Consensus by Coindesk

Consensus by Coindesk is an annual conference hosted by , a media and events company specializing in and technology. The conference brings together industry experts, investors, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts to discuss the latest trends, developments, and challenges in the blockchain and space. [1][30]


Consensus by Coindesk is one of the largest events in the and industry that was initiated in 2015. It provides a platform for thought leaders and innovators to share their insights and ideas, as well as network with peers and explore new business opportunities. [2]

At Consensus, they also typically hold annual competitions with rewards. In the past they have held a variety of startup and pitch competitions, hackathons, and -related challenges. Some of the competitions that have been held at previous Consensus events include the Consensus Hackathon, the Consensus Pitch Competition, and the Consensus Blockchain Technology Summit. These competitions provide a platform for developers and entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas and projects in front of industry leaders and potential investors. [3][4]


Consensus 2015

Consensus 2015 marked the beginning of the Consensus conference series, held by in New York City on September 10. The event attracted over 600 attendees, featuring keynote speeches from industry leaders, panel discussions on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, and networking opportunities. Among the speakers were Hendrik Kleinsmeade, Alexandre Liege, Jalak Jobanputra, Connie Chung, and Anne Shere Wallwork. The conference also explored the role of a decentralized public ledger in global aid and disaster relief scenarios and the future of global finance. Notable speakers included Hans Morris, Kosta Peric, and Alesh Brown, along with other industry luminaries from the World Economic Forum, USAA bank, the New York Times, and IRIN News. [5][6]

Consensus 2016

The second Consensus conference was held from May 2 to May 4, 2016. The conference featured engaging panelists, industry power-brokers, and groundbreaking announcements. [7]

Some of the main events included the competition that took place on the second day of Consensus 2016, where five startups competed for a $10,000 prize. The winner of the competition was Colony, a decentralized employment company. [8]
One of the panels featured 21 Inc CEO and R3CEV founder and CEO David Rutter in a powerhouse discussion about the future of technology. The debate between R3 CEO David Rutter and 21 CEO Balaji Srinivasan, was about the merits of public and private blockchains. The two founders discussed their vision and criticized each other's strategies. Balaji also made a mystery announcement that was highly anticipated. [9]


Consensus 2017

The third Consensus conference was held from May 22 to May 24, 2017, with over 2,700 attendees from around the world. The event hosted more than 50 panels and workshops featuring more than 200 speakers talking on various topics related to and digital currency sectors. [10]

CoinDesk's Alex Sunnarborg gave the opening presentation, providing an overview of the blockchain and digital currency sectors. The State of Blockchain 2017 report was also previewed during the event. One of the most notable panels at the event was the one that showcased the worldwide scope of blockchain. Panelists from India, China, the European Union, and Australia discussed the core issues facing global adoption. Blockchain startup Bitt announced its blockchain-powered settlement system that spans the Caribbean during the conference, which drew close interest from the Central Bank of Barbados. [10][11]


Consensus 2018

In 2018, the fourth annual Consensus conference was held from May 14 to May 16, drawing in more than 8,000 attendees. The conference took place in New York and spanned three days, with a ticket price of $2,000 per person, resulting in $17 million in ticket sales alone. [12][13]

Notable speakers included Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, and Dr. Ben Bernanke, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Several new blockchain and cryptocurrency projects were also launched during the conference, such as a backed by precious metals and a decentralized platform for social media. [14]

Consensus 2018 took place just months after the bull market, increasing the hype and flashiness of the event, with attendees renting Lamborghinis just for the event, as a sign of being bullish on and the space as a whole. [15]


Consensus 2019

Consensus 2019 was the fifth edition of the annual conference, which took place from May 13 to May 15, 2019. The event was also held in New York City and drew over 10,000 attendees from around the world. It featured more than 350 speakers, over 200 exhibitors, and covered a wide range of topics related to blockchain technology, including interoperability, tokenization, and enterprise adoption. [16]

Some of the notable speakers who took the stage at Consensus 2019 included ConsenSys founder , SEC commissioner Hester Peirce, 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, former U.S. Representative Ron Paul, and founder . The conference also featured panel discussions, fireside chats, and other interactive sessions that allowed attendees to engage with experts and thought leaders in the blockchain space. [17]

Consensus 2020

The sixth Consensus conference was scheduled to take place in person, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in response to the situation, organized a virtual event from May 11 to 15, 2020, with more than 100 speakers and over 50 exhibitors called Consensus: Distributed. The virtual experience allowed for attendees from around the world to participate online at no cost. Attendees who had purchased tickets to the in-person event received full refunds. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Consensus: Distributed managed to attract over 13,000 registered attendees from around the world. [18][20]

The virtual format allowed for new ways of bringing together people from diverse industries and backgrounds, such as 24/7 programming with CoinDesk TV, which featured round-the-clock live programming for the first 24 hours of the event. [19]

The Consensus: Distributed event featured a high-caliber lineup of industry leaders, including co-founder , economist Carlota Perez, ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin, and CEO , among others. Additionally, pop culture icons Michelle Phan, Akon, Spencer Dinwiddie, and The Chainsmokers participated in the event, bridging the gap between their communities and the crypto industry. CoinDesk's editorial team led attendees through the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry's journey with leading economists, entrepreneurs, cypherpunks, and visionaries. [19]

Consensus 2021

Consensus 2021 was held from May 24 to May 27, 2021, as a hybrid event featuring both in-person and virtual components. With over 300 speakers and more than 100 exhibitors, the conference covered a range of topics, such as and institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies, and had and the metaverse take center stage for several periods throughout the conference. [21]

During Consensus 2021, CoinDesk debuted "Long the Metaverse," a interactive VR exhibition featuring dozens of crypto artists. Hosted on Mozilla's Hubs browser-based virtual platform, the exhibition included 25 artists accompanied by live-streamed interviews from studio. Every day during Consensus, roundtable talks were held in the metaverse, accessible via PC browser or VR headset, to discuss the artworks and the world of NFTs. [21]

The exhibition marked the beginning of integrating virtual reality as a staple of Consensus experiences for years to come. The galleries could be accessed by PC browser or VR headset, and for the best viewing experience, a gaming PC or high-end GPU was recommended. Curator and host Godfrey Meyer interviewed the crypto artists from the exhibition, and the roundtable chats were viewable in the metaverse, with Meyer livestreaming the Monday and Thursday sessions on his Twitter page. [21]

Consensus 2022

Consensus 2022 was held in downtown Austin, Texas, from May 24th to May 26th, 2022, with more than 20,000 attendees from over 100 countries. The event was much more than just a crypto gathering, as it featured a full-on festival with sessions from over 600 speakers, hundreds of exhibitors, parties, exclusive viewings, and live music performances. Consensus 2022 took place after the largest bull market in crypto history, which lasted from 2020 to 2022, and marked a significant event in the crypto community's history. [22][23]

Despite the big sell-offs in both crypto and traditional markets - including the collapse of UST - the event felt intense and optimistic as it was the first fully in person Consensus event since 2019. The event was filled with sessions featuring more than 600 speakers, including the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management, Mark Yusko. Yusko suggested that “winter is the best time for venture investing” and that down periods are when important development work gets done on projects that matter and valuations are more reasonable. Attendees also discussed relatively new concepts such as , and and the metaverse. [22]

Consensus 2023

Consensus 2023 was held in Austin, Texas, from April 26 to 28, 2023. The event featured talks from major figures in the industry, including regulators, decision-makers, and builders. Some notable topics of discussion included the rebuilding of the industry after the devastating year it had in 2022, the future of U.S. crypto policy, the traditional finance perspective on crypto, and what the builders are building. Some notable speakers lined up were, , CEO of ; , Founder of The Network State; , Founder and CEO of Custodia Bank; and Edward Snowden. [24][25]

According to Chief Content Officer , 2023's event brought key policy and technical debates to the forefront. While the withdrawal of a handful of previously agreed-upon speaking assignments undermined full representation on both sides of the issues, non-U.S. jurisdiction involvement made 2023's Consensus one to remember. [26]

Consensus 2024

Consensus 2024 was held from May 29 - 31, 2024 in Austin, Texas. It featured comprehensive programming that spans the entire cryptocurrency and industry, covering topics such as regulation, finance, protocol development, and creative marketing. In addition to the main events at the Convention Center, there were numerous side events throughout the city, offering attendees a wide array of activities and discussions. [27]

Speakers included ., , Cathie Wood, Mike Novogratz, , , Lynn Martin, Yat Siu, Jenny Johnson, among others. This year’s main topics were Finance and Policy, Builders and Developers, Web3 and AI, and Founders and Investors. [27]

There were positive sentiments from the event afterward. An attendee posted some takeaways on X saying;

"There was a lot of panels that weren’t afraid to have deeper discussions, specifically around what we could do more of/what’s lacking. Mainly on expectation setting from both artist & collectors/patrons.
While the number of “us” that went was small, we attracted a lot of folks from the broader crypto community I left just giga bullish and excited due to the amount of people still here building both product & community 3 years after our initial bull run with no potency lost..."[28]

Consensus 2025 is planned for May 14 - 16. [29]

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Consensus by Coindesk

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Edited On

June 16, 2024


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