Consensus Festival 2022 will attract speakers who will lead the global discussion on cryptocurrencies, including how CBDCs - digital central bank currencies - could change money as we know it.
A handful of small countries - the Bahamas, Nigeria - have adopted fiat digital currencies, but more than 30 nations are developing or testing them in pilot projects, including China. Last week, the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen announced $4.5 million in digital yuan to support residents and counter the negative economic impact of the pandemic. The U.S. is considering adopting a digital dollar, but Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Lael Brainard recently stated that adopting a digital dollar would require approval from the White House and Congress and would take at least five years. This year's Consensus Festival in Austin, Texas, taking place June 9-12, will bring together some of the biggest names and brightest minds to discuss issues facing the rapidly changing financial system.
Below are our top topics for those interested in learning more about CBDCs and public money. All times are in Central Daylight Time (CDT).
Thursday, June 9, 2022
On the Investing Stage on the fifth floor of the Fairmont Austin, CoinDesk Chief Content Officer Michael Casey will join former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and regulatory expert Dawn Stump for a conversation on the independent agency's vision for crypto regulation from 10:05 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. A number of former U.S. agency executives have explored the possibility of a centralized, U.S.-based digital currency.
One such executive is J. Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the CFTC and now senior counsel at Willkie Farr & Gallagher and co-founder of the Digital Dollar Project. He will speak with Neha Narula, Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, on "The Coming Digital Currency Wars," moderated by Emily Parker, CoinDesk's Executive Director of Global Content, on the Investing Stage at the Fairmont from 11:05 to 11:35 a.m.
Later in the afternoon, from 12:35 to 1:10 p.m. on the same stage, Forkast.News founder Angie Lau will join Circle Chief Strategy Officer Dante Disparte, Custodia Bank CEO Caitlin Long and Willamette University law professor Rohan Grey for a panel discussion on "Who Should be Allowed to Issue Digital Dollars?" that is sure to raise some interesting questions about public and private forms of money.
Friday, June 10, 2022
On Explorations Stage 1 at the Austin Convention Center, CoinDesk Research Analyst George Kaloudis will host a conversation with Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein from 10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on "From White Paper to Wall Street: The Evolving Bitcoin Investor," which will focus on how investor sentiment is changing in a volatile bear market.
About 45 minutes later, on Explorations Stage 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Rick Schonberg, Director of Trading Product at Coinbase, Carlos Domingo, CEO of Securitize, and Peter Johnson, Co-Head Private Investment at BH Digital, will discuss "Wall Street Suits Meet Hoodies," a session designed to uncover who is funding the future of Web 3.
Head to the main stage for "Washington's Crypto Awakening: The Lawmaker Town Hall," from 2:30 to 3 p.m., where U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand discuss cryptocurrency regulation.
Saturday, June 11, 2022.
As the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, if widely discussed, will undoubtedly entail a debate about the very idea of money and the role of government. Start the morning from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on the main stage, where CoinDesk Managing Editor of Technology Christie Harkin will moderate "Bitcoin's Many Narratives: Digital Gold, Payments, Platform," a conversation with Blockstream CEO Adam Back, Hiro CEO Alex Miller and Block Lead Mike Brock.
From 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., it's back to the main stage, where Binance founder Changpeng Zhao will discuss "Why Crypto Matters" with CoinDesk Executive Director of Global Content Emily Parker.
Finally, on the Feature Stage, from 4:10 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., tune in to "Crypto Policy Without Borders," where Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation, moderates a discussion on the future of cryptocurrency around the world with Carole House, White House Director of Cybersecurity, and Philip Edward Davis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas. The Bahamas has the honor of issuing the world's first CBDC, called the Sand Dollar, in October 2020.