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Growth of crypto continues, but greater understanding is needed to build trust

Services: News Date: 11/05/2022

Considerable lack of understanding of the difference between digital assets and digital currencies

Swift regulatory action is essential to the widespread adoption of new products and services

Matheson  / UCD Sutherland School of Law Leadership Series explores future developments concerning the crypto and digital assets sphere

Nearly 60% of attendees at a Matheson / UCD Leadership event have already bought or would consider buying crypto assets, but the vast majority do not think there is enough understanding of the difference between digital assets and digital currencies.  However, businesses do see the opportunity with over 90% expecting new revenue streams from blockchain, digital assets, and / or crypto currency solutions.

These are just some of the findings of a snapshot survey conducted at the Matheson / UCD Leadership Series event; Crypto and the Digital Assets Revolution: What’s Next? ” today.  The survey also found:

  • Nearly 60% of respondents have bought or would consider buying crypto currencies in the future but just over 43% of respondents have bought, or would consider buying, non-fungible tokens or other digital assets.
  • 97% believe that the difference between digital currencies and digital assets is not widely understood by the public.
  • 91% expect that their industry will see new revenue streams from blockchain, digital assets, and / or crypto currency solutions.
  • The vast majority (86%) believe that new regulation is essential for the widespread adoption of new products and services.
  • In order to trust new technology, the most important consideration is having a greater understanding (62%), followed by data security and privacy (31.5%).

The latest in the Matheson UCD Leadership Series, the event in UCD’s O’Reilly Hall was attended by over 400 leaders from across the financial services, technology and several industry sectors, and explored the evolving issues, opportunities and risks related to the growth of blockchain, cryptocurrency and virtual assets.

The event featured contributions from thought leaders from across the digital space, including; John Whelan, Managing Director, Crypto & Digital Assets at Banco Santander; Professor Joyce O’Connor, Founding President of National College of Ireland and Co-founder of Block W; Gillian Lynch, Head of Ireland and Europe, Gemini; and Martin Moloney, Secretary General of IOSCO.

Delivering the closing address, Managing Partner of Matheson, Michael Jackson said; “I want to thank our speakers and panellists for their insightful and very interesting inputs.  The clear messages which we heard today are that the pace of change in this area is fast, the use cases for blockchain and crypto assets are evolving quickly and that regulation and legislation will need to evolve at a faster pace to reflect the impact of this. It was also clear that there is a real desire and need for more education about the technologies, opportunities and risks and that businesses, consumers and regulators need to continue to have dialogue and to share experiences to continue to build trust and to ensure that regulation continues to be targeted at the right risks in an appropriate way.”

There are real opportunities for Ireland to become a blockchain and crypto hub and an understanding of the important role regulation can play in that.  Ireland has a track record of reacting to innovative change and our reputation as a financial services and technology hub positions the country well to meet the emerging opportunities. Matheson works with the majority of the Fortune 100 companies and 9 of the top 10 global technology brands, so we are fortunate to have a front row seat working with some of the leading companies in this sector. We are committed to playing our part in continuing the dialogue.

Thank you again to our partners in the UCD Sutherland School of Law.  We have collaborated with UCD for several years and we are delighted to once again have the opportunity to explore a topic of national and global relevance as part of the Leadership Series.”

Dr Niamh Howlin, Dean of Law at UCD Sutherland School of Law said; "The increasing significance of this area is reflected on our undergraduate and graduate curriculum. UCD now offers modules on Cryptocurrencies, Digital Finance, International Finance and Fintech.  These are cross-disciplinary areas requiring deep collaboration and engagement between academics from different fields and those who work in industry."

The event also looked at potential solutions to future challenges in bridging the gap between the traditional financial world and the virtual world, and how businesses and financial institutions can prioritise responses to the fast-evolving world of virtual assets.



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