Blockchain heralded as technology of the future at two-day, NYC workshop hosted by COALA

Industry leaders converged at NYU to discuss blockchain technology’s limitless potential

New York, NY – April 8, 2016 – Over 150 experts in decentralized cryptocurrency and blockchain technology met this week in New York City’s Greenwich Village to discuss the rapid reach and exponential applications of Blockchain.

The COALA Blockchain Workshop NYC, held at New York University’s Stern School of Business on April 4th – 5th, brought together senior developers, academics, investors and lawyers to focus on the pioneering technology as a source of disruption and innovation across multiple sectors.

Panelists agreed that Blockchain and decentralization is continuing to redefine the financial and technological realms, but it is also showing great promise in other areas.

David Orban, Managing Director of Network Society Ventures, said, “Decentralization is hitting energy, manufacturing, food, health, learning, security, even governance and policy making itself; it’s not only finance.”

“When bitcoin and blockchain are getting the finger pointed at them with people saying ‘it’s just a fad’ – well, it’s not. It’s part of a deep, broad wave of huge changes, where the opportunity for enormous wealth creation is concrete and present now.”

Greg McMullen, Chief Policy Officer with Ascribe, said, “These platforms are really emerging. It’s time to start thinking about the potential applications, how we address the problems in the market today and how we can fix these problems in the next decade.”

Blockchain Workshop NYC hosted expert speakers from across the globe, investigating upcoming challenges and opportunities for Blockchain, as well as its impact on current social, economic and political order. Keynote addresses were conducted by Frank Pasquale, a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland, and Henning Diedrich, senior software engineer at IBM.

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Angus Champion de Crespigny, financial services technology consultant at Ernst & Young, said, “I’ve been involved with the COALA Blockchain Workshops since their inception early last year, and the reason I keep attending is twofold. Firstly, they provide a valuable service to the industry in helping to shape relevant, forward looking regulatory and operating frameworks which encourage innovation. And secondly, the conference consistently provides rich, exciting content that is low on fluff by bringing in the right thought leaders. And we have a lot of fun contributing.”

David Orban agreed, adding, “I love the enthusiasm and the revolutionary zeal in the room. I love the smart, rich environment of people who understand that they can and have to make great steps in the implementation of ideas because they are part of a new type of social engineering.”

Vlad Zamfir, researcher at the Ethereum Project, has been attending COALA Blockchain Workshops since January 2015.  He said, “I think it’s important for people working in projects in this space to synchronize on different issues, not just around tech, but at the intersection of tech and society.”

“COALA allows us to talk to the regulators, the policy makers, the investors and other developers so that we see our work in a broader context. It gives me a place where I can think about the impact of this technology on society.”

Kathleen Moriarty, an attorney and partner at Kayle Scholer, agreed. “I’ve been involved nearly two years with the Blockchain Workshops, where you can look forward to an up-to-date briefing on what’s going on right now and what might happen in the future,” she said.

“Panelists and attendees at Blockchain Workshops have unexpected solutions to unique challenges in the space. They might clarify your concerns, provide new alternatives for decision-making or even help a business raise money.”

COALA has previously hosted Blockchain Workshops in Massachusetts at Harvard and MIT, in California at Stanford, and in London, Hong Kong and Sydney.

“The NYU Blockchain Workshop was an important event featuring some of the most pioneering blockchain-based applications —the real game changers. Entrepreneurs and engineers from across the globe came to New York, and each of them brought something uniquely valuable to the audience,” said COALA co-founder Primavera de Filippi.

She concluded, “With COALA, we try to create new opportunities for people from different backgrounds to network, to help them gain insights from people they might not work with everyday, and who could become potential colleagues in the future.”

For more information on Blockchain Workshops NYC, including the agenda and list of speakers, visit

For more information on COALA, visit

About Coala

Coala is a collaboration between academics, lawyers, technologists and entrepreneurs who have been driving research, policy and infrastructure-building in the blockchain ecosystem for the past three years.

Coala is a collaborative community eager to explore the implications and deployment of blockchain technologies at the nexus of the evolving social and economic order in the 21st century. Coala wants people to think about how the future of the Internet and society will look like in a world of ubiquitous connectivity, our lives and devices interconnected across complex, decentralized networks, where we recognize our abundance, and, perhaps, prosper in collaboration rather than mere competition.

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