WEF 2022: Blockchain community breaks stereotypes at Davos


Soramitsu CEO Makoto Takemiya described blockchain companies as the “barbarians at the gate,” storming the World Economic Forum 2022.

On the second day of the Global Blockchain Business Council’s (GBBC) Blockchain Central Davos 2022, Cointelegraph’s editor-in-chief Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr moderated a panel discussion focusing on the current direction of the financial industry. 

Panelists included co-founder and CEO of Soramitsu Makoto Takemiya; Treasury executive at Oesterreichische Nationalbank Johannes Duong; and chief operating officer (COO) of theStellar Development Foundation Jason Chlipala.

The panel tackled various issues such as educating the mainstream about blockchain, how blockchain companies are breaking stereotypes at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2022 and current market issues surrounding central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins.

The common perception of WEF is that it’s a gathering of industry bigwigs and “financial elites.” However, this year’s WEF has been more exciting as “barbarians” stormed in. According to Takemiya, blockchain companies have broken the stereotype. He explained that:

“The stereotype of the WEF is the entrenched financial elite that is looking to preserve their wealth. That may or may not be true. Blockchain companies are the barbarians at the gate of the WEF.”

Apart from having a voice at one of the biggest gatherings of the financial industry, the panel also discussed the community’s efforts on educating the masses on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Duong weighed in on the topic.

According to Duong, there are a lot of educational concerns in Austria. However, there are also efforts from universities to teach about blockchain and crypto. He said that “we have universities providing courses for blockchain assets and are trying to see it from a neutral position.”

Panelists at Blockchain Central Davos 2022. 

Among the topics discussed, current market issues such as CBDCs and stablecoins have also surfaced. Chlipala compared the launch of Libra, later renamed Diem, and its impact on the conversation around CBDCs with the current situation of Terra and how it will affect the discussions surrounding stablecoins. He said that:

“This could be the impetus for really starting to get some regulatory clarity and some business clarity. I think that leads to trust.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with Cointelegraph, Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation shared that despite the negativity surrounding the market, she remains optimistic and believes in the future of blockchain and crypto.

Related: WEF 2022, May 24: Latest updates from the Cointelegraph Davos team

Similarly, the senior vice president (SVP) of Ripple, Brooks Entwistle, also encouraged people to focus on building despite what seems to be a crypto winter. The Ripple executive said that this has happened before and it’s likely to happen again.

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