While business leaders showed cautious optimism at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the same sentiment wasn’t felt for crypto.
Compared to before, the once buzzy area of finance had a much smaller presence.
As our Jennifer Schonberger put it, “gone were the crypto houses every ten feet, bitcoin-themed pizza stalls and advertising from previous years.”
“I think regulated transparent infrastructure like ours is well-suited for this environment,” Jeremy Allaire, Circle co-founder and CEO which issues the stablecoin USDC told Yahoo Finance.
Circle, one of the few crypto firms present for the week, did offer some optimism. Though not regulated as a bank and having shuttered plans to go public via SPAC last year, it is still aiming to be a public company at some point in the future, Allaire said.
In the meantime, it represents 31% of crypto’s $136 billion stablecoin market, which many consider being essential to the industry’s less speculative future.
As Allaire told us, Circle carries a money transmitter license in almost every state. Its stablecoin “has actually grown since the FTX collapse,” by $2 billion since the beginning of November according to DeFillama.
Yet critics were not scarce at Davos.
A man wears a t-shirt with the logo of Bitcoin as he waits for Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX, to attend a hearing at the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello
For them, and more than 9 million retail and institutional investors waiting to get back their funds in bankruptcy, FTX’s collapse still looms as a shadow over the space.
“FTX and SBF are not an exception — they’re a rule,” Nouriel Roubini, the NYU professor known as “Dr. Doom” for his dire views on global trends, said on Yahoo Finance Live.
“Literally 99% of crypto is a scam. A criminal activity. A total real-bubble Ponzi scheme that is going bust,” Roubini added. The Economist went on to underline the reputational damage industry firms are facing as a general loss of trust.