Special Issue "Blockchain: Current Challenges and Future Prospects/Applications"

A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 August 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Spyros Makridakis

Director Institute for the Future (IFF), University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Artificial Intelligence, intelligence augmentation, blockchain, forecasting, uncertainty
Guest Editor
Dr. Klitos Christodoulou

Institute for the Future (IFF), University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus
Website | E-Mail
Interests: distributed ledger technologies, data science, machine learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Blockchain innovates in three simple but powerful directions. First, the way records are kept excludes tempering; second, it assures trust in the transactions amongst strangers; and third, it offers transparency and much greater safety/security than the traditional Internet. Blockchain has been called “the next generation of the internet” and alternatively “the Internet of value”, aiming to revolutionize the Internet of today by exploiting its three breakthrough innovations. There are still problems to be solved and challenges to be overcome, but similar ones were faced in the early 1990s when the Internet was in a comparable stage to that of today’s blockchain.

It is the purpose of this Special Issue to cover all aspects of blockchain technology. Authors are encouraged to submit articles that include existing problems/challenges together with suggestions of how they could be dealt with, as well as covering its revolutionary future prospects and their implications for real-life applications upon which the Special Issue editors have placed special emphasis. The list of topics below is indicative but not exhaustive of the papers to be submitted for possible publication in this Special Issue. 

List of Topics

  • Blockchain in 2018 versus the Internet in the early 1990s;
  • Blockchain as a disruptive technology;
  • Exploiting the advantages of blockchain while avoiding its drawbacks;
  • Blockchain security;
  • Blockchain exploiting bitcoin technology but not bound by it;
  • Challenges to be addressed for blockchain mass adoption;
  • Blockchain Breakthroughs
    • Smart contracts;
    • Supply chain;
    • Internet of Things (IoT);
    • Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO);
  • Blockchain Applications
    • Banking;
    • Finance;
    • Insurance;
    • Health care;
    • Supply chain;
    • Shipping;
    • Land registry;
    • Certification;
  • Blockchain Startups and how they are revolunizing blockchain applications (founders of such startups are encourage to submit papers of their goals and how they expect to add value to blockchain applications).


  1. Yli-Huumo, J.; Ko, D.; Choi, S.; Park, S.; Smolander, K. Where Is Current Research on Blockchain Technology? - A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE , 2016, 11, e0163477, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163477.
  2. Guang, C.; Xu, B.; Lu, M.; Chen, N.S. Exploring blockchain technology and its potential applications for education. Learn. Environ. 2018, 5, 1, doi:10.1186/s40561-017-0050.
  3. Makridakis S.; Polemitis A.; Giaglis G.; Louca S. Blockchain: The Next Breakthrough in the Rapid Progress of AI. Robot. Autom. Eng. J. 2018, 2, 1–12.
  4. Schwab, K. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Crown Business. Available online: https://www.weforum.org/about/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-by-klaus-schwab (accessed on 29 December 2018).
  5. Christidis, K.; Devetsikiotis, M. Blockchains and Smart Contracts for the Internet of Things. Ieee Access 2016, 4, 2292–2303, doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2016.2566339.

Prof. Dr. Spyros Makridakis
Dr. Klitos Christodoulou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • blockchain
  • applications
  • startups
  • local networks
  • distributed ledger
  • smart contracts
  • internet of things
  • decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO)

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Blockchain and the Tokenization of The Individual: Societal Implications
Authors: Monique J. Morrow and Mehran Zarrebini

We are living in a world where the very systems upon which trust is based are being challenged by new and exciting paradigm shifts. Centralization whether in the form of governments, financial institutions, enterprises and organizations is simply being challenged because of the lack of trust associated with data governance often experienced in the form of data breaches or simply a monetization of our data without our permission and or incentives to participate in this emerging decentralization of structures. We see this trust deficit challenging the very institutions we have depended on including but not limited to financial institutions, private enterprises or government bodies. A new “social contract”1 is required as we continuously evolve into more decentralized and self-governing (or semi self-governing) entities. We will see more development in Digital Sovereignty with the caveat that a governance model will need to be defined.
There are several key areas that will be driving decentralization and to some extent the creation of autonomous organizations. For example, the exponential growth of 5th Generation Technology (5G) and the Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices that possess their own identities and data. They will communicate with each other without human intervention. The IoT industry is ripe for the next major wave of disruption through Decentralized applications.
At an environmental level our climate is changing and therein is the promise of tokenizing an asset such as the climate, the ocean and so on. Could we imagine planting a tree, building a school at a community level and incentivizing such behavior with value tokens? What about the use of energy and an exchange of energy value amongst community members?2 These tokens could later be used to have some influence on how such projects are operated, allowing stakeholders to participate in key decisions that affect their communities3.
At a social level, the development of smart cities will drive the exchange of data across domains that include public-private sectors. Healthcare and tokenizing the asset of your health data such that it brings value to you will become even more pivotal perhaps challenging the very healthcare insurance entities that we know today. In the end, the individual can be in the center of this Copernican universe and yes – we are. We are moving beyond a tokenization economy but rather witnessing the democratization of data at a societal level. There is a polarity between data democratization and data abuse where and data abuse. One point we are certain of is that the individual has the potential to paint the future he/she desires not the one to be avoided. Our future does not have to be dystopian, and therein is the opportunity of “tokenizing” ourselves.
This paper will present empirical data that supports the premise that blockchain, individual tokenization and data democratization will provide the basis for a new social contract.4

1 Intelligent Connectivity and the Need for a New Data Deal, Jennifer L. Schenker, Feb 25 2019, The Innovator.
2 Finance 4.0, (2018). Technical Report. [online] Available at: <https://www.researchcollection. ethz.ch/handle/20.500.11850/286469>
3 IISD (2019). Tokenization of infrastructure. A blockchain-based solution to financing sustainable infrastructure. [online] Available at: < https://www.iisd.org/sites/default/files/publications/tokenization-infrastructure-blockchain-solution.pdf >
4 The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, The Fight For A Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, Shoshana Zuboff, Hachette Book Group, 2019.

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