Things are settling in on the third day of Blockchain Week. Tuesday saw Nym’s Harry Halpin give an in-depth demonstration on how to shield your transactions, while Vitalik Buterin walked back a comment he made the previous day.
Here’s what my colleague Nikhilesh De watching for throughout the day:
Good morning folks, and welcome to day three of CoinDesk’s Consensus: Distributed. There’s a lot to look forward to today, but in the interests of keeping this newsletter opening relatively short I’m going to focus on two themes I’m personally interested in: financial inclusion and the Travel Rule.
Financial inclusion is an issue that’s pretty important to me. It’s a great goal for fintech and crypto startups to target, but there are underlying issues I’ve seen few companies address, including the infrastructure concern. Even if a project is easy to use and works at scale, how are individuals with limited internet access going to use them? What are the financial and technological on- and off-ramps for these individuals? I’ve had no part in planning today’s workshop, but these are some of the questions I hope are brought up – even if a solution isn’t immediately apparent, the conversation itself is one that desperately needs to happen.
The other workshop I’m looking at today concerns the Financial Action Task Force’s Travel Rule Recommendation. A quick recap: Last year FATF, an intergovernmental standards body for financial institutions, recommended nations enforce the so-called Travel Rule on virtual asset service providers (VASPs), meaning exchanges and some wallet providers will be required to know information of recipients of fund transfers even if those recipients aren’t their own customers. Various entities have been trying to develop standards for the industry in the year since. (Check out my colleague Ian Allison’s excellent coverage in this area.) With the implementation deadline coming up next month, it’s an issue that should remain on people’s minds. (Full disclosure: I’ll be moderating one of the panels during this workshop.)
- Nikhilesh De
What To Watch
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET Oxford: From Cyber Security to Cyber Future – Workshop
David Shrier, Oxford futurist, breaks down the interconnections between cyber-worlds, data privacy and crypto.
10:00 – 1:00 p.m. Is Crypto Ready for the Travel Rule?
A star-studded panel discusses the FATF’s Travel Rule, a financial regulation that could reshape the direction of the crypto industry. Amy Davine Kim of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Noah Perlman of Gemini and Jeff Horowitz of Coinbase, among others, are scheduled to make an appearance.
11:30 – 1:00 p.m. First Principles for a Decentralized Future
Hosted by World Economic Forum, this program featuring Clovyr’s Amber Baldet, Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf and the inimitable Meltem Demirors, and many more, will examine how the cryptographic tools being built today can preserve their underlying values.
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Financial Exclusion: Does Crypto Fix This?
One of the chief use cases of crypto is to provide financial infrastructure for emerging markets and those excluded from the banking system. Carlos Acevedo, Karen Bhatia, Susan Oh and Tyrone Ross – all currently testing blockchain for social solutions in New York City – will ask and answer the question: Can crypto bank the unbanked?
2:00 – 4:30 p.m. DeFi Risk and Regulation Workshop
Crypto lawyers, builders and founders dive into the regulatory schemes that may affect the nascent DeFi industry.
5:00 – 5:55 p.m. Don’t Bank on the Banks: Borrowing and Saving With Crypto
Greg DiPrisco, head of business development at the Maker Foundation, will demonstrate how the interconnected world of DeFi can replace and improve upon traditional banking.
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Research Hub: Crypto Research Happy Hour
Join CoinDesk Research’s happy hour to close out the third full day of Consensus: Distributed.
The CoinDesk 50
The CoinDesk 50 is an annual list celebrating the movers and shakers of the crypto industry. We’ve already highlighted Binance, Cosmos, Brave, Bitmain, MakerDAO, Besu and the People’s Bank of China, and will continue to announce five new names a day until the end of Blockchain Week. Today we look at why Bitcoin is still king. You can read the full list here.
Bitcoin Is King
With so many cryptocurrencies and “blockchain solutions” it’s remarkable, yet unavoidably clear, that Bitcoin is still the most exciting project to watch in this space. This cryptocurrency project isn’t run by a group of youthful researchers publishing their homework in the hopes of stress-testing models with other people’s money. Bitcoin isn’t a lifestyle brand, even if some zealots congregate around it. It is just money, already today. It is a tool and not a promise. It’s value doesn’t rely on any single company. And that’s why, while startup dreams come and go like fashion trends, bitcoin remains resilient. Read the full story.
CoinDesk: COVID Response
CoinDesk has joined Gitcoin, The Giving Block and Ethereal Summit to support charities helping communities in difficult times. We’re raising $100,000 and giving you a voice through the quadratic funding model. Learn how it works and how to donate.
In addition, New York-based abstract artist Mr. Star City created an original piece of artwork, shown above, as a part of Consensus: Distributed. The art, inspired by love, unity and technology, will be up for auction this week. Follow @coindesk on Twitter to find out how to bid — the proceeds will go to the same cause.
IRS Solicits Contractors to Help Examine Crypto Traders’ Tax Returns
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is seeking third-party contractors to help it assess whether certain U.S. taxpayers have properly paid taxes on their crypto holdings.
R3 Corda Partners With Kaleido After Ethereum Startup Spins Out of ConsenSys
R3, the company behind distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform Corda, is edging ever closer to Ethereum, with news of a partnership with blockchain-in-the-cloud startup Kaleido. The announcement comes following Kaleido’s emergence as a standalone company last month.
Telegram Abandons TON Blockchain Project After Court Fight With SEC
TON is officially dead. Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote in his public channel Tuesday that the Telegram Open Network project would be discontinued due to the company’s ongoing legal fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Stablecoin Supply Breaks $10B as Traders Demand Dollars Over Bitcoin
The value of assets for all stablecoins surpassed $10 billion Tuesday, having surged by over 70% in just two months, according to Coin Metrics. Stablecoin supply growth comes as more cryptocurrency traders choose to trade alternative cryptocurrencies (or altcoins) using dollar-backed digital tokens instead of bitcoin.
17,000 People Have Filed Claims for Refunds From QuadrigaCX, Auditor EY Says
These individual claims have been filed for the remaining assets of defunct crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, totaling anywhere from $167 million to more than $300 million depending on how the assets are valued.
The Morning After: Crypto Funds Happy Hour
Last night, the CoinDesk Research team spoke with crypto fund experts and managers about sector shifts and opportunities. CoinDesk’s Brad Keoun counted “four whiskey drinks, three beers” on the panel.
How to Use Brella
To access all of the deeper cuts available through Consensus: Distributed, you’ll need to login through Brella , our virtual conferencing platform. You can create an account through Gmail, LinkedIn, Facebook or set one up manually on Brella. Your profile will be the way you match and network with others. As soon as you’re set up, you’ll be directed to a dashboard showing other registrants.
Brella is easy to use and has a number of features to help you through this virtual experience. There are multiple tracks of simultaneous programming happening inside Brella. You’ll also be able to browse the entire agenda, bookmark sessions and build your own schedule.
Brella is a great networking tool as well, be sure to check out some of the social features available in-page, and reach out to the people and organizations that pique your interest. Celo, for one, is hiring.
The Problem With Money
Listen to former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers discuss why the problem with the current monetary system is “too much privacy.“
Freelance journalist Jess Klein writes about an emerging psychographic of people who see the world through the lens of decentralization. Unset by the traditional bounds of age, country or class, Generation C is bound together by a willingness to question mainstream narratives and an unceasing desire to topple undeserving authorities. The eight-fold series of profiles of leading crypto figures -including Preston Byrne, Ameen Soleimani and Tamara Frankel – will publish at 8:00 a.m. ET.