Difference Between Blockchain and Distributed Ledger

By: | Updated: Nov-9, 2022
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The international nature of these relationships presents opportunities and risks that must be managed on a scale never seen. Visit apps like this trading bot to trade in bitcoin with the help of advanced AI technology; the platform is suitable for even novice traders. The distributed ledger (DLS) technology is one way that financial institutions are trying to get ahead of the game by providing more transparency and security in their transactions.

However, blockchain offers unprecedented levels of security. It enables businesses to reduce fraud exposure for buyers and sellers by eliminating the need for intermediaries like banks when transacting payments

What is Distributed Ledger Technology?

Difference Between Blockchain and Distributed Ledger

The data exchange and storage are decentralized, meaning the data exists in multiple locations networked to form one cohesive ecosystem. It serves as a single source of information about transactions, which means users can view it without permission from any central authority. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) has emerged as an alternative to centralized databases like those used by banks.

Distributed Ledger Technology Vs. Blockchain

While DLT is an essential component of blockchain technology, they are not the same. Distributed ledgers serve as the underlying foundation for all blockchains, available to view by every participant who joins the network. Furthermore, participants can add records to the ledger without permission from any central authority, making them decentralized.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are prominent examples of blockchains that use DLTs and software algorithms to maintain a distributed ledger of transactions. Blockchains are characterized by their transparency, security, and decentralized nature.

Block structure

With a distributed ledger, a user can control the data stored in the ledger; thus, it can be customized to meet specific application needs. In addition, the local organization of ledgers into blocks allows data to easily access by its owner or processor.

The structure of distributed ledgers is like that of blockchains; however, there are differences between them. Simply put, a public digital ledger usually has some way of identifying owners and which transactions are valid or invalid; companies cannot do this on a distributed ledger. A distributed ledger is kept in place through a consensus protocol. There are no blocks or chains in distributed ledgers, and there are no miners to confirm transactions.


The most crucial difference between blockchain and distributed ledger is that the data within the ledger must be unique and immutable. In addition, the entries must be ordered chronologically, like a traditional database system. Each block contains encrypted data linked to the one before; thus, it has a sequential structure (like a blockchain). Data within a blockchain is created irregularly and non-linear; this isn’t the case with DLTs.


Data within the ledger is considered immutable, meaning it cannot be tampered with and could be used as evidence in the case of a dispute. It is due to their decentralized nature and cryptographic fingerprints. When data sits on one node, it’s vulnerable to alteration by hackers or other malicious parties. Blockchains use advanced cryptography to provide tamper-proof data storage and high levels of privacy.

The design of DLT ensures that no single authority can control or manipulate data in the same way that blockchains do. It creates conditions that are highly resistant to censorship on distributed ledgers.


Blockchains use a consensus protocol to maintain a stable network, while distributed ledger serves as the basis for consensus. A consensus protocol prevents nodes from agreeing by allowing them to work through their differences and make decisions. If a node does not agree with the majority decision, it can leave the network or become a minority consensus contributor.

Consensus occurs because of how the system is designed; it’s more about individuals and organizations interacting peacefully with each other rather than using force or violence. However, the DLT still needs a sort of “middle-man” to ensure that the ledger is functioning correctly and all data on the network is up to date. It means that there must be one or more entities to validate transactions, which means they are not entirely decentralized.


The primary risk of DLTs is theft, as it prevents users from efficiently transferring their assets from one party to another. In addition, it requires a centralized entity to manage, maintain and operate the DLT infrastructure; this has led some institutions to dismiss distributed ledgers in favor of blockchain technology. The security of distributed ledger depends on its architecture, typically a public or private decentralized infrastructure. It puts the control of individual data and records in the hands of its participants, which can suffer from theft or compromise.

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