Blockchain Infrastructure

Revolutionising Data Storage: Blockchain versus Traditional Databases

May 25, 2023

The current cloud and server architectures are vulnerable to hacking because of their centralised IT infrastructure. For applications that require a high level of data integrity, such as those that handle financial or privacy-sensitive data, exploring blockchain technology in a clean slate scenario can be highly interesting.

By leveraging a blockchain database, you can create a custom solution that meets your specific needs without having to conform to the limitations of pre-existing systems. This allows for greater flexibility and control over the database’s functionality and security.

In this article, we will address the much-debated topic of the difference between blockchain and a traditional database. So, without further ado, let us get to the point…

Key takeaways

  • Traditional database only stores the current state information
  • Blockchain stores a history of all transactions in the cryptographic signed database
  • On a blockchain, you can replay all transactions to reach the state information
  • Blockchain database provides a complete audit trail of all information flow
  • Blockchain databases offer an extra layer of security by creating an unalterable and tamper-resistant data record
  • On a blockchain, the historical record can be available and can be checked and verified by anyone with access to the blockchain database, in multiple locations

The fundamental difference

Blockchain databases differ from traditional databases in that they comprise a sequence of transactions that are securely anchored and immutable. In contrast, traditional databases are a collection of state information that can be mutated and lose logging history over time or in the case of a hack.

Blockchain databases store every transaction that has ever taken place. Consequently, creating a complete sequence of events that forms an unalterable record. So, in order to find the person’s state information, you can replay the whole chain of transactions.

To replay all transaction from the entire blockchain can be extensive and time-consuming. If you want to read a database state and don’t want to replay the complete history, you can also store it in a database next to the blockchain, or use a block explorer application. And then, it becomes a whole architecture that is highly secure, has high performance, and can not be changed. 

For quick recovery after an incident, block producers can take snapshots of the blockchain at regular intervals, decreasing replay time.

Significant improvements in security

Blockchain transactions are completely encrypted and usually decentralised on multiple servers. Because of this, you have highly available architecture with multiple operators across the globe to check and verify transactions. This makes the whole architecture cyber secure.

Imagine having 21 validators plus 5 standby who operate the blockchain. In a hypothetical scenario where one validator gets hacked and the hacker tries to change the information on the blockchain, the hacker would not succeed. This is because the other 20 validators have the original sequence of all transactions. Any new information added to the database needs to be approved by the majority of validators before being added on-chain.

Ideal use cases

In the current market landscape, blockchain databases offer a more tailored solution for addressing custom in-house applications. As an example, if you are an IT manager for a municipality, and you want to create a database specifically for administration purposes, building it on top of a blockchain (like Europechain) is an option. This wouldn’t be feasible with an off-the-shelf application that is already built on an existing data architecture.

A blockchain database can be an ideal solution in situations where data security, transparency, and immutability are crucial. Among these industries are finance, healthcare, supply chain, and real estate, all of which require secure and reliable tracking of transactions.


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