Blockchain has brought about seismic shifts in the way we perceive traditional finance. It is the precursor to decentralized finance (DeFi). The technology is enabling financial services without reliance on central institutions or intermediaries. This is ushering in a new era of digital assets set to change even established financial aspects like banking for the better.
Deloitte’s latest report – based on a survey of senior executives and practitioners from around the world – states the same.
Digital Assets are the Future of Banking: Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey
Based on a poll of a sample of 1,280 executives in 10 locations, Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey finds a growing consensus. A consensus around the increasing value of digital assets as the future of banking.
According to many of these decision-makers, banks will have to embrace a transition to digital assets, sooner or later.
It is well known that the banking sector has been slow to adapt to blockchain and digital assets. Many on the other side of the table also question the volatility and decentralization associated with the technology. They wonder how viable digital assets can turn out to be for a system as rigid as traditional banking.
However, financial leaders from around the world strongly believe that this is not only the future but also an inevitable one. According to 76% of respondents, fiat currencies will either be completely replaced by digital assets within the next 5 to 10 years. This will make way for disruptive, unconventional digital assets.
Why the Case for Digital Assets Is So Strong
80% of Deloitte’s poll respondents concur that blockchain, digital assets, and cryptocurrency solutions will open new revenue streams for their respective industries. And they welcome this diversification as a much-needed respite.
Add to that their views on how digital assets can be the key to gaining a competitive advantage. Blockchain and web3 are very much the “defining” aspects of the next decade. Losing out on these technologies could prove fatal when it comes to standing in (if not ahead of) the league.
The case for digital assets is strong for other reasons as well. Blockchain technology has proven useful in countering sluggish payment systems and high rates. A decentralized ledger can help save trillions of dollars lost in inefficient structures.
At the same time, blockchain helps do away with the need for gatekeepers in the loan and credit sector. This may result in cheaper interest rates and more borrowing security. Lending powered by blockchain may make it possible to offer loans to a bigger customer base.
What Other Experts Have to Say
While the Deloitte Report outlines the importance of digital assets for FSI and banking, other experts also resonate with the views. A Goldman Sachs interview explores the US chief economist’s view on why banks are considering digital currencies today. In the video, David Mericle throws light on the potential implications of digital assets for monetary and fiscal policies.
In another story by BBC, Gautam Jain, Global Head of Digitization and Client Access at Standard Chartered Bank, comments on the revolutionary aspect of blockchain. He is of the view that banks can leverage this advancement “to make global trade and financial services much stronger.”
A BNY Mellon Report goes on to discuss the evolution of digital assets in shaping the financial ecosystem globally. It also delves deeper into the right infrastructure and collaboration mechanisms that must be encouraged.
How Digital Assets Can Transform the Banking Sector
Digital assets have the potential to not just transform processes, but also components and stakeholders in conventional banking.
Benefits of Integrating Blockchain with Banking
- Blockchain enables real-time cross-border transactions at the same rate as information transfer. This can significantly increase efficiency and transparency in the banking sector.
- Blockchain technology provides a much-needed reliable, safe ecosystem. This helps in community interactions, trade, and business facilitation on a global scale.
- Businesses can conduct cost-effective transactions thanks to digital assets.
- Transparent public ledgers are used to record digital asset transfers. This makes it relatively simple to follow transactions and build audit trails.
- Contrary to payment systems, you can view, approve, and control when transfers start. Therefore, there is less ambiguity and possibly less waiting time.
- Allowing digital asset users the chance to interact with your company can attract new customers. It makes you more aware of market trends and may even give you an edge over rivals.
Trends in the Digital Asset-Banking Space
Banks and other financial institutions that are digital natives have all been quite active lately in trying to get into the digital assets market. The buzz may imply a large take-up in the longer term and a sharp acceleration of institutional participation over the next few years. Some of the key trends in this light are as follows:
- There is an increasing interest in digital assets among banks and financial institutions.
- Many financial institutions are attempting to extend and integrate investments into digital assets.
- Many have concluded that a “wait and see” approach is only going to erode their competitiveness in the long run.
- Banks and financial institutions are looking for advantages of disintermediation. Digital assets can provide this.
- They are seeking risk control and the safe infrastructure that established institutions provide. This will complement the digital revolution with a stabilizing factor.
- The regulatory environment is evolving. It will eventually fill the gaps in terms of consistency, pro-innovation, and decentralization.
The Way Forward for Digital Assets in Banking
Blockchain is enabling a new paradigm of digitization in finance. It will have long-lasting impacts on banking systems around the world. For successful integration, digital assets must come with the same trust, soundness, and safety standards as traditional assets.
It is also critical to consider the readiness of the institutions themselves. This is important if we want an ecosystem that is resilient, risk-averse, and regulated. There should be seamless systems to ease scalability and safekeeping in the long run as well.
While the expectations continue, it wouldn’t be wrong to call the current climate highly favorable for digital assets. Institutional readiness and leadership sentiment in the matter are already welcoming. The ecosystem presents significant prospects for growth as well. The focus should be on innovation, trust, and collaboration to take this forward.
The banking industry has been known to take a while to adopt blockchain technology and digital assets. The world’s financial echelons, however, are adamant that this is not only the future but also an unavoidable one. The defining elements of the coming decade are undoubtedly blockchain and Web3, and they will also disrupt traditional banking systems as we know them. The catch: Digital assets must meet the same standards for reliability, security, and trust as traditional assets in order for integration to be successful.