The majority of finance professionals thought that blockchain has a lot of potential in their businesses.
But many said there are major obstacles, such as old infrastructure, patchy regulatory frameworks, and glaring cybersecurity risks.
Deloitte’s annual global blockchain survey has found that 76% of finance professionals think that digital assets “will serve as a strong alternative to, or outright replacement for, fiat currencies in the next 5–10 years.”
Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms along with KPMG, EY, and PwC. It’s conducted a blockchain survey for the last four years. 2021’s survey is the first to explicitly cover the commercial activities enabled by blockchain.
The firm surveyed more than 1,000 finance professionals based in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It was conducted between March 24 and April 10, the heyday of the cryptocurrency market this year.
81% of respondents agreed that the technology is “broadly scalable and has achieved mainstream adoption.” 73% thought that their business should adopt blockchain and digital assets, and would lose a competitive advantage if they do not adopt the technology.
But it wasn’t all roses.
65% of finance professionals considered existing financial infrastructure among the biggest obstacles to the acceptance of digital assets. 63% thought cybersecurity is another barrier, and 60% saw regulatory obstacles.
The concerns are unsurprising given that legal frameworks and technical infrastructures have yet to keep up with crypto, a nascent technology created just over a decade ago. And there’s plenty of cybersecurity breaches to scare away high-stakes industries.
Despite the challenges, crypto has a strong appeal among finance professionals. When it came to the question of how crypto would be deployed, 43% of those surveyed said that their business may eventually adopt cryptocurrencies as a payment option, and 45% would tokenize their assets. 44% said crypto would allow their institution to access decentralized finance, a suite of non-custodial financial applications and protocols used by crypto holders.
Might the professionals have responded differently if the survey had taken place during the spring crash?