Despite first being invented back in 2008, the past few years have seen blockchain become a buzzword in numerous industries, with many companies rushing to invest in the technology for a multitude of uses.
However, despite the hype surrounding the technology, in reality it is still five to ten years away from having a transformational impact, according to global research company Gartner.
According to Gartner, the technology is approaching the trough of disillusionment; the point in the hype cycle where interest in the technology falls as it fails to deliver. The company does not expect blockchain to move past this stage until 2021, as the technology begins to be applied in more useful ways.
Gartner’s blockchain hype cycle shows that the certain blockchain-based technologies, namely blockchain-managed services, decentralised web and blockchain for data security, are still in the innovation trigger phase, meaning the technology is still fairly new, and receives significant publicity.
Although other technologies, such as smart contracts and decentralised identity, are currently in the peak of inflated expectations, others, including blockchain itself, cryptocurrency mining and distributed ledgers have reached the trough of disillusionment.
Gartner outlines challenges to blockchain to becoming mainstream
For blockchain technology to pick up and become mainstream, Gartner believes that several things have to occur to enable users to fully embrace the technology.
Users should not have to be concerned about choosing “the right platform, the right smart contract language, the right system interfaces or the right consensus algorithms”.
In addition, issues with the wide range of different blockchain platforms, which currently make it difficult to work together, need to be rectified.
Avivah Litan, analyst and research vice president at Gartner said:
“Blockchain technologies have not yet lived up to the hype and most enterprise blockchain projects are stuck in experimentation mode. Blockchain is not yet enabling a digital business revolution across business ecosystems and may not until at least 2028, when Gartner expects blockchain to become fully scalable technically and operationally.”
She believes that developments in the technology will bring it closer to being mainstream and driving innovation:
“We are witnessing many developments in blockchain technology that will change the current pattern. By 2023, blockchain platforms will be scalable, interoperable, and will support smart contract portability and cross chain functionality. They will also support trusted private transactions with the data confidentiality required. All together, these technology advances will take us much closer to mainstream blockchain and the decentralised web, also known as Web 3.0.”