Call for Papers: special issue on Blockchain


This special issue, guest-edited by Prof. Hans Jochen Scholl and Prof. Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar seeks high-quality contributions in theoretical, empirical, experimental, and application-oriented research on blockchain and Digital Government.

Blockchain and the Public Sector: Expected Impacts, Benefits, Challenges, Policies, and Regulatory Issues

Blockchain has received significant attention in the area of financial technology (FinTech). As disruptive innovation of the Internet era it combines several computer technologies, including distributed data storage, point-to-point transmission, consensus mechanisms, and encryption algorithms (Zhang, 2016). Initially, blockchain technology has been used to record historical transactions of encrypted digital money such as Bitcoin (Nakamoto, 2008). However, due to its key characteristic of immutability, i.e., an appendonly record system, blockchain technology has further developed beyond virtual currencies combining existing technologies for recording a range of different types of business transactions.                    

Blockchain is transforming industries by enabling innovative business practices in areas such as remittance, payment, banking, financing, trading, manufacturing, supply chain management, legal service, among others. Recently, public administrations have been introducing blockchain technologies to areas, in which actors must reliably record decentralized transactions, in particular, in environments where not all parties, whether humans or machines, can be fully trusted. Blockchain technology has been portrayed as a universal, evolving, open and transparent, robust infrastructure that cannot be easily corrupted (Ølnes & Jansen, 2018).                                                                               

Given the trustworthiness and security, the use of blockchain can help increase citizens’ trust in government information. It might enable the coordination of transactions and information exchanges within the emerging “Internet of Things”, or, it also might have uses in digital identification and voting systems (Pilkington, 2016). However, while many potential benefits in Digital Government have been identified, it is important that researchers begin discussing challenges, benefits, regulations, frameworks, taxonomies, and applications of blockchain technologies in the public domain.                                                      

This Special Issue seeks high-quality contributions in theoretical, empirical, experimental, and application-oriented research on blockchain and Digital Government. For example, we invite submissions presenting cases and applications of blockchain addressing smart cities’ challenges; and/or presenting information frameworks or taxonomies for government transparency and accountability; and/or describing the role of blockchain architectures and applications to comply with societal needs and public values; and/or describing experiences in designing, implementing and using blockchain and smart contract applications to solve real world problems.

Other topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Blockchain technologies as support infrastructure in Digital Government services.
• Blockchain in reorganizing and replacing public registries.
• Blockchain in public procurement.
• Applications of blockchain and smart contracts.
• Transaction process changes via blockchain.
• New taxonomies of blockchain technologies in Digital Government.
• New models for digital currencies that exploit blockchain and smart contracts.
• Socio-economic implications of blockchain technology.
• Accountability, information disclosure and integrity issues using blockchain technologies in the public sector.
• Changes in information governance models using blockchain technologies.
• Trust models and trust in public sector management.
• Regulation and law enforcement in blockchain technologies.
• Blockchain and network big data (for example, big data analytics).
• Blockchain and the Internet of Things.
• Encryption and other technologies in blockchain.
• Data consistency in blockchain.
• Information privacy versus “right-to-know” in blockchain.
• Blockchain in next generation mobile communication networks.
• Blockchain and smart cities.
• Technical and other vulnerabilities of blockchain architectures


Nakamoto, S. (2008). Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf - Accessed 22 August 2018.

Ølnes, S., & Jansen, A. (2018, May). Blockchain technology as infrastructure in public sector: an analytical framework. In Proceedings of the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Governance in the Data Age (p.77). ACM.

Pilkington, M. (2016). Blockchain technology: principles and applications. In: Xavier Olleros F, Majlinda Z (eds) Research Handbook on Digital Transformations. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, U.K.

Zhang, E. (2016). Antshares Whitepaper1.0. https://github.com/AntShares/AntShares/wiki/Whitepaper -1.0. Accessed 2 Feb 2018


September 15, 2018
Announcement of Special Issue on “Blockchain and the Public Sector: Expected Impacts, Benefits, Challenges, Policies, and Regulatory Issues” as Information Polity, volume 24, issue 4 (December 2019)

January 15, 2019
Deadline for paper abstracts submission

February 15, 2019
Feedback on submitted abstracts from guest editors

March 31, 2019 
Deadline for full article submission

May 15, 2019                     
Acceptance/rejection decisions communicated to authors

June 15, 2019                   
Revised manuscripts of accepted submissions due

June 30, 2019                    
Finalized manuscripts and editorial handed over to editor-in-chief and publisher

December 2019                
Publication of IP vol 24, iss 4

Guest Editors of the Special Issue:

Prof. Hans Jochen Scholl (jscholl@uw.edu) is a full professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. He has published numerous academic articles and other contributions in the wider areas of Digital Government, Disaster Management, and Information Artifact Evaluation. He has served as track chair for the Digital Government track at HICSS; he also is a co-organizer of the EGOV-CeDEM-ePart conference and a Past Chair of the IFIP WG 8.5. He also served as president of the Digital Government Society. His recent publications have focused on topics of smart governance and regulations, and other related topics.

Prof. Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar (manuelp@ugr.es) is a full professor at the University of Granada. He has published numerous academic articles and other contributions in the wider areas of Accounting and Digital Government. He serves as track chair and minitrack chair at several high-ranked academic conferences around the world. He also is the editor-in-chief for the International Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age (IJPADA), which is one of the core journals in the domain of Digital Government. His recent publications have focused on smart cities, smart and networked governance, and other related topics.