Blockchain networks run on permission-based consensus methods, enabling various levels of use depending on a user’s needs and permission level.
Aside from the blockchain generations, there are also different types of blockchain when viewed from a permission-based angle. Some of those permission types are public, permissioned or private blockchains. Each of these types offers a different use case for a company or user’s needs. When asked to list the three types of blockchain, you’ll now know the answer.
A public blockchain is the most basic form of a blockchain ecosystem. A public blockchain is available to anyone who wishes to utilize the database. Bitcoin and Ethereum are considered public blockchains, for instance.
On top of being open to all, these networks exist without a central authority. Instead, upgrades and other changes are implemented by developers from all over the world, and anyone can utilize a public blockchain’s infrastructure to build DApps.
A permissioned blockchain, also known as a consortium blockchain, restricts some or all parts of the database to nodes with special permission. For example, suppose a centralized team is working to develop a public blockchain network for the rest of the world. In that case, that team might have exclusive permissions to view network-centric information.
While blockchain technology is essentially a decentralized distributed ledger, sometimes that ledger isn’t required to be public. A corporation’s employee database, for instance, doesn’t need to be shared but can still benefit from the efficiencies offered by blockchain technology.
In this case, a corporation would employ a private blockchain. This organization can then use its private blockchain just like a traditional database. It might have some information available to the entire workforce, while more private information is only open to C-suite executives.
Hybrid blockchains can be considered a future of blockchain development as they employ characteristics from both public and private networks. Corporations might utilize hybrid blockchains with public-facing services.
Take a blockchain-powered video game, for example. If a team is working to develop a massively multiplayer online video game but doesn’t want to make development public, they might harness a hybrid blockchain.
This way, players can still interact with the public side of things by signing up, playing and possibly even enacting governance when proposing and voting on game mechanics. The private side of the hybrid blockchain enables the game’s developers to keep its code and inner workings from the public.
When choosing between a permissioned or private blockchain, it’s worth noting that enterprises can consider hybrid blockchains due to their multifaceted nature.