Roundtable: How Is Blockchain Technology Evolving?

Neha Narula, MIT Media Lab, Dan Robinson, Paradigm, Simon Whitehouse, Accenture, and Monica Quaintance, Kadena

Neha Narula, Director, Digital Currency Initiative, MIT Media Lab

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.

Dan Robinson, Research Partner, Paradigm

Dan is a research partner at Paradigm, a crypto asset investment firm. He previously worked as a protocol researcher at Interstellar and Chain, where he led development on Ivy, a smart-contract language for Bitcoin, and Starlight, a payment channel network on Stellar. Dan has been involved in research and development in several open-source projects and communities, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Plasma, Interledger, and Cosmos. Previously, he was an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He has a JD from Harvard Law School and an AB from Harvard College.

Simon Whitehouse, Senior Managing Director for Financial Services, Growth and Strategy, Accenture

Simon Whitehouse has been with Accenture for more than 25 years, mostly in the financial services sector. He has concentrated on helping retail banks around the world improve their operations and performance.

Mr. Whitehouse has led Accenture’s client relationships with some of the company’s largest banking clients and serves as a member of the board for its UK business and the Accenture Development Partnerships organization. His work has crossed countries and continents—Australia, Denmark, Turkey and the United States—as well as differing aspects of the financial services business, from capital markets to retail banking. He previously led Accenture’s financial services group in the United Kingdom and Ireland and was senior managing director for financial services and management consulting.

He graduated from Cambridge University.

Monica Quaintance, Head of Research and Networks, Kadena

Monica Quaintance leads research and networks at Kadena. She is a former tech lead and senior data engineer at Rent the Runway and a former qualitative analytics engineer at the SEC. Prior to that, as an investment banking associate, Monica securitized and restructured commercial real estate assets at Cushman and Wakefield. Monica has degrees in statistics and probability, as well as economics, from Columbia University. She is also a cofounder of Universal Consensus, a blockchain-focused pro-diversity organization.

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