Financial Risk Mitigation Using Blockchain

Background:

Blockchain is a mechanism for transferring assets electronically that has gained worldwide acceptance. It does this using complex technology to maintain a ledger of transactions across a network over time. A good analogy is that each page in a ledger that records a transaction forms a “block” that has an impact on the next block (or page) in the chain. It uses very sophisticated encryption technology to keep each block secure. One version of blockchain technology that has received a lot of attention to date is bitcoin (which is a pseudo-currency that permits its users to conduct economic transactions anonymously over the Internet).

Many organizations are involved in introducing new applications of blockchain, particularly financial services and markets, such as recent initiatives by NASDAQ and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASEX). Violino[1] projects that “Any service that requires a centralized data connection can now be distributed, opening up the possibility for all sorts of new services, such as automated payments via smart goods, automatically negotiated smart contracts, etc. The permanent verifiable nature of blockchain means all sorts of contractual, documentation and legal functions can be driven with the technology. ‘In theory, it even leads to the potential for full autonomous organizations to form and operate — corporate boards, and voting systems, etc.’”

To Do:

Consult the reading material on Blackboard for a brief overview of Blockchain. Read other articles and consult the Web to prepare a 2-page single-spaced typed paper to be submitted beginning of class on the due date.

For this assignment, you will describe how Blockchain would affect AIS in a large publicly traded company. You must choose a particular company and clearly identify its industry in your report. Address this company’s and industry’s specific needs and concerns that blockchain might impact. Identify the AIS or financial risks that blockchain would reduce or increase in this company. You should address possible business process changes in a) potential changes to company/industry lines of business (products or services) that could either be replaced by blockchain or enabled by it; b) storage of data/information; c) capturing of data/information; and d) changes to pervasive and application level controls. Finally, discuss the implications of these changes on the auditability of this particular company’s financial data or controls.

Notes:

  • This is not a paper describing the development of Blockchain or its technical details. It is about the effects of Blockchain on AIS in companies’ organizations and business processes.
  • Page limit: Two pages of single-spaced typed text, not including your references. Use 12-point Times New-Roman or similar font. A reference list containing your citations should be placed on a separate page.
  • Remember that this is an individual assignment and no collaboration is allowed. Make sure you use appropriate citations for any articles you use or quote in your paper. Consult the Citing Sources material on Blackboard (Course Documents folder) for guidance on how to cite published articles in both the paper and your Reference list.
  • How to submit: your paper is to be submitted through the Turnitin link on the Assignments page of Blackboard. This site will check to make sure this is your original work. Any direct quotes must be noted by using proper citations. If plagiarism is detected, an appropriate penalty will be applied.

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