The love affair between business enterprises and digital transformation is at least five decades old. It began in the early 1980s with the rise of the first generation of personal computers. The 1990s and 2000s belonged to the internet, email, and early eCommerce.
In the 2010s, the buzz shifted to the cloud. Corporations worldwide began exploring cloud data migration and digital transformation, profoundly impacting a myriad of business sectors. By the decade’s end, 90% of large enterprises and 76% of all organizations had their data on the cloud.
Today, a fresh era of digital transformation is taking shape – and it’s based on a new wave of enterprise-grade public blockchains.
Public blockchains – an enterprise-grade commercial utility
As Circle CTO Li Fan points out in “From the Cloud to the Blockchain,” the first chapter in our latest Executive Insights report looking deeper into the technical aspects of blockchain infrastructure, many new technologies encounter resistance before gaining widespread acceptance. In the case of cloud computing, there were major concerns surrounding the technology before its adoption by mainstream enterprises.
Many experts considered it a potential risk, citing security concerns. Others considered it as a niche model only suitable for tech-forward businesses. But with time, the technology matured, proving the naysayers wrong.
The same process is now happening with blockchain. Despite the focus on financial applications, the technology is not just for bringing financial flows to the internet. As a radical new way to handle enterprise data storage in a trustless, decentralized manner, it has exciting applications in enterprise data management.
Major cloud service providers like Amazon and Microsoft are acutely aware of the potential of blockchain. Amazon has already partnered with Ava Labs, the team behind the Avalanche blockchain. Meanwhile, Google Cloud is building links with the Solana blockchain.
Understanding Web3 – Tokens and Stablecoins
In addition to financial value, blockchains can also be used to create and keep track of ownership data of anything via digital tokens, even real-world assets like houses, vehicles, artworks, customer data, patient medical records, the list goes on.
When you combine these digital records with an enterprise cloud network and some form of tokenized currency or “digital dollars” – like Circle’s USDC stablecoin – you get Web3. It is a tokenized commerce layer that enterprises can use, built on the cloud.
Web3 offers exciting new possibilities for enterprises to forge new business models and revenue streams. Companies can optimize everything from customer relations to supply chain management, product development, and more.
California’s DMV is working to tokenize car titles on a public blockchain.
Enterprises are already using Web3. From public agencies like the California DMV to the New York Stock Exchange, a wide variety of enterprises are acting as early adopters of Web3 technology into areas beyond just payment and finance.
Circle’s Role in Web3
As the issuer of the USDC and EUROC digital currencies, Circle has developed a comprehensive borderless payments system for enterprises.
Enterprise adoption of blockchain has been hampered by a lack of accessibility. Numerous blockchains operate in independent silos, with no easy way to transfer assets across the chains.
Circle addresses this by creating a simplified ecosystem where stablecoins and Web3 services coexist across multiple blockchains, preventing fragmentation and reducing the barriers to entry. All these services are designed to work with non-blockchain “Web2” services on the internet.
So, instead of building Web3 tokenization apps from scratch, enterprises can use the highly customizable tools and platforms on the Circle ecosystem to create nearly everything they need. This includes developing new apps for customers, integrating with the Circle API, generating NFTs, utilizing payment rails to send and receive funds, issue and accept identity credentials, and build Web3 apps cost efficiently and securely.
With such high levels of interoperability, customization, and accessibility, Web3 solutions revolving around the USDC and EUROC digital tokens will help enterprises speed the transition from cloud to blockchain.
We’ve only touched the surface of how blockchain is creating a digital transformation into a Web3 world. Get an even deeper understanding from our full report "The New Global Operating System for Money.