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Master's Thesis Ulrich Gallersdörfer

Last modified May 15, 2017

Analysis of Use Cases of Blockchain Technology in Legal Transactions 


The interest in blockchain technology of enterprises and startups is rising. The technology itself, up today mostly found in cryptocurrencies, promises to be a decentralized platform for storing data or transferring assets preventing any manipulation. The decentralized database cuts out a trusted third party (TTP), guaranteeing the integrity only with its underlying cryptographic promises. While cryptocurrencies clearly benefit from this technology, it is difficult to see the benefits and usages of this technology in other areas of interest. Varying industries are researching the potentials behind blockchain, proposing a range of different use case scenarios.

We give an insight into the technology itself behind cryptocurrencies and explain in detail, how the functionality of Blockchain is established and how it is set up. Upon that knowledge, different views describing the blockchain architecture are created, giving an overview of the technical layers, the roles, and its life cycle. The different views allow users and developers to comprehensively access the technology. Additionally, a blockchain ontology is created, explaining connections between single components within the network.

Furthermore, this thesis provides an overview of different use cases and proposes a topology. In this topology, use cases are classified in categories, showing the potentials of Blockchain technology. Additionally, we give a detailed description of existing parameters for the blockchain, explaining which influence they have on the overall network. With this, a mapping is facilitated between these categories and the different parameters, giving a detailed overview about the blockchain and its potentials. It informs about all varying abilities and enables decision makers to properly find and select use cases within this technology. In interviews with over 15 experts from different companies, insight is given into the recent developments in this technology and the advancements of it.

Additionally, we prototypically implemented a use case, enabling lawyers to collaboratively create a contract in which all changes are recorded on a Blockchain. Thereby, Blockchain is effectively used to prevent manipulation of content or attribution to authors.


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