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10
www.ctcpas.org
How
Blockchain
Is Becoming an
Essential Tool for the
Exchange
of
Value
By Geoff Hopkins, Director, Technology and Management Consulting, RSM US LLP
Last issue we provided an introduction to the peer-to-peer autonomous ledger
system known as blockchain in Geoff Hopkin's piece, "Blockchain Brings
Exponential Disruption, Growth Potential to Accounting." In that article,
available at www.ctcpas.org/blockchain, Geoff discussed how blockchain could
completely change the face of the accounting profession.
In this second piece, Geoff will delve deeper into the rapidly evolving world of
cryptocurrencies
and how businesses and governments are harnessing the
power of blockchain to
track the exchange of value
.
I
n less than a decade, bitcoin (and
the blockchain transaction ledger
it works on) has transformed from
an underground, anonymous, pseu-
do-currency vehicle into a legitimate
force to be reckoned with. A prudent
investor, business advisor, or end
user should consider blockchain to
be a near-term, essential tool for the
exchange of value.
Blockchain in the News
You may have heard about bitcoin and
blockchain over the past few months
as countries and financial institutions
continue to wrestle with its review,
regulatory enforcement, use, and tax-
ation. Many of them are also making
significant investments in blockchain
technologies.
A recent poll by LendEDU revealed
that roughly 78.5 percent of Americans
have heard of bitcoin. Interestingly, 59
percent of the total respondents ques-
tioned its legality, with 11 percent of
those respondents considering it to be
outright illegal to own.
Despite this uncertainty, however, 40
percent of respondents were immedi-
ately open to using bitcoin to transact
an exchange of services and goods
and almost 14 percent currently owned
bitcoin or other alt-coins. Extrapolat-
ing this data, we can surmise that if we
saw clarity on its legality, cryptocur-
rency could see a potential doubling of
ownership. We can also assume that
further increases would occur if the ac-
quisition method of cryptocurrencies
were made easier or more well-known.
The major consensus from industry
titans is that blockchain is here to
stay and, as it evolves and new
platforms are created to leverage
the concept, there will be impressive
technological advances.