Fourth Annual Cambridge Conference on Alternative Finance

Fourth Annual Cambridge Conference on Alternative Finance

About this event

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, with the support of the CME Group Foundation, is hosting the fourth annual conference on alternative finance on 1 July 2019 at University of Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS).


Alternative finance is defined as instruments, channels, or systems of finance that emerge outside of the regulated banking system. It makes use of technological innovations, such as alternative currencies, disintermediated business models and lending mechanisms to change the way finance has been carried out traditionally. Other terms that have been used to describe it include disruptive finance, distributed finance, fintech, or disintermediated finance. This new era of financial innovation with its characteristics of transparency, speed and convenience have changed the way people, businesses and institutions perform financial transactions, invest in assets, approach potential financing sources and operate. The evolution of this area has been widely covered in the media and is playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses and individuals access the funds they need. This small boutique conference solicits papers from all areas of the social sciences that will shed light on this emerging area.


Topics include but are not limited to:

– Historical perspectives – Throughout history there have always been instruments and channels of finance operating outside of a formal, regulated banking and capital markets system, and this activity has often been a source of financial innovation. Are there parallels between historical and current forms of alternative finance?
– Business models – Different types of alternative finance models and how they solve asymmetric information problems in businesses, industries, or countries
– Governance models – How alternative finance institutions affect corporate governance or financial policy
– Trust and reputation – The evolution of trust and reputation for platforms
– Crowdfunding and capital formation for early-stage firms
– Network and social effects affecting platform adoption
– Alternative analytics and new forms of data
– Privacy concerns, security, and risks with distributed financing
– Alternative currencies, Exchange tradeable digital assets, Collateralised coins, Digital cryptocurrencies or digital merchant tokens, Sovereign backed issuance
– Blockchains, Distributed ledger technologies, Digital Autonomous Organisations, Smart contracting, Internet of things
– Regulatory implications of the spread of alternative technologies

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