An impressive 97% of the financial services industry (FSI) Pioneers and more than three-quarters of all respondents see blockchain and digital assets as a way to gain competitive advantage reports Deloitte 2021 Global Blockchain Survey. The survey was conducted between late March and early April 2021 as a way to gain insights into overall attitudes and investments in blockchain and digital assets. It polled 1,280 senior executives and practitioners in the US, the UK, Mainland China, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. According to the survey, nearly 80% of respondents said that digital assets would be “very/somewhat important” to their respective industries in the next 24 months. “The business imperative of adopting blockchain and digital assets is growing noticeably, as organizations increasingly accept that their current business models are at stake,” noted the report.
There is also a consensus among the FSI people that digital assets will replace fiat currencies in the next five to 10 years, with 76% believing the changeover will occur. This number jumps to 94% for FSI Pioneers. With the growing interest of major institutions and individuals in the cryptocurrency industry, funds also continue to flow into the digital assets market. According to Deloitte, “the fundamental impact on deposits creates an important opportunity for banks and all industries that hold assets.” As such, nearly half (47%) of FSI survey respondents said that custody of digital assets represented a “very important” role for crypto assets in their respective organizations, ranking as the top role. Safe custody, too, ranks as the top concern around holding or transacting in central bank digital currencies (CBDC) at 57%. Custody is followed by new payment channels, diversifying investments/portfolios, access to decentralized finance platforms, and tokenization of assets in terms of the role of digital assets in the respondent’s organization or project. Approximately six in 10 respondents saw regulatory barriers among the biggest obstacles to the acceptance of digital assets. Meanwhile, nearly 70% identified data security regulation as the greatest need of modification and 71% cybersecurity among the biggest obstacles to acceptance of digital assets — “suggesting that even the most dedicated believers in digital assets have legitimate security concerns.” Still, there is “shared optimism” about future revenue opportunities from crypto solutions, with 80% strongly or somewhat agreeing. Coming onto decentralized finance, 83% of FSI respondents said they believe digital assets will play a very or somewhat important role in it. When it comes to which digital asset types will have a significant positive impact on their organizations, 42% said stablecoins or CBDCs, 38% algorithm-driven stablecoins, and 33% enterprise-controlled coins. “Participation in the age of digital assets is not an option—it is inevitable,” concludes the report adding, “Leaders are left only to decide how and when their organizations should start—and how to use digital assets and the new global financial service infrastructure to their greatest advantage.”