What are the limitations of blockchain?
Blockchain is undoubtedly an impressive and encouraging new technology for the modern world. Its possible applications are limitless and there are countless reasons as to why the technology could be beneficial and bring solutions to complicated problems.
While there are many positive applications for blockchain, it cannot be denied that the software is costly, time-consuming and downright harmful for the environment. In just a few short sentences I hope to shed some light on the negative side of blockchain and explore some of the ways that the technology might not have yet reached its full potential in the logistics sector.
1 – Blockchain cannot be explained simply
“If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein.
I challenge you to find a straightforward explanation for blockchain on google.
Not only do its applications imply a total shift away from the traditional way of documenting things but the technology is full of hard to digest jargon. It’s therefore not remotely an accessible technology.
2 – All upgrades are voluntary
Blockchain is not under the control of a single entity. You cannot only upgrade the system on your own accord. Because it’s not a centralized system, other participants in the network are under no obligation to upgrade to your software. All upgrades made to the system must be compatible with older software. In a decentralized system you constantly service older systems, so it makes the software more complicated.
3 – Users of blockchain all possess the same power
As blockchain responds to attacks and grows stronger by specific correct codes, it requires a huge network of users. There is no way to get rid of a user in the blockchain who is inconveniencing other users by spamming the system or tampering with the data. You can’t refuse service to a user because no entity within the system has authority to do so, as it is not a centralized system. The blockchain is an impartial technology.
4 – It’s bad for the environment. That’s not cool. At all.
Blockchain has a high carbon footprint. The main damage is caused by the mining of Blockchain’s cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency mining (basically, running servers to solve mathematical problems) uses specialized rigs that consume electricity. Often compared to oil when it comes to the environment, Bitcoin blockchain roughly consumes more energy than Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Cryptocurrencies are not the only types of blockchain to blame, however. In any given blockchain the database is not just run by one server but by all participants within the network. Thus, the more participants in a blockchain network, the more energy is consumed.
5 – Human error
We all make mistakes, it’s what makes us human. Even though blockchain is a digital technology, humans are responsible for feeding it its codes. When a code is first entered into the blockchain, it is accepted as true even if it’s wrong which opens the possibility of products tracked incorrectly in the blockchain. For this reason, the data stored on the blockchain is not necessarily trustworthy. Maybe blockchain’s record system is not the solution to all of humanity’s problems, contrary to what some might have hoped.
While there are some downsides to blockchain, it is still hard to ignore that it is a promising new development with a lot to offer the modern world of technology. If used effectively, blockchain certainly has the potential to have many positive applications. It’s true that the lack of knowledge around blockchain is unsettling, but it’s also possibly the most exciting part about it.
Read about the possible applications of blockchain here: https://www.flash.global/en/blog/how-could-blockchain-revolutionize-supply-chain/