- CNBC spotted an orange Mercedes at Davos with a bitcoin logo stuck on. Nobody in the vicinity knew who parked it there.
- Crypto executives criticized the car saying it was bad for the reputation of the industry after the excesses and market collapse of 2022.
- Michael Chobanian, the founder of Kuna, confirmed to CNBC in a statement that the car belongs to him and the reason he parked there was purely out of convenience.
- Chobanian hit back at critics: "If someone made bad decisions and lost money, it's their fault and not my cars."
DAVOS, Switzerland — The mystery of the orange bitcoin car, that was first spotted by CNBC on Monday at the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, has been solved and the owner is not impressed with its critics.
The Mercedes, which sports a bitcoin logo in place of the car's iconic badge and the words "in crypto we trust" across the wheels, was parked outside the Blockchain Hub, a space run by Casper Labs along the Davos Promenade.
The Promenade is the main street in Davos where companies and governments have taken over shops and cafes for this week's World Economic Forum — an annual gathering of business leaders, celebs and global policymakers.
Last year, crypto firms from all walks of life took over the place. But since the crypto market slide of 2022, there are far fewer crypto firms with flashy store fronts at Davos.
CNBC asked people in the vicinity on Monday whose car it is but nobody saw who parked it. Two crypto executives who spoke to CNBC did not welcome the presence of the car, given the near $1.4 trillion wipeout of the market last year and the excesses of the industry are under scrutiny.
One exec said that the presence of such a car was not helpful for the industry's reputation which took a hit last year.
The license plate had "Kuna" printed on it, which is the name of a Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange.
Michael Chobanian, the founder of Kuna, confirmed to CNBC in a statement that the car belongs to him and the reason he parked there was purely out of convenience.
"The car is there because this is the closest parking spot that I found," Chobanian said.
He also hit back at the critics of the car.
"How is the crash related to my property? I am [in the] crypto and finance industry for 10 years. I am not selling anything, nor promoting. If someone made bad decisions and lost money, it's their fault and not my cars," Chobanian said.