The top 5 problems with blockchain

While blockchain holds the promise for reinventing business processes, it is still a nascent technology that continues to show vulnerabilities.

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While blockchain appears ready to upend business processes and trust models across a myriad of industries, it's still in its early days and the various iterations of the distributed ledger already in use are far from vetted.

While the technology has great potential, CIOs and their business counterparts who are exploring blockchain should expect setbacks in deploying it, including the real possibility of serious software bugs and risks posed by quantum computing, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Experts and analysts also warn that the technology isn't a fit for every transactional business process.

For example, Bharath Rao, founder of Ethereum exchange Leverj, is skeptical of blockchain applications outside of cryptocurrencies; he argues that it's slower and more expensive to deploy than traditional transactional technologies such as a centralized relational database.

"It pays for autonomy by sacrificing efficiency," Rao said, explaining that because records, or blocks, require cryptographic verification before new ones can be inserted, it can be inefficient for business applications that require speedy transaction settlement.

"Secondly, due to its chain nature, [block] inserts have to be serialized. This means that the rate of updates is slower than traditional databases, which can update data in parallel," he said.

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