Blockchain podcast

Episode 15: Potential of blockchain in accounting and crowdfunding

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Going down the blockchain rabbit hole with Dr. Sean Stein Smith

blockchain pulseWhile your host, Matt Hooper, has only been passionate about all things decentralization for five years, his guest today, Dr. Sean Stein Smith, was an early champion of our blockchain future. Dr. Smith is a Professor at Lehman College, a member of Wall Street Blockchain Alliance’s Advisory Board, a member of Gilded Finance’s Advisory Board, a regular contributor to the IBM Blockchain Pulse blog, and an award winner of the NJCPA ‘19 Ovation Award. He is a widely quoted expert at the intersection of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and accounting; has worked with dozens of print publications; and has appeared on numerous live TV broadcasts to discuss said topics.

Learn how industries are revolutionizing business with IBM Blockchain

In this episode, Matt and Dr. Smith have a blast talking all things regulation, the future of traditional accounting roles, and the ways in which blockchain can upend the crowdfunding industry! They also talk about how the implementation of blockchain in the field of sustainability accounting could open up new revenue streams, some of the current mainstream use cases of blockchain, and how blockchain intersects with GDPR.

Key takeaways

[:25] About today’s episode.
[1:55] Matt Hooper welcomes Dr. Sean Stein Smith to the podcast!
[2:06] Dr. Sean Stein Smith speaks about his work and how he originally got introduced to blockchain.
[3:34] What drew Dr. Smith to a leadership/teaching position in the space of blockchain and tech?
[6:50] Dr. Smith defines General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
[8:00] How does blockchain intersect with GDPR?
[8:54] Dr. Smith explains the importance of regulation and the need for regulators in the industry.
[11:01] Last year on the IBM Blockchain Pulse Blog, Dr. Smith asked the question, ‘Do the core functionalities of blockchain technology create situations where many of the opportunities ultimately become constrained as regulators catch up?’ Have regulators responded to this question? And if so, how?
[12:21] Dr. Smith highlights some of the mainstream use cases of blockchain.
[12:48] What is sustainability accounting? And how can the implementation of blockchain in this field open up new revenue streams?
[15:00] About Blockchain for Dummies!
[15:43] Dr. Smith paints a positive picture of the automation and elimination of traditional accounting roles.
[19:14] Dr. Smith explains some of the ways that blockchain could upend the crowdfunding industry.
[22:52] What is the most convincing pitch or framing Dr. Smith hears for adopting and integrating blockchain solutions into a business?
[25:15] Where to follow-up with Dr. Sean Stein Smith!

Sources mentioned

Blockchain for Dummies — Visit for a free download!

Follow-up with our guest

Dr. Sean Stein Smith’s LinkedIn
Dr. Sean Stein Smith’s Twitter

Looking for more episodes?

Visit IBM Blockchain — and for news and updates, follow @IBMBlockchain on Twitter!


“GDPR is to help put the ownership of data back into the hands of the individuals.” — Dr. Sean Stein Smith

“It is important, I think, to have the regulators involved and to have a proactive approach to this conversation to make sure that, on the one hand, the rights of individuals and companies are safeguarded but that, on the other hand, that we’re not trying to over-regulate or smother innovation.” — Dr. Sean Stein Smith

“There are some headwinds… obstacles, and issues that regulators are going to have to address going forward if they want blockchain to really move out of the enterprise-only area into mainstream use cases.” — Dr. Sean Stein Smith

“If you aren’t [adopting blockchain] then your competition is. …Even if right now blockchain might seem… too costly or too complicated, in 2, 3, 4, or 5 years, it’s going to be a mainstream conversation.” — Dr. Sean Stein Smith

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