Will Blockchain Technology Change How Well National Archives Preserve the Trustworthiness of Digital Records?: Preliminary Results of a Survey


Özhan Sağlık, Victoria Lemieux

Date of Publication


The purpose of this study is to examine the viewpoint of national archives on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, discover their activities in relation to the application of these technologies, and analyse their thoughts on how these technologies can play a role in the preservation of records’ trustworthiness. A survey method was adopted in the study. The survey consisted of 18 questions about national archives’ attitude and actions in relation to application of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. The survey was sent to the 194 national archives listed in the Directory of National Archives. Eighteen responses have been acquired which, while low, provides initial insights into how national archives are responding to these technologies. This study has three hypotheses. The first one is “blockchain technology will change archiving practices”, the second one is “the trustworthiness of digital records can be preserved better with blockchain technology”, and the last one is “national archives are reluctant to implement blockchain networks that use tradable crypto-assets”. According to the results obtained from the survey, the first hypothesis has not been verified. The second hypothesis is likely, as national archives that are keen to adopt blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, but a majority of the archives are hesitant to adopt these technologies for archiving, suggesting that the third and final hypothesis might also true, though the reasons for national archives’ reluctance to adopt these technologies could be more varied than originally hypothesized. This study is one of the first systemic analyses of the viewpoint and activities of national archives on blockchain and distributed technologies.

External Link

Read the Research Paper

  • Conference Paper

First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. External Link An arrow entering a square. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.