Blockchain Networks To Use In Business

By Rushali Shome

The business benefits of blockchain are absolutely enormous and they make it imperative for modern businesses to embrace this incredible technology, thereby making the most of its boundless potential. However, if you are setting up a business, you might be wondering what kind of a blockchain network would be best for use in your business. While it is obviously essential to have a very clear notion of what use case(s) you are trying to address your business, you must also know what different kinds of blockchain networks you can use in business.

Types of Blockchain Networks

What are the different blockchain network options available to businesses? If we take a broad categorization, there are three: public blockchain networks, private blockchain networks and consortium blockchain networks. Let us see how these basic types of blockchain networks work in business.

Public Blockchain Network

Public blockchain networks possibly come the closest to fulfilling the promise of decentralization that is so often made by the blockchain technology. In such a blockchain network, users from any part of the world can access the transactions updated onto the digital ledger. The transactions that happen exist on a public domain, visible to everyone. Anyone can start running a full node to begin mining and creating new blocks on the network. Reviews, audits and transactions can also be made freely. The decision as to what transactions are recorded and which details are taken to be correct are determined by the use of the different consensus protocols used in blockchain, such as Proof Of Work, Proof of Stake etc. While these blockchain networks are often blamed for being time-consuming and inefficient, they are extremely useful in building a trustless system that does not need you to repose faith in a third party. Government-controlled businesses and industries are some of the entities that could make great use of public blockchain networks in streamlining business. Currently, Bitcoin and some altcoins like Bitcoin have public blockchain networks, among others.

Private Blockchain Network

Private blockchain networks are entirely owned by the company who is maintaining the records on it. They have authorised access to maintain the records in whatever way they like: alter data, make block additions or transaction reversals. There’s a certain degree of centralisation that is possible in such networks but it is an extremely useful type of network because it provides a great deal of privacy. Usually, the company controlling it holds editing access, but members of the public can view and track information. Naturally, its private character means anyone and everyone cannot run a full node on it. Private blockchain networks are a great way to reconcile privacy needs with the need to replace older, outdated systems. Despite the cost they entail, these networks are undeniably a very secure option for digitising business records. Solulab Inc. and Leeway Hertz are some well-known developers of private blockchain networks for enterprise needs. Bankchain is a leading example of a private blockchain network.

Consortium Blockchain Network

In a consortium blockchain network, the consensus aspect of the record-keeping is ascertained and controlled by specific nodes in the network, that have been given the power to do so. A consortium is formed by a set of companies that want to work together and take charge in taking decisions to achieve some common goal. This type of a blockchain is also known as a federation blockchain. Only a few companies that are working towards a common objective (or are in business with one another) can access and use this blockchain network. This helps to not only promote efficiency but also trust among the members of a consortium. Hyperledger, Corda and Quorum are some of the example of consortium blockchain networks.

How To Choose A Blockchain Network For Your Business?

If you’re in an industry that is looking to increase censorship resistance and ensure an open communication about data, then public blockchain is the best way to go about it. However, if privacy and sensitive data handling is what you need, private blockchain networks can be helpful. Consortium blockchain networks prove to be essential to corporate cooperation. Out of all the different consortium networks, one you should definitely know about is the revolution that is Hyperledger. With many benefits and a great deal of versatility, all these blockchain networks are transforming the business scene and taking a step towards the fourth revolution the technology is ushering in.

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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