May 2, 2019
MIT Media Lab
Cambridge, MA


10 years in: A serious look at how blockchains can change how the world does business

We’ve seen how powerful blockchain technology can be, but how disruptive can it really become? Fundamental technological and market-related challenges still stand in the way of potentially world-changing applications. Now that the mania of 2017 and early 2018 has worn off, which projects and ideas have staying power?

The race is on to define the new blockchain era.

MIT Technology Review in collaboration with MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative invite you to a one-day conference examining the technology, ethics, and impact of blockchains.

Meet pioneers in this emerging field

Learn about the technology to gain business advantage

Separate fact from hype, and what’s imminent from what’s far off

Our 2019 program will explore:

» The strengths and weaknesses of the underlying technology
» Lessons learned from early blockchain projects, and how the most promising new initiatives are attempting to transform key global industries
» How legal and regulatory environments around the world are adapting to the arrival of cryptocurrencies
» The potential for blockchain to address pressing social challenges, from expanding access to financial services to tracking war crimes

Check out the videos here »

A deeper look into blockchain technologies

Join us for a pre-event explainer session on the fundamentals of blockchain, featuring experts from MIT and industry.

Wednesday, May 1
6:00-8:00 pm

Open to all Business of Blockchain conference attendees. Opt in as part of your registration.


Meet the pioneers of this emerging technology

See All Speakers Hide Speakers
  • Robleh

    Research Scientist, Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab

    Robleh Ali is a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative. His main focus is on how national currencies can be issued digitally outside the existing banking system and what role central banks should play in such a system. The overall aim is to fundamentally reform the financial system by changing the way money is issued. He previously led the research into central-bank-issued digital currency at the Bank of England.
  • Ariana

    Blockchain Research, Inclusive Economic Development

    Blockchains for Social Good

    Ariana Fowler’s academic research specialized in refugee-related interventions, as well as the economic implications of the refugee crisis. She has conducted field work in Ghana and Honduras and was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship to study Urdu in northern India. At ConsenSys, she sat on the Social Impact team, consulting on client-facing projects in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, as well as developing use cases and research studies focusing on the application of blockchain technology as it relates to development and humanitarian aid.
  • Alexis

    Cofounder and Executive Director, She(256)

    Improving Diversity in Blockchain

    Alexis Gauba is cofounder and executive director of She(256), a movement to increase diversity and break down barriers to entry in the blockchain space. She is studying electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley and is cofounder of Mechanism Labs.
  • Gary

    Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

    Regulation in the Blockchain Era

    Gary Gensler is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and senior advisor to the director of the MIT Media Lab, where he is a senior advisor to both the Digital Currency Initiative and the Ethics and Governance of AI project. Gensler served as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (2009-2014), leading the Obama administration's post-crisis reform efforts of the $400 trillion market in over-the-counter derivatives, or swaps. In recognition, he was a recipient of the 2014 Tamar Frankel Fiduciary Prize. He currently is chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission. Gensler earned his undergraduate degree in economics in 1978 and his MBA from the Wharton School in 1979.
  • Alexander

    General Counsel, Cadre

    Alex Labowitz is General Counsel at Cadre, where he leads on legal, regulatory, and compliance matters and advises on special projects such as asset digitization and opportunity zones. Prior to joining Cadre, Alex worked on a broad range of international corporate and commercial real estate transactions at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Shearman & Sterling LLP. Alex received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
  • Gideon

    Editor in Chief, MIT Technology Review

    Gideon Lichfield has been the editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review since December 2017. He spent 16 years at The Economist, first as a science and technology writer and then in postings to Mexico City, Moscow, Jerusalem, and New York City. In 2012 he left to become one of the founding editors of Quartz, a news outlet dedicated to covering the future of the global economy that is now widely recognized as one of the most innovative companies in digital media. Gideon has taught journalism at New York University and been a fellow at Data & Society, a research institute devoted to studying the social impacts of new technology. He grew up in the UK and studied physics and the philosophy of science.
  • Stephen

    Partner, Collaborative Fund; Professor of Finance, University of Oregon

    Stephen McKeon is a finance professor at the University of Oregon and partner at Collaborative Fund. At UO, he studies cryptoassets, security issuance, and M&A. At Collaborative, he leads the Collab+Currency portfolio, focused on blockchain-based financial infrastructure.
  • Neha

    Director, Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab

    The Importance of Blockchain Interoperability

    Neha Narula is director of the Digital Currency Initiative, a part of the MIT Media Lab where she teaches courses and leads cryptocurrency and blockchain research. While completing her PhD in computer science at MIT, she built fast, scalable databases and secure software systems, and she spoke about these topics at dozens of industry and research conferences.

    In a previous life, Narula helped relaunch the news aggregator Digg and was a senior software engineer at Google. There, she designed Blobstore, a system for storing and serving petabytes of immutable data, and worked on Native Client, a system for running native code securely through a browser.
  • Mike

    Associate Editor, MIT Technology Review

    Mike Orcutt is an associate editor at MIT Technology Review, focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchains. His reporting, which includes a twice-weekly, blockchain-focused email newsletter, Chain Letter, revolves around one central question: Why does blockchain technology matter?
  • Haseeb

    Partner, MetaStable Capital

    Stablecoins: Designing a Price-Stable Cryptocurrency

    Haseeb Qureshi is a partner at MetaStable Capital, a leading cryptocurrency hedge fund. He is a former software engineer, previously at and Airbnb. He also teaches a seminar on cryptocurrencies at the Bradfield School of Computer Science.
  • David

    Managing Director, Accenture

    Understanding the Permissioned Ledger Ecosystems

    Dave Treat is a managing director, colead of Accenture’s Blockchain business globally, and global head of Accenture’s Financial Services Blockchain practice. He has 20 years of experience in Financial Services split between consulting and industry roles spanning Capital Markets, Retail, and Banking. Over the past several years, Dave has driven the formation of Accenture’s Blockchain practice, which now spans the globe, engages clients across all industries, and ranges from pure R&D to full scale client business transformation. In addition to managing several of Accenture’s strategic alliances in the Blockchain domain, he sits on the boards of the Linux Hyperledger Project and the ID2020 Alliance and is the Vice Chairman of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Dave holds over 26 Blockchain patents and pending patents and is a frequent speaker and the author of several papers. Dave was named one of the Sci-Tech 100 2018: The Architects of the Future by Silicon Republic.
  • Peter
    Van Valkenburgh

    Director of Research, Coin Center

    Permissionless or Permissioned? Parallels with the Early Internet

    Peter is director of research at Coin Center, the leading non-profit research and advocacy group focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency technologies such as Bitcoin. He is a graduate of NYU Law. He drafts the center’s public regulatory comments, and helps shape its research agenda. He has testified before the House and Senate, briefed staff and members of the EU parliament, and educated policymakers and regulatory staff around the world on the subject of cryptocurrency regulation and decentralized computing systems. Previously, he was a Google Policy Fellow and collaborated with various digital rights organizations on projects related to privacy, surveillance, and digital copyright law.
  • Hui

    Director, Ant Financial Blockchain Division; Head of Blockchain Lab, Alibaba Damo Academy

    Zhang Hui is the Director of Blockchain Division at Ant Financial, and also the head of the Blockchain Lab at Alibaba Damo Academy. He is responsible for the R&D and commercialization of Ant Financial's blockchain technology. Prior to joining Ant Financial, Zhang Hui was the head of Systems Research Department at NEC Labs America, focusing on R&D for high-performance distributed systems and networks, especially P2P network algorithms and big data analytics. Zhang Hui holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Southern California.
In the heart of the MIT campus

This event takes place at the MIT Media Lab, in the heart of the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here you can't help but feel the excitement and inspiration of being at the top university in the world, surrounded by the top technology minds anywhere.

MIT Media Lab
Building E14
75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
View on a campus map »

Blockchain 2019 Schedule

Join the conversation

Thursday, May 2, 2019

  • 8:00
    Registration & Breakfast
  • 9:00
    General Sessions
  • 12:30
    Lunch & Networking
  • 2:00
    General Sessions
  • 5:30
    Closing Reception
The Digital Currency Initiative

MIT Technology Review is proud to present this program in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initative.

Visit the DCI homepage »

The Digital Currency Initiative is a MIT Media Lab research group focusing on cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin enable open, trustless digital payments and contracts. In the spirit of the Internet's wide reach, this technology and the people behind it have the potential to increase wellbeing for billions of people and become a crucial part of daily life. We engage in fundamental research while shedding light on the associated benefits, risks, and ethical quandaries. Beyond research centered at MIT, we also help support open-source cryptocurrency communities and diversity, and look to foster a broader academic community in this space.

Register now

Reserve your spot

Registration includes all sessions, breakfast, lunch, breaks, and a closing reception on May 2. Paying attendees are offered a complimentary one-year Insider Basic subscription.

Bonus content: a pre-event explainer session on May 1. Pre-registration is required; opt in when completing your registration.

Your registration also includes the Chain Letter email newsletter with the latest on blockchain tech and its impact delivered to your inbox twice a week. 

We are pleased to offer discounts to MIT alumni and other members of the MIT community, non-profit organizations, select affiliate groups, and parties of three or more. Email to inquire about your eligibility:

  • Media Registration

    To request a media pass for an MIT Technology Review conference, please fill out the media registration form.

    Media passes are limited, and are granted only to working journalists who intend to cover the event (see media and analyst required credentials on the form). The information you submit will be reviewed carefully, so please be as detailed as possible when filling out the form. Media credential approval for a prior MIT Technology Review conference does not guarantee approval for this event.

    Email with any questions.

  • Cancellation Policy

    If you cancel your registration for any reason, you must notify us in writing before April 1, 2019 for a refund less a $295 processing fee. Cancellations on and after April 1 are nonrefundable. You may transfer your registration to another person at any time by providing authorization to us in writing. All cancellations and transfers should be sent to

  • Attendee Code of Conduct

    The mission of MIT Technology Review is to equip our audiences with the intelligence to understand and contribute to a world shaped by technology. We have curated a series of discussions that includes a wide range of views on the most significant technologies and trends of the year. We value diversity of ideas and perspectives from our speakers and our audience. We are proud to bring varying points of view to our stage, and are committed to providing a respectful environment for our speakers and audience. By joining us at an event, you agree to maintain a respectful environment during all parts of the program.

    By registering for this event, you acknowledge that you may receive promotional messages from the event sponsor(s). You may adjust your preferences at any time by clicking on the link in the email.

Speaker nominations

We’re gathering the experts who’ll give you the inside track on the technologies and businesses that are disrupting industries, creating entirely new markets, and changing society.

Venue + Travel

May 2, 2019
MIT Media Lab
Cambridge, MA

MIT Media Lab

Building E14
75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
View on a campus map »

Conference Location: Entire 6th floor of Building E14

Attendee Registration: Lobby on 1st floor of Building E14

Hotel information

Hyatt Regency Cambridge

Discounted Conference Rate:
$239/night + tax
See more details

Hyatt Regency Cambridge is located along the scenic Charles River overlooking the Boston skyline and is in the midst of two uncommonly exciting cities, Boston and Cambridge. Discover Boston and Cambridge at a hotel just minutes from Boston, adjacent to MIT, Harvard and Boston Universities. The Hyatt's guests are greeted with a dynamic 16-story atrium lobby featuring 470 newly renovated guestrooms. Zephyr on the Charles is the hotel's full service restaurant featuring eclectic dining, extraordinary views and authentic service. The state-of-the art Hyatt Stay Fit Health Club features a 75 ft heated indoor pool, eucalyptus sauna and steam room.

Book online at the discounted rate »

You may also reserve your room by phone at: 617-492-1234. Be sure to mention the MIT Technology Review Blockchain room block.

The group rate expires on April 10, 2019.


MIT is located on the north shore of the Charles River Basin in Cambridge, MA, USA. The campus is within three miles of two major interstate highways and less than six miles from a major international airport; it is accessible via public transportation. MIT is a 15-30 minute walk from downtown Boston (depending on the weather). MIT is a 30-40 minute walk from Harvard University, which is located just up the river from MIT.

Via Public Transportation

MBTA ("The T") Subway — Take the Red Line subway to the Kendall/MIT Station.

The Media Lab is located on the Red Line at the "Kendall/MIT" stop of the subway. You can transfer to the Red Line without additional fees from any other subway line at the appropriate station. Please check the subway map at your boarding point for more detailed information.

At the Kendall/MIT stop, you will surface on Main Street in Kendall Square. Landmarks include the Marriott Hotel and the MIT Coop. Facing Main Street, with the Marriott Hotel and the MIT Coop to your back, proceed right (west) to the first traffic light. This is the intersection of Main Street and Ames Street, with Legal Seafoods on the corner. Turn left onto Ames Street. The Media Lab is about halfway down the block, the second building on the left at 20 Ames Street. It is a large, contemporary, white­tiled building. Adjacent and connected to E15 is the new Media Lab expansion building (E14); its address is 75 Amherst Street. For information on Boston's public transportation system, including maps and schedules for bus, subway, and commuter rail service, please consult the MBTA.

From Logan Airport

By Taxi — Taxi fare from the airport is about $20­$25. During non­rush hour, the taxi ride will take about 15 minutes. During rush hour, the ride could take 30 minutes.

By Subway — From any terminal at Logan Airport, take the Silver Line bus to South Station. At South Station, change to the Red Line subway to Kendall/MIT (inbound toward Alewife). Under normal conditions the ride will take about 30 minutes; the fare is $2.00.

By Car — Leaving the airport, follow the signs to the Sumner Tunnel. Enter the tunnel and stay in the right lane. At the end of the tunnel, continue to stay in the right lane, start down an incline and bear to the right immediately at the sign for Storrow Drive. Take Exit 26 for Cambridge/Somerville. Follow the signs for Back Bay/Cambridge (do not take the exit for Cambridge/Somerville). Stay in the right lane and follow the signs for Storrow Drive Westbound. After you pass under the pedestrian walkbridges, change to the left lane and take the exit for 2A North. Turn right and cross the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue).


From the Massachusetts Turnpike — Exit at "Brighton/Cambridge." Follow signs to Cambridge. The Doubletree Hotel will be on your right. Go straight over the bridge into Cambridge (on River Street) and take your first right onto Memorial Drive. The Charles River will be on your right. Go straight on Memorial Drive, staying to the left and going over the overpass at the Boston University (B.U.) Bridge (past MicroCenter). Staying in the left lane, pass under the next bridge, which is the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue). The first street after that bridge, to the left, is Ames Street—but it is one way in the wrong direction. You will have to take the second left (sign says Kendall Square) onto Wadsworth Street. Take the first left onto Amherst Street. The Media Lab is at 75 Amherst Street (E14) and 20 Ames Street (E15), at the corner where Amherst Street ends at Ames Street.

From Logan Airport — Leaving the airport, take the Sumner Tunnel to 93 North. Exit right off of 93 at the Cambridge/Storrow Drive exit. When the ramp splits, bear right following signs to Storrow Drive. Exit left at the Kendall Square exit. At the traffic light, go right onto the Longfellow Bridge. Follow Main Street (Main flows into Broadway) and take a left at the second set of lights (Ames Street). The Media Lab will be on your left about a block and a half down Ames Street. Logan International Airport's Web site provides up­to­the­minute information on weather, construction, and traffic.

To Logan Airport — Drive away from the river on Ames Street, and make the first right onto Main Street. Follow Main Street to the Longfellow Bridge; proceed over the Longfellow Bridge. At the end of the bridge, there will be signage directing you to Route 93 South. Follow Route 93 South to the Airport exit. From Route I­93: From I­93, take exit 26, and follow the signs to Back Bay along Storrow Drive West, approximately 1.5 miles, to the exit for Route 2A. The exit will be on the left, just before the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Avenue). The Charles River will be on your right. As you cross the bridge, you will be looking at MIT. At the end of the bridge, turn right on to Memorial Drive. The first street after that bridge, to the left, is Ames Street—but it is one way in the wrong direction. You will have to take the second left (sign says Kendall Square) onto Wadsworth Street. Take the first left onto Amherst Street. The Media Lab is at 75 Amherst Street (E14) and 20 Ames Street (E15), at the corner where Amherst Street ends at Ames Street.

Cab Companies

Ambassador Brattle: 617.492.1100

Checker Cab Co.: 617.497.9000

Yellow Cab: 617.547.3000

Car Services

Boston Coach: 800.672.7676 (reservation line)

Commonwealth Limo: 617.787.5575



Want more blockchain?

Watch video from our previous blockchain events to meet the leaders, understand the tech, and gain a business advantage.


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