The role of business ledgers

March 03, 2021

In today’s connected and integrated world, economic activity takes place in business networks that span national, geographic, and jurisdictional boundaries. Business networks typically come together at marketplaces where the participants, such as producers, consumers, suppliers, partners, market makers/enablers, and other stakeholders own, control, and exercise their rights, privileges, and entitlements on objects of value known as assets.

Assets can be tangible and physical, such as cars, homes, or strawberries, or intangible and virtual, such as deeds, patents, and stock certificates. Asset ownership and transfers are the transactions that create value in a business network.

Transactions typically involve various participants like buyers, sellers, and intermediaries (such as banks, auditors, or notaries) whose business agreements and contracts are recorded in ledgers. A business typically uses multiple ledgers to keep track of asset ownership and asset transfers between participants in its various lines of businesses. Ledgers are the systems of record for a business’s economic activities and interests.

A typical ledger looks something like this:

blockchain basics - distributed ledger

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