Top 16 Government Policy Discussions at Consensus 2022

Consensus 2022, one of the biggest blockchain conferences of them all, is taking place this week beginning June 9 through June 13 in Austin, Texas.  And, government policy topics will be centerstage with a wide-ranging roster of speakers joining the Coindesk-produced conference.

The full agenda is here.

Take our rankings with a grain of salt – it’s hard to know until you get there.  But here are 16 picks for key government policy discussions that we’re looking forward to at the show…

#1 – Washington’s Crypto Awakening: The Lawmaker Town Hall

Friday, June 10 – 2:40 PM – 3:30 PM CT


    • Senator Cynthia Lummis (R, WY)
    • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY)
    • Senator Pat Toomey (R, PA)
    • Congressman, Patrick McHenry (R, NC)
    • Jesse Hamilton, CoinDesk (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Promising a Town Hall inspires visions of bar stools and theater-in-the-round with audience participation. We’ll see what happens, but the lineup of 3 leading senators and a key congressman pushing blockchain legislation is impressive even if it’s by video link.

Senator Lummis and Senator Gillibrand will be appearing three days after their long-awaited June 7 introduction of their digital assets bill in the U.S. Senate. The two senators represent the krux of regulatory possibilities, which remarkably is not partisan (at this point): Sen. Lummis sits on the Senate Banking committee – with Ranking Member Senator Toomey – which oversees the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). And Senator Gillibrand is on the Senate Agriculture committee which oversees the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Possible questions to pursue:

    • Should the SEC oversee cryptos or the CFTC -or is it a mix?
    • Realistically, when can a broad-based regulation passed by Congress? – it doesn’t feel like this year given the Fall election.
    • Where does Congressman McHenry’s interests in a separate digital assets regulatory body fit?
    • How might things change if McHenry becomes Ranking Member on the House Banking Committee should the House flip to Republicans in the Fall elections?
      On the stablecoin front, what the latest according to Senator Toomey?
    • Did Terra Luna damage policy momentum?
    • What’s Senator Toomey gonna do once his term ends in January – seems perfect for the blockchain lobby or venture capital?

#2 – CFTC’s Vision for Crypto Regulation

Thursday, June 9, 10:05 AM – 10:35 AM CT

    • Rostin Behnam, Chairman, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
    • Dawn Stump, former Commissioner, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
    • Michael Casey, CoinDesk (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Chair Behnam joins the blockchain throngs in Austin and talks about his “commoditized” vision along with former CFTC commissioner Dawn Stump who has argued for better rules and regulation and against the hammer of enforcement in her previous role.

Presumably Chair Behnam will address the current state of play between his regulatory body and the SEC. He may also address the importance of self-regulation in the crypto universe among other issues. No doubt digital asset associations are standing at the ready to assist.

It should be noted that no one is speaking from the SEC at Consensus this year. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has often added her SEC gravitas to conference settings. One wonders if there is anyone else at the SEC who would be willing to appear at a crypto conference besides Peirce.

#3 – Demystifying the Fed: Insiders’ Look at How Innovation Happens at the Fed

Friday, June 10, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM CT

    • David Mills, Associate Director, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
    • Mark Gould, Chief Payments Executive, Federal Reserve Financial Services
    • Ghada Ijam, Federal Reserve System CIO, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
    • Sunayna Tuteja, System Chief Innovation Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

blockchain tipsheet tip: Elements of the latest on Project Hamilton and the use of CBDC’s by the Federal Reserve will likely be reviewed – perhaps even the use of private stablecoins. Great to see the Fed show up in force.

#4 – Crypto Policy Without Borders

Saturday, June 11, 4:15 PM – 4:45 PM CT

    • Carole House, Director for Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation, White House National Security Council
    • Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore
    • Eva Kaili, Vice-President, European Parliament
    • Ryan Pinder, Attorney General, Commonwealth of The Bahamas
    • Leo Ryan Pinder, Attorney General and Minster of Legal Affairs, Commonwealth of The Bahamas

blockchain tipsheet tip: The White House makes  it to the show and addresses it from a national security point-of-view. We’ll guess the discussion will include the U.S. dollar and the security provides as the world’s reserve currency, but it will undoubtedly touch on President Biden’s Executive Order.

#5 – Digital Assets, From Regulation to Innovation in Federal Policy

Friday, June 10, 10:45 AM – 11:15 AM CT

    • Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Department of the Treasury
    • Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Biden Treasury appointee Wally Adeyemo brings the Treasury’s seal of approval to the event. Expect to hear more about the President’s Executive Order (and maybe Satoshi?) which will likely seep through many Consensus policy discussions.

#6 – The Coming Digital Currency Wars

Thursday, June 9, 11:05 AM – 11:35 AM CT


    • J. Christopher Giancarlo, Senior Counsel, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, former CFTC Chair
    • Dr. Neha Narula, Director, Digital Currency Initiative, MIT
    • Emily Parker, CoinDesk (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Crypto Dad speaks … former CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo follows Chair Behnam’s panel with his own take on regulation. We can’t imagine will be far from the current chair. But, pull up a chair. Giancarlo is always thoughtful in his responses.

#7 – Where is the Regulatory Sweet Spot?

Friday, June 10, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM CT

    • Jerry Brito, Executive Director, Coin Center
    • Lia Holland, Campaigns & Communications Director, Fight for the Future
    • Mr. Nelson Rosario, Founder and Partner, Rosario Tech Law, LLC
    • Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Good question.

#8 – DeFi Regulation: What’s the Government’s Role?

Friday June 10, 4:30 PM – 5:10 PM CT

    • Yuta Takanashi, Director for International Digital Strategy and Policy, Financial Services Agency Japan
    • Kristin Smith, Executive Director, Blockchain Association
    • Rebecca Rettig, General Counsel, Aave Companies

blockchain tipsheet tip: At the recent Permissionless conference, it was clear that decentralized finance developers are moving apace with a rapidly evolving De-Fi industry. Government needs its approach and the industry wants to hear about it.

#9 – Can Consumer Protection Rules Apply to Crypto?

Friday, June 10, 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM CT

    • Jeff Bandman, COO and General Counsel, 6529 Holdings and 6529 Capital
    • Perianne Boring, Founder & CEO, Chamber of Digital Commerce
    • Kathy Kraninger, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Solidus Labs, Inc.

blockchain tipsheet tip: With FTC’s report last Friday about scams occurring in crypto, this discussion is timely.  FTC’s Lina Khan may be listening in.

#10 – Who Should be Allowed to Issue Digital Dollars?

Thursday, June 9, 12:35 PM – 1:10 PM CT

    • Dante Disparte, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy, Circle
    • Rohan Grey, Assistant Professor of Law, Willamette University
    • Caitlin Long, CEO, Custodia Bank
    • Angie Lau, Forkast (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Stablecoins and CBDC are likely to be discussed in depth.  Algorithmic stablecoins likely get panned.

#11 – BUIDL Island: Bermuda’s Digital Asset Strategy

Thursday, June 9, 2:50 PM – 3:20 PM CT

    • David Burt, Premier of Bermuda, Bermuda Government
    • Sandra Ro, CEO, Global Blockchain Business Council

blockchain tipsheet tip: A head of a sovereign government makes an appearance to talk blockchain (and they’re not from El Salvador). It’s notable that Bermuda is well-represented in the agenda and likely due to FTX’s importance to the island government.

#12 – When Spot Bitcoin ETF? The Outlook for Regulated Investment Vehicles

Thursday, June 9, 4:35 PM – 5:05 PM CT

    • David LaValle, Global Head of ETFs, Grayscale
    • Matt Hougan, Chief Investment Officer, Bitwise Asset Management
    • Lori Tiernan, Chief Strategy Officer, Valkyrie Investments
    • Damanick Dantes, CoinDesk (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Everyone wants to know wen Bitcoin Spot ETF. Our take is that it’s a ways off (a year or two). At the very least, the SEC is leery of approving anything which could overwhelm the regulator. Spot ETFs and the attendant crypto buying will likely send cryptos to the moon.

#13 – The Shifting Regulatory Landscape from a DC Insider

Friday, June 10, 2:30 PM – 2:40 PM CT

    • Michelle Bond, CEO, Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Only 10 minutes for this summary preso! We wish Ms. Bond well.

#14 – Bitcoin Mining: Renewable Energy’s Trojan Horse?

Saturday, June 11, 10:35 AM – 11:05 AM CT

    • Fred Thiel, CEO, Marathon Digital Holdings
    • Harry Sudock, VP, Strategy, GRIID Infrastructure
    • Daniel Hwang, Head of Protocols @stakefish
    • Eliza Gkritsi, CoinDesk (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: This may come right around Governor Kathy Hochul of New York decides to sign or veto the PoW bitcoin mining moratorium. The panel should provide an interesting take.

#15 – The Promise of Self-Sovereign Data and Web3.0 Identity Solutions: Real or Mirage?

Friday June 10, 2:40 PM – 3:25 PM CT

    • Drummond Reed, Chief Trust Officer, Evernym
    • Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Director of Product & Engineering, Identity, Unstoppable Domains
    • Tobias Batton, Co-Founder and CEO, ExPopulus
    • Joe Cutler, Parter, Perkins Cole LLP (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: Identitiy is one of the biggest undiscovered opportunities for the blockchain. A widely-accepted form of self-sovereign identity would be huge.  We think it’s still gonna need to be connected to government if you want to have a drivers license and the like.

#16 – Open Money: Redesigning the System with Humans and the Planet in Mind

Thursday, June 9, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM CT

    • Diana Biggs, Chief Strategy Officer, Valour
    • Patrick Murck, President & CLO, Transparent
    • Natalya Thakur, Co-Founder and COO, Knox Networks
    • Sheila Warren, CEO, CCI (moderator)

blockchain tipsheet tip: The sustainability discussion will never get old for blockchain technology.