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There’s going to be a major technological change in the accounting industry soon. No doubt cloud-based technologies, artificial intelligence and process automation have influenced the world, but the most promising one is “blockchain.” If we combine blockchain and accounting, the combination of both can offer some far-fetched business benefits. However, the first question arises – what is blockchain?

what is blockchain

Blockchain

  • Blockchain is a continuously growing, decentralized public ledger of all transactions.
  • Completed transactions/records are called blocks and are dispersed to a P2P network of computers.
  • Blocks are linked to each other in a linear/sequential order.
  • Each block comprises a cryptographic hash of the preceding block, which ensures that the data is secured.
  • The data can be dispersed in a secure way and once the blocks gets recorded, they can’t be changed without shifting blocks subsequently, and that would require the involvement of the majority of the network.
  • When a record is changed, it is allotted a new hash.

Blockchain and Accounting

Blockchain and accounting are related in many cases. Blockchain technology offers the subsequent logical step for more high-tech accounting with various potential influences.

  • Blockchain offers an instant-verifiable and strong set of records that can’t be meddled or changed without the involvement of the whole network.
  • Transactional data would be promptly recorded and added at any time to the blockchain through its own exclusive and unique hash code.
  • If accountants/auditors want to recover that data, they will be required a pertinent hash code.
  • Having blockchain work as a record for transactions will not require the accountants/auditors to interact different departments amidst businesses to get receipts in order to validate transactions.

Streamlined Accounting Strategies

  • Accountants and auditors can standardize records through blockchain and combine them in a ledger, making it accessible to all verified and approved users.
  • When all transactional data is gathered at one place and updated electronically – whenever an alteration is made, accountants and auditors can assess all the activity and can cooperate with the departments to settle accounts.
  • Through such approach, the cost and time linked with manually swotting the transactions can be condensed significantly.

Promptly Verifiable Transactions

  • For auditors, validating transactions and asset history is important, however, this process can take some time and can be complex, especially when businesses have diverse accounts.
  • As data security is becoming more important, blockchain offers a means of demonstrating that files have remained inviolate.
  • With a unique hash, auditors can simply “cross-reference” and can instantly validate transactions.
  • If a record is changed later, a new hash is created and the record once again gets timestamped.
  • If this information varies from what an auditor has there, they can be sure that the record has been altered, as they will have a clear review trail.

blockchain and accounting

Better-Quality Acquiescence and Regulations

  • If we talk about compliance, many companies take quite a few months to modify/update their core accounting and finance developments to put up new regulations, strategies, and standards.
  • With blockchain, alters to the ledger are manifested across all copies within just a few
  • As it’s a decentralized database, no radical changes should be made for the alteration of data.
  • If an accountant wants to update a record, this can be done quite easily and quickly.

Future of Accountants and Auditors

  • The major change – banks have begun to offer accounting type amenities as a chunk of business package.
  • NatWest applied Open Banking protocols in 2017, to share information with FreeAgent, which is a cloud-based accounting product, providing consumers more discernibility over the course and letting them share their data directly amid the bank and accounting software.
  • By adding blockchain and the accurate software to the combination, the record-holding procedure could be mechanized and, by means of open banking protocols, data could be directly shared.

Is there a need for an accountant?

  • The future of accounting/auditing lies in combined-keys as they all can interconnect with each other instantaneously whilst distributing unparalleled sanctuary.
  • Though many would see the technology as a risk, however, it’s a chance for auditors to concentrate on regulations and explore irregularities inside the transactional environment.

The blockchain is a chance to boost processes, however, auditors and accountants can apply their proficiency and vision to deliver value to the customers.

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A Hard Drive Worth $75 Million That Won’t Recover

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James Howells, the IT laborer who unwittingly disposed of a hard drive containing what is currently valued at around $75 million worth of bitcoin, knows where the missing hard drive is, but he can’t try to recover it. That’s because the city in which the fortune is covered won’t enable him to delve into the landfill.

The missing hard drive is sitting somewhere under 200,000 tons of junk in a Newport, South Wales landfill.

Howells used an old PC to mine a sum of 7,500 bitcoins in 2009. Presently, he sold the parts to the Dell M1710 on eBay after his girlfriend complained about the mining’s clamor. He kept the hard drive in a cabinet, just in case the bitcoins increased in esteem. However, he overlooked the hard drive, and after four years, he disposed of it with the trash.

Howells has not been able to get consent from city chamber to dig into the landfill to recover the hard drive. Doing as such would require particular hardware that is typically used as a part of criminal examinations.

He was informed that a situation where even the police needed to go digging would require a group of 15, incorporating diggers with compulsory personal protection equipment. He couldn’t reserve such an operation, so he set up a wallet for donations:

https://twitter.com/howelzy/status/405690499593699328

City Council Denies Permission:

A Newport City Council representative said somebody has reached them in the past about recovering IT equipment containing bitcoins, but the chamber has shied away because of the expenses of uncovering the landfill and treating the trash, as per Wired. Such an exertion would cost millions and be environmentally destructive, with no assurance that a working drive would be recuperated. Around 50,000 tons of waste is added to the landfill every year.

A city chamber representative said the drive has likely experienced genuine galvanic corrosion from landfill leachates and gases. The landfill isn’t open to the public use.

Howells has the public address for his bitcoin, so he knows the bitcoins have not been moved. Since the information is encrypted, any individual who finds the hard drive would require Howells’ assistance to get to it.

 

Story credits: ccn.com

Image: Google images

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European Union Official Says Blockchain is “Going Mainstream”

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According to the latest blockchain news 2018, the vice president of a European Commission has officially asked the EU nations to commit to blockchain-technology; which, according to him, is going mainstream. The vice president of the European Commission said this in a speech on “digitization,” and highlighted the blockchain technology as an area that EU nations must be committing to. European Commission vice-president, Andrus Ansip highlighted blockchain technology amid the parts where Europe is top-positioned and is playing a leading role along with AI (Artificial Intelligence).

EU Blockchain

EU’s Opening Remarks

The official offered the “opening remarks” of the annual ‘Digital Day’ of European Union, which was initially held in Brussels this year, where Ansip stated:

“I would like to see EU countries make a similar commitment (as with AI) to blockchain technologies – now moving out of the lab and going mainstream. As with AI: we should make the most of this new opportunity to innovate.”

In order to achieve their aim, the European Commission’s official called on national governments as well as private sectors to subsidize the cause and stated the EU’s own “public purse only goes so far”, demonstrating almost 1% of the yearly-wealth produced by economies of EU and added, that they need a hard crash.

The remarks were quite noteworthy as they came up just within weeks, earlier in the month of February, when EU launched its own “Blockchain Observatory.” The EU blockchain establishment was first announced by the EC last year and was a response to an European Parliament mandate to reinforce the technical proficiency of EU in innovative technologies.

European Blockchain Partnership

According to the European Commission, it will be investing €300 million in projects that are linked to the use of blockchain technology directly. The EU also unveiled that it is placing the groundwork which is required to create a “European Blockchain Partnership” for promoting interoperable-infrastructures, amid EU nations, to boost and stand-in trusted digital services. In the meantime, the officials of EC previously hinted that they’d be presenting a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

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Online Bitcoin Wallets

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Bitcoin wallets or digital wallets are the wallets that require a web browser in order to run, just like websites out there. It’s safe to say that they are pretty much similar to a website.

Surprisingly, the web wallet options are thin compared to the iPhone or Android options.

Right now, there are two Bitcoin wallets worth using. The most reliable online bitcoin wallet is Green Address.

GreenAddress:

To get a Bitcoin wallet that provided protection against cyber-attacks, GreenAddress is the way to go. GreenAddress takes cyber-attacks seriously and provides your coins protection against these attacks.

GreenAddress is a “multi-signature” Bitcoin online wallet. This implies GreenAddress shares control of your Bitcoin with you. While other online wallets are prone to cyber-attacks, GreenAddress gives genuine two-factor validation keeping your coins protected in your wallet.

Spectro Coin:

SpectroCoin is London-based bitcoin wallet, exchange, debit card and merchant solution provider. It serves customers in more than 150+ nations. Right now, it encourages more than 20 types of deposits and withdrawals including bank exchanges, credit/debit cards, and cash deposits to name a few. It also gives bitcoin wallet addresses to iOS, Android and Windows Phone users.

These two are the safest online bitcoin wallets. Although these wallets provide all sorts of security, the ultimate protection comes down to the wallet owner. The best wallet security is the protection of its private key. As long as the key is unshared, chances of your coins getting stolen are very slim.

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Beginner’s Guide to Tor

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Just a couple years ago, Tor was something known only by tech-geeks. However, since leaks about the surveillance strategies of US and UK spies have arisen, Tor has become a target of criticism, accusations of promoting a “dark web” of pedophiles, drug dealers, and arms traders.

 

What is Tor?

The Tor project is a non-profit association that allowed users to browse the internet anonymously. It is intended to stop individuals – including government organizations and partnerships – from knowing of your location or learning about your browsing traditions.

The Tor network conceals your identity by moving your traffic across various Tor servers while encrypting the traffic. This makes it almost impossible for anybody to recognize the source of the data or region of the web client.

Tor’s software package, the Tor browser bundle can be downloaded easily and does not require any setup procedure. Although, you’ll experience a much slower internet than usual due to the number of relays your data goes through.

 

Who created Tor?

It was originally developed by the US Navy and received 60% of its funding from the State Departments and Department of Defense, along with several other backing bodies.

When it was initially launched in 2002, the project’s main focus was on securing every internet users’ privacy from corporations over governments.

Related: How to use Tor browser on iPhone

Who uses Tor?

Tor users fall into four main groups:

  • Normal users looking to just keep their browsing activities concealed from websites and advertisers
  • Cyber-spying concerned users that do not want their personal information to be tracked by any corporation.
  • Journalists and activists in countries with restrictions on the internet.
  • Whistleblowers can leak information to journalists while maintaining their privacy and having the freedom to express their true opinions.

 

The dark side                

Regardless of all its perks, everything has its drawbacks as well. It is important to be fully aware of what you click on while browsing with Tor. While many sites are socially acceptable or legal for that matter, others are known for having disturbing content. Stumbling upon such a web page showcasing criminal behavior or anything of that sort could land you in serious trouble.

Additionally, along with cloaking your identity Tor is also able to host websites, which means these sites are only accessible by people on the Tor network. These are known as criminal sites or in more obvious words “the dark web”.  The FBI and NSA have tracked down many of such sites, promoting disturbing content, drug purchases, illegal arms trading and much more.

Related: What are top 5 Proxies to access .Onion sites without Tor Browser?

What’s next?

We’re in an era of free-flowing data available to us with just a click of a button. Moreover, the internet is expanding on a daily basis and its depths are still unknown. With Tor becoming more widely used by internet users, the FBI and NSA have become more persistent in attempting to crack the network. In the end, it all depends on the user and for what activities they use Tor.

 

Image credits: i-novice.net

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How China & Japan Helped Drive Cryptocurrencies’ Price to Rise?

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Digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum have been soaring pretty high over the past few months. According to the latest estimates:

  • Bitcoin currently stands at $2588 per BTC
  • Ripple has hit the market cap of $10 billion
  • Ethereum has reached a total market cap of around $20 billion.

This incredible growth in value is the outcome of efforts put in by two countries – China and Japan.

CHINA:

China has been leading the Bitcoin market for the last couple of years. The Chinese mining pools are in charge of 60% of the Bitcoin network’s hash rate. Also, with a cheap electricity and access to proper hardware, China provides the ideal ground for digital mining.

However, in February 2017, three of China’s biggest Bitcoin exchanges suspended all withdrawals due to increased concerns over money laundering and capital flight. BTC China, Huobi, and OKCoin declared in separate statements that they will lift the suspension after the proper implementation of new guidelines set by the Central Bank.

Luckily, during June, there was an announcement that the self-imposed halt on withdrawals by Bitcoin exchanges was no more in place. The news took China by storm. The citizens responded with complete enthusiasm, assuring that they have complete confidence in digital currencies.

JAPAN:

While China was on a halt in the beginning of the year, Japan took Bitcoin to an entirely new level. Towards the start, Japan barely took up 1% of the total Bitcoin market in trading volume. However, that soon changed as Japan now holds at least 6% of trading volume at the moment.

Moreover, Japan has entirely eliminated the tax on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, a move which will ultimately increase the trading activities within the Japanese exchange market. The main aim behind this move was to ensure that all transactions take place without having to deal with any external factors such as taxes. Now, Bitcoin traders and businesses can run smoothly and easily access cryptocurrencies in the country.

Furthermore, Large institutions in Japan have now begun to accept Bitcoin as a payment option. Japan’s largest exchange, bitFlyer, now has the backing of all of Japan’s megabanks: MUFJ, Mizuho, and SMBC. In addition, Bic Camera, a very popular retailer, has paired with bitFlyer to accept Bitcoin at all of its locations. As the acceptance of digital currencies by influential retailers increases, the Japanese have begun to trust digital currencies for daily transactions.

Both the Chinese and Japanese, are responsible for boosting Bitcoin’s value to new heights.

Acceptance by The Government:

The Japanese Government is determined to provide their business community with a proper secure environment, where they are able to easily access cryptocurrencies and conduct trading activities. They’ve already assured that all their retail stores are well-equipped with the right security systems to prevent money laundering and fraudulent transactions from happening.

Ultimately, both governments are driving the cryptocurrency’s growth off the charts, with China in plans of designing and launching its own currency and Japan legally classifying Bitcoin a form of payment.

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