Blockchain Types Classification

Johnny Walker
Chief Editor
19 January 2018 Updated on  Обновлено   15 June 2024

Blockchains are classified according to the availability of a data ledger; this parameter divides the blockchain into classes. Although, the division into types is quite arbitrary because the technology itself is remaining the same. However, blockchain specialists 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 specifics of the blockchain work, 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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