2018- Speakers

confirmed speakers

Director Ken Blanco

Mr. Blanco is the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a Bureau within the Department of Treasury, established to support law enforcement and global efforts against domestic and international financial crimes via the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information from the financial sector. Prior to his appointment as Director by the Secretary of the Treasury in December of 2017, Mr. Blanco served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice from January 2017 until November 2017, and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General from April 2008 until January 2017.

Kevin Batteh

Mr. Batteh is a partner with Delta Strategy Group, a senior advisor to a number of blockchain and digital currency technology companies, and a former trial attorney with the CFTC and FCA.

Preston Byrne

Mr. Byrne is an independent consultant, English-qualified structured finance solicitor, and fellow of the ASI.  He is also a founder and former COO of Monax, makers of the first open-source permissioned blockchain client way back in 2014. Currently, Mr. Byrne advises law firms, corporate counsel, and the public sector how to engage with emerging technologies, with a particular focus at the moment on cryptocurrency, blockchain cryptography and distributed systems, through his consulting firm Tomram LLC.

Jess Cheng

Jess Cheng is Counsel at the International Monetary Fund, where she works on legal and regulatory issues in the areas of fintech and central banking.  Prior to joining the Fund, Ms. Cheng was Deputy General Counsel at Ripple, where she advised on cross-border payments, blockchain-based distributed financial technologies, and cryptocurrencies.  Previously, Ms. Cheng was counsel and officer in the legal group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, specializing in central bank financial services, including electronic funds transfers and other payment systems, international cash services, and gold custody.  Before joining the Bank, she practiced law as an associate at the New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.  A member of the American Bar Association, Ms. Cheng currently serves as Vice Chair of the Payments Subcommittee of the ABA Business Law Section’s Uniform Commercial Code Committee.  She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Columbia School of Law.

Amy Hartman

Amy is an Assistant Director in the SEC's Cyber Unit.  After joining the SEC in 2010, Amy served as an attorney in the Enforcement Division and as a Senior Attorney in the Complex Financial Instruments Unit prior to her promotion to Assistant Director of the Cyber Unit in 2017.  While at the SEC, her investigations and enforcement actions have covered numerous topics, including insider trading, accounting fraud, disclosure issues, market manipulation, compliance violations, and ICOs.  Prior to joining the SEC, Amy worked at a large law firm in Chicago for almost a decade, specializing in SEC and regulatory investigations, white-collar criminal defense, and commercial litigation.   She has her Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois and her B.A. from Georgia Southern University.

Jason Henrichs

Jason is the founder of the FinTech Forge, a managed service provider helping financial institutions transform in the era of digital disruption, and co-host of Breaking Banks, the world’s largest fintech podcast. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of FinTEx, a non-profit growing the FinTech cluster across the Midwest, and Currency, a FinTech Center of Excellence in partnership with the University of Chicago, Northwestern and DePaul University. Jason is a frequent speaker on financial innovation, regulation and compliance as competitive advantage. He is on the FinTech advisory boards for the City of Chicago, the AARP, the Center for Financial Services Innovation Lab, and the SXSW Accelerator. 

Jason stumbled into financial services in the early 90’s as a manufacturing engineer for Deluxe Corporation. Since leaving paper checks for the digital world, he’s been an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and head of innovation for a public company. In 2008, he co-founded PerkStreet Financial, one of the first challenger banks, helping pave the way for new partnerships between traditional financial service firms and startups. 

Jason and his wife are active angel investors in companies that include mobile savings, B2B payments, international payments, investment management, fraud detection, analytics and back office tools. 

Drew Hinkes

Mr. Hinkes is the General Counsel at Athena Blockchain, a blockchain professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and a frequently cited authority on Virtual Currency issues who has published more than 20 articles on blockchain.

Peter Hunn

Mr. Hunn is the Founder of the Accord Project and the Founder of Clause.io. 

wulf kaal

Wulf Kaal is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Private Investment Fund Institute at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Kaal is a leading expert on Distributed Ledger Technology. His research focuses on crypto economics, innovation, DLT applications, smart contracts, initial token offerings, and the crypto evolution, including 4th generation crypto infrastructure products. Before entering the academy, he was associated with Cravath, Swain & Moore LLP, in New York, and Goldman Sachs in London, UK.

Kaal advises enterprises, crypto startups, venture capital funds, governments and international policy makers on DLT strategies, disruption, innovation, adoption scenarios, and blockchain based solutions in FinTech. As an advisor and mentor, Kaal focuses on creating synergies for his clients to build successful new businesses on existing and developing DLT technology solutions. As a consultant, Kaal assists clients with blockchain based projects including initial token offerings.  

Kaal is a leading expert and the most widely published proponent of blockchain innovation in law and corporate governance as well as dynamic regulation and associated regulatory applications to improve and expand innovation, including through blockchain technology and smart contracting.

daniel martin katz

Professor Katz is Professor of Law and the Director of The Law Lab at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where among other courses, he teaches Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Law. He is a scientist, technologist and professor who applies an innovative polytechnic approach to teaching law - to help create lawyers for today's biggest societal challenges. Both his scholarship and teaching integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Professor Katz has published or forthcoming work in a wide variety of academic outlets, including Science, Plos One, Journal of Statistical Physics, Artificial Intelligence & Law and Physica A

Nina Kilbride

Nina is CCO at Monax.io where she heads the legal engineering team. She is a former commercial lawyer on a mission to translate functional tools of law into legal products.

Stephen Palley

Stephen D. Palley is a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Anderson Kill. He is co-chair of Anderson Kill's recently launched Blockchain and Virtual Currency group, a cross-disciplinary team providing counsel to Blockchain entrepreneurs and investors in areas including litigation, trial practice, insurance coverage, tax, intellectual property, corporate/transactional and employment law. Mr. Palley has written and been quoted widely on legal issues arising from the use of blockchain technology, with appearances in both print and television media.

Alexandra Prodromos

Alexandra Prodromos received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Political Science from Pepperdine University. She also holds a certificate in conflict management from Pepperdine Law School’s number 1 ranked Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution. She is currently a Master of Science in Information Systems candidate at Northwestern University.

She was one of the primary initiators of the Illinois Blockchain Initiative, a state of Illinois consortium dedicated to furthering blockchain development in Illinois, and worked as the only non-government affiliated member of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology's Blockchain Working Group. In 2016, she joined Bloq, Inc a leading enterprise grade blockchain software and services provider, as is Business Development Manager.

She was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the new Chicago Blockchain Center, a public-private non-profit partnership that serves as a leading educational resource and startup incubator of blockchain focused companies in the Chicago/Illinois tech ecosystem. She is a regularly invited speaker in Chicago and internationally on the subject of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technology.

Amy Kim

Ms. Kim is the Global Policy Director and General Counsel at the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the leading trade association representing the digital asset and blockchain industry.

Joshua Klayman

Joshua Ashley Klayman is one of the best known Blockchain and Cryptocurrency lawyers in the world. Recognized by Chambers and Partners as one of the top 12 Blockchain and Cryptocurrency lawyers globally, Ms. Klayman is the Managing Member of Klayman LLC, a boutique blockchain law firm based in New York, and the CEO of Inflection Point Blockchain Advisors, LLC, a blockchain consulting firm.  Previously, she co-founded, and led for over two years, a prestigious global law firm's Blockchain + Smart Contracts Group, which included well over 70 lawyers worldwide. Ms. Klayman is the Chair of the prominent Wall Street Blockchain Alliance Legal Working Group and is a member of the global Wharton RegTech think tank. In addition, she has been appointed by the Delaware Secretary of State to serve on Delaware’s Blockchain Strategy Committee, founded the Blockchain Legislation Project and frequently speaks with regulators from around the world regarding Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Cryptocurrency matters. Ms. Klayman also is a founding member of the Digital Future Council, a co-founder of Diversity in Blockchain, Inc. and a founding member of Collective Future.  Ms. Klayman works collaboratively with Blockchain leaders from other law firms, clients and the broader community to advance the industry, anticipate and address regulatory concerns and seize strategic opportunities.

Ms. Klayman’s practice focuses primarily on Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Cryptocurrency matters. She regularly represents token sellers, cryptocurrency exchanges and relayers, venture, hedge and private equity funds and their portfolio companies, token marketers and broker-dealers, funds interested in trading digital assets, major global investment banks, financial institutions and asset managers, and others in the space. She advises clients ranging from Fortune 500 and well known publicly traded organizations to emerging companies.

Tony Lai

Tony is the Founder and Chairman of Legal.io and Chair of the Blockchain Group at CodeX, Stanford's Center for Legal Informatics. Tony is a lawyer, educator, and entrepreneur, advising governments, lawyers, enterprises, and blockchain technology companies building fairer social and economic systems through computational law, digital identity, smart legal contracts, and legal service protocols. In June 2018, under Tony’s leadership, the CodeX Blockchain Group launched the Stanford Journal for Blockchain Law and Policy.

Jennifer O’Rourke

Ms. O’Rourke is the President and Co-Founder of Attest, Inc.—a blockchain-enabled digital identity company— and recently served as the Illinois Blockchain Business Liaison and the Director of Public Engagement at the Chicago Blockchain Center, where she focused on supporting distributed ledger technology development throughout the state of Illinois. She also served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology at the Illinois Department of Commerce where she led projects focusing on economic development throughout the State. Ms. O’Rourke was also the Director of Public Engagement at the Chicago Blockchain Center. Prior to this, she held a number of strategic and market development positions in the financial services industry. 


Claiborne (Clay) W. Porter is Head of Investigations and a Managing Director in the Global Investigations & Compliance practice at Navigant. Through his supervisory roles and as a Trial Attorney in the United States Department of Justice's Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section ("MLARS"), Clay gained extensive experience managing complex, international and domestic financial investigations in matters relating to money laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") / AML laws and regulations, U.S. economic sanctions, and anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws.

Prior to joining Navigant, Clay held several senior positions in MLARS. As the Acting Principal Deputy Chief of MLARS, Clay supervised the work of approximately 150 attorneys and staff in connection with the various litigating, policy and forfeiture program management units within MLARS. Additionally, he supervised the government’s efforts to trace, find, and forfeit the proceeds of high level foreign corruption and prosecute the companies and individuals who launder corruption proceeds. Clay also assisted Departmental and interagency policymakers in developing legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives to combat global illicit finance, in addition to supervising the DOJ's efforts to find and return forfeited criminal proceeds to victims of crime. As Chief of the Bank Integrity Unit, Clay supervised the attorneys who were leading the Department’s efforts to investigate and prosecute, where warranted, companies and their employees who violate the BSA and U.S. economic sanctions laws and regulations, as well as companies and individuals who launder the proceeds of bribery and corruption. Additionally, Clay interacted on a daily basis with US and foreign law enforcement, bank regulators, OFAC, and FinCEN.

Nelson Rosario

Mr. Rosario is an attorney with a diverse set of skills and experience gained from working in private practice for multiple IP boutique law firms in Chicago, for the legal department of a large multi-national consumer electronics corporation, and for a federal magistrate judge. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Rosario worked as an election official for a government agency. Mr. Rosario’s practice has a strong focus on intellectual property, particularly patents and trademarks, and in legal issues related to blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Mr. Rosario has a background in computer science, and he writes and speaks regularly on emerging technology issues relevant to attorneys and entrepreneurs. In addition, Mr. Rosario teaches a class called “Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and Law” at Illinois Tech, Chicago-Kent College of Law covering the legal and technology issues surrounding the blockchain space.

John Roth

The Chief Compliance Officer at Bittrex.com, Mr. Roth was formerly the Inspector General for DHS, the Director for the Office of Criminal Investigations at the FDA, and a former federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice.

Ken Seddon

Ken Seddon joined LOT in April of 2015, bringing over 20 years of experience managing all areas of intellectual property. Previously, Ken was with some of the largest patent holders the world including Apple, Micron, Motorola, Intel and most recently as the Vice President of IP at ARM.

Ken drafted over 300 patent applications while at Motorola and Intel, and managed all US patent prosecution at Intel. As Chief IP Counsel of Numonyx which was later acquired by Micron, Ken led strategic IP Licensing for two years before moving to Apple. At Apple, Ken developed the IP strategy for future products and acquired and defended patents from PAE assertions. Ken then went on to be the VP of IP at ARM before being selected by the Board of Directors to be the first CEO of LOT Network.

Ken has a BS in Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in Solid State Device Physics and a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University. Ken is a regular speaker at conferences for professional organizations and has chaired several committees for both IPO and AIPLA.

Zach Smolinski

Mr. Smolinski is an experienced general counsel having a focus on intellectual property, transactional, and M&A law and a strong interest in emerging technologies. Mr. Smolinski’s skills include evaluating and negotiating license agreements and cloud services contracts, coordinating IP due diligence for investors and purchasers, and working with founders and executives to optimize their companies’ legal strategies.

Mr. Smolinski is a registered patent attorney with a background in physics, and he speaks regularly on legal matters of importance to founders, executives, and investors.

justin steffen

Justin is a litigator for Fortune 500 and FinTech companies, a (late-in-life) technophile, and a legal futurist. By day, he is a litigation partner at Jenner & Block LLP where he serves as a co-founder and leader of Jenner’s FinTech and Blockchain practice groups. He routinely represents clients in large, “bet-the-company” litigation, internal investigations, and assists online lenders, payments companies, and blockchain/cryptocurrency companies navigate the evolving regulatory and legal environment. Recently, he defended a subprime lending subsidiary of a large multinational corporation in a three-week, $1 billion Federal trial. 

By night, he is a technophile and blockchain devotee. He frequently educates, speaks, and writes on cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and other financial technologies. Among other engagements, he spoke at the 2017 Fin(Legal) Tech Conference, the FinTank Chicago Blockchain summit, and to a number of Chicago Bar Association committees.  In the coming months, he is scheduled to speak at the FinTech Symposium, at Lend360, and to serve as an adjunct professor at Loyola University School of Law, teaching a class on FinTech and the Law.  Justin is also the founder and Chairman of the Chicago Bar Association’s recently-formed Financial and Emerging Technologies Committee and a FinTech commentator who has published articles in Law360, FinTech Weekly, Business Insurance Journal and LegalTech News.  Follow him @FinTechAttorney.  

Colleen Sullivan

Ms. Sullivan is a Managing Member of Sullivan Wolf Kailus LLC ("SWK LLC"), a boutique law firm providing legal services to investment management firms and specializing in hedge fund, private equity, and other alternative investment products. Ms. Sullivan advises hedge fund, proprietary trading, private equity, broker-dealer, and financial trading technology clients on a broad range of domestic and international transactions and regulatory matters. She primarily focuses on drafting and negotiating offering memoranda and standard ancillary agreements, sub-fund manager trading agreements, brokerage agreements, side letters, and various general corporate related documents; legal due diligence review/analysis of private equity and hedge fund investments; formation and operation of proprietary trading firms (drafting formation documents, brokerage agreements, and trading agreements); and negotiation and drafting of financial trading technology related development, license, and evaluation agreements. Ms. Sullivan is also involved in various digital currency and blockchain technology ventures. She is a Partner in and General Counsel to CMT Digital Holdings LLC, an advisor to Alpha Trading Labs, and is the Co-Chair of FinTex’s Legal and Regulatory Committee.

Angela Walch

Professor Walch is a Professor of Law at St. Mary’s where her research focuses on money and the law, blockchain technologies, governance of emerging technologies and financial stability. She is also a Research Fellow of the Centre for Blockchain Technologies of University College London and has presented her research at Harvard Law School, University College London and with the Modern Money Network at Columbia Law School, among others. Her work on blockchain technologies has appeared in the NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy and in American Banker.  Professor Walch has her JD from Harvard and prior to entering academia, she practiced corporate law at Ropes & Gray in Boston, transactional law for Sainsbury’s in London, and worked in the Office of General Counsel at Harvard University.