Blockchain as a Platform

  • Florian GlaserEmail author
  • Florian Hawlitschek
  • Benedikt Notheisen


Digitalization is a ubiquitous term and refers to the digitization of processes and information alongside improvements, innovations, and reinventions that are enabled by increasingly powerful information technology. Today, nearly every industry sector is affected by digitalization and is facing threats and opportunities through new possibilities. With the rise of the digitalization, the platform approach has become the dominant strategy for large companies to operate an extensible, digital medium of exchange for products, information, and services. A large share of companies with the highest market capitalization based their business on platforms (e.g., Apple, Alphabet, Amazon). The earlier evolutionary stages of today’s digital platforms were two-sided markets, where two groups of users exchanged goods and every internet user could take the role of either a buyer or a seller (e.g., eBay). Over the last decades, it became a common decision to open up a platform to third-party service developers who could reuse the platform’s core functionality to build complementary components. This opening up of platforms is referred to as “permissionless innovation” (de Reuver et al. 2017). A digital platform is defined as “a system that can be programmed and therefore customized by outside developers users and in that way, adapted to countless needs and niches that the platforms original developers could not have possibly contemplated” (Parker and Van Alstyne 2017).


Blockchain Platform Institution Governance Trust Blockchain engineering IT infrastructure Institutional economics Markets 



The authors are listed in alphabetical order, and all contributed equally to this book chapter. We thank Christof Weinhardt for his support and Christian Saur for his assistance in writing this chapter. Finally, financial support from Börse Stuttgart is gratefully acknowledged. The funders had no role in the content, structure, or preparation of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Glaser
    • 1
    Email author
  • Florian Hawlitschek
    • 1
  • Benedikt Notheisen
    • 1
  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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