Introduction to Blockchain
100 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 29, 2019
Financial professionals need to understand blockchain in order to evaluate its impact on the profession (e.g., audit, tax, consulting), as well as the impact on the business of their clients (e.g., auditees, investors). Given that financial professionals do not want to become programmers, cryptographers or database experts, what is the essential blockchain foundational knowledge that they need to have in order to evaluate and prepare for the effect of blockchain on business?
Our objective with these teaching notes was to help accounting and finance students understand blockchain technology and how it works. Our attempt to develop this foundational knowledge was motivated by the potential of blockchain to disrupt several industries including financial and professional services. Leveraging this foundational knowledge the reader should be able to do the following: 1) Explain in plain English blockchain concepts. 2) Acquire the knowledge needed to form an opinion regarding the implications of blockchain for financial and professional services, and businesses in general.
We hope that the foundational knowledge provided in these teaching notes will be the stepping stone to facilitate critical thinking and help students evaluate the pros and cons of proposed blockchain initiatives. It is important for students and professionals to use their trademark skepticism because according to the executive director of Hyperledger Brian Behlendorf "... [t]here is a tendency to talk about blockchain in very singular, reverential, almost religious tones."
Keywords: blockchain, R, techology adoption, accounting
JEL Classification: M15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation