Crash Course: Deciphering Blockchain and ICOs…Future or Fad?

Tags: Entrepreneurship

Digital distributed ledger technology, blockchain, is much discussed and – at least among the wider public – little understood. Some herald blockchain as a seismic technology enabler poised to upend multiple industry sectors and change the future. Others argue that it is simply 2017’s most overhyped technology. In this Crash Course, Silicon Flatirons will consider blockchain and one of its most notable applications, initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The first panel, How Big of a Deal is Blockchain?, analyzes the key mechanics of blockchain technologies and their merits and drawbacks compared to other alternatives. The panel will analyze three perspectives. One, what is distributed ledger technology and how does it work? Two, what are the promises and limitations of blockchain with respect to status quo ledgers and paper trails? That is, what existing products and sectors might blockchain displace or disrupt? Three, how big of a deal is blockchain? In a broader perspective of technological enablers, does blockchain represent a fundamental shift or is this the technology version of a Hula Hoop fad?

The second panel, Examining ICOs, considers the burgeoning world of initial coin offerings. Companies in 2017 increasingly turned to ICOs for direct fundraising efforts. The panel will tackle three questions. One, how are ICOs used today and how will they be used in the near future (e.g., 0-2 years)? Two, what is the regulatory status of ICOs and what regulatory efforts are on the horizon? Three, as a new version of entrepreneurial finance, what problems do ICOs solve, and what problems do they create? Is this a viable form of startup finance over the long term?


Sessions

11/29/17 5:30pm - 5:45pm
Welcome and Introduction
  • Brad Bernthal
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School; Entrepreneurship Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons
11/29/17 5:45pm - 6:45pm
How Big of a Deal is Blockchain?
  • Brad Bernthal — Moderator
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School; Entrepreneurship Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons
  • Eric C. Alston — Panelist
    Scholar-In-Residence, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Nathan Schneider — Panelist
    Scholar-in-Residence, College of Media, Communication, and Information, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Harry Surden — Panelist
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School
11/29/17 6:45pm - 7:00pm
Break

11/29/17 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Examining ICOs
  • Brad Bernthal — Moderator
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School; Entrepreneurship Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons
  • Emma Channing — Panelist
    General Counsel, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Argon Group
  • Carlyn Williams — Panelist
    Associate, Cooley LLP
11/29/17 8:00pm - 8:15pm
Reception

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