The Blockchain Hub dedicated to crypto organized by Casper Labs and CV Labs as part of the World Economic Forum is underway in Davos.
This year crypto companies are arriving at the event somewhat dazed by what happened in 2022, partly because in the same Switzerland where Davos is located, the crypto industry is still present but with a smaller presence.
Far fewer companies are participating in the Blockchain Hub than in past editions, including Tether (USDC), Circle (USDC), Polygon, the Global Blockchain Business Council, the Filecoin Foundation, the City of Lugano, and indeed Casper Labs.
Casper Labs: the crypto climate in Davos
Those who went to Davos these days report that in 2022 crypto advertisements were everywhere, while this year they mingle with those of the major financial and tech giants.
The climate seems to have totally changed, because the impact of the bear market of 2022 on the crypto sector was strong and profound.
However, as stated by Filecoin Foundation policy director Marta Belcher, this meant that there was less “noise” at this year’s event, allowing for more technology-focused conversations.
Regulators and policymakers are also participating in the Forum’s various panels devoted to cryptocurrencies, including a number of United Nations representatives who spoke about the use of blockchain by public institutions.
Also speaking were the commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Christy Goldsmith Romero, and Johannes Duong of the Austrian central bank.
This is a real step forward compared to the past, when cryptocurrencies were talked about primarily for financial or speculative purposes. The bursting of the speculative bubble has brought with it less attention to speculative aspects, and more attention to technical ones.
In this regard, the CEO of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, said that we need to differentiate speculative assets, which have no real utility or value, from digital assets designed to have utility, and distinguish between regulated and unregulated. This is a relatively new attitude for a major crypto company.
The conference is not yet over, and it seems that a more mature industry is emerging, very much scaled down but by no means defeated.
Casper Labs’ Blockchain Hub
This is the second year that Casper Labs has organized the Blockchain Hub within the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
During the event, Casper Labs presented the “State of Enterprise Blockchain Adoption” report, according to which companies are adopting blockchain technology at higher rates than ever before.
The partner of Casper Labs, CV Labs, analyzed the 50 best-performing blockchain projects in the famous Swiss Crypto Valley, and found that the largest-ever blockchain implementation is underway.
Of course, there has also been talk from the resounding failure of FTX, but Semih Kaçan of Swisscom Ventures pointed out that previously there had been really great FOMO in the market: everyone wanted in, with institutional investors even closing deals within 24 hours often without due diligence.
So during 2021 the conditions were set for the next bursting of the speculative bubble, with all the inevitable consequences that such an event would cause.
However, an overwhelming consensus appeared that times have now undoubtedly changed, and this will produce a positive long-term development for this sector.
One of the key points could be financial tokenization, considered a key strategy to increase transparency and trust for tangible assets, and in particular for those trying to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.
Web3 was also discussed, and how its rapidly growing infrastructure is enabling greater convergence between decentralized and centralized finance.
Casper Labs’ Blockchain Hub has not yet concluded, but what has already become clear is a clear paradigm shift from the past two years for this sector.
It has happened before
In some ways, the crypto winter of 2022-2023 can be compared to those of 2014-2015 and 2018-2019.
In fact, crypto markets follow the Bitcoin cycle marked by a halving every four years, and so far each halving has been followed by a speculative bubble the following year, which in turn burst the following year giving rise to two years of crypto winter.
So what is happening, and what emerged at Davos, is nothing more than a repeat of what happened especially in the 2018-2019 biennium, when many new crypto realities disappeared while the surviving ones consolidated. For example, Binance, born in 2017, consolidated to such an extent that it became dominant among centralized exchanges.
This is to all intents and purposes a “cleansing” of a market polluted by the excessive enthusiasm generated by speculative bubbles, as a result of which an overproliferation of projects with weak foundations and often with goals of mere short-term gain was generated. In the long run, there is no room for these types of initiatives, and instead those with solid foundations and long-term goals will survive.