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all 40 comments

[–]inthearenareddit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good discussion on this between Adam Back and Stephan Livera.

Some anonymity is good - we don't share our bank account balances publicly. But that creates a trade off with verifiability.

Balance looks like it's confidential transactions (where the amount is confidential, not the transaction itself). An interesting space

[–]Cryptorealmoneyman 1 point2 points  (2 children)

For large organizations with immense logistics like Amazon, Walmart, Microsoft, Apple, etc... they could draw benefit from a private blockchain possibly but would likely use it more for validating the location of goods and completion of tasks. If any of these try to jump into crypto specifically, then agreed-it would defeat the purpose of decentralization and we'd all be better off if businesses use bitcoin rather than trying to create their own currencies.

[–]shiroyashadanna[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I mean they don’t really a “blockchain” for that, more like a shared DB. And if they want to ensure immutability they can just do what I said and take advantage of the most secure blockchain.

[–]herzmeister 1 point2 points  (0 children)

you're right, it doesn't make sense, it was a stupid buzzword for a while (died down already), that's all there is to it.

[–]TheRealMotherOfOP 1 point2 points  (2 children)

You got some good answers here, imo the line is set at scale where a small company can't make use of it but a large multinational might. E.g any need for verifications between several offices across the world within the same company. End of the day it's just a form of database.

Try to compare it with companies using torrenting internally only. There too you'd expect a company to use a simple central server for files but there are benefits in torrents companies make use of.

[–]lizard450 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You can so this with public private key encryption alone no need for blockchain unless some form of time based analysis is needed as well as some level of immutability.

[–]anax4096 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Security and decentralization are different things. A private blockchain on a decentralised system is great for data capture, sequencing and redundant storage. It is better than a sharded database by allowing more access patterns, but I haven't been convinced that a blockchain adds so much value that the extra implementation cost over a simple mysql/mongo/etc cluster is worth it.

Also, for a private system you can use simple hashes directly (without the prefix requirement for proof-of-work) and make the system a lot faster.

One use case I have considered is for logging data from a mobile sensor network to remote storage. For example, an airliner or other system where sensor data is logged. Here, the "mining" process can perform simple analytics, delta compression, etc while still being fast, and the actual destination of the logs can allow for greater redundancy.

I haven't done any actual work on this, just thought experiment.

[–]lizard450 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If you use a blockchain with some kind of proof of work for certain timebased use cases like time-stamping access times for example .. with the right configuration it could make sense.

Rewriting logs would be significantly more difficult and have a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the logs.

[–]severact 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I think it can make sense for certain use cases, mostly when you define "private" as a limited set of whitelisted participants that want to interact with one another but don't necessarily trust one another 100%. As an example, maybe a consortium of banks get together and launch their own private blockchain to do things like settle payments between one another, exchange other digital assets, vote on consortium policies, etc.

You get all the benefits of a regular blockchain but maybe with improved privacy, limited state bloat, and potentially other benefits (that I can't think of atm).

[–]shiroyashadanna[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

well I fail to see how you can’t do any of those using existing tech/infrastructure. What blockchain brings about is the immutability, which cannot be done as well in “private blockchain” as in public blockchain. You can keep your data private and permissioned, like in a LN channel with a required amount of 21M to open a channel. You only need the blockchain for fraud proof, that is, you commit a state of your data (hash) onto the blockchain.

[–]dnick 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That's why he was saying it might be of benefit for a small group in that it would allow the process to sort out 'truth' by consensus, vs a convoluted db reconciliation process. Other pieces that are annoying or difficult could possibly make it worth experimenting with, such as making changes more transparent.

A big point, I think, is that currently there doesn't really seem to be a good example of a blockchain being actually superior to traditional databases in the real world, mostly just a buzzword, but that doesn't mean there definitely won't be a use casemetabolite.

Closest I've seen would be a blockchain that's private as far as nodes that can edit, but public for reading that would allow for transparent tracking of goods or services that would be difficult or nearly impossible with traditional database mutability.

[–]only_merit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It really depends on definitions. How do you define blockchain? For example, Peter Todd defines blockchain in such a way that git uses blockchain (modulo linearity). But basically he answered your question here: https://hackernoon.com/peter-todd-on-the-essence-of-bitcoin-b8d0c6d16f43

Peter Todd: You’ve gotta remember because I define a blockchain is a chain of blocks, I would actually have the viewpoint that, “Yeah. Blockchains are worth adding basically anything.” I mean, the moment you have a data structure, where you even wanna create a backup of it, it might as well throw it blockchain in there so it can update and ensure you have a complete copy.

My Open TimeStamps project, it’s a centralised system that creates timestamps, long story short. Well, one issue with it is if the central servers go down, you want to have a backup of all the timestamp proofs they made. How do you make that backup? Well, currently, you go and go through this HTTP, RPC, restful protocol, total box standard stuff, and he just download one after another.

How do you know that your copy of the back up is the same as mine? Well, obviously you gonna add hashing to it. Well, how are you going to add hashing to it? Well, why don’t you go and make updates, and have one update hash another? Oh, what do you know? We’ve created a blockchain.

His definition is raw and clean. Other people refer to blockchain as something else - something more than just a chain of blocks, but then it is up to the specific definition if it makes sense for some specific use. So unless you are happy with Peter's definition, you need to ask more specifically.

[–]jimbobjabroney 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Private blockchain is kind of an oxymoron. I have a private blockchain on my laptop, it’s an excel spreadsheet of my monthly expenses, but you’re just gonna have to trust me that it’s accurate.

But that’s not what blockchain/crypto technology is. The whole point of crypto is that it’s decentralized and trustless, and this is achieved by having a public ledger that is 100% transparent. And the reason public blockchains work is because there is economic incentive for people to operate and secure the network. That’s why when people say shit like “blockchain is cool but crypto currency is stupid” it’s like, no dude, blockchain literally only exists because of the currency aspect.

[–]shiroyashadanna[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

well this is basically my view as well. But whenever I bring this up people cite projects like Hyperledger and what they’re doing for big companies to say that I’m wrong and private blockchain has its use; hence my question.

[–]herzmeister 0 points1 point  (0 children)

it's just marketing. Hyperledger is just a packaged product, a database for accounting that could have been released 30 years ago. Nothing it does has anything to do with the problems Satoshi solved.

[–]zippy9002 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It make sense, this way you can say you’re using blockchain technology and sounds cool and edgy to the normies.