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Deloitte, one of the Big Four, surveyed financial leaders as part of its 2021 Global Blockchain Survey, with the results suggesting a transition to digital assets is inevitable. Cybersecurity, regulation, and privacy are seen as the biggest obstacles to the global adoption of digital assets, according to a survey.

Of 1,280 executives surveyed across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, 76% of them believed that digital assets would serve as a strong alternative to, or outright replacement for, fiat currencies in the next 5-10 years.

More than three quarters – 76% – of executives globally think digital assets will be a “strong alternative to or replacement for” fiat in the next five to 10 years, Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey found.

Even more, 78% of respondents said that digital assets will be important to their industry in the coming 24 months.

Data security and privacy regulation must change to enable blockchain adoption, said 68% of survey participants.

Respondents that had already deployed blockchain and/or digital assets in their core business, or “pioneers” as Deloitte labeled them, more commonly identified regulation, privacy, and cybersecurity as barriers to acceptance.

Among those, 70% said that digital assets’ greatest impact will be access to funding sources. The next most common answer was “compliance and transparency.”

71% of the surveyed believed cybersecurity threats were the largest obstacle, while 63% said that regulatory challenges threatened the acceptance and use of digital assets globally.

Protection against data collection from big tech and other private firms was the most commonly identified potential benefit of central bank digital currencies among respondents.

Overall, the report shows that financial institutions see digital assets and their underlying technologies as an increasingly strategic priority that can’t be ignored, with 73% of the respondents believing their organizations would fall behind if they failed to adopt blockchain technology.

Linda Pawczuk, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and global and U.S. blockchain and digital assets leader, referred to this trend by stating:

“In the last year, we’ve seen a significant shift in how the global financial ecosystem is thinking about new business models fueled by digital assets, and how this is playing a meaningful role in financial infrastructure. The Deloitte 2021 ‘Global Blockchain Survey’ shows that the foundation of banking has been fundamentally outlived and financial services industry players must redefine themselves and find innovative ways to create economic growth in the future of money.” With the adoption of blockchain technology and digital assets growing on a daily basis, decentralized finance (DeFi) has become a concern for traditional finance institutions.

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