A recent Citi report provides an in-depth analysis of the growth, challenges, and regional variations in the adoption of digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) over the past year.
On Aug. 23, Citi presented a comprehensive analysis of the developments and challenges faced by the digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) sector. Despite the setbacks of 2022, particularly for some crypto firms like FTX, the research offers an optimistic perspective on the evolution of DLT and digital assets.
The report points out that a larger number of companies are now engaging with and showing interest in DLT and digital assets. The data shows a significant jump, from 47% of firms in 2022 to 74% in 2023.
This increased engagement has led to the management of billions of USD through DLT platforms, involving over 20 major global financial institutions.
Interestingly, the challenges faced by these firms are less about the technology itself and more about its implementation. The main issues are often rooted in the human and procedural aspects of integrating new systems.
Citi also notes that different regions around the world have adopted unique approaches to the adoption and regulation of cryptocurrency.
In Asia and Latin America, the primary focus has been on enhancing institutional liquidity and broadening its accessibility to a larger population.
In contrast, Europe places a strong emphasis on regulatory measures, particularly through initiatives like the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA).
Meanwhile, North America has observed favorable results from the tokenization of diverse asset classes.
Still, a consistent concern, the report observed, is the uncertainty surrounding regulations.
51% of the respondents expressed fears that unclear regulations might hinder progress, especially in North America and Europe.
At the same time, the digital currency sector, particularly central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), is gaining traction.
Currently, 87% of market stakeholders anticipate this sector will become viable by 2026, an increase from the previous year’s 72%.
Overall, DLT’s growth rate appears more robust than that of the general crypto landscape. This can be attributed to the recent challenges faced by crypto.
For context, 87% of custodians are actively involved in DLT and digital asset initiatives. However, only 25% of asset owners have active projects, and a significant 75% of institutional investors remain disengaged.
Citi’s analysis concludes with an emphasis on DLT’s transformative capabilities. Beyond experimentation, the technology could provide substantial value in streamlining processes.
Still, for firms to leverage its full potential, significant investment in restructuring processes and systems will be essential.