Becoming a blockchain user: understanding consumers’ benefits realisation to use blockchain-based applications


Data breaches and cyber incidents are on the rise, and companies continually research new technologies to defend against attacks and protect customer data. The blockchain is a data store designed to promote data privacy, as well as transaction integrity. Enterprises in several industries, especially banking, have investigated the implementation of blockchain-based databases to replace centralised databases as one mechanism for protecting customers’ data by separating transactional data from personally identifiable information. Despite the blockchain’s privacy protections, consumers remain largely unaware of these benefits. Building on the Health Belief Model (HBM), we include privacy concerns and inertia as critical factors that influence consumers’ perceptions of blockchain-based databases’ benefits. Using a sample of 304 respondents, we test a theoretical model incorporating these factors. Our study results indicate threat severity, threat susceptibility, awareness, and inertia significantly influence the perceived benefits of blockchain, which has a significant positive influence on consumers’ intention to switch to blockchain-based applications. Although consumers’ comfort with the status quo of traditional banking mechanisms is a significant barrier to the realisation of blockchain banking applications benefits, additional awareness of consumer privacy protections can persuade customers to use the blockchain-based applications, especially if they exhibit heightened privacy concerns.

Publication Title

European Journal of Information Systems