The 2021 version of Deloitte’s blockchain survey focused on digital assets, finding that 78% of respondents believe that digital assets will be very or somewhat important to their sector within 24 months.
A similar number, 76%, believe digital currencies will be a strong alternative to fiat currencies within five to ten years.
The survey of 1,280 people was conducted in late April and early May. The only specific sector breakdown was that 320 respondents were from financial services (FSI) and 70 were FSI pioneers who have already deployed blockchain.
Generally, the FSI pioneers were far more strongly positive about most questions. The top two digital assets applications for all sectors are custody and new payment channels. But several others were not far behind, including diversifying investment portfolios, tokenizing assets and access to decentralized finance platforms.
Regulations loomed large as a major hurdle, cited by six out of ten respondents and seven out of ten FSI pioneers. But for multi-sector responses, cybersecurity ranks as the number one issue, which only ranked third for FSI pioneers. That group considers privacy as the second most important challenge after regulations.
The question that had the most diverse range of answers was where digital assets would have the most impact. The top three were greater efficiencies, including for payments, more transparency and compliance, and enhanced trust. However, FSI pioneers ranked access to funding sources as number one by a significant margin with a 70% vote.
Surprisingly, 81% said that blockchain technology is broadly scalable and has already achieved mainstream adoption. Secure information exchange was ranked as the top application across sectors for blockchain use cases, with digital currency second. However, digital currency ranked number one for both FSI pioneers and the FSI sector generally.
In terms of methodology, we’ve asked Deloitte about the size of firms that were surveyed. The sectors appear to represent slightly more tech-heavy ones, including financial services, government, technology, media & telecoms, life sciences and healthcare. Apart from the number of FSI respondents, there were no figures for other sectors.
Roughly a third of respondents were from Asia, just over a third from the U.S., 22% from Europe and the balance in South America, Africa and the Middle East.