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The Journal of The British Blockchain Association

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Blockchain Adoption, Blockchains (Databases) -- United States


Despite its many potential economic and organisational benefits, enterprise blockchain (distributed ledger) technology has still not been widely adopted. From the viewpoint of the participants, the deployment of a blockchain that links collaborating enterprises requires value creation that will exceed investment, including investment in operational and strategic change. The theory behind and practice of cross-enterprise open innovation can inform blockchain adoption. Blockchain implementation requires and creates interdependencies across collaborators, both among enterprise consortium partners and with stakeholders in the broader ecosystem. Distinguished from arm’s-length forms of collaboration, interdependencies occur when organisations intentionally collaborate to become reliant upon one another. In this paper, we develop a framework of blockchain interdependencies and explore key factors that promote or inhibit interdependence. We propose a blockchain collaboration continuum with three levels: cooperation, interdependence, and mutualism. We then explore factors that influence the level of interdependence: two types of consortium-level interdependencies – socio-technical and economic, and two types of ecosystem-level interdependencies – standards and legal/regulatory. We illustrate these interdependencies and their payoffs through the example of supply chains in maritime trade. This work can be used as a starting point for diagnosing critical factors influencing adoption and for illuminating points of leverage that may sway hesitant organisations to participate in blockchain consortia.


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