Enhancing blockchain adoption through tailored software engineering: An industrial-grounded study in education credentialing

Zoey Ziyi Li, Han Wang, Dragan Gasevic, Jiangshan Yu, Joseph K. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Recent years have witnessed a marked increase in both academic proposals and industrial adoptions of blockchain technology. However, a majority of the projects remain at the stage of prototype proposals and their real-world deployment has not met the anticipated level. This gap can be attributed to three major barriers - technical difficulties, human factors, and social context. Most of the existing research leans towards addressing the technical challenges, leaving the human and social aspects inadequately explored. Moreover, a lack of practical insights in the existing blockchain software engineering frameworks further exacerbates the adoption problem. To address these gaps, we introduce a Blockchain-oriented Software Engineering Approach for Higher Adoption Possibility (BOSE-HAP). This approach emphasizes collaboration, reflective thinking, and iterative development, aiming to bolster implementation consistency and stimulate industry adoption. We have applied this approach in the design, development, and launch of a blockchain credentialing product, CValid.org, in the context of a university-level summer school. The product achieves industry-accepted System Usability Score and has seen successful real-world deployment. In addition, this study embed usability considerations throughout the process, involved a total of 112 stakeholders across different development stages, with 25 of them participating in our in-depth interviews and usability testing. Drawing from our firsthand experience and industrial-grounded findings, we deliver eight reflections and propose five best practice suggestions relevant to blockchain adoption. We believe these insights will provide invaluable guidance for both academic researchers and industry practitioners involved in the field of blockchain technology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages24
JournalDistributed Ledger Technologies: Research and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2023


  • Blockchain Technology
  • Usability evaluation
  • Design-based research
  • education credentialing
  • software engineering

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