PwC report: Cryptocurrencies carry groundbreaking potential

“Money is no object: Understanding the evolving cryptocurrency market” is the title of the new 17-page report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The company which is one of the big four auditing firms in the world has been analyzing the cryptocurrency sector and its impact for more than 2 years.

pwcOne of the key takeaways from their research is that it’s no longer a question of if cryptocurrency will transform the financial sector but when and how. PwC identified the five major key players in the emerging market: merchants, tech developers, investors, financial institutions, regulators, and consumers.  They carried out a survey to better understand the consumer perspective and claim that the most game-changing role will be played by the consumers.

The report aims to educate people who are new to cryptocurrencies as well as to add value for those familiar with it. While talking about cryptocurrency the report highlighted some of the key benefits of it: Impervious to counterfeiting, rapid and irreversible transactions and the decentralized blockchain that provides security and transparency to the whole system.

Talking about the cryptocurrency phenomenon, it suggested that it’s not something that will fade away in the future but will replace conventional markets with new technology driven markets.

The report stated:

“Cryptocurrencies carry groundbreaking potential to allow consumers access to a global payment system—anywhere, anytime—in which participation is restricted only by access to technology, rather than by factors such as having a credit history or a bank account.”

Talking about the growth of the market it said that currently the development is heavily reliant on the venture capitalists that are investing in the technology and trying to make profit out of the price fluctuations, stating this as one of major reasons for the volatility in the price. The report claimed that the currency needs to evolve from the hands of the investors to the consumers and only then will it achieve stability.

Fragile Market

MarketDespite the many innovative applications the technology offers, it also has its fair share of negatives. The market has faced some major challenges along the way, from the emergence of Darknet sites to MtGox crash. The technology is also tempting for the criminals that are  exploiting the key features of the cryptocurrency. This has heavily impacted the price volatility and the market reputation. However, the report did clarify that such cases do not represent the community as a whole and their impact will slowly diminish as the market matures.

Market Development

The major role in the developing the market will be played by the consumers and merchants, considering that Bitcoins offers consumers cheap and fast peer-to-peer (P2P) payments as compared to the traditional services available. The principal change will come when consumers have easy access to the currency as well as the ability to quickly convert it to fiat currency. The adoption will also grow by creating offers that specially caters to consumers that pay using the cryptocurrency as compared to fiat.

For the merchant, the currency offers lower transaction fees and at the same time removes the possibility of any chargebacks. However, the volatility of Bitcoin does serve as a threat to the merchant but this will eventually improve as the market grows.

Survey: 86% of respondents who have used crypto­curren­cies in the last year expect their use­ of cr­yptocurrencies to significantly increase in the next three years.

Click to tweet

Source: 2015 PwC Consumer Cryptocurrency Survey.

The report ends with the possible prospects for the blockchain technology on which the currency is based. Recognizing the potential of blockchain, the report states

“This technology has the potential to open the door to revolutionary possibilities in multiple industries. Escrow accounts, securities and financial instrument offerings, “smart contracts,” and electoral systems are just a few of the concepts that are being discussed.”

For more details, you can download the report from here.

  • About
  • Latest Posts