The Emerging Geography of the Blockchain Industry
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Geographers have long been interested in where new technologies and industries emerge. The presence and adoption of a new technology within a region has multiple positive and negative externalities. Scholars have commented on the contribution of these firms to the regional economy, in terms of increasing human capital, innovation, and research and development. Technology firms in particular tend to locate in world cities and technology hubs, with concentrations of highly skilled workers, venture capital, anchor institutions and knowledge infrastructure. Using the blockchain industry as a case, this thesis examines the geography of nascent industries. Blockchain, which emerged in 2009 and is best known for applications such as bitcoin, has application in supply chain optimization, royalty and copyright tracking, cybersecurity, refugee identity and transaction systems, and voting systems. Blockchain’s widespread application across industries and regions provides an excellent opportunity to explore the emerging geography of tech firms. This study explores this geography and attempts to identify key patterns and locations. Using economic data from Crunchbase and analysis using Elasticsearch, this study demonstrates that blockchain firms follows similar patterns seen elsewhere in the tech industry. Large world cities remain at the forefront of both firm and investor activity, and they are shown to be of crucial importance in global networks. Based on these findings, the study concludes by encouraging policy makers to understand the importance of these key geographies and identifies areas for further research to advance our understanding.
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Martin Holicka (2021). The Emerging Geography of the Blockchain Industry. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17127