Imagine for a moment that you were transported back in time to the early 1990’s. The internet was still in its infancy and the average person had little to no understanding of how it worked.
Today, humanity is standing at the crossroads of another technological innovation called blockchain. And much like the internet in the early 90s, today the average person has little to no understanding of how blockchain works.
My journey into blockchain and Accenture
When I first heard about blockchain and all its unique capabilities it caught my interest.
My degree is in Digital Design & Business Information Technology and the unknown has always inspired me. I’m a curious person hence I enjoy continuously learning about new technologies, locations, discoveries and so on. So blockchain was fascinating for me.
When I explored it more I realised how it has the potential to change how we fundamentally do business and a lot of other things.
With my interest in web development and passion for technology – I combined these together to form my website myblockchainblog.com.
To be able to combine my interest and curiosity of blockchain with a career in Accenture has been a fantastic opportunity.
Within Accenture there has been growing popularity among our clients about blockchain. They want to know if there is a way of incorporating blockchain into their systems and utilise the benefits it has to offer.
Blockchain explained in brief
While Blockchain is often thought of as an advancement in computer technology, it can more easily be understood as an advancement in accounting – essentially keeping track of transactions and ownership of value.
Our current system of tracking ownership is complex, inefficient, not particularly reliable and often not very transparent. This includes involving intermediaries and making documentation safe from outside interference (hacking-proof) and difficult to forge/reproduce. This is the reason why it takes 3 days to send money to relatives abroad. Intermediaries are required to ensure that the money enters and leaves the correct accounts and that the appropriate records are intact and correct. The same is true for all information ledgers where accuracy is critical; payment and currency systems, asset management, regulatory compliance and auditing, real estate, record management, identity management, voting, taxation and more.
This is where blockchain technology comes in. A blockchain is essentially an accounting tool that greatly simplifies this process and provides a system of record keeping that does not rely on intermediaries, yet is: Fast and efficient, safe from forging/hacking, reliable, immutable (once information is locked in, it cannot be changed), transparent and does not require trust between parties
Simply put, a blockchain is a database containing an ever growing number of chained blocks of cryptographically secured information that is replicated and distributed across a network of independent, decentralized nodes.
The advantages of a blockchain: (compared to traditional accounting systems)
There is no single point of failure: If one computer is suddenly switched off or hacked it doesn’t disturb or harm the rest of the network.
The entire system is decentralised: A record of ownership based on blockchain technology is not controlled by one single entity or organisation. Hence there is no central authority which can freeze or take control of your assets should they want to.
The system is super-efficient: No human labour is involved in authenticating incoming messages. No intermediaries or middle-men are required to establish trust.
The system has complete transparency: All the information in a blockchain is publicly available and can be examined and scrutinised by anyone if wrongdoing is suspected.
Participants can remain pseudo-anonymous: No names or personal information is stored in the blockchain. Transactions and account balances are public; however, accounts are not linked to any identifiable information.
Advice to anyone interested in blockchain:
Anybody interested in blockchain technology should study it in their spare time and get a good understanding of how it works. Within Accenture if you want to get involved in the blockchain space, I suggest you reach out to your leads or career counsellors and let them know your interests and seek out opportunities that you could get involved in. If this is something you’d like to pursue, feel free to reach out to me.
"Blockchain is an exciting area. I truly believe it’s the future and there’s going to be an increasing number of opportunities to get involved in."
Want to know more?
Meg joined our first 'On the Couch' session where we shared first-hand insights on how blockchain technology is affecting our daily lives and as well as what current and future career opportunities there are in this space and within Accenture. If you missed it, or want to re-watch it then check out the recording here.