There is a lot of doubt regarding the difference between the concepts of Blockchain and database. We use Databases to build various blockchain networks. There is a fine line between the two, and one must understand it before anything else. The key takeaway is that we use databases to build blockchain networks, but while all blockchains are databases, all databases are essentially not blockchains.
Some important points:
- A blockchain records information in data structures called blocks.
- The data storing systems for databases are called tables.
- While we use both of them to store information extensively, they have contrasting and differing designs.
- The purpose behind the two is different from each other resulting in varied preferences for various jobs.
A traditional database is primarily used for simple data storing purposes. While companies doing business can refer to databases for referring to structured reports and data, governments at work can also make good use of databases by storing vast amounts of information for timely referrals.
The basic structure
Information was initially only gathered and stored in a database. Afterwards, consulting multiple databases became possible, due to which we could establish a relation between two or more databases. As the process became more complex, bodies like database management systems came into being, which organized these stored data.
A table stocks data in a database. A table is an amalgamation of various fields like columns and rows denoting multiple things stored there. All of these elements are attributes of the stored data, which defines a database as a whole.
A blockchain is like a public ledger that is entirely digital. As a blockchain network is secured using cryptography, currencies based on this technology are called cryptocurrencies, for example, Bitcoin. To know how you can profit through bitcoin, you can check out the bitcoin
The basic structure
Blockchain stores information in identically sized blocks. One block is connected to the previous one through digital signatures, and all of it is chained together to form a blockchain network. Once we store certain information on a block, it becomes immutable. Everyone can see it, but no one can change it. It is decentralized and based on peer-to-peer technology that guarantees uninterrupted network running even if specific nodes are absent.
Three main differences:
- A centralized database means some entity – be it an individual or a company looks over a database. On the other hand, blockchains are decentralized in nature.
- An entry or a change in a database requires permission from the central authority. A blockchain is essentially permissionless.
- Databases are administrator-oriented. In the case of Blockchain, no administrator is necessary. The presence of nodes in a network for verifying information is enough for a blockchain to function.
Databases and blockchains are very similar to each other. A blockchain would not be able to function at its best without the help of a valid database for its structure. The nuanced differences are also best understood with the help of the use cases of both database and Blockchain.
Database use cases:
- Some data need continuous updating and renewal. Organizations that are into monitoring or censoring jobs use databases for their user-friendly approach.
- We use Databases for speedy online transaction operations.
- Certain information is secret. For example, government databases are not transparent or open to the public all the time.
- Some data might not require manifold verifications. We can update those on databases.
Blockchain use cases:
- Information regarding monetary transactions should be transparent and thus are ideal for being put up on Blockchain.
- Voting procedures must be transparent and at the same time out of the reach of any altercation. Voting systems can take help from blockchain technology.
- Public verification and DApps run on Blockchain.
Whether databases are used to build Blockchain will inevitably lead to the discussion on how one is not more important than the other and how they have unique use cases and purposes.