to the widespread success of blockchain-based digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which successfully solve the problem in a public setting without a central authority. Tendermint modernizes classic academic work on the subject by simplifying the design of the BFT algorithm and utilizing the blockchain paradigm, which amortizes the overhead of BFT and allows for faster recovery from leader failure. Furthermore, Tendermint uses a simple socket protocol to enable BFT state machine replication of arbitrary deterministic state machines, written in any programming language. Our implementation in Go achieves thousands of transactions per second on dozens of nodes distributed around the globe, with latencies of about one second, and performance degrading moderately in the face of adversarial attacks. This talk will provide an overview of how Tendermint works and how to build BFT applications with it, including scalable crypto-currencies

Bio – Ethan Buchman is an Internet Biophysicist. With background in cell biology, neuroscience, machine learning, and distributed computing, his goal is to build tools that encourage humans to self-organize into functional systems, much like molecules managed to self-organize into Life. With this goal in mind, he led blockchain development at Monax Industries, contributed to multiple implementations of Ethereum, and is currently the CTO and a core developer at Tendermint. He also ran for Member of Parliament in Toronto in the 2015 Canadian federal election and is obsessed with farming and fermented foods.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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