Staff EEA, within the guise of Government Director Dan Burnett, Director of Technical Packages Chaals Nevile, and Director of Gross sales James Harsh, was on the bottom at this 12 months’s version of Consensus by Coindesk, which was held in Austin Texas from April 26-28.
Listed below are the important thing takeaways as reported by our workforce and different information sources.
There is no such thing as a doubt that regulation was the foremost theme on the convention, and specifically regulatory uncertainty within the US.
Among the many key trade figures voicing their apprehensions was Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s Chief Authorized Officer. In a panel dialogue Grewal identified that he was bracing for a possible lawsuit from the SEC, an occasion that might shed some gentle on the SEC’s particular grievances with Coinbase’s operations. The anticipation of such a lawsuit underscores the extent to which crypto corporations are flying blind within the present regulatory surroundings.
Kate Brady, Head of Communications for Web3 at PepsiCo, mentioned how she was being stymied in her work by the shortage of regulatory readability. This underlined that regulatory uncertainty is a possible menace to the competitiveness of American corporations within the quickly evolving Web3 area.
A very good illustration of the place this uncertainty is coming from was seen within the “The Turf Conflict: Veterans of the SEC and CFTC Weigh In” panel. This introduced former commissioners and employees of the SEC and CFTC right into a dialogue across the relative strengths and weaknesses of every company in supervising crypto markets. The divide is massive, with the SEC asserting that nearly all crypto belongings, together with Ethereum, are securities and fall beneath its purview, whereas the CFTC claims that sure digital belongings, together with Ethereum, are commodities and needs to be regulated by the CFTC.
The convention displays on these subjects have been mirrored in lots of discussions the EEA workforce had with member organizations and potential members, in addition to in a number of facet occasions held across the formal convention.
Regardless of these worries, it could be fallacious to say that Consensus was held on a down notice. Fairly the opposite. As our workforce present in lots of their discussions, there was a normal sense of optimism amongst many current.
The distinction between the scenario within the US and what’s occurring in Europe, Asia-Pacific and past is one apparent grounds for this optimism. Firms who’re feeling the headwinds within the US are in lots of circumstances well-placed to proceed their improvement within the many crypto-friendly hubs in these areas that not solely have extra regulatory readability, but additionally are house to proficient improvement communities who’ve developed good working relationships with native enterprises.
Our workforce additionally discovered a powerful sense amongst many who, popping out of some of the troublesome durations for crypto final 12 months, developments in blockchain have been carrying on apace and that it was time to maintain constructing. That added to the optimistic really feel on the convention round blockchain and decentralization.
In a extra hopeful vein for American crypto and blockchain corporations, Patrick McHenry, Chairman of the US Home Monetary Companies Committee, and US Senator Cynthia Lummis, confirmed that the Home Monetary Service Committee and Agricultural Committee would maintain the primary joint listening to available on the market construction surrounding digital belongings in Might 2023. Such hearings could possibly be an vital step in the direction of offering extra regulatory readability for corporations working on this area.
Whereas each McHenry and Lummis expressed optimism about future developments in crypto regulation, in line with our workforce on the bottom, the overall temper was extra ‘wait and see’. There’s a whole lot of urge for food for regulation within the US, and recognition that doing it effectively is vital, however the expectation is that it’ll take a whole lot of time. It can even be vital for the trade to get collectively and work out what they’re keen on, or danger shedding a possibility to get a seat on the drafting desk.
The stakes nonetheless are excessive. Regulatory uncertainty doesn’t simply have an effect on crypto corporations. This, as one Coindesk editor famous, was underscored within the discuss by Pepsi’s Brady. Regardless of PepsiCo being a mainstream American firm and never intrinsically a part of the crypto trade, it’s aiming to make a mark in Web3. Nonetheless, the absence of regulatory readability is proving to be a big barrier. As talked about above, this has implications for the competitiveness of American corporations within the Web3 area.
There have been a bunch of different vital subjects on the agenda as effectively. One which caught the eye of our workforce was crypto accounting.
With the worth of cryptocurrencies fluctuating wildly each day, it may be troublesome to maintain observe of the present worth of 1’s holdings, and to correctly account for beneficial properties and losses after they happen.
One panel dialogue on the convention targeted particularly on the distinctive challenges going through companies in the case of crypto accounting. The panelists mentioned the significance of correct record-keeping for tax functions, in addition to the necessity to correctly observe the worth of cryptocurrency holdings on a stability sheet.
A variety of progressive options have been introduced on the convention to assist take care of these challenges. These embrace specialised accounting software program that integrates with standard cryptocurrency exchanges, in addition to instruments that enable for automated monitoring of beneficial properties and losses over time.
The EEA hosted an unique Member-Solely breakfast, sponsored by EY. Regardless of the early hour, plenty of EEA Members turned as much as meet and mingle in individual, many for the primary time.
Paul Brody, head of blockchain at EY and a member of the EEA Board, was a bunch and participant. Co-chairs Michael Gonzales of EY and Dyma Budorin of Hacken talked by means of the place the DRAMA Working Group is in creating greatest practices for accounting within the DeFi trade. Different corporations represented embrace OpenZeppelin, Microsoft, ConsenSys Mesh, Wanchain, Noves, Certik, C4, Hyperledger, Bitwave, Entersoft, Cartesi, and Cryptio
The breakfast supplied a possibility for EEA members to community and share insights on numerous subjects associated to blockchain know-how. Total, this occasion served as a precious platform for collaboration and data sharing amongst trade leaders in attendance.
You could find extra about Consensus 2023 on Coindesk.