What is blockchain and why is it so exciting? Blockchain has the potential to fundamentally change business, innovation and society as we know it. It's rapidly gaining in interest and applications, yet it isn't fully understood by most people.
Professor Greg La Blanc, lecturer at Haas School of Business and Boalt Hall School of Law, recently led a session for Berkeley Haas Global Access Program students to better understand and apply blockchain to their courses, education and maybe even their careers. Much of the talk focused on the implementation and value of the currency aspect in relation to traditional "money." Greg provided background on how we determine what is used as a currency and some traditional concepts within finance and accounting that are helpful to fully understanding cryptocurrency technology.
He likened the cryptocurrency industry in its current form to that on the island of Yap, known for its stone money. Yap employs large, often unmovable stones as currency, each given value by how difficult they are to move. The ownership of the stones is decided by town consensus similar to the online blockchain ledger that records transactions.
Greg also discussed the security, or perceived security, of the crypto technology and lack of regulation. Who decides how we can settle debts and how much is cryptocurrency worth?
The discussion was thought provoking and challenged Berkeley Haas Global Access Program students to “question the status quo” and their traditional views on money and society.
Find out more about the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program.
Special thanks to Casey Marshall for contributing to this article.