Blockchain Myths Busted

Blockchain Myths
MichaelWuensch / Pixabay

There are many blockchain myths propelling the crypto industry and it helps to understand some of these closely.  Blockchain as a technology does hold great promise for the future though we should exercise caution on what is unique about this technology.  If such a uniqueness is not identified, the technology can potentially become obscure because of misguided pilots. Most blockchain companies that are making waves today are more focused on buying a business case than offering a solution. Nevertheless, as things stand today, blockchain technology has the potential to change our lives over the next two decades, similar to what internet has done in the past few decades. Some people even predict that blockchain could be bigger than the internet itself.

Some of the blockchain myths are distanced from facts

If we consider the basic technology around blockchain, the decentralized business ecosystem has many takers but many of these use cases would hinge on unique strengths offered by blockchain.  Distributed ledgers or blockchain provides a novel way of handling transactions virtually anywhere, with anyone, with confidence.  Attributes of nearly every description can be encoded such as value in the case of cryptocurrencies to nearly any digital record that is added to an immutable ledger across a network of computers. A major desirable fallout from this process is the elimination of middlemen saving not only costs, but also time.

Centralized designs in blockchain projects?

With such a world of opportunities thrown before us, it is indeed alarming to see a sea of projects with centralized designs apart from other misconceptions which nullify the underlying premise of blockchain technology.  Therefore, the current hysteria needs to be converted into realistic and productive expectations that will make blockchain’s transition through the path of disillusionment, if the technology is to get a proper runway.  Understandably, such a transition will move around the corner that could potentially be littered with heaps of proof of concept which are pointless.

The following are some of the most common blockchain myths that aid unrealistic expectations from blockchain:-

Highly scalable

This is among the top blockchain myths. . Think again, you simply cannot pile information on blockchain.  If you compare the conventional transaction times and transaction methods (server-based), you will notice that presently, blockchain deployments are on the slower side. They are however scalable for certain specific type of transactions, with small payloads and to certain limits.

Very Secure

Blockchain is governed by cryptographic standards and methods of ensuring privacy remain wholly outside any blockchain implementation and standards. Only cryptographic experts can truly understand blockchain integration and verify them.  However, everyone who implements blockchain is responsible for ensuring security, so that it can be handled largely following old world standards of managing financial transactions.


Absolute trust is another part of blockchain myths commonly misunderstood.  Blockchain does ensure the integrity of information and transaction while there is nothing inherently trustworthy with regard to data that you store in the blockchain. Trustworthiness needs to be reinforced by ensuring that people who store the facts or information on the blockchain are trustworthy and also that the facts stored are true.  This is similar to what happens without the blockchain.  While the governance model does allow multiple parties to assume joint responsibility for a given infrastructure, secure access is essential when it comes to storing facts in a blockchain.

Anything can go on the blockchain

Blockchain is not a standard, but merely a protocol that is expressed using code. There are no standards or bodies that provide sanctioned guidance or rules of implementation.  Typically, only small payloads can be handled and yet there must be agreed standards between participants for anyone of them to comprehend what gets stored.

Anything can be expressed through a smart contract

Technically, this is true, but in practice, only well understood and simple use cases can benefit from blockchain.  On the other hand, smart contracts are neither simple nor easy to implement making it next perhaps to rocket science. By design, the smart contracts cannot be revised once it is published, nor can you fix the bugs. The interactions are remarkably complex and the consequences are irrevocable. The DAO which is an investment authority built on Ethereum based blockchain, is an example of how participants could be spending several million dollar in just a few hours.  Therefore, it  is important to identify the right use cases instead of assuming that everything will be safe.

Private blockchain is the answer when you don’t like the public blockchain

Private blockchain does not address the need for privacy or controlled access to information. In fact, it can even be argued that private blockchain should not even exist as an option. Nevertheless, private blockchains can potentially fail to enjoy the inherent benefits of blockchain and private blockchains can also lack the academic scrutiny and community that are essential for ensuring their properties.

New blockchain  with feature X added

Private players are very active in forking blockchain products driven by communities and they enhance the products in multiple ways. But, the larger communities comprising of users, adopters, implementers and academia are the singular force that ensure cryptographic properties of implementation.  Open source blockchains with large communities as well as install –plus adoption base can persist. The rest can at best be reckoned as lab experiments and most of them will fall by the wayside.

With these blockchain myths busted, what is the future of blockchain. Well, blockchain is set to evolve further, and possibilities are that there will be a singular blockchain ruling the rest. Different use cases need different blockchains with some having several participants, some having just a handful, and some others needing strong privacy for the facts going into the blockchain and yet another offering full transparency.