Consensus Watch: Who’s Saying What at Consensus 2018

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 20:13
Urvashi Verma
Amidst general enthusiasm, some caution, skepticism and a boycott at Consensus 2018
Consensus Watch: Who’s Saying What at Consensus 2018
Cover image via U.Today

Amid the mania of massive ticket sales, long lines and Lambos out in full force, Coindesk’s  Consensus 2018 conference has attracted a significant number of high profile industry experts. Here’s a quick recap of what they are saying.

US Fed not likely to introduce digital currencies

James Bullard, President of St. Louis Federal Reserve, pinned instability in exchange rates as an obstacle to widespread cryptocurrency adoption and said it was unlikely the Fed would introduce its digital currency. He said yesterday:  

“You've got this kind of special problem of who's going to issue the currency and what are those promises about future issuance and can you really maintain the credibility of those promises.”


FedEx CEO Fred Smith on Blockchain

Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, says the varying standards, regulations and terminologies cause a "massive amount of friction" in cross-border logistics and Blockchain's "chain of custody" can change that.

Fred Smith CEO of FedEx in an interview with Bloomberg says:

“We’re quite confident that it has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics. It’s the next frontier that’s going to completely change worldwide supply chains.”

Jimmy Song is skeptical about Blockchain applications

Jimmy Song, a partner at Blockchain Capital, said he remains skeptical about the potential benefits of many Blockchain applications at the conference calling them "magical blockchain dust."

Jimmy Song concluded:

"I don't really see much of this stuff gaining much traction. Bitcoin is the real innovation here."


Vitalik Buterin absent

Among 100 most important cryptocurrency celebrities, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin remains missing in action at Consensus 2018. Buterin chose to boycott the event, expressing disapproval of the high ticket prices and criticizing CoinDesk's reporting policies as being “designed to trap you with gotchas.”

Buterin posted on twitter last month:

"I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent-seeking."

About the author

Urvashi Verma is a Chicago-based reporter who writes about the convergence of technology and business. She is interested in fintech, digital currencies, blockchain and currency markets. Urvashi formerly worked with the Times of Israel covering Israel's booming tech industry including Start-Up Nation, venture capital investment, and crowd-funding platforms.