VAIOT x Tendermint — The Blockchain Technology Golden Standard

While some of you might be familiar with the topic that we’re discussing in today’s article, others probably are not. Thus, in this article, we explain why VAIOT will utilize Tendermint Consensus and we’ll explain what Tendermint is.

Tendermint is a, or some might say ‘the’ software for securely and consistently replicating an application on many machines. Securely, in this case, refers to the fact that Tendermint works even if up to one-third of the machines fail in arbitrary ways. And with consistency, in the case of Tendermint, we mean that every non-faulty machine sees the same transaction log and computes the same state. Oftentimes, secure and consistent replication is a fundamental problem in distributed systems; it plays a vital role in fault tolerance of many applications such as currencies, elections and even infrastructure orchestration.

Byzantine Fault Tolerance

A big part of Tendermint’s solution is the Byzantine Fault Tolerance implementation or BFT, which is a decade-old theory but has become popular due to the success of blockchain technology. Byzantine Fault Tolerance refers to the properties of a system that can resist the class of failures derived from the Byzantine General’s Problem. Say what?! Well, that means that a BFT system can continue operating even if some nodes fail or act maliciously (trying to corrupt the network etc.). It is important to note that there is more than one possible solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem, therefore, there are also multiple ways to build a BFT system.

Additionally, the name BFT is derived from the way transactions is batched in blocks, where each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous one, forming a chain. According to Tendermint, the blockchain data structure optimizes BFT design.

For further information about BFT, watch the video of Binance explaining exactly what it is below.

Now, let’s continue. Tendermint is made up out of two chief technical components: a blockchain consensus engine and a generic application interface. The consensus engine, called Tendermint Core, makes sure that the same transactions are recorded on every machine in the exact same order.

Second, the application interface called the Application Blockchain Interface or ABCI, makes it possible for transactions to be processed in any programming language. Unlike other blockchain and consensus solutions that come pre-packaged with built-in state machines, developers can use Tendermint for BFT state machine replication of applications written in any programming language and development environment they select.

That is because, Tendermint Is designed to be easy-to-use, simple-to-understand, highly performant, and useful for a wide variety of distributed applications.

Furthermore, in an interview with Paradigm, Tendermint’s CEO and President Peng Zhong said: “Tendermint has a vision for a more open and accountable decentralized economy that is governed by its participants”. Which explains why Tendermint is so easy to use for developers. Now that said, let’s have a better look at the ABCI.

Application Blockchain Interface (ABCI)

The ABCI consists of three message types that get delivered from Tendermint to the application. The application uses CheckTx to validate transactions before accepting them into the mempool. Only valid transactions are forwarded to their counterparts. Furthermore, the DeliverTx message is sent with each transaction in the Blockchain. The application then compares each transaction to the current state, application protocol, and cryptographic credentials.

When a validated transaction succeeds, it updates the application state. The Commit message protects light clients by calculating cryptographic commitment to the current application state and inserting it into the next block header. Merkle-hash proofs can thus be validated by comparing them to the block hash and ensuring that the block hash is signed by a quorum.

The ABCI application establishes three connections, each of which maintains access to different ABCI application functions:

  1. The Mempool Connection — to validate mempool transactions.
  2. The Consensus Connection — to commit new blocks.
  3. The Query Connection: to query the application without engaging consensus.

Tendermint does not understand transaction logic, so it sends requests over the connection, and the application responds with a response that dictates the next step in the action flow. Yes, we know that all sounds a bit complicated, if you’d like to learn more watch the ABCI Overview of Tendermint below.

Why Tendermint?

Now, that leaves us with one final question: why did VAIOT decide to select Tendermint as their tool? Well, first a major benefit of Tendermint’s consensus algorithm is the simplified light client security making it an ideal candidate for mobile use cases (we know, convenient right). A light client can provide the same security as a full node while requiring less bandwidth, computing, storage, and power. A light client cannot verify all transactions and blocks on its own, but it can query data from other full nodes and independently verify the data without needing to trust any nodes.

Security is achieved by keeping track of the validator set and refusing to trust any Blockchain nodes. And security is granted if the initial validator set is trusted (it comes from a genesis file or trusted storage) and each change in the validator set does not affect more than one-third of the voting power (all blocks signed by validators from the set are valid).

For more information about VAIOT, visit our website www.vaiot.ai, or have a look at our Twitter and Telegram Community.

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VAIOT is combining AI & Blockchain to develop IVAs – Intelligent Virtual Assistants, for both consumers and businesses.

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VAIOT is combining AI & Blockchain to develop IVAs – Intelligent Virtual Assistants, for both consumers and businesses.

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