Business on Chain – A Case Study of five Blockchain-Inspired Business Models

14 February 2019, 2.00 to 3.00 p.m., Room A103 – A105
Dr. Chee Tee Wan – Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Blockchain, despite its origin as the underlying infra-structure for value transfer in the era of cryptocurrency, has been touted as the main disruptive force in modern businesses. Blockchain is embedded with the capability to chronologically capture and store transactional data in a standardized and tamper-proof format that is trans-parent to all stakeholders involved in the transaction. This in turn has prompted companies to rethink pre-existing business practices, thereby yielding a myriad of fascinating business models anchored on blockchain. In this study, we advance contemporary knowledge of business applications of blockchain by drawing on the theoretical lens of digital business model and value configuration to decipher how pioneers in this space are leveraging blockchain to create and capture value. Through a comparative, multiple case study approach, we analyzed five companies in mainland China that have rolled out blockchain initiatives. From our case analysis, we derived a typology of five blockchain-inspired business models, each of which embodies dis-tinctive logics for market differentiation. For each busi-ness model, we proffer insights into its value creation logic, its value capturing mechanism, and the challeng-es that could threaten its longer-term viability. Ground-ed in our findings, we discussed key implications for theory and practice.