Understanding distributed systems is essential in order to understand blockchain because basically blockchain at its core is a distributed system. More precisely it is a decentralized distributed system.
Distributed systems are a computing paradigm whereby two or more nodes work with each other in a coordinated fashion in order to achieve a common outcome and it’s modeled in such a way that end users see it as a single logical platform.
A node can be defined as an individual player in a distributed system. All nodes are capable of sending and receiving messages to and from each other. Nodes can be honest, faulty, or malicious and have their own memory and processor. A node that can exhibit arbitrary behavior is also known as a Byzantine node. This arbitrary behavior can be intentionally malicious, which is detrimental to the operation of the network. Generally, any unexpected behavior of a node on the network can be categorized as Byzantine.