6/2017 Blockchain Technology in Business and Information Systems Research

Published : 16.09.2016 | Categories: Call For Papers

Special Issue:

The blockchain is a distributed digital ledger technology that is maintained and governed by a consensus mechanism. A blockchain is essentially a record of digital events. However, it is not “just a record”, it is a distributed immutable record that is shared among many different independent parties, and it can be updated only by consensus of a majority of the participants in the system.

The implications of such a record system, or a ledger, are unprecedented. Dealing with their respective environments, individuals and organizations often need to trust other entities outside their control to keep the record straight. For example, banks construct and maintain the financial records, hospitals construct and maintain health records, and universities construct and maintain education records. In modern society, we have no choice but to trust others with constructing and maintaining key records that virtually define our credentials and the resources at our disposal. This inherent vulnerability of the human enterprise could be mitigated in part when we rely on unbiased and incorruptible blockchain-based digital agents.

The financial sector is currently leading the way in developing blockchain based applications and business models, but companies in other industries from shipping and transportation to healthcare and entertainment are following up full steam ahead.

Overall, if the blockchain lives up to its potential, it could deliver to the digital world a new level of objectivity and ironclad trust that even the most reputable trustees in the physical world cannot match. In other words, it can provide a decentralized global information infrastructure in which no one is in full control, no one has absolute power, and no one can distort or lie about past or current events. This vision is still nascent, but as more people are jumping on the bandwagon trying to realize this brave new world, the entities that currently hold the socio-economic power are gearing up to fight back and defend their turf.

The emerging blockchain ecosystem provides the foundation for the development of grassroots-powered technology that enables new forms of organizing and unprecedented distributed scale-free human cooperation. Blockchain technology has the potential to change world order and become the foundation of a more just society that is based on liberty, equality, and fraternity.

The special issue will provide a platform for the first batch of information systems research papers on blockchain. We seek contributions from any information systems research perspective and welcome conceptual as well as empirical research including case studies and design science research.

Issues include but are not limited to:

  • New business model and disruption of prevailing models caused by blockchain
  • New payment and smart contract platforms
  • Transformation of old currencies to digital currencies
  • Standards and interfaces related to blockchain
  • Organizational implications of blockchain and distributed ledger
  • Novel approaches to development of blockchain applications
  • Actors in blockchain value chain
  • Blockchain developers and communities
  • Relationship and interplay of open source and blockchain technology
  • Legal issues with smart contracts
  • Challenges of implementing business logics in smart contracts
  • Limits of blockchain applications in large distributed transaction systems
  • Implications for existing and rise of new business models

Submission Guidelines

Please submit papers by 2017-01-01 at the latest via the journal’s online submission system (http://www.editorialmanager.com/buis/). Please observe the instructions regarding the format and size of contributions to Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE). Papers should adhere to the submission general BISE author guidelines.

All papers will be reviewed anonymously (double-blind process) by at least two referees with regard to relevance, originality, and research quality. In addition to the editors of the journal, including those of this special focus, distinguished international professionals with scientific and practical backgrounds will be involved in the review process.


Paper submission due: 2017-01-01
Notification of authors: 22017-03-10
Revisions due: 2017-04-28
Notification of authors: 2017-06-16
Completion of a second revision (if needed): 2017-07-20
Anticipated publication date: December 2017


Roman Beck
IT University of Copenhagen

Michel Avital
Copenhagen Business School

Matti Rossi
Aalto University

Jason Thatcher
Clemson University