Why Use Blockchain Instead of a Regular Database?
How does using blockchain compare to a regular database? Here are a few reasons you should use blockchain instead.
Blockchain technology is in a period of huge growth. In fact, it has the potential to revolutionize how data is handled, across the globe.
9/10 agree that blockchain is disrupting the world’s banking systems and 90% of North American and European banks are now exploring the technology. Still, few people truly understand blockchain tech, or how it can be implemented to benefit their businesses.
So what is it?
Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger. It records transactions across parties in an easily verifiable and permanent way. Use blockchain, and your data is stored in a shared database, where it’s protected from tampering, revision or deletion.
Simply put, blockchain is a more secure, robust, and transparent way to record, store, and audit your data. So yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.
Traditional Centralized Database vs Blockchain
Before diving straight into the reasons that blockchain technology is preferable to a traditional database, let’s look at the operations of both. The most fundamental difference lies in the system architecture.
Traditional databases are centralized, meaning there’s a user with ultimate control over all storage and operation. This is not the case with a blockchain database. In fact, within a blockchain database, each user plays a role in the creation and maintenance of entries.
In other words, there is no one central power.
With this difference in mind, here’s why, in 2018, blockchain is the optimal data management solution for many businesses.
Blockchain Technology Is Immutable
Using blockchain technology, it is practically impossible for an individual user to tamper with data. This is because all records and data stored within the blockchain are entirely decentralized. The blockchain consists of a set of decentralized nodes, each of which participates in ‘administration’ of the database.
What Does This Mean?
Every node is responsible for verifying data that is recorded on the blockchain, and each node is also equally capable of recording new data. However, this does require consensus. As such, any alterations made to recorded data can be seen by every other node on the block.
Blockchain vs a Traditional Database
Let’s compare this to a traditional database.
Within a centralized database model, one user is gifted with the power to make data changes. Ultimate control lies with an administrator (or team of administrators) who can also provide credentials to other users. These administrators are able to alter or delete data, at their will.
While this can be convenient in some instances, it also dramatically reduces the integrity of the system. Why? Because all you need is one user to compromise the entire database.
If you use blockchain, this kind of compromise is impossible.
Blockchain Creates a Living Audit
The living nodes used in a blockchain database mean that blockchain tech creates an unchangeable database. This entirely removes the need for a central third party to verify authenticity.
To facilitate this, blockchains are inherently slower than central databases. Still, for many businesses, this is a small price to pay in return for the other benefits afforded.
Blockchain Technology Has Better Security
Centralized databases are also an easier target for intentional attack. In fact, with only one single point of storage, purposefully targeted attacks are a real concern.
Again, with the use of blockchain, you create a different reality. In fact, as a blockchain database grows, the harder it becomes to penetrate.
The more ‘nodes’ in a network, the more copies of data exist. To gain control of data that is stored in this way, it’s necessary to attack all of the network’s nodes, simultaneously.
Plus, the fragments of data stored on every block are encrypted and sealed. While different blockchains do have different levels of security, in general, the algorithms used are virtually impossible to breach.
Ultimately, blockchain is incredibly secure and its defenses difficult to overcome. As a result, a blockchain database is much less likely to face purposeful, malicious attacks from unknown entities, when compared to a traditional database.
Blockchain Is More Robust
Even if we were able to remove the threat of malicious attack, traditional databases are still relatively insecure.
Examples of typical issues faced by traditional databases include:
- Data loss
- Data corruption
- Server downtime
In contrast, the multiple points of storage that make up a blockchain database, means data is resilient to these issues. In fact, as no single, individual node is crucial to the whole database, these issues are mitigated entirely.
Ultimately, if you use blockchain technology for your database, your data is covered by an extremely high level of fault intolerance and protection against human error.
Using Blockchain Can Reduce Your Costs
The reduced financial cost for a business that chooses to use blockchain technology in data management is under publicized. In reality, cost savings can be substantial. Financial savings should be factored into the decisions of startups or enterprises who are looking to shift over to the blockchain.
The distributed nature of the technology means many typical costs can be offloaded. Here are the areas in which you’re most likely to see savings.
- Security protection
It’s not just SMEs that stand to benefit either. Blockchain technology could also reduce investment banks’ infrastructure costs by 30%, too.
A Blockchain Database Is More Transparent
Blockchain technology is immutable, generates a living audit, and is much more secure than a traditional database. Combined, these factors mean that the data held within a blockchain database is much more transparent.
Compare this to a centralized database. Here, a sole user or location has full visibility and data control. With this model, it’s easy to see where problems could arise. Use blockchain, and you increase individual accountability and make sure that your operations are entirely transparent.
Use Blockchain over Centralized Databases
So there we have it – clear reasons to use blockchain over a traditional, centralized database.
We can work with you to develop strategic approaches to implement blockchain technology into your business. From financial services to retail and supply chain management, we build blockchain projects based on cutting-edge technology.
To see how we can help, get in touch today.