Two years is certainly not a long time, but when it comes to blockchain technology, evolution can take giant steps. When comparing Deloitte’s two reports for 2019 and 2021, it is possible to see enormous progress.
Two years of blockchain evolution
At the beginning of the 2019 report, Deloitte wrote:
“In 2019, something unmistakable appears to be happening. What has emerged is a shared recognition that blockchain is real and that it can serve as a pragmatic solution to business problems across industries and use cases”.
In the introduction, the focus of the report’s authors was to ask not whether blockchain worked, but how it could be made functional in specific situations.
In practice, they envisaged a scenario in which the technology would be applied in different sectors.
Two years later the Covid 19 breakout changed the world and accelerated the digital revolution, particularly in financial systems and digital assets.
The 2021 report states:
“The business imperative of adopting blockchain and digital assets is growing noticeably, as organizations increasingly accept that their current business models are at stake. More than three-quarters of FSI respondents strongly or somewhat agree that their organization will lose an opportunity for competitive advantage if they fail to adopt blockchain and digital assets”.
From promises to disruptive model
In both surveys, Deloitte shows how companies are responding to the advent of blockchain and digital assets.
In 2019, blockchain was talked about as a promise ready to disrupt the business world. At the time, more than half of respondents gave themselves three years to evaluate blockchain technology. 60% claimed to be confident about the potential of blockchain.
Admittedly, in 2019, blockchain technology was still rather linked to digital currencies in the common mindset. Companies were looking at it and trying to figure out how to use it, while other types of users were starting to understand that blockchain was not limited to just creating alternative forms of money.
In 2021, Deloitte notes that blockchain has become a dominant paradigm in financial services. It is involved in payments, loans, investments, trading:
Deloitte writes in this year’s report:
“The very nature of financial instruments, from money to stocks, and the infrastructure for any type of transaction is changing—for the better”.
2019 predictions vs 2021 predictions
In 2019, Deloitte noted that the financial system was approaching the blockchain world trying to figure out how to make good use of it. The use cases were increasing and opening up new horizons and possibilities.
Although the report’s authors themselves admitted that it was difficult to predict the future, the blockchain trajectory seemed to be pointing upwards. As early as 2019, it was clear that blockchain was bringing previously unimaginable strategic advantages.
By 2021, the rise of blockchain and digital assets had a disruptive impact. This was not a promise of growth fulfilled but a radical change brought about mainly by digital currencies. This has posed problems, first and foremost data privacy and user security.
Banks and financial institutions have nevertheless realised that they cannot lag behind a changing world. They are taking note that stablecoins exist, CBDCs and other cryptocurrencies will exist.
This is impacting the financial sector and banks in particular, although the extent of the change is yet to be assessed. However, the advantages are obvious, in terms of speed of transactions and reduced commission costs. Banks, according to the Deloitte report, have no other way but to embrace the change. In short, there is no other way but to accept the evolution:
“Participation in the age of digital assets is not an option—it is inevitable. 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”.