conference program

8:30 - 9:00 AM

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 - 9:15 AM

Opening Remarks

Griffin Anderson, ConsenSys

9:15 - 10:00 AM

100 Opening Session: Current State of Technology Advancement in Blockchain + Q & A

Blockchain technology has experienced exponential growth and innovation is driven by developers, start-ups and enterprise in all areas. This nascent technology has attributes that position it to be the next big disruption in enterprise and government services. Our panelist will review the current state of the technology and discuss

  • What are the most promising recent developments in the blockchain space?
  • What are challenges and vulnerabilities of the technology?
  • Where will blockchain be in 3 years (and beyond)?
  • How will blockchain combine with other technologies?
  • How does it currently impact the accounting and auditing industry and what will the landscape look like (disruptions and opportunities)?

Moderator : Griffin Anderson, ConsenSys
Panelists : Joe Lubin, ConsenSys; Grainne McNamara, PwC; Iddo Bentov, IC3 Cornell; Scott Zimmerman, EY

10:00 - 10:45 AM

101 Regulatory Outlook of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology brings huge benefits to the financial and accounting industry and gives rise to a whole new generation of services. However, regulators around the world have been refraining from formally regulating the blockchain. How can blockchain fit into preexisting regulatory frameworks? Can existing taxation and securities regulations provide an adequate framework for blockchain technology and products? What is the position of regulators in the US and globally?

Moderator : Vanessa Grellet, ConsenSys
Panelists: Dana Syracuse, Perkins Coie; Jason Brett, Chamber of Digital Commerce; Jeff Bandman, CFTCLab; Steven Goldberg, Grant Thornton; Verity A. Van Tassel Richards, Debevoise & Plimpton

10:45 - 11:00 AM

Coffee Break

11:00 - 11:45 AM

102 Tokens & Token Launches

Recent token launches have seen substantial capital raised in record times due to support from the developer community and sparking interest amongst investors. How are tokens structured? What are the best practices and strategies around token launches? How are tokens valued? What about taxes? What are the different standards emerging? 

Moderator: Subhankar Sinha, PwC
Panelists: Alex Felix, Coinfund; Ryan Zurrer, Polychain capital; Jeremy Millar, Gnosis/ConsenSys; Brian Kelly, BKCM


201 Application of Blockchain to Transfer pricing & VAT

30% of global trade is intra-firm trade and transfer pricing regulations require cross-border transactions between related parties to adhere to arm's length price or fair price. Smart contracts will have major application for groups in their cross-border transfer pricing practices.

On the government side, blockchain can bring substantial efficiencies to VAT collection and build critical inter-governmental trust relationships by reducing the revenue losses well in excess of €50 to €60 billion per year in missing trader intra-community fraud (MTIC). 

Moderator: George Salis, Vertex
Panelists: David Deputy, Vertex; Andrew Hwang, PwC; David Shakow, Fordham

11:45 - 12:30 PM

103 Smart contracts, Exponential Application and Monitoring

Smart contracts are often referred to as “a computerized transaction protocol that executes the terms of a contract". Smart Contracts significantly cut down processing time and costs, and remove the need for intermediary services by middlemen. How do smart contracts work and what are their applications? Can smart contracts replace legal contracts? How to account for and audit smart contracts?

Moderator: Ranica Arrowsmith, Accounting Today
Panelists: David Montes, KPMG; Kieren James Lubin, Blockapps; Bo Shevchik, Federal Reserve/AGA; Cale Teeter, Microsoft


202 A Perspective on IRS Virtual Currency Enforcement Action

This panel will focus on recent IRS enforcement activities including the use of John Doe summons to get expansive customer records from a virtual currency exchange. John Doe summons are generally used to obtain information when specific taxpayers cannot be identified in an investigation. This panel will discuss the current status of a recent John Doe summons to a virtual currency exchange, as well as examine similar past investigations and the results for customers and targeted institutions.

Moderator: Cameron Arterton, Steptoe
Panelists: David Shakow, Fordham; Carina Federico, Steptoe; Caroline Ciraolo, Kostelanetz & Fink

12:30 - 1:30 PM

Lunch & Announcements

1:30 - 2:15 PM

104 Auditing Crypto-currencies and Digital Assets with US GAAP and IFRS

Transaction volume of crypto-currencies has been growing exponentially and values are volatile. However, currently there is no specific guidance from IFRS or US GAAP on accounting for crypto-currencies. Shareholders and creditors of companies that possess crypto-currencies need to know about the risks involved in holding digital assets. New guidance has to be developed to avoid discrepancy in practice. What do we need to know about auditing blockchain? How is the audit of crypto-currencies different than other encrypted systems?

Moderator: Mark Li, BPM
Panelists: Martin de Bie, 216 Accounting; Prashant Nisar, Grant Thornton; Campbell Pryde, XBRL; Ivan O'Donnell, Deloitte; A. Michael Smith, PwC


203 Digital Asset Management and New Financial Products

Liquid and illiquid digital asset management are emerging following the expansion of crypto-currency ecosystem. While a number of structured products are under review by the regulators, hedge funds and direct investment vehicles are fast to move into this unregulated space. Increasing number of institutional investors are looking for ways to get exposure to crypto-currencies. This panel will look at new ways for investors to understand crypto-currency investments and new financial products on the market.

Moderator: Alan Kostrinsky, PwC
Panelists: Sanjiv Singh, KPMG; Bart Mallon, Cole Friedman & Mallon; Wynn Davies, Accenture

2:15 - 3:00 PM

105 Taxing of Crypto-currencies

Crypto-currencies have received qualification for tax purposes in several jurisdictions. How are capital gains, income and payments treated by the various tax authorities for individuals and companies? What types of events should be considered when accounting for crypto-currencies? What are the implication of accepting crypto-currency payments for companies and individuals?

Moderator: Allison Schrager, Quartz
Panelists: Daniel Winters, Global Tax Accountants; Cameron Arterton, Steptoe; Mindi Lowy, PwC


204 Impact of the Technology on the Enterprise System

Information flows on the Blockchain are time-stamped and irreversibly recorded. Blockchain allows for an automated process by a distributed network to ensure that all transactions are accurate, unalterable and complete. This means that the technology is promising to significantly enhance organization's efficiency. Will Blockchain replace ERP systems? If not, how will they integrate? Is Blockchain technology enabling next-gen ERP?

Moderator: Michael del Castillo, Coindesk
Panelists: Graham Gal, University of Massachusetts; Nick Guglielmo, SAP; Jake Benson, Libra

3:00 - 3:45 PM

106 Privacy & Interoperability of Blockchain Protocols

We are already seeing the multiplication of blockchain protocols and chains of chains. With new platforms like Ethereum, Cosmos, Dfinity, Polkadot, IPFS/SWARM, the future is likely to see multiple protocols as particular use cases emerge to solve particular business issue. A strong collaborative effort and interoperability would be essential to blockchain growth in the long run. How are we going to see the emergence of this new ecosystem's interoperability? How are we going to solve for privacy?

Moderator: Andrew keys, ConsenSys
Panelists: Joe Lubin, ConsenSys; Hani Suleiman, Accenture; Iddo Bentov, IC3; Eran Tromer, Zcash; Subhankar Sinha, PwC

3:45 - 4:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Griffin Anderson, ConsenSys

4:00 PM