Ripple Survey Unveils Real-World Interest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Stablecoins and CBDCs Among Payments Executives

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A new Ripple survey is shedding light on the levels of interest in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) among payments professionals around the world.

In August and September, Ripple asked 854 executives across 22 countries – all of whom are involved in payment services at digital banks, retail banks, money transmitters and payment aggregators – about their interest in digital assets.

Of the group, 34% say their companies are already in production with blockchain technology for payments-related use cases. 24% of respondents say they are moving into production and 21% say they are running a pilot or proof of concept for blockchain tech.

In addition, 47% of respondents say they are interested in Bitcoin, 25% are interested in Ethereum, and 19% are interested in XRP – all down from 2018, when the crypto markets were in the early days of a long-term pullback.

In contrast, central bank digital currencies, bank-issued stablecoins and non-bank stablecoins saw huge spikes in interest from 2018. Today, 45%, 35%, and 17% of respondents say they are interested in CBDCs, bank-issued stablecoins and non-bank stablecoins respectively, all up from just 1%.

Source: Ripple’s Blockchain in Payments Report 2020

Amid the fluctuating interest in cryptocurrencies, the survey indicates that crypto’s volatility still concerns financial professionals.

“This year, the report revealed that price swings experienced by the top two digital assets and arguably the most well known – Bitcoin and Ether – influence respondents’ perception of volatility and pose a problem. The majority of respondents state that they have confidence in digital assets’ reliability, but have concerns regarding their volatility. Respondents in mature markets have the strongest concerns, with 61% stating they were very to extremely concerned. In contrast, less than half the respondents in LATAM and APAC show concern.

One reason for this is that these regions include countries with a relatively volatile domestic currency—and one that devalued during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic e.g. Argentina and Mexico. As a result, respondents in these regions are more likely to have examined the volatility of digital assets individually as they consider how to hedge against domestic currency risk and manage foreign exchange-related taxes and capital controls.”

Overall, Ripple concludes that respondents are still concerned about blockchain technology’s regulatory clarity, implementation costs, and security. However, certain countries are making progress on the regulatory front, and emerging marketplaces are realizing the benefit of the new technology.

“Emerging markets are leading the charge, recognizing that responsible usage of blockchain and digital assets can unleash tremendous potential for their economy. Without a doubt, both will drive greater financial inclusion and economic growth not unlike the Internet’s impact. Mature markets stand to benefit as well.”

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