December 10, 2019

The Offices of Morrison & Foerster, LLP | 250 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019


*Agenda is subject to change.

Breakfast & Registration

Chairs’ Opening

  • Dario de Martino, M&A and Private Equity Partner and Co-Chair, Blockchain Practice, Morrison & Foerster LLP


Opening Keynote – Why the Future of Blockchain is Actually Looking Good

Why has the promise of blockchain not come to fruition? What are some of the barriers of the next level of value creation for the business? During this session we will keep a laser focus on the real use cases and see through the hype to maximize the full potential of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Delve into the key challenges that are hindering many to realize the true benefits in order to learn how to overcome these obstacles.


Featured Session: Worldwide Perspective-International Blockchain Utilization and Regulatory Landscape

While the hype around blockchain may have waned slightly it is crucially important to understand the reasons behind this slowdown in order to keep up the momentum and be prepared with evidence-based facts to present to those that are most skeptical. During this session, we will explore the seemingly endless possibilities of blockchain by hearing use cases from around the globe to see what can be replicated within our own boarders. Dive deep into the factors that can inhibit blockchain to have the knowledge and evidence to overcome them.

  • Alex Nascimento, Founder, UCLA Blockchain Lab

Networking Break

Case Study – Are Stablecoins the Catalyst the Cryptocurrency World has Been Waiting For?

Stablecoins, because they mimic traditional stable currencies remove the inherent volatility that commonly plaques cryptocurrency, while also being able to capitalize on the benefits such as security, transparency, speed and decentralization. Could this be the catalyst to make cryptocurrency more mainstream and offer a solution to the instability of the digital currency space? During this session, gain an understanding of what stablecoins can and can’t do and explore how they may be the answer to provide stability an otherwise volatile cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Panel – Patents or Trade Secrets: Considerations for Blockchain IP

During this session, we will discuss a number of factors to consider when deciding between patents and trade secrets for protecting blockchain IP. We will analyze the competitive landscape and touch upon open source software and standardizations. We will specifically explore subject matter eligibility, extraterritoriality, and core technology considerations. We will also address strategic patent-related avenues such as expedited examination.

  • Dario de Martino, M&A and Private Equity Partner and Co-Chair, Blockchain Practice, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Mehran Arjomand, Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Jean Nguyen, Associate, Morrison & Foerster LLP


Why Blockchain? Eliminating Misinformation and Misunderstandings as Barriers to Value Enablement

At this point we know what blockchain is. We have been inundated with articles, social media posts, presentations and news reports about what this technology is capable of. But why blockchain? In order to win over the hearts and minds of the organization join the discussion as we take a look at the true transformational potential of blockchain. Move beyond the technical side of what blockchain is to understand the business relevance and importance to be able to put the potential of this revolutionary technology in a context that the organization can embrace and onboard.

  • Samantha Radocchia, Co-Founder, Chronicled; Emerging Tech Entrepreneur; Author, Bitcoin Pizza: The No-BS Guide to Blockchain


Interactive Discussion: What is Truly Possible with Blockchain and When Will We See It?

As we are nearly the end of 2019 speculation and hype around blockchain is still prevalent and those who are investing in blockchain are realizing the vast benefits it can provide. They are working with their internal and external partners to overcome hurdles blocking large scale adoption. During this session, explore the most promising applications of blockchain technology today and into the future. The discussion will center around both strategic and tactical perspectives to fully embrace blockchain by the panelists as well as interaction from the audience to gain an understanding of what is real and possible in this exciting space.

  • Angel Lorente, Co-founder, FinTech Connector; Americas Finance Innovation Lead, Morgan Stanley

Cyber Security and Protecting Critical Infrastructure: Why Data Privacy and Blockchain Will Evolve Hand in Hand

At its foundation, the nature of the technology of blockchain is a tool to protect data privacy. As a decentralized technology with no central location to store data it virtually eliminates the threat of attack or misuse. A data breach can cripple a company by causing wide-scale public mistrust that is hard to recover. Understand how to harness blockchain’s capabilities to protect the most critical asset in the world, data. Navigate around the hype to explore real use cases and applications to preserve data helping you overcome the most critical hurdles to widespread adoption. In addition, explore blockchain’s role in the new data privacy regulations that can increase the company’s risk of having unprotected or misused and stored data.

  • Thomas Zakrzewski, Head of Blockchain, S&P Global
  • Rajiv Sondhi, Vice President Information Technology, CapitalOne


M&A in Blockchain: How are Today’s Dealmakers Capitalizing on the Current Blockchain Environment

Strategic buyers are increasingly active in the blockchain space as they seek to expand their portfolio or enter into new business sectors. As the M&A continues to become more active what are the legal and financial issues that need to be considered in order to successfully complete an M&A transaction in the blockchain industry. During this session, explore the current M&A landscape to identify the opportunities and risks to protect your organization and ensure you are not left behind.

  • Dario de Martino, M&A and Private Equity Partner and Co-Chair, Blockchain Practice, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Spencer Klein, Partner and Co-Head of M&A, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Shaila Lakhani Ohri, Assistant General Counsel, Exelon


Networking Break

Update from the SEC-Uncover the Agency’s Role in Working to Promote Innovation

SEC has recently given the green light to a number of cryptocurrency start-ups demonstrating their commitment to aid innovative technology development in the blockchain-enabled digital assets space. During this spotlight address, gain insight into the SEC’s current oversight and regulatory processes. Understand how they are looking to help safeguard assets and provide protection while also promoting advancements. Learn how to navigate successfully through the current rules and regulations to clear up any ambiguity in this ever-evolving landscape and understand how the SEC is committed to promoting, and not hindering, innovations in this space.

  • Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-invited
In conversation with:
  • Susan Gault-Brown, Financial Services Partner, Investment Management Group Chair, & Blockchain Group Co-Chair, Morrison & Foerster LLP


Case Study –Successful Tokenization of Real-World Assets on Blockchain

In the age of tokenization, the way that we look at investing and owning assets will fundamentally change. While this disruption may cause concern to many it also opens up tremendous opportunities, security, and accessibility. Industry leaders need to understand the successful ways to tokenize real-world assets on blockchain to mitigate risks, seize opportunities and learn to embrace new business models that will enable greater liquidity, faster and cheaper transactions, and transparency. Included in the discussion will be ways you can protect yourself from the current uncertainty or ambiguity in regards to regulatory oversight by embedding compliance at the token level to provide a legal framework for this revolutionary technology to thrive.

  • Mostafa Raddaoui, Vice President of Capital Markets Technology, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group


Panel – Scaling Blockchain Applications, How to Go from Pilot to Implementation

The most vocal skeptics of blockchain question why the realization of the benefits is taking so much time to achieve. The truth of the matter is that blockchain is not a plug and play solution but one that involves many partners, much engagement, and investment of money but more importantly, time. How do you break through the fear factor in many organizations to promote enterprise-wide adoption and engagement? What are some direct activities that you can employ to evolve blockchain from concept to enterprise implementation? How can you create an effective governance platform that will help drive future scalability? Join the discussion as we explore the ways you can collaborate, learn, and create synergies to advance the blockchain ecosystem.

  • Kyle Culver, Lead Enterprise Architect, Humana
  • Karen Bhatia, Senior Vice President, Technology, New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • Sunayna Tuteja, Head of Digital Assets & DLT, TD Ameritrade
  • Cynthia Yoon, Vice President & Program Management Lead, Treasury and Trade Solutions Innovation, Citi


Closing Session – Blockchain, IoT AI and Building a Fully Integrated Tech Stack

When seeking to incorporate Blockchain into your enterprise systems, you must look beyond this single platform to its interaction with other technologies so that you have the most efficient enterprise ecosystem possible. During this session, we will delve into ways to unify Blockchain, AI and IoT with your existing cloud-based computing systems in order to increase transparency, improve security and simplify processes across departments. Uncover the technical and operational roadblocks in interoperability, automation, and data privacy to active breakthroughs in blockchain scalability, privacy, and interoperability.

  • Nikolai Lukin, AVP, Agile & DevOps Lead, MassMutual


Chairs’ Closing Remarks


End of Day

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