What to Watch at Consensus: Distributed – CBDCs, Travel Rule and the Future of Money

The disruption of money is the meta-theme for this year’s conference. Here are our top picks for those keen to join the conversation on regulation, policy and the future of money.

AccessTimeIconMay 11, 2020 at 6:23 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:39 a.m. UTC

Consensus: Distributed is packed with over 100 sessions May 11-15 for virtual attendees across different industries, from government and investment to tech and philanthropy.

The disruption of money is the meta-theme for this year’s conference, and we’ll be closely examining this throughout the event.

Here are our top picks for those keen to join the conversation of regulation, policy and the future of money: 

Money Reimagined

On “Money Re-imagined” Monday from 9-10 a.m. ET, Michael J. Casey will chat with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, digital dollar visionary Chris Giancarlo, Dante Disparte of the Libra Foundation, Sheila Warren of the World Economic Forum, fintech author and futurist Dave Birch and crypto-industry luminaries Joe Lubin and Caitlin Long.

The digital dollar debate bubbled up last year, as both China and Libra looked determined to revert the global monetary order that has existed since the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement. It hasn’t let up. Come to "Ask Them Anything: Chris Giancarlo and the Digital Dollar Project" on Monday at 8:45 a.m. prepared with questions to ask former heads of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chris Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine as well as Accenture blockchain lead David Treat about their ambitious plan to digitize the U.S. dollar.

In the following hour, Nolan Bauerle and Bailey Reutzel talk to stalwarts from the bitcoin ecosystem like Saifedean Ammous, Erik Voorhees and Nic Carter in "Plan B," followed by an all-star halving breakdown with MIT’s Neha Narula, Hasu and Raphael Auer of the Bank for International Settlements.

Also tune in at 6 p.m. ET to see Nathaniel Whittemore interview Niall Ferguson on the economic history of pandemics on the show “Coronavirus, Blockchain and the Meaning of Life.” 

Central bank digital currencies

CBDCs are the hot topic of 2020, and you’ll hear from leading figures throughout the week. Yves Mersch of the European Central Bank Executive Board will deliver a keynote address Monday morning that will run on-demand for the duration of the event. He will also take your questions in AMA format at 9:30 a.m. ET. 

Now: Register to Join the Conversation at Consensus: Distributed, May 11-15, 2020

At 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Serey Chea – assistant governor and director general at the National Bank of Cambodia – will give a talk about Project Bakong and how it will transform the payments system in her country. 

Lastly, the CBDC workshop from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday brings us up to speed on how this ecosystem is evolving worldwide. Hear from the governor of the Bank of Mauritius, see case study presentations on retail CBDC projects like the Bahamas, East Caribbean Central Bank and Marshall Islands, and learn how payments and blockchain infrastructure vendors like Mastercard, Paxos and Ciphertrace are angling toward this market. 

Policy, Regulation and the Travel Rule

CoinDesk is deploying its policy-focused “Capitol Controls” program across three continents to discuss the Financial Action Task Force’s upcoming guidelines, primarily the Travel Rule and its impact on cryptocurrencies. 

The U.S. edition will air Monday at 12 p.m. ET; the CoinDesk Korea team hosts an Asia edition at 10:00 p.m. ET. And we wrap up at 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday with a Europe edition hosted by CoinDesk Executive Editor Marc Hochstein and new Binance UK Director Teana Baker-Taylor. 

On Monday at 6 p.m., we’ll host a “Future of Blockchain Forensics” panel with executives from four of the big analytics firms – Chainalysis, Coinfirm, Ciphertrace and Elliptic – to explore how these services can simultaneously promote crypto adoption and financial integrity. 

On Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., we host a workshop diving into the Travel Rule, the new FATF guidelines and what they mean for crypto exchanges, service providers and investors – with a keynote address by FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco. 

Later on Wednesday, we host a "Defi Risk and Regulation" workshop, where expert decentralized finance attorneys Jake Chervinsky, Jason Somensatto and Marta Belcher will walk us through the Wild West of DeFi law. We’ll take a look into modeling and stress testing for defi networks with Tarun Chitra of Gauntlet. 

Consensus: Distributed is a fully virtual, free conference May 11-15, 2020. Register here.
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