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Why We Preach Learning Over Trading - Reflections from a Digital Transformation Consultant


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While there's certainly potential for financial gains through well-calculated digital asset investment strategies, a business leader’s true value lies in the deep, dedicated understanding you’ve spent your academic, professional, and practical career developing. Learning how to implement the capabilities of digital assets to drive tangible outcomes in your field creates self-sovereign, self-sustaining systems for perpetual revenue.


The key is to move beyond a narrow focus on investment returns and instead adopt a mindset of converting your specialized industry expertise into digitally fluent models that can be applied to solve real-world problems. Digital transformation consulting firms can expedite reaching your objectives if you have a willingness to invest a bit of time and resources into grasping the technical nuances and practical applications of digital assets. 


People always ask “How high will BTC go” or “What is the next big token?” These are the wrong questions. First, you should work to understand an asset that you are interested in. If you believe in its merits, then consider averaging into a long-term position. Second, the main question you should be asking is “How can I improve my role, my company or start a new venture related to this industry?” 


Applying the "Teach a Man to Fish" Principle to Digital Assets


As digital transformation consultants, we believe the timeless wisdom encapsulated in the proverb, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime," is incredibly fitting when it comes to almost all aspects of running a successful business. 

The most effective digital transformation strategies follow a similar philosophy. The goal should be to build internal capabilities that go beyond short-term gains and remain adaptable in the face of changing market demands. Comprehending the cornerstone concepts of digital fluency will enable you to consistently identify, pivot, and capitalize on new opportunities that present themselves in connection to your products, services, team, and customers.


Becoming an active participant in your own digital transformation is advised over being a passive recipient of external solutions or fleeting trading advice. You will gain a sense of confidence and agency on topics you may have once felt were too foreign to grasp. This ownership and buy-in to the process is key to driving lasting, meaningful change - the kind that truly feeds a business for a lifetime.


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Digital Transformation Consulting Can Help You Learn Faster


By equipping a CEO or business leader with foundational knowledge, we are not only solving your immediate problems but also cultivating your ability to identify, evaluate, and implement innovative digital asset-based solutions that align with the unique needs and competitive dynamics of your industry.


Global digital transformation spending is expected to reach US$3.9T by 2027. There are several key reasons why businesses can justify allocating portions of their budget to digital transformation.


  • Automation can streamline business processes, reduce manual tasks, and improve overall operational efficiency. This can lead to cost savings, faster turnaround times, and better resource allocation.


  • Digital transformation often involves enhancing customer-facing systems and platforms, such as e-commerce, mobile apps, and self-service portals. This can improve customer satisfaction, increase engagement, and foster loyalty.


  • Staying ahead of industry trends and adopting innovative digital transformation practices can give businesses a competitive edge. Examples include leveraging data analytics, artificial intelligence, or cloud computing to gain insights and make more informed decisions.


  • Digital infrastructure and systems are often more scalable and adaptable than traditional approaches. This allows businesses to respond more quickly to changing market conditions and customer demands.


A good digital transformation consultant will not only help you realize what's possible to achieve with technology or data, but also be upfront about the fact that outsourcing business processes is only a means to answer particular problems. The real accountability and motivation to iteratively improve digital strategies lies in the hands of the CEO or business leader.


Digital transformation consulting firms can help you get from zero to one faster, but if you’re not able to see the potential or risks of a project based on your domain expertise, the initiative may be short-lived.


Why Are Businesses Missing Digital Asset Opportunities?


Many business leaders may not be fully aware of the immense value and applications of digital assets such as their use in cross-border payments, the trackable transparency of NFTs, and other freedoms granted by a range of decentralized technologies. This lack of exposure can lead to overlooking these emerging, enterprise-friendly game changers. 


CEOs may turn to better-known digital transformation strategies such as migrating data to the cloud, upgrading point-of-sale systems, or creating data sharing networks for enhanced collaboration across departments. But this failure to realize how digital assets are just as strong of a contender for consideration could cause you to lose relevance among more innovative firms. 


Whether it’s the perceived complexity and intimidation factor digital assets invoke, or our human nature to be inherently risk-averse and prefer to stick to more well-established models and technologies, business leaders shouldn’t be discouraged from exploring digital assets. Significant benefits await the trailblazing trendsetters who can quickly overcome these myths and hurdles with a small amount of guidance.


Example of Digital Transformation Using Digital Assets


Digital assets can be applied to nearly every industrial sector. It’s possible to create value in a myriad of ways. To paint a clearer picture of what this looks like, let’s consider how a traditional law firm might engage a digital transformation consultant to break through stagnation and revive an aging practice. 


The senior partners at a well-established law firm might be concerned about the firm's future. Once a regional powerhouse, the business may struggle to attract younger clients and has seen its market share steadily erode in recent years. Partners blame the firm's stagnant, outdated approach, but are unsure how to effectively modernize.


Bringing a refreshed, outside perspective, a digital asset focused consulting firm can conduct a thorough assessment - listening to the senior partners’ pain points, interviewing the team, and noting the organization’s strengths. This process would also include examining the firm's technology infrastructure, client engagement processes, marketing strategies, and overall culture.


In this case, the firm served as legal advisors to many of the area's established corporations and high-net-worth individuals, and a review of client profiles revealed that a significant number were moving into digital assets in one form or another. Clients were not confident the law firm could support their evolving needs, and were also hesitant to refer their friends and colleagues to the law firm which was growing dangerously out of touch.


They began upskilling attorneys, teaching them the fundamentals of digital assets, smart contracts, and relevant regulations. The law firm was soon able to reimagine its offerings, and new practice areas expanded into the legal aspects of token offerings, DeFi protocols, NFT commercialization and digital asset estate planning. Soon, young entrepreneurs, tech innovators, expanding online businesses, and decentralized exchange traders were seeking out the firm's guidance.


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Digital Assets to Drive Operational Efficiencies


Adding digital currency payment options for goods and services can simplify transactions, reduce commercial processing fees, and attract new customers who prefer to pay with their digital wallets. Stablecoins, which are digital assets pegged to fiat currencies, can move funds more reliably and efficiently across borders and accounts.


Setting up an internal Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) for HR and governance procedures can distribute rights among the organization’s members. A DAO-based system empowers employees to have a direct say in shaping the firm's policies and all stakeholders can view and verify the decision-making process. The programmatic, rules-based nature of a DAO can help eliminate bias and ensure HR actions are made consistently and equitably.


Ethereum-based digital identity systems can be used to securely store and manage employee, customer, or supplier identity information. Business leaders can improve onboarding, access control, and data management processes by leveraging the decentralized and impenetrable nature of digital asset technology.


Digital asset native systems can be tasked to automate and facilitate governance, regulatory, and compliance processes, reducing errors and improving transparency. Corporations can think about using smart contracts to enforce business rules, monitor compliance, and handle auditing and reporting.


Supply chain tracking and efficiency is another area well-suited for digital assets. They can be used to improve visibility, traceability, and efficiency as products move through different hands on their way to or from your facilities.


Digital Assets for Better Capital Raising


In 2023, digital transformation consulting firm KPMG created a useful resource entitled The Asset Tokenization C-Suite Playbook presenting business leaders with a decision framework for incorporating digital assets into existing business models. Comparing asset tokenization to other disruptive technologies that today, seem nearly impossible to imagine a world without, like televisions and email, clearly positioning digital assets as a “transformative phenomenon anticipated to reshape both financial and non-financial markets within the next five to fifteen years.”


As a business leader, you've got all these assets sitting on your balance sheets - real estate, private equity, bonds, commodities - that are just collecting dust and not generating the returns they should be. Why? Because they're illiquid. Nobody wants to buy in, it's a hassle, and you're stuck with these underperforming holdings.


The solution may be staring you in the face: tokenization. By fractionalizing these assets into digital tokens, you open them up to a whole new world of investors. Suddenly, your multi-million dollar commercial property or your private equity fund is available to any qualified investor with a smartphone and an internet connection. That means more buyers, more liquidity, and more value extraction for you.


Give people a chance to get in on the action and watch your fundraising potential skyrocket. Tokenize those illiquid assets, make them tradable 24/7 on global digital exchanges, and unlock a whole new era of accessibility and liquidity.


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How Digital Assets Are Transforming Industries


Insurance


June 2024 saw the minting of the world’s first tokenized life insurance policy on Provenance Blockchain, and similar projects on different digital networks have preceded this in the insurance digital transformation space.


The ProvLabs press release announcing the launch celebrates - “infineo is democratizing one of the oldest and most reliable financial instruments by making life insurance accessible and affordable to a global audience. To date, infineo has minted $9.4 million worth of life insurance on the Provenance Blockchain Mainnet.”


Tokenized insurance policies can take advantage of parametric life insurance products, where payouts are automatically triggered by predefined events or conditions, without the need for manual claims processing.


Real Estate


The St. Regis Aspen Resort, a luxury hotel located in Aspen, Colorado, became the first major hotel property to be tokenized. The goal of this initiative was to create a new model for real estate investment and ownership that leverages the benefits of digital assets.


Listing the property as a REIT on the NYSE was considered, but instead, the leadership team decided to undergo a tokenization process that involved dividing ownership of the resort into digital tokens, each representing a fractional share of the property. These tokens were then offered for sale to accredited investors through a security token offering (STO). 


Raising $18 million, the St. Regis Aspen Resort was able to open up investment opportunities to more investors, including those who may not have had the means to purchase a traditional real estate stake in the resort.


Automotive


Back in 2019, Volvo became the first carmaker to use digital asset networks to trace the supply chain of cobalt, a key component in electric vehicle batteries. The cobalt supply chain has been plagued by concerns over ethical and environmental issues, such as human rights abuses and environmental degradation associated with cobalt mining, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which produces a significant portion of the world's cobalt.


Volvo’s digital transformation solution allows the automobile manufacturer to ensure the cobalt it sources is responsibly mined and provide customers with verifiable information about the origin of this critical material.


The initiative must have been a success because in 2022, Volvo’s head of procurement announced that the company planned on expanding its use of digital assets and intends to track and reduce the CO2 footprints or their supply chain, while adding other crucial elements such as lithium and nickel to their monitored digital networks.


Bitcoin as a Basis for Digital Transformation


Transforming your business by leveraging digital assets is only limited by your imagination. The value you can unlock by mastering the abilities of this technology can exceed picking the right moment to buy or sell a certain asset. 


The first key to understanding the digital asset space is by reading the Bitcoin Whitepaper. It is a short read and will serve as a foundation for your digital asset mastery. It is the genesis of the entire digital asset era. Let it open your eyes to how Bitcoin is the first use case of decentralized digital governance mechanisms. Digest the information, apply your learnings and get ready to welcome success to your organization.




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