Blockchain is an emerging evolutionary paradigm expected to revolutionize existing business models in many industries and to impact the world economy and society. Its potential pervasiveness is increasingly drawing the interest of academics, practitioners, firms, financial institutions as well as national governments, who define it as a general purpose technology (GPT). Although it may take considerable time to affirm a technology as general, in this phase of evolution of the blockchain domain, to what extent can it be considered a GPT? This paper aims to disentangle technology dynamics by unveiling and mapping blockchain technology structure, evolution, and future trends. We propose a framework that distinguishes three different structures: (1) the core structure that encompasses the most relevant technological elements of the domain; (2) the supportive structure that supports the core structure and improves the overall efficiency of the infrastructure including the different aspects; and (3) the complementarity structure that brings tailor-made solutions enabling the GPT field. We use a network-based perspective and examine blockchain international patents issued from 2008 to 2018. Our study contributes to the technology innovation literature by uncovering the emergence and evolutionary dynamics of a GPT, and our results provide an empirical basis on which managers can build technology-related decisions and systems to enable appropriate firms’ innovation strategies.

Disentangling the emergence and evolution dynamics of the blockchain technology

Marku, E.
;
Castriotta, M.;Di Guardo, M. C.;Loi, M.
2019

Abstract

Blockchain is an emerging evolutionary paradigm expected to revolutionize existing business models in many industries and to impact the world economy and society. Its potential pervasiveness is increasingly drawing the interest of academics, practitioners, firms, financial institutions as well as national governments, who define it as a general purpose technology (GPT). Although it may take considerable time to affirm a technology as general, in this phase of evolution of the blockchain domain, to what extent can it be considered a GPT? This paper aims to disentangle technology dynamics by unveiling and mapping blockchain technology structure, evolution, and future trends. We propose a framework that distinguishes three different structures: (1) the core structure that encompasses the most relevant technological elements of the domain; (2) the supportive structure that supports the core structure and improves the overall efficiency of the infrastructure including the different aspects; and (3) the complementarity structure that brings tailor-made solutions enabling the GPT field. We use a network-based perspective and examine blockchain international patents issued from 2008 to 2018. Our study contributes to the technology innovation literature by uncovering the emergence and evolutionary dynamics of a GPT, and our results provide an empirical basis on which managers can build technology-related decisions and systems to enable appropriate firms’ innovation strategies.
9788875901387
Blockchain; general purpose technologies; patents; technology emergence; technology evolution; technology mapping
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/277944
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