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Here to Stay: Taking Stock of Blockchain’s Emerging Applications | Davos Day 2 Recap

January 17, 2024

Matt Coolidge

SVP of Global Communications

The week is rolling along here in Davos, and so is the nonstop roster of insightful and thought-provoking speakers at The Hub!

Today’s programming was dedicated to a familiar topic, albeit with an interesting twist: Blockchain in Action. Gone are the previous, digital assets markets-dominated discussions that defined most blockchain panels in previous years in Davos. In its place was a series of substantive keynotes and discussions among and between the individuals committed to building the infrastructure for the internet’s next chapter.

A packed (and sweltering, for those who were in attendance!) panel takes in a fascinating discussion between blockchain founders during an evening panel at The Hub on Wednesday.  (Photo credit: Casper Labs)

The “blockchain = cryptocurrency” narrative is falling by the wayside, with a plethora of innovative use cases emerging in its wake. For context on how drastic a shift this represents, consider that one of the principle findings from Casper Labs’ “State of Blockchain” report, published in January 2023, report found that 54 percent of executives still believed that the two terms were interchangeable. Just 10 months later, when we published the report’s next iteration, not only did the vast majority of executives polled demonstrate a clear understanding that blockchain and cryptocurrency were not in fact synonymous, but 71 percent of executives went so far as to say they were actively exploring how blockchain could augment emerging technologies, especially artificial intelligence.

So, what does this look like in practice?

Blockchain’s Future Will Be Powered By a Diverse Suite of Applications

The Hub hosted a series of panels today that focused on how blockchain is actively shaping a range of industries, including supply chain, sponsorship management (a market worth a staggering $50B, and one which Sports Advantage just launched on the Casper Blockchain to directly address) and e-commerce (say hello to Casper Commerce, which was officially launched on stage at The Hub today), among many others cited throughout the day.

Ethereum co-founder Mihai Alisie was then joined on-stage by Inacta Ventures Managing Partner Ralf Glabischnig to look back at the first decade of Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley,” why it’s become a such a hub for blockchain innovation and what steps should be taken to maintain that role in the coming decade and beyond.

The evening a wrapped up with a series of panels featuring leaders from some of the world’s largest blockchain projects, including DFINITY, Solana, Hedera and Casper. While different layer one projects can and have taken different paths to utility, from Casper’s enterprise focus to Solana’s approach to real-time settlements, panelists agreed that the industry is moving in a positive direction after a challenging year-plus — and that more regulatory guidance is needed to ensure organizations can confidently and securely realize the significant security and economic benefits of blockchain technology, and that builders are incentivized to continue innovating new applications.

At its core, a blockchain is a more cost-effective, modular and secure alternative to traditional databases. And those factors, as Casper Labs co-founder and CTO Medha Parlikar articulated, is what will ultimately drive adoption.

We’ll see you back here tomorrow, for The Hub’s final day of programming this year, focused on the Future of Finance.

Catch Up on This Week @ The Hub!

Day 0 highlights:

Day 1 highlights:


Thank you to our participating sponsors! 

Finally, a big thank you to our friends at Inacta Ventures, Trust Square and VNTR Capital for making today such a success.