When you are interested in knowing more about Blockchain, you will find that this technology is often compared to Databases. The reasons for your interest may vary from being just curious to having an interest in getting an easy, cheap, and practical digital transaction experience. What is clear is, Blockchain and traditional Database are often linked, even though there are clear differences between blockchain and traditional database.
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?
The best definition for Blockchain is that it is a distributed ledger technology. Satoshi Nakamoto was the first person or group or institution to introduce it to the public, marked by the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009. Along with the popularity of Bitcoin as a digital currency, Blockchain began to attract the attention of the virtual public and large corporate classes.
In fact, since its inception Bitcoin has become the most popular in the cryptocurrency competition. With blockchain technology, this currency makes all digital transactions possible without bank intermediaries, making the process easier and more secure. This is due to the use of a distributed ledger that allows the recording of transactions to be accessible to anyone or decentralized, as well as creating a network that is secure, difficult to hack, and integrated.
HOW BLOCKCHAIN WORKS?
Blockchain supports safe and transparent digital transactions by adhering to three working principles, namely decentralization, transparency, and settling. For example, in a digital transaction, information is sent from one partner to another. The transaction must be validated using a consensus algorithm.
Blockchain in this case is in charge of recording all transactions that have been validated in a block, then combined in an integrated chain of blocks. Blockchain only records valid transaction results. The principles of transparency and decentralization allow the blockchain to be accessed, tracked, and verified by anyone.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BLOCKCHAIN AND TRADITIONAL DATABASE
After getting an understanding of blockchain, let’s move on to find out about databases. That way, we can immediately compare the two, and can clearly see the differences between blockchain and traditional database.
If blockchain is decentralized and can be accessed by anyone, then Database is just the opposite. It is a centralized ledger and can only be accessed and run by a dedicated administrator. The database also displays a number of unique features so that we as consumers easily understand reading or writing data.
But of course, not everyone can read and write databases, because permission is required from the administrator first. Databases held by centralized authorities usually store multiple copies of data for secure server management. A copy of the data is very important because the stored data is prone to corruption. In addition, another risk of the database is that the data is vulnerable to modification if the administrator is weak in terms of security safeguards.
Databases rely on data structures to store information. The stored data can be queried using a special query language called Structured Query Language (SQL).
IS A PRIVATE BLOCKCHAIN THE SAME AS A DATABASE?
In fact, there are various types of blockchains. One that is often equated with a database is a private blockchain. This is a kind of blockchain that is used by certain groups. This means that although it is decentralized, it can only be accessed by certain people. So is a Private Blockchain the same as a database?
The two are similar but fundamentally different. Database and Private Blockchain are both limited in terms of access. Participation in them is possible only with administrator’s permission. But the two are clearly different from a number of criteria as follows.
Authority And Control
Although access to both is limited, the blockchain remains on the principle of decentralization, while the database continues to work with a centralized system. The decentralized nature of blockchain has a major influence on changes in the implementation of digital transaction systems by various industries. In short, blockchain allows anyone who accesses it to work independently and eliminates any need for centralized control.
In contrast, the database continues to have limited access, and its control is maintained by a special administrator. Administrators can not be bothered to manage, control and modify the database. If the blockchain can work to store data securely and independently, then the database cannot function without an administrator. Furthermore, if the data stored on the blockchain is immutable and permanent, then the data in the database can be modified, changed, or even deleted.
The second factor that distinguishes Private Blockchains and Databases is architecture. The server-based database acts as a centralized processing unit. This allows the database to work dynamically from small to large scale. The client and server communicate with each other over a secure connection.
Meanwhile, blockchain is based on distributed ledger technology. The network is enabled using a secure, peer-to-peer cryptographic protocol. Blockchain does not have a centralized node but rather collectively takes part in the consensus algorithm.
One of the most favored consensus algorithms is Proof-of-Work. This algorithm requires the accessor to solve complex mathematical equations to validate transactions over the network. This is of course different from a database that does not require a consensus algorithm because it is completely dependent on a centralized administrator.
Databases and blockchains have different ways of storing and managing data. In traditional databases, data can be stored and retrieved easily. The working system consists of Creating alias create, Read or read, Update or update and Delete or delete (abbreviated CRUD). This means the data that has been created can be changed and modified intentionally or not.
A different way of working is shown by blockchain, where the can only read and write. On the blockchain, data that has been stored cannot be deleted or replaced. Its nature is fixed and supports immutability so that the data that has been entered will not be disturbed or manipulated. So, from the level of data security, blockchain is clearly superior because the data that enters the block cannot be disturbed by malicious administrators or hackers.
Basically, although blockchain and traditional databases are often equated, it seems that these two technologies are much different in terms of performance, function, and implementation. If you need reliable and transparent transactions, use blockchain. But if you need fast and optimal performance, then the database can be your choice.
In the end, it all depends on the needs and effectiveness of performance. Even so, you still have to prioritize choices based on knowledge so that business steps can always take place effectively.