Monday, March 29, 2021

What are the Four Types of Blockchain Technology?

Everyone is talking about blockchain, but there are many people who don't know that there are actually classifications of blockchain.

There are four types of blockchain, namely: public blockchain, private blockchain, consortium/federated blockchain, and hybrid blockchain. Let's have a look in detail at the four possible types of blockchains.

Types of Blockchains
4 Types of Blockchain

What Are the Different Types of Blockchains and Which One Should You Choose?


Blockchain Technology Overview

Blockchain is a decentralized, immutable, and transparent distributed ledger that maintains a list of transaction records arranged in blocks in order.

Blockchain technology is considered to be the most attention-seeking technological innovation since the invention of the Internet.

 

Blockchain technology is a technical solution that does not rely on a third party and uses its own distributed nodes to store, verify, transmit and communicate network data.

Blockchain relies on ingenious distributed algorithms of cryptography and mathematics. The participants reached a consensus and solved the problem of reliable transmission of trust and value at a very low cost.

The consensus algorithm is a protocol to verify the correctness of blockchain transactions.

For example, Bitcoin is a public blockchain in which each node in Bitcoin uses a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm to reach consensus through competition to solve difficult problems.

 

Therefore, from the perspective of financial accounting, some people regard blockchain technology as a distributed, open, and decentralized large-scale network accounting book.

 

Anyone can use the same technical standards to add their own information at any time. Blockchain continues to meet the data entry needs brought by various needs.

 

Although blockchain is usually regarded as a single technology, it can be subdivided into the public blockchain, private blockchain, Consortium blockchain and hybrid blockchain. Blockchain technology can be modified according to user needs.


Types of Blockchain Networks

There are four main types of blockchain networks, each of which is suitable for different purposes:


Public blockchain

A public blockchain is a very inclusive type of blockchain network, which is open for participation by any machine or node. Anyone can join and participate in the public blockchain.

 

The public blockchain does not require permission and does not have a single control server,every transaction is public, and users can remain anonymous, so it is a very reliable type of blockchain. This type of blockchain is highly democratic and transparent because every node has equal access to data on the network. The capacity of a public blockchain is limited to the number of participating computers and individual capacity.

 

The first blockchain created to support Bitcoin was the public blockchain. This blockchain uses Proof of Work (PoW) algorithms to make decisions, solve problems, and add new blocks of information through the consensus of most nodes in the network.

 

It is worth noting that public blockchains have many advantages, as they are suitable for creating completely public platforms, such as platforms for cryptocurrency transactions and online markets, but there are also some disadvantages of public blockchains,  for example, they need a lot of computing power and they are not suitable for operations that require privacy and data protection, especially in banking, customer data, etc.


Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc are examples of a public blockchain.

 

Private blockchain

A private blockchain is a network restricted to invited users and controlled by a single enterprise, which determines who can read the blockchain, send transactions to the blockchain, and participate in the consensus process.

 

Users who join the network need permission to read, write or review the blockchain. Therefore, there are different levels of access rights, and information can be encrypted to protect business secrets.

Compared to public blockchains that require a lot of time and resources to verify transactions, private blockchains are faster, more effective, and more cost-effective.

 

With the help of a private blockchain, organizations can adopt distributed ledger technology without disclosing data. But this means that the technology lacks an important feature of blockchain: decentralization.

However, this kind of blockchain is completely centralized, so it is only suitable for use as a sandbox environment and cannot be used in actual production.

 

Some critics believe that a private blockchain is not a blockchain at all, but a centralized database using distributed ledger technology.


Multichain and Hyperledger projects (Fabric, Sawtooth), Corda, etc, are examples of private blockchains.

 

Consortium Blockchain

A Consortium blockchain or Federated blockchain is a partially private blockchain where instead of only a single organization, multiple organizations govern the platform.

Unlike the public blockchain, the consortium blockchain is an enterprise-level blockchain and does not involve the issue of creating a global consensus protocol that saves resources.

 

A consortium blockchain is not a public platform rather a permissioned platform. Companies that build private blockchains will usually build a consortium blockchain network. This has caused some confusion on how and why this differs from a fully private system.

 

In the consortium blockchain, the consensus process is controlled by a pre-selected group (such as a corporate group). Maybe everyone can read the blockchain and submit transactions to the blockchain, or it may be limited to participants.

 

Multiple organizations can share the responsibility of maintaining the blockchain. These pre-selected organizations determine who can submit transactions or access data.

When all participants need to obtain permission and share responsibility for the blockchain, the consortium blockchain is ideal for business.

 

The blockchain consortium provides many of the same benefits of the private blockchain (efficiency, transaction privacy, etc.), without consolidating power with just one party.


Energy Web Foundation, R3, etc, are examples of consortium blockchain.

 

Hybrid blockchain

Hybrid blockchain refers to a combination of the public and private blockchain. The best way to describe hybrid blockchain is using a public blockchain where a private network is hosted.

A hybrid blockchain uses the features of both public and private blockchains where one can own a private permission-based system as well as a public permission-less system.

 

The blockchain hybrid system is flexible so that users can easily join a private blockchain with multiple public blockchains and can control who has access to the data stored in the blockchain.

 

Public and authorized blockchains interoperate using the same easy-to-use smart contract language. And they can seamlessly interact to create a safer and more secure digital marketplace - and pave the way for a different kind of shared economy.

 

Dragonchain, IBM Food Trust™, etc are examples of a hybrid blockchain.

 

Conclusion:

The most famous public blockchain is used by cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin transactions. The public blockchain is completely transparent. However, such technology is not suitable for organizations that need to handle sensitive information such as business contracts or personal data.

 

Private institutions are more likely to join a private blockchain, which allows only invited users to conduct transactions and does not disclose data. The private blockchain can assign different levels of permissions to users, restrict user access, and can encrypt information to protect the confidentiality of data.

 

Both public and private blockchains have certain distinctions from one another. You have to decide which blockchain networks will serve your purpose best.

Currently, among the four methods of building a blockchain network, the consortium blockchain is the most popular.

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