How Blockchain Differs from Traditional Technologies
The primary difference between Blockchain and traditional databases is centralization. In a traditional database, all records on a database are centralized, while in Blockchain, each participant has a secured copy of records and changes, ensuring that each user can see the provenance of the data. Whenever there’s an inconsistency, blockchain technology will instantly identify and correct the unreliable information since each participant keeps a copy of the records.
Due to Blockchain’s ability to provide transparency, decentralization, and immutable data storage, applications using the technology for data security will soon replace existing systems that provide centralized storage. Currently, the most prevalent application of blockchain technology is in data security. The technology is being adopted for a wide range of applications that require data storage to be securely encrypted and seamlessly retrievable. Overall, here is a quick overview of how Blockchain is different from traditional technologies.
Traditional databases utilize client-server network architecture, and the user (or client) can modify data stored on a centralized server. A designated authority maintains complete control over the database, authenticating any client’s credentials before allowing access to the database. Since the centralized authority is responsible for the full administration of the database, any breach of the authority’s security can result in the data being altered or even deleted. That’s why cybersecurity breaches often target traditional databases.
Blockchain databases comprise several decentralized nodes, with each node participating in administration. Typically, all nodes verify any new addition to the Blockchain, and each can add new data into the database. To make any addition to the Blockchain, most nodes must reach a consensus to guarantee the security of the network and make it difficult to be tampered with. In Bitcoin, for example, the consensus is achieved through mining (solving sophisticated hashing puzzles). Ethereum, on the other hand, uses proof of stake as a consensus mechanism.
Benefits of Blockchain Over Traditional Technologies
Blockchain shows a lot of potential in enhancing data security. Here are some more benefits of blockchain technology over traditional databases:
Blockchain provides a transparent and decentralized database that ensures trust among network participants. Participants can be businesses in a consortium or partners in a supply chain who use Blockchain to record their transactional data and any other shared information. Due to the democratization of control, Blockchain gives all participants equal access to the stored data and gets consensus from all participants before authorizing any change. Additionally, the decentralized trust model enables the formation of secure ecosystems that can be utilized by groups of companies to store and share data securely.
There have been concerns by the public and the business community about the compatibility of Blockchain with the current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although Blockchain is essentially immutable with GDPR that requires organizations to delete private data upon the user’s request, there is enormous progress in the process of designing GDPR-compliant Blockchain.
Blockchain typically stores older blocks of data, maintaining an unalterable series of transactions and records. This ensures that every new block can be verified and traced back throughout the chain’s history. Fortunately, multiple methods are being devised to enable the use of Blockchain to keep anonymized data, like customer records through tokenization and hashing.
Traditional database systems are highly centralized, meaning that they have a single point of failure. As a result, any external attack on the central server, such as brute-force hacking or malware attack, might cause partial or total loss of data stored on the servers. Depending on the kind of data stored on the centralized system, the consequences of data loss can be detrimental to any business or economy.
Fortunately, blockchain-powered storage systems are highly resilient to hacking and other external attacks. Typically, the same data is stored on all the blockchain nodes, ensuring minimal risk of losing data. Therefore, blockchain-based data security and storage are highly suited for the storage of sensitive information, such as customer identities and financial transactions.
Blockchain technology is highly regarded for data integrity. Accessing and modifying any data stored on the Blockchain is almost impossible without informing and seeking consensus from the rest of the network. As a result, Blockchain can be used as a decentralized source of truth by all participants, driving a secure ecosystem that functions in a trustless manner. It won’t require any trust or familiarity with other participants or a centralized regulator.
Although the use of blockchain technology in data security systems appears much more beneficial than utilizing traditional technologies, there still exist a few significant challenges that need to be addressed before the transition. However, business leaders should not be intimidated merely by these challenges but should instead be motivated by the potential value they can achieve through this innovative technology.
In a nutshell, the difference between Blockchain and traditional technologies is Decentralized Control, which typically eliminates the risks associated with centralized control. For example, anybody with sufficient access to a centralized database can easily destroy or corrupt the data stored in it. Users rely entirely on the security infrastructure provided by the database administrator. On the contrary, blockchain technology utilizes decentralized data storage to address this issue, thereby building foolproof security into its structure.
Learning From Tech Experts!
Overall, blockchain technology is well-suited to store and manage sensitive information, but traditional databases are still better suited for certain kinds of information. As an organization, it’s crucial to understand what you want from a database and gauge your desires against the strengths and vulnerabilities of these two technologies before adopting one. That’s why it’s essential to work with a seasoned tech company to help you weigh your options and stay ahead of the game.
At Parkway Tech, we are duly qualified to execute the full roles of a Managed Service Provider for IT services. To the best of our ability, we discharge those duties by preserving, protecting, and defending your business from a myriad of cyber-attacks. We always pledge faithfulness, diligence, competence, good judgment, and timely communication to our clients. Contact us today to learn more about Blockchain and traditional technologies and get expert advice on what will work best for your business!
Written by Chris Michalec posted on June 8, 2021
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