Blockchain technology is responsive to users’ needs as it can be applied either privately or publicly. Blockchain can be designed to suit every aspect of our socio-economic lives and per design, as aforesaid can be of public or a private sort, and access to data and its development can either be permissioned or permissionless.
Over the past decade, the impact of Blockchain technology has changed the model of how data is stored and given out on the internet. Though most Blockchain technology is associated with cryptocurrency, yet it has more applicable fields in our lives besides cryptocurrencies. Now let’s remind ourselves of what a Blockchain technology really entails. Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger technology that can cryptographically record and store data. Throwing more light on that, the term Blockchain actually transcends the picture it paints when it is mentioned to people and its relation to cryptocurrency. Actually, Blockchain technology can now be applied in every aspect of our lives. For example, it can be applied in our national identification agencies where people’s data can be recorded and stored safely, it can be applied in corporate environments where data of a company is stored and who gets access to the stored data may be dependent on levels of individuals on the organogram or by whichever way desired. An account can be anywhere in the world and since they have clearance in the company they can add or make invisible data on the Blockchain. Blockchain can be used to store data in our national land commission authority to keep records of land ownership etcetera. Data on the Blockchain is like a synchronized data geographically dispersed across computers whereas each of the computers represents a node, therefore what happens on a single computer is shared across other computers instantaneously.
Now what makes Blockchain technology unique is the characteristics it exhibits, and those features come into play based on the type of Blockchain it is by design whether it is private or public Blockchain; each exhibits similar but unique characteristics based on the field in which it is required to apply. Blockchain technology exhibit characteristics such as providing better security, immutability, consensus mechanisms, nullification of mistrust, solving the problem of manipulations, ensuring faster and credible settlements, decentralization, anonymity, scalability, and many more features.
Public Blockchain(Permissionless Blockchain)
Public Blockchain also known as permissionless blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger technology that can record and store data. Public Blockchain can be considered the most transparent, censor-free Blockchain which is also associated with most cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin all operate on public Blockchain. Public Blockchain can be 100% immutable and it is almost impossible to hack it. One of the main problems Blockchain technology seeks to solve is double-spending and public Blockchain fixes that; each block recorded must be time stamped and distributed across all nodes. For reasons that it updates, and it’s development does not require permission or invitation, anyone at all can have access and can also add credible updates and developments to a public Blockchain. Its decentralized feature increases its security but data across the network is not anonymous. Public Blockchain is usually associated with cryptocurrency, e-commerce, data, identity, etc. Anonymity can still be kept in the case of public Blockchain when it is required within the limit of tech innovation. In a situation where the tech which is built on Blockchain requires privacy, public Blockchain can still offer that, like in the case of voting. Information about the votes can be kept anonymous till time to show results. But in any case, Public Blockchain is an open-source Blockchain that is decentralized and does not require permission.
Private Blockchain(Permissioned Blockchain)
Private Blockchain, as the name goes is a permissioned type of Blockchain that is centralized and by design, built for centralized entities like government institutions, corporations and businesses. Its transparency is controlled and it is censored. Private Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology just like public Blockchain and it has a consensus protocol for data validation, but in this case it is centralized and requires permission for its development. Its development by design is in hierarchical order as to the level of data that one can have access to, for instance, a board of director will have a higher level of access than an accountant in the business or it can aptly be said that its development per invitation will require special access for the capacity of data one can access.
Data on the private Blockchain are private and everything stays anonymous unless one is given access to some part of the data and by design, its association with cryptocurrencies is optional. Examples of private Blockchain are Hashgraph, Corda, Hyperledger. In private Blockchain access to data is delegated to a detailed level. Actually private Blockchain is not 100% immutable and for that reason the probability of it being to hacked is clear at this point. Public Blockchain depends on the subject of implementation and only a handful of people have access to its data and development, therefore transparency relies on those people with access only.
Having said this, it can be seen that both Public and Private Blockchain networks do have similarities as they both have the ledger system to record and keep data as well as the consensus protocol that prevents fraud and corruption, and also double-spending.
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