XBRL News: Blockchain, specifications and ESEF

Here is our pick of the 3 most important XBRL news stories this week. 

1 Blockchain and XBRL: The Myth

Currently, many jurisdictions around the world require public companies to produce financial reports using XBRL. The myth that blockchain could replace XBRL in the production of financial information is incorrect. Blockchain is not a data standard. And XBRL is not a distributed ledger system. Replacing one with the other would be like replacing the English language with an iPhone.

A much needed clarification of the different, but complementary roles that the two sets of technologies will play in reporting technologies, courtesy of CFA Institute’s Mohini Singh.

2 Modernised, simplified XBRL specifications on final approach

The Open Information Model (OIM) is a strategic initiative to modernise and simplify the XBRL Standard. It opens up XBRL to permit the use of a range of different formats. The OIM is accompanied by two new syntactic formats:

A technical standard like XBRL can only survive and thrive if it is kept up to date with developments in adjacent fields. This is exactly what’s happening with the new specifications.

3 Insights from an IASB board member on the IFRS taxonomy and ESEF mandate

Ann Tarca has been on the International Accounting Standards Board since 2017, as a member from the Asia-Oceania region. She answered questions from Dimensions about the International Financial Reporting Standards, the intersection of the IFRS taxonomy and the Inline XBRL requirements of the ESEF (European Single Electronic Format) mandate, and the future of IFRS reporting.

This is a valuable overview interview with a true subject matter expert on everything international accounting, including recent developments such as the European Single Electronic Format mandated from this year. Do omit reading this at your own peril.


Christian Dreyer CFA is well known in Swiss Fintech circles as an expert in XBRL and financial reporting for investors.

 We have a self-imposed constraint of 3 news stories each week because we serve busy senior leaders in Fintech who need just enough information to get on with their job.

 For context on XBRL please read this introduction to our XBRL Week in 2016 and read articles tagged XBRL in our archives. 

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