Blockchain, the decentralised distributed ledger system that records transactions, could have prevented the Steinhoff accounting scandal and nipped public sector corruption in the bud, says Monica Singer, a former World Bank consultant and director at the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants. "For the first time in history, we have a technology that allows us to imagine a world that’s transparent and without corruption," says Singer in her new capacity as an ambassador for New York-based blockchain company ConsenSys, which powers the ethereum cryptocurrency. Blockchain, the system that enables cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to operate, is being used in a number of other sectors, and could even be applied to auditing.SA’s auditing industry is not exactly in the public’s good books — to put it mildly — and it will take some time, or a drastic change, to win back lost credibility. Bernard Agulhas, CEO of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba), says the past 11 months h...

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