Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Blockchain technology, which supports the bitcoin cryptocurrency, has risen to prominence as the technology that will transform how business transactions occur and parties manage assets over the Internet. A decentralized system, the blockchain provides a way to digitally record and securely store verifiable and immutable transactions, which eliminates the need for trusted third-party intermediaries. While simplistically described as a decentralized ledger, the blockchain is a complex technology that integrates peer-to-peer networking, cryptography, and distributed consensus. In this paper, I explain blockchain’s components, describe how a blockchain works, identify use case examples from various industries, explore potentials and limitations, and speculate on the progressive adoption of the blockchain as a transformative technology.