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The year 2022 has been a challenging one for Web3, especially crypto, space. While on one hand we witnessed a big crash in cryptocurrencies, on the other hand we had new projects and protocols being launched.The Ethereum upgrade was one of the major developments for the crypto industry, making the blockchain more scalable, secure and sustainable. But that wasn’t it all. India also saw the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as well as the new crypto tax policy introduced by the government. Apart from Web3 space, there were a lot of movements in other sectors as well. Online fraud increased a lot, necessitating the need for cybersecurity all the more. The fintech space too saw some noteworthy initiatives undertaken by the government including UPI 123 Pay, and launch of 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts to address the under-penetration of banking and financial services in the country.
While 2022 is behind us, the big question that now arises is: How will the year 2023 pan out for some of these sectors? Entrepreneur India takes you through some trends as outlined by some experts.
Web 3 space
Attention to investor education and awareness: The year 2023 is expected to see the continued development of Web3 infrastructure with continued attention to investor education and awareness. According to Leon Foong, Head of APAC, Binance, “To build a robust Web3 infrastructure, security is very important, and Binance plans to continue with initiatives such as Global Law Enforcement Training Program, disclosing Binance’s hot and cold wallet addresses through Proof of Reserves, and establishing the Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI) to protect consumers and rebuild the industry.”
Blockchain to be the defining aspect: In 2022, Ethereum switched from the Proof of Work consensus algorithm to the Proof of Stake consensus algorithm, cutting their electricity consumption by 99%. The sustainability crisis is existential and needs a new type of digital product that is co-owned, co-created, and co-run. Says Pratik Gauri, Co-founder & CEO, 5ire. “This constitutes the third era of the internet and is defined by decentralization, declining trust in institutions, and a new way of looking at value creation and value capture. Blockchain technology will be the defining aspect of Web 3.0. When empowered with such autonomy, people will partner with the government, enabling citizens and organizations to play a meaningful role in shaping a future where profit and purpose go hand in hand. That is our definition of the 5th industrial revolution where we transform ourselves from profit to purpose.”
Businesses with transparency, strong ethics to succeed. In 2023, it will be the responsibility of all players in the crypto and Web3 ecosystem to foster a sense of security among its consumers. Says Raj Karkara, COO, ZebPay, “Those businesses that operate with transparency, strong ethics and values, while protecting consumer interests will succeed. The year will weed out businesses with weaker models and practices. One key item on the wish list of all Web3 and blockchain players this year would be a favourable regulatory framework that will protect investors while encouraging innovation to create newer avenues to transform business across the spectrum, for all stakeholders in the industry to thrive. We hope India’s G20 Presidency will help in establishing an innovative regulatory framework based on new technologies and will assist in creating a favourable environment for the crypto industry.
More use cases in decentralized networks: Despite a challenging year for bitcoin, where it crashed significantly, experts are bullish on bitcoin and see more use cases in decentralized networks. “My confidence in bitcoin, decentralized and permissionless networks has increased. I believe that we will see more adoption, more transparency and more use cases in the years to come. The regulators and the Ecosystem should work together to keep the bad actors out and ensure the success of this once in a lifetime technological innovation.” says Ankit Wadhwa, Co-founder & CEO, Rario.
Adoption of digital first technologies: With the explosion of online fraud as attackers constantly evolve their techniques for maximum benefit, leading to financial and reputation loss for businesses across industries, businesses must look beyond traditional approaches and opt for digital-first technologies that combine AI, machine learning, behavioral biometrics and device intelligence. Says Ranjan R Reddy, Founder & CEO, Bureau, “In 2023,. It will also be crucial for all stakeholders to collaborate and create a pro-privacy data infrastructure. In the wake of rising data leaks and alarming identity theft incidents, the key focus for organizations across sectors will be to ensure trust and security by creating an underlying risk infrastructure that will help protect user data, simplifying the user journey by creating a secure, transparent and frictionless experience across sectors. This will further pave the way for innovation and scalability.”
Focus on customisation and sachetization: “India has come a long way in its digital journey with over 70% of the total population residing in rural areas now getting access to banking and financial services with the help of more than 30 lakh rural banking outlets across the country. The year 2023 is going to be a game changing year for the rural fintech ecosystem. Says Dilip Modi, Founder of Spice Money, “ As we step into 2023, rural fintech is bound to grow by leaps and bounds, some features that will continue to be important for the rural population are customisation, sachetization, and assisted journey of banking & payment services. 2023 will pave the way for a rural fintech revolution that will focus on cashless transactions, embedded finance, and open banking for hyper-personalization, leading to increased digital adoption thereby driving financial inclusion for the last mile”.