Comparing the first decade of Blockchain to that of the internet, suggest that Blockchain’s mass adoption is still low. According to this report, the internet had 248 million users by 1999. On contrast, the number of Blockchain wallet users in 2019 is approximately 40 million. Remember the internet starts its dominance between 1990-1995, while Blockchain first made its outings through Bitcoin in 2009. The stated report shows that Blockchain is not yet gaining mass adoption in the mainstream. Hence, this article will look at the factors hindering Blockchain mas adoption. Moreso, you could see the possible solutions that will encourage using Blockchain effectively.
However, the above report that compares only the number of Blockchain wallet users and almost neglecting other applications of Blockchain. in whichever way, Blockchain mass adoption could not compete with the mass adoption of the internet.
Nonetheless, let’s look at few statistics of mass adoption of Blockchain, before diving into the factors hindering mass adoption of Blockchain as well as what could hasten Blockchain mass adoption.
Bitcoin is the first application of Blockchain and it was first launched in 2009. the number of Bitcoin users 25 million users. Also, the number of Etherum users will be a little below the Bitcoin users stats. Meanwhile, there are currently over 2,957 cryptocurrencies, according to Financial Yahoo News, although all the cryptocurrencies are not a product of Blockchain. But the majority of the cryptocurrencies used Blockchain to solve one financial challenge or the other. Having established that cryptocurrencies are one of the many applications of Blockchain, therefore, there are applications.
Other application of Blockchain includes storage, supply chain, energy, content delivery, certification, intellectual property, and many others. Whichever way, the total Blockchain adoption could not compare to the internet in its first decade. The above retaliates the Blockchain mass adoption is an infant and thus necessitates a series of questions as follows;
What is hindering Blockchains’ mass adoption?
In order to respond to this question, let’s rephrase the same to factors hindering Blockchain’s mass adoption. First, mass adoption is when Blockchain is not limited to the tech-savvy, that is when an average individual and the major industries buy-in to it and are using them for disruptive solutions. Meanwhile, you may argue that it has achieved the stride since many corporate and non-corporate institutions like JP Morgan, IBM, and government are studying it and using it for solutions, as agreeable as your argument is, does the solution improve usability, increased financial proportion, and better than the traditional use case?
Below are factors you should consider as hindering Blockchain mass adoption across the industries;
Although one of Blockchain’s goals is to achieve decentralization, it doesn’t mean that anything should go. In other words, people are taking the Blockchain space as an alternative to IPO, hence, turning exit scams. For instance, there are over 1B$ ICO scam, according to Wall Street.
The above is not helping the geniue projects whose aim is to adopt Blockchain in bringing unique ideas to reality.
According to a survey by PWC, though in 2018, trust is among the major hindering factor to Blockchain mass adoption. Space is designed to eliminate the third party, hence, a trustless system should be in view. Nonetheless, a project which does not offer a solution to verify trust is threatening mass adoption.
Most Blockchain infrastructure and technology are designed with a limited number of users, such that there is a course for alarm when users are increasing. Some experts are arguing that decentralization and scalability could not be possible simultaneously. Moreso, investors seem scared to invest in a technology that will constrain its adoption.
Some Blockchain projects have good looking whitepapers without an actual idea, not even a product. Furthermore, if a project is not solving a challenge, it raises questions on how authentic the project is, as well if the team had no intention of exiting as soon as funding is granted. Looking at the affirmation, no reasonable investor will rely on the promises of the founders that a product that has no structure will emerge from nowhere. Hence, intending investors, and users will not care about the legitimacy of the idea. On the other hand, although there are lots of projects with unique use cases, the vast majority of would=be users perceive every other Blockchain project as same.
In a world where war and theft are not limited to nuclear weapons, there exists cybersecurity. The general public would think twice before investing in Blockchain projects especially when there are know your customer requirements.
The Blockchain appears so ambiguous and technical to an average user; hence, it becomes difficult to adopt. Advising or tell a non-tech savvy to adopt Blockchain technology for solutions, will likely take ages.
How will Blockchain attain mass adoption?
A problem known is a problem solved. Having outlined the possible factors hindering the mass adoption of Blockchain, next is building a solution around the problems. This are the following ways to Blockchain can attain mass adoption;
At first, anyone who hears Blockchain only remembers Bitcoin, and ironically takes it as a scam, without research. While Bitcoin is the only a financial application of Blockchain, would-be adopters address the system as the only use case.
In as much as spreading the knowledge of Blockchain is necessary, but bringing sanity to the system will help believers and non-beliver adopt it. Also, the Blockchain should not prove to be against the central authority, as most experts are portraying it.
The above will help legislatures and the government to strengthen laws that can drive Blockchain mass adoption.
Although the decentralization principle of Blockchain is to eliminate a single point of failure, it possesses a trust issue. In order to help strengthen the system, there is a need to restore trust.
However, building projects that enhance trust will be helpful. The projects will help an investor to be confident of not investing in a scam. The same will as well help innovators fund projects using Blockchain technologies like Smart contract. An example of these kinds of projects is DAOICO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organisation ICO. Such projects will work to establish trust between investors and the project team.
The project owners should ensure that Blockchain projects are user-friendly. This is necessary because the products are built for the people and such will drive mass adoption.
Deepen scalability solutions
A previous article, affirms that there is ongoing research to improve scalability, but so far scalability is a major setback to Blockchain mass adoption. Hence, there should be an urgent need to ensure that while decentralization is important, scalability is.
Interoperating with other emerging technologies
Blockchain as a technology has several inefficiencies and should combine other emerging technologies. Merging with other technologies will reduce some of the inefficiencies of Blockchain while improving mass adoption.
While applying Blockchain, it should not be in isolation. An example is when applying Blockchain to data, certification, other cloud computing technologies, AIs and other conventional data analysis or certification tools, respectively are not obsolete.
When is Blockchain mass adoption coming?
Blockchain technology will find application in several fronts when the following are met;
It is not an instrument against the state
As already stated, Blockchain is not a tool to fight the government, and when treated the same, mass adoption will never come. However, Blockchain combines private and public, permisioned and non_permissioned Blockchain, who then is it to fight the government?
An optimized distributed system, where there is trust, is not a fight against the state. Hence, until that understanding, Blockchain will not know mass adoption.
Clear legal frameworks
The government at different levels even at industries should allow the responsibility to shape best practices of the same to enable Blockchain to find an application. the laws will bring credibility, trust, usability, and many other factors hindering Blockchain mainstream application.
More central institutions adopt Blockchain
Several institutions like banks, research organizations and governments are showing interest in the Blockchain. This is a good step in the right direction. Hence, the same will ensure that players or adapters are not playing outside the field but employing a technology that assures transparency, immutability, and decentralization.
Don’t go into Blockchain to acquire wealth, rather see a problem and be determined to solve the same.