Unlike in past years, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting will take place virtually rather than on-site in Davos, Switzerland, due to the COVID 19 pandemic. However, the virtual process is not the only renewal of the Davos agenda. Under the item „Fairer Economies“, topics related to cryptocurrencies will be discussed for the first time this year. In total, more than 2,500 representatives of the WEF Foundation will take part in the Davos Agenda. Discussions regarding cryptocurrencies will involve the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, and the CEO of Western Union, Hikmet Ersek, among other prominent figures from the financial sector. In a total of five days, two separate sessions – on Monday and Thursday respectively – will include topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Davos agenda: blockchain and CBDC focus
COVID-19 has accelerated the long-term shift away from cash. Meanwhile, central bank digital currencies are emerging, potentially changing the way people deal with money around the world.
So says the agenda programme called „GBBC (Global Blockchain Business Council) Blockchain Central Davos“. According to this, the main focus of the first session will be the emergence of CBDCs and, among other things, the associated decline of cash. Digital currencies have already been an integral part of the Davos agenda since last year. Back in January, the WEF launched a framework to help banks better assess CBDCs and thus make better use of them. Session member Andrew Bailey already commented on these issues in September 2020 and questioned the sustainability of cryptocurrencies:
‚Their value can fluctuate quite wildly, which is not surprising. They seem to me unsuitable for the world of payments, where certainty of value matters.
The second day of sessions on Thursday is called „Blockchain, AR, VR, IoT – How new technologies are changing the media landscape“. Participants will include Nikita Bokarev, CMO at Sensorium Corporation and Michael Casey, COO at CoinDesk.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of the two-day discussions on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. However, the fact that cryptocurrencies have made it into the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum already shows that these topics are moving further and further into the focus of the world’s most important researchers and institutions.