blockchain technology

To Blockchain Technology from the Happiest Barrack

The difference between a public and private blockchain

My Digital Evolution

Kata Stier

I was born in 1980. In Hungary. The other day we just agreed with my husband about how much we have witnessed in life. Technology-wise.

You might be wondering what the Happiest Barrack stands for in the title of this article. Well.

Goulash communism or goulash socialism was an era in Hungary between 1962 and 1989. The meaning of the term is that the country was characterized by relative prosperity compared to other socialist countries: those who did not confront the power could live their daily lives even over a plate of goulash as a typical Hungarian dish. It made Hungary into what was also called “the happiest barrack in the Soviet Bloc.”


When I was six years old, Mondays, there were no TV broadcasts on Hungary’s national channel. I have no idea what the reason was. Maybe the weekends were intense for the producers. (LOL)

I saw the first car phone in one of our neighbors’ hands, a taxi driver. Every night he took the structure out of his car and brought it into his apartment. It was just insanely cool. It must have been around 1990.

The cruelest was the Polaroid Camera. I particularly liked it because of its size. Compared to the size of Videotape Players and Cassette Recorders, it was relatively small and compact.

We had a Russian photo camera. I don’t remember the brand, but it was a massive piece. And how excited we were for weeks to wait for accessing the photos. It is incredible and completely unimaginable these days. 

My first gadgets

I got my first cell phone from a friend when I was 15 years old, but I didn’t find it useful. It was too big to keep it with me all the time, and it was not allowed to take it to school anyway. First of all, not many people knew what it was. And frankly, I didn’t even want to be available all the time. Who would have liked at the age of 15 if the parents would repeatedly call where she was and when she was going home? Not me, for sure.

It’s pretty weird to think about this now. And of course, it is totally different if you have kids.

In primary school I went to, there were one or two computers in total (!). My first crash with information technology was not too elementary. 

In high school, I attended IT lessons once a week, where I spent time learning about floppy disks and other things that were utterly meaningless and useless for me back then. On top of it, the teacher smelled awful coffee and cigarettes. You can imagine I wasn’t impressed.

I bought my first laptop around 2004, as it slowly became necessary for carrying out my studies at university. By then, I wasn’t a beginner anymore. From 2000, more and more friends of mine had been building powerful computers. They mostly played with them, and God knows what else. But when I had the opportunity, I jumped in front of the computer and started to get to know each other.

I’m not saying that I’m an early adopter of any technologies. BUT, I have always treated these things with due curiosity and openness. Seclusion is never a possible path for me.

So I had my first laptop, but I didn’t use the internet the way I do today.

New life

In 2010, we moved to London. Then I faced digitalization in many areas of life. I learned to use the internet for entirely unnecessary things and for fun too. I have quickly learned and become accustomed to the fact that everything is available from any part of the world at any moment of the day. 

My first smartphone was a Samsung Galaxy S2. By then, I already knew that this was a critical cornerstone. With the mind of a lawyer, many things cracked in my head about using such tools. And it was more and more inevitable as technology slowly slipped into my everyday life.

Information is power

Today, I can no longer imagine my life without the internet. I confessed 🙂

Everyone has a different attitude towards these things, and I prefer to understand what I use and how it works. We have as many opportunities as ever before in world history. The choice is on us all. But in order to be able to make a meaningful decision, we need to have the right information.

Information is Power.

When I first heard about blockchain and Bitcoin, my world turned upside down. I’m not saying I understood right away. Not even by the second attempt. Luckily, I worked with people who were a great inspiration for me. (You can read about my journey further here.)

This life-changing moment was fortunate for me but not for Malta. The government claimed the little Mediterranean country as ‘The Blockchain Island,’ and literally every single day there was a Conference, Summit, or get-together event organized.

Well, the concept of ‘The Blockchain Island’ had sunk since along with the government, but I took this opportunity to study and improve. I attended all the events and absorbed as much information as I could.

I was lucky enough to meet Sophia, The Robot at the Malta Blockchain Summit, not to mention Mr. John McAfee.

These meetings were essential impressions on my journey and fuelled my curiosity further.

I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone but I like to go against the system. I’m a rebel, I’ve always been. I believe that we CAN save our planet and ourselves and ONLY we can!

I studied micro- and macroeconomics, finance law, public law, constitutional law, private law, criminal law. I dare to say that I know the different legal systems’ principles, with particular reference to the continental legal system. I read many professional and less professional opinions, articles, publications, directives, recommendations, and guidance from the regulators.

In my humble opinion – and you don’t need to be a genius to understand – our political and financial system couldn’t be more corrupted and unfair as it is now.

I’m not saying blockchain isn’t dangerous or the only solution. When it is controlled and owned by evil intentions, it can quickly push humanity into the deep. And I mean moral depths here.

Imagine a worst-case scenario with a centralized private blockchain controlled by a political party.

To make this easier to understand, let’s see the difference between private and public blockchain.

Public Blockchain

public blockchain

A public blockchain is an open network. This means that anyone can download and write, edit the protocol, which means he can participate in the network.

A public blockchain is decentralized. The transactions are organized in blocks, and after the verification by the community, they are linked together to form a chain. Each new block must be time-stamped and authenticated by all computers (nodes) in the network before being recorded in the blockchain.

The public blockchain is immutable, which means that all nodes and transactions are equal; once the data has been captured on the blockchain, there is no way to alter it.

The public blockchain is an entirely transparent ledger. In other words, information is decentralized, encrypted, and stored on multiple devices. This makes it almost impossible to break a public blockchain. The more members a blockchain has, the more secure it is.

Public blockchains are often referred to as “censor-free.” 

The best known public blockchains used for cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Private Blockchain

private blockchain

The private blockchain operates on a call basis and is thus centralized. It is tied to the owner for permission, and its level of access can vary. The information is encrypted. Private blockchains allow organizations to use distributed ledger technology without disclosing data to the public.

In turn, all of this means that one of the most defining features of the blockchain, decentralization, is missing.

A private blockchain controls users ’access to information but is less secure than a public blockchain. Let’s not forget that its owner can modify it too at any time in its discretion.

To sum up the above, you might understand what I mean. When I first understood the blockchain, one word came to mind, democracy.

“The‘ blockchain ’technology behind bitcoin could prove to be an ingredient of an entire new world of technology, as big as the internet itself, a wave of innovation that drives the middleman out of much commerce and leaves us much more free to exchange goods and services with people all over the world without going through corporate intermediaries. It could radically decentralize society itself, getting rid of the need for banks, governments, even companies and politicians. Take ”

Matt Ridley

We’ve all been living under a comfortable soft blanket so far. We have the protocol for everything, how to do it, or how we are allowed to do it.

Don’t feel like taking control? To confess responsibility? To learn how to live differently? Sustainable?

Think and study.

Information is Power.

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