A4 Article in conference proceedings

Exploring the Disruptiveness of Cryptocurrencies: A Causal Layered Analysis-Based Approach

List of Authors: Matti Mäntymäki, Milla Wirén, A. K. M. Najmul Islam

Conference name: Conference on e-Business, e-Services and e-Society

Publisher: Springer

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Book title *: Responsible Design, Implementation and Use of Information and Communication Technology

Journal name in source: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

Volume number: 12066

ISBN: 978-3-030-44998-8

eISBN: 978-3-030-44999-5

ISSN: 0302-9743

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44999-5_3


The purpose of this study is to explore whether the diffusion of cryptocurrencies represents a disruptive change and what is the potential magnitude of this change. To this end, we take disruptive innovation theory as our point of departure to scrutinize cryptocurrencies as an instance of socio-technical change. We employ Causal Layered Analysis to develop our four-layer analytical framework to conceptually examine the changes pertained by the diffusion of cryptocurrencies. We provide examples of changes company-level, industry-level as well as societal changes where cryptocurrencies have played a central role. On a company level, cryptocurrencies provide a cost-efficient means for cross-border money transfer and thus pose a significant threat to the existing intermediary-based business models. On an industry level, many central banks are experimenting with crypto- or digital currencies. On a societal level, cryptocurrencies play an important role in particularly when the traditional institutions and societal structures collapse. For example, in Venezuela’s recent political and economic crisis, cryptocurrencies contributed to the development of a parallel financial system when the bolivar practically lost its value. Our study provides an analytical framework to systematically evaluate the potential disruptive nature of cryptocurrencies as well as other blockchain-based technologies.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 08:48