Recap of Blockchain, crypto, identity verification & rural fintech for 2022 and Outlook for 2023
How the 2022 has gone by for these sectors and what does the industry say about the coming year and expectations from it
Leon Foong, Head of APAC, Binance
“Web3 and crypto, while still in their nascent stage, have taken the world by storm and investors across the globe are realizing the multitude of opportunities it offers. 2022 has been a big year for the Web3 and crypto space, with new projects and protocols launched while existing ones continue to grow and evolve. The Ethereum upgrade was one of the major developments in the crypto industry, making the blockchain more scalable, secure, and sustainable paving the way for more efficient decentralized applications to be built. Transparency in this industry has become a big area of focus and blockchain technologies such as merkle-sum trees and ZK-SNARKs are being used to build proof of reserves which we hope will bring added trust into the digital asset space.”
“In 2023, we expect to see the continued development of Web3 infrastructure with continued attention to investor education and awareness. 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.”
Pratik Gauri, Co-founder & CEO, 5ire.
“Just like humans have solved many problems with innovation, so will we with sustainable development. The crypto winter of 2022 has kept everyone tamed, but it was also the year when one of the biggest blockchain networks, Ethereum, switched from the Proof of Work consensus algorithm to the Proof of Stake consensus algorithm, cutting their electricity consumption by 99%. Also Web3 made gigantic strides to become an applicable technology of the future. There is enough excitement for 2023 to innovate our way out of the environmental crisis we face.
The sustainability crisis is existential and needs a new type of digital product that is co-owned, co-created, and co-run. 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.“
Raj Karkara, COO, ZebPay
“In 2022, the crypto industry witnessed landmark events including the Ethereum Merge Upgrade, the launch of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as well as the Government of India’s new crypto tax policy. While market fluctuations and unfavorable tax implications have affected overall trading volumes and sentiment, investor education has helped in increasing the adoption of crypto and will continue to be a priority. Moreover, for any new asset class in its nascency, a fair amount of volatility is to be expected.
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. Putting in the right protocols and practices in place to avoid the impact of black swan events will be crucial to success. 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. Sustainability and financial inclusion will be strong themes, promoting mass adoption of the asset class.
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.
Ranjan R Reddy, Founder & CEO 0f Bureau
“2022 was filled with news about crypto meltdowns, synthetic ID fraud, phishing, fraud rings, UPI fraud, money laundering, collusion, OTP theft, and referral abuse, to name a few. Online fraud has exploded as attackers constantly evolve their techniques for maximum benefit, leading to financial and reputation loss for businesses across industries.
In 2023, businesses must look beyond traditional approaches and opt for digital-first technologies that combine AI, machine learning, behavioural biometrics and device intelligence. 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 organisations 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.”
Dilip Modi, Founder of Spice Money
“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. 2022 has seen some successful and noteworthy initiatives undertaken by the government including 123 Pay, and launch of 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts. These initiatives are addressing the under-penetration of banking and financial services, dearth of financial literacy & awareness as well as employment opportunities prevailing in Bharat. Other initiatives like ONDC are democratising e-commerce in India and shaping future of global ecommerce.
2023 is going to be a game changing year for the rural fintech ecosystem. For the Indian economy to grow, the rural segment has to grow and with the pool of opportunities presented by technology and internet penetration, it will also take India towards the dream of a $5 trillion economy size by the turn of this decade or sooner. 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”.
Rajnish Gupta, India and Sub-Continent Lead, Zebra Technologies
“In the past year Indian enterprises have continued to strategically invest in digitalization of supply chain. Their focus has been to address first/last mile visibility and accuracy, optimizing shipping costs via better delivery route planning and fleet management, and improving customer satisfaction for better fill rates and a more efficient returns management process.
As customers return to a more physical retail environment, true omni-channel will be a priority making workflow automation a focus for enterprises in 2023. Workflow automation solutions are critical in augmenting the workforce that includes identifying and assigning tasks, tracking status, and even prompt action when deadlines are approaching. With the right automation technology like barcode and RFID, enterprises will be further enabled with greater visibility over their inventory.
Government initiatives like the ‘Make in India’ program has already set the course to make India a global manufacturing hub and boost the Indian economy. To accomplish this vision, automation in supply-chain, warehouse operations will be key to counter disruptions and make industries more agile and future ready”.
“In 2022, we have witnessed a drastic acceleration in the adoption rate of voice automation across industries. Voice automation has taken center stage for customer engagement, especially with the rise in the volume of queries and customers expecting quick responses and real-time updates.
Earlier, the adoption of Voice AI was relatively low among sectors, but we have recorded tremendous adoption in the past years, with various use cases across enterprises. For decades contact centers and support agents faced incredible cost and performance pressures. This is changing owing to the benefits offered by Voice AI. The technology is a revolution that empowers the triad – customers, contact centers, and support agents – with 24/7 wait-less support, lower costs, easier management, and better work life.
We have seen industries such as banking, financial services, insurance, travel and hospitality, consumer electronics, e-commerce and retail, among others, actively adopt Voice AI to revamp their CX strategies.”
Tarusha Mittal, COO and Cofounder of Dapps and UniFarm
“The FTX collapse is good on the macro level for the industry, as users will yet again realize that web3 is all about decentralization. The companies that don’t have a strong foundation and have strong investments will be flushed out. Only real business models will thrive. FTX collapse is a good reminder that crypto is all about removing centralized bodies. The main key factors which would have an impact on the web3 space i.e., socio-economic, geo-political factors, the trust built by builders solving real problems with robust solutions. Although the tax part has been addressed, Web3, crypto assets, NFTs and the metaverse require a separate Bill for other regulatory matters.
Overall, I am very hopeful that things will look up, in the latter part of the year.”
Mahin Gupta, Founder of Liminal, a digital wallet infrastructure platform –
“I strongly believe that Defi is the way forward and all the relevant stakeholders should utilize their collective wisdom to create a strong policy framework to nurture the growth of Defi. Moving towards Defi at the earliest is the key to learning from FTX collapse and the onus lies on industry players to build a safety net around user funds. Self-custody or licensed custodian services should be actively used for storing digital assets which are under the complete control of the user.
Today, India has an estimated 15 million cryptocurrency users. It is also home to 11% of the global Web3.0 talents, employing nearly 75,000 blockchain professionals with 450+ Web3.0 and blockchain start-ups operating out of India. These figures alone signify the budding web3 ecosystem in India. Regulatory support will be crucial in driving the mass adoption of Defi and other crypto-related services.”
Shivam Thakral, CEO of BuyUcoin, India’s second longest running crypto exchange
“In 2023, we can expect favourable macroeconomic conditions as central banks have hinted towards the relaxation of monetary policies and interest rates. Inflation will be a key factor in deciding the fate of financial markets across the globe. The Crypto market will overcome the collapse of crypto giants like FTX and move towards a more mature phase with wiser investors and healthy regulations. We need to create a global consensus around the regulatory framework for digital assets. We cannot have isolated policies for digital assets due to their global nature and need to work towards creating a transparent ecosystem where investors are made aware of the risks involved.
Bitcoin Daily Volumes remained fairly consistent throughout the 2022 even after strong price correction.”
Dhananjay Ganjoo, Managing Director India, and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), F5
“One major security challenge we see arising in 2023 is from the rapid proliferation of APIs, where shadow APIs could potentially lead to unforeseen breaches and ransomware. This problem is stemmed from the fact that many organizations today do not have an accurate inventory of all their APIs, from information on available API endpoints to authentication and authorization information. With that, it is challenging for organizations to properly secure something that they have very little understanding or awareness of. However, the security loophole can be further closed by utilizing a machine learning platform like F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP, to periodically scan and analyze data, ensuring API inventory is as up to date as possible.”
Anil Goel, President – Technology, BYJU’S
“In the last two years, and particularly in 2022, the edtech sector has undergone a significant transformation. By harnessing technology, innovation in education has empowered both students as well as teachers by eliminating access barriers, decentralizing education, bringing about positive systemic changes, and ushering in the next wave of disruption. A prime example of this is hybrid formats of learning that have evolved to co-exist with traditional learning formats in 2022. This blended learning environment not only incorporates digital tools in learning environments but also ensures student interaction and active teacher support, giving students the best of both worlds.
Gamification has also emerged as a key component of the technological foray into learning processes in 2022. Game mechanics have helped transform traditional classroom activities into projects that require creativity, collaboration and play. This not only helps students set clear goals but also creates a safe and engaging learning environment for an enhanced learning experience.
From cognition to immersion, 2022’s edtech trends have constantly progressed the learning continuum. While still in their nascent stage, the use of data, AI, and deep learning has highlighted how learners can immerse themselves in sensory, visual, and true-to-life simulations employing VR, AR, and computer vision for learning and skilling. These personalized guidance modules are tailored to match students’ needs, stages of learning, and preferences.
We have also seen an increase in human-led learning where teachers are more than just facilitators but also coaches, mentors, and leaders. The students look forward to the sessions as it helps them become more comfortable with the subject, build confidence, and participate actively in classrooms.
The year gone by Is a testimony to how learning experiences evolve in tandem with technological advancements. Further advancements in technology will continue to prioritise students’ needs and put them firmly in control of their own learning journey'”
Ratan Deep Singh – CEO, SkillUp Online
“I predict that businesses will start using AI commercially in 2023. No-code AI has the potential to help small businesses create products and services that are more intelligent. Contactless, autonomous shopping and delivery is another trend that I believe has a lot of potential because AI will make it easier for customers to pay for and get goods and services. In 2023, there is a good chance that the buy-online-pickup-at-curbside (BOPAC), buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), and buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS) trends will be the norm as more shops employ AI to manage and automate the complex inventory management processes. In my expanded perspective, AI might also provide the impetus for the most recent autonomous delivery initiatives that retailers are testing and trying to implement.”
Pankit Desai, CEO & Co-founder Sequretek, India’s fastest growing cybersecurity firm
– From a security point of view, the government has also become very active and started pushing regulations that hold companies accountable for cybersecurity breaches.
– We believe that the trend of what’s happening globally, in terms of an upcoming recession & the negative sentiments that are happening elsewhere, India should be able to dodge that bullet. We have a stronger economy, and the kind of action the government has taken to boost investment in infrastructure and long term capital, we are seeing that we should be able to continue to grow from it.
– As far as 2023 is concerned, I am very hopeful & bullish that this trend will continue. There may be some moderation of sentiment, depending on how the global markets shape up but, if there’s an impact, it’ll probably be minimalistic.
– There might even be a silver lining from this global recession perspective. We are hoping that the employee cost & churn that we are witnessing, specifically in the tech industry, should temper down a bit. This will allow companies to reduce the existing pressure on hiring and make it much more manageable.
Nageen Kommu, CEO, Digitap
Indian fintech market currently stands as the third largest FinTech ecosystem in the world and is well aligned to reach $1 trillion by 2030. There are some remarkable trends to anticipate for 2023.
Considering the immense potential of fintechs, we saw traditional financial institutions entering the fintech space via collaborations. This collaborative approach will become prominent in the time to come with profound alliances, distinctive financial products, and motive to offer enhanced banking experiences. Also, the regulator provided a crucial support towards the growth of Fintech market tremendously. The regulator’s intervention is bound to increase in 2023, ensuring compliant fintech operations and create an enabling business environment to support sustainable growth of the sector. The significance of data analytics in fintech operations is rising rapidly, with alternative data emerging as a powerful tool to enhance credit outreach to underserved and unserved sections. In the year 2023, companies will continue to explore new methods to collect and use data to understand customer dynamic requirements accurately as well as design products.
The global fintech market will certainly witness India’s position becoming firmer. The factors catalysing this accelerated growth are rapid pace of innovation, government’s alignment with fintech operations and vast population of unbanked and underserved in the country. India will continue to one of the leading countries with respect to fintech adoption rate, with growth being influenced by emerging technology and innovations.