With the recent fall in the price of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has been in the spotlight with questions of its viability and intrinsic value. Was this just a fad, a scheme to enrich a few, or can blockchain produce measurable value? A blockchain is a decentralized ledger that stores information in a tamper-proof way and mediates business transactions through smart contracts. In essence, it automates interactions between parties without requiring trust. This premise is huge since it suggests that blockchain has the potential to positively impact nearly every industry.
Even so, blockchain is not a perfect technology. The truth is, it’s still in its early stages and has some rough edges. While it boasts potential, blockchain may not be a good fit for every industry. Below are some of the obstacles blockchain must face in order to achieve adoption in business.
Return on Investment
Every good business leader asks, “how does this make, or save, our company money?” Blockchain implementation must be able to answer this question for each business for its general acceptance and use to become a reality. New technologies often take a moment to gain a foothold and for their worth or value to be realized. Blockchain is still digging in to prove its worth, and until quantifiable results can be measured, it will still have most leaders sitting on the sidelines waiting for it to be confirmed.
Scalability is one of the most pressing issues blockchain technology must overcome to become a mature technology. The scalability of a network is the ability to grow without losing its properties. In a blockchain, it means processing a large number of transactions per second and continuing to be fast, reliable, and cheap.
The lack of scalability in the blockchain is related to its decentralized nature. To achieve security and transparency, every transaction on a blockchain is verified by each participant (or node) individually. If a consensus of members reaches the same conclusion, then the information is declared accurate. In contrast, on a centralized network, the data is only verified by one participant.
Because each transaction requires independent verifications, often in the hundreds or more per block, blockchains can struggle to process large amounts of data. In the event of a surplus of transactions, blockchains have a tendency to get congested, skyrocketing the associated fees required to maintain and continue with blockchain development. Uncertainty related to the cost of transactions currently relates to the volume and underlying perceived value of the cryptocurrency associated with a blockchain. This uncertainty limits acceptance.
The most common definition of a blockchain is a decentralized public ledger. They are called public because the data stored on them is available for everyone to see. This transparency is a great advantage in building financial transaction solutions since there is no room for foul play; the transactions are transparently available for anyone to confirm. Nevertheless, most companies are not inclined to accept using a blockchain if it means all their business data and information will be public.
Although there has been a tendency in business towards more transparent operations, it is understandable that companies don’t want to share every detail of their business. Fortunately, there are several ways to introduce a private layer to a public blockchain, such as storing data off-chain or using Zero-Knowledge Proof cryptography. A hash of the stored data, but not the data itself, seems to be addressing this issue and showing promise.
Although industry professionals develop and implement blockchain for business, the ultimate approval must come from the users. If a company develops a super-efficient blockchain product, but nobody is willing to use it, it will be worthless.
Cryptocurrencies undoubtedly popularized blockchain technology. This association often reflects poorly on blockchain due to significant reductions in value, money laundering, and financial scams. A recent example is the collapse of FTX, a crypto exchange where users bought and sold cryptocurrency. FTX suddenly went bankrupt, leaving more than one million users in the dark and without access to their investments. While public opinion is starting to change as the technology matures, plenty of people don’t want anything to do with blockchain or anything resembling it.
A skill gap occurs when the availability of specialists in an industry fails to meet the current demand, which is precisely what is happening in the blockchain industry. While a skill gap is a good sign that the industry is growing, it also presents a serious challenge. According to Indeed, job postings for blockchain-related positions grew 118% between 2020 and 2021. The trouble comes when you consider that blockchain technology is a relatively new concept, so finding highly experienced individuals is a difficult task. For this technology to become mainstream, onboarding new professionals will be essential. The good news is that high demand translates to higher salaries, so the incentive to specialize in blockchain technology is there.
Currently, there are dozens of public blockchains and innumerable private ones operating. Most companies adopting blockchain will aim to develop a network tailored to their business. But if each company has its own blockchain, each with different rules and standards, many of the benefits of blockchain are lost.
For the integration of blockchain in business to be successful, establishing standards will be necessary. A standard communication system in which different networks can easily share information could accomplish this. There is a groundswell of support for this, and some early indications of interoperability across the major blockchains are being developed.
How Can Black Ink Tech Help With These Challenges?
Black Ink Tech (BIT) is a company specializing in developing blockchain applications for business. The BIT platform creates verifiable connections between digital assets (tokens) and physical world objects (products) and events (services) on a blockchain. The tokens are verifiably connected to their physical world counterpart as one object, digital and physical, which can now be used in the digital world to increase efficiencies and maximize value. The verifiable connection is through metadata points of where, when, who, and what, using blockchain to produce verifiable, transparent records of truth for a business process, product, or service. It autonomously records the who, what, when, and where of any event and immutably stores it on a blockchain. Black Ink Tech leverages metadata to produce unique digital tokens linked to physical objects or events. Therefore, it brings all the benefits of digital assets to the physical world.
The Black Ink Tech platform proposes a standard way of using a blockchain to make business interactions more efficient. Having a blueprint adaptable to virtually any industry reduces the need for blockchain developers, which are hard to find. Instead of building a team and developing a whole new network, companies can plug into the Black Ink Tech platform and find an industry-specific product. By building real-world applications, Black Ink Tech is changing the public's perception of blockchain and proving that this technology is more than speculation. BIT leverages blockchain technology to provide truth over trust and make business interactions faster and more transparent.
The Bottom Line
Blockchain technology is still in the developing phase, and with this comes inevitable hurdles and skepticism from consumers. Privacy is a concern, as well as a lack of capacity and uniformity. Additionally, the blockchain’s link to cryptocurrency has somewhat tarnished its reputation in terms of value and transparency. Black Ink Tech has already addressed these concerns and has created end-to-end immutable solutions. With their patented hardware and software, they have highlighted what blockchain can accomplish, taking it far beyond crypto. They have successfully implemented blockchain technology in multiple industries, linking real-world assets with digital tokens. Their platform has true transparency, layers of security, and the ability to adapt to any company’s needs. Black Ink Tech removes the obstacles in blockchain for business, turning challenges into measurable opportunities and advantages. Now only one challenge remains: finding out how Black Ink Tech can optimize your business today.