Crypto Firms Take Over Davos High Street, Even After Stock Market Crash – Reuters News in France and abroad

DAVOS, Switzerland — Crypto-related tech companies are out in force at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, even after a recent stock market crash wiped billions of dollars of value from the digital currency market.

The Promenade, a main strip where corporations and governments take over shops and bars during forum week, is dominated by crypto companies, nestled between big companies like Salesforce and Facebook-owner Meta.

“This is a big step for the crypto industry, they have always been anti-Davos,” a delegate told CNBC.

On Sunday, Tether, the company behind the USDT stablecoin, set up a booth offering free pizza on the Promenade for Bitcoin Pizza Day. On May 22, 2010, a programmer bought a pizza using bitcoin and it is widely believed to be the first transaction using cryptocurrency. The day is celebrated annually by the crypto community.

Another delegate remarked that crypto companies were “spilling money.”

Non-fungible tokens are an important topic during discussions around the World Economic Forum. RollApp, which runs an NFT store, has set up a location in Davos to promote digital collectibles.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

Fernando Verboonen, co-founder of RollApp, a non-fungible token (NFT) store, which took over a store on the Promenade, estimated that around 60% of sites on the street were crypto-related businesses.

“They basically take Davos,” he said.

Non-fungible tokens are digital collectibles. RollApp tries to turn real-world assets like cars into NFTs.

“Crazy few weeks”

The strong industry performance at Davos comes despite a recent stock market crash. Over $500 billion has been wiped from the crypto market in the past month as the The collapse of stablecoin terraUSD has sent shockwaves through the industry.

Those in Davos were likely committed to occupying space on the Promenade at the alpine ski resort before the recent market crash.

“It has been a crazy few weeks in crypto. We committed to coming here a long time ago, but that wasn’t going to change. We are in a position where we will resist the bear market and there will be a bull run again,” Clifford Sarkin, chief operating officer of blockchain startup Casper Labs, told CNBC.

Circle, which is one of the companies behind the USDC stablecoin, has taken over one of the shops on the promenade in Davos.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

Casper Labs has a blockchain product aimed at businesses. Blockchain gained prominence along with bitcoin, but its definition has broadened. It’s actually a shared activity log that could underpin applications in businesses such as cross-border money transfers, proponents say.

Sarkin said the crash was positive for companies like his that are focused on selling blockchain to business customers rather than consumers.

“It’s easier to do business in a down cycle. A lot of people who came last year and were trying to make money in crypto who are leaving now because they say crypto is dead, are now out of space for a while and we’re going to make some real business,” he told CNBC.

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Crypto Firms Take Over Davos High Street, Even After Stock Market Crash – Reuters News in France and abroad

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