In the mid-1990s, managers worked to understand what the Internet was and how it would affect their businesses. Today, similarly minded leaders are ushering in the new era of Internet technology – blockchain. This will be revolutionary and incredibly disruptive. This blog attempts to answer three commonly asked questions about blockchain; what is it; how does it work; and how will it affect my business and recruiting needs?
The blockchain is essentially an inadulterable digital record of economic transactions. This can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but practically anything of value. This database is universally distributed – imagine a spreadsheet of transactions is duplicated millions of times across a network of computers. Now imagine that this spreadsheet constantly updates across the network. You now understand the essence of the blockchain. All transaction information is shared and continually reconciled. Obvious benefits of this include public and highly verifiable transaction records. This doesn’t require a centralised version of the database, so hackers cannot corrupt it.
We can only attempt to give a rough idea of the implications of this new technology, as the possibilities are truly endless, so we will focus on our key sectors. One example of a sector that lends itself to being highly disrupted would be that of audit. The availability of a public record containing data of all transactions taking place will result in an environment where audit becomes very easy for data miners, who can simply program algorithms to search the blockchain for a record of a business’s activity. This will drive recruiters towards developers to program these algorithms, as opposed to trained auditors. This is one application of the vast potential of blockchain.
Any industry dependent on keeping and verifying records and transactions (i.e. every industry) should prepare to be disrupted heavily, and recruiters should see highly increased demand for candidates with the skills required to incorporate blockchain technologies into the operations of firms.