This research acknowledges the increasing significance of blockchain technology and emphasizes the importance of countries understanding their preparedness for its adoption. With blockchain evolving in various sectors, it becomes crucial for nations to evaluate their level of blockchain maturity and their suitability for hosting blockchain-based activities. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of comprehensive tools available for such assessments. To address this gap, the research proposes the design of a Blockchain Readiness Index (BRI). The BRI is a composite index that combines a wide range of indicators from diverse sources, aggregating them into a single score. This quantitative methodology (index) enables the assessment of blockchain adoption on a per- country basis. The index developed in this study differentiates between the most promising and non-hostile countries, serving as a foundation for the professional endeavours, decision-making processes, and operations of organizations, investors, academics, and other stakeholders within the blockchain industry. This research initially presents an overview of the landscape of similar attempts to design such indexes by reviewing and identifying potential gaps and opportunities for improving their methodological design, leading to more relevant conclusions. In addition, the research aims to contribute toward a systematic methodology for building a BRI using techniques from the information retrieval domain to normalize the non-normalized values and a cosine similarity measure to derive an index ranking that assesses countries globally. More specifically, the proposed BRI covers a wide range of blockchain and technological-oriented indicators, which are organized into the following “pillars”: (1) Regulation, (2) Technological Advancement, (3) Blockchain Industry Presence, and (4) Local Users Engagement. The methodology of this tool includes the selection of indicators according to community’s assessment. This process includes assessing indicators of previously established scientific indexes and a survey gathering data from academically qualified participants who are providing the significance of suggested indicators by voting on weights. An additional characteristic which is embedded into the methodology is the flexibility on the weighting of indicators according to the end user’s preferences. Besides relying on the judgment of academically qualified participants to suggest the importance of indicators, the study aims to provide additional flexibility by introducing three different variations of the BRI. Specifically, a) The BRI Standard Version, which assumes equal weighting of indicators, b) The BRI Community-Driven Version, which relies on the judgment of survey participants;
and c) The Weights-Adjustment Version, which allows end-users to adjust weights according to their customized views and preferences.
BRI aims to assess beyond the regulatory environment and examine several other factors, such as local engagement, expertise, investments, and the need for a decentralized provision of services. An empirical evaluation reports preliminary but promising results of the algorithmic design methodology showing evidence that the identified indicators are sufficient for developing the index compared to judgments made by human experts. Overall, the application of the BRI revealed a range of blockchain readiness levels among nations, distinguishing between the most promising and non-hostile countries for blockchain technology.
An interesting finding is that the top country rankings of the BRI 2021 Standard Version (Appendix III) and the BRI 2021 Community-Driven Version are identical, with Singapore, Sweden, Malta, the USA, and Ireland claiming the top 5 positions. In contrast, when applying different variations of the BRI 2021 Weights-Adjustment Version in section 5.2.3, there are changes in country positions and scores.
This research fills a significant knowledge gap in providing a dynamic methodology for assessing national blockchain readiness. Future research could further refine the BRI and explore its application in different contexts.
Blockchain Readiness Index – On Techniques for Determining the Blockchain Readiness per Country
- PhD thesis
- Blockchain -- Indicators