Blockchain technology has been gaining popularity in recent years as a potential solution to various problems faced by businesses and organizations. A blockchain is a distributed database that allows for secure, transparent, and tamper-proof record-keeping. This makes it an attractive option for use cases such as supply chain management, identity management, asset tracking, and many others.
Despite the promise of blockchain technology, its adoption has been slow due to several factors such as regulatory uncertainty, lack of understanding of the technology, and concerns about its scalability. Nevertheless, there has been a growing body of research on blockchain-based applications in recent years.
The purpose of this paper is to conduct a systematic literature review of existing research on blockchain-based applications. We aim to identify the major research themes and trends in this area and to provide insights into the future direction of this burgeoning field of study.
This paper is organized as follows: Section 2 provides an overview of blockchain technology and its potential applications. Section 3 discusses the methodology adopted for this literature review. Section 4 presents the results of the literature review, and Section 5 offers some concluding remarks.
2. Blockchain Technology and Applications
2.1 Overview of Blockchain Technology
A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed database that allows for secure, transparent,t and tamper-proof record-keeping. The data is stored in a shared ledger that is maintained by a network of computers, known as nodes. Blockchain makes sure that each node in the node same copy of the transactions.
2.2 Potential Applications of Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology has potential applications in a wide range of industries and sectors. Some of the most promising use cases include:
Supply chain management: A blockchain helps to track the movement of goods and materials through a supply chain. This would allow businesses to identify bottlenecks and optimize their supply chains.
Identity management: A blockchain helps to store and manage digital identities. This would enable individuals to control their data and reduce the risk of identity theft.
Asset tracking: A blockchain helps to track the ownership of assets such as land, vehicles, and intellectual property. This would help to reduce fraud and corruption.
3.1 Search Strategy
We conducted a systematic literature review of blockchain-based applications, following the methodology proposed by Kitchenham et al. We searched for relevant papers in four electronic databases: Science Direct, IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, and SpringerLink. It also searched for grey literature on Google Scholar and the websites of major blockchain consortia ( Hyperledger and R3 ).
In total, we identified 471 papers that were relevant to our study. We also excluded papers that were not about blockchain technology or its applications.
3.2 Data Extraction
For each of the 85 papers, we extracted the following data: title, author(s), year of publication, journal/conference name, and country of origin. We also extracted the abstracts and keywords for each paper, to identify the major research themes and trends.
4.1 Overview of Blockchain Research
The majority of the papers originated from the United States (39%), followed by China (9%), the United Kingdom (6%), and Canada (5%). Other countries represented include Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea.
4.2 Major Research Themes
The 85 papers were classified into four major themes: (1) Bitcoin, (2) distributed ledger technology, (3) smart contracts, and (4) applications of blockchain technology. The papers in this category focus on the technical aspects of Bitcoin, such as the mining process.
5.1 Implications for Practice
The findings of this study have several implications for practitioners. Blockchain is rapidly changing in the field of blockchain. Practitioners must be up to date with the latest developments.
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