Blockchain vs Atomikos
How does blockchain compare to classical distributed transactions?

Blockchains and "classical" distributed transactions like from Atomikos offer similar solutions in some ways, with some important differences.

Why trust us?

We are distributed transaction experts (not specifically blockchain, but still). That is how we make money. The blockchain trend is important enough for us to follow-up on it and see what synergies are possible. So we do study the differences and similarities a lot. The table below outlines where we can complement your blockchain project.

Comparison table

Feature Benefit Atomikos Blockchain Remarks
Distributed consensus All parties agree whether a change to the data is acceptable For blockchain this applies to whether a block can be added to the history contained within the ledger. For classical transactions, this applies to any distributed update scenario so it's more general.
Crash recovery Does the platform handle node outages? Atomikos offers self-healing recovery to guarantee consensus even in the presence of crashes. For blockchains, this is not clearly specified and implementation-dependent.
Avoids losing transaction messages When you make a payment, you don't want it to get lost in cyberspace For blockchains this is implementation dependent. To our knowledge, R3 is the only platform that currently avoids losing messages.
Avoids duplicate transaction messages In case of failures and retries, you don't want a transaction to happen twice For blockchains this is implementation dependent - ask your vendor for details.
Target any data store Can you choose the storage mechanism? For blockchains, the ledger is the storage (by definition). Atomikos supports multiple types of data stores.

Our take

Blockchain is an important and interesting new phenomenon, but so far the only real use case seems to be digital currencies. Blockchain is more of a storage mechanism than a "transaction" mechanism since it registers the fact that transactions have happened. However, for this information to reach the blockchain, a lot of intermediate distributed transactions are needed where a solution like Atomikos can ensure that data is not lost, or no duplicates arise.

We expect to see private blockchain implementations rise as a mechanism for sharing facts among parties that trust each other. This will happen mostly in proof-of-concept implementations to test the waters. In such private blockchains, your blockchain platform may benefit from Atomikos in several ways:

  • by using Atomikos to make sure that transactions make it to the chain, exactly-once (no losses nor duplicates)
  • by using Atomikos to implement consensus with crash recovery and self-healing capabilities


If you want to use a blockchain platform and would like us to help then please forward this page to your blockchain supplier and ask them to have a look.

If you're a blockchain vendor then we'd love to hear from you and work on the synergies above! We'd give you a free trial to evaluate our full product and get our support for free. Get started by clicking the button below and schedule a quick zoom with us to explore how we can best work together:

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Atomikos Corporate Headquarters
Hoveniersstraat, 39/1, 2800
Mechelen, Belgium

T +3215613055

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