DBS, the Singaporean banking giant, has just released an in-depth report on the buzz around Bitcoin, the future of cryptocurrency, and the impact of digital assets on traditional finance.
The 28 page report describes the growing demand for crypto assets and the advantages they offer in a digital world.
“Call it speculative, precautionary, or simply a part of portfolio diversification, digital currencies have captured the investor zeitgeist. Ever since central banks around the world embarked on unprecedented expansion of their balance sheets to combat the Covid-19 pandemic-related economic headwinds, interest in cryptocurrencies, along with gold, has resurged.”
The report also highlights increasing efforts by central banks to play catch up and offer digital versions of cash. It highlights a survey of 66 central banks conducted by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), which found 80% central banks are exploring Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
“Central banks have led the way in money creation through digital means for over half a century. Today they are at once troubled and intrigued by the innovation and expansion taking place in financial technology.
Monetary authorities are catching up, keen to maintain control over money supply and transactions. Private sector digital currencies, after meeting with a great deal of skepticism from the official sector, have found traction, although are by no means fully set with respect to standards, regulation, and acceptance.”
The report concludes that cryptocurrency is here to stay, and cash as well as traditional forms of finance will not become obsolete anytime soon.
“There is no point of no return for public and private digital currencies. Both remain brave new frontiers, with new use cases, technological developments, and challenges appearing regularly. Globally, the trend is toward reducing cash dependence, but the momentum varies widely across countries and within societies…
Having been around for more than a decade, private digital currencies or cryptos have moved from the domain of marginal individual investors to being offered in regulated exchanges and traded by sophisticated institutional and retail investors. The appeal of cryptos has begun shifting from privacy and anonymity (something that worries regulators) toward convenience and security. The demise of cash is however nowhere in the horizon, and sovereign rights over money matters are not going away either.”
DBS is the largest bank in Southeast Asia and currently has $170 billion in assets under management.