A fifth of large enterprises could be using digital currencies by 2024 – report

Around 20% of large organisations will use digital currencies for payments, stored value or collateral by 2024, according to a new report by Gartner. The prediction has important implications for CFOs as they assess use cases and potential risks for digital currencies, which could be used more in business transactions and grow in overall economic significance in the years ahead.

Avivah Litan, vice president analyst in the Gartner IT practice, said: “Increasing mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies on traditional payment platforms and the rise of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will push many large enterprises to incorporate digital currencies into their applications in the coming years. Digital currencies will be primarily used by these organisations for payment, a store of value and the ability to leverage high-yield investments available in decentralized finance applications.”

Gartner recommends that organisations first clarify specific use cases for digital currencies before evaluating appropriate IT stacks to incorporate them within the enterprise. Each primary use case comes with a host of technological, regulatory, legal, and strategic considerations for both CFOs and applications leaders to assess, including selecting appropriate service providers and the ability to monitor and react to ongoing regulatory guidance.

Alexander Bant, chief of research in Gartner’s finance practice, said: “We have noticed an uptick in interest in digital currency and blockchain applications among CFOs since the start of the year. While volatility of cryptocurrencies remains a concern, anticipation of clearer regulatory guidance, and the advent of CBDCs, now offers CFOs more avenues to pressure-test use cases for digital currencies.”

Bant added: “2022 is the year that we expect CFOs to rapidly up their knowledge on digital assets, currencies, and other blockchain applications. When the CEO and board start asking for the opinion of the CFO, they must have a point of view on the risks and points of differentiation for their organisation,” he said. “We are starting to see some Fortune 500 companies map out scenarios for how they will respond if a country or supplier moved to doing business with only digital currency and what steps they would take as a result.”

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