What’s the difference between a distributed ledger and a blockchain?
A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger. But new distributed ledgers are emerging. These are databases where control over the data’s evolution is shared between entities. Here’s a handy cheatsheet.
- If you want to include all the initiatives going on, use the term “distributed ledgers”.
- If you mean blockchains, where unrelated transactions are bundled into blocks, which are chained together using hashes and (in most cases) broadcast to all participating entities for batch processing, use “blockchains”.
- If you like acronyms, use “DLT”: Distributed Ledger Technology
For more depth, I recommend two excellent posts:
- Richard Gendal Brown’s On distributed databases and distributed ledgers
- Colin Platt’s Thoughts on the taxonomy of blockchains & distributed ledger technologies.