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The blockchain, plums, and lemons: Information asymmetries & transparency in decentralized markets

Notheisen, Benedikt; Weinhardt, Christof ORCID iD icon


Despite a growing interest, researchers and practitioners still struggle to transfer the blockchain concept introduced by Bitcoin to market-oriented application scenarios. To shed light on the technology's usage in markets with asymmetric information, this study analyzes the eect of the blockchain's public transparency paradigm on behavioral patterns and market outcomes. In line with prior research, our ndings indicate that the blockchain's shared record mitigates adverse selection eects and reduces moral hazard of good market participants (plums). In addition, we identify an incentive for bad market participants (lemons) to behave opportunistically in the presence of perfect quality information. More specically, the disclosed information allows them to learn about quality dierences between plums and lemons, deceive their counterparties, and move to a new equilibrium with increased utility. As a result, the market collapses despite a welfare gain and future generations are denied market access. In addition, plums and lemons are committed to inecient equilibria following irrational behavior. In total, this study aims to provide initial guidance for blockchain adoption in the context of markets with information asymmetries and highlights risks that arise from competition, the exposure to irrational behavior, and the implementation of services on the infrastructure level.

Volltext §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000092486
Veröffentlicht am 21.03.2019
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre (ECON)
Publikationstyp Forschungsbericht/Preprint
Publikationsjahr 2019
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2190-9806
KITopen-ID: 1000092486
Verlag Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Umfang 66 S.
Serie Working paper series in economics ; 130
Schlagwörter Blockchain, Transparency, Market for Lemons, FinTech, Moral Hazard, Information Sharing, Credit Markets
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