Relational Distributed Database and Blockchain

Preface – This post is part of the Blockchain Basics series.

Distributed Database

A Relational Distributed Database is a database management system which utilizes the Primary Key(PK) and Foreign Key(FK) relationship. Almost every ERP solutions use Relational database. In simple context, this database divides all data based on relations among them. For example, data of employee can be saved into three tables i.e. Employee Details table, Employee Address table and Employee Salary table where each table has Employee ID as a common key.

Blockchain Ledger

A Blockchain can be defined as a decentralized database, or simply a decentralized linked list, where list of records (called blocks) are linked via cryptography. By decentralized, we intend that there is no single database where all records are saved rather the same set of data is saved in numerous databases. A block in a Blockchain contains catalogue of records (known as transaction data), a timestamp (i.e. UNIX time) and a cryptographic hash of previous block (hash converts the previous block data into a fixed length of random characters).

Difference between Distributed database and Blockchain

Both the database systems mentioned above carry their own advantages and disadvantages. Let us have a look on the basic differences between these database systems:

Relational Distributed Database Blockchain Ledger
Controlled by an Admin No Admin, everyone shares same data
Access limited to view data Anyone can access (public) Blockchain
Access limited to write data Anyone with right consensus can write
Relational Databases are fast Blockchain, due to verification process, are slow
No history trace of edited data unless log table is maintained History of data is maintained via hashing
High performance & confidentiality High provenance and immutability

Comparison between Database & Blockchain


  • Barry Allen

    A Full Stack Developer with 10+ years of experience in different domain including SAP, Blockchain, AI and Web Development.

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