Davos 2023: Circle, Casper, and GBBC among crypto attendees

   2023-01-20 15:01

Yahoo Finance’s Jennifer Schonberger breaks down crypto’s presence at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and how the world’s elite are thinking about blockchain technology in the wake of the FTX collapse.

Video Transcript

JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: Welcome back to “What Just Happened” on Yahoo Finance. I’m Jennifer Schonberger. After a year that saw numerous bankruptcies for crypto firms and the massive failure of FTX, crypto’s presence in Davos, Switzerland over this past week was far less than in years past.

Far fewer companies were present. Those that remained included stablecoin issuer Circle, the Global Blockchain Business Council, Casper Labs, and the Filecoin Foundation. Whereas last year crypto panels everywhere, this year, the crypto industry blended in with other financial and technology companies.

Gone were the crypto houses every 10 feet, Bitcoin-themed pizza stalls, and advertising from previous years. For those still there, executives weighed in on the future of crypto and what the crypto crash has meant for them. Here’s what Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire and others had to tell our very own Julie Hyman and Brian Sozzi on the ground in Davos this past week.

JEREMY ALLAIRE: USDC has actually grown since the FTX collapse. And it’s– and actually, we’ve seen other digital infrastructure stablecoins have significant declines while we’ve continued to sustain. And so, you know, I think regulated, transparent kind of infrastructure like ours is well-suited to this environment.

MICHAEL GRONAGER: I think Bitcoin prices will come back, but it will come back in a way– more organized way than expected. It will follow the interest rate. So when interest rate starts to fall, the Bitcoin price will come up. And everyone will ask, why did the Bitcoin price go up? Because of all the interest rates.

NOURIEL ROUBINI: FTX and SBF are not an exception. They are rule. Literally, 99% of crypto is a scam, criminal activity, total really bubble, Ponzi scheme. It’s going bust.

JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: While Nouriel Roubini, who you just heard from, thinks crypto is finally having its reckoning, SkyBridge Capital’s Anthony Scaramucci reportedly went around Davos making the case to lawmakers and investors that crypto is still a long-term winning technology because it offers a secure transfer of funds. Scaramucci and other crypto cheerleaders’ common refrain during the confab was that fraudsters are the problem, not the underlying technology or the lack of regulation around it.

There was also clear support of blockchain from tech executives. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told Davos attendees that Microsoft supports blockchain technology and that a distributed database has, quote, “good use cases.” Nadella said Web3, blockchain, and the metaverse are all going to happen but that, quote, “killer apps are needed.”

Now, separately, IBM Vice Chair Gary Cohn told Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi that he thinks blockchain is an evolution on the clearinghouse and will allow instantaneous settlement. He is bullish on blockchain and crypto. Rachelle.

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