How Can Blockchain Technology Disrupt the Existing Business Models?


Objective: The main purpose of the paper is to show that blockchain technology may disrupt the existing business models and to explore how this may occur.

Research Design & Methods: This is a theory development paper which relies on a literature review and desk re-search. The discussion of the reviewed sources leads to the formulation of three re-search propositions.

Findings: The paper provides a short overview of key literature on business models and business model innovation, indicating, among others, that new technologies may be one of the drivers of business model innovation. This study also provides an overview of blockchain technology and a range of its business applications showing how it can disrupt business models. It is shown that blockchain technology may affect many dimensions of business models. We propose that there are three crucial ways in which blockchain technology can affect and disrupt business models: by authenticating traded goods, via disintermediation and via lowering transaction costs.

Implications & Recommendations: This study shows that blockchain technology may affect diverse dimensions of business models in diverse industries. It is recommended that mangers should follow developments in this field in order to prepare for possible disruptions in their industries.

Contribution & Value Added: This study provides an analysis of the possible impact of blockchain technology on business model innovation. Blockchain technology is gaining momentum with more and more diverse applications, as well as increasing numbers of actors involved in its applications. This paper contributes to our understanding of the possible applications of blockchain technology to businesses, and in particular to its impact on business models.



blockchain; business models; innovation; technology; sharing economy

Baden-Fuller, C., & Haefliger, S., (2013). Business models and technological innovation. Long Range Planning, 46(6), 419-426. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Brink, J., & Holmén, M. (2009). Capabilities and Radical Changes of the Business Models of New Bioscience Firms. Creativity and Innovation Management, 18(2), 109-120. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8691.2009.00519.x

Bucherer, E., Eisert, U., & Gassmann, O. (2012). Towards Systematic Business Model Innovation: Lessons from Product Innovation Management. Creativity and Innovation Management, 21(2), 183-197. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8691.2012.00637.x

Capgemini Consulting (2016, October 11). Smart Contracts in Financial Services: Getting from Hype to Reality. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Casadesus-Masanell, R., & Ricart, J. (2010). From strategy to business models and onto tactics. Long Range Planning, 43, 195-215. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Chesbrough, H. (2010). Business Model Innovation: Opportunities and Barriers. Long Range Plan-ning, 43(2-3), 354-363. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Coinbase, Inc. (2017). Bitcoin price (USD). Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Comment on SR-BatsBZX-2016-30, (2016). Retrieved on May 29, 2017 from

DaSilva C., Trkman, P., Desouza,K., & Lindič, J. (2013). Disruptive technologies: a business model perspective on cloud computing. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 25(10), 1161-1173.

DaSilva, C.M., & Trkman, P. (2016). Business Model: What It Is and What It Is Not. Long Range Planning, 47(6), 379-389. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

De Filippi, P. (2017, March 15). What Blockchain Means for the Sharing Economy. Harvard Busi-ness Review Digital Articles. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Deloitte (2016). What is blockchain. Retrieved on February 17, 2017 from

Deloitte (2017). Blockchain@Media. A new game changer for the media industry?. Retrieved on February 17, 2017 from


Doz, Y.L., & Kosonen, M. (2010). Embedding strategic agility: a leadership agenda for accelerating business model renewal. Long Range Planning, 43(2-3), 370-382. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Fujitsu (2016). Mizuho Bank and Fujitsu Trial Blockchain to Streamline Cross-Border Securities Transaction Settlements. Retrieved on February 17, 2017 from

Gambardella, A., & McGahan, A. (2010). Business Model Innovation: General Purpose Technolo-gies and Their Implications for Industry Structure. Long Range Planning, 43(2-3), 262-271. Re-trieved on March 15, 2017 from

Gupta, V. (2017, March 6). The Promise of Blockchain. In a World Without Middlemen. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles. Retrieved on May 4, 2017 from

Hock, M., Clauss, T., & Schulz, E. (2015). The impact of organizational culture on a firm’s capability to innovate the business model. R&D Management, 46(3), 433-450. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Holotiuk, F., Pisani, F., & Moormann, J. (2017). The Impact of Blockchain Technology on Business Models in the Payments Industry. Paper presented at 13th International conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Iansiti, M., & Lakhani, K.R. (2017). The Truth About Blockchain. Harvard Business Review, 95(1), 119-127.

Lopez, O. (2016). The Tech behind Bitcoin Could Help Artists and Protect Collectors. So Why Won’t They Use It?. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Kaminska, I. (2016). Tuna Blockchains and Chilean Seabass. Financial Times. Retrieved on February 16, 2017 from

King, S. (2017). Will The Blockchain Disrupt The Real Estate Industry: You Can Bet On It! Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Luther, W.J. (2016a). Bitcoin and the future of digital payments. The Independent Review. 20(3), 397-404, Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Luther, W.J. (2016b). Cryptocurrencues, network effects, and switching costs. Contemporary Eco-nomic Policy, 34(3): 553-571. doi: 10.1111/coep.12151

MacIver, K. (2016). Why blockchains will rewrite business models and revolutionize industries. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Miles, B. (2017, March 6). 6 Trends From CoinDesk’s New 2017 State of Blockchain Out Today. Retrieved on February 19, 2017 from

Nakamoto, S. (2008). Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Retrieved on January 15, 2017 from

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., & Tucci C.L. (2005). Clarifying business models: origins, present, and future of the concept. Communications of the Asociation for Information Systems, 16, 1-25. Retrieved on February 15, 2017 from

Parker, L. (2017). Blockchain technology can solve several media industry problems. Retrieved on 15 March, 2017 from

Pujol, N. (2010, December 1). Freemium: Attributes of an Emerging Business Model. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from,

PWC, (n.d.) Making sense of bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Rayna, T., & Striukova, L. (2016). From rapid prototyping to home fabrication: How 3D printing is changing business model innovation. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 102, 214-224. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Reuters (2017, February 1). REFILE-UAE bank NBAD offers blockchain payments after tie-up with Ripple. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Rizzo, P. (2016). 10 Stock and Commodities Exchanges Investigating Blockchain Tech. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Roberts, J.J. (2016, October 20). Ripple and R3 Achieve Breakthrough in Cross-Border Bank Pay-ments. Fortune. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Rogers, C. (2017, April 5). Why marketers need to get to grips with Blockchain. Marketing Week, 4/5/2017, Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from marketers-need-know-blockchain/

Sosna, M., Trevinyo-Rodríguez, R.N., & Velamuri, S.R. (2010). Business Model Innovation through Trial-and-Error Learning. The Naturhouse Case. Long Range Planning, 43(2-3), 383-407.

Sun, J., Yan, J., & Zhang, K.Z.K. (2016). Blockchain-based sharing services: What blockchain tech-nology can contribute to smart cities. Financial Innovation, 2-26.

Tapscott, D., & Kirkland, R. (2016). How blockchains could change the world. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Teece, D.J. (2010). Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation. Long Range Planning, 43(2-3), 172-194.

Vermes, K. (2016, February 9). Blockchain Startups Take Aim at Counterfeiting of Luxury Products. BitCoin Magazine. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Wirtz, B.W., Pistoia, A., Ullrich S., & Gӧttel, V. (2016). Business Models: Origin, Development and Future Research Perspectives. Long Range Planning, 49(1), 36-54. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Zhao, J.L., Fan, S., & Yan, J. (2016). Overview of business innovations and research opportunities in blockchain and introduction to the special issue. Financial Innovation, 2:28, Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from

Zhu, H., & Zhou, Z.Z. (2016). Analysis and outlook of applications of blockchain technology to equi-ty crowdfunding in China. Financial Innovation, 2-29, Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from‐016‐0044‐7

Zott, C., Amit, R., & Massa, L. (2011). The business model: Recent developments and future re-search. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1019-1042. Retrieved on March 15, 2017 from


Published : 2017-09-19

Nowiński, W., & Kozma, M. (2017). How Can Blockchain Technology Disrupt the Existing Business Models?. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 5(3), 173-188.

Witold Nowiński
WSB University in Poznan  Poland

Assistant Professor

Institute of Management

Miklós Kozma 
Corvinus University of Budapest  Hungary

Senior Assistant Professor,

Business Economics Institute

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a CC BY-ND licence that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are asked to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

 Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access). We advise to use any of the following reserach society portals:

Most read articles by the same author(s)