Understanding the blockchain using enterprise ontology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Blockchain technology is regarded as highly disruptive, but there is a lack of formalization and standardization of terminology. Not only because there are several (sometimes propriety) implementation platforms, but also because the academic literature so far is predominantly written from either a purely technical or an economic application perspective. The result of the confusion is an offspring of blockchain solutions, types, roadmaps and interpretations. For blockchain to be accepted as a technology standard in established industries, it is pivotal that ordinary internet users and business executives have a basic yet fundamental understanding of the workings and impact of blockchain. This conceptual paper provides a theoretical contribution and guidance on what blockchain actually is by taking an ontological approach. Enterprise Ontology is used to make a clear distinction between the datalogical, infological and essential level of blockchain transactions and smart contracts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 29th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE 2017)
EditorsEric Dubois, Klaus Pohl
PublisherSpringer Verlag
ISBN (Electronic)9783319595368
ISBN (Print)3319595369
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science



  • enterprese ontology
  • business model ontology
  • REA
  • blockchain

Cite this

de Kruijff, J., & Weigand, H. (2017). Understanding the blockchain using enterprise ontology. In E. Dubois, & K. Pohl (Eds.), Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE 2017) (Vol. 10253, pp. 29-43). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Vol. 10253). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59536-8_3