RCB researchers expand blockchain understanding

Rohrer College of Business professors continue to ride the crest of innovation, focusing on the rapid evolution of disruptive technology and recognizing its impact on business and business education.

An example is blockchain technology, which is designed to decentralize data, increase internet security and promote other advancements.

“Blockchain will help take us to Web 3.0,” said Dr. Michael Milovich, assistant professor, Marketing & Business Information Systems. "Web 3.0 will open the internet to capabilities beyond the peer-to-peer distributed ledger of blockchain and move us into distributed applications, distributed storage, distributed computation and a distributed web.”

Folkinshteyn, Daniel

Although the underpinnings of blockchain are not new, combining these extant technologies is an innovative way of advancing the use of technology. “Because of this level of change, people will need a new understanding and significant education in these advancements of technology, and a lot of research needs to be done,” he said.

The most widely known application of blockchain is through digital currency, and Bitcoin is the most widely known name, but there are more than 700 other currencies.

“The underlying blockchain technology, in effect a distributed, verifiable, replicated data store, has been increasingly seen as having potential applications in many disparate areas, such as accounting, medical record keeping, supply chain tracking and others,” said Dr. Daniel Folkinshteyn, associate professor of finance.


Both Folkinshteyn and Milovich are researching these areas. Folkinshteyn has published numerous articles on Bitcoin and blockchain, and Milovich focuses on a pedagogical approach to teaching blockchain technology to students and ways that blockchain could be applied to the next version of electronic medical records. In the classroom, they are teaching students about emerging technology in blockchain-related courses.

Although people are enthusiastic about the potential of blockchain, it will not be useful for all business applications, Folkinshteyn said. “However, it is important for students to understand the fundamentals of the technology so they can leverage their skills in this new technology, which is sure to have prolific applications in the future,” he said.


Pictured: Michael Milovich (left), Daniel Folkinshteyn