Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) refers to a distributed computer system’s ability to withstand Byzantine faults. BFT protocols enable a group of replicas to reach an agreement even if some of them are Byzantine faulty.

LinBFT is a Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) protocol for blockchain systems that seeks to mitigate the impact of malicious byzantine nodes on a network. LinBFT satisfies deterministic assurances on safety and liveness while permitting amortized communication volume per block under realistic circumstances. By incorporating adjustments by linear view change, threshold signature, and verifiable random functions, LinBFT reduces its complexity.

In a recent interview, Lithosphere creator Joel Kasr breaks down the key features that make up LITHO:

Joel Kasr on

LinBFT deals with problems unique to permission-less and public blockchain systems, and obtains consensus for every block, implying that with LinBFT, the system remains operational even if one of the nodes (or the entire system) fails.

LinBFT considers PoS, rotating leaders, dynamic participant sets, and anonymous participants without a public-key infrastructure. For instance, users can engage in a distributed key generation (DKG) protocol, which generates threshold signatures, while remaining anonymous and without sharing a centralized public key infrastructure (PKI) public key among themselves.

Lithosphere Network

Advantages of LinBFT over existing BFT algorithms:

  • No PoW. This avoids uncertainty due to inherent forks in PoW, be it in the participant set, leader selection, or block confirmation. More importantly, this eliminates 51% attacks, which are a serious risk for new, smaller PoW chains.
  • Per-block consensus. There is consensus for each individual block, rather than for a group of blocks. This limits the power of the block proposer, and, thus, mitigates selfish mining.
  • Rotating leader. The proposed protocol changes the leader (i.e., block proposer) for every block, which reduces the risk of denial-of-service attacks on the leader.
  • Changing honesty. In LinBFT, a participant can be honest for one block, and malicious for another (e.g., one containing a transaction of interest to the participant), as long as over 2/3 of all participants are honest for each block. In other words, it is possible that every participant is malicious at some point, and yet the blockchain remains secure at all times.
  • Dynamic participant set. LinBFT allows nodes to join and leave the protocol at the beginning of epochs. As a result, it is possible that different blocks are verified by completely different sets of nodes.

Every Lithosphere feature is focused on creating a highly secure developer & user-friendly network. Check out the full version of the LinBFT Yellowpaper and Lithosphere’s Whitepaper for a deep-dive on everything LITHO.

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