Permissioned vs. permissionless blockchains |
Permissioned vs. permissionless blockchains |

Permissioned vs Permissionless Blockchains


Blockchain technology has been a revolutionary force in the world of digital transactions, offering transparency, security, and decentralization. However, not all blockchains are created equal. Two primary types, permissioned and permissionless blockchains, stand out, each with its own set of characteristics and use cases. In this post, we’ll delve into the key differences between these two blockchain types and explore their practical applications.

Understanding Permissioned Blockchains

1. Definition and Characteristics

Permissioned blockchains, as the name suggests, require users to gain permission before participating in the network. These blockchains are typically managed by a centralized entity or consortium of participants. Key characteristics include:

  • Controlled Access: Only approved participants can read, write, and validate transactions on the blockchain.
  • Enhanced Privacy: Permissioned blockchains often prioritize privacy, making them suitable for enterprises and organizations dealing with sensitive data.
  • Efficiency: They tend to be faster and more scalable due to centralized control.

2. Practical Example

A consortium of banks collaborating on a shared ledger to streamline interbank transactions is a prime example of a permissioned blockchain. Each bank has controlled access and contributes to consensus.

# Sample Python code for a permissioned blockchain
from blockchain import Blockchain

bank_chain = Blockchain()
bank_chain.add_transaction("Bank A", "Bank B", 100)

Understanding Permissionless Blockchains

3. Definition and Characteristics

Permissionless blockchains, on the other hand, are open to anyone without the need for approval. They are fully decentralized, with characteristics like:

  • Public Accessibility: Anyone can join, read, write, and validate transactions, making them highly inclusive.
  • Transparency: Transactions are open for scrutiny by anyone on the network.
  • Slower Consensus: Due to decentralization, achieving consensus can take longer.

4. Practical Example

Bitcoin, the first and most famous cryptocurrency, operates on a permissionless blockchain. Anyone can participate in the network by running a node.

# Sample Python code for a permissionless blockchain
from blockchain import Blockchain

bitcoin_chain = Blockchain()
bitcoin_chain.add_transaction("Alice", "Bob", 5)

Choosing the Right Blockchain

The choice between permissioned and permissionless blockchains depends on your project’s specific needs. If you require control, privacy, and efficiency, a permissioned blockchain may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you value openness, inclusivity, and decentralization, a permissionless blockchain like Bitcoin might be more suitable.


In the evolving landscape of blockchain technology, understanding the differences between permissioned and permissionless blockchains is crucial. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, and the decision should align with your project’s objectives. Whether you opt for control or decentralization, blockchain technology continues to offer innovative solutions for various industries.

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