WEF 2022: SWIFT probably won’t exist in 5 years, says Mastercard CEO

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WEF 2022: SWIFT probably won't exist in 5 years, says Mastercard CEO

Michael Miebach, CEO of Mastercard told an audience of blockchain executives that he expects SWIFT to phase out of existence in as little as five years’ time.

Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said on Tuesday that he does not expect SWIFT, one of the most widely used platforms for cross-border fiat transactions, to exist in five years’ time. 

Miebach was speaking at a panel session on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), as part of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC)’s Blockchain Central Davos conference, which ran adjacent to the World Economic Forum 2022 in Davos, Switzerland.

Towards the end of the panel discussion, when the moderator asked each panelist whether they thought SWIFT would still exist in five years’ time, Miebach caused the audience to gasp in shock after answering “no”, according to a Cointelegraph reporter who attended the session. 

The response had not been expected given his position at Mastercard, and that the panelists before him, including Jon Frost, a senior economist at Bank of International Settlements and Jennifer Lassiter, executive director of the Digital Dollar project, an organization tasked with exploring a United States CBDC had answered in the affirmative.

Other panelists following Miebach also took the affirmative viewpoint, including Yuval Rooz, CEO of Digital Asset, a data technology company and David Treat, director at Accenture and co-lead of the company’s blockchain business.

Cointelegraph approached Miebach immediately following the panel discussion, but was denied any further comment on the subject.

Later, a Mastercard spokesperson downplayed Miebach’s comments in an email statement:

Cointelegraph reporters on the ground at Davos noted that in another panel session titled “Rules of the Road for Digital Economy,” Miebach talked about the role regulation can take in reducing the unnecessary noise around a nascent technology like crypto.

“Not everyone is screaming for regulation but it does reduce the noise in the crypto world. Engaging actively with regulators and being principled, I am optimistic,” he said.

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