Blockchain Vs Database
Blockchain appears to be complicated, however its center idea is actually very basic. A blockchain is a kind of database. To have the option to understand blockchain, it serves to initially learn what a database really is.
Blockchain Vs Database: What is Database?
A database is an organized collection of data, so that it can be easily accessed and managed on a personal computer(PC) framework. Data, or information, in databases is regularly structured in table configuration to take into account simpler looking and separating for explicit data.
What is the difference between somebody utilizing a spreadsheet to store data instead of a database? Spreadsheets are used for one individual, or a little gathering of individuals, to store and access restricted measures of data. Conversely, a database is intended to house fundamentally bigger measures of data that can be filtered, accessed, and manipulated quickly and effectively by quite a few clients at once.
Enormous databases accomplish this by feeding information on servers that are made of powerful PCs. These servers can be fabricated utilizing hundreds or thousands of PCs to have the computational power and storage capacity important for clients to get to the database at the same time. While a spreadsheet or database might be available to any number of people, it is regularly owned by a business and governed by appointed people having complete information inside it.
Popular database management systems are MongoDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite, FoxPro, dBASE, MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server.
Databases are further categorized as Centralized Database and Decentralized Database.
A centralized database is basically a type of database that is stored, located as well as maintained at a single location only. This type of database is modified and managed from that location itself. This location is thus mainly any database system or a centralized computer system. The centralized location is accessed via an internet connection. Centralized database is mainly used by organizations or institutions.
Centralized Database: Advantages
- Easier to access and co-ordinate data.
- Minimal data redundancy since all data is stored at a single place.
- Cheaper in comparison to all other databases available.
Centralized Database: Disadvantages
- The data traffic is more.
- Fault tolerance is low.
Decentralized systems don’t have one central owner. Instead, they use multiple central owners, each of which usually stores a copy of the resources users can access.
A decentralized system can be just as vulnerable to crashes as a centralized one. However, it is by design more tolerant to faults. That’s because when one or more central owners or servers fail, the others can continue to provide data access to users.
Decentralized Database: Advantages
- Less likely to fail than a centralized system
- Better performance
- Allows for a more diverse and more flexible system
Decentralized Database: Disadvantages
- Security and privacy risks to users
- Higher maintenance costs
- Inconsistent performance when not properly optimized
Blockchain Vs Database: Comparing Centralized , Decentralized and Distributed Database
Fault tolerance is the property that enables a system to continue operating properly in the event of the failure of (or one or more faults within) some of its components.
Database Maintenance is a term used to describe a set of routine tasks to help performance, free up disk space, check for data errors, check for hardware faults, update internal statistics, and many other obscure (but important) things to improve your database.
Database scalability is the ability to scale out or scale up a database to allow it to hold increasing amounts of data without sacrificing performance. The typical approach is to shard the database and distribute it across multiple servers in a cluster.
Blockchain Vs Database: What is Blockchain Technology Database?
A blockchain, originally block chain, is a growing list of database records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography techniques. Each block contains a cryptographic hash (A hash is a function that converts an input of letters and numbers into an encrypted output of a fixed length. A hash is created using an algorithm and is essential to blockchain management in cryptocurrency.) of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data.
By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of its data. This is because once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks.
Although blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system. The blockchain has been described as “an open, distributed ledger (consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, or institutions) that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.
Blockchain Vs Database: How is Blockchain different from Database
- Data Handling and Transparency
- Cost, Speed and Performance
While all records secured on a database are centralized, each participant on a blockchain has a secured copy of all records and all changes so each user can view the source of the data. The main thing happens when there’s an inconsistency — since each participant maintains a copy of the records, blockchain technology will immediately identify and correct any unreliable information.
Figure 1.1: Diagrams showing the architectures of centralized databases versus Blockchain
Blockchain vs Database: Architecture
A database is based on client/server architecture. It is a successful architecture that can work in both small-scale and large-scale environments. Here the client is the receivers, whereas the servers act as a centralized processing unit. The communication between client and servers are maintained through a secure connection.
Blockchain, on the other hand, uses a distributed ledger network architecture. It is a peer-to-peer enabled network where each peer can connect with another using secure cryptographic protocols. As there is no centralized node, nodes can collectively take part in the consensus algorithm.
One of the most popular consensus algorithm is Proof-of-Work, which requires miners to solve complex mathematical equations to validate transactions over the network.
The database doesn’t require a consensus algorithm and is completely dependent on the centralized approach. The administrator controls every aspect of the database and is highly centralized.
Blockchain vs Database: Authorization
In centralization databases an administrator (DBA) is allocated to manage the database. The administrator has all the control over the database, which means that he can manage, modify, and control the database the way he wants. Without an administrator, the database will not function at all.
DBA is at the top and can easily create, modify, change, and delete the records. Other than that, they can also perform other tasks, such as performance optimization. It is an important task as a larger database tends to get slow over time.
When it comes to other users associated with the database, an admin can delegate roles to other users. Other users can manage the database according to the role that they are assigned. For example, They can assign a user to create new users. Other key functions, such as backing up the database, maintenance, etc., can also be done.
Blockchain is designed to work in a decentralized manner, whereas the databases are always centralized. This unique feature of blockchain gives it the leverage it needs to become the next generation of technology.
Decentralization brings in a lot of implementation changes to the current systems and processes used by the different industries. It empowers networks to work independently and removes any need for centralized control.
Blockchain vs Database: Data Handling and Transparency
In a traditional database, data can be stored and retrieved with ease. To ensure proper operation of the application, CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) is utilized at the primary level and data can be erased and replaced with new values if needed.
Blockchain, on the other hand, works differently when it comes to data storage. Blockchain supports immutability, which means that data once is written cannot be erased or replaced. Immutability means that no data tampering is possible within the network.
Traditional databases don’t exhibit immutability and hence are more prone to being manipulated by a rogue administrator or third-party hacks.
In short, blockchain only supports two operations, Read and Write.
- Read Operations: Used to read or retrieve data from the blockchain network
- Write Operations: Used to add information and data to the blockchain network
Another key property of Transparency that blockchain offers is how anyone with the right tool can verify the data once written into the public blockchain. Transparency ensures that the public can trust the network.
Databases, on the other hand, being centralized, doesn’t support any form of transparency. Users cannot verify the information if they want to. However, an administrator can make a set of data public, but still, the data verification cannot be done by an individual.
Blockchain vs Database: Cost, Speed and Performance
When it comes to implementation cost, a traditional database is less costly when compared to the blockchain. However, if we look at a longer look at the cost associated with each technology, blockchain might provide a more cost-effective solution as peers mostly manage the network. Organizations don’t have to deal with the extra cost associated with handling the network, which can save a lot of costs.
Blockchain is considerably slower when compared to databases. However, it can be because blockchain is a relatively new technology and still needs a lot of time to evolve and match up to the standards of well-aged technologies such as databases.
When a transaction is carried out in the blockchain, it does all the things that a traditional database will do. However, it is slowed down because of carrying more operations, including the following.
Speed of Consensus
As blockchain is decentralized, it relies heavily on a consensus mechanism to validate transactions on to the blockchain. Also, the speed of consensus depends on the type of consensus method used. Some consensus method is faster than others, but overall, it adds more time before a transaction can be processed. Centralized databases don’t suffer from this kind of issue as they are centralized in nature. Each transaction is verified automatically by the database and can be executed way faster using a queue.
Verification of Signature
Blockchain transactions, when carried out, are cryptographically signed using cryptographic algorithms. This step is needed to ensure that each transaction is valid and originated from a valid source. As it is a complex process, it takes time to carry out the process. Even though the whole blockchain application is fast, the signature verification can bottleneck. In comparison, a centralized database doesn’t have to go through the signature verification process, which makes them comparatively faster.
Blockchain is a complete network where each node plays a crucial role. To ensure that each node can participate, each transaction information needs to be stored and verified by each node.
These three aspects slow down the blockchain. This means that databases are comparatively faster when it comes to performance.