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A Deep Analysis of Blockchain Technology from Socio-Economic and Technological Perspectives: Intrinsic Barriers and Potential Impact
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  • Dirk Draheim ,
  • Ahto Buldas ,
  • Takehiko Nagumo ,
  • Anton Vedeshin
Dirk Draheim
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Ahto Buldas
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Takehiko Nagumo
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Anton Vedeshin
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Our aim is to understand technological and socio-economic barriers to blockchain solutions that are intrinsic in the blockchain technology stack itself (permissionless as well as permissioned). On the basis of that, we want to understand the future potentioal impact of blockchain technology. We provide an argumentation against the theoretical background of Williamson’s instutional analysis framework, and triangulate the insights with results from four design science research efforts. We (i) characterize cryptocurrency as one-tiered collateralized money. We (ii) review potential blockchain solutions against defined essential modes of communications. We review (iii) well-known scalability issues and potential denial-of-service attacks through a new probabilistic model. We (iv) characterize a typical neglection of physical network infrastructure in blockchain technology discussions. We (v) describe four successful blockchain solutions and explain their design. There is (vi) no evidence that the proclaimed “blockchain revolution” can disrupt our institutional stack; instead, it can only happen in the boundaries of the current institutional stack. Nevertheless, it is possible to (vii) design useful blockchain solutions. The findings of this research enable policy makers, decision makers and information systems architects alike to make informed decisions about blockchain technology and its application. Given its theoretic foundation in new institutional economics, triangulated with comprehensive results from design science efforts, this study is the first of its kind in the area of blockchain technology research.