Blockchain technology is still largely the preserve of the tech savvy and yet its benefits are widely lauded across the financial sector - and increasingly so across others too. Yet despite the major benefits of cost cutting, simplifying and securing, where is the widespread mainstream adoption in business?

With this in mind, CCgroup put it to those CEOs who have adopted technology: what are the major challenges to mainstream adoption of Blockchain technology?

Reputation of Bitcoin and lack of trust

“Lack of trust and understanding the public has about a trustless systems (Blockchains). Putting trust into a system with no name or face for many people is "unreal", especially when they don't understand the technology. Also, the amount of bad press and attention Bitcoin gets will hinder and delay adoption.”

- Paul Busch, Founder at Bitswift

Too difficult to use

“Blockchain technology in its current form is very difficult to use. The user must know how public/private keys work, then go through dozens of steps to acquire and use Bitcoin.”

- Shawn Wilkinson, Founder and CEO/CTO at Storj

“There is still a lot of confusion about the nature of this technology, how Blockchains differ from traditional shared databases and how those differences inform the set of suitable use cases.”

- Dr. Gideon Greenspan, CEO and Architect at MultiChain

“Currently, only public chains guarantee the properties that make Blockchains different from standard databases. Namely immutability and resistance to collusion thanks to consensus at scale. Unfortunately, said public chains have severe drawbacks in terms of both privacy and scalability. Privacy drawbacks will not be resolved until Zero Knowledge Proofs / Homomorphic Encryption solutions are developed on top of Blockchains and scalability concerns won't be addressed until sharding is in place on top of at least one smart contract platform. We're at least three years away from both. Further to this, the tooling is very immature compared to what you'd find in say, the C++ or Java world. Don't expect fancy manuals and standardized courses: we're talking about a nascent technology here.”

- Stephan Tual, Founder and CCO at Slock IT

“The primary challenge has been to make it easy for developers to built on top of Blockchain technology. We need to give the tools for any developer to build better software with the help of a Blockchain. In our roadmap, we have identified the main bottlenecks hindering adoption to be scalability, price stability and privacy. Each Blockchain project aims to solve some problem, but the key is to make the Blockchains be able to integrate together so that at the end we manage to solve all the problems. The future is not a single Blockchain or a single solution, but many Blockchains and many solutions each addressing a particular issue.”

- SuperNET Team

Regulatory environment

“The primary challenge for the broadest adoption of Blockchain technology is regulation. The regulatory environment has not caught up to innovation and in many cases prevents or slows the adoption of many institutions deploy Blockchain technology in ways that utilize all of its benefits. As the regulatory framework becomes more established, more products and services that mainstream consumers use will utilize the technology, though in many cases consumers won't be aware of the change.”

- Igor Telyatnikov‎, President & Chief Operating Officer at Alphapoint

“Depends on what you're focused on or how you look at it but from our end and if you look at what the big players on the market like banks are saying the main one is regulatory compliance and related issues. Accenture even did a survey where that was the top reason. Crypto companies have a hard time dealing with it, financial institutions have a hard time dealing with it, and it’s a very costly and inefficient process overall.”

- Grant Blaisdell, Co-founder at Coinfirm

Lack of understanding and knowledge

“I think that Blockchain technology has to prove its high reliability to gain acceptance from government and big financial players. In regards to small players, retail etc, they are still far away from understanding why they would use Blockchain and replace conventional tools for doing business. So Blockchain technology has to significantly increase its public awareness campaign.”

- Livecoin team

“Misunderstandings of the true technical abilities of Blockchain technology, coupled with the lack of general awareness about Blockchain technology, currently forms some of the most significant barriers to mainstream adoption. Many people still don't really understand what Blockchain is, or what it can do. Though they may have heard about Bitcoin, and even use it, they might not necessarily understand how it works, much less what else the technology is capable of doing. It’s not surprising though, as people use currencies regularly throughout their lives but are largely not exposed to backend systems, which Blockchain essentially is, though quite a revolutionary one.

However, even if more people are aware of Blockchain and its capabilities, the resistance to changing existing systems due to the costs to utilize this new technology is another one of the significant barriers to mainstream adoption. It’s even harder for larger corporations which are less agile and thus have higher costs when making such changes. The benefits of adopting Blockchain technology will thus have to greatly outweigh the costs of this shift in order to justify going through such difficulties.”

- Travin Keith, Blockchain Consultant at NXT Foundation

“This depends on whether we are talking private/permissioned Blockchain technology or public Blockchain technology, like Bitcoin or Ethereum. I believe we are still trying to find a major use case for private Blockchains that offer major benefits over distributed databases. There are some instances where a read-only view might be useful for the public (e.g. public registries like land registrations) but major use cases are hard to come by. As for public Blockchain technology, I believe we are ramping up. Financial-based technologies like Bitcoin are starting to be used more and more already, and we are only still discovering the power of broader technologies like Ethereum.”

- Marc Warne, Founder & CEO at Bittylicious

“In a nutshell, the Blockchain industry suffers from a confusion of terminology and unrealistic expectations. We believe that some parties in the industry lack a profound understanding of the technology. This may very well be due to the fact that Blockchain technology itself came from the digital currency Bitcoin. While today, deciphering and demystifying the differences between the underlying technology (Blockchain) and the digital currency (Bitcoin) is becoming less of an issue for most, it is still a demonstrable riddle for those who are new to the technology. Additionally, there has been a lot of hype with regards to the utility that Blockchain can realistically provide in different industries and use cases. This is mostly due to the fact that Blockchain can mean different things to different people. For example, some refer to Blockchain as a storage methodology, while others view it as a platform. Collectively, these fundamental challenges give rise to unsubstantiated claims and hypes, which are damaging and ultimately lead to widely overblown and unrealistic expectations.”

- Dr. Naveed Sherwani, President and CEO at Peernova

No sense of urgency or need

“Majority of consumers in developed countries find it sufficient to use non-Blockchain technology for everyday lives. There is, therefore, no sense of urgency or need to adopt it. For major corporations, the cost of overhauling present day systems for Blockchain technology represents a monumental technological and logistical shift. It is no longer about software upgrades but overhauling an entire system from scratch.”

- Kai Cheng Chng, CEO / Co-Founder at Digix

“Perspective comes to mind when trying to determine what the major challenges to mainstream adoption of Blockchain technology are. Primary perspectives such as cultural norms, age demographics, general attitudes about money and how current monetary systems are perceived as a general store of value, as well as some technological hurdles exist. Certainly, legal considerations throughout the globe in all countries, as well as scalable solutions play a significant role when trying to determine the challenges that currently impede mainstream adoption.”

- Fastcoin team

Disclaimer: This article was researched and compiled by CCgroup. CCgroup is not connected with the organizations mentioned in the article and have not been paid or sponsored by them to write it.