DAVOS 2023 Wraps Up with Crypto & Metaverse as Frontrunners

DAVOS 2023 Wraps Up with Crypto & Metaverse as Frontrunners

News by Marge Serrano
Published: January 21, 2023

The crypto industry has showcased stable growth in recent years, and as the world’s elite wrapped up the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Thursday in Davos, Switzerland, it continued to be in the front. 

The crypto calendar was, without a doubt, the main stage panel on crypto regulation in the most significant event in DAVOS 2023.  

It featured a handful of big names in the industry, such as Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Mairead McGuinness, architect of the EU’s recent crypto law MiCA, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, minister of state for artificial intelligence and the digital economy of the United Arab Emirates, and Klaas Knot, chair of the Financial Stability Board currently developing a global rulebook for the sector. 

As the only exclusive panel on crypto at the conference, things got a bit tense when Dutch central banker and chair of the Financial Stability Board, Klaas Knot, stated that “many crypto assets were offered from places that I would call sunny places for shady people.” 

Aside from crypto, the conference's main venue also hosted a panel on the Metaverse’s applications in industries – from port operations to bathroom refurbishment – just one day after some very different conceptions of the virtual online world were laid bare. 

“Once my team put this [headset] on, they just didn't want to have to take it off,” said Ericsson Senior Vice President Åsa Tamsons, citing an unnamed executive who uses Metaverse tech in construction. 

The Metaverse transformation of medicine means “there may not even be hospitals in five years,” said Bernd Montag, CEO of Siemens Healthineers. “If they’re not bullish on the tech, who will be?” He added. 

Outside the main venue, the industry continued bringing high-profile speakers to discuss their interest in crypto. Speaking at a Circle event, BlackRock Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldstein pointed out that his company – one of the world’s largest asset managers – expanded its role in the crypto industry last year. 

“We have been carefully watching, learning, trying to understand everything that's been going on for five years, ten years, whatever the amount of time has been, but we've been consciously choosing to have a strategy, [though] not yet to implement the strategy,” Goldstein said.  

“What's interesting about the year 2022, which was a remarkable year in so many ways, and through so many lenses … interestingly, it was the year that we chose at BlackRock to start implementing our digital assets strategy, the strategy that we had written over the past couple of years,” Goldstein added. 

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