Jun 11, 2024

Toronto City Councillor Shelley Carroll joins CoinDesk Live at Consensus 2024 to discuss the robust growth in the city's tech sector and the significance of Web3 and blockchain technologies.

Video transcript

We're coming to you from the Coin Desk podcast studio presented by Bito, founded in 2013 with the first institutional grade Bitcoin Wallet Bit Go is the gold standard in custody staking and settlement today. Bito supports over 800 coins and processes 20% of all Bitcoin transactions by value. Check them out at Bit go.com. Joining us now is Toronto City Councilor Shelley Carroll Shelley. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much. We've had a very exciting morning we have. Now we're gonna talk about a big announcement, but I gotta ask you something as someone from Toronto who do you think won the rap battle between Drake and Kendrick Lamar? The world is watching the world wants to know, you know, it's a really unfair battle because we all love them both. But I'm a hometown girl. I'm all Drake all the time out of our way to drive by his house to get to get to our house. Yeah, I think everyone in Toronto does. Hey Aubrey, we're still here. I think everyone in to, if you have to go anywhere near Drake's house, you make a little drive by, you know, make sure everything's still good at Drake. 100%. All right, tell you, we are here to not talk about Drake. We're talking about an announcement that happened at consensus 2024 next year. Consensus will be heading to Toronto Canada for the first time. Uh Talk to us about what we can expect and, and the city welcoming this conference to our friendly friends north of the border. Well, this conference is all about networking. It's, it's about the networking. We have the deal flow going on over there. Uh Really connecting people in this really fast growing space of Blockchain web. Three, a lot of people don't realize how, how those things are already affecting their everyday experience. They're, they're becoming a part of every enterprise and that's, that's also true in Canada, but a lot of people don't know about it. I'll tell you who does know about it. Our talent, we have a huge tech sector and, and all sorts of enterprises and businesses that really are beginning to explore this and use it. And so for the people that are here today, uh it's really just a logical next step for them to come to one of the most exciting places in North America and of course, the most exciting place in Canada, Toronto. I mean, I'm sure you've seen a bunch of the panels, you've been on the panels. I'm not, I, I'm not sure what your, your day or two days have been like here. But I wonder if there are any stand out conversations, panels, anything that you've seen since, you know, you've been on the ground here at consensus. Well, for me, I love the panels. Uh, I love Town Hall, Town Hall where they're covering the big issues, the ethics of it all and, and, uh, the effect on youth. But also, uh, looking at, you know, what is the regulation need to look like? So they're looking at the big issues. But when you walk through the, the the whole floor, you begin to hear people really, you know, sharing with each other so much sharing is going on. Here's what we're working on. What are you working on? So there's a really open field to uh consensus where, you know, people don't let proprietary uh uh concerns stand in the way of progress. And I think that's why they're really gonna enjoy Toronto because we are about growth and progress. We have a growing population, a very diverse talent pool and all these post secondary institutions. U of T York University TMU, they're all uh uh organizations that, that really wanna churn out more of that talent, gender diverse, ethnically diverse, making sure that there's mad opportunity. And so consensus allows them to, to get in on the ground floor of some of those ideas to see if one sparks another and also get in front of venture capital and, and really see if they can, can scale up quickly. It's interesting you say that I also, I um coincidentally got into this industry while doing my MB A at the University of Toronto. So the academic institutions in Toronto are very much focused on um bringing innovative technologies to, to the students. Uh talk to us about the conversations you anticipate we'll be having at a consensus in Toronto. We just spoke to uh bullish Ceo Tom Farley about the conversations we might be having in Hong Kong. How do you think they might be different than the ones having here in the States? Well, certainly being the home of the Vector Institute and, you know, and Jeffrey Hinton, the grandfather of uh a I who's gonna be here uh tomorrow in Austin. But certainly the fact that that's, that's Toronto's claim to fame at the moment means that that'll be a big part of the conversation. But I was just mentioning venture capital, you know, I've been in, in my business for a long time, been a counselor uh for 20 years now. And I can remember in early days we were having conversations with uh uh we would collect businesses, bring them together. And we were talking about the fact that Canadians are only investing outside of the country. There's a lot of venture capital capability, but it seems to want to invest abroad or invest down South. That's not so necessarily true. Now, this type of uh change to the Internet of things web Three et cetera means that, you know, people can invest anywhere right now. Um It's, it's that fast and it's that easy to verify and be able to trust the investment you're making. They're learning how to do that and people are gonna find the potential for that in Toronto is massive because people are sort of now saying I gotta, I gotta double back and make sure that I'm really investing in this country. I just need great ideas to invest in. So we were talking a little bit before our segment about how you've been in your seat for, for 20 years. You said you, you, you know, walked into, um you know, the State Senate with AAA Palm Pilot. So it sounds like you've kind of seen, um you know, Toronto's, uh you know, how it's adapted to some other um big, you know, technological shifts. And I wonder from your seat, what do you feel like cities like Toronto can do to foster um innovation in sectors, you know, like our own. Well, you know, we have a very uh robust and regulated public sector and so we're, we're a great source of potential. There. Publicly funded health care system means massive public systems that need to innovate. And so, for instance, Snowflake just moved to Toronto and set up a base office, Unilever, which is a, a worldwide company has set up their center of excellence for A I and manufacturing in Toronto because there's all of those things that need to be learned. And for me that is, you know, I, I can't take credit for it, of course. But I'm, I'm certainly having a, uh, a front row seat to seeing that change. You know, I did walk into City Hall with a Palm Pilot in 2003 and, and then have watched so much happen, Rim came and went and we enjoyed it while it was, it was near. But that wasn't the end of things. That was really just the beginning of things. It's just that we were growing in different directions and across all of our sectors. There's room for the use of this. We have a huge digital media and film sector. We are the second largest financial service sector in the world uh or in the North America and uh uh and in the top 10 of the world, lots of trading going on there and all of that needs to innovate to keep up. And so we're gonna find that all of these networkers and, and start ups that are here at consensus are just gonna enter a whole new market in a, in a city that's just darned enjoyable to be in. I, I gotta ask you just from speaking to people who I know that live in Toronto, there's a little bit of a brain drain I would say now, right? People saying that Toronto is just becoming very expensive to live in and I think that's not just a Toronto thing that's like in any big city, big hub, um, challenge. Are you hoping that by bringing conferences like this to the city that, uh, people will start to feel energized again and, and want to stay in Toronto and continue to build and innovate instead of going, um, to find, uh, better pastures elsewhere. Well, absolutely. You know, uh, worldwide, we're all experiencing a very disrupted economy because of that, that thing that starts with a capital p that happened a few years ago and we're all experiencing that Toronto a lot. Um uh but we have an influx of population coming from all over the world. But the kinds of enterprises that people are, are selling here talking about here, they are the very solutions. They are the things that are going to get our economies back on track, employ people in new and exciting ways in the world of work. And we need that as much as any American city. But what we're finding is where people used to create and then leave. They are able now to create and utilize and cut that deal right then and there. And so they don't have to move now. You know, there's, yes, the snow birders are, are coming south uh still, but those who are interested in excitement and growth in the world of work or finding they can do it right in the, the business district of the city of Toronto. Yeah, I wonder if you've noticed any hesitancy, um, towards, towards crypto towards digital assets, um, from your, you know, position, um, in, in, in Toronto, or has it kind of all been ra ra, like, you know, let's figure out how to, you know, bring this, um, onto our turf. Well, the hesitancy is really just from the layperson. I know that just telling people, you know, I would say I'll be away for a couple of days. Uh, uh, I'm going to consensus. They're gonna be coming to Toronto next year. It's a Blockchain conference from the lay person. You would get, you would get, what isn't that over? Are we done with that? I said, well, you better look it up. Yes. There have been a couple of, of crypto controversies and, and those are, are, are in the news to put it embedded in every business is, is a, a digital department beginning to look at how they're gonna use this in their enterprise. But if I was talking to someone in the world of business, they were. 00, ok. Because I need to delve into that and I haven't even started. Ok. But they're coming here. Yes. And you're gonna buy a ticket. So they, you know, it depends on who you're talking to. Yeah, Councilor. Thank you so much for joining the show. We hope you enjoy the rest of the conference. And I just wanna end this segment with saying Canada had the spot, Bitcoin ETF first. All right. That was Toronto City councilor Shelley Carol.

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