Currently there are different types of blockchain each with its unique capabilities and characteristics that are tailored to different needs. These types of blockchain are public, private, and hybrid or federated.

LThe blockchain technology has evolved a lot since its appearance, an evolution that has caught the attention of many actors worldwide. In the early days of this technology, the main stakeholders were individuals with the ability to see the transformation and revolution it would bring. A public technology available to everyone, both to improve it and to actively participate in it. It took some time for companies and governments to take an interest in the technology for use in their own projects.

But the interests of companies and governments are different from those of open communities. This vision gave rise to the birth of blockchain projects different from everything known. This is how private blockchain and hybrid or federated blockchain were born.

In this article we will explain each of the types of blockchain that exist today, mentioning their potentialities and unique characteristics.

Public blockchain

This was the first type of blockchain to exist, and it refers to blockchains that are publicly accessible from the Internet. An example of this type of blockchain are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Monero o Zcash. This type of blockchain keeps your data, software and development open to the public, so that anyone can review, audit, develop or improve it.

To achieve this, public blockchains have security measures that guarantee that no malicious actor can easily alter its operation. It is there where the Byzantine fault tolerance in programming, consensus protocols robust, protections DDoS or against 51% attacks o double spending. In short, any measure that helps improve network security is implemented on the network. The purpose of all this is to keep the network running and preserve its decentralization.

Characteristics of public blockchains

Among the characteristics of this type of network we can mention:

  1. Public blockchains allow anyone to be part of it. Whether as a user, miner or administrator of a node, people can access the network and be part of it without any restriction
  2. The operation of the network is completely transparent and open. Blockchain data from its inception is available to everyone without restrictions. Anyone can review or audit the operation of the network and its software
  3. There are no centralized entities. Public networks are completely decentralized and there is no central authority to regulate their operation.
  4. The economic maintenance of the blockchain depends on the system integrated in it. Generally, this economic system depends on mining and the collection of commissions for each transaction carried out within the network.
blockchain types

Private or licensed blockchain

Later, with the evolution of blockchain technology and its expansion, many companies became interested in it. This led to the development of private or licensed blockchain solutions. This type of blockchain generally has the same elements as a public blockchain, but unlike these, permitted blockchains depend on a central unit that controls all actions within it.

This central unit is the one that allows users access, in addition to controlling their functions and permissions within the blockchain. They are generally proprietary software development options, although there are also free software developments. One of the most important private blockchain developments in the crypto world is Hyperledger. This project started by the Linux Foundation and several companies in the technology sector is the greatest example of private blockchain. We can also mention the case of Rope de R3 o Quorum de JPMorgan.

Features of private blockchain

Among the characteristics of this type of network we can mention:

  1. Access to the network is restricted to elements that can only be authorized by the central control unit
  2. Access to the transaction book or any other means of information generated by the blockchain is private
  3. The economic maintenance of the blockchain generally depends on the company that supports the project. Private blockchain often does not have cryptocurrencies and no mining is done

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Does the diversity of blockchain types seek to adapt the technology to different scenarios?


Each scenario and need is different, therefore they must be addressed specifically. The types of blockchain mentioned here are the response of developers to adapt blockchain technology to specific cases and needs.

Hybrid or federated blockchain

This type of blockchain is a merger between public and private blockchain. It is an attempt to take advantage of the best of both worlds. In these blockchain, participation in the network is private. In other words, access to network resources is controlled by one or more entities. However, the ledger is publicly accessible. This means that anyone can explore block by block everything that happens on said blockchain.

For example, these types of blockchain networks are very useful for governments or business organizations that want to store or share data securely. A perfect use case is happening in the healthcare sector, where blockchain is starting to be used to store data from its drug production lines. The stored data can be reviewed by the competent authority in order to control quality, both at the same company and government level. The objective of applying this blockchain model is to maintain a high level of transparency and trust.

Features of hybrid or federated blockchain

Among the characteristics of this type of network we can mention:

  1. Access to the network is restricted to elements that can only be authorized by the rest of the control units
  2. Access to the transaction book or any other means of information generated by the blockchain is public
  3. There is no mining or cryptocurrency. The consensus of the network is given by other means that ensure that the data is correct
  4. It is partially decentralized which leads to a better level of security and transparency