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Trust unbundled: The promise and threat of blockchain

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017 by Gary Hunt

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8wq0ImWO_CU" frameborder="0"></iframe> <p dir="ltr"><em><a href="mailto:ghunt@ohiocpa.com?subject=RE:%20Trust%20unbundled:%20The%20promise%20and%20threat%20of%20blockchain">By Gary Hunt, senior content editor</a><br /> </em></p> <p dir="ltr">In recent weeks we&rsquo;ve discussed how blockchain technology&nbsp;<a href="http://ohiocpa.com/utilities/displaynewsitem/2017/08/17/expect-blockchain-changes-to-be-subtle">isn&rsquo;t likely to cause immediate changes in accounting</a>,<a href="http://ohiocpa.com/utilities/displaynewsitem/2017/09/08/blockchain-could-improve-security"> how it might improve security</a> and<a href="http://ohiocpa.com/utilities/displaynewsitem/2017/08/24/anxiety-driving-blockchain-conversation"> why it might be a source of anxiety for some CPAs</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the conclusion of our conversation on blockchain technology, Ryan Watson, CPA, principal at Upsourced Accounting and Xero ambassador, said it &ldquo;unbundles trust.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It's this idea that we have these organizations whose job it is to be a clearing house for trust,&rdquo; Watson said in the latest episode of OSCPA Spotlight. When it comes to the accounting profession, &ldquo;what is ultimately our jobs from an assurance perspective around the public markets? It's adding a layer of trust.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;And so, the promise of blockchain is that it unbundles trust in a way that says we don't need a third party to come in and validate that this particular thing occurred,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The technology does that by default.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Sounds scary. So &ndash; again &ndash; we refer you to&nbsp;<a href="http://ohiocpa.com/utilities/displaynewsitem/2017/08/17/expect-blockchain-changes-to-be-subtle">Episode I</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://ohiocpa.com/utilities/displaynewsitem/2017/08/24/anxiety-driving-blockchain-conversation">Episode II</a> of this discussion. But a new development that offers, as Watson said, &ldquo;a higher degree of validity than a notary&rdquo; is nevertheless likely to spark change.</p> <p dir="ltr">Watch this episode now to hear Watson explain why he thinks the idea of unbundling trust around accounting transactions &ldquo;holistically&rdquo; is unlikely, and &ldquo;is a bridge too far.&rdquo; Also, catch Watson&rsquo;s presentation, &ldquo;The Connected Advisor: ReTooling with Technology,&rdquo; this fall at the <a href="http://www.ohiocpa.com/cpe/2017-accounting-shows">OSCPA accounting shows in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus</a>.</p>

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