Blockchain or not Blockchain
What is blockchain?
Nothing more than a simple data structure – the most efficient for distributing information in decentralized networks.
The important thing is to understand that blockchain is built by blocks. The last block points to the previous one, and this direction is made by a HASH [read the hash article here] of the previous block – this means that if any is modified in the penultimate block, the hash of that block would be changed and the last block would no longer be able to direct, breaking the entire chain.
The data on the blockchain is immutable and, as it is shared among all participants, it is also transparent.
Why NOT use blockchain
Choosing the wrong tool for a task will only make it more complicated, and the same goes for blockchain.
- If your system data can be changed in any way, you don’t need a blockchain.
- If you don’t need to track every action taken, you don’t need blockchain.
- If data is protected and you don’t want it exposed, you don’t want a blockchain
Of course, decentralizing your system has numerous advantages, but the main point is, if you want to work with public decentralized networks, the cost will be high, the fee on these networks is there in the first place to prevent spam, and you will have to pay for these fees.
If price is not an issue for you, scalability can be. Whatever network you choose, remember that blocks have a maximum size – the more expensive you pay, the more priority you have to get into the next block. Otherwise, you may end up waiting a long time for your transaction to be confirmed.
Decentralized systems are asynchronous in nature, don’t expect to build applications that work in real time with systems of this type.
Why USE blockchain
Transparency and integrity are the keywords here if your service or part of it depends on these two factors, blockchain is a great solution.
- Decentralized services are naturally trustless and that means whoever uses them doesn’t have to trust them. [read more about it here]
- Transparency, immutability and traceability guarantee the property of your service.
- Ease and speed of integration. The tools for working with decentralized networks have evolved a lot in recent years, so developers no longer need to be experts to work with these technologies.
Decentralized networks can charge a high cost, as seen in the previous topic. But if your business depends on the points mentioned above, there are several strategies to mitigate this problem – the most famous is converting the cost to the end customer, but this can eliminate potential interested parties;
At the end, choosing a network will be deciding whether the cost you will incur will be outweighed by the benefits of integrity and transparency.
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