About the Blockchain Center of Excellence

The vision of the Blockchain Center of Excellence is to make the Sam M. Walton College of Business a premier academic leader of blockchain application research and education.

About the Blockchain Center of Excellence

 

The Blockchain Center of Excellence (BCoE) was established in May of 2018 within the Department of Information Systems in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. The vision is to make the Sam M. Walton College of Business a premiere academic leader of blockchain application research and education in areas such as supply chains, retail innovation and advanced analytics. We provide a balanced approach across public, private, and hybrid blockchains.

The BCoE works in close collaboration with major Arkansas-based companies that help us set the agenda for blockchain curricula and research. The center benefits information systems students, as well as other students across the Walton College and the University of Arkansas. Students learn the latest developments in the technology and create new applications, often based on use cases provided by BCoE members.

The creation of a Blockchain Center of Excellence is a natural extension of the Walton College’s and the U of A’s established expertise in information systems research and data analytics. This demonstrates our continued commitment to putting our students and Arkansas business and industry at the forefront of technological innovation.

Joseph Steinmetz

Chancellor, University of Arkansas

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From left to right: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz, Dean Matthew Waller, Stephanie Blevins, Professor Mary Lacity, Professor Rajiv Sabherwal

A Message from the Director

I am excited to join the Information Systems Department as Director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence. The faculty, staff, administrators, and industry advisors have built something extremely relevant for our students, for Arkansas, and beyond. I’ve been studying blockchains since the summer of 2016. Based on interviews in over 30 organizations, two surveys, and participant observation in a blockchain consortium, I am convinced that blockchain technologies could generate trillions of dollars of value, but there are technical and managerial challenges that need to be addressed first. I hope that the Center of Excellence helps our students and industry partners address these issues to deliver real business and social value.

Mary C. Lacity

Director, Blockchain Center of Excellence and Walton Professor of Information Systems, Sam M. Walton College of Business

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain applications use technology to replace the functions traditionally performed by institutions, such as verifying identities, making sure accounts are funded before transferring value and attesting to the authenticity of an asset, giving blockchain the potential to make business processes more trustworthy, efficient and secure.

Mary C. Lacity

Director, Blockchain Center of Excellence and Professor of Information Systems, Sam M. Walton College of Business