Recent technological innovations have sparked massive restructurings across the entire global economy. Despite the changes that have already taken place, an underutilized and emerging technology, known as “blockchain,” has the potential to disrupt every segment of the financial services sector. Using information and data accessed through the Bridgewater State library database, analyst reports, news articles, and the Bloomberg Terminal, this paper details the intricacies of blockchain technology, determines its potential effect on the global financial system, and reflects on its initial implementation with the creation of Bitcoin currency. While Bitcoin, a new cryptocurrency first invented in 2008, drew attention to the potential “digitization of money,” the incredible underlying technology that makes the transfer of digital currency possible was mostly ignored. Utilizing the power of the Internet and complex mathematical algorithms, two parties are able to transfer assets to each other in a safe and efficient manner. A “distributed ledger” of historical transactions is published to every network participant, enabling verification that the transferor possesses the asset(s) that he/she claims to. While the technology is complex by nature, its potential effect is straight-forward: elimination of the need for financial intermediaries in the payment process. Consequently, financial services organizations that do not take the appropriate steps to remain proactive to the implementation of blockchain may see their business models become entirely obsolete.
Accounting & Finance
Eric Disbrow (Thesis Director)
Caitlin Finning Golden
Copyright and Permissions
Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Frechette, John. (2017). Blockchain Technology: Digitizing the Global Financial System. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 193. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/193
Copyright © 2017 John Frechette