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Are things still heating up in the battle between banks and fintechs in the payments and credit space—or are we reaching a détente? Will artificial intelligence be truly transformational, and is blockchain finally becoming more adult? Join researchers from the Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion at UC Irvine as they provide a summary and debrief of Money2020, the annual payments and fintech industry conference, which took place in October in Las Vegas. They will also be looking ahead: as the fintech bubble begins to deflate, we move beyond the rotary-phone stage of blockchain, the whiff of a recession is in the air, the industry as a whole starts reevaluating the place of regulation, and everyone grapples with the technological, policy, and ethical consequences of AI in financial services.

They will provide a taste of the portfolio of research projects currently underway and on the horizon at IMTFI, as well as the Filene Center of Excellence in Emerging Technology, which is co-housed with IMTFI in the School of Social Sciences at UC Irvine. These projects run the gamut from AI and machine learning for financial literacy and financial justice, to blockchain and the promise-- and limits--of automated legal decision making, to product testing of fintech apps, and how and what students learn from products like LearnVest and Mint.

There will also be an opportunity for attendees to participate in collective, speculative mapping of what might lie ahead for money, payments and fintech, as well as to network with colleagues from across campus and the local business community. Come brainstorm!

Refreshments will be provided.

Melissa Wrapp is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. Her research investigates the relationship between experimentation in South African housing design and broader shifts in racialized property relations and activist practice post-apartheid. Wrapp has worked as a research assistant for Bill Maurer since 2015 on projects that examine financial justice and the socio-legal implications of emergent financial technology innovations. She has attended Money 20/20 as an ethnographer for the last four years.

Bill Maurer is dean of the School of Social Sciences and professor of anthropology; criminology, law and society; and law at the University of California, Irvine. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the money’s artifacts and technological systems, from cowrie shells to credit cards. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including the edited collection (with Lana Swartz) Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff (MIT Press). He directs the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, which was named a Center of Excellence for financial technology by the Filene Research Institute. He was also recently named a Filene Fellow. He is currently conducting research on blockchain technology with the support of the National Science Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the Board of Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Science at the National Academies. His six-volume series, The Cultural History of Money, from antiquity to the modern age, will appear with Bloomsbury in early 2019.

Organized and sponsored by IMTFI.

This event is free and open to the public. UCI guest parking is $10 in the Social Science Parking Structure.

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