Exploring the Next Wave of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology: The Overlooked Potential of Scenario Analysis

Horst Treiblmaier
2021 Future Internet  
Blockchain is predicted to disrupt industries, economies, and societies. The properties of distributed ledgers allow the creation of immutable data structures that facilitate shared access in real time and enable a plethora of innovative applications. However, blockchain is not a uniform technology but rather a bundle of evolving components whose implications are notoriously hard to predict. At present, it is not clear how current trends will evolve, with technical evolution, legislation, and
more » ... blic policy being three contingency factors that make ongoing disruptive transformations particularly hard to predict. In light of blockchain's potential disruptive impact, it is surprising that scenario analysis has hitherto been largely ignored in academic research. Therefore, in this paper, we introduce the technique, clarify several misconceptions, and provide examples illustrating how this method can help to overcome the limitations of existing technology impact research. We conclude that if applied correctly, scenario analysis represents the ideal tool to rigorously explore uncertain future developments and to create a comprehensive foundation for future research.
doi:10.3390/fi13070183 fatcat:2bdtjmj7avhe5p2kh2am3cj4ze