The Australian Computer Society this week released the "Blockchain Challenges for Australia" report, which examines the technical, legal and educational barriers that blockchain technology must overcome before it is widely adopted.
The author of the report, Dr. Vincent Gramoli of the University of Sydney, said that there is still a way to go before the blockchain becomes mainstream, and that scalability, security, regulation and employment issues must be addressed. We have seen scalability issues with blockchains.
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For example, the Bitcoin blockchain is not fast enough to handle the volume of transactions required over time, and it is not designed for expansion. The competitive nature of the mining industry has led to a large amount of unproductive electricity – estimated to be as high as 61.4 TWh per year, which is enough to power the entire country.
According to the report, Bitcoin's electricity demand exceeds that of New South Wales, and the electricity demand of one block is enough to meet the demand for electricity for 29 households a day.
The study found that as of January this year, the Bitcoin blockchain's storage capacity exceeded 197GB, exceeding the storage capacity of most mobile devices, which means that not all devices can fully participate in the blockchain.
The report also examines unresolved legal and regulatory issues surrounding blockchains and smart contracts, calls for more explicit regulation in Australia, and points to the extent to which the current “code” can be viewed as a legal agreement between the parties. Not clear, not tried by the court. (New Finance)