World Economic Forum in Davos is a good opportunity to check on the world’s most discussed issues. And this year, together with inflation, russian-Ukrainian war and long-standing climate and social issues, Davos attendees are discussing crypto.
Unsurprisingly, most quoted are the crypto haters holding offices in key economic institutions, even if their comments are often ignorant or unfounded.
🗣️ Thus, IMF’s head Kristalina Georgieva spoke (without being asked) about “stablecoins promising a 20% return” that are pyramid schemes and the need to “recognize that Bitcoin may be called “coin”, but it’s not money”;
🗣️ Banque de France’s governor François Villeroy de Galhau said that “in order to be a currency, somebody must be responsible for the value—nobody is responsible for the value of cryptos”;
🗣️ and ECB’s head Cristine Lagarde declared that cryptocurrency “should not claim that it is a currency; it is not”.
The lack of argumentation is often the problem of time-limited panels, but even in one-on-one interviews these officials rarely (never) really push the reasoning past the one-sided “It is not” (Madame Lagarde’s argument of choice). Curiously, this tendency spreads onto other topics as well 😅
Speaking at a Dutch talk show a couple of days earlier, Christine Lagarde was shown the ECB balance sheet, which the TV presenter described as “nerve-wrecking” (bloated to its current level of €8.4 trillion it is nerve-wrecking indeed). The dialogue that followed was epic:
Q: “How do you get [the ECB balance sheet] down?”
A: “It will come. It will come. In due course. Yeah.”
A: “In due course, it will come.”
Davos is often being accused of hypocrisy: world’s richest and most powerful people fly in on private jets to discuss climate and social inequality. If it were only up to monetary officials, crypto issue could be added to the hypocrisy list.
Luckily, crypto advocates are increasingly numerous in Davos year after year. This week is no exception, with representatives of some prominent industry players like Circle, Tether, Polkadot, Bitcoin Suisse, Ripple, Filecoin, as well as some pro-crypto officials like the US Senator Pat Toomey or the head of “Plan B” initiative by the city of Lugano Pietro Poretti.
Crypto is now an integral part of the world economy, it only makes sense it stands its ground on the World Economic Forum.