The consensus mechanism involves ascertaining transaction validity and uniqueness. Smart contracts address the validity portion. To ensure uniqueness, the protocol program in Corda checks whether any other transaction has used any of the input states of this transaction. If no other transaction has used any of the input states, that this transaction is unique.
@quinn – thanks for the comment. I probably didn’t write clearly enough… I was trying to point out that none of the higher-level concepts we’re familiar with (addresses, bitcoins, the “ledger”, etc) actually exist at the protocol level…. it’s just transactions, transaction outputs, unspent transaction outputs, etc… they combine to create the illusion we’re all familiar with.
Confidential Transactions — At present, all Bitcoin transactions are completely public, albeit pseudonymous. Confidential Transactions, as the name implies, conceal the amount being transferred to all except the sender, the recipient, and others they designate. The resulting transaction size is significantly larger, but includes a sizable “memo” field that can be used to store transaction or other metadata, and is still smaller than eg Zerocoin.(Note that this isn’t as confidential as Zerocash, which conceals both the amount and the participants involved in any transaction, through the mighty near-magic of zk-Snarks. Mind you, Zerocash would require an esoteric invocation ritual to initiate its network. No, really. But that’s a subject for a separate post.)

So if you want to create a more secure Sidechain, we would seriously need to have a look at incentivizing miners in other ways. These could include things such as the Sidechain raising outside funding from investors in order to pay the miners. Staggering mining award so miners have an incentive to keep mining as they will be paid later on rather than at the time or the Sidechain could issue its own mining award on top of the already existing transaction fees and essentially just become an Altcoin.

A consortium blockchain is often said to be semi-decentralized. It, too, is permissioned but instead of a single organization controlling it, a number of companies might each operate a node on such a network. The administrators of a consortium chain restrict users' reading rights as they see fit and only allow a limited set of trusted nodes to execute a consensus protocol.
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.
By the end of this post, you’ll be able to freely participate in conversations like the above. This is not a coding tutorial, as we’ll just be presenting important concepts at a high level. However, we may follow up with programming tutorials on these ideas. This article will be helpful to both programmers and non-programmers alike. Let’s get going!
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Ethereum is an open-source blockchain platform that allows anyone to build and use decentralized applications running on blockchain technology. Ethereum is a programmable blockchain - it allows users to create their own operations. These operations, coded as Smart Contracts, are deployed and executed by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) running inside every node.

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"I see quite a few use cases for private blockchains, and they definitely have their place. Traditional institutions won't switch to a completely public blockchain from one day to the other. A private blockchain is a great first step towards a more cryptographic future. The biggest advantages of private blockchains in comparison to centralized databases are the cryptographic auditing and known identities. Nobody can tamper with the data, and mistakes can be traced back. In comparison to a public blockchain it is much faster, cheaper and respects the company's privacy. As a conclusion, it's better to rely on a private blockchain than no cryptographic system at all. It has merits and pushes the blockchain terminology into the corporate world, making truly public blockchains a bit more likely for the future." 
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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.
@gendal, good question. Think of the identity hash as a bitcoin address, it is indeed public. So to assert anything with this identity you need to sign the object you are creating or changing with the identity’s private key. Specifically it is a private key that corresponds to a public key that you published in your identity’s object (json). The signature is not placed on the bitcoin transaction, as OP_RETURN has only 40 bytes. The signature is added to a [json] object that is modified with this identity. If you see any fault with this, please let me know.

For example, let’s say we have side chain 1 (SC1) and side chain 2 (SC2). A transaction occurs on SC1. A node in SC1 broadcasts the transaction to nodes in the main chain to record this transaction. The same node of SC1 calls a function from SC2 with a proof. The function in the nodes of SC2 verifies the proof on the main chain. The function gets executed.

Permissioned blockchains use an access control layer to govern who has access to the network.[46] In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on private blockchain networks are vetted by the network owner. They do not rely on anonymous nodes to validate transactions nor do they benefit from the network effect.[47][better source needed] Permissioned blockchains can also go by the name of 'consortium' or 'hybrid' blockchains.[48]
It may sound nitpicky, but I think that description leaves something to be desired in terms of presenting the “correct” mental model. First, there is no such thing as “a” bitcoin, as I am sure the author would agree. Speaking of spending or moving bitcoins perpetuates the notion of bitcoins as “things”. It might be preferable to say that you are spending or moving “units of the bitcoin protocol”. There is something similar going on here with dollars. The dollars in your bank account aren’t things either, they are units of demand or claim on a currency. The fact that printed dollars have serial numbers tends to confuse this notion. Treating something as a “thing’ which is not a thing is sometimes referred to as the reification fallacy.
Sidechains are blockchains that allow for digital assets from one blockchain to be used securely in a separate blockchain and subsequently returned to the original chain. The term “sidechain” in this case is used for context, in that the paper initially refers to Bitcoin as the “parent chain” and connected blockchains (altcoins) as “sidechains,” but the term is interchangeable so that altcoins interacting with each other can each be a parent chain interacting with sidechains. You may have also heard of “childchains,” which are also sidechains.

This list is not exhaustive. There are plenty of public blockchains, and they are actively adopted by such industries as FinTech, gaming, logistics, and beyond. However, it not always makes sense to move certain processes and businesses to the public network as the latter are characterized by comparatively low speed of transactions execution and high costs. Indeed, every transaction requires a consensus of the entire network. Unfortunately, it takes time and resources.

A blockchain is a distributed computing architecture where every node runs in a peer-to-peer topology, where each node executes and records the same transactions. These transactions are grouped into blocks. Each block contains a one-way hash value. Each new block is verified independently by peer nodes and added to the chain when a consensus is reached. These blocks are linked to their predecessor blocks by the unique hash values, forming a chain. In this way, the blockchain’s distributed dataset (a.k.a. distributed ledger) is kept in consensus across all nodes in the network. Individual user interactions (transactions) with the ledger are append-only, immutable, and secured by strong cryptography. Nodes in the network, in particular the public network, that maintain and verify the transactions (a.k.a. mining) are incentivized by mathematically enforced economic incentives coded into the protocol. All mining nodes will eventually have the same dataset throughout.
The distributed Bitcoin mining network performs quadrillions of calculations every second that maintain the integrity of its blockchain. Other blockchains aren’t remotely as secure, but they innovate much faster. Sidechains, an innovation proposed and developed by the startup Blockstream, allow for the best of both worlds; the creation of new blockchains “pegged” to Bitcoin, so that value can be transferred between them, which can conceivably be automatically secured by Bitcoin miners via “merged mining.”
There are promising works in sidechains like there can be transactions at higher speed and volume. For example micropayments can be done directly with minimal fee by using Lightning Network side chain. You won't have to wait for 10 minutes for miners to create a block. Or we can have privacy in our transactions by Zerocash side chain. If you want privacy, you send your bitcoin to sidechain and use Zerocash protocol for sending bitcoin to your recipient. This protocol makes your transaction not to be seen in the transaction history, at the same time it won't damage the integrity and security of the Bitcoin. If you use Zerocash protocol in your sidechain, you cannot be tracked anymore. By the way, test results say that its performance is very poor now, but I believe it will be better in the near future.
First, clear your head of anything related to money, currency or payments. And clear your head of the word ledger, too. The mind-bending secret of Bitcoin is that there actually isn’t a ledger! The only data structures that matter are transactions and blocks of transactions. And it’s important to get this clear in your head if sidechains are going to make sense.

That is however not all. Sidechains also have some specific use cases, unique to a certain blockchain. One example is the usage of sidechains in EOS. EOS is currently facing a RAM problem. RAM is too expensive and developers are complaining. Sidechains could compete with the EOS mainchain by having lower RAM prices, this would lead to competition, incentivizing both the EOS mainchain block producers and sidechain block producers (mainchain and sidechains of EOS are maintained by the same group of block producers) to keep the RAM price as low as possible. This also means there is more RAM available, so the RAM price will go down as a result.

What if we could run heavy computations in a more centralized fashion, say on a single server, and then periodically integrate the results onto the main blockchain for posterity. We temporarily expose some vulnerability while the parallel server runs the heavy computation, but we get a massive benefit in that we don’t have to run the computation on chain, and simply need to store the results for future verification. This is the general premise behind Truebit. We won’t get into all the details of Truebit but there is a concept of challengers, who check to see the computations that were made have high fidelity.
In order to spend them, you have to prove you’re entitled to do so. And you do that by providing the solution to a challenge that was laid down when they were sent to you in the first place. This challenge is usually just: “prove to the world that you know the public key that corresponds to a particular Bitcoin address and are in possession of the corresponding private key”. But it can be more sophisticated than that.
Unfortunately our second option cannot be done yet, because to use these sidechains, main chain (here it is bitcoin) needs to do some upgrade (soft fork). By the way, upgrades in public blockchains are very painful yet. There will be a user activated soft fork (UASF) on August 1. All bitcoin forms’ trend topic is this soft fork which is about a code change for Segregated Witness Adoption.
When blockchain technology was introduced to the public in 2008 (via Satoshi Nakamoto’s famous white paper), it would have been hard to predict that private or consortium blockchains would become popular. But recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about this in the digital currency community. Many companies are beginning to experiment with blockchain by implementing private and consortium chains, although some people are critical of this. This discussion not only centers on use cases and benefits, but whether non-public blockchains are an appropriate application of the protocol to begin with.