Is Blockchain Really the Future of the Digital Revolution?

A lot has already been said about Blockchain, the technology at the heart of bitcoin, and its potential to transform the world. The most cutting-edge technology today, blockchain has already attracted high attention, and is rumoured to be bigger than even the internet.

However, most people associate blockchain exclusively with cryptocurrencies, which is just one of the applications (or use-cases) to address the issue of double spending. Potentially, blockchain has many more use-cases across industries which should be explored further.

Blockchain is a decentralised computation and information sharing platform. It acts as a distributed ledger and addresses the problem of trust among unknown nodes in the network. This highly futuristic technology is:

  1. Immutable: Blockchain is tamper-proof to a large extent, providing its users with the confidence to share information across networks using cryptographic algorithms.
  2. Simple and cost-effective: Blockchain reduces intermediaries and eliminates brokerage by implementing smart contracts, making it one of the most cost-effective solutions out there.
  3. Transparent: With a distributed ledger, records are transmitted to all the required nodes, resulting in enhanced transparency in the system.

Personally, I can foresee many use-cases for blockchain’s industry-wide implementation:

  • Agriculture
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Supply Chain and Logistics
  • Healthcare Medical Services
  • Digital Rights and E-Voting
  • Government

For blockchain to become the next wave digital sensation, we need to address a few challenges today:

  • Technological design flaws: Industry use-case of blockchain designs are still in nascent stages and need to be fine-tuned to make them more user-friendly. For example, design flaws in smart-contract coding need to be rectified.
  • Scalability: To be the next wave sensation, current blockchain platforms such as Ethereum or Bitcoin need to be scalable. The current network speed is often unable to support the rapidly growing userbase, resulting in transactions taking a longer time to process.
  • Adaptability challenge: Blockchain still faces the challenge of mass adaptability due to the apprehension of criminal connections owed to its anonymity feature. Additionally, there are no industry standards currently in place to segregate genuine users from the non-genuine ones.
  • Lack of regulations: Many countries are still not open to adopt blockchain due to little to no regulations in place for different industry use-cases.
  • Lack of skillset: Since blockchain is still in its initial adoption phase, most individuals and organisations lack the required skills for setting up a blockchain ecosystem (for example: Blockchain Developers, Blockchain Architects, Blockchain Business Users, and more).

Blockchain truly has the potential to completely transform the fundamental way of doing business, provided the challenges mentioned above are addressed in a timely manner. Blockchain, along with technologies like Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence, can ensure widespread industry adoption by addressing these challenges. It has the potential to impact billions of people across the world in a positive way and make a significant change in this bubbling digital world.

Personally, I believe that while the 2000s were part of the Internet Era, the 2020s will be the era of blockchain. This was the major reason I recently decided to complete my certification in blockchain as well. The need to remain skilled and equipped with this futuristic technology is an important part of my continuous learning process, helping me become a T-shaped professional with a competitive advantage over my peers.

Are you a young leader focussed on the lifelong process of learning? Blockchain might just be your answer!

About the Author

Atul Anand is a GMBA ’11 alumnus from SP Jain School of Global Management with a specialisation in IT Management. Prior to joining SP Jain, he completed the “Advance Program in Strategic Management” from IIM Calcutta. Atul is an active volunteer for the “Art of Living” foundation and has been practicing yoga for more than a decade.

With more than 12 years of experience in different multinationals across the world, he is currently working with Syngenta Service Private Limited, Pune as the Regional Client Experience Manager- APAC. Atul has also received several awards for his contributions in Syngenta.