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Event News 19/05/2017
Fintech Summit @ ICT SPRING 2017

On May 9th and 10th, more than 5,000 of professionals gathered at the European Convention Center Luxembourg to discuss the latest digital, tech, space and FinTech, and notably the rise of RegTech, the use of Blockchain, but also the future of digital finance, with experts from all over the world sharing their knowledge and vision.

Blockchain for finance

"It's an honor to welcome you to the Fintech Summit. During these two-day event, we will talk about Fintech, with strong uses cases, tackling topics such as Blockchain, Digital Finance, Insurtech, Regtech and even more promising startups" said Jonathan Prince, co-founder and Partner of Digicash Payments & Jeelis in his opening address.

Jean Hilger, President of the ICT Spring advisory board added a few words: "We launched ICT Spring seven years ago. It was a tough challenge, but today, it's an undeniable success, we cover a lot of innovative topics from space to fintech. Innovation and entrepreneurship are the key words".

Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, started the morning session with the evolution of Fintech: "If we compare with last year, Fintech has affined and matured. It's more concrete, a lot of models were developed. Luxembourg matured in the area of Fintech too. Now the question is "What about the Brexit? This politic choice will affect Fintechs".

The Master of Ceremony, Said Fihri, Associate Partner, KPMG, stated: "I'm not a technologist, I come from the financial world. But Fintechs or blockchain show all the disruptive sides of technology, and I believe that technology makes the financial area more accessible to all". He then introduced the first speaker of the morning session, David Mazieres, professor of CS at Standford. He is also the creator of the Stellar blockchain: "Let's suppose that you want to send 1$ to Nigeria over the internet. It will require multiple banks or currency trends. The Stellar payment network uses the FBA protocol and guarantees safety if every two quorums shares honest node".

Then, Said Fihri lead a Q&A session with Paolo Sironi, Global Thought Leader, IBM Watson Financial Services. The Associate Partner at KPMG started the discussion with a simple question: "Why is Fintech important?". "Fintech allows us to make transaction easier to facilitate banking regulation. Fintech is capable of generating a lot of services. It puts all services together in one service which is intelligent. Fintech serves all parts of the financial area: the customers, the clients and the financial professions" explained Paolo Sironi. But is blockchain a disruptive or a sustainable tech for banks? The Global Thought Leader of IBM Watson Financial Services said: "Blockchain is a fundamental innovation, it changes the way to work, it transforms industry, it offers new services, it creates new companies. I think we can compare blockchain with the development of internet. We can also talk about the Artifical Intelligence which is growing faster and faster. The digital banking transformation will help people but it is also here to help banking" concluded Paolo Sironi.

Bernard Simon, CIO, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Olivier Portenseigne, Managing Director, Fundsquare and Fabrice Croiseaux, CEO, InTech then talked about FundsDLT, a practical application of the blockchain technology in fund distribution. "We all worked together. The fund distribution is a business which is intermediated. The chain of actors is multiplied (CSD, TA, KYC…). FundsDLT is a concept which is viable, we use blockchain to make it all easier and more secure, it incorporates two concepts: the data and a KYC HUB" said Olivier Portenseigne. "The customer interacts with blockchain, it's easier to move funds or to make transactions" added Fabrice Croiseaux. Bernard Simon thinks that "it provides an alternative and complementary distribution model to asset managers, it contributes to make investment fund more accessible, effective and transparent for all actors".

Said Fihri then welcomed Daniel Drummer, VP, JP Morgan, for a speech about "In-Residence", a new model of Bank-Fintech partnerships in capital markets. "It is a massive market for tech, which also needs to be disruptive. But stock exchange didn't evolve much. How can it change in the future? The blockchain is relevant and efficient for a large panel of institution, we work with a lot of partners like IBM. If we want to change the game, we need a global effort. We launched a program called "In-Residence", which is an internal platform allowing to work with startups. JP Morgan and the bank area are moving in the right direction and blockchain is a long term solution".

Naser Hakimi, Director General, IT (Central Bank of I.R.Iran-CBI) spoke about Banking and Payments in Iran, Regulator’s challenges toward FinTech. "Iran made a lot of advancements in technology and regulation is now essential. Our challenges and innovation are based on open-banking, peer-to-peer solutions and a strategy towards blockchain". Soumitra Dutta, Dean, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business shared his expertise on how to shape the digital future of the banking area: "Leaders need to innovate continuously and create vibrant digital ecosystems. The digital divide is also growing across nations. But firms and governments are also failing to keep up with technology progress".

To read the full article click here.

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