O. Labazova, Tobias Dehling, Ali Sunyaev (2019). In Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2019), Wailea, Maui, HI, USA.
Blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that challenges existing business models and theories by shifting the trust from institutions towards algorithms. However, the number of successfully developed blockchain-based systems remains low. This points towards a research gap between blockchain applications and technical blockchain characteristics. We answer the research question: What application areas fit blockchains with what technical characteristics? We develop a taxonomy, which comprises six blockchain application areas that are classified across eight technical dimensions. We demonstrate the utility of the taxonomy on ninety-nine blockchain-based systems. We contribute to the scientific literature by delimiting blockchain application areas, identifying new technical dimensions, and linking application and technical knowledge on blockchain to guide development of blockchain-based systems. For practitioners, we present an overview of current blockchain-based systems.