“Blockchain technology will create more than $176 billion dollars worth of business value by 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030.”
Gartner Blockchain Technology Report, 2019
Many large companies are working on implementing Blockchain. It’s estimated that over 95% of enterprise Blockchain projects are built on Ethereum. Enterprise companies have chosen Ethereum because Ethereum has the core capabilities needed to build enterprise applications… today. Almost all of the pieces are in place. To build enterprise Blockchain applications, companies need the ability to store immutable data on the Blockchain (✓) and a way for customers to view and interact with that data with authentication (✓), auditability (✓), and verification (✓). These core abilities are already implemented by Ethereum. All that is needed is a way to efficiently start building and deploying enterprise applications.
So, what’s the holdup?
Developers, Developers, Developers
In September of 2000 Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer memorably told his audience that the key to Microsoft’s future success was developers, developers, developers and so it is with Ethereum. Developers are critical for the success of enterprise Ethereum. Currently Ethereum is programmed primarily using the Solidity programming language, which was originally conceived in 2014. There is a dearth of Solidity programmers who also have enterprise development experience. This shortage is holding up development of Ethereum based enterprise solutions.
“200,000 Solidity devs vs 10 million Java devs“
It’s estimated that there are only about 200,000 Solidity developers in the world, and the majority of them have little or no enterprise experience. Compare that to the estimated 10 million Java developers many of whom have solid enterprise experience. That’s a 50x difference in number of Java programmers vs Solidity programmers. The scarcity of enterprise knowledgeable Solidity programmers has made it difficult for enterprises to move forward with Blockchain projects.
Finding experienced engineers who have both programming experience and domain expertise is one of the most difficult challenges facing enterprise companies. Almost all enterprise companies use Java as their preferred language. This is because Java is the only programming language that provides the high performance, reliability, and scalability required by large companies. Fortune 500 companies already have large teams of Java developers who have both professional programming experience and domain specific experience.
In 2018 and 2019, 28% of executives surveyed by Deloitte sited lack of in-house capabilities as the main barrier to blockchain adoption. Image source: Deloitte
“The biggest challenge that enterprises face is implementing new technology. Enterprise Blockchain applications are so new that experienced developers don’t exist at scale.“
When developers lack business experience they don’t understand the processes that they are modeling. Even if programmers know how to code, they don’t know what to code. Developers who develop software without understanding the business requirements usually end up with buggy software. This is a problem for companies because bugs in enterprise applications and business logic can have serious real life consequences.
There are developments on the near horizon that will provide ways for Enterprises to tap into their own existing pool of talent, and open up the floodgates for a vast array of Ethereum based applications. Ethereum will be Enterprise ready sooner than you think. Anton Mozgovoy will speak about this at the Malta Blockchain Summit in November.