Private versus Public Blockchains


Will private or public blockchain projects be the focus in 2018? What industries will be the first to experiment with the technology?

Emerging Technologies
Distributed Ledger Technology
Eric Bujold
49 months ago

5 answers



I like to think of public Blockchain being the enablers for B2C use cases currently (will change in future). The Enterprise shied away from internet initially, and it will shy away from value transfer on public Blockchains given the uncertain regulations as we start 2018. Although eventually, I mean in 10-12 years time frame they may come around a full circle and find the security and much improved scalability more appealing for enterprise collaboration and customer engagement. So to directly answer your question, in 2018 B2B use cases on private chains and B2C on public chains.

Most if not all industries will experiment with Blockchain in 2018 (it started with Banking in 2016, and 2017 was more diverse industries). But again, I rather interpret the applications as cross-industry, horizontal use cases - supply chain, data sharing etc. Hope that helps!

Rohit Tandon
49 months ago
Very interesting perspective - thanks! - Eric 49 months ago
#1 - Banking #2 Financial Services #3 Cryptocurrency - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

I would say public as this is open, anyone can join (e.g. Bitcoin) and is good when a network needs to be decentralized. On the other side, private blockchain has the advantage to enable more controls on privacy and could cut cost and have a faster speed. I guess different industries will try to go with this technology in 2018.

Paolo Beffagnotti
49 months ago

In my view and many other pioneers of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space believe that private blockchains defeat the purpose of the technology as presented by Satoshi Nakamoto... Private blockchains are a different animal all together and were orchestrated by banks to keep them in business... Private blockchains also facilitate a few select people to control the masses... I think 2018 is the year public blockchains re-gain the focus and will capture the mainstream attention...

Robert "BitRebel" Tiger
49 months ago
Who is to say what the "purpose" of blockchain was or is? That is a self-defeating prophecy in my view. Employees of large institutions and governments are themselves "customers" of the technology. If it's being implemented to make inefficient processes more efficient in business, these cost savings and better experiences will pass to onto customers. Cryptos are one tiny use case of blockchain. - Eric 49 months ago
Maybe your answer would be more clear to me if you can define the difference in your view between "private" and "public" blockchains? I think this is where our differences may be. - Eric 49 months ago
Hey Eric, the purpose of the blockchain from the beginning was to decentralize the institutions that were way to centralized and concentrated into the hands of the few who do not share your interests, the public blockchain equalized this issue.. If you then take the technology and encapsulate it into a private blockchain or for lack of a better word "intranet", which is controlled by the few... - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
I understand your concerns but they are easily addressed through a public blockchain, smart contracts and AI, Private blockchains are all about controlled access this is why you have unbanked in the world today... - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
The difference between public and private blockchain networks is simply who can participate in the network. In a public network, anyone with access to the internet can join. In a private network, some sort of vetting/handpicking needs to happen. I completely understand your thought process here but I think it lacks a contextual understanding of how a private network would be administered/regulated - Eric 49 months ago
Needless to say, I think private networks are a much more viable use case short-term (5-10 years) because financial institutions make up the backbone of government and legal systems. It's a complicated undertaking to radically remove these players from the equation. Over time, completely decentralized networks have a potential place... but from an adoption standpoint it's practically unimaginable. - Eric 49 months ago
I follow you and I do understand what you are stating, however let's remember that the public blockchain came first and private blockchains are basically forks off of the public blockchain that have been tweaked to allow for permissioned or controlled access, you may as well stick with fiat currency and un-necessary holds on you Paypal balances etc. at least with regards to currency... - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
One other thing, the players that you refer to are already removed from the equation, the only thing that keeping them relevant are these permissioned blockchains, this is why people like Jamie Dimon despise Bitcoin and the underlying public blockchain that it resides on... - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
Anyhow Eric, this is a great debate, you have your views and I have my own, maybe my views will become more clear if you are ever denied access to a permissioned blockchain just because the controllers do not think you are on par with them... I think you are very knowledgeable and a cool cat but the key word here is: motivations - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
Thanks for this discussion Robert. I appreciate your views. I'd be curious to hear your views of blockchain use cases outside of cryptocurrency? I completely agree that the point of Bitcoin was to decentralize financial value into the palms of consumers. It came at a time of global financial distress. But Blockchain itself has the power to transform all organizations and business models. - Eric 49 months ago
Also, if you've seen the Aion coin you would begin to see that Nuco is building a blockchain infrastructure to connect private and public DLTs together... if a bunch of private networks are interconnected in a sharing economy, this mirrors a decentralized platform with "gatekeepers" for certain functions, allowing a more robust and secure ecosystem to develop. - Eric 49 months ago
Yes I have reviewed Aion and I think the concept can be useful and provide other options and I agree with you that the blockchain is the underlying technology that provides the vehicle for all sorts of application, I will continue our debate part 2 "Use Cases" Thanks Eric... - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
Many thanks - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

I agree with Rohit. Bot will be explored equally however I think private chains will be more popular in B2B area and the simple answer to that is privacy and security. A lot of companies operate in syndicate having their network of companies and it would be interesting to see how blockchain can help in increasing the business multi-folds.
In public chains the major concerns that need addressing is scalability and security so it will still be explored and we may see some new innovations in handing these issues

Harpreet Sethi
49 months ago
Scalability issue is now playing out with Bitcoin and due to the problems devs are implementing scalability into projects right from the get go... To address the issue of security, I would say that this is a HUGE opportunity for blockchain escrow providers that use smart contracts for distribution of assets that require certain conditions be met to unlock assets... - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
The issues that need to be addressed are political and special interests that feel threatened by this new amazing technology... - Robert "BitRebel" 49 months ago
Well said - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

I would broadly agree with comments from other members - B2B for private and B2C for public is definitely looks as the way forward. Private blockchain may see more traction given that lots of enterprises have done experimentation until Dec 2017 and may give a push to roll out some solutions in limited (private small consortium) capacity.

Re: Industry - I think the question is not about experimentation but about on-ground working solution. Though BFS have started as a forefront runner to explore blockchain, my understanding is that we would see scaled implementations from other industries.

  • Primary rationales to support my statement is because of stringent regulations in BFS. Also, huge investments have already been pumped in BFS since many decades to have entire application landscape (certainly with huge scope to optimize).
  • Other industries have relatively less complex regulations, which could help them to roll-out something quicker. Additionally, IT system adoption has been relatively slow many other industries e.g. Healthcare, Manufacturing, etc.
  • Supply chain could be my best candidate to bet on where we should see major development using blockchain tech, just my thoughts
Ravi Agrawal
49 months ago
Interesting - Dr. David E. 36 months ago

Have some input?