Although Blockchain technology has been gradually transforming the economic landscape, and various ways in which business transactions are being handled, its adoption is still being resisted by societal customs/practices in many societies.
This article discusses some major societal customs or practices that have been resisting the adoption of blockchain technology. Societal customs/practices can be regarded as a group of rules or activities that influence the way(s) in which people relate or interact with each other.
In order to be face less resistance and be easily adopted, the acceptance of blockchain technology has to overcome societal customs/practices that have been ingrained into societies or groups of people over a long period of time. The following are major societal customs/practices that have been resisting the adoption of Blockchain technology in many societies:
1. The existing market tradition or culture in a society
According to Shackelford & Myers (2017) and Crosby et al. (2016), blockchain technology has to overcome the tradition or culture of existing markets. The implication of this is that the adoption of blockchain technology has been facing resistance from people who have found it difficult―for one reason or another―to accept it, or change their opinion about it. Some studies (Andreasyan, 2016; Brandman & Thampapillai, 2016; Deloitte, 2016) have noted that businesses, authorities and consumers―which have been ingrained with existing market tradition or culture―do not have sufficient understanding about how blockchain works, its potential uses, and what can be achieved by using it.
2. Laws or regulations
Certain laws or regulations prevent the use of blockchain digital currency technology in a society. Sedgwick (2017) noted that the use of cryptocurrencies are completely disallowed in countries like Ecuador, Bangladesh, and Bolivia; although this is the case in many places, Cermeño (2016) stated that regulators and policymakers are concentrating their efforts on regulating the ways in which cryptocurrencies can be used; their aim is to prevent criminal activities and taxation.
Generally speaking, laws or legislation have to be modified or amended in order to incorporate the use of blockchain technology in many societies.
3. The type of government: governance
The level of resistance to blockchain technology depends on the type of government (or government activities) in place. Ølnes et al. (2017) noted that, although blockchain needs to be controlled by government, it is also a viable tool for governing people. There is a difference in the extent to which different political parties believe in different types of technologies; for blockchain technology to be easily adopted, the right belief system should be in place; this would help inspire and create appropriate governance frameworks and applicable laws that make blockchain technology easily adopted.
In order for blockchain technology to face lesser resistance and become more accepted than it has been, existing market traditions have to be modified, laws have to be rewritten, and various types of government systems have to be more aware of what the real nature of blockchain technology is all about: the societal customs/practices that have been resistant to the adoption of blockchain technology can be shaped and erased, depending on the type of society.
Andreasyan, T. (2016). ISITC Europe and oasis to define technical standards for blockchain. Banking Technology, 13.
Brandman, G., & Thampapillai, S. (2016). Blockchain – Considering the regulatory horizon. Oxford Business Law Blog.
Cermeño, J. S. (2016). Blockchain in financial services: Regulatory landscape and future challenges for its commercial application. Madrid, Spain: BBVA Research.
Crosby, M., Pattanayak, P., Verma, S., & Kalyanaraman, V. (2016). Blockchain technology: Beyond bitcoin. Applied Innovation, 2, 6–10.
Deloitte (2016). Blockchain: Enigma. Paradox. Opportunity. London: Deloitte LLP.
Ølnes, S., Ubacht, J., & Janssen, M. (2017). Blockchain in government: Benefits and implications of distributed ledger technology for information sharing. Government Information Quarterly, 34(3), 355–364.
Sedgwick, K. (2017). Five countries where bitcoin is illegal.
Shackelford, S. J., & Myers, S. (2017). Block-by-block: leveraging the power of blockchain technology to build trust and promote cyber peace. Yale Journal of Law and Technology, 19, 334.