How is Blockchain different from Database?

Let’s admit a fact; we are listening about Blockchain Technology every day. The reason behind this is simple, after the internet, if something is revolutionizing, then it is Blockchain. Despite being at a very nascent stage, this has given rise to some significant developments. An important point to note here is that this technology is not only about financial transactions, instead, but you can also find its application in almost every domain. The need to create a more transparent system has always been a key focus area for companies; Blockchain tends to create a safe and secure system. Thus, it has become a hot selling cake.

In layman’s term, Blockchain is similar to the Traditional Database and is often known as a Database. However, they are entirely different at the core. Here I would be explaining the point of difference between the two. But, before going ahead, let’s understand how Blockchain came and why is it so important for us?

The difference between the Blockchain and Traditional database:

Although Blockchain is interchangeably known as a Database, there is a difference between the two, and the difference lies between the framing of the two.

In general, a Database running on the WWW or the World Wide Web uses client-server network architecture. It means a client can change the entries that are present in the centralized server.  Any change in the data at the center automatically gets updated in the entire system, The control for the Database lies with the administrator.

However, when we come to the Blockchain, the state changes. In the Blockchain Database, every participant maintains, calculates and updates the new entries into the Database. All the nodes work together providing in-built security.

One of the remarkable features of Blockchain is that it helps in establishing provenance. It means that you can trace the origin.Of records, its ownership, custody, etc. With the help of Blockchain, you can see how the latest version and the old version of the same data with timestamps and cryptographic proof has not been changed.

Any entry made in the Blockchain stays there permanently, and you cannot change it. Blockchain is decentralized, and thus, the ability to change the data is not centralized, Whereas, when it comes to traditional Databases, then everything relies on client-server architecture and everything is centralized.

Let’s understand the difference between the two considering their key features :

Blockchain Database
Decentralized Control- In Blockchain, we have no centralized system of control.  It allows different parties who don’t know each other or trust each other to share information without the need for a central system or administrator.

With the decentralized system, it eliminates the risk of accessing the data and corrupting it and thus, makes the information safe and secure.

 

 

Centralized Control-  It is centrally controlled by the administrator. Any change in the data can change the information everywhere.  In the centralized database, anyone who has access to the system can corrupt or destroy the data. It has led to the cases of hacking and forgery. It is not the case with the Blockchain.
History of records – The information which is relevant for now and the information that existed before exist together. It creates a database which has histories of themselves. Tio sum, you can say, that it has all the information in real-time and also the information that was there before. Thus, you get a complete picture of everything. This feature of blockchain makes it useful for tracing the records and knowing the authenticity of a product.

 

No history of records- In a case of centralized database or traditional database we have the information which is up-to-date at a particular moment. You can say that it is a snapshot of the current status.
Confidentiality of information- Well, hiding information on blockchain requires a lot of cryptography. There is no confidentiality of information. It is visible to everyone in the system. Confidentiality of database-  When it comes to the traditional database then the information is only visible to the members.
Read and write Operations-  In blockchain, the user can add more data in the form of additional blocks. It doesn’t mean that the old data will be deleted, both the data remains in the system, and you can check it.  There are two operations of blockchain :

1.    Read- Query and retrieve data from the blockchain

2.    Write- it adds more data to the blockchain

 

CRUD- in a traditional database, the client does four functions: 1. Create, 2. Read, 2. Update and 4. Delete which is together known as CRUD

Conclusion

Well, the list of differences doesn’t end here, there is more to it. The aforementioned are the basic and most striking difference between the blockchain and traditional database. In a nutshell, you can opt blockchain if you are looking for robustness and immutability, but this will come at the cost of performance and confidentiality.

 

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I am a Blockchain Researcher, Developer & Consultant. Founded Allchains, Blockchain-as-a-Service Company. Earlier founded SaaS-based mobile application security company Wegilant (Appvigil). I am very passionate about new technologies like Blockchain, IOT, Application Security, AI etc. I am also the part of Forbes 30 Under 30 list of 2016 in Technology.