Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said in his Davos keynote that the industry should now focus on the development and prospects of blockchain technology itself.
Brinley Llir, Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets at the World Economic Forum, shared similar views, especially regarding blockchain applications in sustainability and environmental efforts.
In an interview in Davos with Forkast.News Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau Llir, he said that in 2023 blockchain technology should become more real. The following questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length.
Angie Lau: What problems do you think are trending now and what do people think after Davos?
Brinley Llyr: I would say that the through line was about case studies, real world case studies, enough technical theory, although it’s interesting. It’s time to really showcase the real world use cases we see today.
Lau: I thought one of the biggest takeaways was compatibility. There are different ecosystems, and yet we all participate in the global digital economy. So, when it comes to migrating from the old world to the new, if such interoperability doesn’t exist, will liquidity be locked into the old ecosystem?
Llyr: Yes. I think it’s correct. And that’s where the work comes in, and why the forum is so useful, because we’re bringing these different voices together to find a solution for engagement. Because we are not small villages closed in ourselves, we are global.
Lau: 2022 started with Terra Luna and ended with FTX. I note that financial institutions may have abandoned their interest in cryptocurrencies as a speculative alternative asset, but they have not abandoned their interest in investing in the blockchain. The technology didn’t disappoint.
Llyr: It’s about what blockchain can do, what’s possible, and I still see a lot of enthusiasm around it. This goes back to the work we do on the forum related to crypto impact. So we’re working with entrepreneurs all over the world and in the US, right now we’re focusing on the US. We are going to expand it. We see a number of use cases and a number of developers who continue to work on these projects. And I think you still see the money coming to them.
Lau: As new entrants enter this space, how do you ensure a transition to a digital economy that embraces more than a few?
Llyr: First, do we all need to come together? Maybe, maybe not. I mean, one of the benefits of a decentralized system is that you get a lot of different perspectives and a lot of variety in what’s being developed. So I think there is something to be said for maintaining that diversity. We don’t have to be all on the same line of the file. Another thing, how do we get there? I think we are on the user path. I think when people realize that using these products is life changing and they start using them and we see where the adoption is going, that’s where we’re going.
Lau: Where is 2023 heading for you as you have these global conversations?
Llyr: I see some really interesting work in sustainability and the environment. We’ve already focused on that, but this week I made connections that got me even more excited. Food security, I think, is very much connected. There are some really interesting ideas coming out of this, a proof of concept, and a lot of people interested in trying out some really interesting business cases. So I think this will be a year of real action, development, learning and research.