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When Will the Blockchain be Adopted by Most Businesses and How Will This Change the Future?

I’m sure most of you have the same burning question I do… When will the blockchain be adopted by the majority of businesses?

Well giving the answer up front, I would estimate that it will take 3-5 years for that to happen.

Why?

  • It will take two years to educate existing developers in blockchain coding (One year for them to be assimilated into the companies they get hired at and start working well with their teams).
  • Then it will take one to two years to actually implement blockchain tech in their respective companies.

That’s around 5 years.

But what are the various challenges facing mass blockchain adoption by businesses? What the world will look like when the blockchain is adopted? The numbers provide some interesting answers to these questions…

Analysis and Explanation of Estimates

The reasoning behind my estimate of around five years for the majority of companies to adopt blockchain is worth exploring further to truly understand where blockchain technology and business are going.

First, we need to define the ‘majority of companies’. That’s simple, it’s 51% or more of companies that are capable of using blockchain technology.

Second, we need to look at the main hurdles standing in the way of this goal:

  1. The lack of blockchain developers and need to train more.
  2. The need for blockchain developers, once educated, to assemble into teams and work cohesively and effectively towards producing working results.
  3. The need for companies to innovate new and different ways to use blockchain technology.
  4. The need to actually develop the software.
  5. The need for the software to go from alpha and beta testing into full release.

Clearly, developing the actual blockchain technology for a business is just one small part of what needs to be factored in for an estimate.

The Hurdles for Blockchain Technology Adoption in Business – By The Numbers

There’s no way to sugarcoat it, there are hurdles businesses will have to overcome. And passing those hurdles will take time.

Training Blockchain developers… There’s a large financial incentive (blockchain devs get paid a lot) and learning to code doesn’t take more than 2 years in most cases.

Adjusting team and corporate culture and cohesive group work… This should take no more than a year in most cases.

Defining a business strategy for company-wide Blockchain usage… I estimate this won’t take more than 2-3 months, any motivated company can talk to existing blockchain devs about how the blockchain can help them.

Software development… Here things get tricky. There’s no easy “well gee that will take 2 years, one month and 19 days” answer to that. It will vary from company to company. So what we can do is look at the average from other industries that require challenging coding and do an estimate:

  • The average AAA PC game takes 18-36 months to develop.
  • That will be our conservative benchmark for this estimate because PC games are some of the most demanding things in existence from a coding perspective.
  • Because blockchain technology is new, it will be a challenge implementing what companies want. So to be safe, call it 2 years for software development. It could very well be less than that.

Testing the software after development… PC gaming software typically stays in alpha/beta for at most 1-2 years. Blockchain software will generally be simpler than that. So call it one year tops for blockchain software testing to full release.

So that’s how I arrived at my estimate!

What Are The Challenges Blockchain Adoption Faces?

Understanding the challenges that blockchain adoption faces AND what the future holds is crucial if we’re trying to determine the where and when of blockchain technology in business.

Scalability Considerations

The biggest challenge by far. At present, bitcoin can handle 3-7 transactions per second. This is contrasted by something like a Visa credit card, which can handle 24,000 transactions per second.

On average a bitcoin transaction can take hours or even days, a visa transaction takes seconds at the most.

This issue applies to many other coins, not just bitcoin. It would likely also apply to blockchains developed for individual corporations. A universal “fix” for scaling is needed, especially for large corporations that intend to deal with a lot of customers.

Difficulty With Legacy Systems Integration

You know the joke about the old-fashioned companies that still have computers running DOS?

At present blockchain technology struggles to integrate with older systems. So if you’re a corporation with 1,000 computers running Windows 7 you’re going to struggle with integrating blockchain technology.

Cost Considerations

Another challenge to the adoption of the blockchain, ironically, is cost.

Yes, it’s true that in the long term blockchain tech will save companies money and help them run faster and more efficiently.

In the short term however, since there are no one size fits all blockchain applications for companies, they’ll have to be custom built from scratch.

That ain’t cheap.

Privacy Considerations

Another issue is that most blockchains are designed to hold their records publicly.

This is great for a currency or public database.

This is terrible however for a company that wants to store proprietary or private data on a blockchain.

Blockchains can be adjusted to be permissions based, but coding this properly will take time.

What Will Our Future Be Like Once Blockchain Technology Is Global?

I believe we’ll be facing a very different world from the one we’re in today.

Imagine a future where each of the following is commonplace:

  • People are paid to post on social media.
  • People are paid by the hour to play video games.
  • The average person holds a variety of digital currencies that fluctuate in value, and talk about them regularly.
  • There’s a digital global payment network that works in conjunction with the USD, unhackable and completely secure.
  • Records are stored on decentralized storage networks with nearly limitless storage.
  • Companies are completely transparent, and the blockchain can be used to trace the complete supply chain of any product.

The list goes on and on.

The 5 Year Change – My Estimates Realized

I believe some very exciting times are ahead of us. If the blockchain fulfills its potential, it will change technology in many unexpected ways. Much like the internet did.

In 5 years we’ll know more about how big of an impact blockchain technology will have. Personally, I can’t wait.

I’ll see all you blockchain believers on the moon!

About the Author Will Salisbury

Will Salisbury is the co-founder of Blockchain Decrypted and full-time cryptocurrency trader. He also hosts the Blockchain Decrypted podcast, and when he's not talking or writing about blockchain technology and cryptos, he likes to play games and relax in his home state of Michigan.