Social Factors Influencing the Adoption of Blockchain Technology
With the introduction of blockchain technology, there has been an influx of so many innovations in different industries, including the financial industry, the entertainment industry, as well as other areas of life.
The invention of blockchain can be compared to the invention of things like the steam engine, internet, electricity, the computer - which are all referred to as general-purpose technologies. These types of inventions have the potential to impact economies and social structures on a global level. As with all general-purpose technologies (GPTs), their success is dependent on the level of their adoption.
General-purpose technologies are responsible for most of the massive changes in the world. The steam engine ushered in the industrial revolution, which transitioned humankind from making products by hand to the mechanization of factories, and the computer did something similar. Every invention of general-purpose technology has always made life more comfortable and positively influenced our daily lives. Due to this fact, these types of inventions were mostly greeted with open arms.
There has been some level of uncertainties expressed by various regulatory bodies over cryptocurrencies, unlike most GPTs that endure less criticism to mass adoption upon creation, blockchain technology is at least ten years old and is still yet to see a substantial level of adoption.
However, the level of resistance seen in this space has reduced substantially as its relevance becomes more evident.
What are these social factors?
Two sociological factors are majorly influencing the adoption of blockchain technology, our trust in what it has to offer, and the level of awareness of this technology among people.
Trust in what it has to offer
The first factor which is trust has to do with the level believe people have for a particular innovation based on their experience with it or the information in circulation about it. One of the major disadvantages to cryptocurrencies today is the fact that it has been affiliated with too many scams and scandals, given its anonymous nature of transactions. This has caused these individuals to question the people and structures around them, in search of a trustworthy and secure platform that is built on integrity.
The level of awareness
Given that blockchain is an innovation that had its applications come to major limelight recently, most people getting into the space love to research and explore as well as seek as to be exposed to current happenings. Also, given that blockchain can be a complicated concept to come to grasp with, in some cases, it requires interest to learn and understand what value it has to offer as a general-purpose technology.
Based on a report by Coinbase, findings were outlined about the rising level of student interest in crypto, and an increasing number of courses focused on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, or bitcoin. They are also being taught across a range of disciplines. Going by the report, this interest in studying crypto at colleges and universities speaks volumes about the future of money and blockchain as a whole.
Cryptocurrency classes by department. Source: Coinbase
If any nation is going to push for the massive adoption of blockchain technology in the world, they are going to have to educate the population and provide them with the necessary resources to understand and use it.
Apart from these two social factors, some other significant factors are influencing the adoption of blockchain technology. According to a paper published at the University Of Technology, Australia – these factors are personal innovativeness and perceived value.
Personal innovativeness has to do with the willingness of people to venture into new information technology. This means that one of the social reasons people can adopt Blockchain is their level of innovation. While perceived value is the value people see a thing can bring to them, it is how people understand the usefulness and possible profitability of blockchain technology.
The main factor that permeates all other factors affecting the adoption of blockchain technology is ignorance. If the number of people that understand what blockchain is, grows, people would trust it more, innovate and build with it, regardless of what limitations there may be.
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