Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Gaole Chen, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Troy A. Montgomery, DBA

Committee Member

Jung C. Park, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carol S. Saunders, Ph.D.


Blockchain, Distributed Ledger, Financial Services, Grounded Theory, Innovation, Proof of Value


Blockchain technology emerged as the underlying database structure for Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, in 2008. Interest in blockchain by the Financial Services industry grew because of its purported transparency, security, and trust elements which resulted in over $240 million in venture capital funds raised by blockchain firms mostly from banks in the first half of 2017.

The purpose of this study was to examine the underlying innovation evaluation process that Financial Services organizations employed as they evaluated blockchain technology. In this research study, blockchain was considered a technology innovation, which drove the research question: “How do financial services organizations evaluate blockchain technology for potential use?” The study followed the grounded theory methodology to address the research question by gathering data from semi-structured interviews of participants involved in the blockchain evaluation at Financial Services organizations. In total, 19 individuals representing 12 organizations participated in the study and provided insights into how their organizations are evaluating blockchain technology.

Results indicated that organizations understand how the technology works, are organizing resources to evaluate it, are identifying use cases, and are employing strategies to test it. Together, these processes contribute to the creation of a Proof of Value model to explain the processes organizations are engaged in to evaluate blockchain. Academic and practical implications are noted as well as limitations and opportunities for future research.