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Appetite for Disruption: The Business and Regulation of FinTech

Many opportunities and challenges are at the intersection of technology and financial services. And FinTech itself is rapidly evolving as businesses continuously innovate and new ideas come from unexpected places. At the same time, government regulators are trying to keep pace. Troy A. Paredes and Lee A. Schneider explore this disruption by engaging the leaders who are changing what FinTech is and how we think about it. In this biweekly podcast, Troy, former SEC Commissioner and founder of Paredes Strategies LLC, and Lee, general counsel at Block.one and co-founder of Genesis Block, LLC, discuss today’s –and tomorrow’s – exciting and impactful FinTech topics. With their guests, they explore business and regulatory developments and technology trends, giving listeners new perspectives to take back to Main Street, the Hill, Wall Street, and the boardroom.
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Appetite for Disruption: The Business and Regulation of FinTech
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Sep 9, 2019

Our interview with Roman Ginis continues in a more philosophical vein, as we talk about the perspective and spirit of engineers and the open source movement. We also cover what “optimization” (as compared to “maximization” or “minimization”) is all about. Optimization takes a lot of hard work, trial and error, a good sense of the problem you're trying to solve, and recognizing that decisions involve trade-offs. Troy and Lee have a post-interview discussion about where marketplaces and machines will fit in the world of tomorrow.

Aug 26, 2019

Roman Ginis is the CEO of Imperative Execution, a firm that is dedicated to using AI and machine learning to create a better trading experience. For example, can you buy or sell without your own buying or selling affecting the price at which you trade? Even though people have been trading securities (and other things) for a very long time, there is still room for technological innovation. We discuss with Roman how new technology allows new ways of addressing longstanding challenges.

Aug 12, 2019

Professor Hal Abelson of MIT continues to explain the world of machine learning, including its limitations. Have you ever considered that a computer can recognize some images better than people can, but the computer might not recognize that an image is a dog if the picture is upside down? Even the best computer scientists are still working to develop clear and fulsome explanations of why and how machine learning works. As we also discuss with Hal, even the best-trained machines lack what we, as humans, think of as judgment, and machines certainly lack human values. Perhaps new advances will move computers more towards possessing judgment and values – the ability to have compassion or empathy, for example. If so, that could have big implications for how key decisions that affect our lives get made.

Jul 29, 2019

Professor Hal Abelson of MIT joins Troy and Lee to explain key elements of the internet, machine learning, and the policy that governs them. He has broad experience from more than 40 years at MIT working with various types of computer systems. His insights into how things work and his efforts to educate policy makers is informative and timely given all technological breakthroughs that we’re living through. We take a deep dive into how machines learn, the limits of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and the sometimes inexplicable nature of what machines tell us. Our discussion got us thinking that machines and humans have some similar learning characteristics, even though machines do it with much less intuition and without any type of understanding... at least not yet.

Jul 15, 2019

In this second part of our conversation with Naval Ravikant, we talk about how financial services will be disrupted, from blockchain to payments and beyond. We then venture into the future of work, such as what will the gig economy mean for how we will work in the future? At the end, Troy and Lee chat a bit about their impressions from the conversation with Naval, giving some additional food for thought. We hope you like this new feature. Of course, nothing said in this episode is investment, legal, or any other advice of any kin

Jul 1, 2019

We welcome Naval Ravikant, a prodigious entrepreneur who has made a career helping other entrepreneurs. In this episode, we discuss how to be an effective entrepreneur, including the game theory of venture capital. Plus we cover complexity theory (or, Why can’t everything be simpler?), the “infrastructure of innovation,” and the first-principles thinking of science. Of course, nothing said in this episode is investment, legal, or any other advice of any kind.

Jun 17, 2019

More with Professor Johnson of Virginia Tech. This time, we learn about his “big humanities” response to “big technologies.” Lots to consider, from brain-to-computer interfaces, to robotic morality, to democracy, to trust. We liked his ideas about the inclusiveness that is needed for human beings to think these things through to ensure that voices and experiences are not left out. Some big philosophical stuff that left Troy and Lee in deep thought. We aren’t sure what the future holds, but we are glad people like Sylvester are helping the world grapple with these foundational questions.

Jun 3, 2019

With the help of Professor Johnson of Virginia Tech, we discuss what it means to be human in an age of accelerating technology, where computers and robots can think and maybe even feel. Professor Johnson explains several of the amazing technologies that exist today, both “outside” people and those being incorporated directly into people’s bodies, and how industry and government is pushing this forward. He really expanded our views on how to think about humanity and technology.

May 20, 2019

We chat with folks from Clearpool, a financial services firm that provides a wide variety of technology tools and routing infrastructure to sell-side broker-dealers to help them seek best execution for their institutional clients. We cover the technical aspects of how trading works, the speed at which it happens, and some of the technologies being deployed. These technologies are cutting edge in terms of speed and reaction time, which may pave the way for speed in other industries. The Clearpool team also gave us insight into being a startup in a competitive space.

May 13, 2019

Stina Ehresnvard returns with more insights about security, the hardware business, and finding your dream client. The dream client helps drive your business forward and may not always be the one you think.

Apr 29, 2019

We welcome Stina Ehresnvard to get us focused on how to build a business around hardware, instead of our usual focus on software.  Yubico believes that hardware is key to security in the digital realm.  

Apr 8, 2019

Troy interviews Chris live at the Security Traders Association Annual Market Structure Conference to give us more insight into the trading world, AI, blockchain, and other developments impacting our securities markets, financial institutions, and investors. Recorded when Chris was still President and COO of Cboe (before he moved to MarketAxess), Chris gives his usual candid take on things.

Apr 1, 2019

We continue our discussion with Chris Concannon from when he was still an executive at Cboe (he’s now at MarketAxess). We explore the future of exchange technology, including the impact of artificial intelligence and blockchain. (Nothing in this or any other episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory, or other advice.)

Mar 18, 2019

We chat with Chris Concannon, formerly President and COO of Cboe and now the same at MarketAxess. We spoke with Chris (before he switched jobs) about the role of technology, the role of humans, and the speed of markets, and about regulation and complexity. (Nothing in this or any other episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory, or other advice.)

Feb 25, 2019

The continuation of our conversation with Brett Hemenway, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where we learn about zero knowledge proofs, why math is fun, and that the kinds of math and cryptography problems he wrestles with require a lot more than multiplication tables. Troy and Lee continue to learn more about the world of cryptography from Brett and conclude that math may rule the world.

Feb 12, 2019

To sum it up, math matters. Troy and Lee with Brett Hemenway, a cryptographer looking at various practical applications of secure multi-party computation to solve real-world information sharing problems. Ever want to tell someone something but you’re not sure if you should trust that person? Brett delves into the theory and practice of cryptography in a way that we think "Appetite for Disruption" listeners will find fascinating. Really amazing.

Jan 28, 2019

We continue our discussion with European AI lawyer Lokke Moerel. We chat about search technology and "filter bubbles," the ethics of AI, and AI and regulation (including privacy and GDPR).

Jan 14, 2019

We discuss with European AI lawyer Lokke Moerel the promise and risks of artificial intelligence, including how the data inputs affect the AI outputs, the challenge in understanding how AI "thinks," and how AI is being used in the real-world from hiring to health care.

Dec 10, 2018

We continue our discussion with Ryan and learn about the proposed transaction with Circle, some of the early challenges SeedInvest faced and how passion is a necessary part of any start-up vision. (Nothing in this or any other episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory, or other advice.)

Dec 4, 2018
Ryan Feit of SeedInvest talks about how he and his team built a leading equity crowdfunding platform and was involved with the passage of the JOBS Act, and gets into the details of the platforms features and functions to make crowdfunding securities a new asset class. (Nothing in this or any other episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory, or other advice.)
Nov 12, 2018

The second part of our conversation with Canadian AI specialists where we delve further into the policy and ethics issues, as well as how the business side of AI is growing in Canada with government support.

Oct 29, 2018

A live audience recording in which we discuss artificial intelligence with two knowledgeable Canadian AI specialists. In this first part, we talk about things that AI can do and liability issues associated with AI’s actions. More interestingly, we discuss policy issues.

Oct 15, 2018

In this second part of the interview, we discuss many of the forces behind decentralization through blockchain and Mike’s view of where things might be headed. We also learn how the basics of being a good Army apply to investing. Reminder: nothing in the episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory or other advice.

Oct 1, 2018

After success as an Army helicopter pilot, Goldman Sachs banker and founder of Fortress, he could have just managed his family wealth. But his enthusiasm for the new world of decentralization through blockchain has driven Mike to create a new type of investment bank. Reminder: nothing in the episode is advice of any kind; please contact your own experts to help with investment, legal, regulatory or other advice.

Sep 17, 2018

In this second half of Troy and Lee’s conversation with former SEC Commissioner Piwowar, we broadened the discussion to cover some theories of regulation and considerations for regulatory decisions.  Commissioner Piwowar also discussed various areas within FinTech that he finds interesting, including the “Bootleggers and Baptists” theory of public choice economics first put forth by economist Bruce Yandle

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