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IS BLOCKCHAIN BETTER THAN TRADITIONAL DATABASE?

If you are one of those many professionals/entrepreneurs/blockchain enthusiasts who are still figuring out the differences between blockchain and traditional databases, then you landed at the right place. In the next 5 minutes, you will have a good idea of the most discussed rivalry in the business world –  ‘blockchain Vs database’ and where exactly both these technologies stand.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that enables multiple parties to work together to create a decentralized network.

These parties can share data among themselves with the help of a consensus algorithm and without any centralized authority.

The information shared is stored in a data structure called blocks. If any party adds anything onto the blockchain, it requires verification from all other parties involved in the network.

Blockchain stores information permanently in uniformly sized blocks arranged in a linear chain. Each block in the chain contains its own ‘hash’ along with the hashed information from the previous block. Hash codes are generated by a mathematical function that turns digital information into a string of numbers and letters. This provides cryptographic security to all the information in the blockchain.

Advantages of Blockchain

Saves time: Trade or transactions can be settled swiftly as it does not require verification, settlement, and clearance processes.

Unchangeable transactions: Blockchain network is designed only for inserting data. It means whenever a new block is added to the chain of ledgers, it cannot be modified or removed.

Reliability: Blockchain authenticates the identities of all parties within the network. As a result, there is no scope for corruption or duplication, which promises transparency in transactions. 

Security: Blockchain consists of several decentralized nodes that participate in the administration. These nodes verify new additions to the blockchain, and are capable of entering new data. For any addition to be made, the majority of nodes must reach a consensus. This consensus mechanism guarantees the security of the network, as it cannot be corrupted by a single party. 

Decentralized: Decentralized control eliminates the risk of data corruption within the network, thereby building a secure and trustworthy structure.

Databases

Database is a centralized ledger run by an administrator. The administrator is in full control of assigning rights to read, write, update and delete an operation. On one hand, the centralized nature of databases enables easy maintenance and high output capacity. On the other hand, this exact possibility becomes a liability as it is highly susceptible to corruption. This can compromise the entire data and even change the ownership of digital records. 

Traditional databases use a client-server network architecture. Administrators have the right to modify its structure or change any part of the data.

Advantages of Database

Controls data redundancy: In DBMS, all data is integrated into a single database file. The data is recorded in only one place in the database and it is not duplicated. 

Data sharing system: In the traditional database management system, the authorized users can assign or share data with multiple users.

Easy maintenance: The centralized nature of the database system makes it easy to maintain. 

Less time-consuming: Since databases are easily maintained, it requires less time for development and maintenance. 

Backup option: One of the prime features of a database system is the provision to auto-backup data from hardware or software failures. The data can also be recovered and restored. 

Multi-user interface: Users can have different types of user interfaces like graphical user interfaces, application program interfaces, etc.

Blockchain Vs. Databases

BLOCKCHAINDATABASES
No admin or in-charge and hence decentralized in nature.Centralized in nature because of admins and in-charge
No permission required as anyone can access it.Database requires permission as it can be accessed only by authorized personnel.
Blockchains are relatively slow.Databases are faster.
Completely secure and confidential.No guarantee of confidentiality.
It has a history of records and ownership of digital records.It has no history of records and ownership of records.
Blockchain has only insert function.The database has create, update, read, and delete function.
Disintermediation is possible in blockchain.Disintermediation is not possible in the database.
Anyone with the right proof of work can write on the blockchain.Personnel with editing rights can do so.
Blockchain is a non-recursive technology as one cannot go back to repeat a task on any record.The database is recursive since you can go back to repeat a task on a particular record.

Conclusion

The differences between blockchain and databases make them suitable for different use cases. It’s not about which technology has the upper hand.

What matters is how relevant they are to your goals. Enterprises should understand what they want from the implementation of any technology and the same rule applies to blockchain or traditional databases.

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