This time, our correspondent caught up with Petko Draganov, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference of Trade and Development), who was asked what he thought about the emergence of cryptocurrencies and their influence on the global economy.
“[I have] no interest in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is not making a difference today to what I do. I look at the world economy. Is China going to grow 8 percent, 7 or 6 percent?…Is America gonna grow at 3 or 2 percent? Is the oil price going to be 110 or 90 USD? Bitcoin doesn’t matter to any of the big questions that I’m going to answer.”
In what reflected the general stance of many of the delegates that were asked about Bitcoin, Mr. Draganov admitted that the topic of cryptocurrencies was outside his area of interest and expertise. Nevertheless, when asked what Bitcoin needed to gain the attention of major institutions (e.g. the UN), politicians and the global economy as a whole, the UN representative conceded:
“Maybe if it was 10 percent of world currency transactions. The world forex daily volume is 2 trillion a day so you need to see 200 billion dollars a day of transactions in that currency. You need to see the world economy as 75 trillion dollars. You told me Bitcoins are worth 12 billion… it’s incredibly small.”
Listen to the full audio here: Petrko Draganov@SPIEF
“It’s not going to do it this year, next year or the year after,” said Mr. Draganov dismissively when asked when this event could potentially occur but admitted that there are some “intelligent people that I like who are paying more attention to it [Bitcoin]” than he is.
Seemingly, other delegates shared the same views with many admitting that they heard about the cryptocurrency phenomenon but stopping short of showing much interest or enthusiasm towards it.
“It’s not forbidden [in Finland] and there are cryptocurrencies,” said Thomas Palmgren, Specialist at The Federation of Finnish Enterprises, Member at European Economic & Social Committee (EESC), Board Member at Oy Forcit Ab, “I think it will [grow] as long as the security problem is addressed like money vanishing etc.”
Despite most conference participants admitting that they know little about Bitcoin, the word appears to be spreading. Perhaps in the near future, the same delegates will have a less dismissive attitude towards cryptocurrencies. Undoubtedly, Bitcoin still has a long way to go, but could the watershed moment happen when a cryptocurrency reaches a 10 percent daily transaction volume or 200 billion dollars as Mr. Draganov stated? If the prediction turns out to be true, then I will be the first in line to tip Mr. Draganov at SPIEF in the future - in Bitcoin, of course.