Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains: A Quick Guide

Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains: A Quick Guide

Have you ever wondered how the type of blockchain used, such as proof-of-work or proof-of-stake, impacts its ability to be fluid? Knowing whether it’s a permissioned blockchain or a permissionless one can give insight into its characteristics. Digging deeper than just PoW and PoS will open up new possibilities for understanding blockchains!

Key Differences Between Permissioned Blockchains and Permissionless Blockchains:

Everyone is familiar with the typical example of permissionless blockchains: Bitcoin, BNB Chain, and Ethereum. These are open to anyone who wishes to validate transactions or join the network. However, there exists an alternative known as a ‘permissioned’ blockchain – one that requires users to obtain special permissions before they can access it. Understanding this distinction between these two types of blockchains will help you make better decisions on which kind suits your needs best!

An administrator must explicitly give you access if you want to join a permissioned blockchain. These types of blockchains are commonly used in more private cases, like within business organizations. Take the Hyperledger Fabric, for instance: numerous companies have already utilized it to produce their own internal supply chain system Blockchain. To be part of this exclusive circle, one needs authorization from higher-ups, making participation difficult but rewarding once achieved!

Quick Recap of the History of Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains

The revolutionary technology that is blockchain can be traced back to Satoshi Nakamoto’s game-changing Bitcoin whitepaper. This permissionless concept, which has been a part of this groundbreaking invention since the start, allows users who are not linked together to form a consensus. As time passed and more blockchains were created based on Bitcoin’s model, its values and standards maintained their prominence in the public permissionless blockchain sector.

Blockchain’s characteristics have also proven attractive to private applications. Its immutability, transparency (in some aspects), and security have created a desire for blockchains that offer a more permissioned experience.

To meet the needs of enterprises, blockchain developers have created permissioned frameworks or tailor-made blockchains. Hyperledger Fabric is one such framework, while Quorum, MultiChain, and Ethereum Geth also offer private structures for enterprise use. With these systems in place, users can make sure that their data remains secure and private – a must for any large organization!

Key Characteristics

While the following qualities may not always align with every permissionless or permissioned blockchain, they generally fit into this classic portrayal.








Invitation Only


Digital Assets



Consensus Process




Easier to Increase





Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains: A Quick Guide

Advantages and Disadvantages of Permissioned and Permissionless Blockchains

Advantages of Permissionless Blockchains:

  1. Huge Potential for Decentralization: Though not all permissionless blockchains may initially be decentralized, they often boast the capacity for extreme decentralization. Theoretically, anyone with the appropriate resources can participate in a consensus mechanism or utilize a permissionless network if desired.
  2. Decentralized Governance Is Possible: Network changes are determined by active user participation. Validators and network users can also make a statement with their actions, as unpopular decisions could inevitably lead to forked versions of the network.
  3. They Are Easily Accessible: Becoming a part of a permissionless network is simple, allowing anyone the ability to quickly generate their own wallet and gain access to the platform.

Disadvantages of Permissionless Blockchains:

  1. Problems with Scalability: To accommodate massive user and traffic bases, permissionless blockchains must undergo regular upgrades approved by the collective. These updates are essential for improving scalability and keeping up with demand.
  2. People with Bad Intentions: Due to the openness of permissionless blockchains, there is an inherent risk, as any individual can join and engage in malicious activities.
  3. Too Much Transparent: The openness of permissionless blockchains makes it possible for anyone to access information, raising serious concerns related to security and privacy.

Benefits of Permissioned Blockchains:

  1. They Are Often More Scalable: Permissioned blockchains are usually operated by a body with some power over the validators, making upgrades rather effortless.
  2. Easily Customizable: Permissioned blockchains are designed to perform specialized tasks with maximum efficiency. But should your requirements alter, these customized blockchains can be easily restructured to meet the new criteria.
  3. Controllable Transparency Levels: A permissioned blockchain operator controls the network’s transparency and can configure it according to their desired use case.
  4. More “Exclusive”: You have complete autonomy over who is granted access to the blockchain.

Disadvantages of Permissioned Blockchains:

  1. They Are Centralized: Due to the centralized nature of power, decisions are likely made by only a select few validators deemed suitable by the blockchain’s creator. This results in those partaking in the network not having an equal voice nor influence in important choices.
  2. Vulnerable to Attacks: Permissioned blockchains usually possess fewer validators, rendering them more vulnerable to attack in terms of their consensus mechanism.
  3. There Is a Risk of Censorship: The blockchain is vulnerable to manipulation by a network of colluders or updates that are initiated by the operator. Should there be a consensus among participants, data on the blockchain could suffer from censorship and potentially become altered.

Which One Should I Choose?

The solution to this inquiry is fairly straightforward: if you want your service to be accessible and open for all, then a permissionless blockchain will give you the best chance of success. While having a permissionless chain doesn’t mean that it has to adhere strictly to traditional standards or objectives, configurations can still allow centralization while being public as well. Plus, there are options available in terms of privacy measures that could be incorporated into the platform too!

If you are contemplating the use of a blockchain in private settings, like business or government entities, opting for permissioned blockchains would be more appropriate. Do bear in mind that even though you opt for permissioned blockchains, they can still have different characteristics, such as being completely transparent and open to public view.

Final Words

As a crypto investor or trader, you may only come in contact with permissionless blockchains, but it is still beneficial to understand the differences between them and their permissioned counterparts. It is natural to cling to one particular vision of distributed ledger technology (DLT) that corresponds with its transparency, public nature, and decentralization – yet these features are adjustable. A plethora of private businesses even employs permissioned blockchain networks that don’t abide by those characteristics.

You might check:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *