Chee Tee Wan: Business on Chain – A Case Study of five Blockchain-Inspired Business Models

Dr. Chee Tee Wan (Copenhagen Business School) will introduce a case study of five blockchain-inspired business models in his talk.


Blockchain, despite its origin as the underlying infrastructure 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 transparent 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 distinctive logics for market differentiation. For each business model, we proffer insights into its value creation logic, its value capturing mechanism, and the challenges that could threaten its longer-term viability. Grounded in our findings, we discussed key implications for theory and practice.

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