The innovation of blockchain came with numerous promises. The internet is filled with numerous applications and uses cases. Each page touting the revolutionary powers of blockchain and its many benefits. Many different tech giants continue to spend billions of dollars in research, trying to develop an effective platform for properly implementing blockchain.
Research shows that blockchain may be useful to both Artificial Intelligence and theInternet of Things. Although both projects face multiple setbacks that require another technology to ensure equilibrium, we might want to look on them favourably. Blockchain is popularly used as a public ledger system for authenticating financial transactions online. Numerous cryptocurrencies have crawled out of the woodwork hoping to garner enough following for an impactful run. Although they have acquired a sizable following, it is dubious to say they have made any laudable impact in society. Much more uncertainty lies in their future and sustainability.
Avivah Litan, vice president Gartner research centre voices his doubts about the future success and sustainability of blockchain in the financial sector. Avivah points out that the current financial system is built around centralized authority. Blockchain brings an opposite system which is built around peer-to-peer public system. This would rob an enterprise of control over its financial fate. Avivah is one among a long list of experts at the IT Symposium/Xpo 2019 who points out the incompatible features on the blockchain which makes full blockchain implementation improbable.
Blockchain represents the original dream of an independent and free internet
Calling full blockchain implementation a fantasy may seem harsh but a look at history will show this is not the first too much has been expected from new technology. In 1991 the World Wide Web became available to the public. The excitement was palpable, everyone was talking about the endless possibilities in it. Every passionate group talked about the revolution and transformation it will bring.
One example is John Perry Barlow, political activist and ‘cyber libertarian’, he published a speech titled The Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. His ideas touted the web as a social environment free from tyrannical governments, racial segregation, and freedom of speech.
Living in the present you can see how that sounds. In the intervening time, the internet has grown to resemble physical societies. There have been public demonstrations made in different countries around the world trying to stop the government (Snowden) from pushing oppressive policies unto the internet. Others have tried to fight giant corporations (Facebook, Google) to protect individual rights to privacy. Many figures have to work to fight for the rights on the internet have been dubbed ‘controversial figures’.
In this light blockchain might bring a suitable cure to the internet. Using blockchain it might be possible to create a space that is independent of the government and available to anyone. This would probably decentralize the internet and provide freedom for the masses. Blockchain would allow the public to enjoy a transparent system.
So why isn’t blockchain catching on?
You have expected that something this innovative would be swiftly snatched and implemented as soon as possible. Well apart from nefarious individuals who wouldn’t want a transparent system that enables large scale collaboration. One small but very significant obstacle is the user problem related to blockchain and related decentralized apps (DApps). This is a big holdup because the current internet system is functioning properly. Therefore any feasible replacement must be able to provide suitable improvements without sacrificing convenience.
Here are a few failures of blockchain-
1. Benefits are Unclear
For any product or service to be successful on the market, the seller must advertise its benefits with clarity. Current hype over the blockchain is championed by tech wizards who juggle incomprehensible technical terms around the room and expect the average person to be impressed. Without a clearly defined and easily understandable operation blockchain is going to spend a lot of time in the dusty part of the workshop.
2. Unfriendly User Interface
It’s easy for a genius to forget that not everyone is just as smart. What’s more, is that even fewer people care about obscure terms and complicated formulas. This is a major problem for implementing blockchain. Its user interface requires in-depth and technical skill to operate it. Trying to study blockchain is akin to university degrees and available material is even less available to the public. What’s available is written for software experts and barely understandable for regular minds.
3. Immutable Passwords
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE forgets their password. At one time or the other, it will happen to you or your friend. Maybe not now but in the future. This may sound funny but it is so ubiquitous that many systems integrate multiple login options, backups, security questions, and password retrieval or change. Blockchain meets a major roadblock at this point. The whole aim of blockchain is that inputs and records can not be changed or tampered.
While this may sound cool for security measures, I guarantee that it won’t. Think of losing years of data, valuable information and contact because you can’t remember one baldy character. Worse is that blockchain passwords are randomly generated strings of characters in different cases. Insanely powerful as passwords, terrible for memory retention.
Blockchain is certainly powerful and can provide effective solutions to security and privacy assurance. For now, it must find a way to overcome its obstacles before it can stand firm.