Panel Event on Crypto-Currencies, Remittances, and Financial Inclusion

On November 12, the Center hosted a panel of distinguished national experts who discussed the role of new disruptive technologies such as Bitcoin and Blockchain in migrant remittance transfers. The seminar panel “Digital Currencies and Remittances: Innovation, Regulation, and Development” explored digital currencies as important emerging alternatives to traditional remittance systems, examining the issues of social and technological innovation, regulation, and policy.

Crypto-currency technologies have a potential to provide convenient and secure financial services to those excluded from the formal financial sector and can be particularly important in conflict-affected contexts, where remittance transfers are limited by institutional inadequacies and regulatory concerns.  These topics are particularly important to the longitudinal research of CFLP on migrant remittances in fragile and post-conflict situations. The Panel examined the potentials of digital currencies such as Bitcoin to facilitate cost-efficient and transparent remittance transfers and enhance financial inclusion, and discussed related risks and challenges.  It explored the issues of efficiency in remittance transfers that are due to the new era of crypto-currencies, and talked about the current state of remittances on the blockchain and how they might look in the future. The panel also discussed the role of ‘smart’ regulation in such technological innovation initiatives and explored its contributions to enhancing the transparency of remittance transfers and combating money laundering. The discussions examined the potentials of Bitcoin and Blockchain to radically transform the future of remittances and the payments space.

The speakers included Marco A. Santori  (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP),  Chris DeRose (Counterparty),  and Joshua Unseth (Alarm Grid). Introductory remarks were by Daivi Rodima-Taylor (BU CFLP), and discussion was moderated by John Beccia (Circle Exchange). The event was part of the CFLP Financial Inclusion seminar series.

More information about the speakers:

Marco A. Santori is a recognized authority in the law of digital currencies and has been described as “the Dean of Digital Currency Lawyers” by the American Banker. He is the leader of the Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology focus team at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s Regulatory Affairs Committee. Marco counsels banks, exchanges, payment processors, institutional miners, and other companies making new uses of distributed ledger technology.

Chris DeRose is a speaker and author who has written extensively on blockchain technologies and their potential uses for the American Banker and other publications. He is Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation, and winner of this year’s Miami Bitcoin Hackathon.  Chris is a tireless educator about new disruptive technologies and their potential to transform the financial world.

Joshua Unseth is a tireless Bitcoin advocate and well known in the Bitcoin space for his predictions about projects that he thinks will fail or succeed based on an understanding of the actual efficiencies that bockchains provide. As one of Florida’s oldest Bitcoiners, Joshua has helped build a community of passionate technologists. He started one of the nation’s fastest growing home security companies, Alarm Grid. Joshua is among the foremost experts in the country in the use of cryptocurrencies for remittance transfers.