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Surfing blockchain wave, or drowning? Shaping the future of distributed ledgers and decentralized technologies

Piera Centobelli, Roberto Cerchione, Emilio Esposito and Eugenio Oropallo

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2021, vol. 165, issue C

Abstract: Blockchain is a promising technology whose four TRs (TRaceability, TRacking, TRansparency, TRrust) features are bound to revolutionize material, information, financial flows and transactions inside and outside organisations. Many studies have been published showing the potential of this disruptive technology in many fields and this number is growing exponentially in recent years. This enormous amount of papers calls for a more systematic approach to analyse the overall trend in this research field. A bibliometric approach based on performance analysis and network analysis techniques is used to examine the evolution of blockchain technology research. Firstly, this paper contributes to the body of literature by discussing the most influential countries, authors, subject areas and journals of the current blockchain research. Secondly, this paper identifies six main clusters of blockchain-related research contributions and, based on the analysis on centrality and density measures, it classifies research themes in motor themes, basic themes, emerging or disappearing themes, and specialised themes. Despite the majority of contributions belong to the computer science subject area, many papers belonging to the technology management subject area provide pivotal insights for practitioners and policy makers. Specifically, they may exploit the results of this research to rethink many traditional processes in the light of blockchain technology implementation, exploit the benefits of the four TRs to manage processes, automate common tasks, generate actionable results, and improve daily operations.

Keywords: Bibliometric analysis; Block-chain; Decentralized technology; Distributed ledger; Literature review; Network analysis; Performance analysis; Traceability; Tracking; Transparency; trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120463

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