The World Economic Forum in Davos is one of the most important economic policy platforms in the world. Not only do many of the most important politicians, business leaders and academics meet, new trends are also identified and discussed. For years, the World Economic Forum has been dealing with new technologies, most recently with blockchain. An expression of this is the platform Shaping the Future of Technology Governance: Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.
Last year we were present with our CV Labs Davos Pop-Up during the whole WEF week in Davos, organized panels and participated as partner and speaker in various events, including the Swiss Global Enterprise’s Day at the House of Switzerland. Now, in January 2020, seven events, including our Flahsgip event CV Summit, will take place throughout the week as part of the Crypto Valley Week Davos.
With the new year just around the corner and the past year in mind, let me give you two or three thoughts on the current developments and projects in the blockchain space. As we know, the first blockchain applications were found in the financial sector. Following the ICO wave during the hype years 2017 and 2018, three main areas can currently be identified in which specific applications generate sales or are profitable: Crypto currencies, brokerage / trading and banking.
Crypto currencies (e.g. Bitcoin, Tether), Broker/Trader (e.g. Bitcoin Suisse) and Banking (new bank licenses for Cryptobanks Sygnum and Seba). With the introduction of the Blockchain Act in Liechtenstein in January 2020 (and probably one year later in Switzerland), a wave of tokenisation is also expected (e.g. digitisation of shares for SMEs).
Crypto currencies, where besides Bitcoin the US dollar-linked Tether (USDT) was able to establish itself, which today generates substantial transaction volumes and has asserted itself in various online applications as an alternative to PayPal or Mastercard.
Brokerage and trading, where companies such as Bitcoin Suisse or Crypto Finance in Switzerland faacilitate transactions with crypto assets for private or qualified and institutional investors. Crypto brokers are often the entry points for newcomers and the link between the old and new worlds.
Banking, or the so-called crypto banks, are currently on the road to productivity, with a business model aimed at bridging the old and new world of digital assets. In Switzerland, the two Challenger banks Seba and Sygnum received their licences from FINMA in summer.
With the introduction of the Blockchain Act in Liechtenstein in January 2020 (and about a year later in Switzerland), a wave of tokenisation is also expected (e.g. digitisation of shares for SMEs). The next major steps in the area of asset tokenisation and thus new financial products are to be expected with the increase in legal certainty due to the entry into force of regulations.
Outside the financial sector, development is there, but slower in all industries. There are companies in the supply chain for instance that use the blockchain productively to track the origin and authenticity of products to safely transport medicines. In China, telecommunications companies are relying on blockchain technology for better roaming, identity verification and fraud detection. Outside the financial sector, we expect the development towards broad productivity to take several years, but faster than the comparable period during the dotcom period.
I am looking forward to discussing the next technological waves with entrepreneurs, developers and politicians at the various blockchain events in Davos and getting to know new, exciting projects. Don’t hesitate to visit us at one of the events in Davos and let us share your concrete experiences.
What We Expect at the World Economic Forum Davos and Beyond was originally published in CV VC on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.