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The Future of Blockchain

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It has been almost over a decade since Nakamoto invented the first ever blockchain. At that time, he did not explicitly mention blockchain, but the concept was about peer to peer electronic transactions of Bitcoin. As I have mentioned from previous article, the popularity of blockchain has been plummeting due to some concerns, but mainly lack of regulations, complexity, and security issues. Hence, this is a reviewed article as to blockchain is still a promising technology by analysing issues and gaps.

Is Blockchain Still a “Prima Donna” as it was a few years back?

We can start by thoroughly answer this question. Deloitte’s 2019 global blockchain survey shows that business executives still believe in this technology especially with is expanding use case implementation (Pawczuk et al., 2019). Further, they also think that from now on what is important is how the adoption from “raw” blockchain technology into a more refined solution, hence, disruption technology. While the business prefers to wait passively for more realistic scenarios of its implementation, the banking industries started to think about adopting it that also leads to the national cryptocurrencies (Gogan, 2020). Another interesting finding is that the integration blockchain and Internet of Things as reported by The International Data Corporation (IDC), expect about 20% of blockchain & IoT deployments (i-Scoop, 2020).

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Photo by Stanislaw Zarychta on Unsplash

Getting deeper into the technical part, Drljevic et al. (2020) discovered three distinct research gaps in their latest journal as to why the blockchain implementation has not reached its full potential.

First, the sustainable use of blockchain technology. A good implementation is based on a strong foundation. The adoption must be sustained; therefore, a normative framework is needed. Now, when discussing the normative framework, governance is the key aspect since a well-planned governance policy could enhance the sustainability of blockchain adoption (Drljevic et al., 2020).

Second, despite that policy is important to the framework, a holistic approach from a bigger picture is also important. There is still some missing gap of a strong holistic framework, management of risk, and strategic management for managing the business transformation process (Drljevic et al., 2020).

Third, a lack of applied studies that monitor and assess blockchain-related projects. There are tons of new blockchain-based projects every year, along with the scientific journals/whitepapers. Yet, it still lacks a framework to track these movements. What is crucial is real-time case studies that merged into one basis for a collaborative and transparent analysis to enhance the blockchain adoption (Drljevic et al., 2020).

Furthermore, the transparency of blockchain could also bring an issue within the area of privacy and security (Hassan et al., 2019). They explained that if personal identity is leaked, all transactions in the blockchain could be at risk. We must be concerned about several privacy attacks: address reuse, deanonymisation analysis, wallet privacy leakage, sybil attacks, message spoofing, and linking attacks. However, Hassan et al. (2019) further showed that the defence strategy to handle these attacks had been implemented. These are anonymisation, encryption, mixing, private contract, and differential privacy. The only remaining issue is that this still suffers from limitations, leading to certain risk of getting our personal data exposed. For instance, encryption guarantees strong security. However, the attacker can find a loophole in its mathematical form to break a cipher, and data privacy would be leaked. Also, encryption requires a heavy computational power especially for the real-time encryption process (Hassan et al., 2019).

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Point of View – My Perspective

After reviewing some of the latest research of what is missing from blockchain adoption scenarios to achieve its potential after being introduced over a decades ago,  one key message is that a strong foundation (read: framework) is the most essential throughout this process. A good framework that covers the technical, risk, policy, and business transformation management would be a great idea to fill the gap mentioned before. Another key point is privacy and security issues where there is always a possibility of a personal data leak, and the most dangerous part is it can cause a life-threatening situation by manipulating person’s bank account or health information.

However, as the late Kobe Bryant said, “great things come from hard work and perseverance.” Blockchain is still a promising technology that would bring a massive disruption (of course in a good way) to overcome some business challenges if we successfully addressed the gaps and problems. I have shown some of the blockchain-based SCM projects. In addition to my example, Rashideh (2020) explained a blockchain framework that covers business model, money-transfer systems, security, performance, and trust for the tourism industry.

To illustrate, many tourism sites now also include reviews and ratings from their customers. But the trustworthiness is sometimes questionable since the system is centralised, making it easier for the owner like restaurants, hotels, to temper the reviews (Rashideh, 2020). On the contrary, with the integrity and decentralised nature of blockchain technology, it could improve the credibility as well as the transparency of the reviews or ratings from the customer. As the chain is always connected to each other, thus, users can always check the integrity of the reviews (read: the concept of Public key cryptography).

In conclusion, while blockchain is still one of the important technologies that has ever been invented. Yet, we will have to wait until it can be used to fulfill some of the tasks within many sectors by tackling some of the gaps that explained throughout this article. At the same time, this article hopefully can help readers gain a broad perspective about the blockchain technology alongside with its potential to humanity.


References:

Drljevic, Nusi., Aranda, Daniel Arias., & Stantchev, Vladimir., 2020. Perspectives on risks and standards that affect the requirements engineering of blockchain technology. Computer Standards & Interfaces 69.

Gogan, M., 2020. Blockchain Technology in the Future: 7 Predictions for 2020. [Online] Available at: https://www.aithority.com/guest-authors/blockchain-technology-in-the-future-7-predictions-for-2020/ [Accessed 28 May 2020].

Hassan, Muneeb Ul., Rehmani, Mubashir Husain., Chen, Jinjun., 2019. Privacy preservation in blockchain based IoT systems: Integration issues, prospects, challenges, and future research directions. Future Generation Computer Systems, 97.

i-Scoop, 2020. I-Scoop. [Online] Available at: https://www.i-scoop.eu/internet-of-things-guide/blockchain-iot/ [Accessed 28 May 2020].

Pawczuk, L., Massey, R., & Holdowsky, J., 2019. Deloitte’s 2019 Global Blockchain Survey. [Online] Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/understanding-blockchain-potential/global-blockchain-survey.html [Accessed 28 May 2020].

Rashideh, Waleed., 2020. Blockchain technology framework: Current and future perspectives for the tourism industry. Tourism Management 80.

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Kevianda Kamarullah
Msc in Information Systems Management with specialty in blockchain technology, cryptography, data analytics, and information systems. He finished his master degree with the thesis of supply chain management on blockchain, which also awarded with Distinction from De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. Currently, He is working at Microsoft Indonesia as Solution Specialist of Modern Workplace solution with Microsoft 365. His main priority with Microsoft is to help Indonesia’s public sector, incl. government, to go for digital transformation journey. Prior to that, he had worked as data analytics internship at one of the digital bank startup in Indonesia called “Jenius” before joining Microsoft Indonesia. He had also worked as an internship for a blockchain startup called “Hara Token” in Indonesia during the summer time of his master study. He got introduced with blockchain technology for the first time along with the implementation in the agriculture sector at this point. He always interested with the rapid growth of technology. But the most important part is how technology can be used to help society.

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