There’s a lot less Crypto Bros and NFT nerds in Davos, Switzerland, for this week’s World Economic Forum, but one striking visual reminder of the volatile cryptocurrency market remains: a bright orange Mercedes AMG GT with a bitcoin badge replacing the three-pointed Mercedes star on the front.
Cryptocurrency had a damn good 2022; The industry lost $1.4 trillionafter CNBC. The crash cleared a former crypto storefront in Davos, Switzerland during the 2023 World Economic Forum this week:
The Promenade is the main street in Davos where companies and governments take over shops and cafes for a week. Last year crypto companies from all walks of life took the place. But since the market crash, there have been far fewer crypto firms with flashy storefronts in Davos.
A business selling non-fungible tokens or NFTs is gone. Prices for NFTs, which are digital collectibles, have also plummeted over the past year. What remains are companies that have survived the bear market and want to expand their business.
There were also those in traditional finance who were less welcoming of crypto firms.
Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, was asked during an event hosted by the Swiss bank what he would like to see in Davos this year. He said he’s seen it before: “It’s less crypto on the high street.”
Far fewer crypto store fronts, however, does not mean that crypto has completely disappeared from the WEF stage. Someone still in the crypto game parked this flashy Mercedes-AMG GT in, dare I say it, a Jalopnik-esque orange, on the same block where crypto shops used to be on the boardwalk. Before you get too excited, it is just a base price of $118,000 GT that replaced the Mercedes badge with a bitcoin symbol and tires with “In Crypto We Trust” written on the sidewalls and license plate.
And sure, it’s a very nice car, one that’s not exactly affordable for, say, a modest wordsmith salary. And yes, those are some very snazzy wheels too, but it’s not what most enthusiasts would consider a super-successful billionaire vehicle to be.
It is unclear to whom or which company the vehicle belongs. While the car is also being used to solicit donations to Ukraine, two crypto CEOs CNBC spoke to were upset by the flashy sports car’s presence outside one of the few crypto deals this year, especially after investors in the Industry had lost so much money in 2023.
Cars and crypto/NFTs have come together like peanut butter and sewage runoff In the last couple of years. A Tesla fans used his vehicle to dismantle the stuff again and Chevrolet conducted a hilarious experiment in which the automaker attempted to auction NFT of a brand new Corvette Z06 with the added bonus that the winner of the bid gets the actual car. Nobody bid on the car, which was priced at 206 Ethereum, or $238,960 at the time of the auction. The Z06 usually starts at $106,395.