Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies: Where is the accounting?
بلاک چین و سایر فناوری های دفتر کل توزیع شده: حسابداری کجاست؟-2021
In a recent survey of academic research, Fintech related topics, broadly classified as cryptocurrency studies, were by far the most researched topics in the social sciences. However, we have observed that, perhaps surprisingly, even though crypto-currencies rely on a distributed accounting ledger technology, relatively few of those studies were conducted by accounting academics. While some of the features of a system like Bitcoin do not necessarily rely on a traditional accounting knowledge, this knowledge is key in designing effective real-world distributed systems. Building on a foundational framework developed by Risius and Spohrer (2017), we provide support for their hypothesis that to date, research in this area has been predominantly of a somewhat narrow focus (i.e., based upon exploiting existing programming solutions without adequately considering the fundamental needs of users). This is particularly reflected by the abundance of Bitcoin-like crypto-currency code-bases with little or no place for business applications. We suggest that this may severely limit an appreciation of the relevance and applicability of decentralized systems, and how they may support value creation and improved governance. We provide supporting arguments for this statement by considering four applied classes of problems where a blockchain/distributed ledger can add value without requiring a crypto-currency to be an integral part of the functioning system. We note that each class of problem has been viewed previously as part of accounting issues within the legacy centralized ledger systems paradigm. We show how accounting knowledge is still relevant in the shift from centralized to decentralized ledger systems. We advance the debate on the development of (crypto-currency free) value-creating distributed ledger systems by showing that applying accounting knowledge in this area has potentially a much wider impact than that currently being applied in areas limited to auditing and operations management. We develop a typology for general distributed ledger design which assists potential users to understand the wide range of choices when developing such systems.
keywords: بارکش | توزیع شده | انطباق قانونی | قراردادهای هوشمند | دارایی Provenance | Blockchain | Distributed ledger | Regulatory compliance | Smart contracts | Asset provenance