Eclipsed by the most eye catching heart pounding news of minute
to minute to booms and busts of the highly fashionable BITCOIN, overshadowed by
the ever-new digitally minted (or “mined” to be more precise in technology terms)
crypto-mystery-currencies on daily basis and the marketable welcoming of ICOs (assumed
to make IPO activities look like a thing from dinosaur era) on weekly basis, shies
away one of the most powerful, if not the only for this decade, and the next blockbuster
concept in technology “BlockChain”. Crowded in the noise of an absolute
disorder and confusion, lies nestled, the most disruptive technology in its
nascent phases, with implications so massive and application so ground
breaking, that its being heralded as the next big thing after “Computer” and “Internet”.
Simply put, Blockchain technology makes an attempt at
redefining and simplifying everything we knew about “transactional process” with
all the associated factors, activities and relationships that exist within it. Blockchain
doesn’t just improve it, it instead aims at revolutionizing everything and
disrupting all existing setups and enablers of transaction.
At the very core and in most simplistic terms, it’s a ledger,
a record, SHARED, with blocks of information, each added in a sequence over
time, DECENTRALISED and DISTRIBUTED, and replicated exactly across multiple
locations. No one owns it. No one dictates it. And any update on it is a
function of consensus amongst all the participants of the platform. Each new
entry (block) is identified inextricably associated to the previous entry, and
the previous entry is stored forever in the history, IMMUTABLE, interference
proof-impermeable to mischievous participants.
With a record that’s automatically updated, shared, decentralized,
distributed, immutable, impermeable, where’s the need of intermediaries. Do we
need institutions like a bank, an exchange, insurance agencies, credit institutions,
credit rating agencies, etc.; professionals like an accountant, an auditor,
credit / risk reviewer, etc.; or document intensive cross functions like accounting,
trade finance, supply chains, insurance agents, etc.?
Theoretically, need of Accounting process (and accountants),
Taxation processes (and tax clerks), Auditing processes (and audit clerks), Financial
processes (and finance staff) in their most clerical of forms and in their most
basic of workings, will be absolutely eliminated by the emergence of such a
technology, and only the most complex of transactions and their recordings
would require specialists. Industries established on the concepts of
intermediation and verification will fizz out.
Change is not an option anymore. While only a handful of enterprise
level applications have been designed experimentally and piloted to observe the
technology and its revolution holistically, and championed by several big international
software houses, it wouldn’t take much time for this technology to go viral,
just like the foreshadowing rise of BITCOIN, and for the government and
corporations to implement it whole heartedly and prospecting exponentially.