Are private blockchains intended to serve as testnets only or are there other applications?

What use cases can private blockchains be applied to?

  • 2
    In order to differentiate this question from this one, I'm going to assume this is looking specifically at use cases for private networks, not for a comparison between private and public ones. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 1:59

2 Answers 2


There are numerous use cases for private blockchains. Some of the many ones that are being currently considered in industry include:

  • As an access-restricted inter-bank settlement layer for currencies and securities
  • As an inter-departmental "balance sheet" within a large enterprise tracking private data such as security authorisations, finances, etc. without any one department being in authoritative control of the records
  • As an access-restricted platform for the issuance of loyalty points, gift cards, etc. by a major commercial entity
  • As a private tracking tool for private equity, debt, and other liquid agreements.
  • etc.

For a discussion of the contrasting features and other reasons that motivate these types of use cases to consider private blockchains over public blockchains, see this question.


There is an Ethereum blog post that addresses this question. In a nutshell:

  • Private blockchains are not necessarily just testnets
  • There are two aspects of "privacy": (i) read permissions, (ii) block generation permissions.
  • You may want to restrict (i) because your use-case may require privacy.
  • You may want to restrict (ii) because your use-case does not require globally distributed trust, but rather trust spread across a pre-determined set of participants.
  • that isn't an answer...
    – eth
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 11:55
  • Indeed. Its a question rather. And for a reason: the article above covers your question and you did not state what effort you spent before asking your question. If you haven't come across the article then it should cover most if not all of what you have asked. If you have, then it would be useful to know why you think the article does not answer your question.
    – zanzu
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 12:04
  • Thanks for the link. It was my question and I did not go beyond googling
    – hcvst
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 12:19
  • Ok. Does the blog post answer your question then?
    – zanzu
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 12:21

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