The blockchain can replace traditional databases
Blockchain is the technology of fashion. This call to star the following computational paradigm of the hand of the Internet of Things – Internet of Things (IoT) and to completely change the operation of the financial sector but is superior to the centralized databases in all scenarios? Maybe one day but, if the confidence and strength are not a priority, there is nothing that the blockchain technology get that existing databases cannot do.
This is a key point around which there is a lot of confusion. With regard to types of data that can be stored and transactions that can be performed with them, the blockchain technology does not add anything new. To be clear, this also extends to the concept of “intelligent or smart contracts contracts”, by very attractive and novel to sound. A smart contract is nothing more than a program that runs on all the nodes in a blockchain, something that up to now has been doing with what is known as “Stored Procedures” with the centralized databases.
What is true in relation to the blockchain is that, although it has some advantages, it also has its disadvantages and evaluate this is in the end what makes us decantemos By one system or the other.
Let’s look at four key factors that favor the centralized databases:
1. Confidentiality: in favor of the centralized databases.
As we have seen, all nodes of a blockchain is verified and processed each transaction separately.
They can do this because it has complete visibility on:
the current state of the database.
The modification required by the transaction.
The digital signature that generated the transaction.
This is, without doubt, a great way to structure a database, and this transparency is incredibly valuable for many applications, especially those of a financial nature.
How do I face this traditional databases? In the same way as in a blockchain, restrict transactions that can carry out certain users, but these restrictions are being imposed on a central point.
As a result, all the contents of the database need only be visible in that place instead of in multiple nodes.
2. Disintermediation: in favor of the blockchain
The main value of the blockchain is that it allows the database to be shared thanks to a consensus algorithm without requiring a central administrator. This is possible because the transactions contain its own test for validity and its own proof that the authorized, instead of relying on the logic of the software from the central database.
Therefore, the transactions can be verified and processed independently by multiple nodes, which the Client and protocol are forced to be synchronized.
Why this has value? Because even if a database is simply information, it is also something tangible.
The contents of the database are stored in the memory of a particular device and anyone who has access to that device can destroy or corrupt your content.
In this way, at the time that you trust your data to a traditional database, you are trusting also indirectly in the human organization that custody.
It is true that in the world there are many organizations that have earned our trust, how (some) governments, banks, universities or companies like Google or Facebook. In some cases, in fact, they work really well.
Anyway, no matter how efficient and safe that you can be. There will always be a risk, even when your staff is highly qualified and the procedures governing the control of these data are robust.
In this case, the blockchain technology offers “delegate” this confidence in the objectivity and impartiality of mathematics by doing this process and ultraseguro.
3. Performance: In favor of the centralized databases
The blockchains will always be slower than the decentralised data bases. This has as much to do with the development of the technology, but as a result of the concept of blockchain in itself.
To process transactions, the blockchain has to do everything a traditional database and other three things:
Check the signature: every transaction that takes place on a blockchain has to be digitally signed using a public-private key pair type ECDSA. It is necessary because transactions are propagated between peer nodes, so that its source could not be tested in another way. The generation and verification of these firms is computationally complex and constitutes the main bottleneck. In the centralized databases, once a connection is established, there is no need to check each individual request.
Mechanisms of consensus: In a distributed database as the blockchain The effort should be used to ensure that the nodes of the network reach consensus. Depending on the mechanism used, this may involve a considerable communicative imbroglio. Although it is true that the centralized databases also have to deal to some extent with problems of this type, the resolved much more efficiently.
Redundancy: This does not refer to the performance of a single node but to the computational power added that requires the blockchain. While the centralized databases processed transactions once or twice, in a blockchain must be processed independently by all nodes of the network, a considerable amount of work is done repeatedly to achieve the same result.
4. Strength: in favor of the blockchain
As we have just seen, each node of a blockchain processes each transaction, so that there is no node that is essential to the network at the individual level. In addition, nodes are connected to each other by P2P, can fail many links before the network performance is compromised. The blockchain technology ensures that the nodes that are falling, will always be able to “catch up” with the rest eventually. So while it is true that traditional databases offer many forms of replication, the blockchain takes this to another level.
To begin with, there is nothing to configure, simply connect some nodes between if it is sufficient to synchronize automatically. In addition, nodes can be added or removed freely on a network without any preparation or consequence.