6 Things That The Blockchain Needs to Become Mainstream
The blockchain is one of the most fascinating technologies of the last few years. Notoriously for powering the infrastructure behind Bitcoin, the blockchain offers a unique set of capabilities to enable decentralized, trustless architecture models that were impossible to conceive a few years ago. From industries like healthcare to legal, the blockchain can redefine some of the most traditional business applications that rely on centralized authorities and control.
Despite the technical value of the blockchain, most industries are still in very early evaluation stage of the technology and we can’t claim that its become mainstream within developer communities. In order to deliver to its full potential and become a relevant technology trend for the next decade, the blockchain community and early adopters will have to develop a series of foundational aspects that have little to do with technology.
Killer Consumer App
With the uncertainty surrounding bitcoin, I think the blockchain will benefit from the emergence of another consumer application that can highlight the capabilities of the technology in the eyes of non-early adopters. Bitcoin has certainly been a revolutionary technology but it also remains the only large scale application built on the blockchain.
Killer Vertical Solution
Complementing the previous point, the adoption of the blockchain within vertical industries will be accelerated if we can created a large-scale vertical solution powered by the blockchain. While many startups are creating super innovative blockchain application, the adoption within large enterprises remains relatively small. From all the sectors experimenting with the blockchain, financial institution seem like an idea candidate to create that first killer industry solution.
IBM and Microsoft have taken the first steps towards blockchain as a service (BaaS) models by distributing blockchain technologies as part of the Bluemix and Azure PaaS respectively. I believe BaaS is a very important step to remove the complexities of operating private blockchain and expose the technology to millions of developers.
System Integrator Partnerships
System Integrators (SI) will be essential for the adoption of the blockchain in highly regulated industries which, ironically, are the majority of the industries experimenting with the blockchain. Establishing solid strategic alliances with large SI will add a much needed credibility to blockchain solution and it will accelerate its distribution.
Tools & Frameworks
In recent years, we have seen the emergence of very impressive blockchain tools and frameworks. Ethereum remains the best well known blockchain platform in the markets but there are other incredibly impressive frameworks such as Lisk, IBM’s Hyperledger, etc. More and better tools and frameworks will be needed for the blockchain to become mainstream. TO put it in blunt terms: we need a Ruby on Rails for the blockchain.
The blockchain developer community has been steadily growing over the last few years but its still relatively small compared to other software development platforms. Nurturing and growing a strong developer community will be essential to make the blockchain mainstream in the enterprise.