Blockchain technology has many different use cases, some more suitable for public blockchains, and others more suitable for private blockchains. However, the difference between public blockchains and private blockchains can often be confusing, leaving many people wondering which of the two is most suitable for their situation. In this article, we will explain everything about public blockchains, and when you should use one.
What is a public blockchain?
Let’s start with the definition of a public blockchain. A public blockchain is a permissionless blockchain which allows anyone to join, which means everyone is able to contribute to the blockchain and access the data on it.
In addition, public blockchains are decentralized, ensuring no single entity has control over the blockchain. This decentralization also ensures that transactions on the (public) blockchain are verified by all nodes and are immutable once they’re on the blockchain.
The differences between public blockchains and private blockchains
While the above features sound nice, private blockchains might seem very similar at first glance, so what are the differences and benefits of public blockchains?
The main difference between public and private blockchains, is who is able to write data to and read data on that blockchain. On public blockchains, everyone is able to write data to and read data on the blockchain, whereas on private blockchains, a permissions system is in place, which determines who is able to perform certain actions, such as writing to and reading data from the blockchain.
Another important difference is the ownership of the blockchain. Generally speaking, public blockchains are decentralized 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.
A final difference is the speed and scalability. Public blockchains tend to be slower and less scalable, due to their decentralized nature, while private blockchains are generally much faster and more scalable, as they don’t have to worry about decentralization.
Should I use a public blockchain?
Now you understand the differences between public blockchains and private blockchains, you should consider what is most important for your solution.
If your solution has a need for censorship-resistance and the added security of decentralization, a public blockchain is best fit for this purpose. However, if the need for high scalability, fast transactions, and a permission system prevails, a private blockchain is likely more suited for your solution.
Which public blockchains should I use?
While picking the right kind of blockchain which suits your situation best can be quite challenging already, 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 amount of participants and in both networks. 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 are using newer, faster, and more scalable consensus mechanisms which safeguard the benefits of public blockchains, while tackling the transaction speed issues, and scalability issues, which are generally associated with public blockchains.
One of these newer public blockchains, is the Europechain Public Blockchain. The Europechain Public Blockchain is an enterprise blockchain by a group of system integrators and technology providers from around the EU, which uses the latest blockchain software, ensuring fast transaction speeds and enterprise-level scalability. In addition, the blockchain offers solutions which ensure compliance with EU regulation, making blockchain legal issues a problem of the past.