In the first of a series of articles Lee White, CEO of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, looks at new technology which will change “everything”.
Digital currencies have until recently been confined to those “in the know” and are generally still viewed with a sense of mistrust, to the extent of being equated with ‘ponzi’ schemes or the currency of online gamers and gamblers.
Yet digital currency like the bitcoin and, more importantly, the technology that underpins it – the blockchain – will change not just the way the world trades but how it stores and shares information.
The blockchain is world-changing. It is not often a chartered accountant can say that, so I will say it again: it will change everything.
The blockchain is an open-source transactional database operating on a distributed network. There is no single repository of data, instead a record of every transaction ever conducted is held on a transparent ledger, stored and replicated across thousands of computers around the world.
Anyone can access the ledger and view any transaction and, as the transactions are verified and replicated in multiple locations, the network is very resilient. The blockchain provides accountability but is also decentralised – which is