News - Are blockchain and digital assets the future of Europe?

By Luc Vesters

Are blockchain and digital assets the future of Europe?

Blockchain and digital assets could form the basis for a European trillion-dollar market as early as 2030 – according to the optimistic scenario of a new study by the Berlin-based management consultancy zeb consulting. The digital assets market currently has a volume of around EUR 240 billion. However, by the beginning of the new decade, it could be an impressive EUR 3.7 trillion. The basis for this bullish forecast is a series of expert interviews and a survey of financial institutions in six different countries. The comprehensive zeb study focuses in particular on the DACH region, as well as the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

A closer look at the figures reveals that tokenization as a megatrend could leave the crypto market behind in terms of market size. The authors of the study believe that crypto assets in Switzerland and the EU will have a market capitalization of 1.03 trillion euros at best. In contrast, tokenized securities and real assets such as real estate are expected to reach a combined total of up to 1.9 trillion euros. According to the European financial institutions surveyed, digital assets as a whole therefore offer even greater potential than Bitcoin holdings.

Digital asset adoption by the financial industry

However, for this optimistic forecast for the digital assets market to become reality, the availability of stablecoins and CDBCs must be guaranteed. These would provide the necessary liquidity and thus also drive the acceptance of tokenized securities. The study emphasizes the importance of regulating the new market in Europe, which would provide much-needed clarity for financial institutions.

At present, financial institutions in Europe are mainly interested in basic services such as custody, which can be used for a wide range of digital assets. For more complex services such as staking, there are still many legal uncertainties, which is why traditional finance companies are reluctant to get involved. Nevertheless, the "follower" category is experiencing an increase of 20 percentage points. This means that more and more financial institutions are offering their customers the opportunity to trade in cryptocurrencies as a first step towards digital assets. In summary, the zeb study recognizes that despite the crypto winter and regulatory hurdles, there is a clearly positive trend in digital asset adoption in Europe.

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