Bitcoin and blockchain technology: individual adoption and discourse signaling

Project background and research questions

The year 2008 marked the birth of Bitcoin, the first and most well-known application of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Spurred by financial rallies and broad media coverage until now, Bitcoin has caught public attention in its ongoing attempt to decentralize and democratize financial markets.

In two current research projects, we focus on two distinct research questions in the context of Bitcoin:

  1. Individual adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain technology: How do individuals’ values affect their adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain technology?
  1. Signaling strategies in the Bitcoin discourse: How do multiple signals of different strengths influence audience engagement?



In project 1, we use data from a multiple administration survey of 236 users and nonusers of Bitcoin to hypothesize and test how individuals’ personal values (i.e., libertarian political values) influence their attitudes toward Bitcoin affordances and their Bitcoin use behavior. In parallel with the study of the specific case of Bitcoin, we also analyze 3,488 use intention decisions regarding public blockchain technology made by 218 decision makers who are actively involved in the European blockchain community, using a metric conjoint experiment. In project 2, we collect 115 million tweets directly related to Bitcoin from 2009 to 2022. Based on the tweets, we identify and classify 218 Bitcoin opinion leaders. We analyze their tweets using text-mining techniques and regression analyses to predict the effectiveness of their signaling strategies.


Project publications and presentations

Lichti, C., & Tumasjan, A. (2023). “My Precious!”: A Values-Affordances Perspective on the Adoption of Bitcoin. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 24(3), 629-663. DOI:

Lichti, C. (2020). If I Ruled the World: The Role of Personal Values in Blockchain Adoption Decisions. Presented at the UCL CBT 2020 Open Seminars. Available at

Project team

Constantin Lichti, M.Sc.

Prof. Dr. Andranik Tumasjan