May 29, 2018 - Thank you to all our speakers and members who joined us for the LSTA’s Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and ICOs Program in NYC on May 22nd. Syndicated loan market blockchain use cases, valuing cryptocurrencies, and how to use tokens to secure financing were some of the hot topics on which speakers shared their insights. Joshua Ashley Klayman of Morrison & Foerster kicked off the afternoon by delivering a TEDx talk on blockchain basics, explaining how blockchain is actually a collection of technologies that has been around for some time which together allow transactions to be stored on computers connected to a common network via the Internet. The LSTA’s Bridget Marsh then moderated a panel of blockchain experts with Joe Dewey of Holland & Knight, Jenny Cieplak of Crowell & Moring, Jonathan Cardenas of Yale University, and Joyce Lai of ConsenSys, the Brooklyn based software technology company that is building decentralized applications on the Ethereum protocol. The immutability of blockchain, its defining characteristic, was debated, and the latest blockchain developments in financial services, generally, and the syndicated loan market, specifically, were highlighted. Jonathan Cardenas, who had recently worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, noted that Switzerland is positioning itself as a leader in the crypto space with the emergence of the Crypto Valley in Zug. Then Steve Obie of Jones Day interviewed tZERO’s COO and General Counsel, Ralph Daiuto, about the Overstock.com’s subsidiary’s new digital ledger platform. Henry Bregstein of Katten led the next panel on cryptocurrencies and tokens where panelists, Lewis Cohen of DLx Law, Joshua Ashley Klayman of Morrison & Foerster, Andy Roth of Cooley, and Allison Yacker of Katten debated how ICOs are changing the way businesses fund themselves and the implications which those changes will have for bank lenders. Then Alexander Grishman of Haynes and Boone explained the regulatory and logistical challenges to making loans secured by a cryptocurrency, before Simona Mola of Bates White Economic Consulting concluded the afternoon with an economic perspective on cryptocurrencies and what drives their value. Please click here for the program’s slides and email Bridget Marsh at email@example.com to be added to the LSTA’s Blockchain Group.
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Membership in the LSTA offers numerous benefits and opportunities. Chief among them is the opportunity to participate in the decision making process that ultimately establishes loan market standards, develops market practices, and influences the market’s direction.