Michael J. Casey

Consensus 2022

Please welcome Coindesk's chief content officer, Michael Casey. Good morning everyone. Do you hear me okay? I have a cold today, not covid or strep, but it means I'll be talking a little softer. This is a good start to Consensus. Welcome to you all. It's a great pleasure to have you here in Austin. It's the first day of Consensus 2022. We had a three year hiatus and we're thrilled to have everyone back together, here, once again.

First, I'd like to see a show of hands. How many people here this is your first Consensus? That's what I was hoping for. This is the first day of a four-day event. Money reimagined summit is tailored to people who are at the start of their journey, in particular investment professionals who want to look into opportunities. We will ask complex questions about what this means for investment, but if you are here from an institution, a firm, or you're a suit, and you think it's -- mingling with your.. big time, you don't take advantage of everything ... Consensus over the next 3 days. When we open at the Austin Convention Center tomorrow, we will have 23 stages covering bitcoin, activism, DAOs, and so on. That's where the magic is: the chance for the suits to meet the plebs. This is where the magic happens. Everyone can gather, dsiscuss and debate the direction of the decentralized economy.

We don't really know where the decentralized economy is going, but we know this technology will play a central role in it. It could be governments, banks, central banks that dictate where this goes like with CBDCs, or it might be decentralized autonomous organizations. The point is that the issues being discussed here at Consensus and have been for years will dictate where this is going. This is your chance to participate in all of that.

However, I understand that in this current moment in time you might be looking at more mundane or immediate concerns like your portfolio which is probably not looking as healthy as they were a few months ago. That will be a key talking point for us here to do. The macroeconomic backdrop will frame what we're talking about here. We have inflation, a pandemic that has killed a million people, and it has caused a weird, distorted economy. We have this horrible war in Europe causing massive heartache and driving up commodity prices and creating food shortages. Those are just recent crises; we have long-standing crises that are getting worse. In the midst of this is waning confidence in our institutions particularly among young people, and at the same time new technologies like crypto and blockchain which will allow individuals, companies, and even governments to bypass those institutions. The Fed is raising rates, markets have tanked, we have had spectacular failures in the market. Is this the death mill? Was all this energy and development around this technology, is the promise of its transformation actually false? I would suggest no, of course, because in reality if you think about what we're facing and the challenges to our institutions and the lack of confidence we have, that's the time to change. It's time for a different system for how we manage and survive in the 21st century where we're already living in a much more decentralized world.

The induction of crypto has never been a particularly smooth process. The volatility we see now is something we have seen over and over again. This is partly because it doesn't fit the existing paradigm. It's a model for how we move money and value around the world is quite different from the centralized structures that we have. This inevitably creates tension and challenges. There is huge opportunity here. This is a moment in which anyone who has explored what is happening in the development of this space can take advantage of building during this quiet period. This is when we talk about buidl: a play on hodl, it's the time to actually build things.

For those who are in the investment community, the questions are, should you invest? What should you do? If you should invest, how and when? What's the right policy framework? These are the questions we will be asking today. Before we ask them of our incredible lineup of speakers, I want to thank the people without which this summit would not have been possible. Shout out to our sponsors.