Blockchain technology can be simply put as a computerized ledger of transactions that is shared across the systems of the blockchain. Blockchain has been in the public eye for a while now and has gotten a whole lot of hype for its use. So, many companies have continuously expressed their will to want to be in the first row of adopting it, but after their complete focus on only the benefits and improvement of blockchain in most areas, regarding its speed, immutability, reduced costs, and individual control of data, the challenges, and risks of blockchain finally caught their attention as these challenges prevent their global adoption.
In this essay I will be going into further detail some of the applications / solutions that will help solve most of blockchains challenges. These challenges include lack of scalability, patient privacy, and lack of adoption. Furthermore, one of blockchains major technology issues is closely related to the practical scalability of the network which can put high pressure on its adoption process, especially if the blockchains public. We have two of the largest blockchain networks, Bitcoin and Ethereum, but however they are seen as a task because they are often behind when it comes to its transaction speed.
Based on research Bitcoins blockchain can only process three to seven transactions per second, while Ethereum can also only handle 20 transactions in a second. This lack of scalability is only in response to public blockchain networks but for privates that’s not necessarily the case since its nodes are designed specifically for it to be able to operate its transactions in an environment with parties that are accepted, which makes a lot of sense hence its name. So far there have been some interesting solutions that have been brought up in how to fix this issue we have with scalability.
A way is the Lightning Network, which means the addition of another layer to blockchains already made layer in its network, this is to speed up its transactions. Another solution that was brought up is called Sharding, this places subgroups of nodes into smaller grids or ‘shards’ in which they are then responsible for the specific transactions they are assigned to. Similarly, there are more challenges in different fields as well.
Blockchain technology can be used in most business fields as well, and one interesting use of Blockchain technology is in the health care system. Thus, this satisfies all stakeholders involved such as health authorities, hospitals etc... because it meets the needs of the consumers and protects patients’ information by utilizing blockchains financial applications. While using the paper systems, in order to be able to see the patient’s health records a great deal of steps were needed. The information consumers had to fill in a request and submit for approval, after receiving approval then the information consumer then pays a copy fee to obtain a bill of the receipt. Then the information consumer can show this receipt to the registration office to obtain a copy of the patient’s health records. However, there a negative to this as a patient’s health records could either be lost, or copies of it could be made illegally.
So, using Blockchains technology to create the concept of electronic health records is shown below.
As an information consumer requests for a patient’s health record to a hospital (the issue) and this hospital agrees, the Bitcoin order will be placed. But before sending a patients health record to an information consumer, it must be first approved from a primary doctor and the patient’s presence is needed to confirm the specific records that will be sent. The existing application of Bitcoin makes it possible for easy transactions of obtaining patient health care record thus protecting patient health care records.
This shows that Blockchain has provided an easier route for the health industry to operate smoothly. Lastly, we have Blockchains lack of adoption. We know Blockchains are ecosystems that must have a broad adoption in order to work accurately. An example will be Walmart, as it’s involved in food supply chains. They would not only need to adopt a blockchain network, but their suppliers would also have too as well. Yet in APQC’s quick poll, it asked supply chain professionals about their familiarity and likelihood to invest in Blockchain over the next 2 years and 37% of participants said they are not considering Blockchain at all, another 37% are having discussions, 6% have created a pilot, and 2% are actively using blockchain today. Regarding the benefits of blockchains about 70% of participants said that increased visibility into the real-time tracking of end-to-end product movement is a major benefit of blockchain.
Without global adoption, the potency and scalability of blockchains will ultimately remain limited. But there are always good reasons to remain optimistic towards Blockchains adoption, as people’s minds continuously change and so will their interests. Using Blockchain means going over many hurdles, so organizations will increasingly always come together to discuss unusual negative points and figure out solutions / applications that can benefit everyone without revealing too much.
For example, KPMG, Merk and Walmart partnered together to build a drug supply chain blockchain pilot. This blockchain is meant to create a ledger of each transaction as the drug is moving along the supply chain, giving participants an easy trail. FDA’s DSCSA Pilot Project Program was made to assist stakeholders of the drug supply chain program FDA included, in making the electronic interoperable system, this system will be able to identify and trace specific prescription drugs as they are shared across the United States. Building an interoperable system was seen to be a challenge but was considered the most viable tidy solution for the issue.
In conclusion, the aim of this essay was to reiterate the benefits of Blockchain, but also its negative aspects / the challenges that it continues to face. After analyzing most of the challenges it continues to face both past and present through research, I have also added the solutions / applications that were found to better solve these issues. So, summarizing the main points that has been derived is that Blockchain faces a ton of challenges as its beginning to become more well known to society. But in general, technological advancements always take a while to mature and reach a more stabilized form. So blockchain will as well follow the same slow-paced trajectory of adoption over the years coming. Blockchains biggest challenges as we’ve noticed also shares pains of other common technology, so convincing organizations to take a leap and make some risks forms the kind of stable ground that other kinds of technologies face. This shouldn’t be too hard to do because every day the industry seeks solutions to challenges and they are always being solved, this can be proved through research. Knowing the benefits organizations are already gaining from Blockchain and the increasing want for these organizations to be visible, blockchain can be seen as a very powerful solution once it’s been adopted.

Author's Bio: 

I am a computer science professor. Being a tech enthusiast I keep close tabs on trends and will be glad to share and discuss the latest wrapups in the field with the community.