As you’ve seen, there are many ways the technology
underlying bitcoin and Ethereum could change your life for the better. But you
should also understand that if this change is to occur, it’s not going to
happen overnight or come easy.
One of the more prominent issues with blockchain technology
is what I like to call the proof-of-concept
conundrum. In recent years, businesses have run numerous successful demos
and small-scale projects involving blockchain technology. However, none have
been willing to commit to blockchain in the real-world without any parameters
or training wheels, so to speak. Enterprises won’t commit because blockchain
has yet to demonstrate its ability to scale in the real world; yet it can’t
demonstrate its ability to scale until businesses give it a chance. This
Catch-22 will take time to work itself out.
Secondly, despite being all about decentralization and
security, blockchain networks haven’t proven impervious to hackers. Since the
beginning of the year, an estimated $1.1
billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen by hackers, according to an
analysis by Carbon Black. In other words, there are still kinks to be worked
out in protecting consumers’ and business’s assets — and until they’re worked
out, it’s unlikely that blockchain will be adopted on a broad scale.
Integration concerns shouldn’t be overlooked, either. While
some industries would clearly benefit from blockchain, that isn’t the case with
all industries or sectors. Similarly, some industries could require a complete
retooling of their infrastructure if switching to blockchain, which would be an
expensive and time-consuming process.
My suspicion is that it’s going to take many more years for
blockchain to mature. But if consumers, businesses, and investors give this
technology time, it’ll have a genuine opportunity to live up to its current
Sean Williams has no position in any of the stocks or cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.