This year’s World Economic Forum held from the 23rd-26th January 2018 in Davos, Switzerland has come to an end with one key take away; Cryptocurrencies will continue to dominate the financial market debate in the coming year just as it dominated the annual event at the Swiss Alps.
Major business networks ran multiple forums especially dedicated to Cryptocurrencies while organizers created a special Crypto HQ dedicated to blockchain technology.
The technology on which Cryptocurrencies operate called blockchain received good reviews while the virtual currencies themselves were brushed aside by much of the attendees as worthless and akin to gambling.
Speaking to the financial news outlet CNBC, Stephen Poloz, Bank of Canada’s Governor said:
“There is no intrinsic value for something like Bitcoin so it’s not really an asset one can analyze. It’s just essentially speculative or gambling,”
Throughout the four day event that attracted royalty, a certain President Trump and other heads of state, international financiers, doyens of the finance industry and accomplished academics and philanthropists, Bitcoin was mostly touted as a vehicle for illicit financial activity.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde echoed sentiments similar to her last year’s position. Speaking during a panel discussion Lagarde said:
“The fact that the anonymity, the lack of transparency and the way in which it conceals and protects money laundering and financing of terrorism and all sorts of dark trades is just not acceptable.”
Luckily the crypto industry was present at the summit to present a counter view. Richard Muirhead of Fabric Ventures and Nic Cary of Blockchain, the Cryptocurrency wallet, both authoritative figures in the virtual currency world were at hand to clear any misgivings delegates had.
Cary spoke in some of the forums.
“You have to look at the fundamentals,” he said. “To us, we are seeing increases in transaction volume and to me that’s one of the first indicators that more people are using this in their daily lives and that’s really interesting to me.”
Cryptocurrencies attracted a lot of divided opinion at the forum, but one thing is clear, Davos has helped put the Cryptocurrency debate right to the forefront.