This week, some of the most wealthy and influential people in the world are meeting at The World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss politics and economics, while making predictions and warnings about the future. Blockchain technology was a frequent topic of discussion during the many panels and interviews that have taken place so far.
Bullish sentiment for cryptocurrency was hard to find however, among the elite guests of the forum, many of whom seem committed to the “blockchain not Bitcoin” attitude of traditional financial institutions.
During a CNBC panel at Davos, Jeff Schumacher, founder of BCG Digital Ventures predicted that Bitcoin will “go to zero.” Schumacher said:
"I do believe it will go to zero. I think it's a great technology but I don't believe it's a currency. It's not based on anything."
(In a previous Op-Ed, CryptoGlobe explored where cryptocurrencies derive their value.)
Another panelist in the discussion, Glenn Hutchins, chairman of North Island, pointed out that Bitcoin serves a purpose as a store of value. Hutchins said: "It might be that the role of bitcoin in the system could be to bring value back, to hold your value there while you have tokens that have other use cases that you aren't using at the moment."
However, Hutchins added that he is still more interested in blockchain than cryptocurrency. Hutchins explained:
"I am much less interested in investing around bitcoin as a currency unit or a currency equivalent, or even the blockchain as an accounting ledger. I am thinking much more about the protocols. In other words, what is the underlying protocol going to do as a consequence of which, which tokens are valuable or not... When you send an email out today, you don't think about the underlying technology you are using … So you can hear us talk about … what protocol, what token, what technology solutions, how many transactions per second, but eventually what's going to happen is you are going to put something of value in, something of value will come out the other side and you are not going to care what the underlying technology is"
It is important to note that cryptocurrency is a direct competitor to the industries where these people make their money, while blockchain technology is something that can be harnessed by these interests to maintain dominance in the sector.