What drives the value of crypto? – PWC’s New Equation – The State of Fashion: Watches and Jewellery

As we did before, today’s TextileFuture Newsletter offers three different kind of features with the intent of the Team of TextileFuture.
The first item explains what drives the value of Crypto and was written by guest author Ruby Hinchliffe, a Freelance of FinTech Futures. It is written in as short, but condensed form.
The second feature describes PriceWaterhouseCooper’s New Equation to consider all research and relevant changes during the Covid-19 period. With an explanation of the new strategy by
The third Item “The State of Fashion: Watches and Jewellery” is based upon a report from McKinsey and explains the three foremost conclusions in view to Watches and Jewellery.

What drives the value of crypto?

By guest author Ruby Hinchliffe, Freelance fintech, charity and climate sector writer, contributing to various trade publications and reporting for FinTech Futures.

Everyone is talking about cryptocurrencies. But for those of us on the outside, their value is still something of a mystery.

Thanks to Elon Musk and his 57.1 million Twitter followers, the noise around cryptocurrency is louder than it’s ever been before. While the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is far from solely responsible for the alternative digital asset’s rise to fame, his tweets have played a huge part in catapulting its value to new heights.

However, cryptocurrencies are intrinsically volatile. Since 2011, a year after bitcoin gained monetary value, the crypto poster child has fallen victim to its own inflated prices. That year, it went from highs of USD 32 (about GBP 23) to lows of USD 2.00. The scale is different in 2021, but the volatility remains, with the cryptocurrency reaching highs of USD64000 and lows of near USD30000.

Despite bitcoin’s fluctuating price, it continues to correct itself at higher values. In June 2020, the price of bitcoin sat at around USD 9000. A year later, its value is fluctuating around USD35000. That’s an increase of nearly 290 %, a notable gain for longer-term investors.

Determining the value of crypto

While it’s easy to conflate crypto with bitcoin, there are actually around 4,000 such currencies in circulation around the world, more than the number of fiat (government-issued) currencies in existence. The number of cryptos is likely to keep growing, largely because it’s so easy to develop a new coin, which in basic terms is simply computer code generated by open-source software designed to transact value online.

The way a coin is developed, and for what purpose, has a massive bearing on its value. While there are thousands in existence, the top 20 coins are believed to constitute around 99% of the market by volume, according to crypto website CoinDesk.

Much like fiat currencies, the price of cryptocurrencies is heavily swayed by supply and demand. But it’s also determined by the cost of production. “Look at the use case of a coin,” says Edward Cooper, Revolut’s head of crypto. He emphasises utility as the most important component in a cryptocurrency’s value. “How much technical engineering is going on to update the protocol? What is the calibre of the founding team?”

For bitcoin, that utility is solving the problem of wealth storage, while ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, can be used as the foundation for apps. This compares to dogecoin, which was created in just two hours as a joke and enjoyed a nearly 20% value boost when Musk tweeted: “One word: Doge.”

The more big companies invest in crypto, the more individuals like Musk will find it hard to move the market.

Doge doesn’t pass some of the utility tests, says Cooper. “The value here comes from speculation.”

Retail investors should remember that bitcoin is a limited supply asset, with a 21 million cap written into its source code. This is why it acts as an effective store of value. Not all cryptocurrencies have a cap. Ethereum doesn’t – and neither does dogecoin.

However, a cap is not the only way to hedge against inflation. Ethererum, for example, has a set number of monetary policies, including a fixed supply and issuance schedule, to keep its value constant. As long as demand outweighs supply, its price will keep going up. Tether, one of the best-known stablecoins, is pegged to the US dollar to anchor its value.

External drivers of crypto’s value

External factors also influence the value of a cryptocurrency, including the words or tweets of high-profile figures like Musk. In June 2021, the billionaire drove up the value of cumrocket, an alternative coin for adult creators, by nearly 400%. But he also sparked a price dip of more than 7% in bitcoin after he suggested he was “breaking up” with the cryptocurrency.

Diana Biggs, a former HSBC executive who now leads cryptocurrency startup Valour, notes that “cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy” and market caps tend to be relatively small. This contributes to their volatility and makes them susceptible to the influence of individuals. Still, “the more big companies invest, the more individuals will find it hard to move the market”, Cooper notes.

That investment is already happening. Ten years ago, bitcoin was deemed a tender of the “dark web”. Now PayPal’s millions of American wallet holders can spend bitcoin like they would the dollar. And the first major US bank, Morgan Stanley, has begun offering global clients access to bitcoin funds. Buy-in from the establishment is growing, and fast.

Biggs also cites greater government clarity around crypto usage as a major driver in cryptocurrency’s route to adulthood and thus a more predictable value. This month, El Salvador’s decision to become the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender sent the coin’s value up 6%.

That works both ways, however. The national ban on cryptocurrency services by Chinese regulators in May sent bitcoin plummeting by close to 20 %. “To say Musk is the driver [behind a recent fall in bitcoin’s value] probably gives him too much credit,” says Yang Li, chief growth officer at crypto account provider Ziglu. “He definitely plays a part, but at the same time you’ve got the crackdown on bitcoin mining in China, or in the US they’re looking at new taxation for crypto profits.”

Li is right. Many of Musk’s assertions have been compounded by regulatory decisions. The Chinese ban, for example, furthered a weeklong decline in bitcoin’s value after Tesla said it would no longer accept bitcoin transactions for its electric cars. Musk may seem like a crypto market mover, but he’s far from alone.

This article was firstly published by the Raconteur Net.

www.retail.net

PWC’s New Equation

The transscript of the following film:

We’re taught that one plus one equals two.

Simple… right?

But today’s world isn’t simple.

So, what happens if we look at it from a new angle?

Could we make something greater?

If we bring together human ingenuity passion and experience with the latest technology we start to make something more.

Something we can see in people’s lives and feel in the world around them.

Building trust for today and tomorrow.

And that’s the thing.

We all know the math, but we need a new way to put it together.

Which means we don’t just find answers.

We never stop looking for them.

A passionate community of solvers coming together in unexpected ways, creating new solutions for a new day.

That’s The New Equation.

The related film can be had here

www.pwc.com

A strategy designed to solve challenges today and tomorrow.

PwC’s landmark global strategy reflects fundamental changes in the operating environment faced by clients and stakeholders, including technological disruption, climate change, fractured geopolitics and the continuing effects of COVID-19.

By guest author Robert E. Moritz Global Chairman PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited

The profound changes in the world mean that our clients can only succeed by creating a virtuous circle between earning trust and delivering sustained outcomes. By bringing our unique combination of capabilities together, we can help them do that—unlocking value for their shareholders, stakeholders and wider society.

Searching for solutions to uncover, untangle and understand the world.

Innovative mindsets and smart technologies combine with fresh, diverse perspectives to move beyond the tried and tested. Together, they drive toward new ways of delivering transformation with the right business outcomes.

Building trust for today and tomorrow.

Trust has never been more important. It’s the link that connects your organisation, your people, your customers, your stakeholders and the world. We know that trust isn’t something you can buy off the shelf. It’s something you earn through every interaction, every experience and every relationship.

Delivering sustained outcomes that make a difference.

Nothing is simple in our world today. The guiding principles that used to make sense have shifted—and opportunities and challenges can now switch in the blink of an eye. When the rules of the game are no longer obvious, you need to see beyond today to deliver outcomes that continue to create value for you, your people, your stakeholders and the communities where you live and work.

Employees

Empowered teams combining their skills with technology to solve real, human needs.

Teams

The New Equation is a future that is human-led and tech-powered. For us, people and technology work hand in hand. It’s about how human ingenuity combines with technology to deliver faster, more intelligent and better outcomes whilst building trust across the value chain.

7mil. Hrs

At PwC, we transformed ourselves through a global digital upskilling initiative that took 7 million hours of routine work and redirected it towards higher-value activities that clients needed and our people enjoyed doing. People and tech working together for a better outcome.

Reinforcing the quality of our work by investing in the latest digital capabilities.

We deliver the highest quality through integrity, unwavering objectivity and heavy investment in data, tools, tech, products and services. The result is an environment where agility, consistency and insight thrive, and where our people can provide clients with the excellence they expect time and time again.

Looking at problems from new angles to uncover solutions that deliver sustained outcomes and build trust.

Today’s challenges are complex and require something more than the expected. By bringing together unexpected combinations of skills, experience and technology, we can help shape tomorrow.

Solving for cleaner fuel and business optimisation.

When a client needed a way to meet its green energy targets, PwC Norway built a team which combined risk, consulting, tax and legal expertise with a Norwegian software developer to create a solution to combine biofuel compliance and commercialization and excise tax reporting into one system.

Solving for boosting Hungary’s economic growth through 5G.

Hungary’s Ministry for Innovation and Technology worked with PwC Hungary to develop a clear roadmap for introducing a 5G wireless network. They worked together with telecoms providers, regulators and broader stakeholders to build a roadmap to benefit business, consumers and the government—and help the nation advance its global aspirations in 5G services.

Solving for delivering virtual healthcare to patients anytime, anywhere.

The health ministry of a Middle East government became concerned, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, that people who needed medical attention were staying away from hospitals and clinics. PwC Middle East worked with health ministry officials, clinicians, patients and technology providers, to develop a virtual care solution which will help save lives not just today, but for many years to come.

We are a community of solvers combining human ingenuity, experience and technology innovation to deliver sustained outcomes and build trust.

Two colleagues walking through solar installation

PwC’s global strategy for how we solve important problems facing the world—today and tomorrow. It reflects fundamental changes in the operating environment faced by clients and stakeholders, including technological disruption, climate change, fractured geopolitics and the continued effects of COVID-19.

It all adds up to The New Equation.

www.pwc.com

State of Fashion: Watches and Jewellery

By guest authors Sabine Becker, Achim Berg, Tyler Harris, and Alexander Thiel. Achim Berg is a senior partner in the Frankfurt office; Alexander Thiel is a partner in McKinsey’s Zurich office, where Sabine Becker is an associate partner; and Tyler Harris is an associate partner in the New Jersey office.
The authors wish to thank the entire Business of Fashion team, and in particular: Imran Amed, founder, CEO, and editor in chief; Robb Young, global markets editor; Amanda Dargan, interim head of studio; and Hannah Crump, associate editor for special projects, for their collaboration in developing and delivering the report.

Bringing the sparkle back: Six seismic shifts are shaping the fine jewellery and watches industries in the next five years.

Business of Fashion and McKinsey have collaborated on five annual State of Fashion reports analysing the global fashion industry and the trends shaping it. This report is part of a special-edition series and takes a deep dive into fine jewellery and watches over a five-year time horizon. Through extensive executive interviews, analysis of public and private companies, and proprietary insights, the report identifies six seismic shifts that will shape value pools in the fine jewellery and premium to ultra-luxury watches industries through 2025. The shifts cover a variety of perspectives ranging from consumer behaviour to business models to the products themselves. Additionally, the report spotlights watchlist trends on the horizon, with uncertainty around timing and level of impact to the industries, that industry players should continue to observe as they further materialise over the next years.

Bringing the sparkle back

With combined annual sales of more than USD330 billion, fine jewellery and premium to ultra-luxury watches are an important part of the global luxury economy. Not only do these sectors make a meaningful contribution to business, but they also represent significant cultural assets that have for centuries reflected human preoccupations with creativity, symbolism, and self-expression, while being grounded in advanced technical know-how. Yet today, both the jewellery and watches industries find themselves at an inflexion point.

As uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic rippled across the globe and short-circuited demand, the fine jewellery and watches industries suffered revenue declines of 10 to 15 %  and 25 to 30 %, respectively, putting further strain on slow-to-adapt players and crystalising emerging trends in the market. Physical retail’s closure for extended periods revealed cracks in the jewellery and watches industries’ slow transition to digital—which lags far behind other luxury categories—with online sales representing 13 % of the global market for fine jewellery and just 5 % for watches. Meanwhile, the abrupt halt to global travel stifled fine jewellery and watches purchases made by consumers on trips abroad, which accounted for some 30 % of the prepandemic market.

While there is little doubt that the market will continue to present tough conditions for both the jewellery and watches industries, the next five years also offer significant opportunities for players to rewrite the rule book across products, distribution models, and engagement strategies. Those that anticipate or at least embrace the changes in the marketplace can participate in setting a new gold standard.

2025 industry outlook

Between now and 2025, we expect the jewellery and watches industries to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and grow globally at 3 to 4 % per year (fine jewellery) and 1 to 3 % per year (watches). We expect demand to increase from younger consumers as well as in domestic markets amid continuing restrictions on international travel and the rise of domestic duty-free zones in China. Already the biggest regional market, accounting for 45 % of global fine jewellery sales and 50 % for watches, sales in Asia are set to expand even further, with China leading the way. Looking forward to the next five years, we expect branded fine jewellery sales in Asia to grow 10 to 14 % annually, while watch sales in Asia will grow up to 4 % per year.

Fine Jewellery

Looking forward, we expect the global fine jewellery market to be more branded, more digital, and more sustainability-focused than ever before. For a market that has often historically been known as the opposite of those attributes, the path to 2025 is poised to send waves of change throughout the industry. On the forefront, branded fine jewellery will be on the rise, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 to 12 %  from 2019 to 2025. This means that branded fine jewellery will grow approximately three times faster than the total market. Because price points in branded fine jewellery can be around six times higher than for unbranded products, competition between established luxury jewellery brands, fashion brands, and new direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies will heat up as players compete to win customers who are turning toward brands that reflect their distinct points of view.

Many branded players will also find themselves well positioned for the expected growth of online sales; however, emerging DTC players will apply pressure and give established players a sense of urgency to move quickly. Global online fine jewellery sales are expected to increase from 13 %  to 18 to 21 %  of the total global market by 2025. The move toward online, however,must be carefully considered by jewellers to not discount the importance of humanizing digital experiences. Consumers will expect the same level of customer service and attention to detail online as they do in stores, and with about 80 %  of fine jewellery purchases still made in stores in 2025, seamless connectivity between channels will be paramount (Exhibit 1).

Meanwhile, we expect sustainability to play an increasingly important role in buying decisions. Purchases influenced by sustainability practices will triple in the years ahead, presenting an opportunity for the industry to make real, tangible strides toward important environment and social imperatives. To show consumers that they are credible and sincere about driving environmental and social progress, companies will need to establish more traceability and transparency in their supply chains and move beyond the performative marketing that has plagued the industry in the past.

Watches

In the premium to ultra-luxury watches industry, a comparatively slower growth rate of 1 to 3 %  per year compared with branded fine jewellery (8 to 12 %  per year) between 2019 and 2025 is a symptom of structural weaknesses that will dominate business agendas in the short to medium term. Shifting consumer demand will require brands to fundamentally rethink their go-to-market strategies. As a result of this and a broader reshuffle of deeply embedded market dynamics, approximately USD2.4 billion in revenue will transfer from retailers to watchmakers, as DTC business models take centre stage. This will fundamentally upend the industry’s current structure and require brands to build client-serving capabilities, while multibrand retailers search for new ways to add value.

As brands forge closer relationships with their customers, they will also find opportunities to double-dip in the revenue pool by engaging in pre-owned sales. Driven by younger consumers in addition to collectors and cost-conscious shoppers, as well as an increasingly trustworthy and transparent supply by digital marketplaces, the pre-owned watch market is set to become the industry’s fastest-growing segment, reaching USD29 to USD32 billion in sales by 2025. With digital pre-owned marketplaces currently dominating, brands must urgently decide how they want to participate.

Finally, established midmarket players, mainly in Switzerland, will be squeezed at both ends—at the bottom by smartwatches, digitally native brands, and fashion players and at the top by a shift in demand to higher-value segments—and will subsequently risk foregoing USD2.5 billion in revenue by 2025. Incumbents must breathe new life into both their products and brand narratives if they are to stem this revenue erosion (Exhibit 2).

Online magic.The three seismic shifts shaping the fine jewellery industry are as follows:Online magic. Fine jewellery sales are usually associated with bespoke services, quiet environments, and the reassuring presence of an expert close at hand. The challenge of replicating these elements in the online space arguably has slowed the category’s digital growth. That is now starting to change, with online set to account for 18 to 21 %  of the market by 2025. The onus is on brands and retailers, therefore, to create compelling propositions that connect the human—the emotion, customer service, and sense of magic—with the digital screen.

“Online has allowed us to broaden demographics, geographics, and attract customers that   might not have come to Christie’s before.” Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s head of jewellery.

  • Buying into brands. To many, the words “fine jewellery” are often synonymous with a Tiffany blue box or a Cartier red box. To others, they conjure up De Beer’s historic “A Diamond Is Forever” marketing campaign. Despite the prominence of these icons, branded jewellery remains the small minority of the market, making up only 20 %  of revenue. But looking forward, brands are on the rise. Branded jewellery will reach 25 to 30 %  of the market in 2025, and the dollars at stake are big—USD80 to USD100 billion are on the table.

“It’s the biggest potential we have right now. Fine jewellery is one of the highest-growth categories we have, if not the highest.” Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive of Louis Vuitton.

  •  Sustainability surge. Fine jewellery purchases influenced by sustainability considerations      are poised for dramatic growth. By 2025, an estimated 20 to 30 %  of global jewellery sales will be influenced by sustainably minded consumers. Traditionally seen as a risk-mitigation topic, leaders must now also embrace sustainability to win the trust of younger consumers and carve out a leadership position in a previously slow-to-act industry.

 “Younger consumers really care about corporate social responsibility”.  Lelio Gavazza, head of sales and retail at Bulgari.

The three seismic shifts shaping the watches industry are as follows:

  1. The DTC shakeup. Offline retail has been the life source of the watches industry for decades, with multibrand retailers owning the customer relationship. But as consumers demand to interact more directly with brands and expect better online shopping opportunities and brands aim for higher margins, watchmakers will grow their DTC channels and take control of the customer experience through a dynamic omnichannel approach. This will be a challenge for both brands and retailers, as USD2.4 billion in annual revenues are set to transfer from multibrand retailers to brands by 2025.

“DTC will be a challenge for a lot of companies. They are not store operators and, perhaps  more importantly, they have not historically been consumer-facing, and so need a very different set of skills to manage those direct conversation”s. Thomas Baillod, cofounder and CEO of B2B watch database Watch Distributors Directory.

  • A new era for pre-owned. Once the preserve of private dealers and small-scale retailers, the second-hand watch market is joining the mainstream. Not only that, it is set to become the industry’s fastest-growing segment, reaching USD 29 to USD 32 billion of sales by 2025. Brands must work hard to capitalise on this shift, and digital platforms need to sharpen their business models in an increasingly competitive environment.

“The market has great potential—if brands with a rich history focus on leveraging pre-owned to showcase their brand’s heritage, you can have an interesting market”. Michele Sofisti, ex-CEO of Girard-Perregaux.

  • The midmarket squeezed. Amid intense competition from digital-native players, fashion brands, and the fast-growing smartwatch category, the traditional watch midmarket is under rising pressure. Many of the segment’s customers, meanwhile, are “trading up” into the luxury segment. If they do not react now to revitalise their segment, we expect traditional midmarket brands could decline by USD 2.5 billion in revenues by 2025.

 “Lower barriers to entry due to a rise in online retailing and digital marketing are favouring the entry segment”. Silas Walton, CEO of pre-owned watch platform A Collected ManWhile there is little doubt that the market will continue to present tough conditions for both the fine jewellery and premium to ultra-luxury watches industries, the next five years also offer significant opportunities for players to rewrite the rule book across products, distribution models, and engagement strategies. Those that anticipate and embrace the changes in the marketplace can take advantage of the glimmers of light that will exist amid a cloudy recovery period.

Download State of fashion: Watches & jewellery, the full report on which this article is based (PDF–48MB).

www.mckinsey.com



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