BFT Consensus: Will Your Car Full of Passengers Turn Right, Left, or Fly Over a Cliff?by@jo22

BFT Consensus: Will Your Car Full of Passengers Turn Right, Left, or Fly Over a Cliff?

by Joanne EberhardtAugust 28th, 2021
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Deep dive BFT consensus in governance and its significance; SMV smart contracts and transparent voting processes and finding a majority consensus.

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"I knew we shoulda implemented that SMV smart contract!"

In other words, what do you know about BFT consensus in governance and its significance?

Collective sentiment regarding blockchain and crypto is on the rise, along with meaningful implementations in both the public and private sectors. Not only are tech juggernauts like PayPal and Facebook bursting onto the scene, but U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has confirmed the US’s interest in a digital dollar.

Every day our world inches closer to the power of decentralization, the right of the people, and the security and reliability of a trustless economy.

Applicability of BFT in Governments

Let’s look at the South African governmental structure of a parliamentarian constitutional republic and the political history of Apartheid, which makes for a unique perspective into the applicability of BFT.

The ‘original sin’ of the previous Apartheid government was the 1913 Natives Land Act which saw the forceful removal of black families from their farmland. The scar of this legislation is still seen to this day where most of the National Development Plan seeks the effective return of farmland.

Imagine we introduce the concept of BFT consensus and its trustless information verification. A system such as this could help increase the speed and stability of land transfer. For example, via yield and drought monitoring both the government and the individual established farmer could be made aware of problematic transfers, either through lack of skilled labor or lack of water, and thereby better distribute the limited resources to cover a wider area, faster.

A trustless database would guide the skilled labor where needed and be an early warning for local and national governments on the financial ramifications of lost farm yield.

This would not only be of a financial benefit but also allow more effective development of skills and thereby exponentially increase farm yield for future generations.

BFT has the immediate benefit of reducing the cost and complexity of governance also by reducing the risk of individual flaws becoming prevalent locally either through human error or political will.

Objective reality in governance

Imagine a society where every sector of the government checks and verifies the other — it would not only reduce cost and complexity but serve as immediate protection against malicious use of governmental powers and reduce the possibility of discrepancies in government and citizen interactions between different sectors.

This would in turn allow a society of predictability and stability in governance, both of which have long been conclusively considered the primary amplifier of prosperity through trade and industry.

Unfortunately in the realm of objective reality such as legal and governmental precedence, not all opinions are created equal. The local caseworker, with direct contact to the information being verified, does not have the same perspective on the reality of the situation as the HR recruiter focused on completely different issues.

The risk of a system that prioritizes stability over flexibility or predictability over the ability to conduct change, might act like a car on autopilot going over a cliff because the passengers cannot find a majority consensus on whether turning left or right is the correct course of action.

Therefore, reaching a consensus and the process preceding it is critical.

SMV smart contract and consensus in Free TON

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes down to all the blockchain buzzwords. The world doesn’t need technology-driven approaches but rather a needs-driven approach, with tailor-made solutions and governance part of it.

To devise a system of voting contracts to regulate governance and decision-making specifically for Free TON, we held contests that resulted in community governance mechanisms widely used in many aspects of Free TON.

Soft majority voting has been programmed on Free TON via an SMV smart contract and is a transparent voting process with advance announcements and clear deadlines. If members don’t have an opinion and/or are reluctant to vote, it is assumed that they are neutral. Instead of making an attempt to force everyone to vote for every decision, SMV essentially allows decisions by those who care.

To learn more about the importance and application of BFT governance and SMV in Free TON now is the time to read the newly released Free TON Whitepaper.

“While trustless gold can decentralize central banks and trustless applications can decentralize finance, only a trustless operating system can decentralize the economy and get rid of monopoly altogether.” — Mitja Goroshevsky, CTO and co-founder TON Labs