Surveying Organizational Threats of Blockchain

In a recent study that I did on blockchain use cases, I found that most use cases focus on addressing a particular use case problem with blockchain. However, what consistently was lacking was a discussion of potential threats that are introduced when applying blockchain. From an empirical perspective, I also find that in practice blockchain advocates tend to focus on addressing the use case problem with blockchain, and the threats of blockchain are usually not mentioned.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. However, I believe these technologies should be applied where necessary; these technologies should not be applied where possible. Applying these technologies where it could be applied may introduce unnecessary threats.

Although several good surveys exist on the security and privacy threats of blockchain, see for example the work by Li et al. and Conti et al. , there is no survey of organizational risks.

In this white paper we survey potential organizational threats for use cases that adopt blockchain. We grouped the 22 threats in two categories, 1. Threats caused by human behavior, and 2. Threats caused by blockchain. Our survey complements the existing work on security and privacy threats of blockchain. These surveys can be used for the identification of blockchain risks in use case that (plan to) adopt blockchain.

Any feedback is again welcome either through Linkedin or email.