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The Role of Smart Contracts in Sustainability: Worldwide Research Trends

Author

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  • Esther Salmerón-Manzano

    (Faculty of Law, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), Av. de la Paz, 137, 26006 Logroño, Spain)

  • Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro

    (Department of Engineering, ceiA3, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain)

Abstract

The advent and development of digital technologies has had a significant impact on the establishment of contracts. Smart contracts are designed as computer code containing instructions for executing user agreements, offering a technologically secure solution with numerous advantages and applications. However, smart contracts are not without their problems when we try to fit them into the traditional system of contract law, and their presumed benefits can become shortcomings. Bibliometric studies can help to assess the current state of science in a specific subject and support decision making and research direction. Here, this bibliometric study is used to analyze global trend research in relation to this novel contractual methodology, the smart contract, which seems to have experienced exponential growth since 2014. Specially, this analysis was focused on the main countries involved and the institutions that lead this research worldwide. On the other hand, the indexations of these works are analyzed according to major scientific areas and the keywords of all the works, to detect the subjects to which they are grouped. Community detection has been used to establish the relationship between countries researching in this area, and six clusters have been identified, around which all the work related to this topic is grouped. This work shows the temporal evolution of research related to smart contracts, highlighting that there are two trends—e-commerce and smart power grids. From the perspective of driving sustainability, smart contracts could provide a contribution in the near future.

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Salmerón-Manzano & Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro, 2019. "The Role of Smart Contracts in Sustainability: Worldwide Research Trends," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(11), pages 1-16, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:11:p:3049-:d:235552
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Estela Gimenez & Maria Salinas & Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro, 2018. "Worldwide Research on Plant Defense against Biotic Stresses as Improvement for Sustainable Agriculture," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(2), pages 1-19, February.
    2. William Nikolakis & Lijo John & Harish Krishnan, 2018. "How Blockchain Can Shape Sustainable Global Value Chains: An Evidence, Verifiability, and Enforceability (EVE) Framework," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-16, October.
    3. Lee Won Park & Sanghoon Lee & Hangbae Chang, 2018. "A Sustainable Home Energy Prosumer-Chain Methodology with Energy Tags over the Blockchain," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-18, March.
    4. Nees Jan Eck & Ludo Waltman, 2010. "Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 84(2), pages 523-538, August.
    5. Esther Salmerón-Manzano & Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro, 2018. "The Higher Education Sustainability through Virtual Laboratories: The Spanish University as Case of Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-22, November.
    6. Diamond, Stephen F. & Kuan, Jennifer W., 2018. "Are the stock markets “rigged”? An empirical analysis of regulatory change," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 33-40.
    7. Esther Salmeron-Manzano & Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro, 2018. "The Electric Bicycle: Worldwide Research Trends," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-16, July.
    8. Minjae Yoo & Yoojae Won, 2018. "A Study on the Transparent Price Tracing System in Supply Chain Management Based on Blockchain," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-15, November.
    9. Jiani Wu & Nguyen Khoi Tran, 2018. "Application of Blockchain Technology in Sustainable Energy Systems: An Overview," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-22, August.
    10. Esther Salmerón-Manzano & Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro, 2017. "Worldwide Scientific Production Indexed by Scopus on Labour Relations," Publications, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-14, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mehdi Chihib & Esther Salmerón-Manzano & Nuria Novas & Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro, 2019. "Bibliometric Maps of BIM and BIM in Universities: A Comparative Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(16), pages 1-22, August.
    2. Lennart Ante, 2020. "A place next to Satoshi: foundations of blockchain and cryptocurrency research in business and economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(2), pages 1305-1333, August.
    3. Francisco G. Montoya & Alberto-Jesus Perea-Moreno, 2020. "Environmental Energy Sustainability at Universities," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(21), pages 1-3, November.
    4. Lennart Ante, 0. "A place next to Satoshi: foundations of blockchain and cryptocurrency research in business and economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 0, pages 1-29.
    5. Wadim Strielkowski & Dalia Streimikiene & Alena Fomina & Elena Semenova, 2019. "Internet of Energy (IoE) and High-Renewables Electricity System Market Design," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(24), pages 1-17, December.
    6. Vineet Paliwal & Shalini Chandra & Suneel Sharma, 2020. "Blockchain Technology for Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Systematic Literature Review and a Classification Framework," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(18), pages 1-39, September.
    7. Dejian Yu & Libo Sheng, 2020. "Knowledge diffusion paths of blockchain domain: the main path analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(1), pages 471-497, October.
    8. Popescu Lavinia & Safta Adela Sorinela, 2020. "Considerations regarding improving the ecological and environmental performance of agriculture," Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Sciendo, vol. 14(1), pages 697-707, July.

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