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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

Blockchain has received a great deal of attention due to its inherent and perceived security, as well as its ability to bypass traditional intermediaries and associated transaction costs. Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed network of peer to peer, encrypted public and private ledgers, composed of data records in “blocks,” linked into an immutable chain that is automatically verified and managed. With an initial objective of examining a blockchain use case, we considered the latent value of implementing blockchain within a regional health information exchange. Intrigued by our observations of the lukewarm interest in blockchain for managing the exchange of sensitive information, a difficult problem with high practical significance, we were motivated to examine the feasibility of blockchain applications. From an organizational perspective, there are many unresolved issues related to blockchain because we do not yet understand the impact of the unique features of this technology. Therefore, the objective of this research is: to identify the factors that should be considered when assessing the feasibility of blockchain application. \ \ To carry out the research, we examined prior literature and found an extensive number of design documents, opinion pieces (blogs, wikis, and posts), papers, technical reports, conference proceedings, and journal articles. Since the research objective was to examine feasibility, we focused mainly on conference and journal articles. We excluded papers dealing with cryptocurrencies or bit coins, technical papers describing algorithms, or technical developments. We selected all conference proceedings from the AISlibrary with the term “block chain” or “blockchain” within the text. For journal articles, we selected papers using the terms “block chain” or “blockchain” in the Title and Key Terms and the discipline “business” employing a unified search function through an institutional library. In total, 282 papers were retrieved that were related to blockchain. Our review of the literature on systems analysis and design or feasibility studies is not included in this count. \ \ From the above literature review, we found that blockchain inherits traditional feasibility concerns: technical, economic, operational/organizational, schedule, legal, governance, and political. However, several attributes are more salient to blockchain: 1) trust, 2) security and privacy, and 3) complexity. Information systems has already dealt with both: the emergence, adoption, and absorption of new technology; and the development of information systems. By examining the characteristics of blockchain from the perspective of the development and adoption of a new technology, we propose that the feasibility aspect of systems analysis should be modified. This leads to a feasibility framework for blockchain applications, that emphasizes trust, security, privacy, and complexity within existing feasibility concerns. \ \ Future research will focus on first interviewing senior executives, who are considering adopting and implementing blockchain, to understand how their decision-making process will proceed and, therefore, what additional attributes of feasibility need to be considered. Second, a case study will be used to examine the feasibility of a blockchain application. These will be useful for practitioners and academics in assessing the feasibility of blockchain technology prior to its implementation. \

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Feasibility of Blockchain Applications

Blockchain has received a great deal of attention due to its inherent and perceived security, as well as its ability to bypass traditional intermediaries and associated transaction costs. Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed network of peer to peer, encrypted public and private ledgers, composed of data records in “blocks,” linked into an immutable chain that is automatically verified and managed. With an initial objective of examining a blockchain use case, we considered the latent value of implementing blockchain within a regional health information exchange. Intrigued by our observations of the lukewarm interest in blockchain for managing the exchange of sensitive information, a difficult problem with high practical significance, we were motivated to examine the feasibility of blockchain applications. From an organizational perspective, there are many unresolved issues related to blockchain because we do not yet understand the impact of the unique features of this technology. Therefore, the objective of this research is: to identify the factors that should be considered when assessing the feasibility of blockchain application. \ \ To carry out the research, we examined prior literature and found an extensive number of design documents, opinion pieces (blogs, wikis, and posts), papers, technical reports, conference proceedings, and journal articles. Since the research objective was to examine feasibility, we focused mainly on conference and journal articles. We excluded papers dealing with cryptocurrencies or bit coins, technical papers describing algorithms, or technical developments. We selected all conference proceedings from the AISlibrary with the term “block chain” or “blockchain” within the text. For journal articles, we selected papers using the terms “block chain” or “blockchain” in the Title and Key Terms and the discipline “business” employing a unified search function through an institutional library. In total, 282 papers were retrieved that were related to blockchain. Our review of the literature on systems analysis and design or feasibility studies is not included in this count. \ \ From the above literature review, we found that blockchain inherits traditional feasibility concerns: technical, economic, operational/organizational, schedule, legal, governance, and political. However, several attributes are more salient to blockchain: 1) trust, 2) security and privacy, and 3) complexity. Information systems has already dealt with both: the emergence, adoption, and absorption of new technology; and the development of information systems. By examining the characteristics of blockchain from the perspective of the development and adoption of a new technology, we propose that the feasibility aspect of systems analysis should be modified. This leads to a feasibility framework for blockchain applications, that emphasizes trust, security, privacy, and complexity within existing feasibility concerns. \ \ Future research will focus on first interviewing senior executives, who are considering adopting and implementing blockchain, to understand how their decision-making process will proceed and, therefore, what additional attributes of feasibility need to be considered. Second, a case study will be used to examine the feasibility of a blockchain application. These will be useful for practitioners and academics in assessing the feasibility of blockchain technology prior to its implementation. \