Supply chain finance: What are the challenges in the adoption of blockchain technology?

Yutong Bai*, Yang Liu, Wee Meng Yeo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As an emerging information technology, blockchain has aroused extensive discussions around the world and been suggested as a solution to address current issues in supply chain finance (SCF). The Chinese government also attaches great importance to this technology, and many Chinese state-owned enterprises have invested in establishing their own blockchain research and development centres. However, there is a lack of studies on identifying challenges when deploying this technology; theoretical framework and conceptual exposition are also scarcely seen. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the challenges and obstacles in the adoption of blockchain technology in SCF. An exploratory case study of a Chinese state-owned enterprise was conducted to build up an initial conceptual framework. Semi-structured interview was applied to collect data from the case firm's employees, top management, and technical specialists. The results of the analysis indicate that in the adoption of blockchain technology, there are technological, operational, and other challenges. From a technological perspective, framework identification, cross-chain interoperability, and data governance are major barriers; whereas, from an operational perspective, the new business process and transformation in the entire supply chain are identified as challenges. Besides, other obstacles such as the elimination of jobs and regulatory issues are also not neglectable. This study contributes to research on blockchain and supply chains by shedding light on the challenges of blockchain adoption through an exploratory case study of a Chinese state-owned enterprise. A conceptual framework was generated as a basis for future research, and the findings also provide insights for companies that may or are planning to adopt blockchain technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-165
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Digital Economy
Issue number3
Early online date27 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of KeAi Communications Co., Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC
BY-NC-ND license (


  • Blockchain
  • Conceptual framework
  • Exploratory case study
  • International trading
  • Supply chain finance


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