The focus of this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) has been largely on the Russia-Ukraine war. However, cryptocurrencies, DeFi, and stablecoins have also played a role. In addition to the many skeptics among regulators and heads of state, positive things were also said from a wide range of quarters.
world economic forum (WEF) in Davos is an annual event (except 2021 due to the pandemic), inviting well-known personalities, important politicians and successful businessmen. Guests have the opportunity to discuss various economic, political or other relevant global developments in order to come up with different solutions from different points of view. Digital assets have also become a major topic in various discussions. Not least because there are some well-known personalities from the cryptocurrency sector who have pointed out the rapid development of the industry.
Existence of widespread encryption
Bitcoin and blockchain pizza kiosks have already been spotted ahead of the start of WEF on Monday morning. Pizza Kiosks are created by Tether Ltd. , the current leading operator stablecoins, Accommodation. Passers-by were offered free slices of pizza to celebrate the so-called “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. The historic day is celebrated on May 22, 2010, when Bitcoiner Lazlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC (today nearly $300 million USD) for Pizza 2 as the first real-world transaction. But it wasn’t just Tether that was present early on. There were posters and logos from competitor Circle everywhere, as well as from one of the largest Swiss cryptocurrency investment platforms; Bitcoin Swiss.
Notable representatives of crypto firms include Sam Bankman-Fred (CEO of FTX cryptocurrency trading platform), Jeremy Allaire (CEO of USDC Circle Internet Financial issuer) and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. In addition to the usual suspects, Fançois Villeroy de Galhau (Governor of the French National Bank), Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput (Governor of the National Bank of Thailand), American politician Pat Toomey and even WEF founder Klaus Schwab have also spoken out about cryptography.
Bitcoin not suitable as a currency?
Both proponents and detractors have acknowledged that the entire crypto sector is becoming increasingly important in the global economy. However, many insisted that bitcoin can only be used as an alternative asset and not as a currency. Klaus Schwab warned against the volatility of digital gold, which should not be present on an exchange. Bitcoin is only a speculative asset and as such must be regulated and monitored by regulators.
“Bitcoin may be called a coin, but it is not money. For something to be called money, it must be a stable store of value. Less real value is behind [einer digitalen Währung]standing, the greater the risk of exploding everything.” – Kristalina GeorgievaDirector of the International Monetary Fund
Despite the negative tone from central bankers, the industry representatives in attendance also pointed to the huge potential of blockchain-based currencies. For example, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire emphasized increasing the efficiency of cross-border dollar payments with stablecoins. On the other hand, Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, took a direct attack. In his opinion, consumers often know more about the fast-growing industry than some regulators, who at the World Economic Forum are giving away crypto assets rather than protecting users from real risks.