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Why blockchains could be good (and bad) for financial reporting
While associated with digital currencies such as Bitcoin, the potential applications for blockchains are practically unlimited. Also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), a blockchain records and verifies digital transactions without any central authority. Every transaction (aka block) is recorded on thousands of ledgers in a network of replicated databases. Before a block is recorded, it must be validated by a consensus of participants in the blockchain.
Cryptography is used to keep transactions secure and each block has a timestamp and permanently linked (like a chain) back to a previous record. Users can only edit records that they “own” by using their unique and private keys necessary to access and write to the file.
To connect the dots, you have to see them
Imagine getting in your car and driving for eight straight hours staring through a dirty windshield. Your back window is pretty clear, but looking ahead, it’s always murky. It takes a tremendous amount of effort just to keep the car on the road. But you can’t stop, there are places you need to go.
Now imagine doing this day after day, week after week, and year after year.
Over time you try a variety of windshield cleaning solutions. Some outrageously expensive. Others that seem to take forever to apply. None really work. You become resigned to the fact that the windshield will always be dirty.