Introduction to Blockchain

100 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2019

See all articles by Theophanis C. Stratopoulos

Theophanis C. Stratopoulos

University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance

Jesus Calderon

Gravito

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 29, 2019

Abstract

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

Stratopoulos, Theophanis C. and Calderon, Jesus, Introduction to Blockchain (May 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3395619 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3395619

Theophanis C. Stratopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 N2L 3G1
Canada
519-888-4567 x35943 (Phone)

Jesus Calderon

Gravito ( email )

Toronto
Canada

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