If one group of nodes continues to use the old software while the other nodes use the new software, a split can occur. For example, Ethereum has hard-forked to "make whole" the investors in The DAO, which had been hacked by exploiting a vulnerability in its code.[31] In this case, the fork resulted in a split creating Ethereum and Ethereum Classic chains. In 2014 the Nxt community was asked to consider a hard fork that would have led to a rollback of the blockchain records to mitigate the effects of a theft of 50 million NXT from a major cryptocurrency exchange. The hard fork proposal was rejected, and some of the funds were recovered after negotiations and ransom payment.[32]
Anyway, new blocks do not appear on the blockchain all of a sudden – the network must achieve consensus. In other words, each transaction must be validated by the rest of the network members, so-called “nodes.” Their contribution to the final decision on consensus is equal. Each node solves a complex cryptographic problem, and when a solution is found a new block appears on the blockchain. Such algorithm is called “proof-of-work consensus protocol.”
Federated Blockchains operate under the leadership of a group. As opposed to public Blockchains, they don’t allow any person with access to the Internet to participate in the process of verifying transactions. Federated Blockchains are faster (higher scalability) and provide more transaction privacy. Consortium blockchains are mostly used in the banking sector. The consensus process is controlled by a pre-selected set of nodes; for example, one might imagine a consortium of 15 financial institutions, each of which operates a node and of which 10 must sign every block in order for the block to be valid. The right to read the blockchain may be public, or restricted to the participants.

Over the last year the concept of “private blockchains” has become very popular in the broader blockchain technology discussion. Essentially, instead of having a fully public and uncontrolled network and state machine secured by cryptoeconomics (eg. proof of work, proof of stake), it is also possible to create a system where access permissions are more tightly controlled, with rights to modify or even read the blockchain state restricted to a few users, while still maintaining many kinds of partial guarantees of authenticity and decentralization that blockchains provide. Such systems have been a primary focus of interest from financial institutions, and have in part led to a backlash from those who see such developments as either compromising the whole point of decentralization or being a desperate act of dinosaurish middlemen trying to stay relevant (or simply committing the crime of using a blockchain other than Bitcoin). However, for those who are in this fight simply because they want to figure out how to best serve humanity, or even pursue the more modest goal of serving their customers, what are the practical differences between the two styles?

Miners are needed to ensure the safety of the sidechains. This makes the formation of new sidechains a costly venture. Hefty amounts of investments have to be made before any new sidechain can be created. Another downside to sidechains is the requirement of a federation. The extra layer formed by the federation could prove to be a weak point for attackers.
Private institutions like banks realized that they could use the core idea of blockchain as a distributed ledger technology (DLT), and create a permissioned blockchain (private or federated), where the validator is a member of a consortium or separate legal entities of the same organization. The term blockchain in the context of permissioned private ledger is highly controversial and disputed. This is why the term distributed ledger technologies emerged as a more general term.
“Amit Goel is the Founder & Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer for MEDICI. Amit’s vision is to build a strong FinTech market network that involves financial institutions, banks, startups, investors, analysts & other key stakeholders across the ecosystem – helping each one of them in a meaningful way by removing the asymmetry of information and providing a platform to engage & transact.\ \ Amit is passionate about bringing actionable FinTech-focused insights, innovative products & services for the FinTech ecosystem. Some of his work involves startup scores, bank scores/assessments, predictive viewpoints & other innovations that have helped MEDICI’s customers and the ecosystem. He has been named amongst the Top 100 FinTech thought leaders/influencers in the world & Top 10 in Asia multiple times by reputed agencies, consulting firms as well as financial institutions. Amit has built MEDICI (formerly LTP) as a new-age, tech-enabled advisory/research firm, which is now considered the #1 global research & innovation platform for FinTech in the world.\ \ Amit has been writing pioneering viewpoints on financial technology space that have been ahead of the curve since 2010. His data-driven predictions have helped the customers as well as the ecosystem. His past work experience includes a strong background in strategy & market analysis and advisory to clients (from big business houses to Fortune 500 firms) in payments, commerce, financial services & IT/technology. In the past, Amit had also founded a successful consulting & research practice called GrowthPraxis and has worked at Boston Analytics, Frost & Sullivan, and Daimler Chrysler in strategy & research.”

You cannot be a crypto investor or entrepreneur without having a real understanding of the differences between these types of blockchains as well as their implications. Even if they are based on similar principles, their operation is, in fact, different to all levels. So the tokens issued by these blockchains will not be assessed in the same manner.

To scale Blockchain, sidechain or childchain solutions cannot be undermined. Sidechains are separate Blockchains that are linked to the main Blockchain using a two-way peg. They are an auxiliary network that executes the complementary function of: faster transactions, lower transaction costs and greater scalability in terms of the number of transactions that can be supported in a network at a given time.
Blockchain was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.[1] The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has inspired other applications,[1][3] and blockchains which are readable by the public are widely used by cryptocurrencies. Private blockchains have been proposed for business use. Some marketing of blockchains has been called "snake oil".[9]
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“Blockchain offers a possible solution to these challenges with its decentralized ledger that can store a history of transactions across a shared database,” Cohen said in the report. “By making the record accessible and verifiable from anywhere in the world, blockchain can enable the authentication of goods and eradicate the criminal element of counterfeit goods in the retail supply chain. By pairing hardware chips with blockchain technology, a product can take on a digital history, going as far back as the raw materials that were used to make the product. This allows retailers and consumers to verify their purchased products are genuine.”
Ethereum, a provider of decentralized platform and programming language that helps running smart contracts and allows developers to publish distributed applications. Factom, a provider of records management, record business process for business and governments. Blockstream, a provider of sidechain technology, focused on extending capabilities of Bitcoin. The company has started experimenting on providing accounting (considered a function to be done on private blockchain) with the use of public blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as wireless users [65] or musicians.[66] In 2017, IBM partnered with ASCAP and PRS for Music to adopt blockchain technology in music distribution.[67] Imogen Heap's Mycelia service has also been proposed as blockchain-based alternative "that gives artists more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans and other musicians."[68][69] Everledger is one of the inaugural clients of IBM's blockchain-based tracking service.[70]
Recordemos, como hemos mencionado anteriormente, que actualmente son cientos los proyectos y monedas alternativas que trabajan con su propia cadena de bloques, totalmente desconectadas de la de Bitcoin. Todas con su cotización volatil. El problema de estas monedas es que ninguna de ellas dispone del efecto red ni de la seguridad que sí tiene Bitcoin. De hecho muchas, pese a haber implementado propuestas interesantes, se quedan en nada, con miles de horas y esfuerzo “tirado a la basura”. Incluso algunas de ellas han replicado el codigo de Bitcoin, pero también los fallos que en ese momento pudiera tener y mientras que en Bitcoin si se han solucionado, en esa Altcoin no.
@tetsu – not sure what you mean. My reading of the sidechains paper is that the worst case scenario is that an attacker manages to “reanimate” Bitcoins on the main blockchain that had been sent to the sidechain… but that would be the attacker stealing the coins from the rightful owner on the sidechain. From Bitcoin’s perspective, the coins were always going to be reanimated…. so the risk is entirely borne by the holder(s) on the sidechain. Am I missing something?
Security: RSK´s blockchain is secured by merge-mining, which means that they can achieve the same security as Bitcoin in terms of double-spend prevention and settlement finality. The 2way peg security will first rely in a federation holding custody of bitcoins, and later switch to an automatic peg, when the community accepts the security trade-offs of the automatic peg.
New distribution methods are available for the insurance industry such as peer-to-peer insurance, parametric insurance and microinsurance following the adoption of blockchain.[71][72] The sharing economy and IoT are also set to benefit from blockchains because they involve many collaborating peers.[73] Online voting is another application of the blockchain.[74][75]

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Por lo tanto, y gracias a estas sidechains, se podrían conectar a Bitcoin soluciones con objetivos concretos, complementándole y aprovechando sus ventajas pero con la suficiente independencia. Para ello se usan unas piezas llamadas ‘two-way peg’, que son las encargadas de sincronizar las transferncias (validan y inmovilizan las monedas) entre ambas cadenas: la sidechain cuenta con unas monedas ya minadas pero sin dueño a la espera que, tras el intercambio, queden bajo el control del usuario que llega a esta cadena.
Bitcoin blockchain design has been done for a specific purpose, and this is a money (crypto currency) transfer. But what will we do, if we want to change or add some functions of the bitcoin blockchain? What if we want to transfer other assets rather than money, what if we want to do transactions automatically when pre-determined events occurred. Or what if we don't want other people see our transactions, or track our transactions' history. You can ask countless of what if questions and every answer to these questions drive you to a different blockchain or configurations
Step back from the details for moment and consider what’s been described.  We now have a way to move coins from Bitcoin onto another platform (a sidechain) and move them back again.   That’s pretty much what we do when we move them to a wallet platform or an exchange.  The difference is that the “platform” they’ve been moved to is also a blockchain… so it has the possibility of decentralised security, visibility and to gain from other innovation in this space.
This segment is where we have seen the most rapid metamorphosis in the past year, mostly in financial services. These solutions are industry-specific, and they are based on private blockchain or ledger infrastructures. A caveat here is that some of these are not full blockchains. Rather, they are distributed ledgers, which are a subset of blockchain capabilities. And some don’t even include a consensus element, which takes the implementation another level down from distributed ledger tech.
It might seem that this technology is beneficial for any business, but it is not. Quite often projects fail to justify their will of public or private blockchain implementation. The key reason to use blockchain is the inefficiency of existing centralized solution that is slow, expensive, and lacks transparency and reliability. In other cases, blockchain isn’t required.
Transactions are cheaper, since they only need to be verified by a few nodes that can be trusted to have very high processing power, and do not need to be verified by ten thousand laptops. This is a hugely important concern right now, as public blockchains tend to have transaction fees exceeding $0.01 per tx, but it is important to note that it may change in the long term with scalable blockchain technology that promises to bring public-blockchain costs down to within one or two orders of magnitude of an optimally efficient private blockchain system
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Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains use the ‘proof of work’ (POW) consensus algorithm to provide maximum security. It relies on a process called ‘mining’, which involves nodes trying to find the cryptographic hash of the last recorded block in order to create a new block. This is a massive number-crunching operation. It’s computing-power and energy-intensive, and becomes increasingly costly as the blockchain length grows. Read more about POW in this article “Proof of work vs proof of stake comparison”. This makes such blockchains impractical in a large business context.
Por ello, con este escenario sobre la mesa y con el objetivo de aunar esfuerzos, algunos se han preguntado: ¿Sería posible crear blockchains que sean utilizadas para casos de usos concretos, pero conectadas en todo momento a la de Bitcoin? ¿Podemos crear piezas de software que desde una blockchain se pueda saltar a otra de manera transparente, segura y descentralizada? Esto generaría, para que te hagas una imagen mental, algo así como las ruedas dentadas interconectadas de un motor, cada rueda una blockchain, todas trabajando juntas.

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Blockchain technology can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as wireless users [65] or musicians.[66] In 2017, IBM partnered with ASCAP and PRS for Music to adopt blockchain technology in music distribution.[67] Imogen Heap's Mycelia service has also been proposed as blockchain-based alternative "that gives artists more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans and other musicians."[68][69] Everledger is one of the inaugural clients of IBM's blockchain-based tracking service.[70]
That might sound like a problem, but it isn’t because the box can only be opened infrequently (two or three times a year), and a super-majority of miners must leave a note on the box in advance. This note states exactly where the miners intend to transfer the money. The “correct” note is automatically generated by sidechain software, and is easy to check.
Private blockchains, or as I like to call them, shared databases, have a place in improving efficiency for financial institution for back-office settlement processes. They should not be seen as controversial, or part of some dialectic struggle between punks and police. To the extent that the identifying shroud of AML/KYC can be placed into public blockchain metadata (possible in Omni Layer transactions over the Bitcoin blockchain) there may even be interoperability between these two sides of the train tracks. Right now, due to state-granted monopolies to issue credit, most of the world's liquidity is still in banks. However, we believe that in the long-term, public blockchains, especially those based on work, will come to take a more significant part in the ‘System D’ informal economy, which is where most of the global economic growth will originate.”