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Blockchain is a revolutionary technology, and there's no doubt about that. This form of coding has become a huge game-changer in many industries. Blockchain can give us a smarter energy grid, is what Bitcoin was developed from, and even has become a game-changer in the world of cybersecurity.
Around online forums, there is a lot of talk that would make anyone think that blockchain technology is the be-all and end-all of innovation. It's always talk about what blockchain can do, how it will cure all the world of its ills, and more.
Great as blockchain is, we have to pull our rose-tinted glasses off our faces. Though this new tech advancement can do a lot of good, there are some things that it just isn't capable of doing.
Though you might believe otherwise, there are plenty of things blockchain can't do. For example, these problems below won't find their solution in the new wave of blockchain tech...
Blockchain can't prevent social engineering attacks.
A lot of cyberattacks are preventable through the use of blockchain technology. Blockchain has proven itself to be a great way to protect against DDoS attacks and privacy intrusions.
Decentralization and blockchain technology make it harder for people to alter records or destroy data. However, not all cyberattacks are preventable via blockchain and decentralization.
Blockchain can't solve for the issue of human error—and that means that attacks involving manipulating people into harming their own interests is not really preventable through the use of blockchain. At the end of the day, people will always end up finding a way to override things, even if what they're overriding is there for their own protection.
Speaking of social engineering attacks, blockchain also can't really overcome human error.
Blockchain is extremely great at accurate recordkeeping, but that's its only real perk. Automated recordkeeping is a real awesome perk, but it's important to remember that there's still a margin for human error that blockchain can't fix.
For example, if you use blockchain technology to keep track of boxes in a warehouse, it's possible to scan the same box twice, therefore falsifying the record by accident.
Blockchain also can't really be the full solve for data leaks.
It's totally true that blockchain technology has a lot of awesome benefits in the realm of cybersecurity. The truth is that there's only so much that blockchain can offer in terms of cybersecurity.
For example, take a look at Bitcoin. Bitcoin is based on blockchain, but it has had issues with counterfeiting, data breaches, and more.
Blockchain, as well as decentralization, can offer improved security, sure. But, with every improvement they've made in cybersecurity, hackers will find a way to work around it. Such is the nature of cybersecurity.
A common myth you might believe is that blockchain isn't traceable.
Believe it or not, one of the things blockchain can't do is guarantee privacy. Many people wrongfully believe that blockchain isn't traceable, when in reality, it is.
The "untraceable, unhackable" blockchain myth is one that actually helped launch the rise of cryptocurrencies in the Dark Web. However, the traceability issue actually isn't legitimate.
Since Bitcoin became the new criminal currency, law enforcement have worked their way through transactions in order to catch sexual predators and break apart international pedophile rings.
If you think that blockchain is untraceable, you're wrong. Truthfully, pure untraceability is one of those things that really probably won't ever be found in tech.
Chances are that blockchain won't change the use of fiat money.
For all the talk of blockchain currencies overtaking cash, there's very little evidence that people will want to forgo the almighty dollar quite yet. The number of retail stores that accept Bitcoin has been shrinking, with the peak of acceptance being around 2015 or so.
A lot of companies openly admit that it's just too volatile to use as a regular currency. As a result, blockchain can't get retailers to accept it as currency or give up fiat money.
Speaking of retail, let's talk about the trust issue.
Another one of the things blockchain can't do is get people to trust it, or get people to trust tech in general. People have gotten to the point where they really just don't trust tech to do right by them, and to a point, it's understandable.
There have been plenty of data leaks, tech bubbles, and way more tricksters than most of us would feel comfortable with. Even with blockchain's usage, there's always going to be the chance that things fall apart. When they do, blockchain might not be able to fix it. Only time will tell.
Blockchain's use of smart contracts isn't infallible, either.
Blockchain itself is great, especially with the concept of smart contracts. However, there are things blockchain is limited in when it comes to the concept of smart contracts.
Smart contracts are supposed to act as a safeguard to ensure that a transaction doesn't go through until terms have been guaranteed. The problem with them has been that they often are easily fooled.
Though people might argue otherwise, a smart contract will likely never be the same as a lawyer or third party individual looking over the terms to reassure all parties that the transaction is fully legitimate.
Blockchain will also not guarantee that transactions are human.
One of the biggest issues that we have started to see on the net is the problem of "bots" posing as people. Bots have caused turmoil on social media, have been used as a weapon that drains traffic from websites, and are generally a nuisance.
Blockchain is great for keeping ledgers of transactions, but that doesn't necessarily mean it can't be fooled. If a bot has a transaction via a blockchain platform, there's a chance that it won't notice. That may or may not be a dangerous issue to users.
Another one of the things blockchain can't do is deal with corruption.
The truth is that blockchain can offer a lot of perks when it comes to accountability and recordkeeping. It's an awesome distributed ledger technology, and that's why people tend to put faith in Bitcoin transactions.
However, there's an issue here. Great as it is for recordkeeping, there's no saying that it will be successful at getting people to use that information in a way that helps reduce corruption.
You can have evidence of corruption, but that doesn't always mean that people will act on it. Tech only goes so far when it comes to reducing corruption, and while blockchain can help spot it, it can't force people to react.
Overall, blockchain is tech—and can't solve human issues.
People have a way of being able to make great things happen, especially with technology. However, for every bit of tech that comes out looking great, there's going to be room for human error, emotional decision-making, and more.
There are plenty of things blockchain can't do, but most deal with the human aspect and our tendency to be unrealistic about what this digital ledger should be able to do.