Consensus Day 2: Quotes and Quips from the Convention

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Nolan Bauerle (left) moderates a panel with Kraken CEO Jesse Powell & Erik Voorhees of ShapeShift, as they talk about leaving New York after a BitLicense was imposed. Voorhees called the license "the enemy of innovation"
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Day 2 of Consensus 2018 was wall-to-wall panels, with too many break-out sessions and booths to visit as 8,500 attendees waved their badges through security.

Below, however, a few highlights and insights from the convention:

How does you navigate regulation throughout the world?

“Like porcupines make sex, slowly and carefully,” said Yoni Assia, founder and CEO of eToro.

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“A lot of the intentions of regulators are good…They should be working with entrepreneurs who are building the technology that actually protects consumers,” said ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees.

When asked if the BitLicense imposed by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) was successful, he said, “It’s a failure, let’s call it what it is. There have been four BitLicenses in four years.”

“It’s the enemy of innovation,” Voorhees said.

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“I can’t stand a bully and I can’t stand a hypocrite,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and their very public spat.

He added: “You’ll start to see the dominoes fall, and more and more states will come in and see that if they don’t cater to this industry, you’re going to start losing people… If you’re stuck in NY…set up a Wyoming LLC.”

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“Investor protection is very important, but the system, how it exists today, protects insiders, protects Wall Street,” said Olga Feldmeier, CEO of Smart Valor.

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“We’re seeing an evolution in commerce…we’re seeing new transaction types. We’re seeing new business models,” said Rob Massey of Deloitte. “It’s bold. This is history we are making together.”

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“People actually rented Lamborghinis so they could ride around the hotel. I think that’s hilarious,” said Meltem Demirors, founder at Athena Capital, on the hype around cryptocurrencies.

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Is disclosure of coin ownership a kind of promotion?

“I stopped speaking about most of my holdings & the coins that I own. People just buy it…Even if you disclose it, they see it as a ‘buy signal,’ ” said Stefan Jespers of WhalePanda.

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“With Kik alone, we think we can make Kin the most used cryptocurrency in the world…we are learning faster than anyone else in the space. I’m a consumer guy. What do consumers want? They want innovation,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik.

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“Be open minded and thoughtful…sometimes people are too quick to port over ideas that exist in the Wall Street world,” says Juthica Chou, president and co-founder of LedgerX. “Take a first principles approach.”

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Trust is the ultimate currency,” said Torsten Zube of SAP. Germany’s Zube is a vice president and Head of Blockchain at SAP SE.

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“Donations are 11% down over the last 3 years…people can’t see where the money is going,” says Bridget van Kralingenm, a senior vice president at IBM. “Today we are announcing a blockchain that tracks donations,” and a partnership with Simon Moss and Global Citizen.

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