A Taxonomy Of Blockchain Based Systems For Architecture Design

Blockchain technology has evolved dramatically over the past decade, transforming from a concept to a powerful and secure tool for data storage and computation. With an ever-growing array of use cases, blockchain-based architecture design implementations have become increasingly popular among developers. The question then arises – what exactly is a taxonomy of blockchain based systems for architecture design?

The taxonomy of blockchain based systems for architecture design can be understood as a classification or categorization of systems that utilize blockchain technology to facilitate interactions between parties, making it easier to design application-centric architectures. Generally speaking, such systems can be classified according to their structure and function. These categories include public, private, and hybrid or distributed ledger technologies, which together create a layered framework for designing and implementing applications.

At the foundation of blockchain-based systems are peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, which form the basis of most distributed systems. These networks provide the platform for peers to communicate and transfer information, and it is this underlying structure that makes blockchains so difficult to alter once data is added to the ledger. Additionally, various blockchain consensus mechanisms, such as proof-of-work, help maintain the integrity of the network.

On top of this layering sits the application layer, where the various applications and smart contracts are hosted, with solutions ranging from permissioned and permissionless blockchain networks to sidechains and distributed computing solutions. These application layers allow for much more functionality, making it possible for developers to build highly custom and secure solutions for their needs.

Furthermore, blockchain based systems are also often segmented into three broad categories – public, private, and hybrid systems. Public blockchains are decentralized, open-source networks and are typically used for applications such as digital currency, while private and hybrid systems are generally used for enterprise solutions such as supply chain management. Each of these categories has its own advantages and disadvantages, making it important to understand the needs and challenges of each application before selecting an appropriate architecture.

When designing a blockchain-based architecture, it is also important to consider scalability, which refers to the ability of the system to handle increased transaction loads over time. Scalability is a key criterion for large-scale applications, as it ensures that the system can handle the volume of transactions without being overwhelmed. Many blockchain solutions, such as Lightning and Ethereum’s Plasma, are built around scalability to provide higher throughput and performance.

Finally, security is another critical aspect of blockchain-based architecture design. As blockchains are immutable, it is important to ensure that the data stored on the ledger is protected from malicious actors. Utilizing various cryptographic techniques, such as digital signatures, hashing, and encryption, can help to ensure that data stored on the blockchain is secure.


When designing blockchain-based systems, it is important to consider privacy, as most blockchains do not provide any privacy guarantees beyond what is available through public networks. As such, a variety of solutions, such as zero-knowledge proofs, are being developed to enable more private and secure transactions on blockchains. These solutions enable users to hide sensitive data behind cryptographic proofs and provide the necessary level of privacy while still allowing the network to maintain its integrity.

Additionally, data privacy solutions such as differential privacy, homomorphic encryption, and multi-party computation are also being developed to enable more secure and private transactions on blockchains. These solutions provide a higher level of privacy than traditional solutions and enable developers to build applications that have tighter control of user data and provide more control over how information is shared.

Finally, decentralized identity solutions are being developed to enable users to maintain control over their personal data while still being able to transact on a blockchain. These solutions provide users with a digital identity that they can use to securely access services and facilitate transactions without revealing their personal information.


Interoperability is another key consideration when designing blockchain-based systems, as it ensures that these systems can work together and that data can be easily transferred between them. The development of standard communication protocols, such as the Interledger Protocol, is helping to drive increased interoperability between blockchain networks, increasing the range of applications that can be built. Additionally, various bridge protocols, such as Polkadot, are also helping to facilitate interoperability between different blockchains.

Additionally, APIs (Application Program Interfaces) are also being developed to enable easier integration of services with blockchain networks and to allow developers to easily develop their own applications on top of existing blockchains. These APIs allow developers to quickly generate code and deploy applications, making it easier to create new solutions on top of existing blockchains.

Finally, interoperability can also be achieved through smart contract platforms and frameworks, such as Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. These platforms provide a layer of abstraction to facilitate the development of applications on top of a blockchain and enable developers to easily integrate their applications with other blockchains, allowing developers to create more robust and powerful solutions.

Data Storage

Data storage is another key consideration when designing blockchain-based systems, as the amount of data stored on the ledger must be kept secure and tamper-proof. A variety of solutions, such as distributed storage solutions, are available to ensure that data is securely stored and that it is not susceptible to manipulation. Additionally, permissioned and permissionless distributed storage solutions are being developed to ensure that only authorized users can access specific data.

Additionally, encryption is often used to ensure that data is securely stored on the ledger, as it provides an additional layer of security and privacy. Encryption ensures that data is encrypted and can only be accessed and decrypted by authorized users, making it impossible for malicious actors to gain access to sensitive data. Additionally, sharding is also being used to divide up data among multiple nodes in a blockchain network, making it difficult for attackers to gain access to the entire blockchain.

Finally, off-chain solutions are being developed to enable data to be stored outside of the blockchain. These solutions enable users to store data in external systems, allowing them to access data more quickly and securely while reducing the strain on the underlying blockchain network.


Finally, when designing blockchain-based systems, it is important to consider the governance of the system and how decisions will be made about any changes to the underlying protocols. To ensure the system is robust and secure, it is important to establish a clear decision-making mechanism that will ensure fair and equitable decisions are made.

Additionally, smart contracts are often used to automate governance decisions, as they provide a secure and transparent way to enforce rules and regulation without the need for manual intervention. Furthermore, various governance solutions are also being developed to provide improved governance models and to make it easier to manage the decision-making process.

Finally, it is also important to consider the long-term scalability of the system, as it must be able to handle increased usage over time. This will require careful planning and consideration, as the system must be able to scale as the demand increases. Additionally, it is important to consider the impact of technology changes, as they could have a major impact on the system if not planned for appropriately.


Overall, designing a blockchain-based system requires careful consideration and planning, as the variety of layers, components, and technologies have different implications for the overall architecture. It is important to consider the various aspects related to scalability, security, privacy, and governance, as these will all have an impact on the usability and security of the system. Additionally, ensuring that data can be securely stored, transferred, and safeguarded is also critical for the successful deployment of systems based on blockchain technology.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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