The Secret to Enterprise Adoption of Blockchain
Starbucks recently announced an NFT loyalty program. Walmart is leveraging blockchain as a way to ensure food traceability through the supply chain. JPMorgan offers a blockchain-based platform for wholesale payments transactions. Across all industries, pioneering enterprises are realizing the value of blockchain and racing to stay ahead of the adoption curve. But even with the growth of the blockchain industry and leading companies jumping feet-first into the world of Web3, many traditional enterprises are still slow to adopt the technology.
Barriers to enterprise adoption
One major challenge to enterprise adoption of blockchain is a lack of understanding. Many business leaders don’t yet fully understand the potential benefits and use cases of blockchain, and don’t see a clear path to implementing the technology in their operations. Some applications of blockchain, namely cryptocurrency, also come with regulatory uncertainty, which makes it difficult for large enterprises to operate in the space.
But the real barrier to enterprise adoption is an issue of infrastructure. For one, blockchain networks are developed in silos with no interoperability, which makes it hard for businesses to use them in a seamless way. Blockchain networks are also not able to handle large-scale transactions, which is a challenge for enterprises that need to process large amounts of data. Finally, blockchain networks don’t integrate natively with the existing infrastructure that these enterprises are built on.
Blockchain for data management
Though blockchain has diverse use cases in every industry, one of its strongest applications is as a tool for secure, verifiable, transparent data management. A blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that records transactions in a way that is verifiable (guaranteed to be correct), transparent (accessible by anyone), and immutable (cannot be changed or tampered with). These three elements are precisely why blockchain has begun to be adopted as a solution for supply chain, banking, insurance, and more—industries where an immutable digital ledger can be an invaluable tool.
But a blockchain—though secure, transparent, and immutable—is essentially just a small, slow, single-table database, not suitable for the management of large volumes of data. It’s also not designed to integrate well with other environments, or even with other blockchains. As a result, the businesses leveraging blockchain technology today are relying on an array of point solutions to integrate the blockchain with their existing systems. An enterprise has to extract data from the blockchain, transform it into a relational state, move it into a transactional database for application development, move it into a data warehouse for analytics, and leverage an oracle network to write any data back to the chain. Today, most of these tools are centralized, introducing trust-required points of failure to the zero-trust blockchain model.
Integrating enterprise data
In order to adopt blockchain technology at mass scale, enterprises need an easy, familiar, and trustless way to connect the blockchain and their existing systems—a single solution to stand in for the many data tools they have to use today. Space and Time replaces the entire data management stack and acts as the trustless intermediary between enterprise data and the blockchain, allowing the two to communicate and interact seamlessly.
With Space and Time, a CRM system (for example) can access and update data stored on the blockchain without any modifications needed to the CRM system itself. The same applies to other sources of enterprise data, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, accounting systems, and supply chain management systems. A business can load data from a source system into Space and Time, join it with blockchain data indexed by the platform, run transactional and analytic queries in a familiar SQL format, and send query results back on-chain with cryptographic verifiability. In other words, organizations can continue to use their existing systems to access and update data stored on the blockchain, without the need for costly and time-consuming re-architecting or modifications.
Space and Time is opening doors for enterprise adoption of blockchain that were not possible with the limitations of previous infrastructure. Some of our biggest partners, like Microsoft, hail from the world of Web2, and every day we discover more and more instances of Web2 businesses looking for entry into the world of Web3. Traditional enterprises are realizing the importance of verifiable data, and Space and Time is building the necessary infrastructure to join verifiable blockchain data and verifiable enterprise data. With Space and Time approaching testnet launch, the future of enterprise adoption of blockchain looks bright.
This article is also available to read on Medium.