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Blockchain as technology started to gain importance only since 2008 when Nakamoto's whitepaper named – ‘Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic cash system’, was published. This whitepaper introduced the technology named Blockchain to the world again, which was initially imagined by Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber in 1991. They started work on such a technology which would be cryptographically secured blocks in a chain that no one could tamper with timestamps. Bitcoin was launched by Satoshi in 2009, which he left by handing it over to the Bitcoin development to other developers.
Since then developers started to develop the new concept of peer-to-peer currency that does not involve central entities while transacting or interacting with each other. Later in 2010, the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange was named Bitcoin Market, and the first real payment in BTC was made by the Bitcoin Pizza Guy, Lazlo Hanyecz.
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Blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks that are time-stamped and linked using cryptography. Each block refers to the previous block and together make the Blockchain. Blockchain is not just a technology but also the next generation of the Internet that has varied applications in day to life.
Blockchain technology started as Public network but later due to various needs it evolved into Private network. Here in this article we will be knowing and comparing various features and aspects of Public and Private Blockchains.
A Block can be regarded as a page in the ledger system, where a block itself consists of a timestamp, data, and a hash of the block along with a hash of the previous block, thereby linking it with the previous block.
Apart from that, there are always different variants among blocks, which depends upon the type of Blockchain technology it is. Like a block of Bitcoin Blockchain stores the details regarding a transaction which can be details of the sender, receiver, and other information like balance coins remaining. The Hash of a block acts as the unique identification of its contents. To keep track of the creation and update time of the block, a timestamp includes the data of time when the block and always to maintain chronology, a hash of a previous block is added to the hash of the new block, so it the chain is maintained.
Therefore, in Blockchain technology under any case altering any block makes all the blocks invalid and void. The Blocks are distributed across all machines, which are called nodes on the network and every such node has a copy, so data always remains accessible over the network at any point in time.
A Public Blockchain system network is a Blockchain network where anyone can join whenever they want. In these types of Blockchain systems, there is no restriction, therefore they are called "Permissionless Blockchain". Such Blockchain systems are decentralized, where none as an authority has control over the network, and they are secure in that the data can’t be changed once validated on the Blockchain.
As anyone can join Public Blockchain network due to their open nature, they usually follow an incentive system to attract more people to join them. A major drawback these Public Blockchain network face is the need for a vast amount of power to process the transaction in the distributed ledger running at a wider scale. Each node in the network solves a sophisticated, resource-intensive cryptographic challenge named by Proof-of-Work (PoW) to achieve network consensus and to ensure that all the participants have equal rights.
A Private Blockchain system network is a specially conditioned Blockchain network where only selected users are allowed to participate. Here a single organization has authority over the network that decides over the rules regarding what a particular participant can do and what not. These Blockchain networks are called “Permissioned Blockchain” due to numerous restrictions placed on them as these private networks have some form of authorization scheme to identify and provide or deny access to the users, depending upon criteria.
To join a Private Blockchain network an invitation is needed, which must be authorized by the central authority or need to follow a set of rules those of network administrator. There are certain limits on who can engage in certain transactions and who are restricted from doing specific transactions.
Blockchain as a technology owes its existence from the talk of high security without compromising it whatsoever. As these days, everyone or the other day enterprises and organizations deal with online hacks and Blockchain works as a savior from such thefts.
Blockchain as technology offers high security and Public Blockchain networks are even more focused on providing individual privacy.
Blockchain is all about an open environment without any restrictions, where any user may transact in a safe environment. Public Blockchain network offer all those benefits like cross-border transactions and provide a platform where you can make money from mining as well.
The open environment that is required for the establishment of cryptocurrencies is also under the aegis of the Public Blockchain network.
Being anonymous is one of the awesome features that are present in the Public Blockchain , users love this feature of remaining anonymous. As for an individual, it is great that people won’t know your real name or real identity here and no one can track others on basis of their activities. This feature is primarily kept in Public Blockchains for the safety of one’s possessions, but as of lately this feature is also being used for some shady activities.
Due to this incognito nature of Public Blockchains, the major cryptocurrencies function over it and these cryptocurrencies were used by some fugitives and criminals for illegal activities.
This grew up into one of the vulnerabilities of the Public Blockchain , but let’s not judge it as a drawback. As technology can be used for both good and bad purposes.
In theory, the Public Blockchains don’t have any regulations those nodes need to follow and that is how Blockchain can be used for betterment. The regulation-free environment offers the opportunity for various improvements and innovations by allowing constant changes.
While this won’t work for enterprises, as they need to function with some regulations, therefore a Public Blockchain is best suited for consumer platforms.
The concept of having a Private Blockchains came much later compared to Public ones, but no wonder they tend to lack efficiency. In that scenario, the concept of a Private Blockchain network developed, as public networks tend to gobble up a large amount of network's computing power to process the transactions and it leads to rapid slowing of the network.
While Private Blockchains allows only a handful of authorized people into the network, where they complete certain tasks. In this scenario, the load is less and there is no reason to eat up excess resources which will finally slow down the network. So, with the less load and streamlined process of functioning, the efficiency is maintained in the Private Blockchains.
Private Blockchains offer a high amount of privacy that is needed for enterprises, as it is a technology that can offer the highest level of privacy.
It is no secret that enterprises are always anxious about their privacy and security concerns, as any sort of leakage of sensitive information can result in severe harm or massive drawback for the business.
Compared to Public networks, Private Blockchains are quite stable and that is one of the reasons why enterprises are flocking to them.
The issue of an increase in gas fees in the Public Blockchains is one of the main concerns for the enterprises, as the fee can increase to a great extent due to the continuous pressure of nodes requesting transactions at the same time. As many such transaction requests at one time lead to slowing down of network in Public Blockchain platforms, such problems are not faced in the Private Blockchains.
As in Private Blockchains no matter what the transaction fee remains the same, as there are only a handful of people who can request transactions, leading to no delays.
The power to impose a certain policy or revoke one remains with the company in the Private Blockchains , compared to the Public Blockchain. Private Blockchain networks are highly capable of backing up the companies and offering them great security, which enterprises need and this is one of the best use cases of the private Blockchain.
Private Blockchains aims to empower the organization, whereas Public Blockchains focus upon empowering an individual.
Well, it depends upon the scenario and the requirement, if you are looking forward to protecting the anonymity of users then Public Blockchain suits the best for your interest. Public Blockchains are preferred wherever there is a need to treat all users the same, as in the instance of cryptos. Almost the majority of cryptocurrencies are based as Public Blockchain companies.
Whereas the scenario at the corporate level is quite different where anonymity is just unwelcomed. As in business models, everyone wants transparency to the full extent, therefore a Private Permissioned Blockchain is highly sought after. As an entrepreneur, no one would want to share extra information like a supply vendor gaining access to the price contract of another vendor or even knowing other financial details. Well, some businesses would like to share high-level macro data with consumers regarding where the origin of the product is and how safely it is processed, but here again, Private Blockchain solutions will work wonders, as it will hide the financial aspects behind it.
In the above comparison, it becomes clear that both Public and Private Blockchains have a lot of differences in them and both can be deployed at various places ranging from agriculture to the banking sector. What matters most is the decision regarding which Blockchain platform must have opted for while looking at the requirements and what features you want for your project.
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