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On 22nd May 2010, software developer Laszio Hanyecz swapped 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas, and the first documented purchase of real world goods with cryptocurrency was complete.

Nine years on from that first transaction and numerous peaks and troughs later, which cryptocurrencies have a future? Can currencies have real world applications without being backed by real assets? What are the legal and ethical implications of global digital currencies – do real world cost outweigh virtual benefits?

Join Alexander Lipton and Tatiana Cutts as they discuss the future of money for cryptocurrencies, central banks and society as a whole.

Alexander Lipton is Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Sila, Co-Founder of Distilled Analysis, Partner at Numeraire Financial, Connection Science Fellow at MIT, and Visiting Professor of Financial Engineering at EPFL. In 2016, Alex left Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he served for ten years. In parallel, he held academic appointments at NYC, Oxford, and Imperial College. Previously, Alex was a Professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in pure mathematics from Moscow State University, and has published eight books, including, most recently, “Financial Engineering – Selected Works of Alexander Lipton”, and more than a hundred scientific papers.

Tatiana Cutts is Assistant Professor of Law at the London School of Economics, working primarily within the context of modern monetary practices. She is particularly interested in monetary theory and digital commerce. Prior to joining LSE, Tatiana was a lecturer at the University of Oxford. Tatiana received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Oxford, and is an Academic Fellow of the Inner Temple. In 2016, Tatiana was awarded the Modern Law Review Wedderburn Prize for her article “Tracing, value and Transactions”.

The discussion will be chaired by Alex Hern, the Guardian’s technology features writer, who covers the intersections of technology, politics and society. He has made his own cryptocurrency, covered three bitcoin booms, and first called it a “bubble” in 2013, when on coin was worth $33.

The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.