How Many Blockchains Are There

How Many Blockchains Are There in 2023?

Last Updated: September 11, 2022
Not only will we answer the question of “how many blockchains are there”, we will also explain what blockchain is and other factors about it you should know. 
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Quick Answer 🔍

How many blockchains are there in 2023?

There are at least 1,000 blockchains.

How many blockchains are there in 2023?

The idea of Blockchain networks is still confusing to many people. That is why we are writing this article about blockchain to make it clearer.

Not only will we answer the main question, we will also explain what blockchain is and other factors about it you should know.

When discussing blockchain, it’s usually within a discussion of cryptocurrency.

That’s because this system was specifically developed to support Bitcoin, a popular cryptocurrency.

Essentially, it allows for a decentralized method for recording transactions. 

Let’s get into this blockchain discussion.

How Many Blockchains Are There in 2023?

Blockchains

We’ll get this initial topic question answered off the bat.

Currently, there are at least 1,000 blockchains with at least four types of blockchain networks.

While the idea of blockchain is a singular data transfer type, there are multiple platforms provided in this industry. 

It’s used in many solutions such as the supply chain, cryptocurrencies, decentralized exchanges, smart contracts, central bank money, and more.

So, it’s not just for cryptocurrency alone. 

With 20,000 active cryptocurrencies that are based on the blockchain infrastructure, the number of active blockchains is constantly growing.

There are also hundreds of other non-currency blockchains to consider. 

What Is Blockchain Technology?

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is described as a distributed and unchanged ledger for making transaction recording and asset management over a corporate network more accessible. 

This includes both tangible and intangible assets. Almost anything of value can be traded and recorded on a blockchain network for cost-cutting solutions and reducing risks for everyone involved. 

What are blockchain networks? The blockchain network is an infrastructure that gives applications access to smart contract services and ledgers services.

The smart contracts portion is mostly used for originating transactions that are transmitted to peer nodes across a network, and then unalterably recorded on their copy of said ledger. 

Payments, accounts, production, and orders can be tracked via a blockchain network.

In this application, members share a view of the true and real transaction, furthering efficiency, confidence, and more opportunities.

How Many Blockchain Networks Are There?

4-types-of-blockchains

How many blockchain networks exist? Usually, several companies make up a consortium to create a network.

The permissions granted by the network are governed by policies that the consortium agrees upon before configuring it. 

Other types of blockchains are public, hybrid, and private. So there are four types of blockchains: Consortium, Public, Hybrid, and Private.

Now, let’s discuss the blockchain networks and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Public Blockchains

The public blockchain is a technology that came from cryptocurrency (Bitcoin). It has helped to make distributed ledger technology (DTL) more popular.

It eliminates issues arising from centralization like transparency and less security. 

DLT does not store data in a single space. Instead, this application allows distribution across peer-to-peer networks.

The decentralized nature of blockchain does require methods of verification of the authenticity of the data. 

It offers a consensus algorithm for all participating parties within the blockchain to come to an agreement about the ledger’s status.

Proof of stake (PoS) and proof of work (PoS) are two commonly used consensus methods. 

Public blockchains offer permissionless and non-restrictive use for anyone with access to the internet can sign onto the platform for authorization.

Users can access past and current records and also perform mining tasks. 

You cannot change any viable transaction or record on said network. Anyone can verify transactions, propose changes, and find bugs.

This is usually considered an open-source network.

What are the advantages?

  • Transparency
  • Independence
  • Trust

What are the disadvantages?

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Scalability

How are public blockchain networks used?

  • Cryptocurrency
  • Validating Documents

Private Blockchains

Unlike the public blockchain network model, the private blockchain offers a more restrictive environment such as a closed network under the management and control of one entity.

It works the same way as a public network in terms of decentralization and peer-to-peer connections on a smaller scale. 

Not just anyone can join private blockchain networks. These are used on smaller networks within an organization.

They are also referred to as enterprise blockchains or permissioned blockchains. 

What are the advantages?

  • Performance
  • Access Control

What are the disadvantages?

  • Auditability
  • Trust

How are private blockchain networks used?

  • Asset Ownership
  • Supply Chain

Hybrid Blockchains

As you might suspect, hybrid blockchains combine public and private blockchain technology to enjoy the best of both realms.

Organizations can set up a public permissionless network alongside a private permission-based network. 

This allows them to control who can have access to certain data that is stored inside the blockchain, or what can be publicly accessed. 

Most commonly, you won’t see records or transactions publicly within the hybrid blockchain system without verification that is gained through the smart contract model.

The confidential data is stored in the network, but is not accessible by just anyone.

A private organization can own a hybrid blockchain, but it still can’t change transactions.

When users join the hybrid blockchain, they will obtain total access to the network.

The user’s identity is blocked from being seen by other users unless they are engaging in a transaction. 

What are the advantages?

  • Performance
  • Access Control
  • Scalability

What are the disadvantages?

  • Upgrading
  • Transparency

How are hybrid blockchain networks used?

Consortium Blockchains

The final type of blockchain is the consortium blockchain. You may also see it referred to as a federated blockchain.

This type of blockchain is similar to the hybrid type with its combination of private and public blockchain elements. 

Where this type of blockchain differs is that it allows multiple members to collaborate across a decentralized network.

In other words, it’s a private blockchain with restricted access to a specific group for removing risks that come from only a single entity controlling said network as it is on a private blockchain network.

The consortium blockchain is controlled by preset nodes. There is a validator node for initiating, receiving, and validating transactions that occur on the network.

The members can initiate or receive transactions only.

What are the advantages?

  • Security
  • Access Control
  • Scalability

What are the disadvantages?

  • Transparency

How are consortium blockchain networks used?

  • Supply Chain
  • Banking
  • Research

How Many Blockchain Platforms Are There?

Blockchain-Platforms

Now that you hopefully have a better understanding the various types of blockchain networks, and the pros, cons, and uses of said networks, we can discuss the platforms. 

A blockchain platform is one that allows developers and users to create innovative uses for existing blockchain infrastructures.

You will see that some of them are mostly related to cryptocurrency like Ethereum (ETH), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and initial coin offerings (ICOs). 

We will briefly provide a list of a few blockchain platforms most commonly used today.

  • Ethereum is the first blockchain system that allows you to create smart contracts and decentralized applications, or dApps. This platform launched in 2015.
  • NEO, formerly Antshares, a blockchain platform created for scalability with a main focus on asset digitization across the blockchain. It’s China’s first blockchain.
  • Waves offers a blockchain platform that is decentralized and provides an easy interface for its users to create custom tokens. It makes it easier to launch ICOs.
  • EOS is similar to the Ethereum blockchain platform in terms of allowing the creation of dApps and smart contracts. The primary difference is that EOS can also be used to support enterprise-level applications.
  • Stellar is based on the distributed blockchain model and acts as a payment network. It also supports ICOs.
  • The IBM blockchain platform offers an enterprise solution with intuitive blockchain tools. This should not come as a surprise since IBM is a leader in the IT realm.
  • Corda’s blockchain platform is ideal for use in the healthcare, digital assets, government, digital identity, insurance, and capital markets.
  • MultiChain is seen as one of the most developer-friendly platforms on the market. It allows for easy blockchain customization and is ideal for streaming data. 
  • Tron is a blockchain platform based on operating system technology. It’s one of the fastest-growing blockchain platforms. It’s especially ideal for people who create content.

This is a very short list of blockchain platforms and brief descriptions of what they are based on and how they are used. 

Conclusion

The simplest answer is to say there are hundreds of non-cryptocurrency blockchains and thousands of cryptocurrency blockchains. 

Due to the daily growth in the number of blockchains and the adaptations and uses for them, it’s hard to pin down a single number.

We have tried to provide the most accurate facts about blockchains in this article. 

You should now know what blockchains are, how they are used, and that there are blockchains for cryptocurrency, but also for non-cryptocurrency applications. 

Ever since the development of blockchain technology, it has grown and is now being used in small businesses, in the crypto market, for the supply chain, and for content creators. 

We’ve discussed how many blockchain in the world there are in-depth. Just imagine how many more uses we will find for them in the future.

Sources

CointelegraphInvestopedia

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Written by Thomas McGovern

Thomas has over a decade of experience with blockchain and cryptography. He writes regularly for EarthWeb and holds a M.S. in Mathematics.
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Last Updated: September 11, 2022
Not only will we answer the question of “how many blockchains are there”, we will also explain what blockchain is and other factors about it you should know. 
How Many Blockchains Are There
EarthWeb is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Stay on top of the latest technology trends — delivered directly to your inbox, free!

Subscription Form Posts

Don't worry, we don't spam

Written by Thomas McGovern

Thomas has over a decade of experience with blockchain and cryptography. He writes regularly for EarthWeb and holds a M.S. in Mathematics.

Latest Stories