Public vs. Private Blockchains: Which Is Right for You?

20. October, 2023

Public vs. Private Blockchains: Which Is Right for You?

Imagine a world where transactions are instant, transparent, and secure. A world where data is protected from hackers and fraud. A world where trust is built on cryptography rather than middlemen.

This is the world of blockchain technology.

Blockchain is a decentralized ledger that records transactions securely and is tamper-proof. It has the potential to revolutionize many industries, from finance to healthcare to supply chain management.

But there are two main types of blockchains: public and private. Which one is right for you? In this blog post, we will compare and contrast public and private blockchains and help you decide which one is right for you.

Public Blockchain

First, we have Public Blockchains, the most popular and well-known type of blockchain. They are open to anyone and everyone, and anyone can participate in the network by running a node. 

Public blockchains are decentralized, transparent, and secure, making them ideal for a wide range of applications.

Here is an expanded explanation of the advantages of public blockchains:

Pros of Public Blockchains


Public blockchains are not controlled by any single entity. This is because they are distributed across a network of computers that are owned and operated by different people and organizations. This decentralization makes public blockchains more resistant to censorship and fraud. 

For example, if a government tries to censor a public blockchain, it would have to shut down all of the nodes on the network, which would be very difficult and expensive.


All transactions on a public blockchain are visible to everyone. This transparency makes it difficult to tamper with data or commit fraud. For example, if someone tries to spend the same cryptocurrency twice, the network will reject the transaction because everyone can see that the cryptocurrency has already been spent.


Public blockchains are very secure. This is because they are protected by cryptography and by the fact that they are distributed across a large network of computers. The cryptography used to secure public blockchains is complex and difficult to break. Additionally, the fact that the network is distributed makes it very difficult to hack or attack.

In addition to these advantages, public blockchains also offer a number of other benefits, such as:

  • Accessibility: Public blockchains are open to anyone and everyone. This makes them accessible to people in all parts of the world, regardless of their financial or social status.
  • Efficiency: Public blockchains can process transactions very efficiently. This is because they are open to the limitations of traditional financial systems.
  • Flexibility: Public blockchains can be used for a wide range of applications, from financial transactions to supply chain management to voting systems.

Cons of Public Blockchains


Public blockchains can be slow to process transactions, especially during periods of high demand. This is because all transactions on a public blockchain must be verified by every node on the network. This verification process can be very time-consuming, especially for complex transactions. 

For example, the Bitcoin network can only process about 7 transactions per second. On the other hand, centralized payment processors like Visa can process thousands of transactions per second.


Transaction fees on public blockchains can be high, especially for popular networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This is because miners who verify transactions on public blockchains are rewarded with cryptocurrency. 

The higher the transaction fee, the more likely a miner is to verify the transaction first. This can lead to high transaction fees, especially during periods of high demand.


All transactions on a public blockchain are visible to everyone. This can be a problem for businesses and organizations that need to keep their data private. For example, if a company uses a public blockchain to track its inventory, anyone can see how much inventory the company has and where it is located. This information could be used by competitors to gain an advantage.

In addition to these disadvantages, public blockchains also have some other challenges, such as:

  • Regulation: Public blockchains are still a relatively new technology, and there is no clear regulatory framework for them in many countries. This uncertainty can make it difficult for businesses and organizations to adopt public blockchains.
  • Security: While public blockchains are generally very secure, they are not immune to attack. For example, in 2016, a DAO hacker stole over $50 million in cryptocurrency from a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.

Private Blockchains

Private blockchains are a distinct category within blockchain technology, characterized by their exclusive ownership and management by a single entity or a select group of participants. 

These controlled environments offer a range of advantages that set them apart from their public blockchain counterparts, and understanding these distinctions is vital for appreciating the role they play in various applications.

Pros of Private Blockchains


Private blockchains have an inherent advantage in scalability compared to public blockchains. This stems from their centralized nature, as they are not reliant on a decentralized network of computers to validate and record transactions. Instead, transactions can be processed more efficiently as the decision-making and validation authority is concentrated in fewer hands.

This results in faster transaction times and higher throughput, making private blockchains a viable choice for enterprises or applications requiring rapid and high-capacity data processing.

Cost Efficiency

Transaction fees on private blockchains tend to be significantly lower when compared to public blockchains. The absence of a competitive fee market and a reduced need for complex consensus mechanisms (e.g., Proof of Work or Proof of Stake) makes private blockchains cost-effective for organizations. Lower transaction costs appeal to businesses seeking to implement blockchain technology within their operations.

Privacy and Data Security

Perhaps one of the most compelling advantages of private blockchains is their enhanced privacy and data security. These blockchains allow participants to maintain control over who is granted access, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential. This level of control is crucial in situations where privacy is paramount, such as in healthcare, finance, and legal sectors. 

Efficiency in Consortiums

Private blockchains are particularly well-suited for consortiums and collaborations among a group of trusted entities. In these scenarios, participants can jointly manage and validate transactions, benefiting from the advantages of blockchain technology without the need for full decentralization. 

This collaboration can lead to more efficient processes, streamlined supply chains, and reduced friction in business partnerships.

Cons of Private

Despite their advantages, private blockchains come with their own set of drawbacks, which are essential to consider when deciding whether to implement this technology for specific use cases:


In contrast to public blockchains that distribute control among a vast network of participants, private blockchains are controlled by a single entity or a small, select group of entities. This concentration of power can lead to a lack of resilience against censorship and fraud. It means that a single controlling entity or a few entities have the ability to make unilateral decisions, which could be prone to manipulation or misuse. 


Private blockchains operate with a reduced level of transparency. Unlike public blockchains, where transaction data is openly accessible and verifiable by anyone, private blockchains restrict access to transaction information. This limited transparency can pose challenges in verifying the accuracy of data and detecting fraudulent activities. Participants in a private blockchain must rely on trust in the central entity or entities that control the network.


In private blockchains, the security is only as strong as the central entity or consortium of entities managing the network. If this central authority is breached, the entire system could be vulnerable to various forms of attacks, data manipulation, or corruption. The absence of a decentralized consensus mechanism, such as Proof of Work or Proof of Stake, means that private blockchains need more robust security measures found in their public counterparts.

Limited Network Effects

Private blockchains operate within a closed ecosystem, limiting the potential network effects. This reduced adoption and collaboration can affect the growth and innovation within the blockchain network, potentially limiting the benefits it can provide to its users.

Which Type of Blockchain Is Right for You?

The best type of blockchain for you depends on your specific needs and requirements. If you need a blockchain that is decentralized, transparent, and secure, then a public blockchain is the best option. However, if you need a scalable, cost-effective, and private blockchain, then a private one is a better choice.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between public and private blockchains:

Feature Public Blockchain Private Blockchain
Access Open to anyone Restricted to a select group of users
Decentralization Decentralized Centralized
Transparency Transparent Opaque
Security Very secure Less secure than public blockchains
Scalability Less scalable than private blockchains More scalable than public blockchains
Cost Transaction fees can be high Transaction fees are typically lower
Privacy Transactions are visible to everyone Transactions are not visible to the public

Examples of Public and Private Blockchain Use Cases

Here are some examples of public and private blockchain use cases:

Public Blockchains

  • Cryptocurrencies: Public blockchains are used to power cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Decentralized finance (DeFi): Public blockchains are used to build DeFi applications, which allow users to lend, borrow, trade, and earn interest on digital assets without the need for a central authority.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs): Public blockchains are used to create and trade NFTs, which are unique digital assets that can represent ownership of anything from artwork to in-game items.

Private Blockchains

  • Supply chain management: Private blockchains can be used to track the movement of goods and materials through a supply chain. This can help to improve efficiency and transparency.
  • Financial services: Private blockchains can be used to develop new financial products and services, such as faster and more secure payment processing.
  • Healthcare: Private blockchains can be used to store and share sensitive healthcare data securely and transparently.

Final Thoughts

The debate between public and private blockchains continues to be a pivotal point of discussion. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and limitations, making the decision of which one is right for you a complex and multifaceted choice.

Ultimately, the choice between public and private blockchains depends on the unique needs of your project or organization. It’s crucial to assess the level of transparency, control, and scalability required, as well as the intended user base and regulatory considerations.

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