DLT vs. Blockchain

We all hear a lot of different words and names when it comes to Blockchain. Distributed Ledger Technology or DLT us one of them. Blockchain and DLT are many times used interchangeably.

What is a DLT? DLT is actually a database of records which is shared among many distrusting parties.

Why are DTL and Blockchain used interchangeably? Because “All Blockchains are DLTs”. However, “All DLTs are not Blockchain”. If I oversimplify then we can say “Blockchain is a specific type of DLT”, similar to the analogy that a BMW is a specific type of car. However, not all DLTs are again the same and have their own implementation specifics.

The space looks somewhat like:

DLT and Blockchain Relationship

To make is little more clear, let’s take one specific DLT and one Blockchain and see the differences:

Blockchain vs DLT, specifically Ethereum vs Corda

To conclude, Blockchain and DLT both implement a ‘distributed ledger’ and have common foundation principals. Each implementation is very specific, and it is extremely difficult to compare one with the other because of the nature and purpose of the implementation. Lastly, this space is emerging and there is no single definition of many of these terms. In coming years, we will see the definitions getting clearer.


DLT vs. Blockchain was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.