A beginner’s guide to blockchain: Public vs private vs consortium

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 A beginner’s guide to blockchain: Public vs private vs consortium
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Highlights

  • Blockchains use peer to peer(P2P) network to store data across millions of servers.
  • A public blockchain is a non-restrictive, permissionless distributed ledger technology, implying that anybody with an internet connection may join and participate in a blockchain network. 
  • A private blockchain, in contrast to a public blockchain, is a permission-based blockchain that works in a closed network.

Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies have surged in popularity since their inception. Many individuals have raced to invest in cryptos, and the increased interest has prompted developers to explore technologies. As a result, many blockchains have emerged. There are three common types of blockchain networks – public, private and consortium – each of which serves a particular purpose, solves a specific problem, and has its own set of features.  

A blockchains uses peer to peer(P2P) network to store data across millions of servers. It is sometimes referred to as decentralised, distributed ledger technology since it operates without the involvement of any third-party mediator or central authority. A distributed ledger is a type of database synced and shared by several people across different institutions and regions.

Moreover, a blockchain provides greater transparency and security that is why it is currently the most talked-about technology.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the three blockchain technologies that are commonly in use – public, private and consortium.

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Public Blockchain 

This blockchain is a non-restrictive, permissionless distributed ledger technology, implying that anybody with an internet connection may join and participate in a blockchain network. 

Mining and trading on cryptos are the most common uses of this blockchain. The continuing operations on this blockchain may be audited, written and read by anybody, which aids in the self-governing aspect of the blockchain.

Furthermore, it fosters trust among the entire community of users, since everybody on the network is motivated to participate for the betterment of the public network. Bitcoin was the first blockchain, and Ethereum & Litecoin followed suit, allowing anybody to conduct transactions. 

However, a public blockchain does have certain drawbacks. The primary one is its high power consumption required to keep distributed public ledger running. Other drawbacks include the absence of total anonymity, which might compromise the network’s security as well as participants’ identities. Along with real contributors, there may be fraudulent members involved in harmful activities like network clogging, token stealing and hacking.

Private Blockchain 

A private blockchain, in contrast to a public blockchain, is a permission-based blockchain that works in a closed network. This sort of blockchain is commonly utilised within a company where just a few people participate in a blockchain network. Hence, it is preferred by firms who wish to choose blockchain solely for internal purposes. 

Moreover, because the network is maintained by a single authority, a private blockchain is more centralised. Examples of private blockchains include Hyperledger Sawtooth, Hyperledger Fabric and Corda.

Consortium Blockchain

A consortium blockchain is ideal for enterprises requiring private and public blockchains. In this scenario, there’s far more than one central in-charge, or more than a single organisation participating, who offers access to pre-selected nodes for auditing, writing, and reading the blockchain. For instance, Ripple crypto supports a consortium blockchain network. 

Moreover, it retains its decentralised structure since no single authority holds control of the system. Enterprises appear to prefer consortium blockchains because they may put selected limits when configuring the networks and regulate the activity of the various users in the required roles.

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