This article is for all those wondering what the difference between public and private blockchain is. We believe that there are many pros and cons for each of the choices, but as time passes the lines between these two are starting to fade slowly.
Public blockchains are digital ledgers that anyone can read, write, or join. Public chains are decentralized which means that nobody has control over the network, ensuring the data cannot be changed once validated on the blockchain.
Popular examples of Public Blockchains would be Bitcoin and Ethereum, which some of the first proofs that value can be transferred across the globe with blockchain without the interference of any third parties such as banks or remittance companies.
Some of the benefits of public blockchains are:
- Open Read and Write
- Ledger Is Distributed
- Secure Due to Mining (51% rule)
Private blockchains work in a similar way to public ledgers but with access control that restricts who can join the network, meaning it operates similarly to a centralized database system which is widespread nowadays. Blockchains that are private have one or multiple entities that control the network, and nodes are usually locally distributed helping increase performance. Hyperledger is one of the well-known examples of private blockchains.
Some of the benefits of private blockchains are:
- Enterprise Permissioned
- Faster Transactions
- Better Scalability
- Compliance Support
- The consensus is More Efficient (fewer nodes)
Basically, private blockchains rely on knowing the identity of the users and have strict control of nodes, while public blockchains allow anyone to participate and although the information is public, nobody knows identities of the person behind it.
Currently, the most important issues to address for both public and private blockchains are privacy and scalability. The transparent nature of public blockchains possess a privacy issue, but there are improvements in this area as we are starting to see privacy features being introduced on public blockchains. If this practice is widely adopted, it may turn most of the private chains obsolete.
Another big issue lies in interoperability, which would allow interactions between public and private blockchains.
Although we still have a long road ahead, blockchain is definitely here to stay. Feel free to join the discussion about the blockchain, privacy and more in our Telegram group.