Mainstream Adoption: Banks and Brands Already Deep in Digital Assets

Mainstream adoption of digital assets is not just tantalizing close, it is already here, according to Filipe Gonçalves of Ankr.

Enterprises are already neck-deep into digital assets. As many companies wait for government regulation and clarity for blockchain-based investments and activities, plenty of companies have gone ahead anyway.

Brands already committed

Companies marketing in the Sandbox and Decentraland include Netflix, Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, TIME, Binance, LooksRare, Rarible, FTX, Gemini, the Smurfs and plenty more. Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana both participated in Decentraland’s first-ever metaverse fashion week. Netflix entered the Decentraland metaverse to advertise the release of a new film. Samsung opened its own metaverse in Decentraland.

TIME has released NFT collections and has dived headfirst into the blockchain space. Sandbox land was purchased by TIME magazine, Binance, FTX, LooksRare, Rarible, Gemini, the Smurfs and many additional companies. Sandbox land, similar to Decentraland, can be bought and traded or built upon and rented. Many companies are purchasing land and offering free virtual experiences.

Mainstream adoptions and brands

Budweiser, Tiffanys and Nike have all entered the digital asset space full force. Budweiser first dropped several different collections around its infamous beer. One such collection even came with a live BBQ event put on Budweiser. The NFT was the ticket offering entrance to meet the Clydesdale horses, live music, brewery tour and more. 

Tiffany recently sold NFTs along with custom diamond pendants. These sold for 30ETH and could be burned for the physical necklace. Restricted purchases to CryptoPunk holders only, these necklaces sold out very quickly and represented the first major NFT/physical pairing of a product.

Nike has released NFTs and actually acquired an NFT metaverse shoe company. The company has made almost 200 million dollars between primary and secondary sales. Secondary sales come from royalty fees on the sneaker being traded in the secondary market, something companies previously had no control over.

Public companies holding crypto

It is not just NFTs that brands like. Public companies now holding cryptocurrency include mining companies like Hut 8, cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and disruptive thinkers like Michael Saylor and Microstrategy. Each of these public companies hold Bitcoin and potentially other digital assets. Public companies holding digital assets is a great sign for the industry’s future.

Mainstream adoption and DeFi

Decentralized finance, or DeFi, presents excellent opportunities for institutions and businesses of all sizes to get involved. The demand for institutions looking to enter the digital asset space is apparent as new funds are popping up and more financial institutions begin to accept the asset class. 

We recently saw Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, partner up with Coinbase, to offer digital asset services to its institutional clientele. BlackRock has over ten trillion dollars under management. They now offer Bitcoin services for institutional clients and accredited investors. 

Asset Manager BlackRock Partners With Coinbase, Will Offer Crypto to Institutional Clients - beincrypto.com

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) was the first Bitcoin-related fund available to institutional investors inside the U.S. Grayscale, the company behind the ETF, wanted to offer exposure to digital assets while it was very unpopular. Since then, others have opened digital asset funds for institutional investors.

Mainstream adoption and credit cards

More recently, the blockchain company Ankr forged partnerships with both Mastercard and the Sacramento Kings NBA team. Mastercard getting involved with the blockchain space is only the latest financial institution to enter the industry. 

SoFi, one of the fastest growing institutions in America, has begun offering digital asset services including trading and education.

Institutional investors have all started offering digital asset services to their clients due to the high demand.

These new funds popping up help give digital assets credibility and popularity. Credibility comes from the world’s most renowned asset managers and money makers, integrating digital assets and acknowledging the demand. The increased popularity comes from every financial media platform announcing that the rich can now easily invest in cryptocurrency.

Mainstream adoption and DeFi opportunities 

Staking, lending and liquidity all offer new opportunities for anyone to take advantage of in the digital asset space. DeFi includes decentralized dApps on the blockchain routinely used for financial services or products.

Staking is when you lock up cryptocurrency for a specific period of time, in return for a specific interest rate. The interest rate often comes from gas or network fees and staking can help secure the network or validate transactions. Liquidity is similar, where users can provide liquidity, often to a decentralized exchange or marketplace, and be rewarded. 

Lending and borrowing are growing in popularity on DeFi platforms as well, allowing users to put their tokens as collateral and access capital, without selling the assets. The lender is rewarded with a certain interest rate from the borrower, facilitated through the DeFi platform. The borrower must repay the loan plus the interest and is rewarded with an extremely quick and easy way to secure a loan. 

The opportunities present in DeFi for retail and enterprise investors to earn additional revenue are massive. Some platforms go over double-digit APY, far better than the average savings account. 

DeFi Decentralized Frontends

Mainstream adoption is happening

Adoption is happening quicker than anyone could have possibly imagined. This is while regulation is still incoming but that is not stopping it from also happening quickly. Brands like these, and opportunities like these, have too many beneficial reasons to not explore and implement the technology. These companies are proving the business use-cases for innovative technology.

About the author

Filipe Gonçalves has been leading Ankr Liquid Staking offering and Ankr’s DeFi strategy since 2021. Prior to his involvement with Ankr, Filipe worked eight years as a wealth manager at UBS, Credit Suisse, and BNB Paribas in Switzerland. His deep understanding of all the scope of financial product offering for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals and experience working with developers and product managers in DeFi are an ideal set of skills to lead DeFi projects aiming to democratize access of products involving a high level of financial complexity.

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