Core Devs, Bankers and the FBI: What Not to Miss at Consensus 2015

We've handpicked a few moments to look out for over the course of CoinDesk's inaugural conference, Consensus 2015.

AccessTimeIconSep 7, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:51 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Consensus 2015 is set to take over the TimesCenter building on Thursday (10th September), for a one-day summit to examine the real-world potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Besides being CoinDesk's inaugural conference, the event – with over 50 speakers and 450 attendees – will see a number of 'firsts'.

Here, we've handpicked a few to look out for over the course of the day.

FBI and IRS agents open up

Back in June, DEA agent Carl Force VI and Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges made headlines following allegations they had stolen over $700,000 worth of bitcoin while running the Baltimore Silk Road investigation. Bridges has since entered a plea deal, while Force, who has pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, is awaiting sentencing next month.

At Consensus, Kathryn Haun and Tigran Gambaryan, two officials involved in the case against Force and Bridges – alongside other high-profile investigations – will join a session to discuss law enforcement on the blockchain.

Bankers, bankers, bankers


Bankers are rarely in the same room at the same time. However, a number of top financial firms will be out in force at Consensus 2015. Santander's Julio Faura will discuss the role of the blockchain in the bank's consumer-facing applications, while Barclays' Simon Taylor will talk about his bank's work with bitcoin exchange Safello.

Additionally, Citi, one of the main sponsors of the event, is putting its name to blockchain projects for the first time. Expect to hear more about its plans during a 1-on-1 with the bank's global head of innovation, Debra Brackeen.

Diversity on the agenda

Bitcoin has become a byword for a certain type of person: young, white and male. This is supported by our recent research report, which found the technology needed to improve to break this mould. The launch of Consensus 2015 also coincides with the first dedicated diversity programme in bitcoin. In partnership with MIT Media Lab, 50 students aged between 18 and 25 will receive mentorship and access to the event, worth $75,000.

The Media Lab's DCI is working with local groups like Girls Who CodeCODE2040 and the National Center for Women and Information Technology to encourage applications for the scholarships.

The permission debate

Should blockchains be closed or open systems? As the technology makes gains in the private sector, this question is becoming ever more pressing. Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's creator; and researcher Tim Swanson, a notable bitcoin skeptic, will join with two bitcoin development thought leaders – Mike Hearn and Gregory Maxwell – on a panel addressing innovation on the blockchain, moderated by Cornell's Emin Gun Sirer.

Necker Island follow up

BitFury, light bulb
BitFury, light bulb

At the now-infamous Necker Island blockchain summit, which gave the world the first images of bitcoin-powered lightbulbs, actress and director Lucy Liu joined participants for a Skype discussion on how the blockchain could play a role in identity management.

More about the project she was linked to, ID2020, will be revealed by RedRose's John Edge, co-founder and chairman of the project during a panel on social good.

Tickets for the event are still on sale and you can check out the full list of Consensus speakers here.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.