Policymakers Are Back at Consensus 2024

CoinDesk's annual confab is back. I'll be hosting the policy summit, and here's what to expect.

AccessTimeIconMay 22, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. UTC

This week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission might approve spot ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the House of Representatives may vote in favor of a crypto market structure bill, the company behind a decentralized exchange is arguing with the SEC, and that's all just in the U.S. All of these topics will come up at Consensus 2024 next week.

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Policy Week

The narrative

Consensus, CoinDesk's annual conference, kicks off next Wednesday in Austin, Texas. We'll have a number of policymakers and industry participants engaging in the policy world. We have a few sessions on Wednesday, May 29, and Friday, May 31, but the bulk of this will take place on Thursday, May 30, when we hold our annual Policy Summit.

Why it matters

The policy summit is focused on, well, policy issues. And they're important. On Tuesday alone, we saw an intense discussion about a pending House vote on possibly the first crypto market structure bill to make it through one of Congress' legislative bodies, the possibility that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission might approve spot ether exchange-traded funds, and Uniswap Labs' response to a Wells Notice sent to it by the SEC.

Clearly, there's a lot going on. My goal is to see what we can learn from our panels of speakers next week.

Breaking it down

CoinDesk is holding its annual Policy Summit stage at Consensus 2024 next week in Austin, Texas (still need a ticket? Coupon code below!).

During the policy summit, we'll hear from SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and CFTC Commissioner Summer Mersinger, Sen. Bill Hagerty and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, representatives from the IRS and Senate candidates.

The agenda includes issues such as the upcoming U.S. election, current policy within key regulatory agencies, the European Union's Markets in Crypto Assets framework, taxes, and more. The crypto industry has discussed or tried to lobby on each of these issues over the past few years, and we'll see more engagement on them in the coming days.

We're kicking the summit off with Commissioners Peirce and Mersinger. I'll moderate this opening session with the commissioners before we turn things over to my colleague Camomile for a session on MiCA and its implementation later this year. Jesse Hamilton and Cheyenne Ligon are also set to moderate important discussions through the course of the day.

Outside of the main policy summit, we're also going to hear from senior policy officials, like Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. We'll talk about issues like the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's proposed rulemaking designating mixers as primary money laundering concerns, and a panel focused on mixers and privacy will delve into both ongoing legal cases against developers and the broader issue of balancing the right to transact privately with the very real concern that illicit actors – like certain rogue nations – might be taking advantage of privacy tools for malign ends.

We'll talk about the role corporate monitors might play in crypto moving forward, after Binance's landmark settlement with U.S. officials that will see it reporting to a monitor for the next few years.

Panelists will look at how central bank digital currencies are actually being developed and used in countries around the world, separating hypothetical concerns from practical realities.

Representatives from the IRS will walk through what they're doing now to further develop the tax agency's approach to digital assets, and another speaker will discuss the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's global crypto tax reporting framework.

Crypto broker Prometheum will take us over its soft launch of a custody service, what that means for the industry and where it's going next.

Senate candidates Bernie Moreno (R-Ohio) and John Deaton (R-Mass.) will take the stage, as will presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. And we'll hear from many more policy – and other – speakers over the course of the event.

I'm moderating conversations with Senators Wyden and Hagerty, Commissioners Peirce and Mersinger and Under Secretary Nelson. If you have a question you think may be interesting, feel free to respond to this email and send those my way. I might ask the best ones on stage.

Stories you may have missed

This week

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  • 14:00 UTC (10:00 a.m. EDT) The Senate Energy Committee held a hearing on energy needs by resource-intensive industries.



  • 12:30 UTC (8:30 a.m. EDT) SEC Chair Gary Gensler is scheduled to speak at the Investment Company Institute Leadership Summit.


  • (Tedium) Last week, Google announced it was rolling out its large language model walled garden effort to all U.S. users and beyond. For those of us who actually want useful results though, Google's also got a "web" option that people can set as their default browser search engine if they want.
  • (Fortune) Crypto broker Prometheum says it's soft-launched its long-delayed custody product, starting with Ethereum.
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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 Shaurya Malwa.


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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 Block.one; 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.

Nikhilesh De

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