10 Must-See Moments at Consensus 2016

Don't miss these must-see moments set to take place at next week's Consensus 2016 blockchain conference.

AccessTimeIconApr 29, 2016 at 10:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:15 p.m. UTC

CoinDesk’s Consensus 2016 conference kicks off Monday for three days of blockchain technology discussion, promising a wide array of engaging panelists, industry power-brokers and groundbreaking announcements, presentations and more.

While three days of conference can be a lot to take in, there are some moments set to take place next week that attendees simply must not miss.

CoinDesk takes a look at some of these must-see moments to come:

10. 21 Inc Meets R3

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.51.04 PM
Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.51.04 PM

Can you say polar opposites?

One is the CEO of a $121m Silicon Valley bitcoin company, the other is the head of the blockchain consortium representing more than 40 of the world’s largest banks.

The last panel on the week’s agenda will feature a powerhouse discussion with 21 Inc CEO Balaji Srinivasan and R3CEV founder and CEO David Rutter. Up for debate will be the future of the technology itself, with each CEO presenting their vision for the path ahead.

Expect the discourse to heat up given the disparate takes each firm has on the ecosystem. Will they reach consensus? We’ll have to wait and see.

9. Proof of Work competition


What tech conference wouldn’t be complete without its own ‘Shark Tank’?

Five blockchain startups – The Sun Exchange, CoinPrism, Lawnmower, Uniquid and Colony – are to compete for $10,000 on day two of the event. But, who are the sharks?

Judges include Santander InnoVentures’ Pascal Bouvier; CME Ventures’ Rumi Morales; Pantera Capital’s Dan Morehead; RRE’s James Robinson and Tally Capital’s Matt Roszak.

Which one will survive? Only time will tell.

8. Real blockchain demos

Don’t quite get bitcoin and blockchain yet? Well, seeing is believing.

Day one will see two industry startups – Abra and BitPay – demo blockchain remittances apps alongside Visa Europe Collab, Visa Europe’s international innovation hub.

What’s to see? Two of the industry’s best-funded startups – representing $46.5m in investor confidence – will demo new technology, a must see given that Abra and BitPay are also among the quieter startups in industry.

7. A director from AT&T and Nasdaq


AT&T, Brookings Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, Nasdaq, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Silver Lake Partners.

With this expansive resume, Glenn Hutchins aims to take the stage at Consensus 2016 for a talk that discusses the state of innovation in the industry.

Entitled ‘Why Bitcoin Still Matters’, it’s safe to say Hutchins’ talk might not be what you’d typically hear from a financial industry leader. But, what will he say about blockchain?

6. State of Blockchain preview

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.56.19 PM
Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.56.19 PM

CoinDesk’s quarterly State of Blockchain report is a must-have for industry executives, but those attending Consensus 2016 will get an exclusive first look.

Our head of research Garrick Hileman will act as the emcee, providing a 20-minute opening overview that covers trends in VC funding and the ongoing shift from bitcoin to blockchain services, among other data-driven topics.

5. Gavin Andresen meets Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin neon sign
Bitcoin neon sign

Leading technologists will take to the stage on day one as part of a panel session entitled “Reaching Consensus on Open Blockchains”.

VeriFi chairman Pindar Wong will moderate a panel including Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and Neha Narula of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.

The must-see moment? Former Bitcoin Core maintainer Gavin Andressen and current Bitcoin Core spokesperson Eric Lombrozo will also be onstage weighing in on the topic.

Given the longstanding disagreements between bitcoin’s developer teams, this session could prove to be one to watch.

4. Larry Summers talks blockchain

Larry Summers
Larry Summers

A former advisor to US Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Larry Summers has since emerged as a quiet but notable voice in the bitcoin and blockchain space.

Next Tuesday, Summers will sit down for a one-on-one chat about the technology in the context of global affairs.

Coming after a day of engaging panel discussions on business and policy issues, Summers’ talk offers a unique perspective on blockchain’s potential in the world today.

3. Chain and Visa's presentation

visa, euros
visa, euros

Last September, payments network giant Visa was one of several major companies to invest in blockchain startup Chain.

Now, some of the fruits of that partnership will be on full display at Consensus 2016. Visa Venture Program lead Peter Berg and Chain CEO Adam Ludwin will be on hand to walk through what the two companies have been working on in the research lab.

2. 21 Inc's mystery announcement

21, bitcoin computer
21, bitcoin computer

One of the big mysteries surrounding next week’s event has to do with 21 Inc, the Silicon Valley-based startup behind the 21 Bitcoin Computer.

CEO Balaji Srinivasan will be giving a special presentation on “How to Get Bitcoin (Without Mining or Buying Bitcoin)”.

What will he unveil? Given Srinivasan’s unique take on the technology and history of unpredictable announcements, the full reveal will be sure toto leave attendees talking.

1. Delaware's 'Blockchain Initiative' unveiled


Arguably one of the most exciting sessions planned for Consensus, the Delaware government’s work with blockchain represents one of the first major public sector projects involving the technology.

Featuring a special appearance by Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, the presentation – which starts at 8:20am on Monday – offers an in-depth look at how the state government is looking to leverage the technology for public services.

How is the state leveraging blockchain and does it involve bitcoin? We'll keep you posted with live reports!

Images via Consensus 2016; Shutterstock


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