Technology Trust is emerging as the way forward for digital...

Trust is emerging as the way forward for digital assets in 2023


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Even as the dust has settled around disruptive technology, the future of digital resources — or any asset minted and exchanged on a blockchain — has yet to be decided. But after the chaotic year that saw crypto, there is at least one certainty: trust is more important than ever for the advancement of digital assets. AlmosT half (49%) of consumers say they will initiate or expand purchases from a company based on trust alone, and companies need consumer trust to create new blockchain business opportunities.

But how do companies build trust strong enough to generate results?

Half of consumers say accountability is the most important factor for companies to build trust with them and their employees. Consumers expect companies to admit mistakes and provide clear and consistent communications to regain trust. In restoring trust with digital assets, consumers will take their business to companies that plan, implement and execute to protect their consumers.

Building trust in digital assets

After a tumultuous 2022, businesses must focus on rebuilding trust through compliance, security, and transparency. This is not an unexpected cycle for emerging technology, which usually goes through a round of public speculation.

Companies that emerge as leaders in digital assets will be the ones quickly implementing third-party validation. Those companies that demonstrate their ability to securely store and transfer digital assets will also re-engage customers who have grown weary of technology.

To do this, companies would have to take a page out of the books of traditional financial institutions. They come with a public seal of approval, making the integration of digital assets more comfortable for consumers branching out in the space.

For example, traditional custodial and asset management companies benefit from their reputation as investors look for a safe place to store their digital assets. Similarly, traditional banks use proprietary blockchains to reduce cross-border transaction costs for their customers.

On the other hand, traditional financial institutions may try to establish trust in digital assets by absorbing technologies or talent from digital asset natives. Once companies take these steps to build trust, the opportunities for digital assets will open wide.

This has even more in store for digital assets in the coming year, as long as companies ensure that trust is the foundation of these use cases.

Social media as a catalyst for the use of digital resources

Social media companies have the opportunity to pave the way for widespread adoption of digital assets. We’ve seen social media companies develop their platforms in recent years to meet consumer needs and acquire users at unprecedented speeds.

To drive adoption of digital assets, we can expect social media companies to become payment platforms and process cryptocurrency transactions in the near future. These companies are well positioned to handle cryptocurrency transactions and provide consumers with an outlet to start using digital assets with more fluidity.

Digital assets also offer something consumers have long craved: a greater ability to control identities and data online. For example, a secure identity token that allows users to own their online identities may soon become an integral part of the growth of both social media companies and digital assets.

Perhaps a user wants to receive advertisements from a particular retailer. They can control the receipt of those advertisements within their digital identity. And if they don’t want them anymore, they just get their identity information back from that retailer.

As these digital assets become more integrated into social media, users can expect to transfer digital assets such as NFTs more frequently in the coming years.

Emerging business strategies with NFTs

NFTs have the unique ability to represent both physical and digital objects, opening the door for the technology to drive business improvements.

Faster data exchange enables companies to create and improve new business models with NFTs. In 2022, much of the focus has been on the values ​​of certain NFTs, which skyrocketed above reasonable prices.

In 2023, we will see an expansion of NFT use cases as NFTs will augment the business-to-consumer experience by working in a seamless and invisible way to enable data exchange with greater assurance of authenticity, security and intellectual property rights .

Almost half of US companies currently have roles focused on developing and deploying NFTs or cryptocurrency, and 20% of executives report that NFTs have already been implemented as part of their business strategy. These numbers will increase further next year. Once a company has identified the areas best supported by NFTs and other digital assets, these strategies will effortlessly become part of the larger business plan.

The past year has proven that digital assets can be a powerful, disruptive technology. While this will be limited until trust is regained, blockchain will not go away. Instead, it will continue to evolve to meet business needs and consumer desires. Companies that pre-emptively address consumer needs and concerns in this digital space will have a clear advantage over their competitors.

John Oliver is co-leader of PwC’s FinTech trust services practice.

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