Blockchain, however, handles conflict resolution in quite a different way. If there is a net-split between Europe and the USA and two versions of the database emerge, it simply decides on re-connection to keep the entirety of the version that has received more traffic during the disruption (aka the longer chain). This means if the USA version wins, all of the modifications in the European version, even if there aren’t conflicts, are discarded. To reiterate, this means even if most of the interactions in Europe were just with other users in Europe and not in conflict with the USA version, all of those writes are thrown away regardless.
Note that these limitations don’t exist for private blockchains. Private blockchains can, in fact, achieve over 1,000 transactions per second on Ethereum or Bitcoin. Why? Because if you’re running a private blockchain, you have the ability to ensure that every node on the network is a high-quality computer with high bandwidth internet connection. Scaling the blockchain currently would require us to add more compute to every node for the network to get faster. Since privately managed networks have control over every node in the network, they can do this. Moreover, since you’re on a private network, you can handle some actions that would otherwise happen on the blockchain off the blockchain, such as making sure that each node that is participating is running a real node.
…work because of the inter-node latency that logarithmically increases with every additional node.
In a traditional database system, the solution to scalability is to add more servers (i.e. compute power) to handle the added transactions. In the decentralized blockchain world where every node needs to process and validate every transaction, it would require us to add more compute to every node for the network to get faster. Having no control over every public node in the network leaves us in a pickle.
As a result, all public blockchain consensus protocols that operate in such a decentralized manner…