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 why it can be used on a potentially massive digital scale, going way beyond digital currency.
While blockchain technology still has some work to do to convince stakeholders of its credentials, particularly around security, its distributed nature and transparent ledger offer benefits that could be used in a range of applications.
Banks, regulators and corporations around the world are now looking seriously at its potential. Nasdaq is already using it; IBM is testing it for the “Internet of things”; other companies are looking at how it might help keep passwords and secure documents safe from hackers; others are saying
Originally appeared at: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nzcia-brand-insight/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503853objectid=11485056