Bretton Woods Summit Quietly Concludes

In the world of virtual currency, many conferences receive ample press coverage. Audiences are frequently left clamoring for tickets to listen to high-powered panelists. The Bretton Woods Summit is a notable exception.

“One of the reasons this resort was chosen in 1944 was its remote location, which would permit delegates to break free from the distractions that may have occupied their attention in a busier setting. We chose the location for a similar reason and found that as we approached Bretton Woods, the rich, relaxing setting began to have its effect.”

Bretton Woods White Paper (2015)

Readers familiar with economic history might recognize this name. In July 1944, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire was the site of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. At this momentous meeting, delegates from 44 Allied nations met to create the modern international monetary system in anticipation of Germany and Japan’s defeat in World War II.

The Bretton Woods Agreement created the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, established a fixed foreign exchange rate system, and strived to prevent competitive currency devaluation. The meeting also lay the foundation for the World Trade Organization, which finally came into being in 1995.

The cryptocurrency leaders who gathered at the Omni Mount Washington Resort earlier this week were no doubt aware of the location’s historical significance. This makes the content of their conversations that much more tantalizing.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Bretton Woods Summit operates under “Chatham House Rules,” meaning that speakers are provided anonymity to encourage candor and information-sharing. With this philosophical approach, each year, Summit participants produce “a paper or framework developed out of our collective learning to be shared as a tool for relevant stakeholders.”

While we await the findings of the 2017 Summit, ETHNews heard from one attendee, Kyle Burgess, executive director of Consumers’ Research.

"We are incredibly proud of the diversity of viewpoints, industries, and expertise represented at this year's Bretton Woods Summit,” said Burgess. “The dialogue among participants was thoughtful and robust. It's certainly not possible to tackle the full array of financial access and inclusion challenges in three days, but we made significant progress on establishing a baseline framework for how to move forward on these issues with an eye toward tech solutions."

Last year, the Bretton Woods Summit published its 2016 paper to coincide with the Money 20/20 conference held in October. The group may take the same approach this year on the topic of financial inclusion.

ETHNews will continue to provide coverage of the Summit’s results as more information becomes available.

Participants of the 2017 Bretton Woods Summit include:

  • Srikanth Sarasam, The World Bank
  • Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, United Nations Operations
  • Sandra Ro, UWINCorp
  • Neha Narula, MIT Media Lab, Digital Currency Initiative
  • Yorke Rhodes III, Microsoft
  • Jacqueline Karlin, Amazon Lending
  • Kyle Burgess, Consumers' Research
  • Keith Ammon, New Hampshire State Representative
  • Brian Knight, The Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Beau Brunson, Consumers' Research
  • Mercina Tilleman, Global Blockchain Business Council
  • Michael Casey, MIT Media Lab, Digital Currency Initiative
  • Carol Van Cleef, Baker Hostetler, LLP
  • Paige Peterson, Zcash
  • Michael Gronager, Chainalysis
  • Chris Groshong, CoinStructive
  • Lance Koonce, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Todd Miller, ChromaWay
  • Mark Weber, MIT Media Lab, Digital Currency Initiative
  • Dan Casey, Global Investment & Development Institute
  • Tom Miller, Jr., Jack R. Lee Chair in Financial Institutions and Consumer Finance at Mississippi State University & Senior Affiliated Scholar at The Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Matthew is a writer with a passion for emerging technology. Prior to joining ETHNews, he interned for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the OECD. He graduated cum laude from Georgetown University where he studied international economics. In his spare time, Matthew loves playing basketball and listening to podcasts. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
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