Is blockchain technology, in good French, blockchain technology, overrated or is the value of its utility still too little known? And as for the business world, will blockchain finally reveal its practicality? Here’s what you need to know as a fan of this new technology.
Blockchain, fad or revolution?
With the recent collapse of FTX and despite the statements of its new CEO John J. Gray III – the first since his ascent to head of the exchange – according to which the latter, now known for its sudden bankruptcy, could resume the service, the vast majority of investors are concerned about future developments in the world of cypto assets.
While some of these investors blame the technology behind the ecosystem, it’s worth bearing in mind it is men who are corruptible, not the blockchain ; it remains a tool in our hands, and just as a hammer can be used to drive a nail into a board, it can also be used as a sledgehammer to hurt someone, so the blockchain technology can be used forever or bad; the responsibility is ours.
This technology, based on the principle of distributed ledger (shown by the image below), which is the cornerstone of any decentralized system, it is still as disruptive today as it was when it first appearedin 2009, when Satoshi Nakamoto gave birth bitcoins. Sadly, crashes like the one experienced by FTX support the argument that blockchain is more of a fad than a real revolution.
When this new technology has made it possible to conceive money in a new way, its exchanges and its use, many information technology company who started thinking they could use it to modernize their business model and their businesses.
But other industries such as that of global supply chainsthat are not yet performing optimally, make very little use of this new technology, even though it could allow the resolution of various problems.
A decade later, The adoption of blockchain by the corporate world is lagging behindat best, and remains unable to carve out a place in the world’s big companies.
But it is a technology that is still in its infancy. Visionaries dream of its massive adoption and full realization of its potential, this is what creates the fashion effects, because the dream cannot be realized for a long time. This is the problem with new technologies, the fads they create mask their real potential.
Do you remember the Cloud?
When the technology of “cloud computing”, i.e. cloud computing, arrived, it was still young. The developers were struggling to work on what is called Saas (Software as a Service) – or software as a service – and managed to offer consumers the possibility of purchasing “service” software – precisely its user license – which saved them from having to install the software on each of their computers .
Twenty years later, quietly coming of age, cloud computing now enables billions of data exchanges every day.
Today the use of cloud computing, popularized with the term “cloud”, seems normal and even essential. But if you go back to its youth twenty years ago, you will notice that the same fad effects were at work and ignited the same debates that blockchain is generating now. Go even further back in time, say 50 years ago, and you will find many people who will tell you that computers are just a fad that will pass soon.
In short, these fashion effects, however damaging they may be for the public image of a new technology, don’t do it too part of the process towards general adoption which the latter inevitably go through before reaching their maturity and becoming so ubiquitous that we forget how we did it first ?
Blockchain accompanies the increasingly amplified movement of digital information to various places. That’s why our societies need this technology; because it protects, secures the process which consists in “moving” digital information from one “place” to another, in a physical space invisible to us. When a Bitcoin is transferred, the register that recognizes this transference never changes and can never change.
What may change, however, is the state of IT security implemented around this transfer process. Since software is a human creation, bugs they will certainly arise as they are used. Our societies deal with it almost daily. So, yes, there will be bugs; This is a fact.
Another important point is that blockchain technology should collaborate with other technologies not associated with fads: a good example of this is the protection of cloud computing and software as a service that enables the use of Wi-Fi. of digital information is secure, bug fixes will occur naturally, by elimination.
While some tech enthusiasts see blockchain as just a fad, what does e what will companies do with it? Fads in the spheres of technology are a cultural phenomenon set in motion by sheep waiting for a shepherd to show them the way.
Everyone knows that blockchain is the future; but only a few people have the will to become pioneers. Unfortunately, when one of these pioneers fails (like FTX), it tarnishes the technology’s image; the leading companies, then concerned, withdrew.
However, spectacular failures like FTX’s tend to do so make serious progressthus allowing the technology to be lives up to its reputation.
Integrate the blockchain into enterprises
For businesses, the blockchain hype has focused on the solutions it can bring to supply chains, as the world searches for a better way to manage international deliveries.
Walmart and other large retailers, both online and in-store, clearly need blockchain technology. Global supply chains are not working as well as they could; therefore companies need this technology, just as the healthcare industry uses the services of the nursing staff to fill the shortage of medical personnel. From this point of view, the fashion effects resulting from the blockchain can allow the emergence of new pioneers.
Enterprise adoption of Blockchain technology is slow, but that’s no surprise. In our modern societies, we want everything, now. However, if the digital revolution has taught us anything, it’s that change is incremental, progressive.
The best way to approach the use of the blockchain is to use it little by little and test its potential in relation to specific objectives. Once this potential is realized, it will be easy to see how blockchain can be integrated into more ambitious uses.
Patience and fashions must coexist better. Because the pioneers of technology, out of impatience, risk ending up victims of these fashion effects that they themselves have helped to trigger. It takes small steps, but big steps – for example, integrating the functioning of the blockchain into a single, small part of a global supply chain, and then drawing the consequences.
The processes and systems needed to achieve incremental change are not about how.
This article is a free translation from English to French by a opinion piece written by Steve Taplinpublished by Entrepreneur Media Inc.