Distributed ledger technology, or blockchains, come in many different forms. Both public and private chains have their own method. bridging the gap between the two requires the use of a hybrid blockchain.
Public & Private Blockchains
A lot of things can be achieved by using blockchain technology. This new type of ledger is best known for its use in various cryptocurrencies. Public blockchains, such as bitcoin and ethereum, have amassed great success. Their transparent nature makes it easy to monitor network activity.
For other use cases, that public nature is a problem. It is for this reason that private blockchains have emerged over time. The private nature of such a ledger can help address privacy concerns, or allow for internal company procedures to be modernized.
Rather than choosing one over the other, it is better to tap into the best of both worlds. To do so, one needs to make use of innovative solutions. By default, public and private blockchains cannot communicate. Hybrid blockchains are one way of addressing those concerns.
The Hybrid Blockchain Solution
As the name suggests, a hybrid blockchain is neither private nor public. Instead, it is both at the same time. Depending on how it is coded, it can have more traits of one type over the other.
There are plenty of reasons to merge both public and private blockchain traits. The private approach of adding new network participants, combined with the auditability of public chains is one possible outcome.
Given the rise in private blockchain offerings, a hybrid solution starts making more sense. Noteworthy private chains include Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum, and the XRP Ledger, to name a few. These projects are vastly superior in terms of speed and scaling.
By embracing a hybrid blockchain, the number of disadvantages from either chain type is limited. Public chains are slow but tamper-proof. Private counterparts are faster but centralized. A hybrid solution can maintain access control privately while still being accessible to the general public.
Real-World Examples Exist
Some may think that no hybrid blockchain exists. That is far from the case, albeit they do not get as much attention. The Ripple network is an intriguing example. Ripple maintains centralized nodes, yet the operations of XRP are recorded on a public blockchain.
There is also the VeChainThor venture. This blockchain offers high throughputs while being accessible to the general public. It is commonly used to verify the origin of specific products. The authenticity of the product is recorded on the ledger for everyone to see.