Value Propositions in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem: A Stakeholder Analysis
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- Master of Science 
With the emergence of the blockchain technology and Bitcoin, much attention has been placed on the development of the industry. Considerable hype has been placed around potential applications of blockchain solutions as well as the volatility of cryptocurrencies. With the industry entering a new growth stage, several challenges arise as well. These stem from a yet unclear regulatory framework, from undefined ecosystem members and the difficulty to outline value propositions. We find that these conditions inhibit its widespread adoption and the definition of clear value propositions. Within this thesis, we address these conditions and adopt the perspective of one of the new actors in this ecosystem, the cryptocurrency exchanges. Through in-depth interviews with industry stakeholders and based on the review of prevalent literature, we identify the actors in this industry and categorize them in accordance with Savage et al. (1991) matrix. We find four different types of stakeholders and highlight the role they play with respect to the democratization of the technology. Through a stakeholder map we showcase three different consequences of the current composition and highlight their impact on the creation of a value proposition. The value proposition theory leads us to the inclusion of the network perspective. We find that banks, while likely to enter the industry themselves, are unlikely to support exchanges in their development. An emphasis is placed on the regulatory positions, which we identify as ambivalent. Their support to cryptocurrencies is crucial, which is why we argue for three different approaches cryptocurrency exchanges can take to develop conditions in their favor. We find that any proposition will need to account for stakeholder positions in the network and that it requires trust, need and transparency. In short, we observe advances that enable the democratization of the technology and the development of value propositions, which are in turn subject to the conditions created within the industry.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Strategy - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2019