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How to guarantee transparency and security of a transaction without using a blockchain

If you’re looking to record transactions securely and transparently without using a blockchain, there are several traditional and modern technological approaches you can consider. Each method offers different benefits depending on your specific needs for security, transparency, scalability, and infrastructure. Here are some viable alternatives:

1. Centralized Databases with Audit Capabilities

  • Secure Databases: Use traditional relational databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or newer NoSQL databases like MongoDB, which offer robust security features. Ensure that databases are configured for high security and are accessible only through secure interfaces.
  • Audit Logs: Implement comprehensive logging mechanisms that record every transaction or modification. These logs should be immutable or protected from tampering through access controls or cryptographic techniques.

2. Distributed Databases

  • Multi-node Configuration: Unlike blockchains, traditional distributed databases do not inherently offer immutability but can provide high availability and resilience against data loss. They can be configured across multiple locations to ensure data integrity through redundancy.
  • Apache Cassandra and CockroachDB: These are examples of distributed databases that offer robust data distribution and fault tolerance capabilities, making them suitable for systems where uptime and access speed are critical.

3. Cryptographic Techniques

  • Digital Signatures: Use cryptographic signatures to verify the authenticity and integrity of transactions. Each transaction can be signed using the private key of the entity performing the transaction, and these signatures can be verified by anyone who has access to the corresponding public key.
  • Hashing: Store cryptographic hashes of transaction data in a tamper-evident log or a secure database to ensure that any alteration of the transaction data can be detected.

4. Version Control Systems

  • Git: While traditionally used for source code, systems like Git can be used to maintain a versioned history of transactional data. Git repositories can track changes over time and provide tools to audit who made changes and when.
  • Auditability and Rollbacks: Version control systems inherently provide a mechanism to rollback changes and audit historical modifications, which can be useful for transaction systems needing high integrity.

5. Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) Storage

  • WORM Drives: Utilize storage technologies that allow data to be written once and not overwritten. This is used commonly in regulatory and compliance scenarios where it is essential that data, once written, cannot be altered.
  • Optical Disks and Tape Storage: These technologies are often used for archival purposes and offer WORM capabilities.

6. Secure Multi-party Computation (MPC)

  • MPC Protocols: Allow multiple parties to compute a function over their inputs while keeping those inputs private. This can be used to ensure transaction integrity in an environment where no single party is trusted.

7. Trusted Execution Environments (TEE)

  • Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) and Intel SGX: Use secure cryptoprocessors or enclaves that provide execution in a hardware-based isolated environment. They can securely process sensitive transaction data without exposing it to the rest of the system.


Choosing the right technology for recording transactions without a blockchain will depend largely on the specific requirements of security, transparency, scalability, and existing infrastructure. Each of these alternatives offers different strengths in managing and securing transaction data.

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