5 Things to Know About Purpose-Specific Blockchain Networks

David Streltsoff
3 min readMar 9, 2022


Blockchain technology is now one of the preferred modes of digitally storing and distributing information today.

Blockchain’s immutability, security, and decentralized nature make it a formidable technology that’s found widespread use in almost every industry.

In this post, the five things we’re going to discuss regarding purpose-specific blockchain networks are:

· The definition of purpose-specific blockchain networks

· Permissionless public blockchain networks

· Permissionless hybrid blockchain networks

· Permissioned private blockchain networks and,

· Permissioned consortium blockchain networks

Without further ado, let’s go straight into the definition of purpose-specific blockchain networks.

What are Purpose-Specific Blockchain Networks?

Blockchain networks aren’t created equal. In fact, there are four types of blockchain networks and each has its own distinguishing features, advantages, and disadvantages.

When reference is made to purpose-specific blockchain networks, it simply means the selection of a particular blockchain with an intended objective in mind.

Now, here are the four blockchain networks you need to be aware of.

Public Blockchain Networks

Public blockchains are free-for-all and anyone can join them. Completely permissionless and decentralized, these are the blockchains most people are referring to when addressing cryptocurrency.

Popular public blockchains include the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains. These public blockchains are also among the safest around because of the numerous nodes needed to validate transactions.

The biggest downside of permissionless blockchains is the relatively longer transaction process times.

Managed Blockchain Networks

Managed blockchains, also referred to as private blockchain networks are permissioned in nature and generally supervised by a single entity.

This means the central authority can dictate who gets to join the network and can be a node. Further compounding the situation, nodes in private blockchains don’t have equal rights.

Managed blockchain examples include platforms such as Hyperledger and Ripple.

Hybrid Blockchain Networks

As the name suggests, hybrid blockchains have traits of both permissionless and permissioned natures. What’s more, they are governed by a sole entity but have public blockchain-type oversight.

Companies keen to improve their supply chains rely on hybrid blockchains. An example of such a hybrid network is IBM’s Food Trust hybrid blockchain network.

Consortium Blockchain Networks

Consortium blockchain networks are permissioned and managed by a group instead of a single central authority. Consortium blockchains enjoy greater decentralization, more so than private blockchains, and consequently are more secure.

Establishing such a blockchain is a tedious and costly affair that requires buy-in from a handful of organizations. Firms in the financial industry are the ones that typically have need of such purpose-specific blockchain networks.

The Bottom Line

As organizations begin to take advantage of blockchain technology, we’re seeing a greater push for purpose-specific blockchain networks.

Because of the expense of setting up custom blockchains, enterprises find themselves having to first establish what exactly they want the blockchain to do (purpose). Once that’s determined, they can then proceed with comparing the various blockchain networks in order to find the best fit.

For a deeper dive into how blockchains work, I encourage you to check out my Chain v Off-Chain Series and consider subscribing to this blog.