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Register now for Consensus 2016

Main Stage

8:55 AM

Opening Remarks

An introduction to Consensus 2015 from the CoinDesk team.

  • Jeremy Bonney, CoinDesk
9:00 AM

State of Blockchain

A wide-ranging overview of the state of the digital currency economy and blockchain technology from CoinDesk’s lead analyst and economic historian at the London School of Economics, Garrick Hileman. This is our curtain-raiser.

9:15 AM

Trust, Permissions, Openness: The Future of Innovation on the Blockchain

This high-level discussion on the future of building on the blockchain – or blockchains – will delve into the nature of trust on the network, permissioned and permissionless distributed ledgers and public or private chains.

9:45 AM

Unprecedented Transparency? Law Enforcement on the Blockchain

Bitcoin is an anonymous digital currency that lets individuals trade illicit goods on the dark web, right? Not quite, if our panellists have anything to say about the matter.
Kathryn Haun and Tigran Gambaryan worked on the case against the corrupt Secret Service and DEA agents who stole from the Silk Road while they were investigating the infamous dark market. The panel is moderated by Jerry Brito, a leading voice in the ongoing effort to craft legislation that fits the technology.


10:25 AM


Caffeinate and discuss the morning’s sessions.

10:45 AM

Finding the Critical Path to Mass Adoption

Merchant processing was once thought to be the way bitcoin and other digital currencies gained traction among consumers on the high street. But is merchant processing still the path to mass adoption? If people aren’t buying coffee with bitcoin in the morning, or buying stuff online with them, how might people interact with digital currencies in the future?

11:15 AM

A $1.6 Quadrillion Opportunity – Securities Clearing and Settlement

Using a blockchain for clearing and settlement of securities – potentially cutting waiting times from days to minutes – is one of the hottest use-cases for the technology. What’s at stake is a massive market: the DTCC clears $1.6 quadrillion in transactions annually, for example.
Our panel has a wealth of experience in the space: Hans Morris leads fintech venture firm Nyca Partners, and is a former president of Visa Inc, and a CFO of Citi’s investment bank. Blythe Masters runs Digital Asset Holdings, which is addressing the space, and she was global head of commodities at JP Morgan. Houman Shadab is a leading thinker in the space and provides a legal perspective on the debate.

11:55 PM


A chance to meet your fellow attendees over a spot of lunch.

12:35 PM

Citi Ventures One-on-One with CoinDesk

More details to follow.

  • Wong Joon Ian, CoinDesk
  • Debra Brackeen, Global Head, Innovation Network, Citi
12:55 PM

Proof of Good? Blockchain Tech, Civic Tech and Social Impact

Hear from individuals and groups working on leveraging blockchain tech’s unique properties for social impact and civic technology.
How can identity be recorded on an immutable ledger? How could a distributed database be used for education certification and verification? Can a bitcoin mining firm pivot to be as much a cryptocurrency infrastructure provider as a force with social impact? These are some of the issues our panel will discuss.

1:25 PM

More VC Money than the Early Internet? Blockchain Fundraising Ecosystem Trends

From accelerator programmes and incubators to corporate venture, what are investors seeing on pitch decks these days? Are the days of big funding rounds for ‘universal’ digital currency companies over? What are the most interesting opportunities in early stage investing in the space?

1:55 PM

Makeathon Winners

The winning team at the Makeathon held two days prior at General Assembly NYC will walk us through their fresh new use-case for digital currency and blockchain tech.

2:05 PM


A chance to grab a coffee for that after-lunch boost.

2:25 PM

Moving Money: Could Digital Currency Impact Global Remittances and Financial Inclusion

Digital currencies and blockchain tech hold the promise of low to no transaction fees. Digital and mobile wallets could mean that unbanked populations gaining easy access to storage and distribution of funds.
Our panellists have studied this problem from many angles: Kosta Peric is a deputy director at the Gates Foundation; Anne Shere Wallwork looks at the intertwined issues of terrorist financing, money laundering, other illicit financing abuse and emerging technology and financial inclusion, issues that Steven Malby is also weighing as a key member of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s 10-country working group on digital currencies.

2:55 PM

Consumer Protection on the Blockchain

Digital currencies have been roiled by high-profile implosions of exchanges, elaborate Ponzi schemes, firms failing to ship their promised hardware and more. What does consumer protection look like on the blockchain?
Jim Newsome brings experience as a financial regulator charged with analysing complicated new financial instruments, being a former head of the CFTC. Martine Niejadlik balanced consumer protection needs with user-growth at Coinbase while Joe Colangelo has addressed these issues at a Consumers’ Research workshop at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. David Tait of the Commonwealth Secretariat will discuss consumer protection in an international context.

3:15 PM

The Tipping Point: Could Micropayments Take Digital Currencies Mainstream?

Micropayments haven’t succeeded in the traditional payments space, but this hasn’t stopped them from taking hold in the digital currency sphere.
People across the globe are sending small amounts of digital currency to each other for a variety of reasons, from pay-per-minute video streaming to tipping on Twitter.
Our panellists are really making waves in the space – Wences Casares and Hernan Botbol are using bitcoin wallets to share ad-revenue with the 80 million monthly users of Taringa, one of the largest social networks in Argentina. Dan Morehead, on the other hand, has invested in a slew of cryptocurrency companies, including ChangeTip, which lets users tip each other on the most popular social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.
The session aims to examine whether micropayments will be what really popularises digital currency use.

3:35 PM


A chance for refreshment before the final sessions.

3:55 PM

Bitcoin and its Antecedents: A Look at the History and Evolution of Digital Cash

Bitcoin is far from the first attempt at creating a form of digital money with the potential to upend existing systems. Our panellists will look at bitcoin’s predecessors and close cousins. Nathaniel Popper wrote the book Digital Gold, which delves into bitcoin’s genesis; Christopher Allen is an internet security expert who has been involved in digital cash systems including Digicash for decades, while Garrick Hileman is CoinDesk’s lead analyst and an economic historian at the LSE, specialising in alternative and private monies.

4:20 PM

What’s Wall Street Doing With Blockchains?

Wall Street’s embrace of blockchain tech has been the big story this year. We’ll invite our panellists to present 3-minute lightning talks on the work their institutions are doing with blockchains. Then Jesse McWaters, who leads the World Economic Forum’s disruptive finance project, will lead a discussion with the panellists.

5:00 PM

Better Than Cash? The Future of Digital and Mobile Money

This session explores the future of cash in several diverse contexts, and how it overlaps with digital currencies and blockchain tech. Our panellists will discuss mobile money in Africa and new attempts to bring cash to mobiles using cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer networks. The conversation is underpinned by looking at the benefits of mobile and digital money in areas looking to increase financial inclusion, and in a humanitarian aid and relief context.

5:30 PM

Closing Remarks

Closing remarks and thank you.

  • Jeremy Bonney, CoinDesk

The Hall

9:00 AM
– 11:00 AM

Digital Currency Council (Location: CoinDesk Knowledge Bar)

11:55 AM
– 1:55 PM

Chamber of Digital Commerce (Location: CoinDesk Knowledge Bar)

*Sessions are subject to change

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