Crypto has been a topic at the World Economic Forum in Davos for years, but the way it is discussed has changed. It’s creeping more and more into the discussions, and the discussions themselves are becoming more serious.

It’s that time of the year again when decision-makers, the world’s „elite,“ come together in the Swiss Alps and talk about the future. It’s not far from Liechtenstein, and many of our community took that chance to participate.

What’s particularly interesting in Davos is how the topics, the participants, and themes change every time. One topic that creeps more and more into the discussions is cryptocurrencies. This time, you could even eat Bitcoin pizza at Davos – reminding participants how much the value has changed in the past years since someone agreed to pay 10,000 Bitcoin for two Papa John’s pizzas. Those days are long gone.

Panels touching on crypto

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) attendees were blasted with signs advertising stablecoin issuer Circle and crypto brokerage Bitcoin Suisse as they got off their planes in Zurich or trains in Davos. When people talk about dog-meme coins at the WEF, you know that times have changed.

But what’s much more important than pizza and ad banners is that the WEF now holds serious discussions about digital money. There was a panel named “Remittances for Recovery: A New Era of Digital Money.”

”We don’t think about cross-border emails. We don’t think about having a cross-border web browsing session; it’s absurd to think about that. And I believe we’re on the cusp of that with money. And I think when it comes to remittances, I believe the concept of remittance will also disappear,” said Jeremy Allaire, chairman and CEO of Circle Pay, who participated in the panel.

Another panel, including Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, and economist Jason Furman that was focused on the future of the U.S. economy, also touched on crypto. “For many countries worldwide, digital central bank currencies (CBDC) might make sense. I don’t think the United States needs to do them,” said Furman.

A panel focused on the global economy also touched on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “The younger generation says, the older generation has devalued the dollar or the value of other currencies, so maybe something new isn’t so bad,” said David M. Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group.

More mature

It’s safe to say that crypto was a prominent topic at the WEF and that discussions have become more mature, focusing on the actual real-world use cases rather than speculation and wild predictions.

It’s also interesting that the recent crypto crash wasn’t much of a topic. It almost seems as if people have gotten accustomed to these kinds of turbulences. Besides, everything is selling right now anyway, not just crypto.

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