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Two sessions on cryptocurrency feature at this years’ Davos

The sessions, called ‘Resetting Digital Currencies’, are included as part of the summit’s “Fairer Economies” theme

The World Economic Forum’s flagship conference, Davos Agenda 2021, is scheduled to feature two separate cryptocurrency panels, making yet another global statement for the emerging popularity of digital assets.

Davos is a mobilisation of global leaders to shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed in this challenging new context. This year’s conference has broad topics ranging from building sustainable and resilient economic systems to the fourth industrial revolution.

Titled ‘Resetting Digital Currencies’, the two sessions involving cryptocurrency will be held on Monday and Thursday.

Today’s session features a diverse set of speakers including Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union while Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a senior minister for the government of Singapore, and Zhu Min, chairman of the Beijing-based National Institute of Financial Research are part of Thursday’s panel.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the long-term shift from cash,” reads the prospectus for both sessions.

“Meanwhile, central bank digital currencies are emerging, potentially transforming how people use money worldwide. What policies, practices and partnerships are needed to leverage the opportunities posed by the rise of digital currencies?” it continues.

The five-day summit, being held virtually this year, features some of the world’s leading figures in finance and government. The Forum’s core communities, including its international business council, are expected to share insight and recommendations from global, regional and industry initiatives in the impact sessions held every day of the summit.

The digital assets series has been included as part of the summit’s “Fairer Economies” theme. “Tech for Good,” “How to Save the Planet” and “Healthy Futures” are other themes being explored in the conference.

The World Economic Forum’s increased focus on cryptocurrency and blockchain has led it to devote more resources towards understanding its applications, especially in developing and under-developed countries.

The Geneva-based organisation has also established a cryptocurrency working group that published its inaugural review on the various use cases for digital assets “beyond price and speculation” last month.

“The Council has created this booklet to highlight a non-exhaustive list of companies, protocols and projects that represent the diversity of use cases that cryptocurrencies and the networks which they power can enable”, said the foreword of the review, written by CoinShares’ Meltem Demirors and Visa’s head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield.

Further, the WEF’s recent research on blockchain has credited the technology as one of the key drivers of sustainable digital finance, adding that the potential of blockchain and smart contracts can unlock hidden values of legacy digital systems.

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