By Chris Reimer and Joseph Mah
Walsh King staffers Chris Reimer and Joseph Mah recently attended Business in Vancouver’s Business Excellence Series event: The Blockchain Revolution.
This is their report back on the interesting, engaging and informative event:
Understanding the Blockchain Revolution – The Panelists
A key driver for our interest in attending this panel event about the blockchain, which was put on by Business in Vancouver (BIV), were the panelists. They were Gary Boddington (Sports Technology Group), Reza Dehghani (Mackie Research) and Kelly Samuels (EKB). Each brought deep and diverse experience and expertise on the blockchain and what it means to industries and companies.
According to information shared at the event, at the end of 2017, the entire cryptocurrency market was valued at more than $600 billion (US). While blockchain is applied to transactions outside of how it is used for cryptocurrencies (which are digital assets), its use within the cryptocurrency field is the most well-known.
This is because cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin receive the majority of the media coverage and online discussions associated with blockchain technology. However, there are varied uses for the digital ledger.
An example of one of the lesser-known and yet incredibly interesting applications of the use of blockchain technology is “Smart” contracts. This is a method to automatically execute transactions once pre-determined requirements, such as an expiration date occurring or a strike price of an option being met.
By removing the need for a central authority to verify a transaction, the technology has the potential to make businesses much more efficient and cost-effective.
While there is widespread interest in, excitement about and uptake of blockchain technology, there are also serious areas of concern in its use, especially in the areas of privacy. For example, once information is added to the blockchain, it cannot be removed.
This can create privacy concerns that must be addressed. It is widely acknowledged that Canadian regulators are playing catch-up to the technology, especially relating to financial services, but it is also clear that strong movement is being made in this area.
In fact, in January 2018, the federal government began a trial program focused on using blockchain technology to increase public transparency regarding research grants and funding.
You Don’t Have to Be a Blockchain Expert
The technology behind blockchain is very complex but you don’t need to be an expert to take advantage of its benefits. A good understanding of the basics will help to steer you through any uncertainty or risk. This article by Forbes speaks to the danger of not understanding blockchain and is worth a read.
The most important thing to understand about blockchain is its potential to transform your business. Blockchain implementation is accelerating at a fast pace. Invest in the time to educate yourself now through articles, podcasts, seminars and workshops or consult with blockchain experts who have experience within your industry.
Embracing Disruptive Technologies
The Walsh King team works with clients in developing and implementing business strategies. Blockchain technology, while a disruptor, is a new and evolving business asset that is worth investigating for a range of companies in diverse industry sectors. This means that it has been our responsibility to learn more about it in the context of our role with clients – as trusted business advisors and accounting professionals.
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