Get your crypto house in order, old guard tells Davos debutantes

Memory cards depicting the cryptocurrency Bitcoin are submerged in water in this illustration taken on May 17, 2022. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Archive photo

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DAVOS, Switzerland, May 26 (Reuters) – Cryptocurrency companies, many of whom were on Davos Main Street this week, have been told they will have to clean up their act before gaining full acceptance from the old World Economic Forum guard .

“I’m sorry to say that the future of cryptography seems regulated to me,” said Nela Richardson, senior vice president and chief economist at human resources software provider ADP. She said she thinks central banks will step in to oversee it.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency firms have invaded Davos with parties, briefings and panels outside the main conference, hoping to gain credibility and sign deals with companies ranging from Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) to Inc ( CRM.N). ) also perched on the main street. Read more

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Some of the events outside the main event’s security cordon featured speakers from traditional financial institutions, including Perella Weinberg Partners and State Street.

But inside the gates, there was a cry for regulation and concerns about the risks of the sector, including the illegal use of sanctioned Russians.

“Cryptocurrencies have received a major boost from (Russian) sanctions,” said Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan. “And I’m worried because it could be used for illicit activities.”

David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chair of US purchasing company Carlyle, shared his concerns.

“A lot of wealthy people who want to hide their assets after the Russian situation will say that I will put between 5% and 10% in some basket of cryptocurrencies,” he said.

“The government won’t know what I have, they can’t get it and I can always have access to it.”


The roles of regulators, authenticators and custodians have been done with great care in Davos, which began after a cryptocurrency crash that saw digital assets lose about $ 800 billion in market value and one of the top ten digital currencies was worthless.

“These are still the first days (for crypto) in terms of investment class,” Master Hai, co-chair of international markets for Mastercard, told Reuters Global Markets Forum (GMF). “It needs to be sanctioned and regulated by the central bank and the government. It has monetary implications. The value has to be stable.”

However, crypto and financial executives on the sidelines said the defeat would strengthen the industry because strong technology and currencies would survive.

“There has been a lot of volatility, but the reality is that it has come to stay,” said Justin Fogerty, CEO and founder of financial consulting firm Pivotas AG. “I think what happened with the volatility actually took a lot of speculators and players out of the market.”

Cryptocurrency companies have also attracted new interest in Davos, especially from places looking for investment.

Vit Jedlick, president of Liberland, a micronation claiming land disputed between Serbia and Croatia, attended an event for Polkadot in hopes of starting a stronger partnership with blockchain technology.

The Indian delegation in Davos, which included six state governments, was housed in pavilions surrounded by blockchain and cryptographic houses, and was gathering many of them to attract investment, especially in education and training.

“When you map out where the next generations of developers are and where the talent is and where we really need to go, India appears very, very high on the map,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, which supports blockchain projects. GMF.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, at the MiamiCoin crash center in the city, said he was working with operators to troubleshoot. Read more

“I’m still charging my bitcoin salary,” Suarez told a WEF panel. “I will point out that it is not my only salary.”

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Report by Jessica DiNapoli, Divya Chowdhury and Aditya Kalra in Davos; Edited by Alexander Smith

Our standards: the trustworthy principles of Thomson Reuters.

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