Move to a more cashless society – According to the report from Worldpay from FIS, cash will account for less than 10 percent of in-store payments in the U.S. and just 13 percent of payments worldwide by 2024. Over that same time period, the report projects digital wallet payments to account for more than a third (33 percent) of all in-store payments (16 percent in the U.S.).
Rise of the Metaverse – The use of mobile wallets exceeded cash for the first time for in- store purchases. Consumer behaviour is also changing as digital adoption is increasing from the humble restaurant to the explosion of online retailing, transportation (e.g. uber) and video communications. Technology companies are pushing on an open door with both consumers and enterprise and this will continue throughout 2022 in areas such replacing legacy systems with new digital tools and the rise of the Metaverse.
Sustainability – no longer the preserve of marketeers, companies must operate sustainably in order to future proof. However, key to unlocking commercial potential and building trust is accurately verifying green creds. Emerging technology, such as blockchain, has the ability to do this, as a single and immutable source of truth which helps companies improve their transparency.
building resilience in supply and value chains – the pandemic, nationalistic politics and other trade shocks such as Brexit have demanded a different approach to supply chain management from ‘just-in-time’ to ‘just in case’ (Economist).
Technologies in 2021 which will achieve further adoption in 2022 – Automation Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality and Blockchain. It’s too early to say they will reach maturity, but they will continue to be centre of the conversation from legacy systems to digital 2.0. Technologies such as industrial automation, IoT and AI underpin a wider theme of Industry 4.0 as our manufacturing process moves to higher levels of automation reducing the need for human contact, particularly important in a Pandemic.
Blockchain – The adoption of so many of these emerging technologies are hampered by the volume and quality of the data. Blockchain is the foundation as it can securely deliver trusted data. Arguably, the combination of blockchain with AI, machine learning and robotics will make industry 4.0 a reality.
Data is fast forming the backbone of any economy. But that data needs to be trusted, verifiable and auditable. Digitalisation has also brought in noise, just consider what we read in social media and how many of us assume it is factual. The old adage of “garbage in, garbage out” remains true. If we cannot trust where the data comes from, we cannot react to it effectively. The internet was never built with trust at its core, instead prioritising access. Blockchain can bring trust to data.
Blockchain technology has advanced significantly from an original distributed ledger technique developed to keep track of bitcoin ownership. Unlike a traditional database blockchain databases can be the single source of truth and allow collaboration between organisations without compromising data privacy. Blockchain’s immutability (append only) characteristics enable the optimal audit record which is increasingly critical for all areas of business operations and transaction reporting. Finally, Blockchain can automate decisions based on logic: Smart Contracts. Auto execution of business rules makes for a world which is faster, cheaper and fair.
Applications for this technology in the enterprise world are numerous, consider Supply Chains, Circularity, ESG, Greenwashing, Digital identity management for Anti-money laundering requirements, etc.
Let’s not forget Blockchain is the foundation to the creation of new asset classes such as Cryptocurrencies and NFT’s. Coinbase lists over 15,000 cryptocurrencies with an aggregate market cap of over US$2.6 trillion (Coinbase). In 2022, the question of whether this asset class is here to stay will be firmly behind us. Regulators are at long last catching up and new rules and guidelines will drive mainstream adoption further, fuelling the growth of the underlying Blockchain technology through greater familiarity.
Emerging economies leapfrogging developed peers when it comes to digital connectivity – Whatever the application, Blockchain has the ability to transform business and economies because of its ability to bring integrity to data. As the digitalisation of the world continues to accelerate, emerging economies have the opportunity to leapfrog their developed peers and set a new threshold for a fully connected community.