Fred Steinmetz, Lennart Ante, Ingo Fiedler
Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt digital interaction across our economy and society. As the internet has changed our lives, the potential for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to do the same is considerable. Fred Steinmetz, Lennart Ante and Ingo Fiedler assess this rapidly developing technology and its imminent economic and societal impact.
The ideas behind blockchain technology stem from an open-source movement and build on existing technology to facilitate the exchange of value in general and assets in particular via a protocol on top of the internet. Current platform-based business structures face the risk of being replaced by evolving decentralized ecosystems and individuals are set to become empowered by sovereignty over their digital data and footprints.
The book begins by explaining the key concepts of blockchain technology and presents an overview of the involved technical and economic elements. These form the basis for a discussion of the socio-economic implications of this new technology. This is followed by an in-depth analysis of significant case studies in the sectors of energy, digital identity, capital markets, logistics and gambling that outline the risks and benefits of the technology. The book strives to be non-technical and accessible, and to demystify the functionalities of blockchains and their potential for a range of readers in the wider social sciences.
1. Introduction 2. Blockchain’s functionality 3. Blockchain’s basic components 4. Socio-economic effects of decentralization 5. Applications of blockchain technology in different domains 6. Future directions
Fred Steinmetz is co-founder of the Blockchain Research Lab and Research Associate at Universität Hamburg. He researches on the economic potentials and societal impacts of blockchain technology applications, which includes ETIBLOGG, a publicly funded project for applying distributed ledger technology in energy trading. Fred holds a Master of Science in business administration and co-founded Badgeport, a marketing platform for blockchain startups.
Lennart Ante studied business administration at the University of Cologne, TU Clausthal and Universität Hamburg. As a Research Associate at Universität Hamburg, he works within the publicly funded project ETIBLOGG with the aim to make small amounts of energy tradable using blockchain technology. He is co-founder of the Blockchain Research Lab and convinced that blockchain technology will have a sustainable influence on business models and society.
Ingo Fiedler is co-founder of the Blockchain Research Lab in Hamburg, Team Leader at Universität Hamburg, and Affiliate Assistant Professor at Concordia University, Montreal. He holds diplomas in both business administration and economics and obtained his award-winning PhD from Universität Hamburg. He regularly adds to the public knowledge on his main research topics – gambling and blockchain – by commenting in various media outlets and advising key policy stakeholders.