Last week, there was a debate around Bitcoin versus permissioned blockchains at SXSW where Programming Blockchain author Jimmy Song shared his criticisms of permissioned blockchains and Ethereum.
In his remarks, Song shared his view that there isn’t much of a point to permissioned blockchains because they aren’t decentralized. Additionally, Song pointed out that Ethereum is, in his view, a permissioned blockchain.
When first asked to comment on the differences between permissioned and permissionless blockchains, Song blunty shared his view that the term “permissioned blockchain” is an oxymoron.
“To a large degree, when I think about something like a permissioned blockchain, I see those two words as an oxymoron,” said Song. “Why do you need permission if it’s supposed to be decentralized?”
Song added that the fact someone has to grant permission to a user in order to write to that database means there is a point of centralization. Having said that, he did admit that these sorts of systems are usually run by a federation rather than a single entity.