Blockchain 101 & Beyond


20th September 2016,  London


Smart Contracts - Introductory session on what are smart contracts and their application in finance from Chris James, Senior Technology and Privacy Associate, Paul Hastings LLP

Virtual Currency regulations Update - latest update on the EU Council's demand for virtual currencies to be regulated by the end of June 2016. Sian Jones will provide a timely update on this latest development and its implications.

Blockchain: The Fintech Revolution is Coming...will you survive?

Blockchain is the biggest development in technology that you may never have heard of...and for the financial industry its ramifications will be game changing.
Created originally as an enabling platform for Bitcoin, Blockchain technology – essentially a virtual ledger of transactions, peer shared across vast networks – is incorruptible, fast and direct. Blockchain will have a massive disintermediation affect as it systematically, and cleanly, cuts out the middleman.
If left untapped, as a senior executive in the financial sector, that ‘middleman’ could be you and your organisation.
With Blockchain technology set to explode over the next few years all manner of financial institutions are beginning to set up groups and task forces to assess the risks and possibilities. To harness Blockchain rather than wait to be made irrelevant as applications emerge.
So what is it? How can it be used by your organisation? What will be the functional, operational and regulatory ramifications? What should you consider when collaborating within your industry?
And what should you know now, as a senior executive, in order to play an authoritative role in the discussions, debates and decisions to come?

Limited places available - capacity for only 20 people - Book Now!

Join us for Blockchain 101 & Beyond. This intensive, interactive one day workshop, led by two of the world’s foremost authorities in emerging fintech trends and regulations, will brief you fully on the basics and help you peer-explore the possibilities and ramifications of Blockchain. Fully equipping you to contribute to the in-house and within industry conversations that you will face in the very near future.
• Learn what Blockchain technology is, where it has come from and what value you can get out of it.
• Understand what impact it will have on the financial sector and what the time scales might look like.
• Consider how your organisation could use it and the operational, financial and regulatory implications this may have.
• Discuss the first steps being taken and compile strategic questions that need to be asked of your people, your business, and your industry.
• Build your knowledge now while you have the opportunity to be one step ahead of the changes to come.
Participant numbers are capped at 20. (This workshop is also available as an in-house course to extend the benefits to your leadership team – please enquire for availability and details.)



Ensure you have an authoritative opinion on Blockchain possibilities in finance


8.30am   Registration & Coffee

9.00 - 10.30   Session 1: The Basics

Introduction and base lining to establish the level of knowledge in the group and to fill in any gaps in basic understanding.

• What is a Blockchain?
• What value can you get out of it?
• What are the financial and operational questions you should ask when considering adopting a Blockchain based approach?

10.45 - 12.00   Session 2:  Hype vs reality: What do you really need to be concerned about right now?

• What are the most promising use cases?

• Who are the early adopters to watch and why?

• How should you monitor and assess Blockchain opportunities for your business?

12.00 - 1.00   Session 3: Blockchain vs Bitcoin

Bitcoin is to Blockchain what email in the ‘90s was to the internet today – merely the first application of a technology that would far exceed original imaginings. And whilst Bitcoin has had a chequered history it is important in any Blockchain education to understand its relative place and teachings.

• What are the differences between virtual currencies?

• Where does Bitcoin sit relative to Blockchain and does it still have a life?

 1.00 - 2.15    Lunch

Afternoon Session - working group format

2.15 - 3.45   Session 4: Smart Contracts

Group discussion on how the group might use Blockchain, this will lead to personalised takeaways from the day.

  • Contract, smart contracts and legal personality
  • Jurisdiction and enforcement
  • DAOs, Oracles and liability
  • Using blockchain providers – European outsourcing regulation

3.45 - 5.30   Session 5:  Regulatory Round-up

There are no wholly relevant regulations and very little guidance exists, as applications for Blockchain are yet to be determined. Bitcoin does have regulatory impact but we just don’t know what it is yet. Government stances on virtual currencies (as the original application for Blockchain) vary widely from outright banning; to fence sitting; to encouragement. This session examines that spectrum and the tone of reception from regulators. In doing so we shed light on how this might impact your future opportunities.

• The only regulations touching on it at the moment relate to payment. What are these and how/where are they being applied globally?

• What will be the regulatory impact of other Blockchain activities/asset classes?

If time allows we will cover the following:

Exploring the regulatory impact on your future plans

We conclude the day by teasing out the questions and actions that need to be considered further in your organisation. With a regulatory slant and personalised advice from our experts, we arm you with intelligent and considered fodder for further, private, examination.

• What de-layering of the market could occur? (e.g. some intermediaries – and regulations - will simply disappear if settlement was carried out on a Blockchain)

• Re-writing the the risks...

• What do you need to consider now in order to embrace Blockchain and benefit from it?



Sian Jones, Regulatory compliance consultant at COINsult, Co-founder EDCAB

Siân is principal of cryptocurrency consultancy, COINsult, where she focuses on  regulation, compliance and taxation. She also runs companies providing accounting and offshore corporate services for cryptocurrency businesses.
Sian is a founder member of the UK Digital Currency Association and co-lead of its Exchanges Regulation & Accounting Working Group, and is convener of the 1st meetup of European digital currency associations. She is also a contributor to Europe's leading cryptocurrency podcast, Epicenter Bitcoin, and its Regulatory Affairs correspondent.


Ashley Winton,  Partner, Paul Hastings LLP  

Formerly a computer designer, Ashley is a technology partner in the London office of Paul Hastings LLP.Ashley advises on technology, telecommunications, intellectual property and antitrust matters with particular emphasis on European regulatory issues such as electronic money, payment systems, encryption and export control, data protection and privacy, cyber security, technology transfer and e-commerce.
Ashley is a Ponemon Institute Fellow and the current chairman of the Data Protection Forum. He regularly speaks at industry and academic conferences.
Ashley is recognised by the Legal 500 Directory and Global Counsel and has been noted as a leading individual in the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.

chris james

Chris James, Senior Technology Associate, Paul Hastings LLP

Chris James is a senior associate in the Corporate practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s London office. Chris has a background in technology, IP and outsourcing contracts and has specialised in innovative technology transactions and projects.  Chris practices as a technology and privacy lawyer with a focus on topics including IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, cloud and big data.  Chris has worked as a lawyer in the digital innovation department of a major telecommunications provider, on fin-tech legal matters at a global bank, and as a systems developer in the arts and media sector. He is a trustee of the Society for Computers and Law.