Blockchain Adoption - Overcoming the Human Obstacle

Blockchain goes, “well beyond capital markets and into all other industries that have a vested interest in improving the efficiency of their workflow orchestration,” says Blythe Masters, Blockchain innovator and former JP Morgan Head of Commodities.

Having personally been involved in blockchain projects within the financial and energy sectors I have seen first-hand the kind of efficiency and transparency that this technology can provide. At Sports Technology Group, STG, we fully appreciate the value that this transformative new technology can add. Our research on the sports and esports sectors explored various use cases for blockchain.  This research confirmed serious pain points surrounding efficiency and workflow administration in the back office of sports organizations. At STG, we believe that any sports organization, be it a globally recognized sports league or amateur sports administration, wants to be more competitive and win. Improving the efficiency of their workflows and driving out costs will ultimately enable them to be more competitive both on and off the field.

Yet we continually face sports executives who are-- with very few exceptions -- reluctant to change and digital transformation. They find it hard to see Blythe Masters’ view that blockchain is a vessel for improving the efficiencies within their own organizations. They do not acknowledge that adopting this technology could lead to a more competitive and modern sporting organization. This "human challenge" obstacle to adoption is not unique to the sports sector and, like all other sectors, the early adopters will be the ones most handsomely rewarded by differentiating themselves. Finding early adopters in a very traditional human network with many complex personal and political influences is probably the biggest barrier to implementing this technology.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for Blockchain in the sports industry. The rampant esports sector (Esports Industry Report) will likely be the catalyst for the adoption of blockchain technology across all sports over the next decade. Unlike the traditional sports sector, the esports sector represents a demographic that adopts cutting-edge technologies (literally growing up with blockchain, cryptocurrency, virtual reality, Internet of Things and other emergent technology). The esports industry already exists online, using new and existing cloud technology providing a fertile environment for innovative technology solutions. The sector is crying out for structure and governance(Use Case), which can be provided by exactly the type of concepts that blockchain technology is bringing to other sectors. As Blythe Masters says “blockchain [brings] heightened confidentiality, reduced paper waste, and improved provenance and productivity.”

The challenge of adopting blockchain technology to help modernize the sports & esports industry operations is entirely a human one.