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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2020

Patricia C. Franks

The purpose of this paper is to assist records managers and information governance professionals to understand the challenges presented by their organization’s use of…

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1004

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assist records managers and information governance professionals to understand the challenges presented by their organization’s use of blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review was conducted, which revealed a multitude of articles based on research into blockchain DLT, most written from the technology perspective. This paper differs in that it applies a records management lens to an analysis of the records created, registered or stored on a blockchain. A six-stage blockchain records consideration model is provided to illustrate examples of the records management challenges presented by the implementation of blockchain DLT. Questions are posed and recommendations are made to aid the reader in developing a blockchain DLT records management and information governance strategy.

Findings

Because there is no one universal configuration for a blockchain DLT solution, each implementation must be analyzed to understand the resultant records management and information governance challenges. A series of questions that should be asked and answered can not only help records management and information governance professionals adapt their policies and practices to the technology but also provide a basis for discussion with those designing the blockchain DLT solutions so they can include records management features in their designs.

Originality/value

This paper contributes an original analysis of the implications of the adoption of Blockchain DLT for records management and information governance programs through the lens of a six-stage Blockchain Records Consideration Model.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Oleksii Konashevych

Many recent social media posts and news may create a perception of big success in the use of blockchain for the real estate industry, land registration and protection of…

Abstract

Purpose

Many recent social media posts and news may create a perception of big success in the use of blockchain for the real estate industry, land registration and protection of titles and property rights. A sobering outlook is crucial because misleading concepts may bury the whole idea of blockchain use. This paper aims to research the possibilities of blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and applicability of these technologies for different purposes in real estate, property rights and public registries.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is framed with policy studies and focuses on property rights, land registration regulatory framework and information and communication technologies innovations. The context of this paper is decentralization which has been developed in political science studies and the role of blockchain and DLT in it. Therefore, the provided analysis of blockchain and DLT is interdisciplinary research to interpret the facets of DLT technologies in the context of real estate and land title registration.

Findings

Permissioned and private DLT systems cannot be considered a significant evolutionary step in government systems. Blockchain, which is distinguished from permissioned systems as the technology of the immutable ledger that does not require authorities, is a new word in governance. However, this technology has some principal features that can restrain its implementation at the state level and thus require further research and development. The application of blockchain requires a proper architecture of overlaid technologies to support changes of outdated and mistaken data, address issues of digital identity and privacy, legal compliance and enforceability of smart contracts and scalability of the ledger.

Originality/value

This paper shows the constraints of the technology’s properties which were not explained before in the context of title rights and land registration even though technological limits are known in more specific technical sources. Along with the known benefits this meant to help to avoid misinterpretation of some DLT features by non-technical people. A multidisciplinary approach in analyzing the technology and laws helped to better understand what can and cannot be beneficial for public registries and the protection of property rights. The presented outcomes can be laid down as requirements for the technical protocols aimed at addressing the issues of DLT and public policies to put blockchain at the service of society.

Details

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9407

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Efpraxia D. Zamani and George M. Giaglis

The purpose of this paper is to argue for the role of the blockchain, i.e., distributed ledger technology, in building innovative business models, including machine money…

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1786

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue for the role of the blockchain, i.e., distributed ledger technology, in building innovative business models, including machine money, autonomous economic agents and decentralised organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual/argumentative. As such, it draws on research on (e-)commerce, theories of markets, disruptive innovation and extant studies and conceptual work at the intersection of cryptocurrencies, machine-to-machine commerce and the Internet of Things.

Findings

The authors highlight three application areas for blockchains, whereby they can function as applications, can help develop autonomous economic agents and can lead the development of decentralised autonomous organisations. With regards to the question of market disintermediation, the authors suggest that, rather than complete disintermediation, the most probable scenario is that of new types of intermediaries finding previously unthinkable roles to play in mediating blockchain-based economic transactions. With regards to the inhibitors that slow down the technology’s adoption and, therefore, the development of new business applications, the authors posit that these relate mainly to the inherent risk of the technology, infrastructure requirements, scepticism of early decision makers and the lack of required new skills and competencies.

Originality/value

The authors examine how new forms of digital money and technologies embedding trust in decentralised networks will alter markets and commerce, at a time when many regulatory issues remain unresolved; in doing so, the authors focus on how blockchain-enabled technologies can be used to enable and further develop decentralised trusted peer-to-peer transaction ledger systems and applications and lead to sustainable business models.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 118 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Daniel Conte de Leon, Antonius Q. Stalick, Ananth A. Jillepalli, Michael A. Haney and Frederick T. Sheldon

The purpose of this article is to clarify current and widespread misconceptions about the properties of blockchain technologies and to describe challenges and avenues for…

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19186

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to clarify current and widespread misconceptions about the properties of blockchain technologies and to describe challenges and avenues for correct and trustworthy design and implementation of distributed ledger system (DLS) or Technology (DLT).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors contrast the properties of a blockchain with desired, however emergent, properties of a DLS, which is a complex and distributed system. They point out and justify, with facts and analysis, current misconceptions about the blockchain and DLSs. They describe challenges that these systems will need to address and possible solution avenues for achieving trustworthiness.

Findings

Many of the statements that have appeared on the internet, news and academic articles, such as immutable ledger and exact copies, may be misleading. These are desired emergent properties of a complex system, not assured properties. It is well-known within the distributed systems and critical software community that it is extremely hard to prove that a complex system correctly and completely implements emergent properties. Further research and development for trustworthy DLS design and implementation is needed, both practical and theoretical.

Research limitations/implications

This is the first known published attempt at describing current misconceptions about blockchain technologies. Further collaborative work, discussions, potential solutions, evaluations, resulting publications and verified reference implementations are needed to ensure DLTs are safe, secure, and trustworthy.

Practical implications

Interdisciplinary teams with members from academia, business and industry, and from disciplines such as business, entrepreneurship, theoretical and practical computer science, cybersecurity, finance, mathematics and statistics, must be formed. Such teams must collaborate with the objective of developing strategies and techniques for ensuring the correctness and security of future DLSs in which our society may become dependent.

Originality value

The value and originality of this article is twofold: the disproving, through fact collection and systematic analysis, of current misconceptions about the properties of the blockchain and DLSs, and the discussion of challenges to achieving adequate trustworthiness along with the proposal of general avenues for possible solutions.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2071-1395

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2020

Oleksii Konashevych

The purpose of this paper is to present a concept of the protocol for public registries based on blockchain. New database protocol aims to use the benefits of blockchain…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a concept of the protocol for public registries based on blockchain. New database protocol aims to use the benefits of blockchain technologies and ensure their interoperability.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is framed with design science research (DSR). The primary method is exaptation, i.e. adoption of solutions from other fields. The research is looking into existing technologies which are applied here as elements of the protocol: Name-Value Storage (NVS), Berkley DB, RAID protocol, among others. The choice of NVS as a reference technology for creating a database over blockchain is based on the analysis and comparison with two other similar technologies Bigchain and Amazon QLDB.

Findings

The proposed mechanism allows creating a standard database over a bundle of distributed ledgers. It ensures a blockchain agnostic approach and uses the benefits of various blockchain technologies in one ecosystem. In this scheme, blockchains play the role of journal storages (immutable log), whereas the overlaid database is the indexed storage. The distinctive feature of such a system is that in blockchain, users can perform peer-to-peer transactions directly in the ledger using blockchain native mechanism of user access management with public-key cryptography (blockchain does not require to administrate its database).

Originality/value

This paper presents a new method of creating a public peer-to-peer database across a bundle of distributed ledgers.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2018

Alexander Lipton

The purpose of this paper is to introduce blockchains and distributed ledgers and describe their potential applications to money and banking.

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1606

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce blockchains and distributed ledgers and describe their potential applications to money and banking.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The analysis compares public and private ledgers and outlines the suitability of various types of ledgers for different purposes. Furthermore, a few historical prototypes of blockchains and distributed ledgers are presented, and results of their hard forking are illustrated. Next, some potential applications of distributed ledgers to trading, clearing and settlement, payments, trade finance, etc. are outlined.

Findings

Monetary circuits are argued to be natural applications for blockchains. Finally, the role of digital currencies in modern society is articulated and various forms of digital cash, such as central bank issued electronic cash, bank money, Bitcoin and P2P money, are compared and contrasted.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2019

Nikiforos Mathews and Jonas Robison

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to date, has not directly addressed how liability for Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) violations involving blockchain or…

Abstract

Purpose

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to date, has not directly addressed how liability for Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) violations involving blockchain or distributed ledger technology should be allocated among the various parties involved in the distributed ledger network, such as the network itself, persons running consensus nodes, developers building applications on the platform, and businesses and end users using such applications. This article discusses recent statements by CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz regarding this issue and the approach that the CFTC may take going forward.

Design/methodology/approach

This article examines the allocation of liability in the context of smart contracts that may violate the CEA. The article discusses how the CFTC, despite its significant focus in recent years on virtual currency and blockchain, has not addressed the issue of liability allocation directly. Recent remarks by Commissioner Quintenz may shed light on the CFTC’s future approach.

Findings

This article finds that liability allocation questions may become increasingly pressing as smart contracts that potentially violate the CEA proliferate, possibly exposing a broad range of parties involved in a distributed ledger network to liability. To the extent that Commissioner Quintenz’s recent remarks are indicative, the CFTC ultimately may adopt a foreseeability standard in determining liability.

Practical implications

Applications of distributed ledger technology (DLT) are ever-expanding, continually posing novel CFTC regulatory issues. This is especially the case with respect to smart contracts that may be subject to CFTC jurisdiction. Parties involved in such applications should be mindful of potential liability.

Originality/value

Practical guidance from experienced finance and derivatives lawyers with strong CFTC expertise.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2020

Wei-Tek Tsai, Yong Luo, Enyan Deng, Jing Zhao, Xiaoqiang Ding, Jie Li and Bo Yuan

This paper aims to apply blockchains (BCs) for trade clearing and settlement in a realistic clearinghouse. The purpose is to demonstrate the feasibility and scalability of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to apply blockchains (BCs) for trade clearing and settlement in a realistic clearinghouse. The purpose is to demonstrate the feasibility and scalability of this approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses account BCs and trading BCs as building blocks for trade clearing and settlement. Careful design is made to ensure that this approach is feasible and scalable.

Findings

A design has been proposed that can process hundreds of thousands of trades for a clearinghouse and it addresses performance, privacy and scalability of realistic trade clearing and settlement. The design has been implemented and experimented in a clearinghouse for over two months and processes over 3B real transactions from an exchange. The first month was to experiment with the system with historical data, the second month was to experiment with real-time data during market trading hours. The system performed as designed and intended.

Research limitations/implications

This is the first large research paper that applied BCs for clearing in the world. The authors applied the system to a clearinghouse and processed over 3 billion transactions, equivalent to 13 years of London Stock Exchange transaction volume, demonstrating that BCs can handle a large number of transactions.

Practical implications

The design can be duplicated to many clearinghouses in the world, and this also paves the way BCs can be used in large financial institutions.

Social implications

An implication is that other trading firms, clearinghouses and banks can apply the same technology for trade clearing, ushering the way BCs can be used in institutions. As clearing is a core function in business transactions, this has significant implications. The design can be discussed and improved in various communities.

Originality/value

As this is the first application of BCs to large clearinghouses that uses unique BC designs. This has significant value. Many studies have been performed but few have been reported in the scientific community. The system has been implemented, experimented and demonstrated in public for months.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2019

Sam Maxson, Stuart Davis and Rob Moulton

To analyse the final report of the UK Cryptoassets Taskforce published in October 2018 and discuss the UK’s policy and regulatory approach to crypto-assets and distributed

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398

Abstract

Purpose

To analyse the final report of the UK Cryptoassets Taskforce published in October 2018 and discuss the UK’s policy and regulatory approach to crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology in financial services.

Design/methodology/approach

This article considers some of the key aspects of the final report of the UK Cryptoassets Taskforce and provides a summary of the next steps the UK authorities have committed to taking in relation to regulation of crypto-assets in the UK.

Findings

The approach to regulation of crypto-assets in the UK is evolving and the relevant UK authorities are continuing to improve their understanding of crypto-assets in order to assess the appropriate type and level of regulation that should apply to them. Whilst risks relating to consumer detriment and anti-money laundering have been identified as needing to be addressed as a matter of priority, the UK authorities appear to be taking a measured approach to regulation of crypto-assets. They also remain supportive of the adoption of distributed ledger technology in financial services, whilst noting some potential challenges to scalability.

Originality/value

This article contains valuable information about current policy direction and regulatory thinking in the UK in relation to crypto-assets, and analysis from leading FinTech lawyers.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2018

Jurgita Miseviciute

This paper aims to explain the current stage of blockchain and virtual currency regulation in the EU.

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1291

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explain the current stage of blockchain and virtual currency regulation in the EU.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explains the current state of blockchain and virtual currency regulation in the EU, presenting the EU institutions’ main policy and regulatory initiatives on, and approaches to, blockchain and virtual currency.

Findings

Though the EU is looking seriously at the potential of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, many European institutions are of the opinion that it is still too early to regulate in this field. As far as virtual currencies are concerned, Member States’ central banks do not consider them to be equivalent to money or legal tender. However, with the current high profile of and interest in virtual currencies, one can expect the European Commission to at least consider what regulation might be called for.

Originality/value

This study provides practical guidance on and introduction to the current regulatory and policy landscape of blockchain and virtual currency in the EU.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

Keywords

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