A literature review of blockchain technology applications in supply chains: A comprehensive analysis of themes, methodologies and industries

Ming Lim, Yan Li, Chao Wang, Ming-Lang Tseng

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    209 Citations (Scopus)
    3056 Downloads (Pure)


    In the past few years, blockchain, the underlying technology of Bitcoin, has received considerable attention from academia and industry. It is widely accepted that blockchain technology causes disruptive changes in supply chain operations that can overcome supply chain difficulties encountered in realizing information sharing, maintaining traceability in the entire process and improving operational efficiency. However, the application of blockchain technology in the supply chain field is still in its infancy, which limits an understanding of its potential. This article uses descriptive and content analysis to review publications related to blockchain-based supply chains between 2017 and 2020 inclusive. To fully explore research on blockchain-based supply chains, four well-designed questions are proposed and addressed, namely, the value of blockchain in supply chains, the attraction of scholars to particular supply chain themes, the development of research methodologies and illustration types in adopting blockchain in supply chains, and the types of industries involved in blockchain-based supply chains. The results reveal that there is growing interest in applying blockchain technology to supply chain operations. A detailed analysis of findings is provided to identify the future opportunities of blockchain-based supply chains, including prospects for tertiary industries and concerted efforts that are necessary to explore sustainability themes. This article provides valuable information to help scholars and practitioners better determine the relevant research topics to accelerate the development of blockchain-based supply chains.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107133
    JournalComputers & Industrial Engineering
    Early online date20 Jan 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Computers & Industrial Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Computers & Industrial Engineering, 154, (2021)
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cie.2021.107133

    © 2021, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


    Chongqing Science and Technology Commission (Project no. cstc2019jscx-msxmX0189). Funding Information: This research is funded by the Chongqing Science and Technology Commission (Project no. cstc2019jscx-msxmX0189) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (72071006 and 61603011).


    • Supply chain
    • Blockchain
    • Descriptive and content analysis
    • Literature review

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Engineering(all)
    • Computer Science(all)


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