Blockchain provides multiple benefits, including scalability, security, power, accuracy, and cost-efficiency to traditional technology. Like all new systems, however, it poses certain challenges for users. For starters, it’s still unclear whether it can live up to all the hype. Moreover, nearly every major project in the blockchain sector has encountered obstacles that have kept true breakout success at bay. These blockchain obstacles must be overcome if the technology is to really flourish.
The blockchain used by bitcoin is capable of handling a maximum of seven transactions in one second. Ethereum can accommodate a couple more. These constraints on managing numerous users at the same time make blockchain a lot less competitive compared to the current crop of non-blockchain alternatives.
In December 2017, for example, a basic CryptoKitties app led to higher-than-expected traffic problems on Ethereum. And once the traffic blew up, the transaction costs also increased considerably.
Lack of universal usage examples
Blockchain has the potential for solving many of the world’s leading issues, from economic anonymity to close-to-free payment methods, unhackable data storage methods to universal authentication of products, updated public health records to verifiable crowd predictions. However, that’s as much a drawback as it is an advantage.
Due to the absence of any primary app, blockchain will not be adopted via the same path. Of course, bitcoin is the most well-known by virtue of being the first and the biggest. But that is still open to debate. The question is, should it be a store of value? Or a means of payment? In the next few years, we are likely to use something based on blockchain. However, that won’t necessarily be a cell phone or web browser for all.
The absence of consumer-friendly features
Almost all blockchain apps now require the users to either set up a light node or run a blockchain node. Blockchain currencies like bitcoin now depend on a network of individuals to review the transaction data. The bitcoin blockchain environment acts similar to a web of replicated databases, each of which contains the same list of earlier bitcoin transactions.
Validators — the key members of the network — are nodes that pass around transactional data and independently negate or validate the transaction. Only when all parties are in agreement will the transaction pass through.
Several complex rules are established for the system so that the network completes the intended operations. These complicated standards and rules, however, limit the expansion of blockchain systems among the masses.
The high cost of complexity
One of the major blockchain features is its resistance to hacking owing to the distributed aspect of the ledger as well as the complicated cryptography. So, a malicious online entity interested in malpractice or corruption would require more computing power than half the nodes present in the blockchain. This is a total reversal from the weaknesses exhibited by many of the centralized systems with a lone point of failure.
But once the additional coding complexity is added to fulfill later requirements, it introduces a host of vulnerabilities to the blockchain and reduces the security strength of the ledger. So, customers should avoid the temptation of bespoke modifications and developments to preserve the very attraction and purpose of the blockchain. Vendors will be charged with designing the solution along with other backup protocols to prevent security vulnerabilities from cropping up in the technology.
Related blockchain expenses
One of the biggest blockchain obstacles is the technology’s prohibitively high costs. It limits developers who require the flexibility to develop free services. Ideally, blockchain systems should be supportive of free apps. Businesses and developers must charge from users for their development and innovation of the application, rather than charging transaction fees. However, this is ironic in hindsight as blockchain was devised with the intention of eliminating or greatly reducing transaction costs.
No physical presence
Earlier, it was difficult to hide computing operations due to the sheer size of the technology. But now, IBM and other companies develop computers that fit the palm of your hand. They can easily be hidden out of view. Your light switch, tablet, phone — everything — needs processing power. Also, everything remains connected to the Internet right now. But we don’t have a clear idea of how it all works. Why? Because we don’t have to know what powers a certain technology to use it.
People are hesitant to adopt; they’d rather live their lives. So, the key lies in making changes so subtle that they’re hardly noticeable. Thus, blockchain apps need to be invisible in simple applications. This way, we can avoid explainers altogether and utilize blockchain technology without having in-depth knowledge.
Shortage of features
Various industry professionals, like evangelists, journalists, and the news media have put a lot of faith in blockchain. They’ve painted a bright future among the public about the future of decentralized apps, especially given the growing cost of cryptocurrencies. While the decentralized blockchain apps have great prospects, most of them do not possess the rich functional qualities and the mechanisms that lead the blockchain sector to contribute to feature stacks.
Although the obstacles have been identified, it’s not necessary that they be perceived as barriers to the expansion of blockchain tech in fields other than cryptocurrencies. However, most of those problems have been overcome in recent times.
Right now, various blockchain solutions are in the early stages of development. Thus, the policies and technologies being provided are not entirely trusted. A lot of companies thus express uncertainty when it comes to using services related to business critical activities without a considerable degree of confidence in the stability and quality of services received. Vendors must be ready to offer a standard level of protection to users not only through the solution but the contractual terms as well. So, they might have to make concessions for accommodating regulated users.
Considering how blockchain in its purest form depends on various users contributing to the chain, the ongoing viability and success of blockchain as a market initiative will vary according to the confidence placed in it by different market users.
Blockchain obstacles: Not insurmountable
Blockchain might be one of the most significant developments in the IT industry, but there are still plenty of hurdles that the technology must cross before it is wholly embraced by the public. Mentioned above are some of the challenges faced by blockchain right now.
Featured image: Pixabay
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