Written by Quinn DuPont. Last updated July 2018.

There was once a time when cryptocurrency and blockchain research was a tiny and mostly confused field. That’s no longer the case! Research is growing rapidly and finding mainstream scholarly acceptance.

The earliest research was published in 2012 and started to take off with the first Bitcoin bubble of 2013. Since then, the research landscape has expanded rapidly, with every discipline and nearly every topic represented. At the same time, the quality of research has risen significantly too.

This page is an attempt to detail the breadth and depth of cryptocurrency and blockchain research. It will be frequently updated as the field grows and the landscape changes. We invite contributions and feedback.

Literature Reviews

A recent literature review by Mark Holub and Jackie Johnson (2018) found 1,206 academic articles focusing on Bitcoin (and only Bitcoin), which they organized into seven categories (Technology, Economics, Regulation, Critical Thought, Finance, Tax, and Accounting). They also noted that half the papers they collected were only available in preprint/manuscript version, which they (perhaps optimistically) attributed to research outpacing publication venues.

A literature review by Osemwonyemwen Oshodin, Alemayehu Molla, and Chin Eang Ong (2016) on cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and digital currencies limited to information systems journals, found 81 papers. They organized the papers into four categories (End User, Organizational, System, and Research Directions).

A literature review by Jesse Yli-Huum, Deokyoon K, Sujin Choi, Sooyong Park, and Kari Smolander (2016) on blockchains (loosely interpreted) found 41 papers. They organized the papers into nine categories (Throughput, Latency, Size and Bandwidth, Security, Wasted Resources, Usability, Versioning etc., Privacy, and Others).

A review of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies by Marcel Morisse (2015) found 54 papers. These papers were organized according to four criteria (Protocol Layer, Network Layer, Ecosystem Layer).

It is interesting to note the very different (and largely incommensurate) landscape each review reveals. Some of the difference between Holub and Johnson’s very large study and the rest may be attributed to the prior including non-published literature, but this seems to be only part of the story.


2018

Holub, Mark; Johnson, Jackie

Bitcoin research across disciplines Journal Article

The Information Society, 34 (2), pp. 114–126, 2018, ISSN: 0197-2243.

Sign-in to access fulltext and additional features.

2016

Oshodin, Osemwonyemwen; Molla, Alemayehu; Ong, Chin Eang

An Information Systems Perspective on Digital Currencies: A Systematic Literature Review Inproceedings

pp. 1-11, ACIS, Wollongong, Australia, 2016.

Sign-in to access fulltext and additional features.

Yli-Huumo, Jesse; Ko, Deokyoon; Choi, Sujin; Park, Sooyong; Smolander, Kari

Where is current research on blockchain technology?—a systematic review Journal Article

PloS one, 11 (10), pp. 1-27, 2016.

Sign-in to access fulltext and additional features.

2015

Morisse, Marcel

Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin: Charting the Research Landscape Inproceedings

Puerto Rico, 2015.

Sign-in to access fulltext and additional features.


 

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Research Centers and Laboratories

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain University Courses

Other Bibliographies

There are three other bibliographies of research in the field, each with a different approach to scholarly publications (and unique limitations). The bibliographic collection of the Blockchain Research Network is differentiated from these other collections by its focus on resources and tools of use to academics, broad topical scope, and crowdsourced model of collection. The Blockchain Research Network bibliography has been cross-referenced with these bibliographies but is still growing and evolving.

Brett Scott’s “Bitcoin Academic Research

Features and limitations:

  • The first large-scale bibliography of research on cryptocurrencies and blockchains
  • No search or user-accessible metadata
  • No longer maintained

Christian Decker’s “Comprehensive Academic Bitcoin Research Archive

Features and limitations

  • Actively maintained
  • Bibtex available
  • No search

Blockchain Library’s “Category: Academic Publications

Features and limitations:

  • Multiple categories
  • Limited to articles with DOIs
  • Not comprehensive
  • No search or user-accessible metadata