IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
2-6 May 2020 // Virtual Conference


Keynote Speakers
Don Tapscott, Blockchain Research Institute
Christian Catalini, Facebook
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum Foundation
Dinesh Shah, Bank of Canada

James H. ThompsonKeynote 1

Don Tapscott
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Blockchain Research Institute

Title: Standards and the Second Era of the Internet

Abstract: For the last 40 years we’ve seen the rise of mainframes, mini-computers, the PC, the Internet, mobility, the Web, the mobile web, social media, the cloud and big data.

We’re entering a second era where new technologies are infusing into everything, and every business process. Innovations as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, even technology in our bodies, drones, robots and new materials are enabling entirely new types of enterprises. Foundational to these innovations is the underlying technology of crypto currencies. – blockchain.

The Internet of Information is evolving into the Internet of value -- a new, distributed platform
that can reshape business and fix the old order of human affairs for the better.  This new
Internet, based on blockchain – the underlying technology behind crypto currencies, can
transform financial services; change the deep structures of the corporation; animate the
physical world; recast the role of government, and help solve the crisis of legitimacy of

New business models will disrupt most industries.  This Second Era of the Digital Age has
profound implications for strategy and leadership as through it, every business can finally
become a digital business. It also created profound opportunities for public health – in
particular in managing pandemics and preventing them in the future.

In 1994 Don Tapscott introduced The Digital Economy in his seminal book of that name and
since has been the most prescient theorist of the ever-accelerating changes around us. In our
opening keynote Don presents a frank State of the Union about this Second Era and why
standards are so critical to its success.

Bio: Don Tapscott is the CEO of the Tapscott Group and the co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute. The Blockchain Research Institute conducts studies on topics including the strategic implications of blockchain on business, government and society. He has authored or co-authored sixteen books on the application of technology in business and society. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (2006), a book he co-authored, was number one on the 2007 management book charts and has been translated into 20 different languages. He is also co-author of the book Blockchain Revolution (2016, 2018) which is the seminal writing in blockchain technology. Don Tapscott holds a B.Sc. in psychology and statistics and an M.Ed. specializing in research methodology from the University of Alberta. He also holds honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta in 2001, Trent University in 2006, and McMaster University in 2010. 


James H. ThompsonKeynote 2

Christian Catalini
Co-Creator, Libra; Head Economist (Calibra); MIT Sloan School of Management

Title: Economics of Libra

Abstract: The presentation will start with an overview of the economic design principles behind the Libra blockchain, as well as discuss new mechanisms for establishing trust in digital platforms. It will also provide an overview of the key economic updates contained in Libra's new white paper: 1) the introduction of single-currency stablecoins; 2) a redefined multi-currency ≋LBR based on fixed nominal weights; 3) more protections for the Libra Reserve under extreme market conditions, including a capital buffer; 4) a market-driven process that can replicate the key economic properties of permissionless systems, and give new entrants the ability to compete for the provision of core network services and participate in governance.

Bio: Christian Catalini is a co-creator of Libra and the head economist at Calibra (Facebook). He is also the Theodore T. Miller Career Development Professor at MIT, and Associate Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management. Additionally, he is the founder of the MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab, a part of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and a faculty advisor at the Digital Currency Initiative. He is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 2018. His research focuses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the economics of equity crowdfunding and startup growth, and the economics of scientific collaboration. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management), and an MSc in Economics and Management of New Technologies from Bocconi University, Milan. 


James H. ThompsonKeynote 3

Vitalik Buterin
Founder, Ethereum Foundation

Title: The Next 10 Years of Ethereum and Crypto

Abstract: The Ethereum protocol has been advancing quickly in the last two years, with the launch of Ethereum 2.0 on the horizon. However, proof of stake and sharding are the beginning, and not the end. The next ten years are going to see massive further advances in zero knowledge proofs as well as other forms of cryptography, while at the same time existing use cases of blockchains reach maturity. The distance between "crypto as in cryptography" and "crypto as in cryptocurrency" will decrease, as blockchains, which provide security at the cost of privacy, and cryptography, which gives the privacy back, prove to be natural complements to each other, and the most powerful applications will be some combination of both.

Bio: Vitalik Buterin is the founder and inventor of Ethereum, the first decentralized network that facilitates the execution of Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications (DApps). The native currency of Ethereum, known as ether or ETH, is currently the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. He is also a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine and has been actively involved in the bitcoin community since 2011. He is an active participant in blockchain conferences and online discussions, regarding technical aspects but also the philosophical side of this emerging technology. Vitalik Buterin received an Honorary doctorate degree from the University of Basel, Switzerland in 2018. 


James H. ThompsonKeynote 4

Dinesh Shah
Director, Bank of Canada

Title: To blockchain or not to blockchain? The Bank of Canada’s journey into digital currency
Abstract: The Bank of Canada has undertaken a multi-phase experimental project, called Jasper, to critically examine the value proposition of distributed ledger technology in the financial system. Unlike most technologies blockchain is not value free: it attempts to organize the world with a different conception of trust. We describe our journey, collaboration with other central banks and financial institutions, our findings and outstanding questions.

Bio:  Dinesh Shah is a director of Fintech research at the Bank of Canada. He leads a team that focuses on research on e-money and fintech. His research interest includes the analysis of emerging and potentially disruptive technologies with wide applications to financial market infrastructure and the financial system. He also drives the five phases of Project Jasper, which was the first project globally that involves a collaboration between a central bank and commercial banks to build a proof-of-concept interbank payment system with distributed ledgers. He joined the Bank of Canada in 2009 as an Enterprise Architect, then became a technical researcher focusing on research and analysis developments in e-money and payment systems and their impact on the Bank of Canada's mandate. He received an honored BSc degree from the University of Kent.