Call for Papers: Special Issue on Emerging Digital Platforms and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

We are pleased to announce that our co-founders Dr. Lennart Ante and Prof. Dr. Ingo Fiedler will be editing a Special Issue of the academic open access journal Digital Business. This issue will focus on the topic of Emerging Digital Platforms and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Further information on the Call for Paper, deadlines and other topics are described below.

About Digital Business

Digital Business is a new, Open Access journal which aims to publish original research articles, reviews, and reports on the digitalization of business, how digital technologies impact business models, and what this means for the future of work. The journal will specifically encourage submissions from diverse fields and areas of practice, from business, economics, marketing, sociology, and potentially computer science and information technology management.

About the Special Issue

Link to the special issue:


Decentralized Finance (DeFi) can be defined as an open financial system on distributed ledgers that facilitates the management, trust building and monitoring of finances in a decentralized environment without interference from an intermediary. In this context, trust is encured though decentralized protocols in the form of smart contracts (Ante, 2021a; Chen and Bellavitis, 2020). The DeFi market has grown exponentially since 2020, and significant new ideas and innovations have been proposed in the context of decentralized applications (dApps), business models, and digital platforms.

Due in part to the increasing importance and growth of the DeFi market, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) emerged as one of the major applications of blockchain technology. NFTs are unique certificates of authenticity on blockchains, usually issued by the creators of the underlying works (or assets). The NFT market achieved considerable growth and attention from both scholars and entrepreneurs, which resulted in various high-profile NFT sales and the launch of new projects, protocols and marketplaces (Ante, 2021b). For instance on March 2021, a unique digital piece of art of the artist “Beeple” was sold for around of $69.3 million in the form of a NFT (Christie’s, 2021).

It is evident that following the advent of technology and the world being struck by the COVID-19, the usage of digital content reached its peak. Thus, with increasing reproducibility of digital content, it has become almost impossible to track, validate, and identify the ownership of a work displayed on online platforms such as digital art, music, films or even intellectual property. In order to overcome these issues, the new digital world has given rise to transformations which can significantly deem helpful. Currently, digital property rights (still) lie with centralized platforms and their operators. In perspective, NFTs can shift these property rights from the platform to the creators, which may result in a corresponding paradigm shift. As a result of enabling the trade of demanded goods and their subsequent monetization, the market for the creation of digital goods can be transformed. On the one hand, this enables creators to use a secondary market to distribute their digital goods and, on the other hand, to be remunerated for their (time) effort. They can participate directly in their creation, which was not necessarily the case before.

Scope and focus of the special issue

Despite the fact that NFTs receive more attention all the time, there only exists sporadic high-quality research on NFT-specific topics such as pricing (e.g., Dowling, 2022; Schaar and Kampakis, 2022) ecosystems (e.g., Wilson et al., 2021), patents (e.g., Bamakan et al., 2021), entrepreneurship (e.g., Chandra, 2022) or marketing (e.g., Chohan, 2021). At the current time not much is known about the role of NFTs and their applications in the scope of digital platforms and use cases, services, business models and communities that may shape around them. We, therefore, call for new research explorations on these topics, both theoretical and empirical. In line with the aim and scope of the journal, we are interested in high-quality submissions that embrace diverse methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks. Accordingly, these can also be case studies or review articles, for example.  It is anticipated that papers included in this special issue will stimulate further research on emerging digital platforms regarding NFTs, their production, adoption, and applications in different contexts.

Potential topics of special interests, but not limited to, are:

  • Digital platforms and applications of NFTs in the digital economy
  • New business models and applications of NFTs in the digital economy
  • Blockchain, Web 3.0, DeFi, Tokenomics, and digital economy
  • The role of the underlying blockchain technology for NFTs (e.g., private vs. public; layer1 vs. layer2; blockchain bridges)
  • NFTs as a part of the metaverse and business models shaping around token exchange and pricing
  • Fan tokens of sports clubs and associations
  • NFTs as an asset class and interrelations with other asset classes
  • NFT-based marketplaces and digital platforms
  • Strategic pricing of NFTs
  • The effect of investor sentiment and social media on NFT markets
  • The business models of NFT marketplaces
  • Venture capital investment and individual investors in NFTs
  • The economics of digital real estate and virtual land
  • Soulbound tokens

Manuscript submission information

Only original manuscripts can be submitted, according to the ‘Guide for Authors’ published on the Digital Business journal website.

Please mention the name of the Special Issue in your cover letter, and make sure that your paper is designated for this special issue in the Editorial Manager system. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed following the established policies and procedures of the journal. The final papers will be selected for publication depending on the results of the peer-review process and the reviews of the Guest Editors.

Important Dates

  • Submission start: August 1, 2022
  • Submission deadline for full paper: March 15, 2023
  • Review will be on a rolling basis until three months (June 15, 2023)
  • Expected Publication: The accepted articles will be published as soon as they are accepted.

If you have any questions concerning this special issue or if you would like to discuss the fit of your paper or research idea with the special issue, please send an email to the special issue guest editors.


  • Ante, L. (2021a). Smart contracts on the blockchain–A bibliometric analysis and review. Telematics and Informatics, 57, 101519.
  • Ante, L. (2021b). Non-fungible token (NFT) markets on the Ethereum blockchain: Temporal development, cointegration and interrelations. Available at SSRN 3904683.
  • Bamakan, S. M. H., Nezhadsistani, N., Bodaghi, O., & Qu, Q. (2022). Patents and intellectual property assets as non-fungible tokens; key technologies and challenges. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 1-13.
  • Chandra, Y. (2022). Non-fungible token-enabled entrepreneurship: A conceptual framework. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 18, e00323.
  • Chen, Y., & Bellavitis, C. (2020). Blockchain disruption and decentralized finance: The rise of decentralized business models. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 13, e00151.
  • Christie’s, 2021. Beeple (b. 1981) Retrieved Online 11th June 2022,
  • Chohan, R., & Paschen, J. (2021). What marketers need to know about non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Business Horizons. In press.
  • Dowling, M. (2022). Fertile LAND: Pricing non-fungible tokens. Finance Research Letters, 44, 102096.
  • Schaar, L., & Kampakis, S. (2022). Non-fungible tokens as an alternative investment: Evidence from cryptopunks. The Journal of The British Blockchain Association, 31949.
  • Wilson, K. B., Karg, A., & Ghaderi, H. (2021). Prospecting non-fungible tokens in the digital economy: Stakeholders and ecosystem, risk and opportunity. Business Horizons. In press.

Guest Editors:

Dr. Lennart Ante, Blockchain Research Lab, Hamburg, Germany.


Prof. Dr. Ingo Fiedler, Blockchain Research Lab and Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.