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The Role of Smart Contracts in Sustainability: Worldwide Research Trends

Faculty of Law, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), Av. de la Paz, 137, 26006 Logroño, Spain
Department of Engineering, ceiA3, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3049;
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 26 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Energy Sustainability at Universities)
The advent and development of digital technologies has had a significant impact on the establishment of contracts. Smart contracts are designed as computer code containing instructions for executing user agreements, offering a technologically secure solution with numerous advantages and applications. However, smart contracts are not without their problems when we try to fit them into the traditional system of contract law, and their presumed benefits can become shortcomings. Bibliometric studies can help to assess the current state of science in a specific subject and support decision making and research direction. Here, this bibliometric study is used to analyze global trend research in relation to this novel contractual methodology, the smart contract, which seems to have experienced exponential growth since 2014. Specially, this analysis was focused on the main countries involved and the institutions that lead this research worldwide. On the other hand, the indexations of these works are analyzed according to major scientific areas and the keywords of all the works, to detect the subjects to which they are grouped. Community detection has been used to establish the relationship between countries researching in this area, and six clusters have been identified, around which all the work related to this topic is grouped. This work shows the temporal evolution of research related to smart contracts, highlighting that there are two trends—e-commerce and smart power grids. From the perspective of driving sustainability, smart contracts could provide a contribution in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: bibliometrics; community detection; energy; law; sustainability; smart contracts bibliometrics; community detection; energy; law; sustainability; smart contracts
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salmerón-Manzano, E.; Manzano-Agugliaro, F. The Role of Smart Contracts in Sustainability: Worldwide Research Trends. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3049.

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