It was recently reported at the World Economic Forum that by 2025 10% of GDP will be stored on Blockchains or related technology. In short, Blockchain could revolutionise transactions and business operations forever.
As ever with new tech, here is split opinion on whether it will revolutionise or indeed replace the key processes in banking, financial reporting and auditing or whether it will just be an add-on to exiting systems.
In a nutshell, the proposition is that services such as processing financial transactions, accounting and audits could be standardised by companies writing their transactions directly into a joint register which is then distributed and cryptographically wrapped and automatically verified. This would obviate the need for verification of base data (it would already be done!) and would allow for auditors for example to concentrate on areas they can add more value: such as complex transactions, judgement areas and interpretation of trends in data etc.
Add-on processes that could develop using artificial intelligence or AI and any review of financial reporting using these tools could result in a very high level analysis of exception reports, and interpretation of trends and patterns.
This year, you would be hard pressed to find a major bank, professional services firm, large software company or government that did not conduct some sort of research into cryptocurrencies, publish a paper about it or initiative a Blockchain project. Blockchain so far has been early-adopted by banking and financial services, however new pilots from the energy sector, retail, supply-chain, construction are pushing it further to the forefront.
While Blockchain technology is far from being the finished product, it has a great potential in improving internal business operations and external transactions, meaning no one can afford to ignore it.
MHA MacIntyre Hudson
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