There are a lot fewer crypto bros and NFT nerds in Davos, Switzerland, for this week’s World Economic Forum, but one eye-catching visual reminder of the teetering crypto currency market remains: A bright orange Mercedes-AMG GT with a Bitcoin badge replacing the Mercedes three pointed star on the front.
Cryptocurrency had a hell of a 2022; the industry lost $1.4 trillion, according to CNBC. The crash cleared a former crypto storefronts in Davos, Switzerland, during this week’s 2023 World Economic Forum:
The Promenade is the main street in Davos where companies and governments take over shops and cafes for the week. Last year, crypto firms from all walks of life took over the place. But since the market slide, there are far fewer crypto firms with flashy store fronts at Davos.
One shop selling non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, has disappeared. Prices of NFTs, which are digital collectibles, also plunged last year. What’s left are companies that survived the bear market and that are looking to expand their businesses.
There were also those in traditional finance who welcomed fewer 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 had seen it already: “It’s less crypto on the main street.”
Far fewer crypto store fronts doesn’t mean crypto is completely gone from the WEF stage, however. Someone with skin still in the crypto game parked this eye-catching Mercede-AMG GT in, dare I say, a Jalopnik-esque orange, on the same block that used to host crypto shops on the Promenade. Before you get too excited, it’s just a base $118,000 GT, with the Mercedes badge replaced by a Bitcoin symbol and tires with “In Crypto We Trust” etched on the sidewalls and on the license plate.
And sure, it’s a very nice auto, one not exactly affordable on, let’s say, a humble wordsmith’s salary. And also yes, those are some very fancy wheels, but it’s not what most enthusiasts would consider a super successful billionaire’s vehicle.
It’s unclear to who or what company the vehicle belongs to. While the car is also being used to promote donations to Ukraine, two crypto CEOs CNBC spoke to were annoyed with the flashy sports car’s presence in front of one of the few crypto storefronts this year, especially after the industry investors lost so much money in 2023.
Cars and crypto/NFTs have gone together like peanut butter and sewage runoff over the last few years. A Tesla fans used his vehicle to mine the stuff back and Chevrolet performed a hilarious experiment where the automaker tried to auction an NFT of a brand new Corvette Z06 with the added bonus of the bid winner receiving the actual car. No one bid on the car, which was priced at 206 Ethereum or, at the time of the auction, $238,960. The Z06 normally starts at $106,395.