The Top 5 Blockchain Discourses in Business and Economics Research

In his BRL Working Paper “A Place Beside Satoshi – Scientific Foundations of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in Business and Economics“, our researcher Lennart Ante has identified the five most important discourses in business and economics research on blockchain. His analysis is based on an exploratory factor analysis of 9,672 citations in 467 peer-reviewed research papers.

Here is a short description of the top five blockchain discourses in business and economics research, plus the key research papers that have shaped the first eleven years of blockchain research.

I. Market economics and market efficiency

Research that aims to gain a better understanding of crypto markets through the analysis of market data. Includes comparisons between cryptocurrencies and other financial markets as well as studies on market bubbles and crashes on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Key research papers:

  • Urquhart (2016) tests Bitcoin prices for autocorrelation and finds that it has been present until 2013 but has vanished since then.
  • Nadarajah and Chu (2017) re-examine the same data set using power transformation of daily returns and find no significant autocorrelation, even in early years.
  • Bariviera (2017) identifies persistent behavior in Bitcoin prices until 2014 and shows that prices have been more informationally efficient since then.

II. Asset valuation and price formation

Studies on pricing, hedging, speculation and fundamental values in crypto markets, typically based on econometric analyses of market data.

Key research papers:

  • Kristufek (2015) finds that trading volume, coin supply, and price levels have a long-term effect on the Bitcoin price.
  • Ciaian et al. (2016) show that Bitcoin’s price is affected by market forces and the perceived attractiveness of Bitcoin for investors.

III. Principles and applications of blockchain

Introductions of specific cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology in general, and papers that lay the economic and technical foundation for blockchain technology.

Key research papers:

IV. Transactions and anonymity

Research on characteristics of blockchain transactions such as anonymity and irreversibility.

Key research papers:

  • Bryans (2014) examines money laundering on Bitcoin from a legal perspective. He concludes that Bitcoin is a disruptive technology and suggests careful regulation with a focus on cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Böhme et al. (2015) provide an in-depth review of Bitcoin’s economics, technology, and governance.

V. Monetary theory and monetary policy

Analyses of cryptocurrency from the perspective of monetary theory and policy, including discussions to which extent cryptocurrencies satisfy classic definitions of currency.

Key research papers:

  • Selgin (2015) discusses Bitcoin as an example of synthetic commodity money and examines Bitcoin mining against the background of monetary policy.
  • Hendrickson et al. (2016) analyze Bitcoin as a currency and study an equilibrium model in which Bitcoin exists alongside government-issued currency.

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