The state of and prospects for the application of blockchain technology in e-commerce


  • Mohamed Karani Postgraduate student, Division of Information Systems, University of Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
  • Samwel Dick Mwapwele Lecturer, Division of Information Systems, University of Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa



blockchain, E-Commerce, Distributed ledger, Cryptocurrency, SDG 7, SDG 9


Whilst e-commerce continues to grow, it has met privacy, trust, and security challenges. Blockchain technology is among the solutions that e-commerce can use to address these challenges. Blockchain technology poses benefits but comes with its challenges. The purpose of this study was to systematically review literature that focused on the state and prospects of blockchain technology in e-commerce. Specifically, the research question is what is the state of the application of blockchain technology in e-commerce? The study conducted searches using four databases (EbscoHost, Science Direct, IEEE Explore, and Jstor) as well as Google Scholar. Exclusion and inclusion criteria were applied in the searches to answer the research question. In total, 25 articles were used for this research and were thematically analysed. The results showed that while there are many benefits in implementing blockchain technologies in e-commerce, there are also challenges. The benefits include an increase in privacy, enhanced security, and minimized costs of transactions. The challenges are tax evasion, black market transactions, and lack of regulation. Results also showed blockchains are used to track product movement and originality. The study's novel contribution is to theory by developing a model for the application, benefits, and challenges of the blockchain technology ecosystem in e-commerce. The study contributes to policy by focusing on sustainable development goals 7 and 9. The research also contributes to the body of knowledge on the application of blockchain. Businesses, scholars, government officials, and other stakeholders can use this study to understand the application, challenges, and benefits of blockchain in e-commerce.


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How to Cite

Karani, M., & Mwapwele, S. D. (2023). The state of and prospects for the application of blockchain technology in e-commerce. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 12(7), 153–167.



Strategic Approach to Business Ecosystem and Organizational Development