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The Biggest Challenge to Enterprise Ethereum Isn’t Tech...

Introduction

Concerns with blockchain technology are high profile and often discussed: scalability, privacy, and security — among others. When imagining the integration of the technology into legacy enterprises, however, those typical concerns do not stand out as the largest barriers to entry. Rather, it is the shift in corporate behavior required by blockchain technology that creates the most significant deterrent to enterprise adoption. Specifically, the behavior of sharing.

Across all enterprises, this tepid attitude towards sharing is common. Capitalism is built off competition. Success often hinges on having something your competitor does not. In the blockchain space, we often talk about how today’s world operates in a “scarcity mindset.” We have been trained to believe there is “not enough” to go around; that we must hoard and protect in order to ensure our (or our businesses’) success in a competitive market.

Blockchain technology — specifically, the creation of consortia that operate on a single, multi-stakeholder platform — requires entities to share with one another. Share standards, data, tech protocols, governance models, and more. Breaking down the walls of siloed “proprietary” information in order to share that information with competitors is known as coopetition. It is a behavior more than a technique, and one that enterprises remain hesitant to adopt.

The enterprise space is beginning to acknowledge the hurdle of behavioral changes that integrating blockchain technology would require. At the Accounting Blockchain Coalition in June 2018, Oris Valiente of Accenture admitted that the issue was less a technological one and more a business one. She noted that solving business problems through blockchain technology requires a fundamental shift in the way companies and competitors operate and interoperate. A recent Mckinsey article argued that the benefits of enterprise blockchain would not be realized for another 3–5 years specif...

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