How does the blockchain find its way in the UAE? The blockchain as a sociotechnical system

Donghee (Don) Shin, Nikolaos Stylos, Mian Asim, Yongjin Park, Russell Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


Blockchain is emerging as a powerful technological force that promises to change society's status quo. The UAE has taken a proactive approach to blockchain innovation and development. With the framing of blockchain as a sociotechnical system, blockchain initiatives in the UAE are critically examined in terms of prospects, challenges, and implications for future digital societies. Blockchain developmental trajectories are analysed from a sociotechnical lens, i.e., societal, technological, industrial, and economic trends that characterise the interfaces and interaction among people, organisations, technology, and society, eliciting underlying potential influences of cultural, ethical, and legal rhetoric. Despite strong initiatives, a series of challenges, such as trust, privacy, and transparency, has emerged as blockchain begins to develop its full potential. With these issues, sociotechnical concerns have increased regarding how to respond to the possible consequences that such a policy choice would entail, how to govern blockchains, and how to create a sustainable blockchain ecosystem. The socio-political ramifications of UAE blockchains are critically assessed to establish key features and conceptualise issues to unlock opportunities to guarantee a sociotechnical approach to blockchains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-140
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Management
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022


  • Blockchain
  • trust
  • sociotechnical perspective
  • sociotechnical blockchain
  • UAE


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