As blockchain technology continues to move further into the mainstream, it stands poised to impact every aspect of society and finance, from payments and investments to data security and record-keeping. Most would agree that investment in blockchain technology is important, particularly in the financial services industry, but ensuring wise investment is a more complicated proposition. In addition to concerns about speed, cost and security, evaluating investments in blockchain technology also need scalability, as blockchain’s promised benefits rely heavily on choosing a blockchain that can handle growing demand.
Awareness of the potential of blockchain technology is spreading, and cryptocurrency use is contributing to that. Thirty-seven percent of all consumers surveyed said they believe transactions using blockchain are faster, but that portion jumps to 68% among consumers who own crypto. Eighty-two percent of CFOs and finance chiefs and 88% of merchants said their payments involving crypto are faster than those using other payment methods. At the same time, crypto use and attitudes toward crypto are more positive outside the U.S. and other nations with stable economies, as concern over unstable currencies drives people in other parts of the world to view cryptocurrencies more favorably.
This month’s “Blockchain Payments Tracker®” examines some of the factors impacting the adoption of and attitudes toward blockchain technology, as well as the data that companies should consider when designing their blockchain technology strategies.
Around the Blockchain Payments Space
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), a form of cryptocurrency issued by central banks, are receiving increased attention around the world. More than two-thirds of 81 central banks surveyed say they are likely to issue a CBDC or might possibly issue a CBDC in the short or medium term. In addition, 90% of respondents said they are engaged in working on a CBDC. Twenty-six percent said they are piloting CBDC programs, and 60% said they are actively exploring the concept of digital currency. There are indications that increased interest in cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, as well as the acceleration of the digital transformation that accompanied the pandemic, have contributed to greater interest in CBDCs.
Cryptocurrencies have become a common alternative for unbanked consumers in the United States. A recent survey conducted by the U.S. Federal Reserve found that 13% of U.S. consumers have used cryptocurrencies to make payments or transfer funds, a significantly higher portion than the general population, of which just 2% have used cryptocurrencies to purchase products. Among the general population, investment is a more common reason for owning cryptocurrency than making purchases, and 12% of all consumers said they own crypto for that reason. Most consumers owning crypto as an investment also report annual incomes of more than $100,000. At the same time, 99% of those who see crypto ownership as purely an investment also have bank accounts.
For more on these and other stories, visit the Tracker’s News and Trends section.
Smile Coin on Scalable Blockchain for Online Gaming Payments
One of the many uses for blockchain is as a decentralized finance alternative to traditional finance, but the platform used can significantly impact speed, cost and scalability. Smile Coin uses the transparency and scalability of blockchain to work with businesses shut out of traditional finance.
In this month’s Feature Story, Nick Bucheleres, CEO at Smile Coin, talks about using blockchain for online gaming payments.
PYMNTS Intelligence: Evaluating the ROI of Blockchain Technology
Seventy-three percent of surveyed financial services industry executives recently expressed concern about losing a competitive advantage if their companies do not invest in blockchain and digital assets. While the question of whether or not to invest in blockchain technology may be settled for many professionals, there is a difference between identifying a need for investment and identifying the best approach for ensuring a return on investment. This month’s PYMNTS Intelligence takes a look at some of the data driving interest in blockchain technology and the factors that help ensure companies see gains from their blockchain investments.
To learn more about evaluating the ROI in blockchain technology, read the Tracker’s PYMNTS Intelligence.
About the Tracker
The “Blockchain Payments Tracker®,” a PYMNTS and Algorand collaboration, examines the latest trends and developments shaping the blockchain payments space and the factors impacting return on blockchain investments.
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