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Blockchain for Development

Information Technology for Development | Call for Papers | November 1, 2019

Blockchain is emerging as a very promising technology. It is based on a shared, distributed ledger, where transactions can only be registered by consensus in a network of peers, using cryptographic mechanisms that render the records virtually immutable. This enables transparency, auditability, and resilience. Additionally, Blockchains can store and enforce smart contracts – pieces of code that are executed automatically once predetermined conditions are met – further reducing uncertainty and promoting confidence among stakeholders that would not normally trust each other and, thus, dispensing with middlemen.

This has led to innovative experiments in high profile areas, such as financial services, insurance, healthcare, value chains, shipping and logistics, Internet-of-Things, Intellectual Property Rights licensing, and crowdfunding, among others.

In addition, Blockchain holds a huge potential for development in general and emerging economies in particular. It can foster more democratic mechanisms and help fight corruption. It can enable secure and lean ID mechanisms, reduce the number of unbanked, prevent voting fraud and tax evasion, improve government management of public benefits, reduce commissions on remittances of emigrants, control donations and charity initiatives, or ensure integrity of public records.

Of course, there are risks to account for when deploying Blockchain-based systems. For instance, its key strengths can be challenged if a coalition of malicious actors manages to garner more than 50% of the resources used to produce the blocks; care must be taken to ensure that data to be recorded reflects true world events; mechanisms must exist to ensure that the system and smart contract code does not contain unintended loopholes and flaws. Other problems, related to resources, exist, if traditional proof-of-work consensus mechanisms are used, namely the need for huge processing power, which, in turn, may draw a significant amount of energy from the public grid.

In the past, we have seen emerging economies lag in ICT adoption when compared with developed counterparts. With Blockchain, however, the opportunity exists to implement the technology in the same time frame, to address afflicting areas and even leapfrog established solutions in others.

Topics addressed

In general, we invite papers dealing with Blockchain that address a broad range of issues associated with development. In particular, we seek papers offering contributions in the following, non-exhaustive, topics:

  •   The social, human, and economic development impact of Blockchain
  •   Relationships between National Culture, and the Blockchain Technology & Philosophy
  •   National Impact Assessments of Blockchain Technology including Benefits & Dangers to governance, national unity, and democracy
  •   Blockchain Technology & Small Island States
  •   Blockchain for Development case studies, applications, and implementations
  •   Alternative ID systems based on Blockchain
  •   Blockchain in e-government and public administration
  •   Barriers and enablers in the adoption of Blockchain for Development
  •   Blockchain and traditional pain points in Development  
  •   Blockchain and voting
  •   Blockchain and the legal system
  •   Blockchain and regulatory frameworks
  •   Smart contracts
  •   Alternative uses of Blockchain
  •   The use of crypto currencies in countries in crisis  
  •   Tokens, ICOs, fundraising 
  •   Blockchain and disruptive innovation
  •   Business models supported on Blockchain
  •   Blockchain Technology & SMEs
Important dates 
Deadline for submission:November 1, 2019
Notification of initial acceptance:March 15, 2020
Deadline for revised papers:June 15, 2020
Notification of final acceptance:September 30, 2020
Tentative publication date:early 2021

Submission guidelines

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit original papers using the journal submission and reviewing web site https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/itd. Detailed submission guidelines can be found at: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=0268-1102&linktype=44

Submitted papers should follow the instructions for authors and indicate “Blockchain for Development” special issue when uploading their papers. Submissions to the special issue should be full research papers or practice papers.  Each submitted paper will be peer-reviewed in the same manner as other submissions to the Journal of Information Technology for Development. Relevance, quality and originality of the contribution are the major acceptance criteria for each submission. 

After initial screening, papers are reviewed by selected members of the editorial board and peers from an international pool for quality, consistency and research contribution. Authors are welcome to nominate one of the special issue editors or preferred reviewers when submitting their paper where no conflict of interest exist (an existing business or professional partnership, past or present association as thesis advisor or thesis student, and/or collaboration on a project or on a book/article/report/paper or co-editing of a journal, compendium, or conference proceedings constitutes a conflict of interest). Papers submitted to this journal must contain original results and must not be submitted elsewhere while being evaluated. If a duplication is found, papers are subject to being rejected for that reason alone.

Special Issue Editors

Paulo Rupino da Cunha (rupino@dei.uc.pt),
Departmento de Engenharia
University of Coimbra, Portugal

Piotr Soja (eisoja@cyf-kr.edu.pl), 
Department of Computer Science.
University of Economics, Poland


Marinos Themistocleous (themistocleous.m@unic.ac.cy), 
School of Business, Department of Management and MIS
University of Nicosia, Cyprus
University of Piraeus, Greece