The Alpine resort plays host to a slew of policymakers, economists and central bankers every year. Topics usually include global growth, inequality and climate change but the nascent industry of digital currencies has managed to eke out a place on this year's agenda.
"From bucks to bitcoins," is the title of the seminar due at Davos on Friday afternoon. It explores how the mainstreaming of digital finance could disrupt financial services and transform consumer behavior. This is a far cry from last year, when the most notable mention of the cryptocurrrency was when it was openly criticized by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on CNBC.
Bitcoin is a "virtual" currency that allows users to exchange online credits for goods and services. While there is no central bank that issues them, bitcoins can be created online by using a computer to complete difficult tasks, a process known as mining. The digital currency is renowned for its volatility and with its ability to keep users anonymous it has been heavily criticized for facilitating illegal activity.