Published Monday, the Deutsche Bank report said digital currencies, while only a decade old, have already been shown to have the „potential to radically change payments, banking, central banking and the balance of economic power.”
„We believe a new digital currency could become mainstream within the next two years,” according to the report, with both China’s digital yuan initiative and Facebook’s Libra project expected to launch this year. The report said that could make digital currencies available to more than 1.5 billion Chinese citizens and 2.5 billion Facebook users – combined, more than half of the world’s population.
At its current adoption rate, cryptocurrencies are running parallel to the internet during its early years, the report reads. Should this continue, there could be more than 200 million blockchain wallets by 2030, up from the 50 million in 2020.
Monday’s report is the third in Deutsche Bank’s series that examines the future landscape for payments. As the first paper highlights, many existing cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, are too volatile to be used as a viable means of payment or as a store of value. The second in the series indicated the inherent benefits of cash mean it would endure as a payments method possibly for decades to come.
„Though Libra has met with fierce resistance from central banks and supervisory authorities and might never see the light of day, in many other cases tech firms (both start-ups and established big players) have successfully captured bits and pieces of universal banks’ traditional value chain. This trend may only intensify in the coming years. In this environment, European banks remain squeezed.”