Blockchain isn't foolproof, says Cornell professor

Emin Gün Sirer, PhD, an associate professor at Cornell University, worries the push to commercialize blockchain overlooks potential technical issues, according to MIT Technology Review.

Dr. Gün Sirer shared his research on how blockchain can fail at the Business of Blockchain conference on April 18 in Cambridge, Mass.

Blockchain technology is roughly 30,000 lines of code, leaving ample room for error, according to Dr. Gün Sirer. This consideration is serious, he said, since most blockchain clients run on the same code — meaning one error can inhibit an entire system.

"It's amazing that we haven't found as many mission-critical bugs as one would expect, and in fact that's a testament to people who have worked behind the scenes on it," Dr. Gün Sirer said, according to MIT Technology Review.

Although developers should keep these issues top-of-mind, Dr. Gün Sirer also stressed the potential for failure should not discourage them. "Failures will happen," he said. "As long as you have thought it through, you're okay."

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