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What We’re Reading Now – Blockchain Revolution, How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World, by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

By Grant T. Smith

 

Blockchain TapscottThis is a book I found and selected because of its inclusion in a list of potential “best business books of 2017”. To confess, I have a limited understanding of blockchain technologies but have tried to keep my eyes open to the topic.

 

You should care about blockchain technologies.

 

If the term is new to you, let me assist. Blockchains are a technology based on a growing chain of information or records that are called blocks. The key to them is twofold:

  • The chain provides a link to every transaction in the chain’s history.
  • The chain is unbreakable primarily as a result of its peer-to peer nature, meaning the information resides in multiple places.

 

The best-known example of blockchain technology is Bitcoin, a new currency that most of us have heard about but perhaps not adopted. Once the Bitcoin is “discovered” through a process referred to as “proof of work” its particular existence begins and the chain starts forming, with each successive action being timestamped and recorded. This makes it impossible to counterfeit or create artificial chains and it eliminates the need for a trusted authority to hold or transact a process for two parties (a bank does this when we process cash wires or electronic fund transfers).

 

The use for blockchain, however, far exceeds the transfer of money from one country to another, it can also facilitate and protect confidential information like:

  1. Medical records
  2. Property ownership
  3. Identity management

 

And as such, it will be the next revolution. I am convinced it could likely make the audit and assurance side of my business obsolete.

 

Now that we’ve covered a bit about the topic, let me tell you about the book. I found the writing to be quite dry and the information to be challenging to extract. The authors are clearly knowledgeable and I would even go so far as to say passionate about the topic. I chose this book because I wanted to learn. I went into it understanding that this topic is important to me and to the future of my industry, my country and the world. I am a motivated reader.

 

However, I have not and will not finish this book. I will take a break and read another book on another topic, for next month. In due course, I will read another book on the topic and try to find you one I can recommend.

 

How about you? Any recommendations either for understanding blockchains or for some other book that will be of use to Your Clearline readers.

 

For your benefit, we have included links to videos that discuss the topic at hand. The first one, “What is Blockchain?” is an introduction to the nature of the blockchain, which outlines how the technology will impact more than money. It is well worth the 2 minutes.  The second one, “What is Bitcoin and How Does It Work?” is focused on the best known application of blockchain technology and how it works.