Location factors and ecosystem embedding of sustainability-engaged blockchain companies in the US. A web-based analysis

28 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2024

See all articles by Jan Kinne

Jan Kinne

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Robert Dehghan

University of Mannheim, Institute of SMEs and Entrepreneurship

Sebastian Schmidt

Centre for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS), University of Salzburg

David Lenz

Justus Liebig University Giessen

Hanna Hottenrott

Technische Universität München (TUM)

Date Written: April 22, 2024

Abstract

While many digital technologies provide opportunities for creating business models with an impact on
sustainability, some technologies, especially blockchain applications, are often criticized for harming the
environment, e.g. due to high energy demand. In our study, we present a novel approach to identify
sustainability-focused blockchain companies and relate their level of engagement to location factors and
entrepreneurial ecosystem embeddedness. For this, we use a large-scale web scraping approach to analyze
the textual content and hyperlink networks of all US companies from their websites. Our results show
that blockchain remains a niche technology, with its use communicated by about 0.6% of US companies.
However, the proportion of sustainable blockchain firms is significantly higher than in the overall firm
population. Additionally, we find that blockchain companies with an intensified focus on sustainability have,
at least quantitatively, a more intensive embedding in entrepreneurial ecosystems, while infrastructural and
socio-economic location factors hardly play a role.

Keywords: sustainability, blockchain, ecosystem, location factors, natural language processing

JEL Classification: Q56, R30, L86

Suggested Citation

Kinne, Jan and Dehghan, Robert and Schmidt, Sebastian and Lenz, David and Hottenrott, Hanna, Location factors and ecosystem embedding of sustainability-engaged blockchain companies in the US. A web-based analysis (April 22, 2024). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 24-023, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4802769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4802769

Jan Kinne (Contact Author)

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Robert Dehghan

University of Mannheim, Institute of SMEs and Entrepreneurship ( email )

Universität Mannheim
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Sebastian Schmidt

Centre for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS), University of Salzburg ( email )

Schillerstr. 30, Building 15, 3rd Floor
Salzburg, 5020
Austria

David Lenz

Justus Liebig University Giessen ( email )

Licher Str. 64
Giessen, 35394
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uni-giessen.de/fbz/fb02/fb/professuren/vwl/winker/kontakt/mitarbeiter/lenz

Hanna Hottenrott

Technische Universität München (TUM) ( email )

Arcisstrasse 21
Munich, DE 80333
Germany

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