Asset servicing digital assets news

B2B digital assets infrastructure Zumo has released a report that identifies the opportunities across the digital asset and blockchain ecosystem.

The report, entitled ‘Digital Assets 2023: Identifying the opportunities,’ analyses emerging areas of opportunity across the global digital asset ecosystem from an enterprise perspective.

It draws insights from financial services companies such as HSBC and NatWest, as well as blockchain innovators, including Ripple and Chainalysis. Sibos organiser, Swift, is another contributor.

The report identifies four turning points characteristic of a progressive broadening of digital asset applications and increase of participants — from the Bitcoin big bang moment (blockchain 1.0) through to the first ‘enterprise’ era (blockchain 4.0).

The report uses these turning points to construct an ecosystem map that distinguishes consumer and institutional solutions and investment versus applied use cases.

It then assesses the opportunities, challenges and inter-relationships associated with nine
individual use cases. These are categorised as ‘early’, ‘developing’ and ‘established’.

The report finds that consumer entry routes into cryptoasset investment have diversified significantly, with a timeline of increasing participation from institutions and wealth managers.

Concerning consumer payments, Zumo’s report finds that cryptoassets and stablecoins for payments represent one of the most proven areas of utility. However, they increasingly compete with emerging tokenised deposit and central bank digital currency (CBDC) explorations, which Zumo says have been adopted on a smaller scale.

Businesses continue to explore digital asset payment rails for treasury and cross-border payments, with a willingness to embrace CBDC payment methods in the future.

Zumo adds that the current development of blockchain within the financial industry is led by financial market infrastructure and public sector narratives, this is combined with active interest in blockchain applied to energy and the environment.

On financial market infrastructure, there is an ongoing diversity of efficiency-focused initiatives that include some of the largest active DLT projects.

In addition, there is growing institutional digital asset investment engagement on both the buy- and sell-side, with increasingly institutionally-driven trading markets.

Lastly, there is an industry openness to integrate and engage with DeFi concepts in an institutional setting, affirms Zumo. This includes an uptake in institutional staking and pilot-applied CBDC as well as tokenisation projects.

The report’s author and Zumo’s research and policy lead Daniel Taylor says: “Active learning and knowledge development is a key part of Zumo’s mission as a trusted partner for those looking to enter the digital asset space.

“Today is the first truly ‘enterprise’ era, in which non-crypto businesses have access to, and are active across, all four quadrants of digital asset opportunity: consumer, institutional, application and investment. Our report practically distils and synthesises those emerging opportunities based on a big-picture understanding of the digital asset and blockchain ecosystem.

“Digital Assets 2023 has been brought to life through consultation and cross-sector
collaboration, and Sibos, with its emphasis on networking and learning, is therefore the perfect platform for launching it.”

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