What to Expect at Consensus 2024: Spotlight on Blockchain Tech

The three-day conference (May 29-31) features a host of big-name speakers from the realm of blockchain tech, including Sergey Nazarov, Casey Rodarmor, Joe Lubin, Emin Gün Sirer and Rune Christensen. Here is a preview of everything on offer.

AccessTimeIconMay 20, 2024 at 7:38 p.m. UTC
Updated May 20, 2024 at 7:42 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin layer 2s. Ethereum restaking. Interoperability. AI. DePIN. Next-generation cryptography.

These are just a handful of the cutting-edge blockchain tech topics on the agenda at CoinDesk's Consensus 2024 conference, which runs Wednesday, May 29, through Friday, May 31, in Austin, Texas.

For blockchain developers, it's red meat. For others, it may sound unfamiliar. For everyone, including those somewhere in between, the three days are packed with opportunities to learn about the hottest crypto tech on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Cosmos and XRP Ledger – from the world's top experts.

We took a spin through the agenda to identify stages and sessions likely to interest blockchain developers and people interested in the technology.

In general there are six broad categories of relevant programming:

  1. Panel discussions and on-stage interviews – mostly on the Mainstage, Town Square and Money Reimagined Stage.
  2. Protocol Village: We give blockchain projects a dedicated time and venue, and they plan the content.
  3. Workshops: What it sounds like. People who know what they're talking about try to explain important topics to smart people who show up.
  4. AI Summit: Discussions on what blockchain can do for crypto and AI, and vice-versa.
  5. Startup Village: Where the PitchFest takes place, along with sessions on subjects that blockchain project founders need to know.
  6. Side Events: Some official, many unofficial.

Panel discussions

The overall Consensus agenda is pretty sprawling. In terms of the blockchain tech highlights, the following would represent our picks.


1:45 p.m. (Mainstage): Joe Lubin of Consensys discusses Ethereum with Consensus Chair Michael Casey.

2:45 p.m. (Mainstage): Emin Gün Sirer, CEO, Ava Labs, the primary developer of Avalanche, joins a panel on what blockchain can do for AI, and what AI can do for crypto.

3 p.m. (Town Square): Bryan Bishop, early Bitcoin coder (and now a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal editor), discusses the early days on a panel with other crypto OGs.


12:45 p.m. (Mainstage): David Marcus, former head of the Facebook/Meta Diem/Libra, talks about Lightspark, his digital-payments startup based on Bitcoin's Lightning Network.

1:15 p.m. (Mainstage): Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, talks about his project's work with the global banking-payments network Swift, in a panel moderated by CoinDesk's Sam Kessler.

4:15 p.m. (Town Square): John Adler, co-founder and chief research officer of Celestia Labs, and Austin Federa, head of strategy for Solana Foundation, discuss whether modular or monolithic blockchains are the better way to scale.


10 a.m. (Money Reimagined Stage): MakerDAO co-founder Rune Christensen discusses where DeFi is headed.

10:40 a.m. (Mainstage): Raj Gokal, co-founder and president of Solana Labs, discusses the network's future and the upcoming release of the Firedancer software designed to improve performance.

11 a.m. (Money Reimagined Stage): Helium CEO Abhay Kumar speaks on a panel about the future of "decentralized physical infrastructure networks," or DePIN (formerly referred to as Internet of Things, or IoT).

11:30 a.m. (Mainstage): Casey Rodarmor, the developer who almost single-handedly created the two most impactful protocols launched atop Bitcoin in the past two years – Ordinals and Runes – talks about what comes next and his vision for the oldest and largest blockchain.

11:45 a.m. (Money Reimagined Stage): CoinDesk's Margaux Nijkerk leads a discussion on liquid staking and restaking.

12 p.m. (Town Square): AMA with Casey Rodarmor

12:15 p.m. (Startup Village): Injective co-founder Eric Chen discusses his vision for the future of finance.

3 p.m. (Money Reimagined Stage): Gauntlet co-founder Tarun Chitra speaks on a panel about "de-risking DeFi," from preventing smart-contract bugs and rug pulls to dealing with treasury management strategies and audits.

Protocol Village

For blockchain developers and VC investors, this is probably where you'll end up spending a lot of time.


10:30 a.m. XRP Ledger

11 a.m. Avalanche

12:30 p.m. Chainlink

1:30 p.m. Solana

2:45 p.m. NEAR

3:45 p.m. Stellar


1:30 p.m. Bitcoin half day.


10 a.m. Panel session on appchain stacks.

11:30 a.m. Panel session on zero-knowledge proofs.

12:30 p.m. Coinbase security with Jeff Lunglhofer, CISO

1 p.m. Sei

1:30 p.m. Cosmos (on "Bitcoinization)

2 p.m. Microsoft



11:30 a.m. Alchemy Engineering Lead Rohan Thomare talks about "building the next killer dapp" and "how to simplify Web3 user experience with account abstraction."

1:30 p.m. Marcin Kazmierczak, co-founder of RedStone Oracles, gives a crash course on "Pull vs. Push Oracle."

3:30 p.m. Blockdaemon CEO and founder Konstantin Richter talks about how institutions can navigate the evolving landscape of restaking.

4:30 p.m. Akash Network founder Greg Osuri explains how "decentralization is saving AI."


1:30 p.m. Solana head of developer relations Jacob Creech explains "how to build consumer apps on a blockchain."

AI Summit

AI Summit - 10:10 a.m to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Gen C Stage. A day of sessions devoted to the intersection of crypto and AI, with speakers including Tezos co-founder Arthur Breitman and Morpheus contributor Erik Vorhees.

Startup Village

On Thursday and Friday, Startup Village is where the PitchFest semifinals and finals are taking place. The winner will be announced at 1:20 p.m. on Friday.

On Wednesday and in between the PitchFest, there are sessions scheduled on crypto VCs; securing funding; how to win pitch competitions; Web3 and decentralized identities; and Web3 gaming.

Edited by Benjamin Schiller.


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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.