Davos leaders praise metaverse but remain sceptical of crypto

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What

At the annual conference of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, CEO Klaus Schwab gave praise to the metaverse, saying the WEF “is embarking on an ambitious new journey to harness the potential of the metaverse as a platform for collaborative, inclusive and effective international action”.

Why

Schwab added the metaverse could help to expand the WEF’s reach and “will provide immersive spaces where stakeholders can convene, create and take action on the world’s most pressing challenges.”

What next

Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture said the Metaverse, although at an early stage, has the potential to redefine how people work. As of 2022, around 16% of companies worldwide operate 100% remotely, with the metaverse a potentially lucrative way to capitalise and monetise the growing trend catalysed by the pandemic.

The story

Although there was praise given to the potential of the metaverse, the crypto industry saw some pushback from members of the banking and finance industry.

François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, said that “cryptocurrencies are not a reliable means of payment”, citing a lack of control over price as making them unworkable. The Bank of Thailand Governor, Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput who was on the same panel, said he “didn’t want to see [crypto] as a means of payment”, while the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, said Bitcoin “may be a coin, but it isn’t money”.

In a separate interview with Bloomberg, Georgieva said the recent collapse of Terra did not represent all crypto projects and that the technology “offers us all faster service, much lower costs, and more inclusion.” This could show the IMF sees crypto as a learning opportunity to improve the financial system, but falls short of calling for full payment integration.

To learn more about the metaverse, visit our learning resource here.

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