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Every organization or firm has a record of data, and what’s been utilized for data storage, over the past decades, is a Traditional Database.
It’s the technology that allows firms to manage and control users’ data and information.
However, as technology evolves, we saw the emergence of Blockchain, and there have been debates about it being similar to Traditional databases.
This is because Blockchain somehow operates the same way as Traditional Databases, but then, there are very many differences between the two.
So, the question is; how is Blockchain different from Traditional Database models?
To answer the above question, it’s imperative to first understand what blockchain is, and the true meaning of Traditional Databases and Blockchain databases.
What Is A Blockchain?
Blockchain is a new way of recording data and information that does away with a central authority.
It’s an electronic ledger that’s distributed across different participants in its network.
Blockchain consists of blocks, and every new block is linked to the previous ones through hash and cryptography techniques.
However, Blocks don’t contain only a single transaction but a multitude of transactions.
Participant in the network adds a block to the network through the use of a consensus mechanism; and then will validate the transaction to confirm it as a relevant and valid one. After the blocks is being added, the copy is distributed to all other participants in the network.
Interestingly, anyone can view these transactions and have insight into when and how the transactions occurred without requesting permission to view this information from anyone.
Blockchain facilitates decentralization because all data and information aren’t stored in a central server, and also, it’s not controlled by anyone.
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What Is A Blockchain Database?
As previously mentioned, there has been an argument that blockchain also works as a database.
Yes, blockchain also has its database but in a unique different structure compared to the Traditional Database.
Blockchain maintains and records data and transactions in a new type of database system.
A blockchain database is simply the growing list of blocks, added to the network by miners or validators, that consist of multiple transactions which then form a chain.
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What Is Traditional Database?
A Traditional Database is a hierarchical way of recording and managing data and information in a centralized manner using a simple table structure.
However, the structure has also improved – over time – to a relational database model; which enables a way to gather data and information from a multitude of databases.
So, a Traditional Database it’s simply a centralized ledger that requires administrative control, in the sense that only a few authorized individuals control the system.
In Traditional Database, an administrator determines how the system should operate, and who can access the database.
When users add information to the database, they can go back and modify or delete the information, however, the backup of the previous data would have been stored in an archived database.
The administrator of a database can also delegate roles to other parties, which could be a moderator or any other authority role in the database.
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How Is Blockchain Different From Traditional Database Models?
Even though the blockchain also uses a database structure, it’s different from Traditional Databases due to how Blockchain is designed to operate.
It’s essential to know the difference between Blockchain and Traditional Databases to determine which of the two is ideal enough to be utilized in an organization, firm, or company.
Below is the list of how Blockchain is uniquely different from Traditional Database:
Blockchain enforces decentralization by removing power from a single central body and distributing it to a multitude of participants.
These participants are different people in different parts of the world, and they only compete to verify data and information to be added to the network through the use of a consensus mechanism (POW or POS).
Unlike Traditional Databases, the information or data occurur not stored in central storage; this makes it difficult for a single participant to alter the record of information stored in the network.
In Traditional Database, when the server is down, it could result in loss of data or users not being able to access their data if they want to, at the period. Not any data or information can also be processed or added to the database.
However, it’s completely different in Blockchain, due to the continuously updated copy of the record of information that’s been distributed to every participant. This enables the network to keep running when a particular participant is off or has a breakdown of power.
This implies that no single party is controlling the blockchain because there has been a structure called a “Consensus Mechanism” in the network.
In Traditional Database, the administrator can restrict users from accessing their data or information but this cannot be possible in Blockchain.
Blockchain is permissionless compared to Traditionaldatabasese in the sense that anyone can participate in verifying and recording data in the network.
No one controls the network to determine who can verify transactions or validate data in a blockchain.
Administrators can only give users permission to create, update or delete information in Traditional Database but no permission is required to use Blockchain.
- History Of Data
Traditional Database only records up-to-date information and it’s somehow impossible to track the record of data. In a blockchain, new information is attached to the previously recorded information and it provides a history of all information.
This allows anyone to trace old data and information easily.
Blockchain is designed in a way that it cannot be tampered with, not even by the participants that verify the data in the network.
When a participant verifies blocks and adds them to the network, they can’t be modified or changed.
But in a Traditional Database, users can be given permission, by the central administrator, to modify their data. Likewise, an administrator can manipulate the information by changing or deleting it without the user’s consent.
Choosing between Traditional Database and Blockchain is dependent on how the firm or enterprise wants to operate.
Because Blockchain and Databases both have their advantages and disadvantages.
For instance, Traditional Database isn’t ideal for a company that requires user data transparency and most especially, integrity; while Blockchain isn’t the right choice for an enterprise that requires high scalability.
By reading the article attentively, you should have gotten answers to the question — “how is blockchain different from Traditional Database models?”.
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