Thriller Insider - S3EP21: Consensus Distributed 2020 - Day 2 Recap


CoinDesk's annual conference on the future of the global financial system is happening this week. Consensus: Distributed features hundreds of hours of programming with more than 150 speakers over five days, from May 11th-15th.


Chris Giancarlo and Martin Chorzempa talking with CoinDesk Asia about the Digital Dollar

Giancarlo is a renowned blockchain technology advocate and key contributor to the global discourse on cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Mr. Giancarlo is the founder of the Digital Dollar Project, dedicated to catalyzing exploration of a US central bank digital currency. During his tenure as Chairman of the CFTC, the agency published primers on virtual currencies and smart contracts, the first bitcoin futures contracts were offered, and the CFTC launched LabCFTC as the agency’s stakeholder in the digital evolution of derivatives trading markets.

Martin Chorzempa, research fellow, joined the Peterson Institute for International Economics in 2017. He gained expertise in financial innovation while in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar and researcher at the Association of German Banks. He conducted research on financial liberalization in Beijing, first as a Luce Scholar at Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research and then at the China Finance 40 Forum, China’s leading independent think tank.

Kathleen Breitman discussing Blockchain Gaming

Kathleen is the co-founder of Coase, a software company which aims to lower transaction costs online, and Tezos, a smart contract platform.

Caitlin Long on Bitcoin and Crypto Custody.

Caitlin Long is a 22-year Wall Street veteran who has been active in bitcoin and blockchain since 2012. She led the charge to make her native state of Wyoming an oasis for blockchain companies in the US, where she helped Wyoming enact 13 blockchain-enabling laws in 2018 and 2019. From 2016-18 she jointly spearheaded a blockchain project for delivering market index data to Vanguard as chairman and president of Symbiont, an enterprise blockchain start-up. Caitlin ran Morgan Stanley’s pension solutions business (2007-2016), held senior roles at Credit Suisse (1997-2007) and began her career at Salomon Brothers (1994-1997). 

QuadrigaCX Bankruptcy and Fallout

QuadrigaCX, you know the story: CEO found missing, $190 million of customer's funds missing, mismanagement, conspiracy. It's been a little over a year since former CEO Gerald Cotten's death was reported, setting off a whirlwind investigation, and this panel will give you insight into where the case stands today. And if you're a frustrated creditor, just allow you to vent and be heard.

Tong Zou (Speaker) - QuadrigaCX Affected User, a software engineer, used to be based in San Francisco, now based in Vancouver.

Evan Thomas (Speaker) - Evan is a Canadian litigator focusing on cases involving technology, privacy and data. He advises clients in the crypto space on matters relating to regulatory enforcement, litigation and other risks.

Magdalena Gronowska (Speaker) - Quadriga Bankruptcy Inspector; Partner • MetaMesh. Magdalena is active in Canada’s digital asset ecosystem – she recently supported the IPO launch of North America's first regulated, TSX-listed Bitcoin Fund, sits on the Board of Inspectors overseeing the CAD214 million bankruptcy of Quadriga, is a Partner at Metamesh – a blockchain and digital asset consultancy, and advises the Blockchain for Climate Foundation. Prior to joining the private sector, Magdalena managed multiple $million to $billion public sector initiatives that helped businesses start up, compete globally, and adopt technology.

  • JPMorgan Extends Banking Services to Bitcoin Exchanges - JPMorgan is said to be now serving crypto exchanges. Coinbase and Gemini are reportedly the bank’s first clients. This is the first time JPMorgan has taken clients from the crypto space. Coinbase and Gemini's accounts were approved last month, and transactions are now starting to be processed, per the report. JPMorgan is reportedly providing cash-management services to the crypto exchanges and handling dollar-based transactions for their U.S.-based customers. It will process wire transfers, and deposits and withdrawals through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. "It's quite significant news in my opinion," a banker told The Block. "There is little business in fees associated with processing wire and ACH payments, I would expect that there are other associated benefits to JPM from any associated banking services, additional collaboration with both of those firms, potential for winning any future IPO or another angle such as JPM coin being offered on either of those platforms." The banker added that the whole of Wall Street will notice this news, and it may lead to further doors being opened for crypto firms at other banks. "In the same way, the Paul Tudor Jones news gives macro hedge funds a justification to look at bitcoin, the largest bank offering crypto exchange services means a lot of credibility for the space."

  • TON is officially dead. - Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote in his public channel Tuesday that the Telegram Open Network (TON) project would be discontinued due to the company's ongoing legal fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). "Today is a sad day for us here at Telegram. We are announcing the discontinuation of our blockchain project. Below is a summary of what it was and why we had to abandon it," he wrote. An accompanying blog post said the SEC's winning of a preliminary injunction in a U.S. court led to the decision because it barred Telegram from launching TON or distributing its gram tokens. The move is an abrupt shift for Telegram, which said less than two weeks ago it would be launching the network in April 2021. Telegram announced at the end of April its investors could receive 72% of their funds back immediately, or 110% back in a year, once TON had launched. U.S. investors would not be able to take the latter option, Telegram said in a later update. In Tuesday's post, Durov did not say whether all investors would be immediately refunded or how much they'd receive. "Sadly, the U.S. judge is right about one thing: We, the people outside the U.S., can vote for our presidents and elect our parliaments, but we are still dependent on the United States when it comes to finance and technology (luckily not coffee)," he wrote. The dollar and its influence on the global financial system give the U.S. immense power, Durov said, adding that the country can also influence Apple and Google to remove apps from their respective app stores. "So yes, it is true that other countries do not have full sovereignty over what to allow on their territory," he wrote. Durov closed his post with an appeal to decentralization. "I want to conclude this post by wishing luck to all those striving for decentralization, balance and equality in the world. You are fighting the right battle," he wrote. "This battle may well be the most important battle of our generation. We hope that you succeed where we have failed."

References: CoinDesk The Block

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