Society is evolving at an incredible rate, with cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin capturing the world’s attention. These technologies can greatly improve the digital systems and processes of all kinds of industries.
However, one technology that deserves more attention is blockchain. Bitcoin is actually the first functional implementation of blockchain technology, and the latter’s utility is oftentimes overshadowed by the former’s popularity.
Blockchain is actually capable of immutably storing and tracing data, which can revolutionize industries, such as supply chain, banking and finance, healthcare, and entertainment. For instance, all stages in a seafood supply chain can be easily monitored in near real-time. This allows for a more convenient and accurate way of ensuring and verifying the freshness of products.
Over the past couple of years, global firms have seen the real benefits of blockchain. In fact, over 80% of the world’s 100 biggest public companies use blockchain. Despite this, it is often mistakenly connected to crypto-asset scams. Therefore, there needs to be a strengthened effort to educate world leaders and regulators about how the technology works and its legitimate uses and benefits.
With the goal of spreading the correct information about blockchain in order to increase adoption, numerous conferences continue to be held around the world. The Philippines, which has expressed its intention to become Asia’s blockchain hub, is one of the countries actively educating its businesses and government about blockchain.
On top of blockchain awareness and education, the first Philippine Blockchain Week held last year had a mission of making blockchain mainstream. One of the panels in the event focused on how to gauge the level of blockchain adoption in order to formulate ways to make it mainstream.
The panel talked about the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), which is an information systems theory that explains how users adopt and utilize new technology. According to the model, various factors play a significant role in users’ decisions about how and when they will use a new technology, such as:
- Perceived usefulness (PU),
- Perceived ease-of-use (PEOU),
- External variables such as social influence are also important factors.
This theory posits that these factors are the primary determinants if a technology is widely adopted, and will give firms an idea if their service is able to reach its targeted audience. TAM allows companies like the Switzerland-based blockchain firm BSV Blockchain Association to study how blockchain needs to be properly explained to the people.
“Do users see something as useful and do they see it as easy to use? My challenge is that I don’t think most people outside of the blockchain space see our technologies as being useful and easy to use. Bear in mind that there is a difference between something being useful and people seeing it that way,” one of the expert panelists, Gareth Roberts, product manager at blockchain research and development firm nChain, said.
“I think people don’t have the right perception; and I think we need to change that perception. In order to start changing people’s opinions, we need to start building apps that deliver value. And then get people to use those apps; and then tell their friends and business partners,” he added.
With analytical metrics like TAM being applied in the concerted efforts to educate the masses on blockchain’s real utility, mainstream adoption will not be too far into the future. Achieving mainstream blockchain adoption is a sign of the world entering a new technological era where emerging technologies, like AI and the metaverse, will also thrive.