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Research Seminar - Blockchain Won’t Kill the Banks: The Case of International Trade Finance

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Sprecher: Prof. Gilbert Fridgen (University of Bayreuth)
Veranstaltung: Montag, den 17. September 2018 14:00 - 14:45
Ort: Room E004, JFK Building
29, Avenue John F. Kennedy
1855 Luxembourg

In research and practice, we observe two main directions of organizations applying blockchain: First, organizations use blockchain for optimizing existing processes (blockchain-based business process optimization – B3PO). Second, organizations use blockchain to disrupt existing processes, foster disintermediation, and enable disruptive business models (blockchain-based business process reengineering – B3PRE). Although blockchain currently pushes into the market and businesses expect significant improvements compared to existing approaches, broad scientific research that evaluates the technology’s actual potential is still missing.

To bridge this gap, we followed a Design Science Research approach in collaboration with a major German bank as well as a German bank consortium. We developed and evaluated a B3PO and a B3PRE blockchain prototype for a means of international trade finance – the letter of credit. From expert interviews discussing the two prototypes, we derived a third, mixed approach to a future letter of credit that has features dominant to both. We found that while reducing the number of process participants and costs, as well as improving process efficiency and flexibility, it still features an important role for at least one bank.

Gilbert Fridgen, born 1980, is University Professor of Information Systems and Sustainable IT Management at the University of Bayreuth, Deputy Director of the Project Group Business & Information Systems Engineering of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT), and Deputy Director of the Research Center Finance & Information Management. Furthermore, he is founder and co-director of the Fraunhofer Blockchain Lab. Prior to his position in Bayreuth, he started his academic career at the University of Augsburg. From 2011 to 2013 he was Deputy Professor for Business Engineering, especially Finance, Operations & Information Management. From 2010 to 2013 he pursued his habilitation in Information Systems Engineering. From 2005 to 2010 he did his doctorate on IT risk/return management. From 1999 to 2005 he earned a Diploma of Managerial Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Electronic Commerce.