What do blockchain technologies imply for digital creative industries?

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22 Citations (Scopus)


As the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, blockchains are associated with volatile and (as yet) largely unregulated financial trade, but they are also about more than money. This capacity to help automate, incentivize and authenticate global trade has numerous potential applications. Blockchain technologies promise efficient transactions, greater accountability of trade and increased/direct payment for creative enterprise. As such, despite their lingering technical challenges, these nascent technologies are already being employed within a wide variety of creative innovation processes. Based upon research into their potential applications within Scotland's digital creative industries, this study explores the ways in which these emerging technologies might disrupt digital creative industries, such as digital media production, digital art, web/interface/experience design, application development, extended reality and gaming, both in Scotland and beyond. Of particular interest are the ways that these emerging technologies might transform value exchange and intellectual property management. Early results indicate that blockchain technologies are poised to substantially disrupt the sale and distribution of creative digital works. Yet, whilst these emerging technologies can encourage open innovation, it also seems likely that they will just as often be used to streamline existing systems designed to control and potentially exploit creativity. The implications for digital disruption theories are discussed, highlighting the need for frameworks that can also account for second-order disruptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • blockchain
  • blockchain technologies
  • cryptocurrency
  • data sharing applications
  • digital creative industries
  • digital futures
  • emerging technologies
  • NFT


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