MATH Briefing - 4th Quarter 2015: Blockchain: Bitcoin-Powering Technology and Its Potential Impact on Financial Markets

December 15, 2015

12:15pm - 1:30pm

MATH (Markets And The Hill) Briefing Series 
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. 
By invitation only


The "blockchain" that underlies Bitcoin and similar distributed ledger technologies has the potential to create maximum disruption across financial markets and products. While Bitcoin was initially viewed as a rival to flat currencies, others have looked at the enabling technology as a way to inexpensively and securely handle everything from securities settlements to land title tracking. Some companies are even moving beyond the "currency" element, creating products that are designed to compete with databases and legacy money movement systems, rather than the currency itself. In this rapidly developing environment, regulators at the state, federal and international level are seeking to create and enforce rules that prevent abuse and protect consumers without stifling potentially world-changing innovation. This session will focus on and explore the following issues: 1) What is blockchain? What is Bitcoin and why does its underlying technology have such a large disruptive potential? 2) How can virtual currencies and their foundational technologies be used, both as currency and in other applications? 3) What is the state of play for the financial industry and regulators in the U.S. and beyond? 4) How can lawmakers anticipate and react to the challenges?

James Angel is associate professor of finance at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where he teaches in the graduate and executive programs. Angel specializes in the structure and regulation of financial markets around the world, and he has visited over 70 financial exchanges around the world. Angel has served as a visiting academic fellow in residence at the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD – now FINRA) and also as a visiting economist at the Shanghai Stock Exchange. He has also been chairman of the Nasdaq Economic Advisory Board, a member of the OTC Bulletin Board Advisory Committee, and has served on the board of the DirectEdge stock exchanges. Angel received a Bachelor of Science degree from the California Institute of Technology, his MBA from Harvard Business School, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dominick Paniscotti is associate vice president of enterprise architecture, Nasdaq. Paniscotti manages the systems and performance engineering team at NASDAQ where he is responsible for the architecture, design and performance of NASDAQ's U.S. market systems. Paniscotti's experience spans over 25 years and he has been employed in senior technology roles in a variety of business organizations in the telecommunications, defense and securities industries. While at NASDAQ, Paniscotti's efforts have resulted in marked performance enhancements to the trading systems and, most significantly, the genesis of the NASDAQ's next-generation architecture for these systems. As part of NASDAQ's system's architecture team, Paniscotti is tasked with the identification and integration of innovative technologies into NASDAQ's trading platforms. These initiatives include cloud computing, software defined networking, big data, data analytics, and blockchain technologies.

Fredrik Voss is vice president of blockchain strategy, Nasdaq where he is responsible for Nasdaq's blockchain innovation initiative. In this role he is advising the C-suite on corporate objectives and strategies for Nasdaq's activities in the blockchain space and also responsible for implementation and communication of approved strategies. Before August 2015, Voss held the position as deputy head of Nasdaq Commodities where he was responsible for the management of Nasdaq Commodities' European activities. Nasdaq Commodities lists futures and options for trading and clearing in energy, freight and seafood markets. Voss' main responsibilities were the day-to-day management of Nasdaq Commodoties and to ensure the commercial success of the business. Between 2004 and 2005 Voss worked for the Intercontinental Exchange in London, where he was heading up the market development team for ICE's European operation. Before joining ICE, Voss worked at Nasdaq's predecessory OMX from 1995 where he managed various business units supplying exchange and clearing solutions to deregulated electricity markets.

Staci Warden is the executive director of the Center for Financial Markets at the Milken Institute, where she leads initiatives on strengthening capital markets, access to capital, financial education and financial-markets solutions, among others. Prior to joining the Milken Institute, she spent six years with JPMorgan in London, where she ran JPMorgan's Central Bank client franchise in Europe, Eurasia and Africa, and two years in New York as part of the sovereign-debt-restructuring deal team. Before joining JPMorgan, she was director at Nasdaq, where she led their two initiatives for micro-cap companies, the BBX and the OTCBB. Warden holds a master's of public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, with a concentration in international trade and finance, and has completed her coursework for a Ph.D. in economics from Brandeis University.

Sandeep Dahiya is an associate professor of finance at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. He is also an associate director of the Center for Financial Markets and Policy. Dahiya's research focuses on corporate finance, corporate restructuring, entrepreneurial finance, banking and financial institutions. His work has been published in numerous finance journals, including the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Business, Journal of Corporate Finance, and Journal of Banking and Finance. Bahiya spent two years working in the corporate finance and strategy practice at McKinsey & Company, a leading strategy consulting firm. He has also consulted for leading law firms on corporate finance issues. Before earning his Ph.D., he spent three years with ICICI Bank, the second-largest financial institution in India. Dahiya received a bachelor's degree and MBA from the Indian Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in finance from New York University.