Davos in Switzerland is once more a hotbed of the world’s economy and the involved actors from all corners of the global society. For some time, the same famous conference has been a magnet not just for protest, but also for criticism of all kinds, mainly because of the ever-more fragmented world in which it takes place. To add insult to injury, The World Economic Forum (WEF) takes place at the start of the new year, signaling both hope for change and the more dire and somber message of things remaining the same. This year, however, it is interesting that the crypto industry is still more than present in the snowy landscape of the Swiss Alps.
Back in May 2022, when the same industry gathered as well, the scene was bustling with representatives of companies, ventures, blockchain projects, and many more crypto initiatives. Eight months later, the same domain has been rocked by numerous bankruptcies and other huge problems, as well as an onset of a massive crypto winter that easily beats the snow and the cold of the Alps. That is why presently, the cryptocurrency businesses are at Davos, but in a much more subdued manner. Here, many companies have their lounges or houses, as well as meeting rooms and stages for events. While this is positive for the cryptosphere, there is still a very clear sense that things are nowhere near where they should be in terms of crypto market movements. Additionally, the return to a more prosperous time seems now as far away as it did back in the autumn of 2022.
Shrinking Company Circle
Compared to previous years, there are significantly fewer companies present at Davos. The biggest names that are there now are Circle, Casper Labs, the Filecoin Foundation, and the Global Blockchain Business Council. Just one year prior, crypto planes took place at Davos 2022 all around the venue and businesses were ready to invest heavily into their event presence. Now, the crypto businesses, according to those present, are basically blending into the big financial and technological companies that are present as well.
A lot of promotional gimmicks from recent years are also gone, replaced by a more professional-looking presence that focuses on the usefulness of blockchain technology more than anything else. That falls in line with the global thinking coming from most crypto companies, which are presently focusing solely on the development of their functionalities and features. In theory, that should be the best way to use the slowdown in the markets that is presently taking place and will continue even with a recent bitcoin rise in prices, followed by a general rally in the crypto markets.
Loss of NFTs
One of the biggest drops in the presence at Davos, compared to the previous years, is the near total absence of NFT projects. In 2020 and 2021, but especially in 2022, these ventures were very prominent at the World Economic Forum. Now, there are very few of them and none of the present ventures focus on the NFT aspects of their systems and networks. The reason for that might be strictly financial, as many companies booked their 2022 during the ending phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and the slow opening of everything. That was a period of boom business when it comes to things like conventions and in-person gatherings, meaning that many companies might have overstepped their actual market capacity to come to Davos, only to use the opportunity.
But, the books for this year’s convention came as the brunt of 2022 and its numerous issues came into force. That is why many likely decided to be fiscally responsible and missed out on coming to the forum. Still, that is a very optimistic and positive way of looking at things. Chances are that many ventures that were present at the start of 2022 in the NFT domain have since then closed shop for good.
WEF Benefits for the Crypto Industry
Overall, the WEF in Davos is still the most important global gathering of leaders from the public and private sectors, civil society, and academia. The protests might show that its inclusivity and fairness are still far from ideal but it keeps going, especially now that the world is facing so many global issues. The WEF still provides a platform for discussing and shaping the global agenda on important economic and social issues, which are all important for crypto. More precisely, for cryptocurrency companies, the WEF provides an opportunity to engage with influential leaders and policymakers, and to build relationships with other companies and organizations that are working on similar issues.
Additionally, the WEF provides a forum for discussing and sharing information about the latest developments and trends in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, which are heating up on account of the crypto winter. All of this can help cryptocurrency companies stay informed about the latest developments in the industry and gain insights into new opportunities for growth and innovation, even if they gain nothing more than possible connections. Finally, attending WEF can also help cryptocurrency companies to showcase their products and services to a global audience of potential investors, customers, and partners – even things like esports leagues for example – which can help them to raise awareness and increase their visibility in the marketplace and mainstream media. Many companies avoided that opportunity this year, but the continuation of the process will see a new chance for that in 2024.
Markets after the FTX Bankruptcy
The biggest factor that many companies present at Davos get is one that resonates with the whole crypto domain – the distance between the present moment and the FTX bankruptcy. Just a couple of months ago, it appeared that the shaky markets would plunge even further because of a disastrous string of events in the big US cryptocurrency exchange.
Now, the modest presence at the WEF shows an industry in a deep recession, but still a set of companies, ventures, and organizations that survived the FTX crash and kept going. The future in front might be that bright, but it shows to those who completely denied it weeks ago that crypto is a lot more resilient than one of its exchanges, no matter how big or influential.