Banks and brands are already deeply entrenched in digital assets
The widespread adoption of digital assets isn’t just tempting, it’s already here, according to Ankr’s Filipe Gonçalves.
Businesses are already deep into digital assets. While many companies wait for government regulation and clarity on blockchain-based investments and activities, many companies have gone ahead anyway.
Brands already involved
Companies marketing in Sandbox and Decentraland include Netflix, Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, TIME, Binance, LooksRare, Rarible, FTX, Gemini, the Smurfs and many more. Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana both took part in Decentraland’s first-ever Metaverse Fashion Week. Netflix has entered the Decentraland metaverse to announce the release of a new movie. Samsung has opened its own metaverse in Decentraland.
TIME has released NFT collections and dove headfirst into the blockchain space. Sandbox land has been purchased by TIME magazine, Binance, FTX, LooksRare, Rarible, Gemini, the Smurfs, and many other companies. Sandbox land, similar to Decentraland, can be bought and traded or built and rented. Many companies buy land and offer free virtual experiences.
Adoptions and mainstream brands
Budweiser, Tiffanys, and Nike have all entered the digital asset space with a bang. Budweiser first launched several different collections around its famous beer. One such collection even came with a live barbecue event hosted on Budweiser. The NFT was the ticket offering entry to meet the Clydesdale horses, live music, a tour of the brewery and more.
Tiffany recently sold NFTs as well as personalized diamond pendants. These were selling for 30 ETH and could be burned for the physical necklace. Purchases restricted to CryptoPunk holders only, these necklaces sold out very quickly and represented the first major NFT/physical pairing of a product.
Nike released NFTs and actually acquired a metaverse NFT footwear company. The company made nearly $200 million between primary and secondary sales. Secondary sales come from royalties on sneakers traded in the secondary market, over which companies previously had no control.
Public companies holding cryptos
It’s not just NFTs that brands love. Public companies now holding cryptocurrencies include mining companies like Hut 8, cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, and disruptive thinkers like Michael Saylor and Microstrategy. Each of these public companies holds Bitcoin and potentially other digital assets. Public companies holding digital assets are a great sign for the future of the industry.
Mainstream adoption and DeFi
Decentralized finance, or DeFi, presents great opportunities for institutions and businesses of all sizes to get involved. The demand for institutions looking to enter the digital asset space is evident as new funds emerge and more financial institutions begin accepting the asset class.
We recently saw Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, partner 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.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) was the first Bitcoin-related fund available to institutional investors in the United States. Grayscale, the company behind the ETF, wanted to provide exposure to digital assets when it was highly unpopular. Since then, others have opened digital asset funds for institutional investors.
Mainstream Adoption and Credit Cards
More recently, blockchain company Ankr has partnered with Mastercard and the Sacramento Kings NBA team. Mastercard getting involved in the blockchain space is just the latest financial institution to enter the industry.
SoFi, one of the fastest growing institutions in America, has started 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 that appear help give credibility and popularity to digital assets. Credibility comes from the world’s most renowned asset managers and money makers, integrating digital assets and recognizing demand. The growing popularity comes from all the financial media platforms announcing that the wealthy can now easily invest in cryptocurrency.
Mainstream adoption and DeFi opportunities
Staking, lending, and liquidity all offer new opportunities that anyone can take advantage of in the digital asset space. DeFi includes decentralized dApps on the blockchain commonly used for financial services or products.
Staking involves locking a cryptocurrency for a specific period of time, in exchange 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 an exchange or decentralized market, and be rewarded.
Lending and borrowing are also gaining popularity on DeFi platforms, allowing users to pledge their tokens and access capital, without selling the assets. The lender is rewarded with a certain interest rate from the borrower, facilitated by the DeFi platform. The borrower has to repay the loan plus interest and is rewarded with an extremely quick and easy way to get a loan.
The opportunities present in DeFi for retail and corporate investors to earn additional income are enormous. Some platforms exceed double-digit APY, much better than the average savings account.
Widespread adoption is underway
Adoption is happening faster than anyone could have imagined. That’s when regulation still happens, but that doesn’t stop it from happening quickly as well. Brands like these, and opportunities like these, have too many good reasons not to explore and implement technology. These companies are proving the business use cases of innovative technologies.
About the Author
Filipe Gonçalves has been leading the 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 the full breadth of financial product offerings for ultra-high net worth individuals and his experience working with developers and product managers in DeFi is an ideal skill set to lead DeFi projects aimed at to democratize access to products involving a high level of financial complexity. .
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