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September 09, 2016
Beyond bitcoin: Blockchain technology and the future of finance and business
By: Phil Godsiff

Blockchain, the technology that underpins digital currencies such as bitcoin, is now the focus of attention within the financial services industry, supply chain practitioners, and even governments that are attracted by its features of security, resilience, consensus, transparency, and cost-effectiveness. Blockchain technology advocates the claim that it could revolutionize the way business is conducted. But perhaps exuberant hype has simply overtaken mistrust of a technology initially associated with crime.

Digital currency and blockchain technology can be used to improve efficiency, reduce costs, make supply chains more secure, and also add value to customers. However, there are risks associated with using this technology, as well as various decisions you need to make.

New technologies can revolutionize the way we do things. Nobody forecasted the growth of search engines, e-commerce companies, or social media—nor did the original makers of mobile foresee the app economy. The peer-to-peer and transparent nature of blockchain technology has created new opportunities for recording transactions.

Every business needs to speed up cash flows, reduce transaction and overhead costs, reduce the amount of unnecessary paperwork, and improve security. Any firm with a complex global supply chain probably operates with business information in corporate siloes with different IT solutions, and possibly with weakly enforced regulations. Such setups can lead to counterfeit goods being introduced. Using blockchain technology can make transactions faster and reduce back-office work without needing a trusted third party as an intermediary. In addition, by improving information flows and guaranteeing the provenance of your products, you can improve relationships with customers—especially those requiring high degrees of trust.

Bitcoin is described as research and development for blockchain technology. Because of the newness of the blockchain industry, risks exist in using bitcoin and blockchain technology, and it is vital to start with a strong use case.

In a digital world defined by connectivity, convenience, and community, how can the qualities of blockchain technology offer a way forward for your business? The Accenture Academy courses Types of Blockchain Technologies and Their Uses, Using Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology to Reduce Operating Costs, Using Blockchain Technology to Secure Supply Chains, and Using Blockchain Technology to Add Value for Customers will help you recognize the value and importance of blockchain technology and bitcoin—the digital currency that may become the future of all financial transactions.

About Accenture Academy

Accenture Academy offers proven, cost-effective learning solutions for a more versatile workforce and a more agile organization. We provide a flexible learning approach that helps your people be more versatile and your entire organization be more agile in the marketplace. Curriculum includes Supply Chain Management, Finance, Procurement, Analytics, Leadership & Management and Specialty Skills.

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