The potential of distributed ledger technology and its application in various industries is a controversially debated topic. Advocates of the technology emphasize the economic benefits of decentralization and transparency, leading to cost reductions as well as the alleviation of several of today`s economic and technological problems. In contrast, critics assert that the potential of distributed ledgers might be overhyped, possibly leading to the next tech bubble. This paper contributes to the discussion by developing a typology of business models that are based on distributed ledger technology. In particular, this paper is a first step towards a more differentiated discussion on the potential of distributed ledges, by taking the underlying business models into consideration. Despite a characterization of the types, a discussion about special features of distributed ledger based business models is provided in the context of contemporary business model literature and the associated role of IT. It is proposed that future research must evaluate each business model isolated to achieve a comprehensive assessment of the potential of distributed ledgers. This paper can be interpreted as starting point for more fruitful discussions and the repeal of the partially diametrical opposed opinions towards the potentials of the technology.

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