Many people are very optimistic about blockchain and all the applications it will have that they forget about the downsides that blockchain has as well. Every concept has its problems, especially the relatively new technologies, so it’s only smart to face these problems and possibly attempt to solve them. Before we can solve these issues, we need to understand them though. So, let’s take a look at the problems with blockchain.
It’s more complex than you think
Blockchain can be explained in a quick and simple way, which will make you understand the basic concept of blockchain, but the underlying mechanism is a lot more complex than this. It involves a lot of new vocabulary and new mechanisms that most of us are unfamiliar. This could make it unlikely for the average person to want to use a blockchain system, as it’s just too complex. And many of the uses that are suggested for blockchain do need the average person to get involved. Now this is not an unsolvable problem, but it’s going to take some education to take blockchain mainstream.
Blockchain is very often offered as a solution
Blockchain has become more popular in the past years, and this tool has been offered as the solution to more than hundreds of the problems that we are currently facing in our world. But of course, blockchain can never be the outcome to all those problems. The problematic component of this approach is that you’re not looking for a solution to the problem, no, instead we’re taking a solution and looking for as many problems we can find. This isn’t the best approach for problem-solving, and could get us in trouble.
Blockchains need to have huge networks
In order to make a blockchain work properly as it’s supposed to you need to have a huge network of nodes. When you do have a huge network of nodes, decentralization really happens and makes the network very safe, but you do need a big network to make this happen, otherwise the blockchain will be vulnerable. The question is whether you can always attain a huge network.
Blockchain is not immune to human mistakes
Humans make mistakes, that’s just a fact, and it’s never going to end. Although the keeping record of the data doesn’t require any human involvement, someone is going to insert the data, and when this goes wrong then there is faulty data in the blockchain system. A blockchain system that is filled with wrong data isn’t very useful as you’d expect, and this could be a threat.
The risk of a 51% attack
Through the size of the network and decentralization it is close to impossible for someone to hack, but the situation changes when one person or group gains control of 51% of a network. In larger blockchains, like Bitcoin, the chance of this happening is very small, but what about smaller networks? Smaller networks aren’t that difficulted to be targeted by a 51% attack, and then one group or person can take full control of the network and mess with it. Data can be altered and in the case of value, they can get all the currency for themselves.
As you can tell, we still have some problems with the blockchain technology, though this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use blockchain and that it is a doomed system. Blockchain can still be a solution to many problems, we just need to recognize the fact that there are problems and make attempts to solve them, instead of ignoring them. In this case we can take full advantage of the blockchain technology.