The classic example of that has been Apple's Newton.
With great fanfare, it was positioned and packaged as a replacement for the personal computer. It was put out there in 1993. Production ended in 1998.
Blockchain could also be a short-lived phenomenon. Yes, it could be another Paradise Lost of the tech world. In "Digital Revolution," Don Tapscott admits that possibility.
Here are five factors which could block blockchain:
Elimination of many jobs in many industries worldwide. Hit the hardest could be banking. The current meme is that blockchain will do to banking what the internet had done to media.
Other categories in which there could be significant job loss are document creation and storage, real estate, transactional parts of the legal sector, ensuring food safety, and supply chain management.
Threatened sectors could push for legislation, regulation, and litigation slowing that down or actually killing it off. The template for that is what has been happening to Uber both in the U.S. and in other nations.
High energy consumption. Lots of energy is required to operate the computers, then cool them down. That can be expensive. In addition, in this era of fear about climate change, it could become unacceptable to environmentalists.
The bitcoin network in itself gobbles up as much electricity as the country of Ireland. In 2014, that came out in a study conducted by Karl J. O'Dwyer and David Malone.
Revisions tough to do. Blockchain's strength is its security. Each input is automatically linked to the previous one, creating a block of chains. That strength also becomes a negative. That's because it is difficult to make changes to the content.
Regulators could decide that inability to course-correct easily and in real time makes the technology unacceptable.
Threats to the whole institution of a central government. Blockchain is a decentralized system. On that platform, another version of government can be created.
Instead of going through formal procedures to break away from the U.S., parts of California could establish their own governments.
Complexity of software. The blockchain is difficult to operate. That could slow or even prevent mainstream acceptance. Another technology which is more user-friendly could replace it. That happens all the time.
On the other hand, blockchain could exceed even the current hype about it. I would not bet against it. Previously a laggard in tech, IBM is rebranding itself as a tech pioneer through its blockchain initiatives.
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