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Olga Zeveleva
December 2017.
11

Since blockchain technology is so new and not yet mature, does early adoption of it by companies cause problems down the line for those companies?

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There are definitely risks and challenges that come with adopting blockchain right now. Even lead developers of Ethereum, like Vlad Zamfir, are telling people that they should not use Ethereum for any mission critical applications unless they absolutely have to, because it’s still an experimental technology. This is the guy who is running the Casper project for Ethereum and he actually tweeted out what is basically a ‘use at your own risk’ warning. For CryptoKitties (a game that makes little digital kittens that you can find and sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars), blockchain is fine. But for mission critical applications or any type of critical infrastructure, blockchain technology poses some tradeoffs and risks.

And that is partly why we haven’t seen a lot of enterprise and public sector blockchain projects rolled out yet. Some advice for companies or people thinking about doing something with blockchain: do not try and replace something that exists today with a blockchain solution. Instead, take a new line of business, a new product, and try blockchain with that. That way, you don’t have to worry about how to substitute or integrate as many existing business processes and systems - you’re starting from a black canvas. I think that’s a nice, easier way to get your hands dirty with blockchain, as opposed to some of the more ambitious projects that were announced at the start of the blockchain mania, like substituting out the entire exchange infrastructure, supply chain, or accounting system with blockchain.

Garrick Hileman and Michel Rauchs released the 2017 Global Blockchain Benchmarking Study, which can be downloaded as a PDF here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3040224.
You can read the brief summary of their study here: https://insight.jbs.cam.ac.uk/2017/central-banks-are-trialling-blockchain/
The above interview was conducted on 12 December, 2017.