The debate over whether blockchain has a viable future in the technology world has continued to increase. Some consider the technological newcomer as the next best thing while envisioning Web 3.0. Others see it as a bellwether, with little to no discernible use cases. As with most public debates, the answer may lie somewhere in the middle.
Those who have embraced the blockchain are not necessarily devotees of its creator, Bitcoin (BTC). In fact, many blockchain lovers are quick to point out that they do not support Bitcoin. The oft-repeated mantra, ‘I’m bearish on Bitcoin, but bullish on blockchain’ has become something of a nuisance.
However, those who are positive on blockchain technology suggest that this current post-initial-coin-offering (ICO) lull is just a normal point of inflection in the technology-adoption chart. Using the Gartner hype cycle for emerging technologies, aficionados believe the current market has reached a point of disillusionment — not unlike the dot.com bust of the late1990s.
Why the Naysayers?
The opposing argument is glibly pitched in a recent statement from Maria Bellmas, associate director of trade and supply chain product at ANZ Institutional — one of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ banks. Bellmas’ position is not wholly expulsive of blockchain technology but makes some strong statements about its true viability.
First, she argues that while there are some demonstrable benefits to distributed ledgers, they simply are not the tech darling they’ve been sold to be:
Sold as a solution to all of life’s problems, blockchain offers a ton of legitimate solutions for businesses — but raises just as many questions, and many projects do not necessarily need it and are better off using existing good old databases and technology solutions.
Bellmas’ argument is not new, but is gaining traction during The Crypto Winter. The consideration is that blockchain’s use cases are actually often solved better and more cleanly with legacy solutions. Blockchain’s solutions are generally slower and less cost-effective than the existing models.
For example, transaction processing on the blockchain has been a hotly-debated topic. While many blockchain companies have offered scalable solutions, Visa and Mastercard are already fulfilling the industry need.
The Blockchain’s Future: What is The Answer?
The final answer to the question is not something that will be readily apparent in the near term. The pros and cons of blockchain technology make the future hazy at best. With the need for new solutions in the tech field, there may be a legitimate growth cycle in store. However, other technologies may well fulfill that need long before blockchain does.
Think blockchain represents the future for technology, or is it just another hyped flash in the pan? Let us know in the comments below!