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Blockchain Use Cases Taxonomy : Necessary Distinction between Application Domains, Use Case Purposes and Economic Activity Sections

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Abstract

Blockchain use cases are described by several standardisation bodies, manufacturers, solution providers, consulting companies, economic organisations and researchers, leading to proteiform and non-harmonised documentation. Analysing this documentation is an important step when developing standards especially for extracting the essence and common understanding of the state of the art. This article generalises specific use cases so that they apply to more than one activity sector, by distinguishing cross-sector application domains, cross-sector use case purposes and economic activity sections. This distinction is brought through a three-layer mapping recommendation which is integrated to a generic blockchain use case description and refined with activity sector specificities. This proposal is intended to serve as a basis when specifying blockchain use cases taxonomy.
Blockchain Use Cases Taxonomy :
Necessary Distinction between Application Domains,
Use Case Purposes and Economic Activity Sections
Jerome R. D. Pons,
Music won’t stop,
Paris, France,
jerome.pons@musicwontstop.com
Abstract - Blockchain use cases are described by several standardisation
bodies, manufacturers, solution providers, consulting companies,
economic organisations and researchers, leading to proteiform and non-
harmonised documentation. Analysing this documentation is an important
step when developing standards especially for extracting the essence and
common understanding of the state of the art. This article generalises
specific use cases so that they apply to more than one activity sector, by
distinguishing cross-sector application domains, cross-sector use case
purposes and economic activity sections. This distinction is brought
through a three-layer mapping recommendation which is integrated to a
generic blockchain use case description and refined with activity sector
specificities. This proposal is intended to serve as a basis when specifying
blockchain use cases taxonomy.
Keywords - Blockchain, Distributed Ledger, Use Case, Taxonomy
Copyright and related rights Jerome R. D. Pons - This article is
distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-
Commercial – No Derivated works License (CC BY-NC-ND).
I. INTRODUCTION
Within the development of blockchain and
distributed ledger technology (DLT) standards, use cases
are addressed after a common terminology and reference
architecture are specified, thus providing foundations and
common language to engineers, developers, lawyers and
sectorial experts. Once the foundations are standardised,
sectorial experts can describe the different use cases and
confront the technology with the solutions which are
commercially deployed. This standardisation activity is
hold by dedicated focus, study or working groups within
standardisation bodies (cf. section II).
In addition to standardisation bodies, use cases are
also described by manufacturers, solution providers,
consulting companies, economic organisations, researchers
but also by regulation bodies. The resulting documentation
is proteiform and non-harmonised so that the use cases
which are described cannot be generalised outside an
activity sector. Generalising specific use cases so that they
apply to more than one activity sector is made possible by
distinguishing cross-sector application domains, cross-
sector use case purposes and economic activity sections
(cf. section III to section VI).
This distinction is brought through a three-layer
mapping recommendation (cf. section VII) which is
integrated to a generic blockchain use case description (cf.
section VIII) and refined with activity sector specificities
(cf. section IX).
II. BLOCKCHAIN USE CASES
STANDARDISATION
The International Standard Organisation (ISO)
initiated the technical committee TC 307 in April 2016
for standardising blockchain and DLT through several
working groups such as WG1 (foundations i.e.
terminology, reference architecture, taxonomy and
ontology) and WG6 (use cases) [1]. In 2019, ISO
published early version of terminology documentation
(including 84 terms) [2] and is still developing reference
architecture, taxonomy and ontology as well as use cases
documentation.
In parallel, the International
Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication (ITU-
T) established the focus group on application of
distributed ledger technology (FG DLT) in May 2017
through several working groups such as WG1 (terms,
definitions, concepts) and WG2 (applications and
services) [3]. In August 2019, ITU-T published a set of
deliverables, especially terms and definitions (including
62 terms) [4], use cases (including 39 use cases) [5] and
reference architecture documentation.
Other standardisation bodies are also addressing
blockchain (and DLT) use cases for specific activity
sectors such as agriculture, energy, healthcare and
telecommunications.
In particular the GSM Association (GSMA)
published in December 2017 three use cases for
development [6], followed in September 2018 by seven
use cases for the Internet of things (IoT) [7].
As well, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE
SA) created project family P2418 to address several
blockchain use cases for IoT [8], agriculture [9],
connected and autonomous vehicules [10], energy [11],
healthcare and the life and social sciences [12], supply
chain finance [13], Governments [14], cryptocurrency-
based security tokens [15] and blockchain-based digital
asset management [16].
December 31st 2019 1
III. NECESSARY DISTINCTION
The description of some use cases mixes generic
use cases (e.g. supply chain) and specific activity sectors
(e.g. finance) thus excluding apparently other activity
sectors (e.g. food, pharmaceutical). However, in most of
descriptions, the reading of a use case description is not
restricted to a specific activity sector. This leads to a huge
volume of information in standards and state of the art
documentation which is not put forward. Indeed, as a
reader may only focus on health activitiy sector, he / she
will probably not read a use case description whose title
mentions the environment activity sector. However the
later use case description could integrate some pertinent
information that could benefit to the reader.
In order to solve previous issue, a necessary
distinction between cross-sector application domains,
cross-sector use case purposes and economic activity
sections is provided hereafter (cf. sections IV to section
VI).
IV. CROSS-SECTOR APPLICATION DOMAINS
Cross-sector application domains bring a first
abstraction layer (cf. section VII) for any blockchain-
based service or solution deploying any use case in any
activity sectors.
In 2017, the French Broadcasting Institute (Institut
national de l'audiovisuel, also known as INA) published an
article that introduced six blockchain application
domains for media and entertainment (especially for the
recorded music, cinema, video and graphic arts industries)
[17] :
Creative and Productive Collaboration ;
Intellectual Property Protection ;
Disintermediation in Content Distribution ;
Rights Management ;
Contract Management ;
Electronic Payment.
Previous article received several feedbacks from
experts in other activity sectors stating that, media and
entertainment activity sectors wording could be easily
replaced by e.g. energy, telecommunications or healthcare
ones without altering the general meaning of the text. In
other words these sector-specific application domains
could become cross-sector application domains with slight
modifications.
This section proposes generalising and developing
previous application domains to any activity sector. Some
examples will be provided for several activity sectors such
as media and entertainment, energy, agriculture, food and
telecommunications.
A. Creative and Productive Collaboration
In this context, collaboration covers creative
collaboration and productive collaboration.
In creative collaboration, the creation process is
split into creative tasks (e.g. artistic task) shaping the
creative work (e.g. musical work).
Similarily in productive collaboration, the
production process is split into productive tasks (e.g.
artistic, technical, administrative and legal tasks) shaping
the product (e.g. sound recording leading to the music
track) or generating the resource (e.g. excess energy from
housholds).
Within this application domain, blockchain (and
DLT) can record the execution of each task as well as the
transaction associated to the remuneration of each
collaborator (e.g. creator, producer, publisher, supplier,
consumer, investor).
B. Intellectual Property Protection / Certification
Intellectual property covers copyright and
related rights (also known as neighbouring rights) and
industrial property as defined by the World Intellectual
Property Organisation (WIPO) [18].
Copyright and related rights apply to the result
of creative and productive processes (e.g. musical work
and sound recording). They are protected by national
copyright offices (e.g. ASCAP in USA, PRS for Music in
UK, Sacem in France) and national related rights offices
(e.g. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC in USA, Adami and
Spedidam in France).
As well, industrial property applies to patent,
trademark and industrial design. It is protected by
national intellectual property offices (e.g. INPI in France,
IPO in UK, U.S. Copyright Office in USA).
Certification applies to a creative work, a
product, a resource, a service or a system. It brings
various types of proofs materialised by certification tools
such as a certificate (e.g. authenticity, first use,
originality, ownership, property, provenance, quantified
environmental impact, compliance with law, regulation or
standard) or a label (e.g. organic agriculture, renewable
energy).
Within this application domain, blockchain (and
DLT) can record and timestamp various types of proofs
that may be legally binding (e.g. proof of deposite) but
not necessarily [19].
C. Disintermediation in Distribution / Actions
Traceability
Disintermediation refers to the removal of some
intermediary actors in the value chain.
In the context of blockchain technology,
disintermediation is coupled with the design of a new
distribution model in which a product, a ressource or a
service is sold per unit, without bank intermediation and
relying on micropayment (cf. section IV.F).
December 31st 2019 2
In the distribution of product or resource, the
delivery of service and the organisation of event, some
intermediary actors are thus removed between the provider
of the product (e.g. content such as a sound recording or a
video recording), resource (e.g. network bandwidth),
service (e.g. instant messaging) or event (materialised by a
ticket) and the consumer. For this, partial
disintermediation may apply, still involving one
intermediary actor in the value chain (e.g. the distribution
platform), or full disintermediation, with consumer-to-
consumer direct interaction.
In this context, actions traceability refers to the
supply chain, between the producer and the distributor,
and to the logistics chain, inside the distributor processes
and between the distributor and the consumer.
Within this application domain, blockchain (and
DLT) can record transactions related to any action (e.g.
delivery, sale) but cannot store higher volume of data (e.g.
metadata, media data, meteorology data). For this purpose,
a blockchain system is often associated with a distributed
storage system (e.g. IPFS) and / or a cloud storage platform
(e.g. Amazon Web Services).
D. Rights and Identifier Management / Identification
In this context, management relates more generally to :
Rights Management ;
Identifier Management ;
Data Management ;
Security Management (including the identification
process).
In rights management, rights (e.g. copyright and
related rights, access right to a resource or a service) can be
granted and negotiated based on a contract. Then rights
can be collected and distributed based on a rights holders
declaration (e.g. authorship declaration to national
copyright and related rights or intellectual property offices,
energy producer or distributor declaration) and based on a
sales report related to the distribution of a product or a
resource, the delivery of a service or the organisation of an
event.
In identifier management, identifiers can be
allocated to a product, a resource, a service, an event but
also to a legal entity or a natural person (in that case,
identifiers depict the identity) based on an identifier
owner declaration. Then, identifiers can be monetised and
shared by an identifier provider. Indeed, the later may
own a centralised database of identifiers that can be
accessed publicly (e.g. CISAC ISWC Network allows
searching for a musical work) or upon registration (e.g.
FranceConnect provides natural person-related identifiers).
In data management, data can refer to a natural
person (e.g. personal data), a product or a service (e.g.
behavourial data, usage data), a resource (e.g. land
registry) or an event (e.g. audience, participants). They can
be monetised and shared by a data provider.
In security management, the identification
process verifies the existence of the identifier, the
authentication process verifies the password associated
with the identifier, whereas the autorisation process
verifies that the identified and authentified entity has
granted sufficient rights for accessing a product, a
resource, a service or a venue. The integrity protection
process verifies that data has not been modified, that a
product has not been counterfeited or that a natural person
is really the person he / she pretends to be (e.g. by means
of fingerprint or eye scan).
Within this application domain, blockchain (and
DLT) can record several types of small data (e.g. rights,
identifiers, signatures) in order to facilitate previous
management processes (i.e. rights management, identifier
management, data management, security management).
In particular, blockchain can record an n-tuple of
identifiers in order to reconciliate n separate centralised
databases of identifiers (e.g. the couple of musical work
identifier ISWC and music track identifier ISRC can be
linked into the same transaction or smart contract to
facilitate copyright management as experimented by
ASCAP, PRS for Music and Sacem with IBM
Hyperledger Fabric [20]).
E. Contract Management / Automation
In the era of globalised international trade and
digital platforms, contract management is widely used
with multiple contracts combinations especially within
the supply chain and the logistics chain (e.g. content
distribution chain, energy delivery chain).
The legacy contract is still in force and is
reinforced by the smart contract which adapts some
contractual clauses of the legacy contract through a
programming language (based on script operators).
Smart contract management refers to three
steps : programming, recording and executing the smart
contract onto the blockchain.
Automation applies to the execution of some
contractual clauses of the legacy contract. In particular,
smart contracts can apply automatically service-level
agreement (SLA) and multi-territorial contractual clauses
(e.g. international licensing contract in the cinema, music
or video industries, international roaming contract in
telecommunications) [21].
Within this application domain, blockchain (and
DLT) can record a legacy contract hash i.e. the timestamp
of a unique fingerprint of the legacy contract (as for
Bitcoin through the free information field of a
transaction) in relation with certification (cf. section
IV.B). It can also automate the execution of some
contractual clauses of the legacy contract through the
smart contract i.e. automate the execution of a task and
the payment of interested parties (as for Ethereum) in
relation with electronic payment (cf. section IV.F).
December 31st 2019 3
F. Electronic Payment / Cryptocurrency and Asset
Exchange
Electronic payment is used worldwide for paying
products and services without using cash or bank cheque. It
is based on a currency (e.g. euro, dollar) and an electronic
payment system that proceeds the transaction and the
payment, such as an electronic wallet service (e.g. PayPal)
or a credit card network (e.g. Visa, Mastercard).
Micropayment allows buying and paying a unit
of product, ressource or service below one dollar. It was
popularised in the music industry in 2003 when Apple
iTunes Store proposed downloading a music track for 0,99
dollar and then listening to this track an unlimited number
of times. In 2019, Apple Music allows streaming an
unlimited number of music tracks an unlimited number of
times for 9,99 dollars per month. Each time a music track
is played, the artist is paid 0,0056 dollar on average [22].
However, in most of rights management policies, artists
have to wait one or several months before getting paid.
A cryptocurrency, also called coin, allows paying below
fiat currency cent (i.e. below 0,01 dollar) thanks to low
transaction amounts supported by blockchain systems (e.g.
down to 0,00000001 bitcoin i.e. 0,00007177 dollar on
December 20th 2019) [23].
An asset, also called token, relies on an external
blockchain system (e.g. thether asset relies on Omni
blockchain system) (Table I).
TABLE I. MARKET CAPITALISATION OF MAIN
CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND ASSETS
Market
Capita-
lisation
Rank
Name Code Type Price
Block-
chain
System
1 bitcoin BTC Cryptocurrency 7176.72 $ Bitcoin
2 ethereum ETH Cryptocurrency 128.12 $ Ethereum
3 xrp XRP Cryptocurrency 0.1870 $ Ripple
4 thether USDT Asset 1.01 $ Omni
5 bitcoin cash BCH Cryptocurrency 187.69 $ Bitcoin
Cash
6 litecoin LTC Cryptocurrency 40.07 $ Litecoin
7 eos EOS Cryptocurrency 2.47 $ EOS
8 binance coin BNB Cryptocurrency 13.38 $ Binance
9 bitcoin sv BSV Cryptocurrency 87.35 $ Bitcoin SV
10 tezos XTZ Cryptocurrency 1.51 $ Tezos
Source : CoinMarketCap, December 20th 2019
Within this application domain, which is at the
essence of Bitcoin system, blockchain (and DLT) can offer
new instant payment methods based on micropayment (e.g.
per download or stream, page view, unit of data, minute of
call, unit of energy). In particular, artists could get paid in
practice each time a music track is played, allowing the
development of new rights management policies in the
recorded music activity sector.
V. CROSS-SECTOR USE CASE PURPOSES
Cross-sector application domains presented in
section IV describe how blockchain (and DLT) can
benefit to any industry.
Cross-sector use case purposes bring a second
abstraction layer (cf. section VII) as they are associated
with each cross-sector application domain.
For coherence reasons, many use case
descriptions have been analysed from publications issued
by standardisation bodies (e.g. ITU-T, IEEE),
manufacturers and solution providers (e.g. IBM [24],
NEM [25], Salesforce [26]), consulting companies (e.g.
McKinsey [27], Deloitte [28]), economic organisations
(e.g. Cloud Security Alliance [29], World Economic
Forum [30]) and research papers (e.g. Riga Technical
University [31], University of Cologne / Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology [32], University of Piraeus [33]).
For harmonisation reasons, a cross-sector use
case purpose is defined as a list of present participle
forms of action verbs (e.g. certifying, creating,
remunerating, rewarding), sometimes completed by
objects (e.g. data, product, resource, service).
The result of the analysis is provided hereafter
with 46 cross-sector use case purposes, associated to the
six cross-sector application domains (Table II).
TABLE II. APPLICATION DOMAINS AND CROSS-SECTOR USE
CASE PURPOSES
Cross-sector
Applications
Domain
Cross-sector Use Case Purpose
Creative and
Productive
Collaboration
Administrating, Governing and Organising
Branding, Creating Work, Designing and Patenting
Collaborating, Hiring, Including, Partnering, Relating,
Remunerating, Tasking and Trusting
Creating Digital Asset, Financing and Funding
Creating Event, Product or Service, Issuing, Producing,
Publishing and Serving
Creating and Generating Resource
Deciding and Voting
Donating, Giving and Lending
Operating, Proceeding and Processing
Rewarding
Saving Costs and Resource
Sharing Data, Human Resource and Revenue
Intellectual
Property
Protection /
Certification
Authenticating, Certifying and Notarising
Authoring
Complying and Conforming to Law, Regulation or Standard
Labelling
Owning Asset, Cryptocurrency, Data, Product, Resource or
Rights
Proofing
Recording, Registrating and Timestamping
December 31st 2019 4
Disinterme-
diation in
Distribution /
Actions
Traceability
Bearing, Sourcing, Supplying and Supporting
Commercialising, Delivering, Distributing, Exchanging
Product, Material Resource or Service, Marketing,
Monetising, Promoting, Purchasing and Selling
Communicating and Messaging
Connecting and Interconnecting
Controlling, Monitoring, Tracing and Tracking
Consuming and Entertaining
Discovering, Endorsing and Recommending
Sharing Product, Material Resource or Service
Rights and
Identifier
Management /
Identification
Accessing Data, Product, Resource, Service or Venue
Allocating, Assigning, Credentialing, Crediting and Granting
Archiving, Conserving, Managing Data, Preserving and
Storing
Auditing, Qualifying, Rating, Quoting and Reporting
Authorising and Licensing
Checking, Validating and Verifying
Claiming and Reconciliating
Encrypting, Hashing, Protecting, Securing and Signing
Fighting and Preventing against Counterfeiting, Fraud,
Laundering, Piracy or Theft
Identifying Creative Work, Event, Organisation, Person,
Product, Resource or Service
Managing Rights and Royalties
Contract
Management /
Automation
Accounting, Billing and Charging
Agreeing, Committing, Consenting, Contracting and Engaging
Automating Process or Task
Guaranteeing, Insuring and Responsibilising
Interoperating and Porting
Regulating and Taxing
Ticketing
Electronic
Payment /
Cryptocurrency
and Asset
Exchange
Exchanging Cryptocurrency or Asset, Gambling, Ordering,
Paying, Settling, Trading and Transacting
Managing Wallet
Source : DiCoDaMo
Previous application domains and cross-sector use
case purposes are part of the Digital Content Data Model
(DiCoDaMo), common to three ecosystems of the digital
content (culture, computing and consumer electronics,
telecommunications), including nine media and
entertainment activity sectors and natively integrating
blockchain technology [34].
VI. ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SECTIONS
Economic activities, also referred to as activity
sectors, business activities or industrial activities, have
been classified and standardised by the United Nations
(UN) within the International Standard Industrial
Classification of All Economic Activities ( ISIC), Revision
4 documentation [35]. In this wordwide standard,
economic activities are classified in 21 sections, 99
divisions and then in groups and classes.
Economic activity sections bring a third
abstraction layer (cf. section VII) and are a prerequisite
for adressing activity sector specificities (cf. section IX).
20 economic activity sections are provided
hereafter, using a voluntarily simplified wording, and are
aligned with UN / ISIC ones (Table III).
TABLE III. ALIGNMENT OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SECTIONS
WITH UN / ISIC ONES
Economic Activity
Section UN / ISIC Economic Activity Section
Accomodation and Food I – Accomodation and food service activities
Agriculture, Forestry and
Fishing
A - Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Bank, Finance and
Insurance
K – Financial and insurance activities
Construction F - Construction
Distribution, Retail and
Wholesale
G – Wholesale and retail trade ; repair of motor
vehicles and motorcycles
Education P - Education
Energy, Environment and
Utilities
D – Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning
supply
E – Water supply ; sewerage, waste
management and remediation activities
Extraterritorial
Organisation
U – Activities of extraterritorial organizations
and bodies
Government and Public
Administration
O – Public administration and defence ;
compulsory social security
Healthcare and Life
Sciences
Q – Human health and social work activities
Households T – Activities of households as employers ;
Undifferentiated goods- and services-producing
activities of households for own use
Industries and
Manufacturing
C - Manufacturing
Information and
Communication
J – Information and communication
Media and Entertainment R – Arts, entertainment and recreation
Mining and Quarrying B - Mining and quarrying
Private Administration
and Support
N – Administrative and support service
activities
Professional, Scientific
and Technical Activities
M – Professional, scientific and technical
activities
Real Estate L – Real estate activities
Transportation and Travel H – Transportation and storage
Other Service Activities S – Other service activities
Source : UN / ISIC
VII. THREE-LAYER MAPPING
RECOMMENDATION AND BENCHMARK
A. Three-layer Mapping Recommendation
A three-layer mapping is recommended as a basis for
abstraction when specifying blockchain use cases
taxonomy and should be integrated to a generic
blockchain use cases description :
December 31st 2019 5
Layer 1 : Cross-sector Application Domain(s)
(Table II) ;
Layer 2 : Cross-sector Use Case
Purpose(s) (Table II) ;
Layer 3 : Economic Activity Section(s) (Table
III).
B. Three-layer Mapping Benchmark
The three-layer mapping recommended before is
not new. Indeed, similar layering approaches were adopted
by standardisation bodies, manufacturers, solution
providers, consulting companies, economic organisations
and researchers.
Within standardisation bodies, ITU-T specifies
three layers with 19 domains (14 vertical domains and sub-
domains, five horizontal domains), nine use cases
categories and 39 use cases [5].
Within manufacturers and solution providers,
IBM distinguishes three layers with 22 solution areas, 33
use cases and 10 industries [24], NEM separates two layers
with four categories and 23 use cases [25] and Salesforce
provides 11 use cases classified into 6 business activities
[26].
Within consulting companies, McKinsey defines
two layers with « six distinct categories of blockchain use
cases » and provides 15 examples of use cases [27] and
Deloitte defines two layers with 16 use cases and 16
industries [28].
Within economic organisations documentation,
the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) separates two layers
with 10 use cases gathered within seven sectors [29]
whereas the World Economic Forum (WEF) proposes two
layers with 19 value drivers and 13 industries [30].
And within research papers, the Riga Technical
University separates two layers with four categories and
48 use cases [31], the University of Cologne / Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology distinguishes two layers with six
application areas comprising a total of 25 application cases
[32], whereas the University of Piraeus proposes a
« statistical methodology based on the literature » to
classify blockchain-based applications in two layers with
nine first circle blockchain applications and 21 second
circle blockchain applications [33].
In particular, a deeper analysis of McKinsey
documentation shows that a one-to-one mapping with five
of the « six distinct categories of blockchain use cases »
and previous application domains is possible : « static
registry » (intellectual property protection / certification),
« identity » (rights and identifier management /
identification), « smart contracts » (contract management /
automation), « dynamic registry » (disintermediation in
distribution / actions traceability). The sixth one, called
« other », is a combination of the five first ones, which
corroborates the idea developed in current article that a
generic blockchain use case description is always a
combination of application domains.
VIII. GENERIC BLOCKCHAIN USE CASE
DESCRIPTION
A generic blockchain use case description
should contain at least the following information (Table
IV) :
Use Case Name ;
Cross-sector Application Domain(s) and Cross-
sector Use Case Purpose(s) (Table II) ;
Economic Activity Section(s) (Table III);
Activity Sector Specificities (cf. section IX).
An example is provided below for the
« Electronic voting system » use case that generalises
« Vote for the election of the President of the Republic »
and « Vote for the participatory budget of a city » use
cases, which are specific to the « Government and Public
Administration » economic activity section, as well as
« Vote for the election of the Board of Directors of a
Company », which is specific to the « Private
Administration and Support » economic activity section.
TABLE IV. GENERIC BLOCKCHAIN USE CASE
DESCRIPTION
Generic Blockchain Use Case Description
Use Case
Name
Electonic voting system
Cross-
sector
Application
Domain(s)
and Cross-
sector Use
Case
Purpose(s)
Creative and
Productive
Collaboration
- Administrating, Governing and Organising
- Deciding and Voting
Intellectual
Property
Protection /
Certification
- Authenticating, Certifying and Notarising
- Complying and Conforming to Law,
Regulation or Standard
- Proofing
- Recording, Registrating and Timestamping
Disintermediation
in Distribution /
Actions
Traceability
- Controlling, Monitoring, Tracing and
Tracking
Rights and
Identifier
Management /
Identification
- Auditing, Qualifying, Rating, Quoting and
Reporting
- Checking, Validating and Verifying
- Fighting and Preventing against
Counterfeiting, Fraud, Laundering, Piracy or
Theft
- Identifying Creative Work, Event,
Organisation, Person, Product, Resource or
Service
- Managing Rights or Royalties
Contract
Management /
Automation
- Agreeing, Committing, Consenting,
Contracting and Engaging
- Automating Process or Task
Electronic
Payment /
Cryptocurrency
and Asset
Exchange
Not Applicable
Economic
Activity
Section(s)
and Activity
Sector
Specificities
Government and
Public
Administration
Vote for the election of the President of the
Republic :
In France, the vote for the election of the
President of the Republic takes place every 5
years. The voting process is described in the
French Constitution. Before the election,
each candidate shall retrieve from elected
people at least 500 signatures that are
December 31st 2019 6
presented to the Constitutional Council. The
President of the Republic is elected through
direct universal suffrage when absolute
majority is reached. For this suffrage, all
citizens having granted a voting right can
participate to the election i.e. all French
nationality people over 18.
Vote for the participatory budget of a city :
[...]
Private
Administration
and Support
Vote for the election of the Board of
Directors of a Company :
[...]
In previous « Electronic voting system » use case
description, five cross-sector application domains are thus
involved :
Creative and Productive Collaboration : a
community of people can vote ;
Intellectual Property Protection / Certification : a
voter has voted and the voting process is regular ;
Disintermediation in Production / Actions
Traceability : votes can be traced but not
necessarily ;
Rights and Identifier Management /
Identification : a voter has granted a voting right
and has proven his / her identity ;
Contract Management / Automation : the result of
the vote can be disclosed after a given date and be
kept secret before.
In this context, blockchain (and DLT) is used as
the underlying backbone of the « Electronic voting
system » use case. It is recommended keeping the generic
blockchain use case description agnostic to any blockchain
(or DLT) system.
IX. ACTIVITY SECTOR SPECIFICITIES
Activity sector specificities depict the use case
specificities that cannot be generalised in another activity
sector i.e. the essential difference between similar use cases
as well as sectorial information about the way a specific
use case is operated.
X. CONCLUSION
Blockchain use case description is an important
step when developing standards, as presented by
standardisation bodies such as ISO, ITU-T, GSMA and
IEEE (cf. section II). However some descriptions are
sometimes specific to an activity sector whereas they
countain pertinent information that make sense for other
activity sectors.
This article proposed distinguishing cross-sector
application domains, cross-sector use case purposes and
economic activity sections in blockchain use case
descriptions (cf. section III to section VI). In particular,
cross-sector application domains were slightly modified
from a previous article [17], cross-sector use case purposes
were harmonised by adopting present participle form of
action verbs and economic activity sections were aligned
with UN / ISIC ones for ensuring backward compatibility.
In addition, a three-layer mapping was
recommended as a basis for abstraction when specifying
blockchain use cases taxonomy and should be integrated
to a generic blockchain use case description (cf. section
VII.A). The analysis of a similar layering approaches by
standardisation bodies, manufacturers, solution providers,
consulting companies, economic organisations and
researchers has confirmed the necessary distinction (cf.
section VII.B).
Finally, a generic blockchain use case
description was proposed (cf. section VIII), integrating
the three-layer mapping, and was refined with activity
sector specificities (cf. section IX). This proposal is
intended to serve as a basis when specifying blockchain
use cases taxonomy.
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Jerome R. D. Pons is an engineer born in
Rennes, France, in 1977. He graduated from
University of Rennes I and Telecom
ParisTech and started his career in 2001 at
Orange, successively as 3GPP
standardisation manager, Orange Media
Player project manager (Music Podcasts,
Musique Max and Musique Hits), WebTV
marketing project manager (OCS) and then
InterOperability Testing programme
manager.
Entrepreneur, he founded Music won’t
stop in 2011, a live music production business that diversified in 2013
by developing a consulting activity focused on digital technology and
strategy in media and entertainment activity sectors.
Specialist of the stakes related to the digital transformation,
he published many articles and studies (INA, Annales des Mines,
AFDEL / TECH IN France, Techniques de l’Ingénieur) related to
culture funding, value sharing, metadata-based rights management
and intellectual property protection.
Expert in data modelling, he is designing a Digital Content
Data Model (DiCoDaMo), common to three ecosystems (culture,
computing and consumer electronics, telecommunications), including
nine media and entertainment activity sectors and natively integrating
blockchain technology, as well as some Digital Content Data
Management Tools (DiCoDaMaTo).
Specialist of blockchain technology, he devoted himself to
blockchain standardisation since 2016, drives the “architecture and
modelling” working group at the French Standardisation Body
(AFNOR) and participates to several study groups and working groups
(terminology, reference architecture, taxonomy, ontology, use cases,
smart contracts, governance and interoperability) within ISO/TC 307
and CEN-CENELEC/JTC 19.
Since 2018, he develops consulting and vocational training
activities at Music won’t stop, focused on blockchain-based service
development within media and entertainment activity sectors, teaches
blockchain technology to master degree students at Telecom ParisTech,
while managing Orange Expert Programme at Orange.
December 31st 2019 8
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The goal of the paper is to provide a vague summary of currently existing blockchain use cases in the information technology industry. Respective use cases have been examined in already existing scientific papers, Master Theses, industry white papers and blogs of industry experts. The paper also contains a description of blockchain main technological aspects and working principles, which allows making the assessment of the presented use cases. For each use case respective companies or organisations are added that are applying or testing the given solution. Due to research limitations the paper should not be considered an exhaustive blockchain use case description. The paper also provides short introduction into a feasibility analysis of specific blockchain use case. The authors describe the basic steps of potential idea evaluation with regards to blockchain main aspects. It helps understand the necessity for development of a detailed blockchain feasibility model.
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