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DBFT: Efficient Leaderless Byzantine Consensus

This paper introduces a new leaderless Byzantine consensus called the Democratic Byzantine Fault Tolerance (DBFT) for blockchains.

Authored by:
Tyler Crain, University of Sydney
Vincent Gramoli, University of Sydney
Mikel Larrea, Univ. of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
Michel Raynal, Universit´e de Rennes


While most blockchain consensus pro-tocols rely on a correct leader or coordinator to terminate, our algorithm can terminate even when its coordinator is faulty. The key idea is to allow processes to complete asynchronous rounds as soon as they receive a threshold of messages, instead of having to wait for a message from a coordinator that may be slow. The resulting decentralization is particularly appealing for blockchains for two reasons: (i) each node plays a similar role in the execution of the consensus, hence making the decision inherently “democratic”; (ii) decentralization avoids bottlenecks by balancing the load, making the solution scalable. DBFT is deterministic, assumes partial synchrony, is resilience optimal, time optimal and does not need signatures. We first present a simple safe binary Byzantine consensus algorithm, modify it to ensure termination, and finally present an optimized reduction from multivalue consensus to binary consensus whose fast path terminates in 4 message delays.

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