The Biggest Usability Issues with Blockchain

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usability problems with blockchainAt the peak of Bitcoin fever in December 2017, there were almost 500,000 transactions a day.

Although cryptocurrencies are the most well known use of Blockchain technology, the potential is vast. But there are some problems with blockchain that are holding the technology back.

Read on as we discuss the current usability problems with blockchain.

Complexity

If you ask a normal person on the street, they won’t have any clue how it works.

Blockchain is a very sophisticated area of technology and even many that use the system don’t know the details.

Bitcoin brings much new jargon for most potential new adopters. Public Keys, Private Keys, cryptography and much more besides. With all of this, most people are unable to understand the benefits that blockchain can provide.

Unless blockchain can remove some of the complexity for the end user, it may never achieve mass adoption.

Scalability

Blockchain technology is not infinitely scalable.

With every transaction, more and more needs to be stored in each block. A block has a finite size – meaning that the more transactions there are, the faster they will fill up. Many blockchain technologies have increased their block size, but this is only a temporary fix.

The use of linear blockchains also means that only one block can be mined at a time. Because of this, increased mining activity won’t speed up future blocks.

These problems become more noticeable the wider adoption becomes. Without changes, the system will not be able to function if it becomes too popular.

Decentralization

Blockchain is a decentralized technology.

This means that there is no central master record of transactions. This protects blockchain from interference and helps create trust in the network. However, this comes at the cost of removing any central authority maker from overseeing the network.

This has led to governance challenges within the development community. Disagreements over what route to take the technology in have caused irreparable splits.

Within cryptocurrency, this has led to entire communities splitting into “forks.”

In order for the technology to grow and reach mass adoption, the community needs to find a way to remove this hurdle.

Environmental Impact

As blockchain continues to grow, the environmental impact is only getting worse.

Processing power is required to do anything on the blockchain. In many applications of the technology, each block requires more power than the last to mine. This means that as the technology grows, the power requirements to keep it going will only increase.

More electricity is used mining the blockchain than is used by many countries. Although hardware continues to improve to increase efficiency, the blocks get harder to mine. If the technology is to continue to grow, the environmental impact of blockchain technology will only get worse.

Problems with Blockchain

As you can see, although Blockchain has huge potential for changing the world, it has some issues that are halting this progress.

Complexity and issues with scalability are holding blockchain back. The 2017 explosion in the value of bitcoin revealed the environmental impact the technology can have.

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Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.