The different types of enterprise blockchains.

The types of enterprise blockchain

Blockchain technology has continued to grow in popularity over the last few years and is increasingly being used by governments, businesses and enterprises around the world. However, not all blockchains are built the same and can differ wildly based on their intended function and how they have been developed.

Enterprise blockchain refers to the use of blockchain technology by organisations to create secure and efficient systems of record-keeping and value exchange. While there are several types of blockchain, each with its unique features, enterprise blockchain is known for its privacy, security, and scalability. Below is a more detailed breakdown of the various types of enterprise blockchains which are available.

Comparing different types of blockchain

Public Blockchain

A public blockchain is a distributed system where anyone can join the network and access the blockchain's data. It operates on a permissionless model, meaning anyone can participate and validate transactions.

Transactions occurring on a public blockchain are transparent, meaning they are visible to anyone who joins the network, although participants are only identified by means of pseudonym (wallet address). Bitcoin is the most popular example of a public blockchain.

Private Blockchain

Unlike public blockchains, private blockchains are permissioned and restrict access to the network - making them very similar to private data bases. Only specific users can participate in the blockchain network, and access to data is limited to those users.

Consortium Blockchain

A consortium blockchain is a hybrid of public and private blockchains. In a consortium blockchain, a group of organisations comes together to participate in the network. However, unlike public blockchains, access to the network is restricted to the consortium members, making it a permissioned network.

The consortium members jointly validate transactions and participate in maintaining the blockchain network.

Hybrid Blockchain

As the name suggests, hybrid blockchains combine the features of public and private blockchains. In a hybrid blockchain, certain aspects of the network are public, while others are private.

This type of blockchain is ideal for enterprise use cases where certain data needs to be kept private, but other data can be shared publicly. For example, a hybrid blockchain can be used to create a supply chain management system where the details of the products are kept private, but the transaction details are publicly visible.

Read: Private use of a public blockchain

Federated Blockchain

A federated blockchain is a permissioned network that operates similarly to a consortium blockchain. However, instead of being maintained by a group of organisations, a federated blockchain is maintained by a group of nodes that are selected by the network's administrator. The nodes validate transactions and maintain the blockchain network.

Sidechain Blockchain

A sidechain blockchain is a separate blockchain that is connected to the main blockchain network. The sidechain operates independently of the main blockchain network but can communicate with it.

The sidechain performs specific functions that the main blockchain network may not be able to handle. For example, a sidechain creates a faster transaction system for an enterprise while maintaining the security and privacy of the main blockchain network.

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Ryan Brothwell
Ryan Brothwell

Deputy Editor, Bitcoin Association