Unpacking Policy Issues at Consensus 2023

Regulators, lawmakers and more descend on Austin.

AccessTimeIconApr 25, 2023 at 3:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 26, 2023 at 7:42 p.m. UTC

We’re finally here: Consensus 2023. The team has packed it full of policy-related sessions. We’ll hear discussions ranging from global regulatory policy around crypto to how industry and lawmakers alike are approaching the question of privacy and privacy tool usage in crypto. I’m landing in Austin, Texas, today (Tuesday) – shoot me a note, maybe we’ll meet up. Reminder: you can still buy a discounted ticket, including a virtual ticket if you’re not in Austin.

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Policy Summit

The narrative

CoinDesk is hosting a Policy Summit on Friday specifically focused on regulatory and related issues within the industry.

Why it matters

What is happening? That’s a question we'll be discussing during the week.

Breaking it down

It’s been a bad year for crypto. Celsius Network suspended withdrawals on June 12 last year, the day after Consensus 2022 ended. Since then we’ve seen a number of other bankruptcies, the collapse of the FTX exchange and increased attention from policymakers watching thousands of their constituents lose access to millions of dollars’ worth of crypto.

Since then the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has ramped up its efforts to police the sector, while U.S. bank regulators have begun issuing statements and guidance warning companies under their charge to be careful around crypto (to say the least). The European Union has finally approved the Markets in Crypto Asset (MiCA) legislation that's been in the works for years, and member governments are soon going to implement the multinational framework. Regulators in places including Hong Kong and the U.K. are revisiting how they approach crypto.

There's also this sharp contrast between the U.S., where lawmakers are still discussing and debating crypto issues without moving legislation, and other regions where we're seeing firm laws and additional guidance tailored to the crypto sector.

We'll hear about all of these issues during the policy summit this week.

I’ll be moderating four sessions: one-on-one discussions with Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne Harris and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero; and our annual Lawmaker Town Hall with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).

We'll also hear from Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis, Binance Financial Crime Compliance Head Tigran Gambaryan and even Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner.

Watch CoinDesk's website for coverage throughout the week if you can't make it yourself, and if you are present, come say hi!

Stories you may have missed

This week



  • First day of CoinDesk’s Consensus 2023!


  • 18:00 UTC (2:00 p.m. ET) The House Agriculture Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing on crypto.
  • 18:00 UTC (2:00 p.m. ET) The House Financial Services Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing on crypto.


  • 15:45 UTC (10:45 a.m. CT) CoinDesk’s Consensus 2023 Policy Summit kicks off.


  • (The Atlantic) Buzzfeed News, despite the parent site's propensity for quizzes and other fun things, did some really important reporting (not to mention the weird crypto stuff). It's a genuine pity it's closing, and I hope its reporters find places that will let them continue doing what they're good at.

If you’ve got thoughts or questions on what I should discuss next week or any other feedback you’d like to share, feel free to email me at nik@coindesk.com or find me on Twitter @nikhileshde.

You can also join the group conversation on Telegram.

See ya’ll next week!

Edited by Henry Bond.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.