Blockchains can be classified into two types Private or Public - depending on who owns or manages the blockchain.
Most blockchains are private, also referred to as permissioned blockchains - they are owned by a central authority that manages the blockchain. Permissions on who and how their blockchain can be used, viewed and modified are set by this central authority. Since all corporations must function in a hierarchical system based on authorized participation - there are blockchain projects & products that design private blockchain solutions suited for coporate use cases.
Public blockchains are not owned by any central authority nor corporation . As such these blockchains are open for everyone to use without restrictions.
For example, you can easily download a bitcoin wallet and begin using the bitcoin blockchain by transacting (sending or receiving) the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
Public blockchains also allow for anybody to participate in the network by running the blockchain on their computer.
In private blockchains, governance is dictated by a CEO or selected board members. Whereas governance of public blockchain, is achieved by consensus of the participants in the network. Participants manage the blockchain according to set rules, which allow the blockchain to remain transparent, neutral & censorship resistant.
Open participation in public blockchains can prevent a single entity from taking over control of the blockchain. Therefore the more diversified participants in the network, the more the blockchain has decentralized governance.
Hybrid blockchains is a term used to describe blockchains that can be managed by a consortium or a federation. These are blockchains that support varying degrees of centralization, that may allow the blockchain to support some properties of public blockchains. However since permission is restricted to who can be part of the federation or consortium, these blockchains are not decentralized.
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