Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance

Definition of Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance

Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) is a consensus algorithm utilized in blockchain technology to achieve network security, reliability, and efficiency. It functions by selecting a limited group of trusted nodes, called delegates or consensus nodes, to validate and confirm transactions. By using a smaller group, dBFT streamlines the consensus process, reduces energy consumption, and enhances transaction processing speed in comparison to traditional Byzantine Fault Tolerance mechanisms.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance” is:- Delegated: /ˈdɛlɪɡeɪtɪd/- Byzantine: /ˈbɪzənˌtaɪn/- Fault: /fɔlt/- Tolerance: /ˈtɒlərəns/

Key Takeaways

  1. Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) is a consensus algorithm designed to manage decision-making in blockchain networks by allowing a set of chosen delegates to participate in the consensus process, rather than all nodes.
  2. dBFT provides a highly scalable and efficient solution for transaction validation, enabling quick confirmation times and low transaction fees, making it suitable for various enterprise and financial applications.
  3. This consensus protocol maintains security and stability by providing a system of checks and balances, where delegates are consistently monitored, replaced, or voted out if they are found to be dishonest or unreliable, thus ensuring the integrity and reliability of the network.

Importance of Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance

Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) is an important technology term as it represents a consensus algorithm used within blockchain networks to establish a decentralized, secure, and efficient decision-making process.

By combining the strengths of Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) and the concept of delegation, dBFT ensures that transactions are verified and processed by a select group of trusted nodes, known as delegates or consensus nodes, who are elected by other network members.

This approach not only mitigates potential security threats, such as Sybil and Byzantine attacks, but also enhances the overall performance and scalability of the blockchain network.

Furthermore, dBFT contributes to fostering a fair, transparent, and democratic decision-making system, promoting stability and reliability in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.


Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) serves as a consensus mechanism designed for optimizing the blockchain network’s security, scalability, and efficiency. As its purpose, dBFT primarily targets ensuring the network’s smooth functioning and achieving consensus among nodes, despite potential dishonest or faulty parties.

Compared to the more rigid Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanisms, dBFT enables a decentralized approach to mitigate disruptions due to malicious behavior or system failures, thus leading to a more resilient network infrastructure. In order to achieve its purpose, dBFT employs a group of trusted nodes, referred to as consensus nodes or delegates, selected by the broader network community.

These delegates are responsible for validating transactions and generating new blocks. With dBFT, the decision-making process entails reaching a two-thirds majority among the delegates, ensuring quick and efficient agreement without delays or energy-intensive computations.

Additionally, dBFT incorporates recovery measures to address situations where consensus nodes experience failures or behave maliciously. Overall, the design of Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance showcases its utility in fostering a secure, high-performance blockchain ecosystem that remains resistant to collusion and various network attacks.

Examples of Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance

Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) is a consensus algorithm designed to provide high performance, high security, and fault tolerance in blockchain networks. It is based on the Byzantine Generals Problem, which aims to achieve a consensus in a distributed system despite the presence of faulty or malicious nodes.

**NEO** – NEO is a popular blockchain platform that focuses on building a smart economy system. It was the first to implement dBFT consensus in its blockchain network. NEO’s dBFT algorithm ensures that the system operates efficiently, guarantees immediate transaction finality, and is resistant to various attacks, such as Sybil and DDoS. Through a group of consensus nodes, NEO’s network validates transactions and adds new blocks without the need for a resource-intensive mining process, improving overall scalability and energy efficiency. Moreover, dBFT emphasizes the importance of on-chain governance and promotes community participation in decision-making.

**Ontology** – Another important project that employs dBFT is the Ontology Network, which aims to provide customizable, high-performance blockchain solutions for businesses and institutions. Like NEO, Ontology uses a variation of dBFT to ensure its network’s security and stability while maintaining high transaction throughput. It utilizes a “trust” layer on top of the traditional dBFT model, allowing businesses and organizations to develop a trust-based framework tailored to their needs. This trust-based dBFT consensus model ensures reliability and performance while protecting the network from malicious attacks.

**Aelf** – Aelf is a blockchain platform designed for providing customizable enterprise solutions. Its main goal is to solve the issues of scalability, security, and governance present in current blockchain systems. Aelf has adopted the dBFT consensus algorithm to achieve reliable and efficient consensus among its network nodes. Similar to NEO and Ontology, Aelf aims to provide a secure, tamper-proof environment where business and institutional entities can develop and deploy their blockchain applications with ease.These real-world examples showcase how dBFT can be used to build secure, efficient, and reliable blockchain networks that cater to the needs of various industries and organizations.

Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance FAQ

1. What is Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT)?

Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) is a consensus algorithm used in distributed systems to achieve agreement among network nodes. It provides security, efficiency, and reliability by addressing issues such as double spending and single point of failure. The algorithm uses delegation in which a set number of trusted nodes are chosen to participate in the consensus process, thereby speeding up the validation of transactions.

2. How does dBFT work?

dBFT works by selecting a group of nodes known as delegates from the entire network, which are responsible for validating transactions and reaching consensus. Nodes within the network vote to choose these delegates. During the consensus process, transactions are proposed to the delegates by a primary node and validated. If consensus is reached, the transaction is approved and added to the blockchain, and the network synchronizes the updated blockchain state.

3. What are the advantages of dBFT over other consensus algorithms?

dBFT offers several key advantages over other consensus algorithms, such as Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS). These advantages include increased network security against malicious attacks, energy-efficient and eco-friendly operation, faster transaction processing, and scalability, making dBFT suitable for applications like digital currencies and business-oriented services.

4. What is the difference between dBFT and Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT)?

dBFT and PBFT are both consensus algorithms aimed at addressing the Byzantine Generals’ Problem, ensuring security and reliability in distributed systems. However, dBFT incorporates a delegation system where only a selected group of nodes participates in the consensus process, which greatly reduces resource requirements and increases transaction throughput. In contrast, PBFT operates without delegation, therefore consuming more resources and being more prone to scalability limitations.

5. Are there any notable platforms or projects using dBFT?

Yes, one of the most prominent platforms using dBFT is NEO, a leading blockchain platform aimed at building a scalable network of decentralized applications. The dBFT consensus algorithm plays a crucial role in the efficient and stable operation of the NEO blockchain.

Related Technology Terms

  • Consensus Algorithm
  • Blockchain
  • Nodes
  • Validators
  • Byzantine Generals Problem

Sources for More Information

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