Blockchain types

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Blockchain Types

Public, Private and Hybrid Blockchain solutions are available at Nexus Enterprise. The industry norm of focusing on a single blockchain approach, generally public vs. private, has resulted in a somewhat divided community as to which is superior. In reality, the optimal solution is entirely context dependent. Each blockchain type has its own features, and will therefore suit different applications across different industries.

Nexus Enterprise is setting the new standards for the next generation of enterprise blockchain applications, allowing organisations to ultimately decide how they wish to use this technology, rather than being forced to alter their existing systems to suit a predefined blockchain template way of doing things.

Private Blockchain

A private blockchain is a ‘permissioned’ system, and validated by a private group of nodes through various consensus processes. Some properties include:

  • Privately managed validators, making security easier to maintain.
  • Ability to conceal contract logic and meta-data that is stored in the chain itself.
  • Full control over the network rules and who can participate in the system by the use of permissioned access.

A Nexus Enterprise Private Blockchain is a custom built, proprietary blockchain, which can integrate with existing systems. Given the private blockchain is managed in full by the business, any data written onto the chain will only be visible to said organisation, alongside any verified parties (known as Proof of Authority, PoA).

Private networks can be hosted on existing servers and infrastructure, or hosted by Nexus Enterprise. An organisation can have a mobile app or website that interacts with the private blockchain network, in a similar way to how existing databases currently operate.

An example of an application utilising this approach could be an existing ERP or tracking system, containing sensitive personal user data, integrated with a Nexus Enterprise Private Blockchain via APIs. The business would have full ownership and control of the both the data on the chain, and the network participants – being able to add or remove partners or individual users from a consortium as frequently as desired. Private solutions have every possibility of being GDPR compliant, given it is recommended that no data itself is stored on the blockchain. The blockchain just ‘points’ to the raw data via a ‘hash’, with the private data itself being stored off-chain, typically on a private database/cloud.

Hybrid Blockchain

The Nexus Enterprise Hybrid approach combines key public and private blockchain features. The public network generates security and decentralization, and the private network provides autonomy, privacy, and isolation. Some properties include:

  • The existing system or application gains the security properties of the hybrid blockchain.
  • The private blockchain gains the security parameters of the public blockchain.
  • The potential to comply with GDPR, similar to that of a private database or Cloud service.
  • Permissioned access schemes supported by LISP (Location-ID Separation Protocol) forming a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
  • Semi-permissioned access scheme to create tiers of data access between users, service providers, and partners to form an ecosystem.

The addition of the public network in a hybrid ecosystem provides enhanced levels of security and immutability, an element of transparency, and a greater capability for custom validation algorithms. The Nexus Enterprise Hybrid approach is a unique blockchain solution that can be used to control large amounts of data, and regularly update the public with a desired level of transparency.

An example of an application utilising this approach could be a business recording clients’ personal and membership information in private, but regularly updating and displaying the total number of members to the public in real time. As is the case with a private blockchain solution, our hybrid approach has every possibility of complying with GDPR, given it is recommended that no data itself is stored on the blockchain. The blockchain just ‘points’ to the raw data via a ‘hash’, with the private data itself being stored off-chain, typically on a private database/cloud.

Public Blockchain

A public blockchain is a highly secure ledger that is validated by many nodes that form a global consensus (i.e without the requirement of a trusted third party). It is considered a trustless and permissionless system. Some properties include:

  • Hardened security through well tested implementations of game theory.
  • Immutable, as appending to the ledger requires a large amount of resources.
  • Security gained through many participants in the consensus process.

The Nexus Enterprise public blockchain of choice is Nexus. The Nexus Public Blockchain is a fully open and transparent ledger that is validated by global consensus across the entire Nexus Community. The NXS Digital Currency is the main use case operating on this network, tracking the exchange and transfer of coin ownership. All digital currency transactions are public and immutable. A public blockchain is extremely secure, and suits a variety of use cases such as tracking and securing currency ownership, establishing trust, and facilitating DAO organisational voting.

Given the immutable and fully transparent nature of public blockchains, they tend not to be used exclusively in enterprise blockchain applications. The main reason generally being that businesses wish to maintain confidentiality for competitive purposes. Recently enforced data regulations such GDPR also add further complications to a public blockchain only approach, seeing as all customers now have a ‘right to be forgotten’. Businesses building blockchain applications therefore tend to adopt either a private or hybrid solution.