While studying the Gartner Hype cycle, I realized that blockchain technology is nearing the “Trough of Disillusionment” and is still 10 years away from “Plateau of Productivity”. It’s been a decade since the inception and the hype cycle suggests another decade before the productivity and hence mass adoption is realized.
What is mass adoption really linked to? One aspect maybe the fact that any new tech needs to be 10 times “better” than the tech it is replacing, for the people to adopt it. But is it the only reason for blockchain not becoming mainstream tech and what does “better” really mean?
Is blockchain 10X better than the technology/ecosystem that it is replacing? What is it really replacing?
If we keep comparing the use-cases that blockchain can cater to with the incumbent technology that provides it, more often than not, blockchain would not come out 10X better or it may even come out worse than the incumbent technology. But is it the right comparison?
Blockchain’s comparison with its centralized siblings providing similar use-cases would be like comparing the state of administration of newly independent colonies with the administration of their erstwhile usurper. The comparison would always show that the newly independent colony will have chaotic administration compared to the far superior processes of their usurper, who would be adept at administration by virtue of immense experience leading their own country and numerous colonies.
So does that mean the colonies should have remained subservient? No ...
FREEDOM - that is the real metric on which blockchain technology should be evaluated. No price is high enough to forego that notion. There will come a time when blockchain technology would become mainstream like the independent colonies who are now experienced enough to teach a thing or two about administration to their erstwhile usurper.
We can already see the signs of technology innovation aimed specifically at mass adoption. The existing blockchains and the upcoming ones are devoting their research towards solving the TRILEMMA – scalability, security and decentralization. In the world of distributed computing, this is “THE PROBLEM” to solve and one that still lacks an optimal solution.
Add sustainability to the mix and the problem complexity grows manifold. Solving for this trilemma + energy efficiency leads to an ecosystem geared for mass adoption. It is not given but now we can talk about some comparisons:
Scalability – can you compete with the transaction processing capability of payment networks (Mastercard/VISA/AmEx)?
Security – do you have the ability to, not just secure transactions and related data, but also have the ability to adapt to new ciphers and schemes without touching the code and releasing new software? And are you quantum safe or at least ready for it?
Decentralization – will your system be able to accept anyone as a miner irrespective of their ability to fund upscale hardware? Can this become the livelihood of choice that can alleviate penury to some extent?
Sustainability – can you run your technology without sapping countries of their basic energy needs?
At Uniris, we have been working on this problem for last 4 years. It has taken a long time but we have been able to hone our solution to a level where we can provide the most optimal levels of scale, security and decentralization while consuming energy less than a gram of sugar per transaction validation.
This was not possible without innovating each and every layer of the blockchain technology. The triple constraint would always creep in if we limited ourselves to any one layer. With the help of our team and validation from researchers, we believe we have the perfect balance.
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