Private versus Public Blockchains, Picking the Right One

Last Updated: July 1, 2022

Blockchain technology has many different use cases. Some are more suitable for public blockchains, and others are more suitable for private blockchains. The difference between public and private blockchains can be confusing, leaving many people wondering which of the two is most suitable for their situation. 

In this article, we will explain the main differences between public and private blockchains, and when you should use which one.

What is a public blockchain?

Let’s start with the definition of a public blockchain. A public blockchain is a permissionless blockchain that allows anyone to join and participate in blockchain activities. This means anyone is able to contribute to the blockchain and can access the data on it.

In addition, public blockchains are decentralised, ensuring no single entity has control over the blockchain. This decentralisation also ensures that transactions on the (public) blockchain are verified by all nodes and are immutable once they’re on the blockchain.

Differences between public and private blockchains

While the above features sound nice, private blockchains might seem very similar at first glance. What are the differences and benefits of both types of blockchains?

The main difference between public and private blockchains lies in who is able to write data to, and read data from that blockchain. On public blockchains, everyone can write data to and read data from the blockchain. On private blockchains though, a permissions system is in place, which determines who can perform certain actions, including reading and writing data.

Another important difference is the ownership of the blockchain. Generally speaking, public blockchains are decentralised and do not have an owner. Private blockchains, however, are generally owned by a single entity. This makes public blockchains more resistant to censorship than private blockchains.

Anonymity is another key difference between the two. Due to the permissionless nature of public blockchains, participating entities are anonymous. This can be both a benefit and a downside, depending on the use case.

Other differences are speed and scalability. Public blockchains tend to be slower and less scalable, due to their decentralised nature, while private blockchains are generally much faster and more scalable, as they don’t have to worry about decentralisation.

Picking the right blockchain

Now that you understand the differences between public blockchains and private blockchains, you should consider which blockchain is most suitable for your solution.

If your solution requires censorship resistance and the added security of decentralisation, a public blockchain is the best fit. However, if the need for high scalability, fast transactions, and a permission system take priority, a private blockchain is likely more suited.

Which public blockchain should I use?

While picking the right kind of blockchain to suit your situation best can be quite challenging, picking the right public blockchain can be even more challenging.

There’s a wide variety of available public blockchains, with each of them designed to serve a specific use case and/or industry. So, which one should you use?

A lot of people assume Bitcoin or Ethereum are the best public blockchains, and in a sense, they are. They are the very first of their kind and are very resistant to censorship due to the high number of participants. However, these blockchains have relatively low transaction speeds and suffer from scalability issues, due to the outdated consensus mechanisms they use.

Modern-day, public blockchains use newer, faster, and more scalable consensus mechanisms that safeguard the benefits of public blockchains while tackling the transaction speed and scalability issues generally associated with public blockchains.

One of these public blockchains is the Europechain by Zaisan, an enterprise blockchain created by a group of system integrators and technology providers from around the European Union. This public blockchain uses the latest software to ensure fast transaction speeds and enterprise-level scalability. In addition, the blockchain offers solutions that ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), making blockchain legal issues a problem of the past.

Key takeaways

  • A public blockchain is a permissionless blockchain that allows anyone to join and participate in blockchain activities.
  • Public blockchains are decentralised, which means that no single entity has control over the blockchain.
  • Private blockchains feature a permissions system that determines who can perform certain actions, including reading and writing data.
  • Private blockchains tend to be owned by a single entity, which makes public blockchains more censorship-resistant.
  • Public blockchains are better suited for solutions that require censorship resistance, added security, and decentralisation
  • Private blockchains are better suited for solutions that require high scalability, fast transactions, and a permission system.
  • Zaisan offers a public, GDPR-compliant blockchain built with the latest technology to offer fast transaction speeds and enterprise-level scalability.

About Zaisan

Zaisan provides enterprises with a suite of tools and services to enable the rapid development of blockchain products and concepts.
Digital identity management is a crucial consideration in today’s enterprise space. The more globalised working environment are becoming, the urge of a solution is needed.

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More and more use cases emerge from the minds of entrepreneurs and those with the foresight to see blockchain come into its own in the very near future.

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