This article summarizes “Tracking Tangible Asset Ownership and Provenance with Blockchain” (Sheldon 2022), which introduces auditors to the risks of using blockchain’s shared repository to track assets in the physical world. The underlying challenge is keeping the status of tangible assets aligned with their digital representations on a blockchain. In response, the summary focuses on the parties, technologies, and processes that make this task complex. The summary begins with an overview of how blockchain can be used to track tangible assets, then discusses four stages of tracking tangible assets with blockchain: (1) design and governance of a blockchain, (2) asset creation, (3) asset transfer, and (4) asset retirement. Based on the risks highlighted in these four stages, the summary presents a framework of risk considerations and control objectives that auditors can use to evaluate the extent to which a blockchain serves as a reliable repository for tracking tangible assets.

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