7 top challenges to blockchain adoption in e-commerce industry 

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Understanding E-Commerce industry

As one is well aware, e-commerce, which comes from Electronic Commerce, involves carrying out a business in goods and services through the internet, using information technology like Electronic Data Interchange or EDI. The e-commerce industry comes with its own bandwagon of advantages, like reduced costs and hassles of management, along with the comfort of interacting with the buyer/seller electronically, thus saving time, energy, and the cost of travel. 

Issues faced in e-commerce today

Like all good things, the e-commerce industry is faced with a multitude of issues that need immediate attention. The biggest challenge when it comes to online trading is the factor of easy mistrust. People can never stop apprehending whether the services are secure, whether it is not prying on some private information on their device, and whether the system shall assure the requisite privacy for its users. These apprehensions, though exaggerated at times, are not completely baseless. Hacking and forgery are very much prevalent over even some of the most secure networks. 

Blockchain and Associated Challenges

In such a situation, blockchain has often been sought after as a solution. However, the probability of its successful adoption into the e-commerce industry is as faint. 

Uncertainty about the uses of blockchain

Blockchain, although one of the most secure forms of technology these days, is not completely hack-free, nor has it become so popular that people start adopting it widely enough for trust’s sake. It is a top challenge to Blockchain adoption in the E-Commerce industry. The primary reason can be assumed to be a lack of communication between the technology providers and the end-consumers regarding the numerous possibilities blockchain holds in the present times.

Priorities of blockchain so far

Besides, another top challenge to Blockchain adoption in the e-commerce industry that has pulled back blockchain from making an impactful mark on the e-commerce industry is that its focus has primarily been more on building systems and networks and less on creating game-changing applications. 

Lack of refinement in blockchain 

Next, a major drawback of blockchain adoption in the e-commerce industry is that it lacks a certain degree of refinement. As blockchain is yet to set a major foot in the era of advancement and is no more than an experiment in several corners of the world, there is certainly a whole lot of room for improvement and refinement, which makes it not precisely suitable for e-commerce, at least for the time being. 

Low transaction rate in blockchain 

Besides, blockchain has a really low transaction rate, as low as 7 transactions per second until some time ago. At such a low rate, it is impossible to use it as the medium of exchange for the hundreds and thousands of commercial transactions that take place per second on e-commerce platforms, such as shopping websites.

Fear in the adoption of blockchain

The biggest roadblock in the way of the adoption of blockchain into the mainstream e-commerce industry is fear, something that even the e-commerce industry was not devoid of until a few years back. The concepts of decentralization, extreme transparency, and cryptocurrency do not fail to scare the user, for the user hasn’t used such a novel platform before to be able to trust it. Also, blockchain technology does not come with many well-defined applications to be able to communicate its facilities to the user that easily. 

Expense of blockchain

There is no doubt about the fact that blockchain technology is a very cost-effective solution to many problematic business models today. In the long run, there are many benefits to reap from the system and it is definitely a revolution in the truest sense of the term for the biz world.

However, one cannot deny the fact that blockchain is expensive in terms of completely overhauling existing systems and practices and replacement. This prevents many smaller companies from applying blockchain for rendering services even though the benefits are desirable. A company needs minimum resources to be able to afford the setup of the technology in the first place, a character lacking in many smaller commercial ventures. This makes the technology viable only for a handful of platforms. 

Lack of awareness about blockchain 

Any platform requires awareness for popularity and acceptance. Unfortunately, the same is not the case with blockchain technology, at least in the present situation. Being an innovation that is not really old, it needs more time for settling in with the masses. Whatever little idea people have of the blockchain is not sufficient to allow one to adopt it easily enough, for the platform it is being conceived for is one that is probably few of the largest these days.

Besides, one cannot deny the fact that the lesser known and accepted a technology is, the lesser are any chances of developments and improvements of any kind. That is not a favorable situation either, considering one always needs upgrades and improvements for better user interception and reception for a platform that caters to so many diverse and demanding users at the other end. Blockchain falls short of its expectations in such instances.

Is Blockchain really that harmful?

In reality, the adoption of blockchain in the e-commerce industry would do much more good than harm. For an industry grappled with poor tracking facilities, non-standardization, and a centralized mechanism of distribution and service, blockchain is like a boon for it helps get rid of all these vices. With a transparent yet secure network of functions, blockchain assures minimum failure with respect to delivery and errors. 


There are quite many challenges facing blockchain’s adoption in the e-commerce industry right now, but it is not like there is no dawn of hope on the near horizon. If it is treated as a nascent technology, there is enough room for gradual but steady development in the course. With the adoption of necessary changes, some core modifications and improvements, and more suitable applications, blockchain can really prove to be a state-of-the-art intervention in the field of e-commerce.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers (www.GlobalBlockchainLawyers.com) is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.


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