Traditional companies invaded the crypto world. Actually this was the reality noticed in Crypto Valley Blockchain Conference, held in Zug, in Switzerland at the end of June. Companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Swisscom, Zurique, SAP, Postfinance, SIX Group or Bank Vontobel had attended the event. Facebook’s own movement in launching the Libra signals that the cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are already mainstream.
The amount of “traditional” companies attending the event was no coincidence. According to the CEO of the investment firm and accelerator Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CVVC), Mathias Ruch, nowadays, it’s very unlikely that a big international company would not work in a blockchain project.
Crypto applications or blockchain are slowly becoming mainstream, said Daniel Haudenschild, President of Crypto Valley Association, company which organized the event. “Now the great players are coming and throwing their foundation. This can now be seen with Facebook and its new Office in Geneva. This is a great anchor in Switzerland, “he said.
Haudenschild said the correction in the market in 2018 was a necessary cleanup. “2017 was an incredible year for the cryptocurrencies and the blockchain movement. So that clashed with the reality of the following year”. That year, after an unprecedented hype, the price of the bitcoin fell heavily in a range of six months.
In that way, the feeling in the event is that the hype is over and the cryptocurrencies are mainstream, “and thus a lot of nonsense is as well gone for good – thanks God,” said the President of CVVC. Now, the industry is working on real solutions suitable for the mass. The hope is that such development takes the industry to a new level.
Libra had some trenchant criticism at the event
The Libra was also quite discussed at the event. A representative of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) commented on the project. He believes that the plans are quite interesting and viable. In addition, the companies that are part of the initiative suggested that they want to follow the rules of each country.
However, the academy, present at the event, expressed concerns about the Libra. Tomaso Atser, from the University College London, has warned that Facebook claims they want to offer people without bank accounts access to bank services, but they will do that in exchange of their personal data.
“In other words, they’re going to sell the data of the poor people without bank access, to sell them something they don’t need. At least Visa and Mastercard, eventhough centralized systems, use my data in a fair just way. I don’t get a coffee advertisement right after having a coffee. But I can’t say the same thing about Facebook “, he commented.
Alexander Lipton, from MIT, followed the same path. “People that don´t have access to banks are like that for a specific reason, and that relates with other problems that the Libra will not solve”. And he said he is troubled with a future of “scrip money”, which means, each company issuing its own currency.
In the following week of the event, the head of the Finance Committee of the U.S. House of representatives, Maxine Waters, asked the project to be interrupted until regulatory investigations are completed. Afterwards, it was the turn of President Trump and his Treasury Secretary to open fire against the Libra and the bitcoin.