Blockchain in Accounting: An Overview and AIS Research Directions

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Wood, Jason T.
Schmidt, Pam J.
Grabski, Severin V.
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
March 2019
Alternative Title
Blockchain and its most famous implementation, Bitcoin (Nakamoto 2008) has recently received much attention among financial companies, technologists and investors. The blockchain approach which underlies Bitcoin and other mutual distributive ledgers (MDLs) can be (and is starting to be) used for the implementation of alternate digital currencies, smart contracts, private blockchains, and other types of public blockchains. As the blockchain technology can support a public, distributed, synchronized database that is secured via cryptography, the implications for accounting and auditing are significant. This research provides an overview of the current blockchain technology (the approach underlying Bitcoin digital currency, open ledgers, etc.), reviews the blockchain approach's potential use in accounting, assesses its impact on auditing and provides directions for future research.