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UCL Open Seminars – If We Ruled the World: The Role of Personal Values in Blockchain Adoption Decisions

October 29, 2020

Given the rise of blockchain technologies (BCTs, i.e., a distributed ledger for conducting disintermediated transactions of digital assets), understanding the impact of personal values on the individual decision-making process towards contemporary innovation adoption becomes crucial. Coherent to personal values, early Bitcoin user studies provide evidence that people’s core political values clearly play a role in user adoption, especially in the very early adoption phases. However, little is known about the socio-technological factors affecting the individual adoption of permissionless BCTs and how personal values shape the perception of these technologies towards its intention to use. As users need to rely on the decisions and political motives made by blockchain developers understanding the value concepts embedded in blockchain systems and its impact on usage intention becomes crucial. To address this lacuna, we draw on the Schwartz theory of basic human values and develop and test a model of individual antecedents of permissionless blockchain adoption decision-making. Using a metric conjoint experiment, we study attractiveness judgments of permissionless blockchain systems made by potential users. Next to the understanding of how blockchain technology characteristics can enhance its adoption in society, our multi-level approach also investigates cross-level interaction effects of potential users’ personal values, which offer novel insights into the adoption of IS technologies. We derive implications for IS adoption and offer practical implications for blockchain developers as well as managers.

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