Blockchain Ethics Research: A Conceptual Model

Published on Jun 12, 2019
· DOI :10.1145/3322385.3322397
Yong Tang6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Electronic Science and Technology of China),
Jason Jie Xiong4
Estimated H-index: 4
(ASU: Appalachian State University)
+ 1 AuthorsLakshmi S. Iyer15
Estimated H-index: 15
(ASU: Appalachian State University)
Blockchain is being widely adopted far beyond finance into numerous domains of society and promises unprecedented potential to disrupt organizations, businesses, industries, and economies. However, blockchain is still in its infancy and its future is highly controversial, arousing phenomenal enthusiasm, high expectations, and even intense criticism. The possible impacts of blockchain and its applications on the society could be fundamental and revolutionary, inevitably bringing unpredicted ethical challenges in the foreseeable future. Identifying the ethical challenges of blockchain is urgent and critically needed to ensure that blockchain is adopted ethically. However, discussions on the ethics of blockchain are largely insufficient, which leaves a void of theoretical understanding so far. In this paper, we provide a systematic discussion on the ethics of blockchain applications and map the main social challenges raised by its technology and applications. The paper starts with a review of the technological concepts and applications of blockchain. Then, it overviews the current research on the ethics of technologies and general research on blockchain to briefly introduce the authors' approach. Afterwards, a conceptual model of blockchain ethics research is developed. This research hopes to serve as an initial roadmap for the study of blockchain ethics, and to raise timely awareness and stimulate further debate on the ethics of blockchain in the IS community.
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
56 Citations
13 Citations
#1Paul Rimba (CSIRO: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)H-Index: 11
#2An Binh Tran (CSIRO: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)H-Index: 11
Last. Xiwei Xu (UNSW: University of New South Wales)H-Index: 20
view all 6 authors...
Blockchain is of rising importance as a technology for engineering applications in cross-organizational settings, avoiding reliance on central trusted third-parties. The use of blockchain, instead of traditional databases or services, is an architectural choice in the development of a software system. Architecture impacts the non-functional qualities of systems, creating design trade-offs between these qualities. The costs of execution and storage are important non-functional qualities, but as y...
17 CitationsSource
#1Mike Thelwall (University of Wolverhampton)H-Index: 91
SteemIt is a Reddit-like social news site that pays members for posting and curating content. It uses micropayments backed by a tradeable currency, exploiting the Bitcoin cryptocurrency generation model to finance content provision in conjunction with advertising. If successful, this paradigm might change the way in which volunteer-based sites operate. This article investigates 925,092 new members’ first posts for insights into what drives financial success in the site. Initial blog posts on ave...
14 CitationsSource
#1Claus Dierksmeier (University of Tübingen)H-Index: 15
#2Peter Seele (USI: University of Lugano)H-Index: 18
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, SETLcoin, Ether, Solar Coin, or Liberty Reserve exist since 2009. Because of their decentralized control, they are often considered a threat or alternative to the conventional centralized banking system. While the technological implication of some such currencies, especially of Bitcoin, has attracted much attention, so far there is little discussion about the entire field of cryptocurrencies and very little academic literature addressing its ethical significance...
86 CitationsSource
#1Florian Hawlitschek (KIT: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)H-Index: 9
#2Benedikt Notheisen (KIT: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)H-Index: 7
Last. Timm Teubner (Technical University of Berlin)H-Index: 13
view all 3 authors...
Abstract At the tip of the hype cycle, trust-free systems based on blockchain technology promise to revolutionize interactions between peers that require high degrees of trust, usually facilitated by third party providers. Peer-to-peer platforms for resource sharing represent a frequently discussed field of application for “trust-free” blockchain technology. However, trust between peers plays a crucial and complex role in virtually all sharing economy interactions. In this article, we hence shed...
231 CitationsSource
#1Wenchi Ying (Beihang University)H-Index: 3
#2Suling Jia (Beihang University)H-Index: 4
Last. Wenyu Du (Beihang University)H-Index: 1
view all 3 authors...
Abstract Blockchain, the distributed ledger underlying bitcoin, has attracted much attention and stimulated rich discussions. However, extant discussions are mostly conceptual expositions, and empirical evidence of how to use the technology is limited. This case analysis fills this gap by conducting a study on Hainan Airlines (HNA) group, a large conglomerate, which has successfully implemented a blockchain-enabled E-commerce platform to offer employees flexible benefits. The case study unveils ...
97 CitationsSource
#1Daniel Gozman (University of Reading)H-Index: 6
#2Jonathan Liebenau (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 17
Last. Jonathan Mangan (University of Reading)H-Index: 1
view all 3 authors...
AbstractThe emergence of financial technology around the globe is driven by efforts to deconstruct and reimagine business models embedded within financial services. Entrepreneurial endeavours to this end are diverse. Indeed, the propensity toward complexity is considerable, bridging a range of financial services, markets, innovations, industry participants, infrastructures, and technologies. This study aims to improve comprehension of the global fintech landscape. It is based on the analysis of ...
45 CitationsSource
#1Feng Mai (Stevens Institute of Technology)H-Index: 9
#2Zhe Shan (UC: University of Cincinnati)H-Index: 8
Last. Roger H. L. Chiang (UC: University of Cincinnati)H-Index: 19
view all 5 authors...
AbstractBitcoin’s emergence has the potential to pave the way for a technological revolution in financial markets. What determines its valuation is an important open question with far-reaching business and policy implications. Building on information systems and finance literature, we examine the dynamic interactions between social media and the monetary value of bitcoin using textual analysis and vector error correction models. We show that more bullish forum posts are associated with higher fu...
69 CitationsSource
#1Mark Holub (UWA: University of Western Australia)H-Index: 5
#2Jackie JohnsonH-Index: 5
ABSTRACTOver the last few years, research on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has snowballed across many disciplines: technical fields, economics, law, public policy, finance, accounting, and others. As the uses of blockchain technology behind Bitcoin expand, more disciplines will be drawn to its study and the research will greatly expand. This paper provides an assessment of the current state of the literature. From a comprehensive search of the literature that resulted in an original sample ...
34 CitationsSource
#1Michel Avital (CBS: Copenhagen Business School)H-Index: 24
21 CitationsSource
#1Zhi Li (GDUT: Guangdong University of Technology)H-Index: 19
#2Wai Ming Wang (GDUT: Guangdong University of Technology)H-Index: 18
Last. George Q. Huang (HKU: University of Hong Kong)H-Index: 67
view all 6 authors...
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to propose a cross-enterprises framework to achieve a higher level of sharing of knowledge and services in manufacturing ecosystems. Design/methodology/approach The authors describe the development of the emerging open manufacturing and discuss the model of knowledge creation processes of manufacturers. The authors present a decentralized framework based on blockchain and edge computing technologies, which consists of a customer layer, an enterprise layer, an...
112 CitationsSource
Cited By3
#1Quinn DuPont (UCD: University College Dublin)H-Index: 6
Over the last decade, Bitcoin and its offshoots have transformed from niche technologies into primary movers in global technology sectors. Research is an important driver of innovation for these technologies, yet this research ecosystem is poorly understood. This article investigates ethical research risks associated with cryptocurrencies and the related family of digital “value” technologies (blockchains, digital tokens, digital ledgers, and so on). It reconceptualizes theories of ethical conta...
3 CitationsSource
#1Sami HyrynsalmiH-Index: 9
#1Sami Hyrynsalmi (Lappeenranta University of Technology)H-Index: 1
Last. Kai K. KimppaH-Index: 3
view all 3 authors...
Blockchain is a recent development in technology which allows a cryptographically secured, decentralised and distributed storage of data. The technology innovation was done as a part of and became familiar through Bitcoin cryptocurrency, where it is used to openly store currency transactions among its users. Whereas a majority of recent research and development work of blockchain has been in a number of different cryptocurrency applications, the technology itself has been proposed and used in va...
#1Syed Omer Husain (WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)H-Index: 2
#2Alex Franklin (Coventry University)H-Index: 5
Last. Dirk Roep (WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)H-Index: 17
view all 3 authors...
There is a wealth of information, hype around, and research into blockchain’s ‘disruptive’ and ‘transformative’ potential concerning every industry. However, there is an absence of scholarly attention given to identifying and analyzing the political premises and consequences of blockchain projects. Through digital ethnography and participatory action research, this article shows how blockchain experiments personify ‘prefigurative politics’ by design: they embody the politics and power structures...
4 CitationsSource