Title: The new distributed digital technology world trade and MNEs: another step in the inventive process

Authors: Tamir Agmon

Addresses: Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel; School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract: Major innovations are about reducing transactions costs. This has been true since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and it continues along the inventive process in the last 220 years. The innovative technology of blockchains and cryptocurrencies with smart contracts (distributed digital technology) has a potential for substantial reduction of transactions costs that are rooted in human nature. Like earlier transformational innovative technologies, such as the steam locomotive and the internet, the new distributed digital technology may create disruptions in the market today, but if successful it will increase welfare by transforming the way that people transact in the market in the future. The major feature of the new digital technology is that it makes it possible for individuals to match their supply and demand without intervention of organisations like firms, financial intermediaries and regulating agencies. The new digital technology gets us closer to the neoclassical perfect market model. Distributed digital technology progresses in a step-by-step fashion. The first step was the Bitcoin: electronic peer-to-peer cash transfers without the need for central regulations. A number of services, particularly those that can be traded digitally, are next in line. Two potential applications of distributed digital applications are global trade in services and to MNEs.

Keywords: transactions cost; distributed digital technology; global trade in services; multinational enterprises.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2021.10033184

European Journal of International Management, 2021 Vol.15 No.1, pp.135 - 145

Received: 22 Mar 2018
Accepted: 29 Jul 2018

Published online: 21 Dec 2020 *

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