Chaining Property to Blocks – On the Economic Efficiency of Blockchain-Based Property Enforcement

  • Janina da Costa Cruz
  • Aenne Sophie SchröderEmail author
  • Georg von Wangenheim
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 339)


Within the last two years, much has been written about the blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. However, few actual use cases related to real world phenomena have been proffered in that literature. Most applications remain entirely in the virtual world or their descriptions remain on a very abstract and speculative level. In this paper we study one possible application on the powers of blockchain technology to real-world problems. In particular, we study the economic feasibility, effectiveness and efficiency of blockchain-based registries for property of chattel and the technical enforcement of the rights listed in such registries. For the example of smartphones, we show that their, and their owners’ registration in a blockchain may achieve a most desirable results from registration, theft becomes less attractive. An additional advantage, which we also briefly touch on, is that the use of smartphones as collateral without possession may become possible. We study under what conditions the benefits from registration is feasible in a blockchain-based distributed ledger and why they are not implemented under less complex technologies such as registries owned and administered by producers of smartphones.


Asset tokenization Incentive analysis Blockchain application 


  1. Arruñada, B.: Blockchain’s struggle to deliver impersonal exchange. Minn. J. Law Sci. Technol. 19(1), 55–105 (2018)Google Scholar
  2. Armour, J.: The law and economics debate about secured lending: lessons for European lawmaking? In: The Future of Secured Credit in Europe, pp. 3–29. De Gruyter, Berlin (2008)Google Scholar
  3. Chiu, J., Koeppl, T.: The Economics of Cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Beyond. In: Queen’s Economics Department Working Paper No. 1389, Kingston (2017)Google Scholar
  4. Collindres, J., Regan, M., Panting, G.: Using blockchain to secure Honduras land titles (2016). Accessed 26 June 2018
  5. Deutscher Bundestag (2014). Accessed 28 June 2018
  6. Flessner, A.: Security interests in receivables – a European perspective. In: The Future of Secured Credit in Europe, pp. 336–349. De Gruyter, Berlin (2008)Google Scholar
  7. Government Office for Science: Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain (2016). Accessed 28 June 2018
  8. Holler, M.: Fighting pollution when decisions are strategic. Public Choice 76(4), 347–356 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. IBM Government Industry Blog (2016). Accessed 28 June 2018
  10. Kroll, J., Davey, I., Felten, E.: The economics of bitcoin minung or, bitcoin in the presence of adversaries. In: The Twelfth Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS 2013) Washington, DC (2013)Google Scholar
  11. Livingston, M.: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (or would it?): filing and searching in Article 9’s public records. BYU Law Rev. 111(1), 111–165 (2007)Google Scholar
  12. Ministry of Communications Department of Telecommunications (2017). Accessed 28 June 2018
  13. Nakamoto, S.: Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system (2008). Accessed 27 June 2018
  14. Nield, D.: You locked yourself out of your phone, now what? – Other than remembering your PIN a little better next time (2017). Accessed 28 June 2018
  15. Shin, L.: Republic of Georgia to pilot land titling on blockchain with economist Hernando De Soto, BitFury (2016). Accessed 28 June 2018
  16. Sigman, H.: Perfection and priority of security rights. In: The future of secured credit in Europe, pp. 143–165. De Gruyter, Berlin (2008)Google Scholar
  17. Swan, M.: Blockchain-Blueprint for a New Economy. O’Reilly, Sebastopol (2015)Google Scholar
  18. Swanson, T.: Smart Property, Colored Coins and Mastercoin (2014). Accessed 28 June 2018
  19. Tapscott, D., Tapscott, A.: Blockchain Revolution: How Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World. Portfolio, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  20. Tsebelis, G.: Penalty and crime: further theoretical considerations and empirical evidence. J. Theor. Polit. 5(3), 349–374 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Vicary, S.: Joint production and the private provision of public goods. J. Public Econ. 63(3), 429–445 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wangenheim, G.: Games and Public Administration – The Law and Economics of Regulation and Licensing. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (2004)Google Scholar
  23. Wigmore, J.: The plege-idea: A study in comparative legal ideas. Harvard Law Rev. 10(6), 321–350 (1897)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wortmann, F., Flüchter, K.: Internet of things – technology and value added. Bus. Inf. Syst. Eng. 57(3), 221–224 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Kassel, Blockchain-Center.euKasselGermany

Personalised recommendations