An IPO For the Ages: Saudi Aramco

An IPO For the Ages: Saudi Aramco

When I am not thinking about cryptocurrency's market valuation of over $700 billion dollars, I am eagerly anticipating Saudi Aramco's Initial Public Offering ("IPO"). Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter and there is much speculation about Aramco's value with figures ranging from $500 billion to $2 trillion being mentioned by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. [...]

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Blockchain Technology: From Digital Currency to Digital Transformation

Blockchain Technology: From Digital Currency to Digital Transformation

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger where value-exchange transactions are sequentially grouped into blocks. These blocks are chained and recorded in a peer-to-peer network. According to Harvard Business Review, there are five principles on how blockchain works: Distributed database No single party controls the information or data. Peer-to-peer transmission Communication occurs directly between peers. [...]

The SEC’s Keynote Address on Token Regulation

The SEC’s Keynote Address on Token Regulation

On November 30, 2017, Blockchain@Berkeley held an ICO Financing Conference with Keynote address by the Securities and Exchanges Commission ("SEC"). Panelists included: Kristin Snyder — Associate Regional Director (Examinations) at SEC, Zach Fallon — Special Counsel in Office of Small Business Policy at SEC, Victor Hong — Senior Counsel in the Division of Enforcement at SEC, and Scott Walker — Attorney Advisor in the [...]

The Bank Secrecy Act and Cryptocurrency

The Bank Secrecy Act and Cryptocurrency

The Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") sets forth that financial institutions are to collect and retain information about their customers and share such information with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN"), a bureau that is within the Treasury. In 2013, FinCEN published a guidance on the "Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using [...]

Venezuela’s Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency: ‘Petro’

Venezuela’s Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency: ‘Petro’

In his weekly national television program, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro unveiled a plan to evade international sanctions through an oil and natural reserve (gold, gas and diamond), backed crytocurrency called petromoneda ("Petro"). About a year ago, NPR's Planet Money conducted a podcast describing Venezuela as an "economic horror story" arguing that "Venezuela didn't save its [...]

Global Financial Forum, Navigating the New Order

Global Financial Forum, Navigating the New Order

    *All DIFC photos are my own On November 14, 2017 Dubai International Financial Center ("DIFC") along with The Economist hosted its first Global Financial Forum where: "Expert panelists came together to discuss the geo-economic, technological and financial trends impacting the industry now and in the future." (via DIFC Link) Among the notable announcements at [...]

Disrupting the Financial Services Industry: FinTech

Disrupting the Financial Services Industry: FinTech

According to the World Economic Forum, FinTechs have: Materially changed the basis of competition in financial services, but have not yet materially changed the competitive landscape. They play a critical role in defining the pace and direction of innovation across the sector but have struggled to overcome the scale advantages of large financial institutions. Key [...]