HomeCryptoCircle and Ripple (XRP) at WEF: crypto, blockchain and the integration of...

Circle and Ripple (XRP) at WEF: crypto, blockchain and the integration of DeFi and traditional finance

Circle and Ripple (XRP) moderated their views at the World Economic Forum on crypto and the blockchain world in Davos, given their participation outside the WEF conference in a myriad of cryptocurrency-focused events such as Blockchain Hub Davos and GBBC’s Blockchain Central.

Overall, a handful of cryptocurrency industry players who participated in seminars at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting paint a picture of greater collaboration within the space in 2023.

Indeed, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology remained only a small part of the projects and initiatives discussed during the WEF’s annual conference in the Swiss Alps. 

However, a growing number of industry-focused sessions suggest that the rest of the world is looking for synergies between traditional and decentralized finance.

Ripple (XRP) in Davos: now going deeper into crypto 

The Ripple team rented office space in Davos to conduct meetings and business during the WEF conference. There, Ripple’s APAC CEO Brooks Entwistle discussed the company’s involvement at this year’s conference.

Entwistle painted an interesting picture as an individual who has been to previous WEF annual meetings in various roles for different companies and organizations back in 2009.

The presence of cryptocurrency and blockchain participants has come to the fore in recent years, as Entwistle explained: 

“What you notice over time is that the crowd changes, the promenade changes, and certainly with cryptocurrencies in recent years, that has been the case. In May of 2022, you couldn’t walk the boardwalk without being offered a Bitcoin pizza.”

However, the prolonged downturn in the conventional and cryptocurrency markets, coupled with seismic events such as the collapse of FTX late last year, has left a noticeable mark on the number of participants in the crypto ecosystem who set up store at the conference in 2023.

The caliber of FTX, which had a booth at the conference last year, was nowhere to be seen. Instead, blockchain infrastructure providers such as Filecoin and Hedera had a notable presence, along with Circle. 

Other companies maintained a presence outside the conference at their own events, such as CV Labs’ Blockchain Hub and, at the Hotel Europe in Davos, GBBC’s Blockchain Central.

However, Entwistle drew a silver lining around the reduced number of cryptocurrency stalls along the promenade, suggesting that more fruitful dialogue was possible at the WEF conference:

“It’s definitely quieter now, but we’re actually having a great WEF. With some of the noise and hype gone, the conversations and ability to go deep present more of an opportunity.”

Circle (USDC) and its statements at the WEF: the situation of the unbanked 

Cory Then, vice president of global policy at Circle, said he has seen many idealistic individuals try to cooperate and organize resources in a way that would benefit the world economy. 

In addition, Then highlighted the importance of exploring the role of blockchain-based payment systems like Circle regarding the future of global finance and payments, stating: 

“We’re out there talking to policy makers, we’re talking to traditional companies outside of tech, who are looking to use USDC as a payment solution, we’re talking to tech companies, figuring out how we might integrate with the work that they’re doing. We are talking to humanitarian organizations.”

According to Then, Circle has had hundreds of conversations with policymakers in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Mexico and other countries as USDC continues to become more readily available as a stablecoin solution.

Key drivers of adoption focused on how decentralized payment systems can help broad swaths of the unbanked around the world. Then said stablecoins can improve financial systems and inclusion in areas largely not served by banks and financial institutions:

“Do you have a phone. You download a personal wallet to that phone. And the next thing you know, you have access to a payment mechanism that is quite reliable and you can get US dollars or you can get euro coins.”

Thus, he finally suggested that the continued utility offered by industry protocols, platforms and institutions and less betting on price fluctuations would lead to further inclusion.

More statements from Circle: no charges against the SEC for the $9 billion plan 

Circle recently denied blaming the SEC for the $9 billion closed plan to go public. 

Previously, a widely shared report from 25 January by the Financial Times, characterized Circle for “blaming” the SEC for its “abandoned” public listing plan.

However, a Circle spokesperson clarified that this was not the case and that it is not at fault with the SEC for the termination of its merger agreement, claiming: 

“Circle does not and does not blame the SEC for anything related to the mutual termination of our SPAC merger agreement with Concord, and any claims to the contrary are inaccurate.”

In a nutshell, Circle’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was linked to the possibility of joining Concord, a company founded by banker Bob Diamond through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company agreement, also known as the SPAC agreement.

However, according to the FT, Circle said the merger was not completed because the SEC did not declare the relevant S-4 registration effective on time, which would cause the deal to expire on 10 December.

However, Circle’s spokesperson referred to earlier statements made by the company in December, noting that the deal simply ended. On the other hand, Concord had not publicly revealed a reason for the failed business combination. 

However, it filed a Form 8-K with the SEC on 5 December, the same day the deal was announced as terminated, which revealed that it had been delisted from the NYSE due to abnormally low trading price levels. 

In fact, in a 5 December tweet, Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire had nothing but positive words about the SEC and noted that although it was disappointing that they were unable to complete the qualifications in time, they were still planning to become a publicly traded company. 

Alessia Pannone
Alessia Pannone
Graduated in communication sciences, currently student of the master's degree course in publishing and writing. Writer of articles from an SEO perspective, with care for indexing in search engines.