Finance and Technology Conference 2021 on Crypto-assets and Asset Tokenization​

November 5th, 2021, Swiss Tech Convention Center, EPFL
Distributed Ledger Technology has the potential to reshape the traditional financial system. An example is decentralized finance, which allows people to combine open-source building blocks into sophisticated financial products utilizing DLT. Central banks, as another example, face growing competition from private actors offering their own digital alternative to physical cash. However, the current lack of clear legal and technological standards prevents market players and institutions from fully exploiting the potential DLT.
This conference features latest research and insights on crypto-assets and asset tokenization, and their impact on banking and financial market infrastructures. The event combines a broad spectrum of stakeholders, which combine legal and regulatory, technological, financial and economic as well as civil society perspectives. It addresses academics and practitioners alike, and shall foster the public dialogue and interaction across institutions.
The onsite conference will by invitation only and limited to 50 participants.
ONLINE OPTION: However, the event will be broadcasted as a Zoom webinar. To obtain your Zoom link for the webinar please click below to register. Registration is free but mandatory.
RECORDINGS:
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This event is organized jointly by the Swiss Finance Institute @ EPFL and the Center for Digital Trust, EPFL.

Featured Talks & Speakers

Dr. Jean-Philippe Aumasson, Taurus SA

13:40 – 14:05 Talk on Security of digital asset platforms

Prof. Alessandro Chiesa, EPFL

13:15 – 13:40 Talk on Privacy and scalability challenges of using digital assets

Biba Homsy, Homsy Legal

15:25 – 16:10 Panelist “Trust in Crypto-Assets and Asset Tokenization”

Fedor Poskriakov, Lenz & Staehelin

09:05 – 09:30 Talk on Swiss DLT Law
15:25 – 16:10 Panelist “Trust in Crypto-Assets and Asset Tokenization”

Mehmet Toral, id est avocats

09:30 – 09:55 Talk on Legal and Governance Challenges

Dr. Damien Ackerer, Covario Prime Brokerage

10:40 – 11:05 Talk on Digital assets trading
11:30 – 12:15 Panelist “Does Asset Tokenization Create or Destroy Value”

Dr. Christian Catalini, Diem Association & MIT

11:05 – 11:30 Talk on Stablecoins
11:30 – 12:15 Panelist “Does Asset Tokenization Create or Destroy Value”

Prof. Bryan Ford, EPFL

14:05 – 14:30 Talk on Democratizing digital assets and decentralized finance
15:25 – 16:10 Panelist “Trust in Crypto-Assets and Asset Tokenization”

Dr. Thomas Moser, SNB

15:00 – 15:25 Keynote on Central Bank Digital Currency
15:25 – 16:10 Panelist “Trust in Crypto-Assets and Asset Tokenization”

Prof. Fabian Schär, University Basel

10:15 – 10:40 Talk on Decentralized Finance
11:30 – 12:15 Panelist “Does Asset Tokenization Create or Destroy Value”

Schedule

Introduction

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08:30 – 09:00

Foyer Garden Patio

Registration and welcome coffee

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09:00 – 09:05

Salle Garden 5ABC

Welcoming words

By Damir Filipovic, Professor, Head of the Swiss Finance Institute, EPFL

Legal & regulatory session

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09:05 – 09:30

Salle Garden 5ABC

DLT law and financial market infrastructure – a paradigm shift?

By Fedor Poskriakov, Partner at Lenz & Staehelin

Abstract
In the age of digitalization, legal transactions should be capable of being concluded on a purely digital basis. Recognizing this need, Switzerland has amended several federal laws in order to improve the compatibility of legal concepts with evolving technological capabilities. With the entry in force of the DLT law, rights and claims can now be issued and managed as “ledger-based securities” using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). These amendments improve legal certainty and pave the way for the emergence of fully integrated financial market infrastructures for fully digital financial instruments and assets, across the full value chain, from issuance, to custody, trading and settlement.
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09:30 – 09:55

Salle Garden 5ABC

New ways of doing business, same old problems?

By Mehmet Toral, Partner at id est avocats

Abstract
DLTs, crypto-assets and tokenisation, decentralisation democratisation and trust, liquidity, efficiency and utility: we live in an age where technological constructs collide with social ideas and are nurtured by economic concerns to give birth to new ways of running business. Mehmet Toral will examine some new legal challenges created by new technologies and some old challenges that they fail to address, with a particular focus on governance.
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09:55 – 10:15

Foyer Garden Patio

Coffee break

Finance & economics session

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10:15 – 10:40

Salle Garden 5ABC

Decentralized Finance: On Blockchain- and Smart Contract-based Financial Markets

By Fabian Schär, Professor for DLT and Fintech, Managing Director of the University of Basel’s Center for Innovative Finance

Abstract
The term decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to an alternative financial infrastructure built on top of public blockchains. DeFi uses smart contracts to create protocols that replicate existing financial services in a more open, interoperable, and transparent way. In this talk Fabian will highlight opportunities and potential risks of the DeFi ecosystem.
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10:40 – 11:05

Salle Garden 5ABC

Digital assets trading and trends

By Damien Ackerer, Senior Quantitative Researcher at Covario Prime Brokerage

Abstract
In this talk Damien will give an overview of the market structure and market microstructure of digital assets trading on CEXes, DEXes, and OTC. He will also comment on recent trends such as the trading of NFTs.
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11:05 – 11:30

Salle Garden 5ABC

From Cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and Diem to CBDCs

By Christian Catalini, Chief Economist, Diem Association at MIT

Abstract
The talk will provide an overview of the evolving cryptocurrency, stablecoin and CBDC landscape, and focus on the economics of the technology and some of the core trade-offs it involves. It will also cover the economic Design of Diem and the implications the network may have on competition and innovation in payments and financial services.
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11:30 – 12:15

Salle Garden 5ABC

Moderated panel discussion: Does asset tokenization create or destroy value?

Moderated by Damir Filipovic, Professor, Head of the Swiss Finance Institute, EPFL

Panelists
  • Damien Ackerer, Senior Quantitative Researcher at Covario Prime Brokerage
  • Christian Catalini, Chief Economist, Diem Association at MIT
  • Fabian Schär, Professor for DLT and Fintech, Managing Director of the University’s Center for Innovative Finance
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12:15 – 13:15

Foyer Garden Patio

Lunch break

Technology session

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13:15 – 13:40

Salle Garden 5ABC

Privacy and scalability challenges of using digital assets

By Alessandro Chiesa, Professor and Head of the Laboratory for Computation Security, EPFL

Abstract
In his talk Alessandro will explain how cryptographic proofs can be used to transfer digital assets more efficiently and more privately.
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13:40 – 14:05

Salle Garden 5ABC

Security of digital asset platforms

By Jean-Philippe Aumasson, Co-Founder & CSO at Taurus SA

Abstract
Jean-Philippe will present the challenges of protecting crypto assets, such as cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and tokenized securities, in the context of regulated financial organizations. Based on his experience designing and integrating digital asset management technology in Swiss financial institutions, he will review risks associated with crypto assets management, as well as deployment constraints, the shared responsibility model, and key ceremony procedures.
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14:05 – 14:30

Salle Garden 5ABC

Decentralized finance: for the few, the many, or everyone?

By Bryan Ford, Professor and Head of the Decentralized and Distributed Systems Lab, EPFL

Abstract
Cryptocurrencies and digital assets so far mainly target niche communities of technologists, investors, and finance specialists. CBDCs promise to roll out digital assets at national scales – but will they embody the right combination of privacy and accountability to ensure mass acceptance and appeal, while protecting social and economic freedoms and ensuring financial inclusion for all? Beyond government initiatives, can permissionless proof-of-personhood systems bring digital assets and decentralized finance to bear empowering people and communities anywhere, rich or poor, even in humanitarian crisis or conflict situations?
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14:30 – 15:00

Foyer Garden Patio

Coffee break

Keynote

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15:00 – 15:25

Salle Garden 5ABC

Is CBDC the New Kid On The Block?

By Thomas Moser, Alternate Member of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank

Abstract
Central banks in several jurisdictions are studying and experimenting with CBDC issuance. One of the open questions is whether central banks should use blockchain technology to do this, and if so, what kind. Key challenges are scalability and privacy, which are easier to address without blockchain technology. I will argue that CBDC does not necessarily need blockchain, but that blockchain is likely to need CBDC.

Closing panel discussion

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15:25 – 16:10

Salle Garden 5ABC

Trust in Crypto-Assets and Asset Tokenization?

Moderated by Daniel Saraga, Scientific Writer and Founder of Saraga Communications

Panelists
  • Bryan Ford, Professor and Head of the Decentralized and Distributed Systems Lab, EPFL
  • Biba Homsy, Founder & Partner at Homsy Law Firm CH-LUX, Former Chief Compliance Officer at Credit Suisse and Former Regulator at FINMA
  • Thomas Moser, Alternate Member of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank
  • Fedor Poskriakov, Partner at Lenz & Staehelin
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16:10

End

Contact us regarding the F&T 2021 event

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