New Kid on the Block: A Strategic Archetypes Approach to Understanding the Blockchain

Clara Walsh, Philip O'Reilly, Rob Gleasure, Joseph Feller, Shanping Li, Jerry Cristoforo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Emerging Blockchain technologies have received considerable attention in the financial services domain. This is due to the potential of those technologies to radically disrupt existing financial systems by introducing new types of assets and new ways of managing transactions. Yet many of these technologies are so new and seemingly complex that strategic decision-makers may not fully understand the alternative Blockchain technologies on offer, let alone the costs and benefits associated with specific instantiations. This paper reviews the Blockchain literature and identifies eight key system design characteristics. From this, four Blockchain archetypes emerge, each of which is presented using a recognizable existing system to allow tangible discussion of similarities and differences across archetypes. The identification of these archetypes provides an important foundation for future research, enabling in-depth research to be conducted that will outline the costs, benefits, risks, and issues associated with each archetype.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICIS 2016 Proceedings
Number of pages12
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2016
Article number6
ISBN (Print)9780996683135
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016: Digital Innovation at the Crossroads - University of Limerick, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 11 Dec 201614 Dec 2016
Conference number: 37


Conference2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016
LocationUniversity of Limerick
OtherThirty Seventh International Conference on Information Systems
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


  • Blockchain
  • Strategic archetypes
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Bitcoin

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