Legitimizing the Blockchain Industry. An assessment of the blockchain industry’s current state of affairs

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This research combines literature on the topics of legitimacy, institutional entrepreneurship, and emerging markets to shed light upon the potential legitimation strategies that institutional entrepreneurs could employ to enhance the legitimacy of the emerging blockchain industry. The framework proposes which legitimation strategies should be deployed at which level of the blockchain ecosystem for each of the eight typologies of legitimacy. Based on the existing literature and the proposed framework, a qualitative research protocol was established. In total, 15 semi-structured interviews with industry experts were conducted. The research showed that the blockchain industry is increasingly becoming more legitimized as time goes by. However, the results showed it still lacks on five of the dimensions of legitimacy, namely cognitive, moral, pragmatic, managerial, and emotional dimensions. The results also showed that the industry excels in the regulatory, technical, and industry dimensions of legitimacy. Moreover, the research also showed that pragmatic, managerial, and cognitive typologies of legitimacy influence each other's ability to fully flourish. Following these results, several actionable strategies were proposed, directed towards institutional entrepreneurs, for them to enhance the legitimacy of the lacking and further develop the legitimacy of the excelling typologies.
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