What is Holding Back Blockchain Adoption?

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  • The emergence of blockchain in 2017 saw a flurry of activity, but many ventures failed to materialize
  • Seven years on, despite some corporate involvement, the adoption of blockchain technology has not met the initial hype
  • The gap between blockchain’s promise and real-world implementation remains evident, with only a few companies successfully integrating blockchain tech

The concept of ‘blockchain’ burst onto the scene in 2017, with every man and his dog putting their wares onto it. However, time has proved that era to be a boom and bust cycle, with very few of the companies that legitimately tried to incorporate blockchain tech failing to get off the ground. Seven years later the picture hasn’t changed hugely; there are some corporate giants dabbling with blockchain, but the reality has not matched the hype to any recognizable degree.

In this piece, we look at the five major reasons why blockchain technology has not taken off in the way that many hoped and believed it would.


One major obstacle to blockchain adoption is scalability, which is the network’s ability to handle a large number of transactions efficiently. Many blockchain networks, particularly public ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum, struggle with scalability issues, leading to slower transaction processing times and higher fees during periods of high demand.

There are steps being taken to tackle these issues, of course, and there are faster blockchains out there that can handle such a burden, but they are largely untested in real-world environments and many companies don’t seem willing to take the risk just yet.

Regulatory Uncertainty

Regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency across different jurisdictions has created a significant barrier to blockchain adoption. Varying regulations regarding cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and blockchain technology have hindered innovation and investment in the space, as businesses and users grapple with compliance requirements and legal risks.

Until there are regulations that govern the key aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies across major international players we can’t hope for cohesive international collaboration.

User Experience (UX)

The complexity of blockchain technology and user interfaces presents a significant challenge to mainstream adoption. Many blockchain applications lack intuitive user experiences, making them inaccessible to non-technical users.

Improving the usability and design of blockchain applications is crucial for attracting a broader user base; if dApps aren’t at least as easy to use as regular apps then people simply won’t make the change, unless they are ideologically keen on decentralization.

Security Concerns

Security remains a top concern in the blockchain space, with incidents of hacks, scams, and vulnerabilities undermining trust in the technology. Smart contract bugs, exchange breaches, and consensus algorithm vulnerabilities pose risks to both users and businesses, meaning that even when users take the correct steps to self-custody they can lose everything with one mistake.

Enhancing security measures and promoting best practices are essential for building confidence in blockchain solutions, and we will almost certainly see more hybrid custody products coming into the space to encourage newcomers.

Interoperability and Standards

The lack of interoperability and standardized protocols among different blockchain networks hinders seamless communication and data exchange. Siloed blockchains limit collaboration and integration opportunities, stifling innovation and hindering the development of scalable, interconnected blockchain ecosystems.

The push to increase interoperability between blockchains has begun, but much more needs to be done between competing chains to make them attractive to enterprises who aren’t interested in battles over theoretical transaction throughputs. Establishing interoperability standards is therefore critical for fostering collaboration and driving widespread adoption.