Blockchain is everywhere. It may be an intimidating term to hear, but don’t worry. It is not as difficult as it sounds.
In this article, we will discuss all things blockchain.
This includes how many blockchains there are, the four types which these platforms are categorized into, and which industries are heavy users of decentralized technology.
How Many Blockchains are There in 2024?
According to research, there are currently at least 1,000 blockchains operating today.
These are categorized into four main network types namely public blockchain network, private blockchain network, consortium blockchain network, and permissioned blockchain network.
It is vital that we know the difference between these categories aside from knowing how many blockchains are there.
This way, it will be easier for us to identify what type of blockchain staple names like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are using.
Some of the Most Popular Blockchains Today
- Bitcoin – created by a certain Satoshi Nakamoto on January 2009, Bitcoin is considered a public and programmable blockchain network. It uses a Proof of Work consensus mechanism
- Litecoin – created by Charles Lee on October 2011, Litecoin is a private blockchain network. It uses a Proof of Work consensus mechanism
- Ethereum – created by Vitalik Buterin on July 2015, Ethereum is a public and programmable blockchain network. It has recently transitioned to a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism under “The Merge” finalized in 2022
- Cardano – started its development in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum. Cardano is a non-programmable public network using a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism
- Tron – founded by Justin Sun in June 2018, Tron is a programmable public network using DPoS consensus mechanism
Blockchain in Simple Terms
Before we dive more into how many blockchains are there and the difference between the four types of blockchain networks, let’s first define blockchain in simple terms.
Imagine a world where you do not need to pay a monthly subscription for your Netflix and Spotify accounts.
No one-time fees for scientific journals published on JSTOR, no long queues at the bank, more access to credit for farmers, and better tracking of perishable food items for food companies.
This is blockchain. The technology leverages a trust-based system where every stakeholder can access, observe, and view information entered on a ledger without the possibility of altering it for personal gains.
Every piece of data entered is structured into blocks which are then put into a chain of all other blocks that have come before it.
This is why it is called “blockchain” – a portmanteau of “block” and “chain”.
Four Types of Blockchain Networks and Their Differences
Here are the four main types of blockchain networks and their notable differences.
- Public blockchain network – everyone can view and participate in the consensus process as it leverages a decentralized type of authority. The downside of using this is fewer transactions processed per second and a slower speed while using high energy consumption.
- Private blockchain network – this type can be centralized, depending on the decision of stakeholders. It can process more transactions per second compared to a public blockchain network at lower energy consumption. However, entry is only by invitation which makes gatekeeping strict.
- Consortium blockchain network – is quite similar to private blockchain networks but limited to the organizational setting. It is normally administered by a “consortium” of organizations rather than a single entity.
- Permissioned blockchain network – both public and private blockchains can be permissioned. This type puts an emphasis on the limitations of who can access the network and what they can do while on it.
Benefits of Blockchain Network
Here are some of the benefits of using blockchain:
- Optimum security
- Better privacy
- Cost reduction
- Greater accessibility
- Fast and efficient
Consequently, here are the top use cases of blockchain technology according to Deloitte.
Blockchain technology is forecasted to provide at least 40 million jobs around the world by 2030, and this will grow further as adoption expands.
- Digital currency – 33% of respondents use blockchain technology for this purpose
- Data access and sharing – 32% of respondents use blockchain technology for this purpose
- Data reconciliation – 31% of respondents use blockchain technology for this purpose
- Identity protection – 31% of respondents use blockchain technology for this purpose
- Payments – 30% of respondents use blockchain technology for this purpose
Other purposes include tracking and tracing, asset protection, asset transfer, certification, and record reconciliation.
Downsides of Blockchain Network
Here are some of the downsides of using blockchain:
- High input costs
- Breeding ground for illegal activities
- Absence of regulations
Blockchain Monetary Statistics
The blockchain industry has one of the highest compounding annual growth rates in the technology industry.
It is projected to be worth $163 billion by 2029, with global spending from business entities and governments forecasted to hit $19 billion next year.
Below is a piece of information detailing the global spending for blockchain solutions from 2017 to 2021:
- 2017 – global spending for blockchain solutions was at $950,000 million during the year
- 2018 – global spending for blockchain solutions was at $1.5 billion during the year
- 2019 – global spending for blockchain solutions was at $2.7 billion during the year
- 2020 – global spending for blockchain solutions was at $4.5 billion during the year
- 2021 – global spending for blockchain solutions was at $6.6 billion during the year
Global Blockchain Solutions Spending by Region
Meanwhile, here is a report on blockchain solutions spending among regions worldwide in 2022.
- North America (United States) – the region’s blockchain solutions spending was at $4.2 billion during the year
- Western Europe – the region’s blockchain solutions spending was at $2.9 billion during the year
- China – the region’s blockchain solutions spending was at $1.4 billion during the year
- Asia Pacific and Japan – the region’s blockchain solutions spending was at $750,000 billion during the year
- Middle East and Africa – the region’s blockchain solutions spending was at $500,000 billion during the year
- Others – the rest of the world’s blockchain solutions spending was at $1.9 billion during the year
Blockchain is ubiquitous. It is used for various crosscutting solutions in finance, manufacturing, agriculture, and real estate.
This disruptive technology will change the way we live, do business, and interact in the coming years.
Thanks for reading this article on how many blockchains are there in 2023.
Decentralization will surely take off in the near future, so make sure to be in tune with the latest updates.