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Blockchain Revolution Without the Blockchain


  • Hanna Halaburda


The technology behind blockchain has attracted a lot of attention. However, this technology is for the most part not well understood. There is no consensus on what benefits it may bring or on how it may fail. A careful look into the technology finds that most of the proposed benefits of so-called blockchain technologies do not really come from elements unique to blockchain. Instead, they come from more conventional elements such as encryption and smart contracts. Moreover, even those applications that would benefit from a distributed system may benefit more from a distributed database designed differently than blockchain.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanna Halaburda, 2018. "Blockchain Revolution Without the Blockchain," Staff Analytical Notes 2018-5, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocsan:18-5

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    Cited by:

    1. Montecchi, Matteo & Plangger, Kirk & Etter, Michael, 2019. "It’s real, trust me! Establishing supply chain provenance using blockchain," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 283-293.
    2. Ye Li & Simon Mayer & Simon Mayer, 2021. "Money Creation in Decentralized Finance: A Dynamic Model of Stablecoin and Crypto Shadow Banking," CESifo Working Paper Series 9260, CESifo.
    3. Young In Koh & Sung H. Han & Junseong Park, 2022. "A systematic process for generating new blockchain-service business model ideas," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 16(1), pages 187-209, March.
    4. Ahmed Gomaa & Yibai Li, 2022. "An Entrepreneurial Definition of the Blockchain Technology and a Stacked Layer Model of the ICO Marketplace Using the Text Mining Approach," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 15(12), pages 1-21, November.
    5. Priti Jagwani & V. B. Singh & Noopur Agrawal & Aditya P. Tripathi, 2023. "Blockchain technology and software engineering practices: a systematic review of literature using topic modelling approach," International Journal of System Assurance Engineering and Management, Springer;The Society for Reliability, Engineering Quality and Operations Management (SREQOM),India, and Division of Operation and Maintenance, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden, vol. 14(1), pages 1-17, March.
    6. Jiri Chod & Nikolaos Trichakis & Gerry Tsoukalas & Henry Aspegren & Mark Weber, 2020. "On the Financing Benefits of Supply Chain Transparency and Blockchain Adoption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(10), pages 4378-4396, October.
    7. Hanna Halaburda & Guillaume Haeringer & Joshua Gans & Neil Gandal, 2022. "The Microeconomics of Cryptocurrencies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 971-1013, September.
    8. Zinovyev, Elizaveta & Reule, Raphael C. G. & Härdle, Wolfgang, 2021. "Understanding Smart Contracts: Hype or hope?," IRTG 1792 Discussion Papers 2021-004, Humboldt University of Berlin, International Research Training Group 1792 "High Dimensional Nonstationary Time Series".
    9. Pandya Suhag & Mittapalli Murugan & Gulla Sri Vallabha Teja & Landau Ori, 2019. "Cryptocurrency: Adoption efforts and security challenges in different countries," HOLISTICA – Journal of Business and Public Administration, Sciendo, vol. 10(2), pages 167-186, August.
    10. Imad Chehade, 2022. "Blockchain and DLT in the Banking System [Blockchain et DLT dans le système bancaire]," Post-Print hal-03779240, HAL.
    11. Zhang, Zhiming & Ren, Da & Lan, Yanfei & Yang, Shanxue, 2022. "Price competition and blockchain adoption in retailing markets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 300(2), pages 647-660.

    More about this item


    Digital Currencies; Recent economic and financial developments; Service Sector;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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