Area of Expertise
- Business Analytics
- Enterprise Modelling
- Information Systems
- Management Consulting
- Service Science
As one of the leading blockchain scholars in Canada, Prof. Kim is engaged in blockchain research projects with the UN (on cross-border), Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (on electricity micro-grid), the Canadian blockchain startup Nuco Networks (on AI-based consensus mechanism), Ontario Ministry of Agriculture (on food traceability), and National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US (on manufacturing supply chain). He is on the faculty of Don Tapscott’s Blockchain Research Institute, is co-organizer of U of T’s Fields Institute Seminar Series on Blockchain, and an advisor on the Government of Canada’s whitepaper on Blockchain and Digital Ledger Technologies. He is a scientific advisor on several Canadian blockchain startups that are in the Financial Services and Mining and Natural Resources industries.
Evermann, J. and Kim, H. (2021), "Workflow Management on Proof-of-Work Blockchains – Implications and Recommendations,", SN Computer Science, Vol. 2, Article 44 .Keywords
Blockchain technology, originally popularized by cryptocurrencies, has been proposed as an infrastructure technology with applications in many areas of business management. Blockchains provide an immutable record of transactions, which makes them useful in situations where actors must cooperate but may not fully trust each other. In this paper, we examine the use of proof-of-work blockchains for executing inter-organizational workflows. We discuss architectural options and describe two prototype implementations of a blockchain-based workflow management system (WfMS), highlighting differences to traditional WfMS. Our main contribution is the identification of potential problems raised by proof-of-work blockchain infrastructure and recommendations to address them.
Kim, H., Laskowski, M., Zargham, M., Turesson, H., Barlin, M. and Kabanov, D. (2021), "Token Economics in Real-Life: Cryptocurrency and Incentives Design for Insolar Blockchain Network", IEEE Computer, Vol. 54, Issue 1, pp. 70-80 .
The study of setting up cryptocurrency incentive mechanisms and operationalizing governance is called token economics. Given the US$250 billion market cap for cryptocurrencies, there is compelling need to investigate it. In this article, we present facets of the token engineering process for a Swiss blockchain startup.
Kim, H., Turesson, H., Laskowski, M. and Bahreini, A. (2021), "Permissionless and Permissioned, Technology-Focused and Business Needs-Driven: Understanding the Hybrid Opportunity in Blockchain through a Case Study of Insolar", IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 16-Jan.Keywords
Blockchains can be public, permissionless networks implementing novel cryptocurrency-based technology features or permissioned, interorganizational networks championed by industry consortia. Some ventures operationalize a hybrid of these two network types to enhance adoption of their blockchain platforms by broadening their base of stakeholders or facilitating interoperability between heterogeneous blockchains. In this article, we synthesize literature and industry writings to identify four hybrid blockchain architectures: hybrid blockchain approach, connected hybrid blockchain, interoperable blockchain architecture, and hard-forked blockchain for enterprise use. We then analyze these architectures along dimensions of semantic modeling support between private and public networks, data connectivity between networks, syntactic interoperability support between networks with heterogeneous codebases, governance model, and technical features. We find that hybrid blockchain ventures make trade-offs: support API’s, tools, and customized development so that a codebase is useful for private and public networks or provide such support for interoperation between heterogeneous codebases. We then conduct a case study of an exemplar for a hybrid blockchain approach, the startup Insolar. We identify characteristics that have led Insolar to be idiosyncratically agile and effective in its blockchain development, which together with our architecture analysis may be timely and prescriptive as enterprises grow interested in addressing blockchain hybridity and interoperability.
Evermann, J. and Kim, H. (2020), "Workflow Management on BFT Blockchains", Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architecture , 15, 14:1-22.Keywords
Blockchains have been proposed as infrastructure technology for a wide variety of applications. They provide an immutable record of transactions, making them useful when business actors do not trust each other, and their distributed nature makes them suitable for inter-organizational applications. However, widely-used proof-of-work based blockchains are computationally inefficient and do not provide final consensus, although they scale well to large networks. In contrast, blockchains built around Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus algorithms are more efficient and provide immediate and final consensus, but do not scale well to large networks. We argue that this makes them well-suited for workflow management applications, which typically include no more than a few dozen participants. This paper is motivated by a use case in the resource extraction industry. We develop an architecture for a BFT blockchain based workflow management system (WfMS) and present a prototype implementation. We discuss its advantages and limitations with respect to proof-of-work based systems and provide an outlook to future research.
Saxena, S., Farag, H., Turesson, H. and Kim, H. (2020), "Blockchain Based Transactive Energy Systems for Voltage Regulation in Active Distribution Networks", IET Smart Grid, 3(5), 646-56 .
Transactive Energy Systems (TES) are modern mechanisms in electric power systems that allow disparate control agents to utilize distributed generation units (DGs) to engage in energy transactions and provide ancillary services to the grid. Although voltage regulation is a crucial ancillary service within active distribution networks (ADNs), previous work has not adequately explored how this service can be offered in terms of its incentivization, contract auditability and enforcement. Blockchain technology shows promise in being a key enabler of TES, allowing agents to engage in trustless, persistent transactions that are both enforceable and auditable. To that end, this paper proposes a blockchain based TES that enables agents to receive incentives for providing voltage regulation services by i) maintaining an auditable reputation rating for each agent that is increased proportionately with each mitigation of a voltage violation, ii) utilizing smart contracts to enforce the validity of each transaction and penalize reputation ratings in case of a mitigation failure and iii) automating the negotiation and bidding of agent services by implementing the contract net protocol (CNP) as a smart contract. Experimental results on both simulated and real-world ADNs are executed to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed system.
Zhang, A., Zandi, F. and Kim, H. (2020), "A Simple Macroeconomic Model of Decentralized Emission Markets Based on the Solow Growth Model", Frontiers in Blockchain, May 5.
As technology revolutionizes the methods of both production and communication, economists have to respond to new market structures and efficiencies, and the controversial concept of decentralization emerging in recent decades should also be examined in terms of its capacity to induce structural changes in the economy. This paper takes look at one specific market of interest and models the decentralization of a hypothetical emission quota market with the inclusion of households though automated auctions, in order to provide a preliminary analysis of how the redistribution of emission quotas would impact short-run equilibrium in this market and long-run growths. Given the endogenous dynamics, we would also examine the effects of exogenous technological shocks. For the purpose and scope of this paper, a simple mathematical formulation based on the Solow growth model as well as certain strong assumptions derived from economic intuitions is established, aiming to provide a more quantitative illustration of the effects from decentralization on such a system.
Saxena, S., Farag, H., Brookson, A., Turesson, H. and Kim, H. (2020), "A Permissioned Blockchain System to Reduce Peak Demand in Residential Communities via Energy Trading: A Real-World Case Study", IEEE Access, Vol. 9, 5517-5530.Keywords
Residential energy trading systems (RETS) enable homeowners with distributed energy resources (DERs) to participate in virtualized energy markets that have the potential to reduce the peak demand of residential communities. Blockchains are key enablers of RETS, by virtue of providing a decentralized, self-governed network that mitigates concerns regarding privacy and transparency. However, more real-world case studies are needed to evaluate the techno-economic viability of blockchain-based RETS to improve their positive uptake. Thus, this article develops a permissioned blockchain-based RETS, which enables homeowners to select bidding strategies that consider the individual preferences of their DERs, and further evaluates the impact of the bidding strategies on reducing the peak demand of the community. The proposed system is implemented on the permissioned Hyperledger Fabric platform, where a decentralized ledger is used to store all energy bids, and a smart contract is used to execute a double auction mechanism and dispatch the homeowner DERs. The proposed system is validated by conducting simulations on a 8-home community using real-world data, and also by deploying the system to a Canadian microgrid, where the smart contract execution time is benchmarked. Simulation results demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed system by achieving a peak demand reduction of up to 48 kW (62%), which leads to an average savings of $1.02 M for the distribution system operator by avoiding transformer upgrades. Also, the simulation results show that the execution time of the proposed smart contract is 17.12 seconds across 12 nodes, which is sufficient for RETS.
Sengupta, U. and Kim, H. (2020), "Meeting Changing Customer Requirements in Food and Agriculture Through Application of Blockchain Technology", Frontiers in Blockchain.
This research summarizes the implementation of blockchain technology in the food and agriculture industry in Canada. Our research indicates that blockchain solutions are an existing and proven set of technologies. We also describe how blockchain based supply chain traceability information has many more benefits than its current use for food safety and product recalls. We recommend that costs for development of blockchain based solutions should also be distributed across stakeholders, and apportioned by the relevant industry associations. Our research indicates that adoption of blockchain technology in agriculture will achieve critical mass earlier when the industry applies a consortium approach, in a regulatory environment that is supported by government. This report also makes recommendations relevant to the integration of blockchain for end consumers of food.
Treblmaier, H., Swan, M., de Filippi, P., Lacity, M., Hardjono, T. and Kim, H. (2020), "What’s Next in Blockchain Research? An Identification of Key Topics Using a Multidisciplinary Perspective", Database for Advances in Information Systems, 52(1).
Distributed ledger technology, frequently designated as ‘blockchain,’ is evolving from its hype phase toward greater maturity and long-term value creation. Although many academic communities were initially slow to grasp the technology’s numerous potential implications, meanwhile a substantial amount of research is dedicated to investigating the development and impact of blockchain and related technologies. As undertaken, most research projects take a specific homogenous perspective, such as a technical or business viewpoint. To date, blockchain research studies are largely missing a bridge between and across academic disciplines. Given the manifold implications of blockchain technology, a fruitful crossdisciplinary exchange is therefore needed. In this paper, we bring together researchers with varying expertise to provide a vision into what may be next in terms of concepts, applications, and research agendas. We consider business, economic, societal, legal, technical, and philosophical viewpoints and propose multiple research questions as well as hypotheses arising from these diverse viewpoints. Simultaneously, we challenge various academic communities to tackle some of the most crucial issues of current blockchain research and to develop a solid foundation for future exploration.
Kim, H., Laskowski, M., Turesson, H. and Roatis, A. (2020), "Proof-of-Useful-Work as Dual-Purpose Mechanism for Blockchain and AI: Blockchain Consensus that Enables Privacy Preserving Data Mining", Journal of Database Management, 32(1).
Blockchains rely on a consensus among participants to achieve decentralization and security. However, reaching consensus in an online, digital world where identities are not tied to physical users is a challenging problem. Proof-of-work provides a solution by linking representation to a valuable, physical resource. While this has worked well, it uses a tremendous amount of specialized hardware and energy, with no utility beyond blockchain security. Here, the authors propose an alternative consensus scheme that directs the computational resources to the optimization of machine learning (ML) models – a task with more general utility. This is achieved by a hybrid consensus scheme relying on three parties: data providers, miners, and a committee. The data provider makes data available and provides payment in return for the best model, miners compete about the payment and access to the committee by producing ML optimized models, and the committee controls the ML competition.
Mehar, M., Shier, C., Giambattista, A., Gong, E., Fletcher, G., Kim, H. and Laskowski, M. (2019), "Understanding a Revolutionary and Flawed Grand Experiment in Blockchain: The DAO Attack", Journal of Cases on Information Technology, 21(1), 19-32.
In spring 2016, the Distributed Autonomous Organization (The DAO) was created on Ethereum. As with Bitcoin, Ethereum uses a P2P network, where distributed ledgers are implemented as daisy-chained blocks of data. Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, Ethers are spent to execute pieces of code called smart contracts. Investors paid their Ethers for the DAO to operate and received the opportunity to vote on and become investors in venture projects proposed by Ethereum-based startups. Transactions and settlements between investors and startups are executed autonomously. The DAO experiment failed shortly after inception as an anonymous hacker stole over $50M USD worth of Ethers out of the $168M invested. The Ethereum community voted to return (or fork) the state of the network to one prior to the hack, returning Ethers back to investors and shuttering the DAO. However, this action arguably represented as a bailout—ironically, Bitcoin was conceived as a reaction against the 2008 bailout of US banks—and violated the ledger immutability and “code is law” ethos of the blockchain community.
Karajovic, M., Kim, H. and Laskowski, M. (2019), "Thinking Outside the Block: Projected Phases of Blockchain Integration in the Accounting Industry", Australian Accounting Review, 29(2), 319-330.
This paper aims to propound a thorough and circumspect analysis of the implications of blockchain technology in the accounting profession and its broader industry. The analysis begins with a summary of early developments by first movers and how they are harnessing blockchain technology to improve business practices. Concomitantly, the paper will go on to discuss how this technology will streamline accounting processes, specifically as the technology approaches critical mass. Finally, a discussion of its long‐term implications will follow through a more philosophical and conceptual dialogue. Throughout the paper, criticisms will be raised to address concerns regarding blockchain’s widespread use.
Zhang, A., Raveenthiran, A., Mukai, J., Naeem, R., Dhuna, A., Parveen, Z. and Kim, H. (2019), "The Regulation Paradox of Initial Coin Offerings: A Case Study Approach", Frontiers in Blockchain, 2(2), April. [SSRN].
Compared to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and conventional loans, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are sales of promises of cryptocurrency appreciation. However, regulatory uncertainties continue to prohibit successful widespread adoption. This paper examines ICOs with varying levels of success, including Mastercoin (now Omni) and Kin, as well as fraudulent ICOs, like REcoin and OneCoin. The discussion of the ICO market focuses on the “regulation paradox,” examining some of the inherent contradictions between regulatory actions and values that differentiate ICO schemes from other investment instruments, and therefore questioning the capability of regulations to enhance investor protection mechanisms without undermining the fundamental value of cryptocurrencies and ICOs as a viable funding structure.
Kim, H. and Laskowski, M. (2018), "Towards an Ontology-Driven Blockchain Design for Supply Chain Provenance", Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance, and Management, 25(1), 18-27.Keywords
An interesting research problem in our age of Big Data is that of determining provenance. Granular evaluation of provenance of physical goods (e.g., tracking ingredients of a pharmaceutical or demonstrating authenticity of luxury goods) has often not been possible with today’s items that are produced and transported in complex, interorganizational, often internationally spanning supply chains. Recent adoptions of the Internet of Things and blockchain technologies give promise at better supply‐chain provenance. We are particularly interested in the blockchain, as many favored use cases of blockchain are for provenance tracking. We are also interested in applying ontologies, as there has been some work done on knowledge provenance, traceability, and food provenance using ontologies. In this paper, we make a case for why ontologies can contribute to blockchain design. To support this case, we analyze a traceability ontology and translate some of its representations to smart contracts that execute a provenance trace and enforce traceability constraints on the Ethereum blockchain platform.
Agrawal, D., Jureczek, N., Gopalakrishnan, G., Guzman, M., McDonald, M. and Kim, H. (2018), "Loyalty Points on the Blockchain", Business and Management Studies, 4(3), 80-92.
Kim, H., Ghiasi, B., Spear, M., Laskowski, M. and Jiye, L. (2017), "Online Serendipity: The Case for Curated Recommender Systems", Business Horizons, 60(5), 613-620.
When used effectively, recommender systems provide users with suggestions based on their own preferences. These systems first showed their value with e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay, which provided recommendations algorithmically. A key drawback of these systems is that some items need personal touch recommendations to spur on purchase, use, or consumption. A recommender system that facilitates personal touch recommendations by enabling users to discover good recommenders as opposed to focusing on recommending items algorithmically addresses this drawback. In this article, we discuss such a system—a curated recommender system. A curated recommender system is optimal for online retailers and service providers, especially those that sell books, stream content, or provide social networking platforms.
Nevo, S., Nevo, D. and Kim, H. (2012), "From Recreational Applications to Workplace Technologies: An Empirical Study of Cross-Context IS Continuance in the Case of Virtual Worlds", Journal of Information Technology, 27(1), 74-86.Keywords
Although three-dimensional, immersive virtual worlds, such as Active Worlds, Second Life, and Teleplace have been in existence for several years, their organizational use is rather limited. This paper posits, perhaps counter intuitively, that the diffusion of virtual worlds within organizations could be enhanced by their recreational usage. This argument is motivated by the notion developed in this paper that the use of technologies need not remain within a single context, but instead can cross-contexts, for example from recreational to vocational. We term such shift cross-context IS continuance. This paper proposes that workers using virtual worlds for recreational (i.e., hedonic and social) use are suitably positioned to discover those technologies’ workplace applicability, thereby assisting in their diffusion within the organization. Building on the supporting results of an empirical study, this paper recommends that managers consider allowing for ‘playtime’ with virtual worlds as a mechanism for enhancing their adoption and subsequent diffusion in the workplace. From an information systems (IS)-research perspective, this paper makes several important contributions. First, it contributes to the IS continuance literature by arguing for, and providing evidence in support of, the existence of cross-context continuance. To date, this literature stream has examined only one aspect of continuance – for example, within-context. Second, this paper identifies recreational and work as distinct dimensions of technology usage, and hedonic and social usage as sub-dimensions of the former, thereby contributing to the contextualization of this core IS construct. Third, it is one of the early field studies dedicated to the empirical examination of virtual worlds.
Introduction to Leadership and Management Skills
Introduction to Information Systems
Advanced Topics in Information Systems
Systems Analysis and Design
Information Systems Concepts and Models
Introduction to Information Systems
Database Management System
Systems Analysis and Design
Complexity Science and Data Science (Independent Studies)
Project Title Role Award Amount Year Awarded Granting Agency Project TitleTrade and Competitiveness: Productivity, Innovation, and Product Differentiation RoleCollaborator Award Amount$151,600.00 Year Awarded2018-2019 Granting AgencyOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs – Research Program Project TitleBlockchain Enabled Smart Microgrids RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$45,246.00 Year Awarded2018 Granting AgencyOntario Centre of Excellence Voucher for Innovation and Productivity I (OCE VIP I) Project TitleApplying Deep Neural Networks for Blockchain Interoperability I RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$45,000.00 Year Awarded2018 Granting AgencyOntario Centre of Excellence Voucher for Innovation and Productivity I (OCE VIP I) Project TitleApplying Deep Neural Networks for Blockchain Interoperability II RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$20,200.00 Year Awarded2018 Granting AgencyNational Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) Project TitleFellowship for Research RoleRecipient Award Amount$12,500.00 Year Awarded2017-2018 Granting AgencySchulich School of Business Project TitleOntology-Based Reference Model for Financial Business Processes in Retail for Opterus RolePrincipal Investigator with Opterus Award Amount$52,234.00 Year Awarded2016-2017 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – Engage Grant Project TitleDeveloping a Social and Trust-Based Book Recommender System for Indigo RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$52,900.00 Year Awarded2015-2016 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – Engage Grant Project TitleEnabling Data Management for Big Data Business Analytics for Sphere3D using Context-Aware Ontologies RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$52,800.00 Year Awarded2015-2016 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – Engage Grant Project TitleOntology formalizations of Marketing Principles and Smart Contracts with FinTech Applications RoleCo-Applicant Award Amount$9,000.00 Year Awarded2015-2016 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – Undergraduate Student Research Award Project TitleLeveraging Supply Chain Automation Expertise to Develop Supply Chain Analytics Capabilities RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$53,100.00 Year Awarded2014-2015 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – Engage Grant Project TitleApplications of a Computational Ontology for Distance for the Semantic Web RoleCo-Applicant Award Amount$4,500.00 Year Awarded2012 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - Undergraduate Student Research Award Project TitleUsing ontologies and social network analysis for web 2.0 enabled knowledge sharing RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$95,000.00 Year Awarded2009-2015 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - Discovery Grant Project TitleCorporate Social Computing RoleCo-Applicant Award Amount$43,432.00 Year Awarded2008-2010 Granting AgencyIBM - PhD Fellowship Award Project TitleIT Productivity and other Research Issues in Service RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$20,150.00 Year Awarded2007 Granting AgencyIBM Project TitleEnabling Knowledge Sharing over the Semantic Web using Ontologies and Network Analysis RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$53,925.00 Year Awarded2004-2008 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council - Discovery Grant Project Title Role Award Amount$53,000.00 Year Awarded2000-2008 Granting AgencySchulich School of Business – Various Faculty Research Awards Project TitleEnabling Integrated Decision Making: Business Process and Data Driven Information Integration using Ontology-Based Enterprise Models RolePrincipal Investigator Award Amount$53,925.00 Year Awarded2000-2004 Granting AgencyNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – Discovery Grant