Business Process Transformation in Natural Resources Development Using Blockchain: Indigenous Entrepreneurship, Trustless Technology, and Rebuilding Trust

41 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019 Last revised: 16 Oct 2019

See all articles by Ushnish Sengupta

Ushnish Sengupta

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Students; York University - Schulich School of Business

Henry M. Kim

York University - Schulich School of Business

Date Written: August 31, 2019

Abstract

Worldwide, there are many Indigenous communities who distrust the Natural Resources industry due to historical economic, environmental, social, and cultural practices. These communities also often distrust National and Sub-National governments that regulate these industries. At the same time, long-term support and a license to operate from local Indigenous communities has become a critical and necessary requirement for Natural Resource Development. Blockchain constitutes an emerging technology that can be applied to mitigate trust issues, in contexts where there is distrust between decentralized stakeholders. In this chapter, we posit that those business processes that require participation by Indigenous communities, Natural Resources companies, and different levels of governments who lack trust in each other can be performed more effectively using blockchain technologies. The research method included interviews with the Natural Resource industry and Indigenous entrepreneurship subject matter experts, and a case study using an enterprise analysis tool, the Business Model Canvas. Ultimately, our research indicates that governance level control by Indigenous communities over the development and operation of blockchain platforms can be pivotal in rebuilding trust between stakeholders in Natural Resources development. In our findings, control of development and operation by Indigenous communities does not necessarily mean hands on end to end solution deployment, but involves continuous and genuine input into the requirements and direction of blockchain technology development. In evolving response to the long-term issues of distrust between stakeholders involved in Natural Resource projects, this paper also describes the potential for long-term Smart Contracts, a blockchain technology enabled solution that continues to demonstrate promising applications. Long-term Smart Contract implementation, which can span multiple decades similar to long-term legal contracts, provide an additional layer of assurance that agreements made by all stakeholders involved will be honored through an additional mechanism of software code.

Keywords: Blockchain, Smart Contracts, Indigenous, Entrepreneurship, Natural Resources, Extractive Industries, Mining, Oil and Gas, Management of Technology, Government Policy

JEL Classification: A13, B50, C78, D23, D86, F54, F64, G32, H23, H77, I25, I31, J15, J24, K12, K23, K32, L26, L71, M14

Suggested Citation

Sengupta, Ushnish and Kim, Henry M., Business Process Transformation in Natural Resources Development Using Blockchain: Indigenous Entrepreneurship, Trustless Technology, and Rebuilding Trust (August 31, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3246385 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3246385

Ushnish Sengupta

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Students ( email )

252 Bloor St. West
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6
Canada
(647) 210-2524 (Phone)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
(647) 210-2524 (Phone)

Henry M. Kim (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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