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  • Julie McKenna

Public and Private: The Dual Dynamics of Blockchain

Transparency, decentralization, and open networks are hallmarks of blockchain technology, promising a future of secure and accessible transactions. Yet, as large institutions with sensitive data embrace blockchain, it raises a critical question: How can they operate on an open network while ensuring privacy and compliance? The key lies in the dual nature of blockchain: public (permissionless) and private (permissioned). Each type caters to different needs, striking a balance between openness and confidentiality, and shaping the way organizations navigate the blockchain landscape.

Public vs. Private Blockchains: An Overview

Public (Permissionless) Blockchains

Public blockchains are open to anyone. They're decentralized networks where participants interact anonymously, contributing to the network's security and integrity. Bitcoin and Ethereum are prime examples, known for their transparency and decentralization.

Key Features:

  • Decentralization: No central authority; enhances security and censorship resistance.

  • Transparency: Every transaction is public, promoting trust.

  • Open Participation: Anyone can join and contribute to network security.

Private (Permissioned) Blockchains

Contrastingly, private blockchains restrict network participation to selected members. This setup is favored by organizations needing to maintain privacy and control over their data, such as in healthcare, finance, and supply chain management.

Key Features:

  • Privacy: Transactions and data are accessible only to authorized users.

  • Efficiency: Limited participants mean faster transaction processing times.

  • Compliance: Easier to enforce data protection and regulatory compliance due to controlled access.

Why Each Matters

Public blockchains excel in creating a decentralized and secure environment open to everyone, ideal for ensuring the integrity of digital assets and decentralized applications. Private blockchains, on the other hand, offer tailored solutions for organizations that require confidentiality, regulatory compliance, and efficiency.

The Unique Avalanche Approach

Avalanche stands out by offering a versatile platform that bridges the gap between public and private blockchains. Its architecture allows for the creation of customized subnets, enabling both permissionless and permissioned blockchains within its ecosystem. This approach offers unparalleled flexibility, combining the benefits of both worlds.

How Avalanche Works

  • Subnets for Customization: Avalanche allows the creation of subnets, which are essentially custom blockchains tailored to specific needs. These can be either public or private, depending on the use case.

  • Leveraging Mainnet Security: Even private subnets within Avalanche can benefit from the security and robustness of the main Avalanche network. This dual-layer protection means that private blockchains can operate with the same level of security as public ones.

  • Interoperability and Scalability: Avalanche ensures seamless interoperability between different subnets and the Mainnet, facilitating asset transfers and communication across the ecosystem. This interoperability, combined with Avalanche's consensus mechanism, offers high scalability without compromising security.


The contrast between public and private blockchains highlights blockchain's flexibility, catering to everything from open access to secure, restricted environments. Platforms like Avalanche amplify this versatility, blending public transparency with private security. This innovative approach extends blockchain's reach, enabling it to serve a wide array of purposes, from decentralized applications to confidential data management, showcasing its adaptability and potential across different sectors.



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