Organizing Committee

Paolo Tasca

Paolo Tasca

Executive Director, UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies

Paolo Tasca is a FinTech economist specialising in P2P financial systems.
An advisor for different international organisations including the EU Parliament on blockchain technologies, Paolo recently joined the University College London as Director of the Centre for Blockchain Technologies (UCL CBT).  Prior to that, he has been a senior research economist at Deutsche Bundesbank working on digital currencies and P2P lending.
Paolo is the co-author of the bestseller “FINTECH Book” and the co-editor of the book “Banking Beyond Banks and Money”. He holds an M.A in Politics and Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Padua and a M.Sc. in Economics and Finance from Ca’ Foscari, Venice. He did his PhD studies in Business between Ca’ Foscari Venice and ETH, Zürich.

Tomaso Aste

Tomaso Aste

Scientific Director, UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies

Tomaso Aste is UCL Professor of Complexity Science; Head of the Financial Computing and Analytics Group UCL (2012-), co-Director UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (2015-), Programme Director MSc in Financial Risk Management (2012-); Vice-Director of the Centre for doctoral Training in Financial Computing & Analytics (2014-); Member of the Board of the ESRC LSE-UCL Systemic Risk Centre (2012-). Tomaso Aste graduated in Physics at the University of Genoa and has a PhD in from Politecnico di Milano. Prior to UCL he was Reader at the School of Physics, University of Kent (2009-2012); Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics The Australian National University (2002-2009).


Ben Craig

Senior Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Ben Craig is a senior economic advisor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He specializes in the economics of banking and international finance. Before joining the Bank in 1994, Dr. Craig was an assistant professor of economics at Indiana University. He has also taught at Washington State University, Stanford University, and the University of Konstanz, Germany. He was a visiting scholar at the Bundesbank in Germany in 2001 and from 2012-2014. Dr. Craig earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Harvard University in 1976 and received a PhD in economics from Stanford in 1986. He is married and the father of three children.

Scientific Committee


Christopher Clack

Founder, Financial Computing MSc Programme and the Thomson-Reuters Laboratory at UCL

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Robleh Ali

Digital Currencies Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab

Robleh Ali is a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative. His main focus is on how national currencies can be issued digitally outside the existing banking system and the role of central banks in such a system. The overall aim of the work is fundamentally reforming the financial system by changing the way money is issued. He previously led the research into central bank issued digital currency at the Bank of England.


Ben Fung

Director of Economic Research and Analysis, Bank of Canada

Ben Fung is Research Advisor and Assistant Director in the Currency Department of the Bank of Canada. His main role is to provide leadership in the department’s economic research program and to provide advice to the department on issues related to developments in retail payments and their implications for the demand for cash. As Assistant Director, Ben is responsible for managing the Economic Research and Analysis team. He also has extensive experience in monetary policy research and analysis. From 2000 to 2003, Ben worked as senior economist at the Bank for International Settlements’ Hong Kong Office. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Western Ontario.

Ben Shenglin

Professor, Zhejiang University

Wei-Tek Tsai

Professor, Beihang University

Dr. Wei-Tek Tsai received his S.B. in Computer Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at Cambridge, MA in 1979, M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California at Berkeley in 1982 and 1985.
He worked for University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN from 1985-2000, and served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and he held MEIS Professorship at University of Minnesota.
He left University of Minnesota and joined Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona in 2000 as a full professor of Computer Science and Engineering in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering. He became an Emeritus Professor in Dec. 2014.  Since Dec. 2014, he has been 1000-Talents Program Professor at Beihang University, Beijing, China. At Beihang University, he initiated Digital Society and Blockchain Laboratory within School of Computer Science and Engineering, and the laboratory is the first and only academic laboratory dedicated to blockchain research and education in China as Feb. 2016.  He has authored more than 400 papers in software engineering, service-oriented computing, and cloud computing. He travels widely and has held various professorships in Asia and Europe including Yantze River Professorship (2009-2012) at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Tiziana Di Matteo

Tiziana Di Matteo

Professor, King’s College

A trained physicist, she took her degree and PhD from the University of Salerno in Italy before assuming research roles at universities in Australia and Britain. She works in the Department of Mathematics at King’s College London in Econophysics, complex networks and Data science. She is the first Professor of Econophysics in the world and Honorary Professor of UCL in the Department of Computer Science. She has authored over 80 papers and gave invited and keynote talks at major international conferences in the US, across Europe and Asia, making her one of the world’s leaders in this field.


Alexander Lipton

Connection Science fellow, MIT Media Lab

Alexander Lipton is Connection Science fellow at MIT Media Lab, adjunct professor of mathematics at NYU Courant Institute, an advisory board member at the Oxford-Man Institute, and a Scientific Committee member at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies. He departed from Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he served for ten years as a managing director. During this time, Alex worked in various senior managerial roles including quantitative solutions executive and co-head of the Global Quantitative Group. Earlier, he was a managing director and head of Capital Structure Quantitative Research at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago; he has also worked for Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust. While working full time as a banker, Alex held several prestigious academic appointments, including visiting professor of quantitative finance at Oxford-Man Institute, visiting professor of mathematics at Imperial College London, and visiting professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois. Before switching to finance, Alex was a full professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois and a consultant at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in pure mathematics from Moscow State University. His current professional interests include digital banking, FinTech, including distributed ledger and other applications of cryptography in banking and payment systems. His scientific interests are centered on quantitative development of modern monetary circuit theory, mechanisms of money creation, interlinked banking networks, balance sheet optimization, and related topics. In 2000 Alex was awarded the first Quant of the Year Award by Risk Magazine. Alex is the author of two books (Magnetohydrodynamics and Spectral Theory and Mathematical Methods for Foreign Exchange) and the editor of five more, including, most recently, Quant of the Year 2000-2014, All Award Winning Papers. He has published more than a hundred papers on hydrodynamics, magnetohydrodynamics, astrophysics, chemical physics, and financial engineering. Alex is a founding patron of The 14-10 Club at the Royal Institution (jointly with David Harding). Alex is an avid collector of military optics and is currently working on a book on the history of military binoculars.

Primavera De Filippi

Primavera De Filippi

Research Fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the CNRS in Paris and faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, where she is investigating the concept of governance-by-design as it relates to blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.

Primavera holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence. She is a member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain Technologies at the World Economic Forum, as well as the founder of the Internet Governance Forum’s dynamic coalitions on Blockchain Technology (COALA).

In addition to her academic research, Primavera acts as a legal expert for Creative Commons in France and sits on the stakeholder board of the P2P Foundation.


Ben Craig

Senior Economic Advisor, FED Cleveland

Ben Craig is a senior economic advisor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He specializes in the economics of banking and international finance. Before joining the Bank in 1994, Dr. Craig was an assistant professor of economics at Indiana University. He has also taught at Washington State University, Stanford University, and the University of Konstanz, Germany. He was a visiting scholar at the Bundesbank in Germany in 2001 and from 2012-2014. Dr. Craig earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Harvard University in 1976 and received a PhD in economics from Stanford in 1986. He is married and the father of three children.


Marta Piekarska

Director of Ecosystem at Hyperledger The Linux Foundation

Marta obtained her BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology and a double Master from Computer Science and Informatics at Technical University of Berlin and Warsaw University of Technology. Her undergrad Thesis was on Voice Encryption on Android Platform and grad work on GPU-aided Payload Delivery on Linux Kernel. Recently received PhD in User-Informed Design of Privacy Tools, while working for one of the hottest Silicon Valley startups, Blockstream, as their Security Architect. Previously, associated with Deutsche Telekom as the Lead Architect on the Future of Mobile Privacy, a collaboration with Mozilla and Deutsche Telekom improving Firefox OS. As a Post-doc, she also teaches and works at Technical University of Berlin. Her technical interests are covered by what she does – user-informed privacy and security, applications of Bitcoin technology beyond cryptocurrency, and lock picking.


David Andolfatto

Vice President, FED Saint Louis
Wilko bolt

Wilko Bolt

Senior Economist - De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), Professor of Payment Systems - Vrije Universiteit (VU)

Wilko Bolt is a Senior Economist in the Economics and Research department at De Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam and Professor of Payment Systems at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. His current research focuses on the payment economics, virtual currencies, two-sided markets theory and antitrust implications. He has published in journals such as American Economic Review, European Economic Review, Economic Theory, International Journal of Industrial Organization, and International Journal of Central Banking. His book ‘Credible Threats in Negotiations: A Game-theoretic Approach’, written jointly with Harold Houba, was published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 2002. Bolt was awarded the Hennipman Prize by the Dutch Royal Economic Association in 2007 for his research.

David Yermack

Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation, Chair at Finance Department, NYU

David Yermack is the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation and Chairman of the Finance Department at New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1994. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law, Director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research law and economics program. In Fall 2014 he co-taught a full semester course at NYU on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, the first course of its type at a major research university. In addition to his recent research on blockchains and digital currencies, Professor Yermack has published some of the most cited papers in the fields of executive compensation and corporate governance. He has also written papers on such diverse topics as options in baseball player contracts, incentive compensation for clergymen, tobacco litigation, fraudulent charitable contributions, CEOs’ mansions, and the fashion industry. Professor Yermack was awarded AB (1995), MBA (1991), JD (1991), AM (1993) and PhD (1994) degrees, all from Harvard University. He has been appointed as a visiting professor at 12 international universities, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Philadelphia, and has given invited research seminars at more than 100 universities and institutes worldwide


Nicolas Courtois

Cryptographer, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science - UCL

Nicolas Tadeusz Courtois is a cryptographer and a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at University College London. Courtois was one of the co-authors of both the XSL attack against block ciphers such as the Advanced Encryption Standard and the XL system for solving systems of algebraic equations, used in the attack. Other cryptographic results of Courtois include algebraic attacks on stream ciphers, attacks on the KeeLoq and Hitag 2 systems used for remote keyless automobile entry systems, and an analysis of cryptographic weaknesses in public transit smart cards including the London Underground Oyster card and the Dutch OV-chipkaart. More recently, he has written about cryptocurrency.