Distributed Ledger Technology, the Blockchain

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    Unveiling the Key Challenges to Achieve the Breakthrough of Blockchain: Insights from the Payments Industry
    ( 2018-01-03) Holotiuk, Friedrich ; Pisani, Francesco ; Moormann, Jürgen
    The emergence of blockchain technology has led to an animated discussion among both researchers and practitioners about its future prospects. Similar to other upcoming technologies, in the foreground of the analysis are often the potential benefits of blockchain. Much less discussed are the challenges the technology must overcome before achieving breakthrough in traditional areas, such as the financial services sector. To close this gap, and to identify the challenges blockchain needs to overcome, we explore its impact in the payments industry, which represents a major pillar of banking and the cradle of blockchain. For this purpose, we performed a Delphi study and subsequently conducted a number of dedicated interviews. The findings enable us to delineate six key challenges that have to be tackled. Our study contributes to the literature on blockchain and has important practical implications as it indicates issues that should be addressed in order to foster its dissemination.
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    Dynamics of Blockchain Implementation - A Case Study from the Energy Sector
    ( 2018-01-03) Albrecht, Simon ; Reichert, Stefan ; Schmid, Jan ; Strüker, Jens ; Neumann, Dirk ; Fridgen, Gilbert
    This case study analyzes the impact of theory-based factors on the implementation of different blockchain technologies in use cases from the energy sector. We construct an integrated research model based on the Diffusion of Innovations theory, institutional economics and the Technology-Organization-Environment framework. Using qualitative data from in-depth interviews, we link constructs to theory and assess their impact on each use case. Doing so we can depict the dynamic relations between different blockchain technologies and the energy sector. The study provides insights for decision makers in electric utilities, and government administrations.
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    Disrupting Industries with Blockchain: The Industry, Venture Capital Funding, and Regional Distribution of Blockchain Ventures
    ( 2018-01-03) Friedlmaier, Maximilian ; Tumasjan, Andranik ; Welpe, Isabell M.
    The blockchain (i.e., a decentralized and encrypted digital ledger) has the potential to disrupt many traditional business models. This study investigates the emerging blockchain business-application landscape by analyzing its industry, venture capital funding, and regional distribution. By matching four venture databases on blockchain-based startups we create a unique database to analyze the technology from a diffusion of innovation theoretical perspective. First, our results show that blockchain startups are present across all industry segments and are most prominently represented in the Finance & Insurance and Information & Communication industries. A fine-grained analysis of financial services yields increasing novel applications in existing service offerings. Second, we find that mainly Finance & Insurance and Information & Communication industries are funded by venture capital, but that blockchain startups are present across all industries. Third, our regional distribution analysis of the emerging ventures identifies two leading geographical blockchain clusters (i.e., the US and UK).
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    Cross-Organizational Workflow Management Using Blockchain Technology - Towards Applicability, Auditability, and Automation
    ( 2018-01-03) Fridgen, Gilbert ; Radszuwill, Sven ; Urbach, Nils ; Utz, Lena
    Bringing Blockchain technology and business process management together, we follow the Design Science Research approach and design, implement, and evaluate a Blockchain prototype for cross-organizational workflow management together with a German bank. For the use case of a documentary letter of credit we describe the status quo of the process, identify areas of improvement, implement a Blockchain solution, and compare both workflows. The prototype illustrates that the process, as of today paper-based and with high manual effort, can be significantly improved. Our research reveals that a tamper-proof process history for improved auditability, automation of manual process steps and the decentralized nature of the system can be major advantages of a Blockchain solution for cross-organizational workflow management. Further, our research provides insights how Blockchain technology can be used for business process management in general.
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    Breaking Bad: De-Anonymising Entity Types on the Bitcoin Blockchain Using Supervised Machine Learning
    ( 2018-01-03) Harlev, Mikkel Alexander ; Sun Yin, Haohua ; Langenheldt, Klaus Christian ; Mukkamala, Raghava ; Vatrapu, Ravi
    Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency whose transactions are recorded on a distributed, openly accessible ledger. On the Bitcoin Blockchain, an entity’s real-world identity is hidden behind a pseudonym, a so-called address. Therefore, Bitcoin is widely assumed to provide a high degree of anonymity, which is a driver for its frequent use for illicit activities. This paper presents a novel approach for reducing the anonymity of the Bitcoin Blockchain by using Supervised Machine Learning to predict the type of yet-unidentified entities. We utilised a sample of 434 entities (with ~ 200 million transactions), whose identity and type had been revealed, as training set data and built classifiers differentiating among 10 categories. Our main finding is that we can indeed predict the type of a yet-unidentified entity. Using the Gradient Boosting algorithm, we achieve an accuracy of 77% and F1-score of ~ 0.75. We discuss our novel approach of Supervised Machine Learning for uncovering Bitcoin Blockchain anonymity and its potential applications to forensics and financial compliance and its societal implications, outline study limitations and propose future research directions.
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    A Model-driven Approach for the Description of Blockchain Business Networks
    ( 2018-01-03) Seebacher, Stefan ; Maleshkova, Maria
    The concept of blockchain technology has gained significant momentum in practice and research in the past few years, as it provides an effective way for addressing the issues of anonymity and traceability in distributed scenarios with multiple parties, which have to exchange information and want to securely collaborate with each other. However, up-to-date, the impact of the structure and setup of business networks on successfully applying blockchain technology, remains largely unexplored. We propose a model-driven approach, combining an ontology and a layer model, that is capable of capturing the properties of existing blockchain-driven business networks. The layers are used to facilitate the comprehensive description of such networks. We also introduce the Blockchain Business Network Ontology (BBO), formalizing the concepts and properties for describing the integral parts of a blockchain network. We show the practical applicability of our work by evaluating and applying it to an available blockchain use case.
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    Blockchain Technologies from the Consumers’ Perspective: What Is There and Why Should Who Care?
    ( 2018-01-03) Schlegel, Manuel ; Zavolokina, Liudmila ; Schwabe, Gerhard
    The blockchain, the ledger that underlies the famous cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has huge implications for many industries. There have been various papers dedicated to research how blockchain technology will transform businesses and industries. However, current research lacks an overview of what the blockchain implies for the biggest stakeholder of these businesses and industries: consumers. This paper aims to provide an overview of how the blockchain affects consumers. We conduct a systematic literature review and enrich it with interview-based knowledge from blockchain experts to show how blockchain technology changes business sectors, name affected consumers in these sectors, derive implications for these consumers and list existing as well as currently emerging blockchain-based products and services. Finally, we warn of the technical, institutional and human challenges and manifold pitfalls blockchain technology must overcome to gain widespread adaptation among consumers.
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    A structured framework to assess the business application landscape of blockchain technologies.
    ( 2018-01-03) Salviotti, Gianluca ; De Rossi, Leonardo Maria ; Abbatemarco, Nico
    Blockchain is emerging as a game changing technology in many industries. Although it is increasingly capturing the business community’s attention, a comprehensive overview of commercially available applications is lacking to date. This paper aims to fill this gap. Firstly, we propose a structured approach to assess the application landscape of blockchain technologies. To build our framework, we relied on largely accepted classifications of blockchains, based on protocols, consensus mechanisms and ownership, as well as on the most cited application areas emerging from the literature. Secondly, we applied the framework on a database of 460 released blockchains. The analysis confirms a dominance of applications for cryptocurrencies, financial transactions and certification purposes, with a prevalence of permissionless platforms. We also found new application fields that go far beyond the seven initial areas addressed by the current body of knowledge, leading to some interesting takeaways for both practitioners and IS researchers.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Distributed Ledger Technology, the Blockchain
    ( 2018-01-03) Welpe, Isabell ; Krcmar, Helmut ; Muller, Marcus