30 Dec '15, 3am

Bank of America is trying to load up on patents for the technology behind bitcoin

TL;DR The block chain provides a way of avoiding an impossible problem. Ok, first some background on the Two Generals problem, then I will explain how it relates to Byzantine Generals and the block chain. Imagine there are two generals who are laying siege to a city. The generals are each encamped on opposite sides of the city, so communication can only be performed by messenger. Sometimes when a messenger is sent he can be captured or killed. If both generals attack at the same time, the city will fall. If the generals attack at different times, the attackers will be defeated. The question is, what messages do the generals send to each other in order to guarantee that both generals will attack at the same time? Remember that any particular message may be lost. Suppose general 1 sends the message "attack at dawn". General 2 may or may not receive this message. Therefore, g...

Full article: https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/3yqkba/bank_...

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