Slated for April 12, the Cornell Blockchain Conference will bring together businessmen, entrepreneurs and academics to speak on the evolution of the industry, future of blockchain and its potential revolutionary impacts on other fields.
More than 10 years have passed since the global financial crisis broke out, and the financial institutions’ ability to rethink and sophisticate their business has been growing relentlessly. Prof. Saule T. Omarova, law, argues in her latest work that while we are now more cognizant of, and to an extent protected from, the risk in some financial products, the financial system could be ill-equipped for the latest technological innovations in finance, otherwise known as fintech. In her research paper, New Tech v. New Deal: Fintech As A Systemic Phenomenon she suggests that the fintech revolution can’t be as neutral as some actors pretend, because finance is “a matter of utmost and direct public policy significance.”
Omarova writes in New Tech v. New Deal that if we blur the public policy dimension in fintech, and grasp only the private dimension of how it enables transactions, we misrepresent its systemic risk. By doing so, she warns, we help new financial and tech conglomerates avoid financial regulation and circumvent the fundamental separation between banking and commerce, giving them a carte blanche to engage in riskier activities for consumers. This reflection is at the very core of Omarova’s pro-regulation stance, made clear throughout her research work and more recently in her testimony before the Senate two weeks ago.
Cornell is among several other higher education institutions in actively meeting the rising academic interest in this field by offering a total of 28 relevant courses — the largest amount among the world’s top 50 universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, beating other Ivy League universities.
Rewardzzz, a rewards app that identifies itself as the “first universal points exchange” and is known for its reliance on blockchain technology and the crytocurrency Stellar, will be introduced in Ithaca this fall. Hunter Friedland ’19, CEO and founder of the tech startup, elaborated on how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies function to explain how the app is meant to work. “Blockchain is the technology that powers all cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, et cetera. Each cryptocurrency is its own blockchain.
Chances are you know someone who’s mined bitcoin. However, cryptocurrencies are not everything they appear to be. Drawing the ire of governments and financial institutions alike, questions about its reliability are on the rise. Prof. Ari Juels, computer science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, discussed the impact, technology and regulatory environment of cryptocurrencies. Co-director of the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts — a collaboration between Cornell, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, based at Cornell Tech — Juels helps lead research on blockchain technology and its applications.