Blockchain average user pros and cons

PROS

  • It is secure (referring to blockchain not wallets which are outside the blockchain network)
  • Once you store your data on the blockchain network, it will be there forever.
  • data cannot be deleted/removed, modified, replaced, tampered.
  • Everyone can see your data (it’s public) but no one knows who’s behind it, which person does this data belong to even if they write their name inside it is hard to prove that this person did it. The only way others can learn the transaction is yours is by you telling others that it’s yours or you interacting with them in ways which let others conclude that they may be yours.
  • Since no one knows who’s behind the data, Privacy is therefore guaranteed on the blockchain
  • You have to have a wallet in order to send any data to the blockchain because you have to pay for it
  • If you access/retrieve already existing data you don’t have to pay anything in crypto money
  • Confidential transfer of assets/state to another person,
  • The blockchain database cannot be hacked
  • No one governs over the blockchain database/storage.
  • It’s much easier and less costly to transfer crypto money from one place to another. It’s faster, less expensive and requires no central authority no matter how big the transaction is, fees are very low as well (Ethereum)
  • Blockchain eliminates third parties when making deals. For example you don’t have to go to some company which would just sign some papers and allow you to do something. Instead, someone can deploy an application on the blockchain which would then automatically solve these issues by giving you or not giving you the permission which would had been given from that company previously. In theory all the bureaucracy could get eliminated and put on the blockchain as an application which will automatically solve these problems.
  • People can earn big money on it because of the price which can go up tremendously. Then convert it to Fiat via coinbase or trading.

 

CONS

  • You have to pay crypto-money in order to store data on the blockchain. If you want to store big amounts of data you’ll have to pay even more money whereas on a centralized system you pay once (most often monthly or yearly) and you get unlimited storage. If you wanted to store data, you’d have to pay for the storage (a song of 4MB would be around 7500$ for May 18th 2018, 1ETH=570$)
  • If you lose the access key for your wallet, you’ll never be able to retrieve your money again. You can’t call a centralized company like you do when you lose your bank card and tell them what happened so they may react quickly in order to block your card and disallow potential thieves to spend your money. There is no customer support for the blockchain
  • You have to use a wallet in order to store data on the blockchain (example: MetaMask) that is cumbersome you can’t just interact with the blockchain without such utility.
  • Because of price volatility users are often discouraged to spend money to store big amounts of data on it because one day this crypto could go up and they would probably be disappointed because of it.
  • If you invest in it you can lose a lot of money  if the price drops down or the blockchain project becomes valueless
  • You can lose your money instantly if someone steals your private key. Once the thief has your private key of your wallet/account and you do not react quickly in order to transfer your money to another secure account be prepared to say goodbye to your assets/ crypto money.
  • The blockchain is hard to use, it’s not user friendly. You have to first buy some crypto with Fiat money ($, eur, gbp …) then you would probably transfer it to some wallet since it’s not advisable to keep the money on the same place where you bought (possible hacks may occur), then you have to manage your passwords, plugins…
  • If you are not an IT guy most of the terms won’t be familiar to you, like hashing, miners, proof of work, proof of stake, nonce, hard fork, full node, light node, some protocol names, smart contracts etc. You would have to invest a decent amount of time to comprehend all of the above mentioned. Instead, a centralized system has some nice user interface and you interact with it quickly without worrying about its functionality
  • Governments don’t accept the blockchain regardless of what you’ve read on the news. They don’t offer an exchange service where you could buy dollars, euros using crypto-money. Private companies don’t accept it either. You cannot buy goods, brand new cars, assets with crypto.
  • Scalability is an issue, The problem with the blockchain is that it can only get bigger. Picture it as a huge file which is shared across the network and re evaluated every time a new transactions comes in. Centralized systems don’t have a problem with that.
  • Which problem can the blockchain solve in contrary to centralized internet systems? Only real world problem I can think of is centralized money movement/transfer, lower fees, relatively fast transaction time compared to centralized system transactions (depends on the blockchain) also legal issues can be avoided which may be good or bad.
  • Applications that are currently impossible to be built on top of the blockchain are: Social networks, data storing services, healthcare systems, traffic systems pretty much everything which would require high amounts of data to be stored.

 

Conclusion

Decentralization is a great thing in general. However, we’ve seen that people don’t really complain having their private data on some unknown addresses like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.. Why would they if it has proven to work well: security, customer support, trust…

The problem isn’t privacy. People will use whatever they can under some condition: It has to be simple, useful, reliable, fast and secure. Blockchain doesn’t meet these conditions apart form security and anonymity while on the blockchain.

Another problem with the blockchain is that you have to explain it to someone. It means that you have to convince other people in using it. Convincing often assumes that something isn’t right in the system. People don’t like that, they want to hear what it is good for in one sentence.

Blockchain can acquire critical masses only if it finds a way to solve a problem which the centralized system is not able to solve. Now the question is here, which problem hasn’t been solved by the centralized system? Nevertheless, we’ll have to wait for quite a long time until the blockchain establishes the new, decentralized Internet if it ever does.

People often compare the beginnings of the Internet with the blockchain. They argue how the Internet had to take some time to emerge. That’s true because the infrastructure did not exist and was introduced gradually. The blockchain is the Internet but another architecture of it. Now we come again to the first paragraph of the conclusion, why would someone want to use the same thing with another structure….. Why would someone use Minds social network over stable, big, secure, user-supported, with extremely minor issues Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Despite all, why do most of people “like” or so to say talk about the blockchain? They want to make big money fast. Literally you’ll see people on Reddit, Quora and other popular discussion communities asking about the short-term and longterm predictions regarding particular cryptocurrencies. They want to know which is the right one to invest in so they could get “rich” quickly.  This is how they start their journey on the blockchain… Unfortunately there only exists a low percentage of people who really care about decentralization and making the blockchain work smoothly, trying to solve problems, in order for it to become powerful one day and possibly open the gates for mass adoption.