Blockchain Types Classification

Blockchain is classified according to the data registry availability; this parameter divides the blockchain into classes. Although, such division is simply a convention because the technology itself is remaining the same. However, the blockchain sphere experts have their own methods of classifying this system.

Vitalik Buterin

Canadian version

In summer 2015, Vitalik Buterin, creator of the Ethereum platform, published an article with three types of blockchain classification in the company’s blog:

  1. Public blockchain, where everyone can take part in the reconciliation, transactions are not controlled by anyone and performed in a free order.
  2. Consortium blockchain, where only selected nodes control the reconciliation procedure.
  3. Fully private blockchain, where all transactions are monitored and controlled by centralized authority.

Sir Mark Walport

British version

Sir Mark Walport, chief science adviser of Great Britain, classified the blockchain in almost the same way. In his report about distributed ledgers and the blockchain potential in the field of public administration, he divided blockchain into these three types:

  1. Unpermissioned public ledgers.
  2. Permissioned public ledgers.
  3. Permissioned private ledgers.

Olga Skorobogatova

Russian version

Often, to avoid confusion and to facilitate understanding, experts simply divide blockchains on open and closed ones. Russian blockchain experts adhere to this approach. Olga Skorobogatova, deputy chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, classifies blockchain exactly this way. She presented this topic at the ‘Blockchain and open platforms — 2016’ conference.

Despite different opinions in the professional environment, any blockchain division for types is based on the degree of blockchain openness for its participants. Therefore, to understand the blockchain works specifics, it is usually enough to know whether it is open or closed. In order to answer open is it or closed, we can simply answer several questions:

  • Who can create records in the system?
  • Who can view the data?
  • Who handles the network integrity?
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