Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, told a conference in Davos that the industry must now focus on the evolution and promise of blockchain technology itself.
The World Economic Forum’s Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets, Brynly Llyr, shared similar views, particularly on the applications of blockchain in sustainability efforts and the environment.
In a Davos interview with Forkast.News editor Angie Lau, Llyr argued that 2023 should see more real adoption of blockchain technology. The following questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length.
Angie Lau: What do you think are the trending issues and what are people most concerned about after Davos?
Brynly Lyr: I would say the guideline was about case studies, real world case studies, enough technical theory, although it’s interesting. It’s time to really showcase the real use cases we see today.
Lou: I thought one of the biggest takeaways was interoperability. There are different ecosystems, yet we all participate in a global digital economy. So when it comes to migrating from old to new, if that interoperability doesn’t exist, is liquidity going to be trapped in the old ecosystem?
Lyr: Yes. I think that’s exactly it. And that’s where the work comes in and why the forum is so helpful, because we’re bringing those different voices together to find that interoperability solution. Because we are not small isolated villages, we are global.
Lou: The year 2022 started with Terra Luna and then ended with FTX. I note that financial institutions may have withdrawn their interest in cryptocurrencies as a speculative alternative asset, but they have not withdrawn their interest in investing in blockchain. The technology has not failed.
Lyr: It’s about what blockchain can enable, what’s possible, and I still see a lot of excitement there. This goes back to the work we do on the forum related to crypto impact. So we work with contractors all over the world and in the United States, right now we are focusing on the United States. We will expand it. We see a number of use cases and a number of developers who continue to be motivated and continue to work on these projects. And I think you always see money going into them.
Lou: As new entrants enter this space, how do you ensure a shift to the digital economy that encompasses more than a few?
Lyr: First, do we all need to be together? Maybe, maybe not. I mean, some of the benefits of a decentralized system are that you get a lot of different viewpoints and a lot of diversity in what’s being developed. So I think there’s something to be said for maintaining that diversity. We shouldn’t all be in one line. The other is, how are we going to get there? I think we follow the path of the user. I think when people realize that using these products makes a difference in their lives and they start using them and we see where the adoption is, that’s where we go.
Lou: Where are you heading in 2023 as you lead these global conversations?
Lyr: I see some really interesting work in the area of sustainability and the environment. We’ve focused on that before, but I made some connections this week that make me even more excited about it. I think food security is very much related. Some really cool ideas are coming out, proofs of concepts, and lots of people interested in trying some really cool business cases. So I think this year is going to be a real year of action, development, study and research.