The elementary concept and how blockchain works has been clarified with many assets, but there seem to be major blockades preventing organizations from recognizing the benefits.
The publicity around blockchain technology has gotten very far. Numerous prominent investors, technologists and entrepreneurs have gambled their reputations and fortunes on it. Investments in blockchain since 2015 are getting as high as $2.5 billion. If Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are include in that figure its closer to $20 billion, an astounding $9 billion which is added in the first half of 2018 with the Middle East is a leading player.
The senior managers at blockchain-investing organizations find it difficult to clarify what it is that blockchain will be improving in their businesses or why. Short of a clear understanding of what the organization seeks to achieve, blockchain projects may be doomed to fail as there seem to be no direction from senior leaders. There is the need to go beyond the publicity and make sure that investments that are made by organizations are properly utilized and the technology fulfils its potential.
There are two problems with regards to education that has been a significant obstacle to attaining solid benefits from blockchain technology use cases.
First of all, the overall level of understanding of the technology, where it can be used to highest outcome, related risks and how to put it into an organization is bad. On a large scale it comes down to the confusion that has followed from the hype, which has lessened the normal cycle of questioning and learning.
In other words, business leaders seem to be reluctantly willing to enquire of something they feel they are expected to know since it has been talked about lot. This revolution also means that the best knowledge is often simply available in unusual forums, such as open source communities that business leaders are not familiar with accessing.
The other problem relates to technical skills. Blockchain of today can be regarded as it being in the baby stage just as internet in 1995 when very little was known about its potential. We might come to wonder how humanity ever lived without it, but as a magnitude of the state of maturity, the accessibility of technical skills and training to upkeep development is very limited. It has then become difficult for organizations to explore and develop blockchain applications and might continue to hold back invention.
Organizations such as Hyperledger and B9lab Academy are starting to offer both technical and business education for blockchain systems. It’s now up to individuals to invest in their own development and tackle this problem.
Collaboration and The Decentralization Of Blockchain
Also another major blockade to the spread of blockchain technology is the degree that organizations are able to collaborate on the development and scaling of projects. The real advantages are likely to only be comprehended when this happens and there are several reasons for this.
The advantages of trust, transparency and efficiency can only be attained at scale and across a network. E.g., a payments system that is decentralized will not be of much use if only a minority of banks and payment providers are using it. Or for organizations trying to improve traceability of food produce from farm to store.
Collaboration between different organizations and stakeholders is vital to be able to design, implement and administer these blockchain systems properly. Collaboration also allows for the combining of skills and resources, and it can decrease the risks to one specific enterprise.
Nevertheless there are intrinsic obstacles to collaboration, especially in a decentralized setting. Individuals have a tendency to function in centralized structures so naturally will not find it easy to work with blockchain systems that are opposite in nature. To develop past this, organizations and consortia must create a collaborative structure from the onset, which summaries, confronts and answers the difficult questions that the project will almost certainly face. Questions such as:
- What happens if one organization refuses to progress the project?
- Who pays when a new organization joins the consortium?
The fundamental to solving these challenges is establishing an appropriate distributed authority mechanism. This must have qualities of open dialogue and transparency between parties that might need independent assistance. An excellent example is Smart Dubai for this type of positive government incentivization and collaboration with the enterprise.
It’s Now Time
- What data can be shared and who owns the data on the blockchain if an organization leaves?
- Who will govern the blockchain when it is live and what controls are required to ensure its resilient operation?
These are questions people are asking. There are doubts that blockchain technology has the potential to alter the nature of capitalism by bringing more trust, efficiency, transparency and accurate recording to everyday transactions. U.A.E. are offering vision and leadership to develop this technology and enterprise organizations need to follow suit. Its now time to invest in education, identify opportunities for collaboration to drive development, and participate with regulators to create transparency and stability.
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