Business adoption of smart contracts and blockchain technology is peaking, according to Chainlink CEO Sergey Nazarov and Interwork Alliance President Ron Resnick.

The pair were members of a Unitize 2020 panel earlier today and said they were optimistic that we are moving at an exciting pace in both enterprise adoption, regulation and government acceptance of the technology. However, they could not say whether 2020 will be a turning point in adoption.

„Compared to a few years ago,“ Nazarov said, „more and more people are ‚quick followers‘ who are just waiting for a technology leader to take the first step.

Led by Nathaniel Whittemore, the 30-minute session examined the blockchain value propositions as seen by businesses and expanded on some of the key pain points that must be addressed for large-scale adoption to occur.

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It’s not without its challenges
Existing systems have hundreds and thousands of people who know them and interact with them daily, and the challenge facing the industry is how to introduce blockchain into the equation without creating a massive cost to retrain or redevelop these solutions and interactions.

Nazarov said the technology needs to connect with these existing business solutions, with the level of technical interaction linked to the degree of adoption.

Resnick outlined two obstacles around regulations and audits that still need to be overcome. Currently there is very little confidence in technology by regulators, and regulations vary from country to country. Many companies are waiting for greater clarity before adopting a blockchain solution, he added. Add to this the cost of audits and the heavy bureaucracy that still exists for many companies, and there are some major challenges before many benefits can realistically be realized.

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There’s a change happening
For the block chain to be taken seriously, panelists agreed that mass adoption requires the integration of both public and private blockchains into a shared and interoperable data infrastructure.

Resnick said we are already seeing people looking for new ways to interact with each other on data, and there has been a major shift in the way governments, businesses and everyone else shares their data.

„This is a shared data infrastructure,“ he said.

This does not mean there will only be one blockchain, Nazarov continued. Enterprise solutions currently focus on privacy and compliance, while individual users focus on decentralization and security. He said we will see each of these solutions shift to some middle ground that addresses the needs of both scenarios.