Public and Private Blockchains

Blockchains are often associated with just cryptocurrency. What most people don’t know is that there are several use cases for blockchains that use two different types of blockchain: public and private blockchains.

Similarities of the two types of blockchain

Several properties of blockchain are uniform across both types of blockchain: decentralized peer-to-peer nature of the network, with each participant storing a replica of the ledger; a consensus mechanism that promotes uniformity in data across all nodes of the network and one of the most important features of blockchain- immutability.

So, what is the primary difference between public and private blockchains?

In a public blockchain, anyone is free to join and participate in the core blockchain activities while in a private blockchain, only selected and verified participants are allowed to edit, modify and delete data on the blockchain. In a public blockchain, anyone can see the ledger and take part in the consensus process.

A public blockchain network is more decentralized than a private network. Ethereum and Bitcoin networks are examples of public blockchain networks. Public blockchain also maintains transparency at all times. Public blockchain offers high security and an open environment, with no regulations on the nodes. This, however, has its own set of limitations, making public blockchains more susceptible to malicious attacks.

Private blockchains are special blockchains where only a single organization has authority over the network. Private blockchains are developed to tackle a specific use case under an organization. All nodes are verified and members have to be authenticated to view and edit the blockchain. It is not completely decentralized. Private blockchains provide additional privacy that public blockchains don’t provide. They provide higher efficiency, sustainable consensus protocols, stability, lower transaction fees and prevention of malicious activity.


For enterprises, private blockchains make more sense owing to the privacy that comes with it. For individuals, however, the ease of use in a public blockchain becomes a game-changer. Both private and public blockchains are highly beneficial alternatives to regular databases and provides a higher degree of autonomy, security and decentralization.

Written By:
Smrithi Shree

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