By 2023, according to Gartner, 90% of blockchain supply chain management projects will suffer from what Gartner calls ‘blockchain fatigue’. But what, exactly, is blockchain fatigue? And is it something we should be scared of?
Blockchain fatigue: the missing projects
Blockchain fatigue, at its core, is a disillusionment with the blockchain solution for the supply chain problem. While there have been periods of hype surrounding blockchain – and a great deal of promises – a significant number of projects have simply not come to fruition. This means that both investors and consumers are becoming less taken with the blockchain fantasy.
Here’s the problem that lies at the root of blockchain fatigue: there is no blockchain fantasy. Blockchain won’t save the world, fix everything, and take all the responsibility away from us. Instead, it will act as an aid to help us navigate business and ensure security.
Does that sound nearly as appealing? Of course not. But it could, in fact, bring immense value to a variety of industries.
How can we avoid falling victim to blockchain fatigue?
Blockchain-based companies are, of course, central to the narrative and the first to be impacted by disillusionment in the technology. But blockchain fatigue, in this case, isn’t just general disillusionment – it’s a feeling of exhaustion surrounding blockchain implementation in supply chains.
Yet supply chains are, inherently, the ideal opportunity for blockchain. So, where is this fatigue coming from?
When people don’t see where a technology is going, evidence of proof-of-concepts and realistic implementations, they begin to think that the technology has failed or is too young. That is exactly where blockchain could, potentially, go.
However, there are implementations of blockchain in supply chains that suggest this is, simply, not true. For example, Everledger is tracking diamonds with their blockchain solution. IBM is tracing shipping and logistics value chains with Maersk. At Blockhead, we’re tracing a variety of commodities – primarily minerals from mining – through the supply chain and have a demonstrable platform that tracks supply chain movements beginning-to-end with blockchain.
Is there truly a lack of supply chain implementations?
That’s up to interpretation.
While the statistics might suggest that blockchain isn’t quite in its maturity phase yet, this should be not be a surprise: ten years is fairly young for a nascent technology, regardless. To avoid fatigue, we must remember the primary goal: of bringing traceability, transparency and accountability into our supply chains.
Many companies are, already, bringing blockchain into their supply chains. Long term blockchain success will ultimately mean patience, organization and knowledge. It will fail to succeed if we abandon it the second that hype fades.