In the financial services industry, blockchain is assumed to have significant impacts. From research and practice, we observe two main paradigms of how organizations interact with blockchain. First, organizations use blockchain to optimize existing processes (blockchain-based business process optimization – BPO). Second, organizations use blockchain to disrupt existing processes, foster disintermediation, and enable disruptive business models (blockchain-based business process disruption – BPD).
However, scientific research that evaluates its de facto potential is scarce. We bridge this gap by following a design science research approach aiming at a blockchain-based business process re-engineering (BPRE) for a letter of credit that combines the advantages of BPO and BPD. We conduct three design cycles and develop three artefacts: a BPO, a BPD, and a BPRE approach. Our BPRE approach combines the advantages of partial disintermediation, i.e. increased efficiency and transparency, with the advantages of intermediaries, i.e. process flexibility, provision of liquidity and mediation of dispute.
Our paper "Blockchain Won’t Kill the Banks: Why Disintermediation Doesn’t Work in International Trade Finance" presenting the results of this research project has been accepted for publication at the Communications of the AIS (CAIS).
Recently a novel phenomenon, the machine economy, experiences rapidly increasing recognition from both research and practice. However, we still lack a thorough conceptual understanding of its driving technologies and their interrelations. This hampers the incorporation of the machine economy in today's organizations to unleash its full potential.
Therefore, we set out with a conceptual research approach. First, we investigated the characteristics of the central technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain (BC). Second, we examined the bilateral technology interrelations to explicate their synergistic interplay. Third, we shet light on their trilateral technology convergence and conflate our reasoning into a holistic conceptual model. Finally, we demonstrated the machine economy's real-world applicability with three exemplary instantiations. Throughout our research approach, we observed the machine economy concept through two theoretical lenses: the theory of self-adaptive systems and the actor-network theory.
Our paper "The Rise of the Machines: Conceptualizing the Machine Economy" presenting the results of this research project has been accepted for presentation at the 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2021).
Blockchain systems become increasingly attractive targets for cybercrime due to the rising amount of value transacted in respective systems. However, researchers and practitioners alike lack a comprehensive overview of existing attacks and a directive discussion of resulting implications.
Employing a structured literature review, we analyzed academic research concerning malicious attacks on blockchain systems. We extracteded 87 relevant attacks and structure those using the attack tree notation. Our results show that the academic discourse revolves mainly around the analysis of a few individual attacks, and most publications deal with attacks on either Bitcoin or Ethereum. We further found that most attacks target the on-chain application logic component (smart contracts) of the blockchain technology stack as well as consensus mechanisms. A majority of attacks are mitigable, and socio-technical components play an important role in both attacks and applying effective countermeasures.
Our paper "A Structured Overview of Attacks on Blockchain Systems" presenting the results of this research project has been accepted for presentation at the 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2021).
Artificial Intelligence (AI) carries the potential to drive innovation in many parts of today’s business environment. Instead of building AI capabilities in-house, some organizations turn towards an emergent phenomenon: AI service platforms. However, as a novel concept in both research and practice, a systematic characterization of AI service platforms is missing.
To address this gap, we defined the concept of AI service platforms and developed a comprehensive taxonomy. Therefore, we relied on existing literature, 14 expert interviews, and a sample of 31 AI service platforms. Our contribution is threefold: First, our taxonomy systematically structures essential properties of AI service platforms, guiding future research and management practice. Second, we derive three generic motives of AI service platforms. Third, we contribute to the literature by critically discussing to what extent AI service platforms fit into the existing academic discourse on digital platforms and elaborate on future research directions.
Our paper “Gateways to Artificial Intelligence: Developing a Taxonomy for AI Service Platforms” presenting the results of this research project has been accepted for presentation at the 29th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2021).
Paper on requirements for blockchain-based e-government services accepted for presentation at WI 2021
Information Systems research acknowledges the importance of identifying requirements to ensure the artifact's relevance. However, many research articles addressing blockchain technology for e-government capture the requirements that need to be fulfilled only implicitly by defining system objectives or evaluation criteria. Furthermore, focusing on specific use-cases encompasses the risk of overlooking those requirements, which are not as obvious but equally important. This procedure causes uncertainty regarding the requirements a blockchain-based e-government service needs to fulfill.
Therefore, we conducted a systematic literature review on blockchain-based government-to-citizen (G2C) e-government services. On this basis, we categorized the requirements as we find that they address either the data of the system, the user, or the system itself. Our categorization provides a structured overview supporting researchers in conducting research on blockchain technology in the public sector and giving practitioners input to develop, test, and evaluate new blockchain-based G2C e-government services.
Our paper "What Do We Really Need? A Systematic Literature Review of the Requirements for Blockchain-based E-government Services" on the results of this research project co-authered by Julia Ahmend, Julian Kaiser, Lucas Uhlig, Fabiana Völter and myself has been accepted for presentation at the 16th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI 2021).