Are Public and Private blockchains rivals?

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by Lumai Mubanga

Is there Rivalry between Private and Public Block chains?

The corporate business world is filled with rival private and public entities conducting similar business undertakings. Take as an example the private universities and clinics or hospitals versus public schools and health providers. They compete for value additions, quality of service and the clientele. Does this hold true for public and private blockchains?

This article examines the major differences that set these apart and discuss how these compliment each other rather than setting them up as competitors.

Public blockchains and User protection

Public blockchains have an excellent value addition that protects the user. Users are guaranteed anonymity and a promise to be treated with respect and equality. The best example is the use case of public blockchains in supporting cryptocurrencies. Thus, users do not need any permissioned status or defined roles to trade or transact in these currencies while their privacy is safeguarded at the same time. Indeed, anyone can own, trade and transact with anyone. Everyone is treated fairly and equally. It’s an excellent open permissionless platform.

Private blockchain and the corporate world

The business environment, however, is different and requires customers to be identified as opposed to anonymity.  Information on such blockchains can only be shared with trusted and known identities to allow coordinated control of who can read and write what on the platform. Control is the keyword here and that can only be done effectively if all players are identified. A good example where this applies is the supplier and vendor relationship because they both need to see the price of commodities in the transaction. In addition, the supplier may not have access to prices negotiated with other suppliers. That’s control and it’s perfectly Ok.

So, a comparison of these two solution types reveals that the focus of public blockchains is more on business to consumer scenarios, whereas private blockchain offerings like Hashgraph, Hyperledger, focus more on business to business scenarios, supporting the value supply chain relationships and creating any kind of shared infrastructure between enterprises.

Identity Management module

This is another crucial difference that sets these platforms apart. Private blockchains start with user identification management from the beginning while this is not a factor in public blockchains. So, while this management system is not a default setting in public blockchains, it can be enabled to build permissioned solutions on its platform.

The public blockchain, using developers and can build a permission solution on a public platform, developing the required logic and the mechanisms behind identity management. This in itself reveals the inter dependability and flexibility of these platforms to co-exist and supplement each other.

While these platforms serve different purposes, real-world use cases show that they both integrate seamlessly and play supportive roles rather than antagonistic roles. So, rather than the misconception that these two platforms are competitors, they both play roles different from each other but very complimentary.

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