How to evaluate the value of intangible assets of blockchain technology?

Under the background of the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution, digitization has penetrated into the daily economic activities of the society. The research and development and application of various high-tech such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things, big data, etc. has become the face of enterprises in the development process. Major opportunities and challenges.

Blockchain technology is a collective term for distributed ledgers that integrate multiple technologies. At present , blockchain technology is integrated with cloud computing, Internet of Things and other technologies. Its decentralization, openness, and anti-counterfeiting characteristics can be used in large-scale collaboration. Improving production efficiency, changing product processes in supply, and increasing the transparency of all parties involved are of great significance in the process of advancing technological change in the new industrial era.

A few days ago, central banks of various countries are stepping up their research on the multiple uses of blockchain technology. The governments of 45 countries have carried out more than 200 blockchain-related projects; in China, in 2018, the central government emphasized that we must use blockchain as the core technology. An important breakthrough for independent innovation, clarify the main direction, increase investment, focus on capturing a number of key core technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation.

It can be seen that the role of blockchain technology in social and economic activities has become more and more prominent. Among them, the financial industry has paid more attention to the policy and research and development of blockchain technology. How to evaluate the intangible assets of blockchain technology has become a major problem in reality.

1. Why do we need to evaluate the value of blockchain technology?

When blockchain is used as a technological intangible asset, issues such as how effective it can be, how much value it can bring, and how much excess profit it brings to the enterprise have become factors that business managers need to consider when making strategic decisions.

At the same time, when blockchain technology is used as an intangible asset, whether related patent rights and non-patent rights can be traded in the market, and whether the value of the transaction can be accepted by all parties has also become a problem that we need to solve. At present, there are relatively few researches on the value evaluation of intangible assets of blockchain technology, and there is no relatively universal method to evaluate their value in academia.

Technical intangible assets exist based on a technology or method as a carrier. Technical intangible assets are as important to the development of enterprises as other intangible assets, but technical intangible assets can better reflect the core competitiveness of enterprises.

For example, Cumulus Encrypted Storage System (CESS) in the United States has 9 patents in blockchain technology, that is, it has the ownership of assets recorded in relevant certificates, and has related applications of blockchain technology, which constitute the basic conditions for identifying technical intangible assets. That is, CESS blockchain technology can be identified as a technical intangible asset.

2. Applicability analysis of traditional evaluation methods

At present, there have been certain results in theoretical research on the evaluation of technical intangible assets. Most researchers have used the income method and optimized it on the basis of it. For example, the quotation of the analytic hierarchy process is also constantly improving the accuracy of various parameters, such as the technology share rate and discount rate, etc., to reduce the impact of subjective factors on the evaluation results.

However, when using traditional methods to evaluate technical intangible assets, due to the limitations of theoretical research or various conditions in the evaluation process, the value of blockchain technology intangible assets cannot be accurately evaluated, thereby impairing corporate management The person loses accurate judgment on the value of the asset.

3. Analysis of the applicability of market law

When evaluating technical intangible assets, assuming that the market method is used, three basic conditions need to be met:

(1) The trading market for this technical asset must be fully developed and active.

(2) There are comparable transaction cases in the market that have similar functions, states, and uses to the assessed technical intangible assets. These reference cases are normally traded on the open market, and the technical parameters of these comparable transaction cases can be mastered by the evaluator.

(3) In order to ensure the rationality of the results, the number of comparable transactions is greater than or equal to three.

The transaction cases of technology assets in the market are very active, but according to the three basic conditions used in the market law , there are the following three problems in the evaluation process of blockchain technology assets:

(1) Due to the diversification of the application mode of blockchain technology, the functions played under different conditions and occasions are different, and the effectiveness of different types of enterprises is different. This difference cannot be quantified, which may lead to underestimation or overestimation of the value of transaction assets and cases.

(2) Technology is often the foundation for an enterprise to settle down, and the development of blockchain technology is difficult, and it is often used as the core technology of the enterprise. This makes it impossible to obtain some data when we want to refer to similar transaction cases in the evaluation process, which leads to the lack of conditions for the use of market law;

(3) The development time of blockchain technology is short, there are few relevant transaction cases in the market, and there is no active trading market, so it is impossible to choose an ideal comparable object.

To solve these problems, it is necessary to be able to build an information sharing mechanism to share various information involved in the transaction process. At the same time, there is a sound measurement mechanism, and there are clear quantitative indicators for different use scenarios and different levels of technological development. The differences in these indicators can be corrected by expert scoring methods or other methods.

Therefore, the market law is not applicable to the evaluation of blockchain technology assets.

Fourth, the applicability analysis of the cost method

Assuming that the cost method is used when evaluating technical intangible assets, three basic conditions need to be met:

(1) The parameters of the assessed technical intangible assets have historical data that can be consulted and collected.

(2) The various costs of forming the technical intangible assets are necessary and measurable.

(3) The technical intangible assets can be kept in use during the foreseeable operating period, and will bring predictable inflow of economic benefits.

Assuming that the cost method is used to evaluate blockchain technology assets, the two most important factors are the calculation of replacement cost and success rate.

(1) Replacement cost. The large amount of research and development funds and other expenses invested in the formation of blockchain technology assets can be clarified through financial expenditures, but the human capital, operating capital, software and hardware equipment that need to be continuously invested in the later period cannot be measured.

(2) Success rate. When evaluating assets with a physical form, the success rate is generally measured by expert appraisal methods and remaining economic life methods, but when evaluating blockchain technology assets, we need to evaluate their timeliness and quantify them. This requires the judgment of experts who are very familiar with the field of computer technology, and has certain requirements for professionalism. However, there are few experts and scholars who have a certain understanding of blockchain technology and are familiar with asset evaluation. Therefore, there is currently no unified standard model or experts with multiple backgrounds to reasonably quantify the rate of success.

Therefore, the cost method is not suitable for the evaluation of blockchain technology assets.

V. Analysis of the applicability of the income method

At present, most transaction cases use the income method to evaluate technical intangible assets. At this time, the assessed technical intangible assets need to meet three basic conditions:

(1) It can reasonably predict and evaluate the expected future income of technical intangible assets, and can use currency to measure the income.

(2) The risk to be taken to obtain the expected return is predictable, and the impact on the enterprise can be measured in currency.

(3) The expected useful life of the assessed asset and the expected profitable life can be accurately predicted, which requires a stable relationship between the assessed asset and the business status and operating income.

The income method is applicable when evaluating blockchain technology assets, first of all, the above three basic conditions must be considered, but it also has the following limitations:

(1) The service period of blockchain technology assets cannot be determined. We cannot predict the effective service period of blockchain technology assets, and there is a lag in the effectiveness and value realization of patent certificates. As a result, we cannot accurately estimate the service period of patent rights related to blockchain technology, and the resulting profitability cannot be reasonably estimated.

(2) Different companies use blockchain technology in different ways, which will result in different benefits. The risk of trading blockchain technology related patent rights cannot be quantified. Due to deviations in use or inability to adapt, it makes the assessment process necessary The discount rate considering the risk cannot be accurately measured.

(3) The impact of technology upgrading is overall and significant. Therefore, it is difficult for us in the evaluation process to distinguish which benefits are brought about by the blockchain technology update.

Domestic and foreign scholars have conducted a lot of research and improvement on the shortcomings of using the income method to evaluate assets. Some scholars have adopted the analytic hierarchy process to solve the problem of the degree of contribution of technological changes to the excess income of enterprises, and at the same time, they have adopted more detailed methods. The technology share rate and other methods to solve the problem of the inability to quantify the risk.

Therefore, when evaluating the blockchain technology assets of the case company, the relevant ideas of the income method can be used, and supplementary methods can be used to make up for the limitations, and a more accurate value can be obtained.

In short, through the above comparative research, this article believes that in the foreseeable future, there will be more and more researches on blockchain technology, and blockchain technology will become more and more mature, suitable for more businesses and scenarios. , More and more people will notice the commercial value of blockchain technology assets. The methods and ideas for evaluating blockchain technology assets will also be studied and discussed by more scholars, so that its role will be more scientific and reasonable.

A series of new infrastructure technologies represented by blockchain technology will further change our lives, and digitalization will also make greater contributions to the economy and society. The income method will be a more appropriate way of evaluating blockchain intangible assets.

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