•Citigroup believes that mass adoption of blockchain technology is six to eight years away and will be driven by central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the tokenization of financial, gaming and real-world assets.
• CBDCs will allow people to interact and experiment with digital currencies in a relatively secure environment due to state-backing.
• Social media payments and gaming could also drive the mass adoption of blockchain technology.
Citigroup’s Prediction on Mass Adoption
U.S. banking giant Citigroup believes that mass adoption is six to eight years away and will be driven by central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the tokenization of financial, gaming and real-world assets, according to the lender’s latest blockchain report. Citi compared blockchain innovation to the early days of gas-powered vehicles or digital cameras and said that the world usually does not recognize the value and benefits of disruptive technologies at first. This factor is compounded by the nature of blockchains, which are a „backend infrastructure technology with no prominent consumer interface,“ unlike automobiles and cameras.
The Recipe for Mass Adoption According to Citi
According to Citi, mass adoption will happen when more than a billion people are using blockchain technology without knowing they’re using it. The lender believes this will most likely happen through CBDCs as more and more governments start implementing digital currencies in their economies. As of March, more than 20 central banks plan to issue or have already issued a digital currency — giving almost 2 billion people access to digital money in the coming years.
CBDCs Leading The Way
Citi projected CBDCs to hit a combined market cap of $5 trillion by 2030 in major economies and said that roughly 50% of them would be linked to distributed ledger technology. Citi noted that CBDCs will allow people to interact and experiment with digital currencies in a relatively secure environment due to state-backing, which is a good thing for the overall adoption of blockchain tech despite most central banks not using it for their CBDCs.
Social Media Payments & Gaming Impacting Mass Adoption
Citi said that beyond CBDCs, blockchain-based social media payments could also help drive its mass adoption as users transact without having any knowledge about what lies beneath these transactions: distributed ledgers or smart contracts running on blockchains. Additionally, gaming platforms such as Fortnite have already started experimenting with nonfungible tokens (NFT), which could also play into driving mainstream acceptance for DLT applications over time as players buy virtual items from each other via tokenized assets stored on blockchains like Ethereum or Flow network protocols such as NBA Top Shot .
In conclusion, Citigroup believes that mass adoption is six to eight years away but will eventually be driven by Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) combined with social media payments & gaming platforms creating new use cases for NFT tokens stored on Blockchains such as Ethereum or Flow networks like NBA Top Shot .