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