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Blockchain – Challenges in adoption

March 20, 2019 - Aarthi Krishnamurthy


Blockchain is one of the emerging technologies which has evolved over time significantly. Industry predictions suggest that the space is expanding. With new blockchain-based startups mushrooming, more investments are likely in blockchain-based startups. Not just in banking, blockchain has its place in various other industries like health care, real estate, manufacturing etc. Due to their secure nature, blockchain based smart contracts are considered as an innovative and path breaking technology to adopt.

Banking is one of the fields which constantly looks out for innovation and newer technologies. Some of the areas where blockchain can be adopted are loans, syndication, trade finance, payments, clearing and settlement to name a few. These involve multiple parties, exchange of documents, and several validations related to documents.

Typically, banks face issues in adopting new technologies. This in turn leads to a lag and in some cases a change of strategy. Some of the reasons for the challenges banks face or for their failure in adoption of certain technologies could be –

  • Adopting a technology in an attempt to market themselves as early adopters but without a proper strategy or game plan
  • Hiccups during implementation of the technology
  • Huge investment in infrastructure
  • Lack of trained people to implement the technology
  • Lack of knowledge to trouble shoot issues encountered after implementation
  • Consensus between the parties involved to use the technology, as blockchain is driven by multiple parties and not by a single party

Adopting not just to Blockchain but any new technology requires high investment and resources. After the initial excitement, many technologies have faced sunset in the past due to multiple reasons like cost, availability of resources, security, infrastructure etc. Some steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk of adopting blockchain technology are –

  • Identifying the areas where blockchain can be used. The initial analysis is worth the time which goes a long way in arriving at a consensus and clear decision to go for the technology or not.
  • Simulating the pre and post adoption of the technology to know qualitative and quantitative benefits from the technology
  • Strategize and define milestones for the transition
  • Define steps to achieve the adoption of the technology
  • Induction of personnel trained in blockchain
  • Conducting training programs on the technology to the employees
  • For the identified areas outsourcing or going with partners can be cost effective in order to avoid initial investment and cost

Blockchain initiatives involve multiple parties for each transaction. In order to have likeminded organizations / banks willing to take up the technology, collaborative training programs for the personnel, and agreements can be put in place to route multi-party transactions among the agreed organizations and banks. These are some of the ways which can be looked at to make blockchain adoption beneficial and convenient to adopt. According to NASSCOM blockchain report 2019 on Global and Indian blockchain market, Public and BFSI sectors are driving blockchain adoption in India with BFSI leading the adoption. Given the technology’s multiple benefits of immutability, transparency and real-time processing, it is finding wide application in myriad use cases that require tracing a product / asset to its origin. These applications include grocery supply chains, real estate, and more. Infosys recently helped a coffee supplier increase acceptance of its coffee beans among certifying bodies, and made the entire supply-chain and payments process simpler using blockchain. Clearly, other industries are not far behind in adopting blockchain.

Like any other technology, blockchain too has flip sides like high cost and infrastructure, energy consumption for processing. With reports on frauds related to blockchain, the susceptibility of blockchain for security breaches should also be tested to understand the vulnerabilities before taking a strategic decision and plunge. This can save enterprises huge costs and resources.

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4 thoughts on “Blockchain – Challenges in adoption

  • Good 360 degree analysis of concept from Banking perspective, Aarthi.

  • Good blog Aarthi. My view is block chain is still in its experimenting stage and yet to mature in terms of usage, security aspects etc. As mentioned in the blog, the infinite possibilities across industries make this technology worth exploring for adoption.

  • I was skeptical right from the beginning about the adoption of blockchain. Your blog brings out the real picture.

  • Nice article. It probably could become a de facto someday for organizations to transact securely.

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