Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Digital Tokens: The Future of Finance

July 26, 2021

The Columbia Business School (CBS) Alumni Club Chile and the Santiago Center organized a webinar entitled “Finance and Digital Assets. Demystifying Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Digital Tokens” to discuss the future of digital currencies and financial decentralization.

The event featured R.A. Farrokhnia, CBS Professor of Economics and Executive Director at the Dean's Office of Advanced Projects and Applied Research in Fintech, and Camila Russo, a leading Chilean journalist and author in the cryptocurrency space as well as founder of The Defiant, a media company focusing on decentralized finance. Alumni Fernando Concha (CBS’18) and Jorge Domínguez (CBS’15) chaired the seminar.

Farrokhnia, whose teaching activity centers primarily on innovation, entrepreneurship in finance and financial services, presented on the decentralization of technologies, explained how Bitcoin became the first decentralized cryptocurrency running on blockchain technology, and reviewed encrypted information and how to work with it.  

Following his presentation, Russo commented how she believes the future of finance is destined to be decentralized, since the entire financial system is currently being rebuilt based on blockchain. She also emphasized that because decentralized finance is non-custodial (since users are in control of their funds), open (because everyone can have access everywhere), and transparent, “you’re always in control of your keys, which means you’re always holding your digital assets.” She noted that in today’s day and age of cutting-edge technology and fast internet, traditional banks use outdated Swift technology from the 1970s for money transfers. “Traditional finance is like living in cages,” Russo said.