Filmed by Alpha Grid. Produced by Filip Fortuna. Footage: Bloomberg
Here in Davos there's two big themes that we're hearing bankers and financiers talk about in the world of financial technology. They are blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. And this blockchain technology, I think, is particularly interesting because we're seeing a real shift now in the debates of the industry and how the industry is coming to terms with this new asset class, the crypto asset class, people are calling it.
After last year where we saw the value of cryptocurrencies rise to more than half a trillion dollars, the likes of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become impossible for the financial establishment to ignore. And now we're seeing the chief executive of Nasdaq here in Davos telling us that Nasdaq, the big US exchange, is going to look at ways to provide products that will help retail investors put money into the likes of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
So this is really the start of these two worlds, which until now have been very separate, coming together. And a lot of banks up to now have been saying that the cliche is, we don't like Bitcoin. It's got dirty money attached to it, but we do like the underlying blockchain technology. And now it's getting a bit more muddled and confused. People are starting to say, well, perhaps there is something to this cryptocurrency idea after all. We're now seeing these two worlds intertwined.
But the big message from the financiers and the bankers is that they can't do much more until regulators set more ground rules, so that they know what the rules of the game are. It's very unregulated space, but cryptocurrencies and the financial establishment are starting to intertwine. They're starting to collide, and it's going to be very interesting to see how that develops.