The World Economic Forum’s upcoming Davos agenda will include two separate sessions on cryptocurrency, which are another compelling sign that digital assets have penetrated mainstream consciousness.
The sessions titled Resetting Digital Currency will take place on Monday and Thursday. The first session will be attended by five speakers including Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO of Western Union.
Thursday’s group consists of four speakers including Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a senior minister in the Singapore government, and Zhu Min, chairman of the Beijing-based National Institute of Financial Research.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the long-term shift of cash,” reads the prospectus for both sessions. “In the meantime, central bank digital currencies are emerging that may change the way people handle money around the world.”
It goes on:
“What policies, practices, and partnerships are required to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the rise of digital currencies?”
The Davos Agenda is a five-day summit attended by some of the world’s leading figures in finance and government. The cryptocurrency series falls under the “Fairer Economies” theme of the summit. Other topics include “Tech for Good”, “How to Save the Planet” and “Healthy Future”.
The World Economic Forum is devoting more resources to understanding blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The Geneva-based organization even set up a cryptocurrency working group, which just released its first review last month, focusing on the various use cases for digital assets “beyond price and speculation”.
In the research of the forum, blockchain technology was named as the main driver for “sustainable digital finance”. According to the forum’s researchers, blockchain and smart contract functions can uncover “hidden values of older digital systems”.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are an area of research that the forum has been addressing for the past 18 months. In January 2020, the forum announced that it had developed a framework to help banks “evaluate, design and potentially deploy CBDC”. The framework was developed in collaboration with over 40 central banks, financial institutions and academic researchers.