Review of Blockchain Literature – Its Application and Acceptance

Raafat George Saadé, Joe N Abou Jaoude, Mahesh Chandra Sharma
InSITE 2019  •  2019  •  pp. 297-306
Aim/Purpose: To understand the current state of the body of literature in blockchain technology and propose dimensions for acceptance.

Background: Blockchain technology has large promise to replace centralized and even distributed database systems. Its premise focuses on issues such as transparency, immutability, and privacy of transactions. Created for bitcoin, researchers and practitioners have begun to see its potential in different areas and industries. Its acceptance is still debatable as there are a number of issues still to be resolved.

Methodology: We conducted a literature review to assess the size and scope of the body of research in the are of blockchain applications and carried a conceptual analysis for blockchain acceptance.

Contribution: We provide an assessment of the body of literature in the are of blockchain and cluster the number of articles according to application groupings. We show that research in blockchain cannot be considered that it even started due to its diverse, scattered and weak related studies. At the same time, blockchain is still faced with a lot of resistance yet no one is studying its acceptance. We therefore propose dimension for its acceptance, as adapted from the very rich area of ecommerce research.

Findings: Body of research is at its infancy. Research is scattered and weak. Most research is related to bitcoin and cryptocurrency. There is a great need to study the application of blockchain outside its current focus on cryptocurrency. Areas of study of blockchain applications include internet of things, energy and finance – other areas are identified. Dimensions for blockchain acceptance are proposed and include: reputation, risk, usefulness, and intentions.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Blockchain has great potential to be applied in areas such as medicine, aviation and disaster relief. In terms of blockchain characteristics, practitioners have a lot of room to innovate in various approaches such as the blockchain hashing algorithm, smart contracts and peer validation. These do not need to be fixed but can vary based on the business characteristics.

Recommendations for Researchers: Research in the application of blockchain can be considered as not even started. The application of blockchain is an open playground which today few have stepped in to enjoy. Research opportunities include but are not limited to energy consumption of blockchain transactions, dimensions to blockchain adoption and acceptance, adaptability of blockchain to various industries, and innovation in blockchain characteristics such as new approaches to peer validation of transactions.
blockchain, application, information systems, cryptocurrency
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