Blockchains, Bitcoins, and CPAs

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Why you can't afford to ignore the new technologies.

By Sean Stein Smith 

Walk into any accounting meeting or conference, or open any magazine, and there are a few words that inevitably dominate the conversation, and they are all related to a common thread: technology and the technological integration of the profession.

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Blockchain, although in existence since the 2008 white paper published by Satoshi Nakamoto, flew under the radar for several years before bursting onto the scene in 2016 and 2017. Fueled by the surge in popularity and buzz around the cryptocurrency bitcoin, the excitement, anxiety, and opportunities around blockchain are virtually impossible to understate.

In order to not get swept away in the sea of hype and buzz around the technology itself, it is important to understand two things:

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Sean Stein Smith

About the Author

Dr. Stein Smith, CPA, CMA, CGMA, is an Assistant Professor in the Business and Economics department at Lehman College, City University of New York.

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Before transitioning to academia full time, beginning with his appointment to a faculty position at Rutgers University, he worked in several corporate financial planning and accounting roles in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Dr. Stein Smith is actively engaged in the accounting community, having been awarded the NJCPA 30 under 30 in 2015, the Institute of Management Accountants Young Professional of the Year Award in 2016, and currently serves on the Fairleigh Dickinson University Alumni Association Board of Governors. Sean is also a member of the 2017 Class of the AICPA Leadership Academy.

His research interests and areas of expertise include integrated financial reporting, non-financial reporting, and the intersection of technology, strategic planning, and accounting. Dr. Stein Smith is a contributor to Thrive Global, publishes a weekly column for, and is a member of the NJCPA Content Advisory Board, where he is routinely featured in the state society magazine. As a member of the AICPA Financial Literacy Commission, he has been quoted, interviewed, and recorded in numerous regional and national publications on personal finance issues.

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