|Blockchain: Capabilities, Economic Viability, and the Socio-Technical Environment|
Blockchain is widely considered a new key technology. The Foundation for Technology Assessment (TA-SWISS) has proposed a comprehensive assessment of blockchain technologies. With this publication, TA-SWISS provides the much-needed social contextualisation of blockchain. The first, more technical part of the study takes an in-depth look at how blockchain functions and examines the economic potential of this technology. By analysing multiple real-world applications, the study sheds light on where the blockchain has advantages over traditional applications and where existing technologies continue to be the better solution. The second part of the study examines how blockchain became mainstream. It explores the origins of blockchain in the early history of information technology and computer networks. The study also reveals the impact blockchain has on industrial and public spaces. Finally, it discusses the social implications and challenges of blockchain against the background of a new socio-technical environment.