The blockchain faces its limits

While the size of the global blockchain market is projected to increase 140 times by 2030, the technology still suffers, directly or indirectly, from some weaknesses.

Born with Bitcoin in 2008, the blockchain is a decentralized system for securely exchanging data and financial transactions. In addition to cryptocurrencies, it is attracting a growing number of business sectors and finds multiple applications in the supply chain, health, digital identity, asset transfer (real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.), Internet of Things. ..

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According to a study by Grand View Research, the size of the global blockchain technology market is estimated at $ 10.02 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach $ 1,431.54 billion in 2030, growing at an average annual growth rate of 85. , 9% between 2022 and 2030. But this technology with many advantages, considered inviolable, nevertheless has some weaknesses.

A complexity of implementation

The Nabu company, a platform to accelerate the processing of documents relating to the transport of goods, underlines the importance of blockchain as a great innovation in the world of international trade since the invention of the maritime container. But not everything is 100% positive.

“Lately 12 European banks have withdrawn from the we.trade platform; a very strong signal. This news shows how imposing the blockchain in this sector is particularly complex. We also note that another startup in the sector abandoned the blockchain the same week, citing fears about its model’s ability to gain momentum, “explains Arnaud Doly, CEO of Nabu.

What Arnaud Doly points out is the difficulty of implementing this technology in a sector where “paper” documents are still very present and where, for every international commercial transaction, multiple stakeholders are involved.

“The format used has a very strong impact on the players concerned. If I buy goods in China, dozens of interested parties are involved. And if I offer a French blockchain to my Chinese interlocutors, they will tell me that it is not compatible with their software solutions. There is a real challenge for interoperability and, in some countries, for the acceptance of foreign technology, ”adds Arnaud Doly.

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The question of the security of the blockchain network

For Michel Vujicic, Technical Director of I-Tracing, a French specialist in cybersecurity services, blockchain represents an opportunity to accelerate and better protect transactions: “With the fundamental promise of restoring trust, blockchain technology has conquered over ten years in the world of finance, energy, health or even industry “.

But, according to the CTO of I-Tracing, even though this technology produces a tamper-proof transaction log, blockchain networks are not immune to cyber attacks and fraud. “When building a blockchain application, it is critical to consider all business, governance, technology and process risks to limit the risks stemming primarily from the decentralized nature of blockchains,” he says.

In a nutshell, Michel Vujicic underlines the fact that the “blockchain component”, implemented as part of an IT service, is not sufficient to guarantee the overall security of this service. “It is necessary to verify that, on the periphery of this technology, the modalities of access to the node, the identities and the permissions are correctly managed. If there is a vulnerability at this level, it is possible that the blockchain service has failed, “he notes.

Another point of vigilance: the smart contracts developed on some blockchain platforms. These smart contracts are real computer programs that execute a set of predefined instructions. “From an IT security perspective, these are specific applications that may be subject to code checking or parameter verification and I / O management. In a fairly classic way, we find safe development problems, “comments Michel Vujicic.

Legal limits too

If we look now from a legal point of view, the blockchain has many advantages, but also some limitations. “NFTs allow you to certify the ownership of a work, exclusively to one person. But the problem that arises more and more often is that of the origin of the work. Currently, it’s a bit of a rat race. The rules of intellectual property, as it is digital, are not always respected ”, observes Ludovic de La Monneraye, lawyer for Vaughan Avocats.

Other limit: the law applicable in the event of a dispute. “As the blockchain appeals to users all over the world, the legal rules that apply today are still very vague. Some researchers suggest that the applicable law may be that of the country where the servers are located. But for the moment there are no specific regulations “, concludes Ludovic de La Monneraye.

The blockchain, despite the immense development potential that characterizes it, still suffers from some specific limitations of any emerging technology. In the coming years, its entire ecosystem will have to face a series of weaknesses related to the interoperability of the various existing blockchains, the security of distribution environments and the legal guarantees relating to content.

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