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> Can anyone imagine ANY uses for a centralized blockchain?

Sure. A centralized chain can be used for anything that a decentralized one can be used for (with one exception [1]), you just have to trust the provider.

[1] The exception is that a decentralized chain cannot be used to fairly distribute rewards to the participants in a decentralized protocol. That makes it harder to use a centralized chain as money because you need a separate mechanism for controlling the money supply than the one that maintains the ledger. In a distributed chain, the same mechanism serves both purposes.




If you can trust the provider, why use an expensive blockchain instead of an inexpensive database?


Because the amount of trust required is significantly reduced if the provider uses a block chain. Without a block chain you need to trust that the provider will not change transactions retroactively. With a block chain you only need to trust that the provider will not censor transactions.




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