Information Technologies

The dApp economy

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We study the emerging innovation frontier of decentralised applications (dApps) and blockchain platforms. We describe the fundamental features of decentralised blockchain platforms and illustrate the growth of the dApp economy as well as the emerging variety of blockchain platforms. We also characterise the dApp ecosystem highlighting the new types of parties, such as transaction validators, that are essential in the functioning of decentralised platforms. We show how design choices moderate the impact of decentralisation of the transaction system on digital innovation. By comparing decentralised platforms against centralised platforms and hierarchies, we pinpoint the limited opportunities for strategic action on the part of the platform provider to shape the direction of innovation. We speculate that the limited governability of blockchain platforms can give rise to an abundance of generativity and unpredictability in these ecosystems.
Bibliographic citation: LEIPONEN, A., THOMAS, L. D. W., WANG, Q. (2021). The dApp economy. A new platform for distributed innovation? Innovation-Organization & Management. doi:10.1080/14479338.2021.1965887.

Reference: 10.1080/14479338.2021.1965887 (DOI)
Date: 01/08/2021
Author(s): Aija Leiponen; Llewellyn D.W. Thomas; Qian Wang
Document type: Article in Journal (refereed)
Department: Information Systems
Languages: English