Crypto firms take over main street in Davos, even after market crash

DAVOS, Switzerland — Crypto-related technology companies are out in force at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, even after a recent market crash that has wiped off billions of dollars of value from the digital currency market.

The Promenade, a main strip where companies and governments take over shops and bars during the week of the forum, are dominated by crypto companies, nestled between major firms like Salesforce and Facebook-owner Meta.

“It’s a big step for the crypto industry, they were always anti-Davos,” one delegate told CNBC.

On Sunday, Tether, the company behind the stablecoin USDT, set up a stand giving away free pizza on the Promenade for Bitcoin Pizza Day. On May 22, 2010, a programmer bought pizza using bitcoin and it is widely seen as the first transaction using the cryptocurrency. The day is celebrated every year by the crypto community.

Another delegate remarked that crypto companies were “splashing the cash.”

Non-fungible tokens is a big topic during discussions around the World Economic Forum. RollApp, which runs an NFT store, set up a location in Davos to promote the digital collectibles.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

Fernando Verboonen, co-founder of RollApp, a non-fungible token (NFT) store, which took over a shop on the Promenade, estimated about 60% of the venues on the street were crypto-related companies.

“They are basically taking over Davos,” he said.

Non-fungible tokens are digital collectibles. RollApp is trying to turn real-world assets such as cars into NFTs.

‘Crazy few weeks’

Circle, which is one of the companies behind the USDC stablecoin, took over one of the shops on the Davos Promenade.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

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