Diverse viewpoints on fintech and blockchain at Inspirefest 2016

25 May 2016

Lloyds Banking Group's Claire Calmejane

Fintech, financial innovation and the ethics and business potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain represent a key theme at Inspirefest 2016, with the line-up including Lloyds Banking Group’s Claire Calmejane. 

Blockchain is a great example of fintech’s disruptive force when it comes to banking and financial services, with advocates claiming it can reduce costs, improve service delivery and streamline digital processes.

In 2015, Santander’s fintech investment fund estimated that blockchain could cut settlement, regulatory and cross-border payment costs by $20bn a year.

But this is about far more than the financial services industry. It could revolutionise business and government services too.

Blockchain offers the power to transfer value from one public ledger to another. Innovative companies that can leverage the cryptographic protocols of blockchain could use it to authenticate the exchange of almost anything, provided that ‘thing’ can be recorded in the form of an asset. The potential for innovative business models is huge.

Countries like Estonia are already developing blockchain technology to securely store health records and vote electronically.

Blockchain on trial

In Ireland, Bank of Ireland has just completed its first blockchain trial. David Tighe, head of innovation at the bank, will be one of the fintech speakers in the same session as Sexton.

Another visiting speaker is Hazel Moore, co-founder and chair of FirstCapital, who will offer a global overview of the fintech sector.

In 2015, Moore won the Women in Private Equity Award for Best Corporate Finance Advisor. In both 2013 and 2014, she was identified as one of 100 Women to Watch in the Female FTSE Board Report. An authority on M&A, private equity and venture capital, she is a member of the Governing Board of Innovate UK.

And she’ll be joined by the highly-regarded UK fintech figure Claire Calmejane, director of innovation at Lloyds Banking Group.

French-born Calmejane is the only woman in the FinTech 40 Europe and a board member and mentor at Startupbootcamp Fintech, having helped to drive Lloyds’ backing of the accelerator programme.

Before joining the bank, she worked in the London office of Capgemini Consulting and has served as a visiting scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business in Boston.

In a highly male-dominated sector, it is unique to see such a high-powered session on fintech that boasts 75pc female voices – it is one of the trademarks of the unique sci-tech event that is Inspirefest.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Book your tickets now.

Updated 5.30pm, 15 May 2016: This article was amended as Amor Sexton is no longer speaking at Inspirefest

Ann O’Dea is the CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic and the founder of Future Human