Blockchain, Accounting, Audit & Tax Conference III
11 Times Square
New York, New York 10036
On June 5th the Accounting Blockchain Coalition had a day of deep-dive discussions at the confluence of blockchain technology and its impact on accounting and auditing. From creating new ways to raise capital and financial instruments to new accounting and auditing capabilities, blockchain innovation brings transparency and enhances processes across all businesses and industries.
Companies are implementing blockchain to increase efficiency and security in business processes. At this conference, we heard from technology experts, the leading accounting and auditing firms, regulators and industry leaders about the opportunities and practical solutions blockchain create.
If you missed our third annual Blockchain, Accounting, Audit & Tax conference, or if you want to relive your favorite sessions, click here to view the conference videos.
Alon is an Israeli entrepreneur, that has been developing code from an early age. He began working for many different startups over the past decade, taking many different roles. In 2014, he read the Satoshi white-paper which inspired him to explore and get deeply involved in the world of blockchain and crypto technology. He was a code contributor to Bitcoin, Ethereum, developed his own multi-sig P2P wallet, and later on co-founded Blox.io 2017, where he serves as the company’s chief executive officer. Alon continues to be passionate about the ways decentralized finance is transforming and opening up the traditional financial industry in a way never before imagined.
Chief Commercial Officer, Lukka, Inc.
Jeremy drives sales, marketing and business development efforts. His responsibilities include product vision, researching market needs and meeting commercial goals. He previously spent 13 years growing PwC’s assurance, tax and advisory practices. Jeremy launched PwC’s U.S. Blockchain & Smart Contract practice, making him the firm’s first employee in the space.
Jeremy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Pennsylvania State University. He also holds an Executive Master of Business Administration with honors from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.
Director of Strategic Development and Emerging Market, Vertex, Inc.
David Deputy brings several decades experience in finance, accounting, tax and analytics software solutions. Prior to Vertex, David was senior product manager at Liquid Engines focusing on international tax planning solutions and lead product manager at Oracle for their financial consolidation solution. His background also includes roles in corporate finance at Dun & Bradstreet and in bank regulation at the Federal Home Loan Bank. David holds an MBA from Cornell and a finance degree from the University of Florida. He is an adjunct professor at Texas A&M Law School and speaks Japanese.
Len Porcano has extensive experience in entrepreneurship, innovation, and product development. In his role as Systems Architect at About.com, he played a critical role in designing and building the systems which allowed About to grow into a thriving media company. Serving as the VP of Development at Primedia, he led the development of open source products which revolutionized how print publishers handled the convergence of online media with their core business. Later as VP of Technology at Plus Three, he led development of online systems for political campaigns and non-profits which facilitated grassroots messaging and fundraising, and which have since been adopted as industry standard practices. In his current role he leads the recently formed Innovation Labs at Vertex, working with cutting edge technologies in order to bring new levels of efficiency and productivity to tax departments.
CEO and Co-Founder, Bitwave
As a serial entrepreneur, Pat believes the only way to really understand your business is to personally handle the accounting (for at least the first year). A cryptocurrency enthusiast since 2011, Pat is passionate about the potential for blockchain technology to change the world, and is on a mission to enable that change. He combined his expertise in enterprise software, accounting, and cryptocurrencies to co-found Bitwave in 2018, which provides a complete, end-to-end back office solution for businesses that use Crypto.
Over the last decade, Pat White has built enterprise software at companies such as Intuit, Microsoft, VistaConnect, Fortify Software (now HP Security). As Fortify’s Group Product Manager, Pat oversaw the development of award winning security products before leaving to start his first company. Later he co-founded Synata, an enterprise search platform that was acquired by Cisco in 2016, where he worked as the Chief Architect for their Webex Teams Product.
Pat has contributed code to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and several other crypto-currency projects. He has a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California and is a passionate traveler who enjoys experiencing the world.
Partner, BPM LLP
Dmitri is a Partner in BPM’s Corporate Tax Practice and co-leads the blockchain and digital assets group. He has over 20 years of public accounting experience with regional and national accounting firms. He’s worked with many public and private companies, including closely held businesses and startup companies, ranging in size from $1 million to over $100 billion in assets. He has extensive experience serving clients in financial services and technology industries.
Dmitri has extensive tax advisory and compliance experience with emphasis on financial and regulatory reporting, including business taxation, accounting methods and elections and state taxation. He also has broad experience in ASC 740, income taxes, and significant experience with federal and California tax controversy.
With focus on exceptional client service, he has worked closely with attorneys, investment bankers, valuation, as well as other professionals.
Dmitri Alexeev holds an active CPA license in California.
Tax Partner, WithumSmith+Brown
Ryan is a Tax Partner at Withum with over 10 years of experience providing tax compliance and advisory services to both startup and multinational organizations. He specializes in accounting for income taxes, federal and multi-state income tax, and equity-based compensation. Ryan works extensively within Withum’s Technology and Emerging Growth Services Group and is responsible for overseeing the tax planning and compliance process for companies in the firm’s technology and international practice areas. He is an active member of Withum’s Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology, Corporation Tax, and Accounting for Income Tax Teams.
Founder & Principal, Bandman Advisors
Jeff Bandman is Founder & Principal of Bandman Advisors, an advisory practice helping clients ranging from start-ups to global firms meet strategic innovation and regulatory challenges to find new business opportunities. Jeff is widely recognized as an expert in blockchain, cryptoassets and regulatory issues.
Jeff is co-founder and Board Member of the Global Digital Finance Initiative (GDF.io) to establish an industry-driven global code of conduct and taxonomy for cryptoassets, and leads regulatory engagement globally. Jeff is Lecturer in Global Affairs at Yale, where he taught the senior Capstone seminar in blockchain, cryptoassets and public policy in the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in Fall 2018. He is also an Industry Fellow at UNIC’s Institute for the Future. He is a member of the RegTech Council, and FinTech regulation mentor for the Techstars Barclays FinTech Accelerator program.
Previously, Jeff was a senior official at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As FinTech Advisor to Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, he was Founding Director and architect of LabCFTC, the CFTC’s hub for engagement with FinTech innovation (the first launched by a U.S. market regulator). He established and chaired the CFTC blockchain, virtual currencies and FinTech working group from inception in 2015. Jeff led blockchain, FinTech and RegTech coordination with domestic and international regulators, and led work by international regulators on post-trade digital innovation. Jeff ran the CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk, which oversees many of the world’s largest clearinghouses. He led the negotiations resulting in “Clearinghouse Equivalence” with the European Commission. He joined the CFTC as Special Counsel to Chairman Timothy G. Massad, and also ran the CFTC’s Office of International Affairs.
Jeff worked for many years in the financial industry in New York and London. As Head of Partnerships & Alliances of LCH’s SwapClear, he helped design and launch the market-leading SwapClear “FCM service” for clearing interest rate swaps through US intermediaries. He led the transformation of the award-winning SMART margin simulator from a clumsy spreadsheet into critical risk software integrated in the largest global banks. Jeff earlier worked to launch new market infrastructure and FinTech initiatives, including LiquidityHub and the Project Rainbow consortium. Before that he led the rebuilding of Cantor Fitzgerald’s market data business after the events of September 11, growing revenues from zero to over $15 million. Mr. Bandman started his career as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, and was Americas General Counsel for Prebon Yamane, now part of the ICAP group.
He graduated from Yale magna cum laude, with honors in History and English. He received his law degree from Stanford Law School, with honors as a member of the “Order of the Coif”. He is a five-time Jeopardy! Champion and spent his winnings backpacking around Africa, Asia and Europe.
Principal, Friedman LLP
Steven is a Principal at Friedman LLP with extensive knowledge in a range of industries including digital currency, emerging technology, software, telecommunication, consumer products and life sciences.
Chief Financial Officer, ShapeShift
Justin Blincoe combines experience from high-level involvement in global businesses with a passion for the innovation and freedom that Bitcoin promises to bring to the world.
After graduating from university, Justin held various leadership roles in business and finance strategy, until falling down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. In 2013, he began to work full-time within the blockchain space.
Prior to his role at ShapeShift, Justin managed and consulted for Bitcoin companies based in Latin America. Previously, he worked as Chief Operations Officer at Coinapult, a Bitcoin service provider offering web-wallet services, Bitcoin sending tools, and merchant services for API-payment processing.
Kell has over 25 years of experience in technology development and building companies that capitalize on identity, audit, and payments utilizing advanced technology.
Kell is Co-founder of Verady, a blockchain asset accounting and audit technology company, and leads its product direction and business development efforts. Previously in the Blockchain space, Kell started Coinpliance in 2013 as one of the first ventures to advance regulatory innovation in Bitcoin particularly in the areas of KYC and AML. He has co-founded multiple Fintech startups including a market leading real-time identity, credit, and risk assessment company that was acquired by HNC Software Inc. which then merged into Fair Isaac Corporation(FICO.)
Kell holds a BS in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a licensed pilot, advanced scuba diver, and volunteers locally.
Co-Founder, DLx Law
Lewis Cohen is a co-founder of DLx Law, a new type of law firm for the new economy. Lewis works together with co-founder Angela Angelovska-Wilson and the rest of the DLx Law team to provide in-depth legal counsel to clients ranging from major enterprises to start-ups, as well as governmental entities in a variety of jurisdictions, on a broad range of matters involving the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Passionate about the impact of this technology, Lewis has become a major advocate for its potential to benefit and transform industries around the globe.
Lewis brings more than 20 years of experience as a traditional capital markets and finance partner at some of the world’s most elite global law firms, with a particular focus on securitization and structured finance. Lewis served on the Board and Executive Committee of the Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG) and, in 2018, Lewis was honored to have been recognized by Chambers Global as “Band 1” for Legal: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies – USA.
Lewis is a frequent public speaker on the topic of blockchain and distributed ledger technology and he co-chairs SFIG’s Distributed Ledger Task Force.
Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP
Co-Managing Partner, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP
Karl Cole-Frieman is the Co-Managing Partner of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP (“Cole-Frieman & Mallon”). Prior to co-founding Cole-Frieman & Mallon, Karl was General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Standard Pacific Capital, LLC (“Standard Pacific”), an SEC registered hedge fund manager in San Francisco with offices in New York, Hong Kong, and a sub-advisor in Tokyo. In addition to managing the Legal and Compliance Departments at Standard Pacific, Karl was also responsible for Human Resources, IT, General Administration, as well as certain operations and strategic matters for Standard Pacific’s credit strategy. Before joining Standard Pacific, Karl was Associate General Counsel of Sagamore Hill Capital Management, L.P., a multi-strategy hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut, with an office in London. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Associate General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JP Morgan”), where he was lead counsel for Loan Trading and Distressed Debt, and actively involved in the Loan Syndications and Trading Association. During his tenure at JPMorgan and predecessor firm, Hambrecht & Quist, Karl also supported the M&A, Corporate Finance and Private Equity Groups. He began his career in 1997 as an Associate in the Litigation Department of Shearman & Sterling.
Karl has a B.A. from Columbia College, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys running and biking, and is a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer.
Founder & CEO, Happy Tax
Mr. Costanz has been in the tax industry since 2003 in the following roles:
• preparing tax returns personally early in his career
• implementing innovative marketing
• owning an independent tax practice
• converting that tax practice to a franchise in 2009
• scaling it to a multi-unit franchise operation of 99 offices
• selling that chain in 2014
• inventing the digital virtual assisted segment of the industry in 2015 when he founded (Happy Tax)
• introducing transparent upfront pricing to the industry on a national scale in 2015
• developing tax software tools and technology
• innovating in multiple ways including creating mobile applications and separating the roles of business development from tax preparation
• developing a patented blockchain tax preparation solution (Taxmatic)
• being first to market for preparing returns for cryptocurrency traders at scale (CryptoTaxPrep.com)
• teaching others how to prepare crypto tax returns (CryptoTaxAcademy.com)
Mr. Costanz has written two bestselling books on the industry: Taxes Made Happy and Crypto Taxes Made Happy. Happy Tax has been ranked as the fastest growing tax business three years in row by Entrepreneur Magazine. Mr. Costanz was named as “One to Watch” two years in a row on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential in Accounting.
Staff Writer, Forbes Media
I report on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies are being adopted by enterprises and the broader business community. My coverage includes the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum and XRP, and extends to non-cryptocurrency applications of blockchain in finance, supply chain management, digital identity and a number of other use cases. Previously, I was a staff reporter at crytpocurrency news site, CoinDesk, where I covered the increasing willingness of enterprises to explore how blockchain could make their work more efficient and in some cases, unnecessary. I have been covering blockchain since 2011, been published in the New Yorker, and been nationally syndicated by American City Business Journals. My work has been published in Blockchain in Financial Markets and Beyond by Risk Books and I am regularly cited in industry research reports. Since 2009 I’ve run Literary Manhattan, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to showing Manhattan’s rich literary heritage.
Schellman & Company, LLC
President, Schellman & Company, LLC
Avani Desai is the President at Schellman & Company, the largest niche CPA firm in the world that focuses on technology and security assessments. She is also CEO and co-founder of MyCryptoAlert, a push notification and portfolio app for cryptocurrency.
Avani started her career working at a Big 4 accounting firm for over 10 years, where she led a team and oversaw IT Risk Management and Privacy across national service-lines. In addition, Avani managed the development of internal and external privacy programs and related practices, leveraging her deep knowledge with healthcare and emerging technologies, such as blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtualization. Now at Schellman & Company, Avani has been focusing on growth strategies, strategic client and market development, industry analysis, and new services for the last five years. She has been featured in Forbes, CIO.com, and the Wall Street Journal, and is a sought after speaker as a voice on a variety of emerging topics, including security, privacy, information security, future technology trends, and the expansion of young women involved in technology. In 2017, Avani, a crypto enthusiast, launched MyCryptoAlert, an app that provides a mobile solution for the alert and portfolio problems crypto investors face. Also passionate about strategic philanthropy, Avani sits on the board of Arnold Palmer Medical Center, the Central Florida Foundation, and is the co-chair of 100 Women Strong, a female-only venture capitalist based giving circle that focuses on solving community-based problems specific to women and children by using data analytics and big data. With all that being said, Avani still considers her greatest accomplishment to be personal rather than professional—she is the proud mother to her 8-year-old son, Sahil, and her 5-year-old daughter, Sareena.
Professor, Curtin University
Throughout his academic career spanning over 25 years, Professor Saurav Dutta has engaged in high-impact research which has greatly informed industry practices. In the United States, he has influenced public policy in his role as an Academic Fellow in the Office of Chief Accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In that role, from 2010 to 2012, he helped implement the Dodd-Frank Act and other measures from ‘lessons learned’ during the 2007-08 global financial crisis. Saurav has also been engaged by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the SEC, the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York, the U.S. District Court of Eastern New York and the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California.
Saurav has published more than 40 academic papers in reputed U.S. and international journals. He has authored a book, Statistical Techniques for Forensic Accounting, published by Financial Times Press in 2013, and is currently working on a book, The Definitive Guide to Blockchain for Accounting and Auditing to be published later this year by Emerald Press.
He holds a Bachelor of Technology in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Kansas. He is also the recipient of the Robert Beyer Silver Medal for scoring the second-highest score worldwide in the CMA examination.
Co-Founder and CEO, Lumina
Chen is Lumina’s co-founder and CEO, where he is responsible for all facets of the company’s product development, strategic vision, and business growth. He has over a decade of diversified experience in fintech and the traditional technology sector, managing and growing product organizations at Zenefits and Microsoft.
In 2015, Chen led the team that built Zenefits Payroll, a full-service payroll provider. The enterprise-grade system automated calculations, payments, and filings of taxes across the 10,000+ U.S. tax jurisdictions. Chen also worked closely with his Zenefits compliance counterparts to build an internal controls environment that enabled the business to effectively meet complex legal and regulatory requirements.
Chen’s fascination with digital assets stems back to 2011, when he converted his living room into a makeshift Bitcoin mining facility. After many years of learning and experimenting with blockchain technology, Chen identified key infrastructure and tooling needs to accelerate the mass adoption of this new asset class.
Chen graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science.
Emily is a Principal in PwC’s International Tax – Financial Services practice, based in New York. She has 14 years of international tax experience, focusing on tax planning and structuring for banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions, as well as for emerging companies in the FinTech space.
Emily has extensive experience advising both inbound and outbound financial services clients on cross-border acquisitions, reorganizations and repatriations, the application of income tax treaties, and a broad range of other international tax matters.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Taxation from the University of Sydney, Australia, and holds a Doctorate (PhD) in tax law from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Isenberg School of Management
Associate Professor, Isenberg School of Management
Dr. Graham Gal is an associate professor in the Department of Accounting in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. The Department of Accounting is rated internationally as one of the top departments in behavioral audit research. His publications on internal controls, particularly as the can be modelled using the declarative components of the REA ontology are summarized in a forthcoming research monograph published by the American Accounting Association. He has also published a number of papers on the evaluation of cybersecurity by both internal and independent auditors. Recently he has presented on representational issues in collaboration space and an ontological basis for smart contracts.
Elie Gerges is a Manager in BDO’s Management Advisory Services practice. He has more than 10 years of experience working on a variety of multifaceted technology projects. Elie has led large technology transformation, risk and compliance engagements and has successfully guided organizations through complex third-party certifications.
Elie has managed and executed a wide array of technology engagements — from the requirement gathering phase, to production deployment. He has also delivered several projects in areas of IT strategy, Blockchain Audit and Advisory, IT due diligence, IT risk management, business continuity and disaster recovery Planning, code review, software development and SDLC (Traditional waterfall model, Scrum and DevOps), cybersecurity and compliance including NIST 800.53 and the HITRUST CSF.
Elie has been involved in technology initiatives with a variety of organizations in several industries including financial services, healthcare and media. He is experienced in working with and leading several teams whether they are on-site, remote or overseas. Prior to joining BDO, Elie was a Senior Applications Developer. He holds an MBA from Xavier University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Ohio State University.
Executive Director, ConsenSys
Vanessa Grellet is a Global Executive with over 17 years of expertise in the Financial Services and Tech industry. At ConsenSys she focuses on Enterprise and Strategic initiatives including the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the Accounting Blockchain coalition (ABC) and leads the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC). Prior to Joining ConsenSys she was the CEO of IIH a Wealth Management firm, a key member of PwC’s global wealth management team and served as a corporate strategy executive for the NYSE managing a portfolio of strategic projects, partnerships and M&A focusing on Derivatives, Cash markets, Clearing, Listing, Market data and Regulatory reform. She is a former securities lawyer and worked for various regulators. She chairs the Nexus Working Group on Impact Investing, dedicated to educating, empowering, and connecting Next-Gen impact investors, philanthropists, and social entrepreneurs. Vanessa is an Advisory Board member of Cornerstone Capital, an ESG asset manager, sits on the Advisory Board of The Resolution Project dedicated to activating young leaders through social entrepreneurship and is a Partner at Acumen fund focused on impact investing. She is a Milken Institute Young Leader and a Young Leader Board member of the Off the Record lectures series (OTR) affiliated with the Foreign Policy Association. Mrs. Grellet graduated Cum Laude from Law School (Paris II Assas) and Business School (HEC).
Ernst & Young
Digital Growth Platform Leader, Ernst & Young
Mathew is the Digital Growth Platform Leader in EY’s Financial Accounting Advisory Services and is the platform owner for the EY OpsChain Intercompany Blockchain Solution. Mathew was previously working as the Vice President of Analytics Advisory Services for a NASDAQ listed data services firm. Prior to that he founded, developed and sold a Business Analytics company, specialized in leveraging data to provide cost reduction, process improvement and continuous control analysis. The company went on to win a British Government award for innovation. Mathew was also a Senior Manager in PwC and a Financial Strength Rating Analyst in Fitch IBCA Ltd.
Assurance Partner, BPM LLP
Mark has 20 years of experience in public accounting and private industry, 16 of which were with a Big 4 accounting firm in the Bay Area. Mark is experienced in serving pre-IPO early-stage, venture-backed technology companies as well as public technology companies and has expertise in all aspects of the SEC registration process from IPOs to follow-on offerings to public company reporting. He also has experience with Blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, including miners, wallets, exchanges, crypto hedge fund, token issuers, and initial coin offerings (ICOs), software, SaaS, marketplace platform, B2B, B2C, internet, payments, and specialty lending. Mark has experience with complex issues related to revenue recognition, debt and warrant accounting, equity-based transaction issues and stock-based compensation cost.
Rob Massey has 20 years of professional experience in tax consulting for technology companies including search, SaaS and gaming with an expertise in blockchain, cryptocurrency and tokenization. He serves companies throughout the blockchain ecosystem inclusive of miners, specialty chip design and manufacturing, payment processing, wallet hosting, exchanges, ETFs, hedge funds, tokenization and protocol development. Rob leads Deloitte’s blockchain efforts in tax for the global firm.
University College Dublin
Assistant Professor, University College Dublin
John McCallig is an Assistant Professor of Accountancy at University College Dublin. He graduated with a PhD in Accountancy from the University of Lancaster in 2003. John worked as an Auditor with EY in Dublin and is a member of both Chartered Accountants Ireland and CIMA. He teaches Financial Analysis and Accounting Information Systems.
John has investigated how blockchain technology and advanced cryptography can be combined to design accounting systems that would enable transparent access to verifiable accounting information. This work, in collaboration with Alastair Robb and Fiona Rohde, has been published in the International Journal of Accounting Information Systems (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.accinf.2019.03.004)
John has been a director of a UCITS, IFSC investment fund and has completed consultancy assignments for a number of Irish and international clients. He has taught at the Copenhagen Business School and the Irish Management Institute.
RSM US LLP
Lead Digital Asset Technical Resource, RSM US LLP
Bennett Moore is one of RSM’s National Lead Digital Asset Technical Resources and a senior associate in RSM’s Blockchain and Digital Asset Management Consulting Practice where he is involved in the creation of integrated client teams across all LOBs to address multi-dimensional client needs, the education of the firm on digital assets and their impacts to our clients and our firm, and consulting on complex technical projects related the use of digital assets. He works in an advisory capacity to various lines of business including audit, tax, technical accounting consulting, and risk advisory services and is a recognized thought leader by his firm on digital asset security, accounting, taxation, and architectural strategy. Bennett is an active educator, investor, advisor, and enthusiast of blockchain technology that gives frequent presentations and speeches on blockchain and digital assets at external and internal firm conferences. He is also an author of an AICPA course on auditing blockchain technology, a member of the CTCPA Technology Sub-Committee on Innovation, and a representative for his firm on multiple initiatives and working groups at various trade organizations.
Centri Business Consulting LLC
Partner, Centri Business Consulting LLC
Christopher is a Partner at Centri Business Consulting, LLC and is a leader in the firm’s Digital Currency Practice. He has assisted clients across several industries including digital currency/fintech, financial services, life sciences, private equity, real estate and construction. Christopher specializes in helping the firm’s clients document the accounting treatment of various transactions, including classification and fair value of digital assets, revenue recognition, complex debt and equity analysis, business combinations, and acquisition accounting process integration. He also prepares periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission with specific industry knowledge in helping private companies go public. This includes S-1, 8-K, Proxy, 10-Q and 10-K filings, along with IPO readiness and pre-audit support. In addition to accounting for complex transactions and preparation of SEC filings, Christopher has assisted clients of various sizes with the implementation and testing of SOX compliance programs.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Christopher is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania.
RSM US LLP
Senior Manager, RSM US LLP
Prashant Nisar is an experienced senior manager in the New York Financial Services Audit Practice of RSM US LLP. Prashant has more than thirteen years of public accounting experience. He has worked for the National Professionals Standards Group for four years where he advised on complex accounting, auditing quality, internal control over financial reporting and risk management matters within the NPSG.
He has both private and public company experience, focusing on securities trading and market making, clearing and settlement, broker-dealer regulatory reporting, internal control over financial reporting, securities industry regulation and compliance and public reporting. He currently services clients in the securities industries, financial institutions and Blockchain industry and advices clients on accounting and strategic issues.
The Bitcoin CPA
CPA, CMA, CFE, CBP
Kirk, aka the The Bitcoin CPA™, is author of The Ultimate Bitcoin Business Guide™ and articles in yBitcoin Magazine, Bitcoin Magazine and CoinDesk. Kirk wrote and produced the AICPA’s Blockchain Fundamentals Course in 2018 and he is completing the Blockchain for Insurance Course 2019. He is also a member of the AICPA Virtual Currency Task Force which issued a revised IRS comment letter on virtual currencies in May 2018. Kirk regularly speaks and educates CPAs and attorneys on blockchain and cryptocurrencies and also has a boutique consulting practice in the space. He is one of the first Certified Bitcoin Professionals (CBP) and the first CPA to accept bitcoin in 2014. Kirk is founder of CryptoProResource.com, a resource for accounting, audit and finance professionals, a principal in Blockchain Catalytics, LLC, an advisor to AuditChain and numerous other projects.
Yorke E. Rhodes III is a passionate technologist with broad interests, always drawn to the next shiny object. He earned a BS in Computer Science from NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He has worked in industry for over 20 years, in enterprises such as Microsoft & IBM and startups in wireless, mobile, digital marketing & ecommerce. At Goldman Sachs Investment Bank he built their first wireless internet ingress and advised bankers in wireless, telecom and media. As a young developer he saw the beginnings of client server databases, obscure languages like ada, lisp & paradox and the birth of the internet. Blockchain piqued his interest in the summer of 2015 with the launch of Ethereum. He cofounded Microsoft’s blockchain initiatives working in collaboration with the partner community and continues driving it today in his role on the Blockchain Engineering team. An Adjunct Professor at NYU, he has taught Digital Marketing, Ecommerce and Intrapreneurship and is currently developing a course on the user centric economy called #OurNextEconomy.
Brandon Russell is the founder/CEO of Etana Custody with over 20 years of experience in the financial sector. Brandon started his career at Liberty Life Group, focusing on investment products before moving into Foreign Exchange markets as a trader for a hedge fund in London. He has worked closely with technology companies in the retail FX space focusing on managing risk, business sustainability and technology solutions.
Manager, Friendman LLP
Jeannette Russell-Shepherd is a Manager at Friedman LLP within the Governance, Risk and Compliance Services Practice. She is experienced in serving clients in a range of industries with a focus on financial services, technology, and digital currency companies. She partners with CyZen, Friedman’s cybersecurity consultants and the Digital Currency Practice on auditing and advising companies invested in and/or supporting digital currencies and blockchain technology.
Jeannette is experienced in performing information technology audits and reviews, conducting SOC 1 and SOC 2 readiness assessments and reporting for service organizations, and providing IT governance risk and compliance services. She is experienced in performing risk control assessments against regulatory requirements and industry best practices and frameworks, including: Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Cryptocurrency Security Standard (CCSS), International Organization of Standardization (ISO), ICFR IT General Controls (COSO 2013), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NYDFS Title 23 NYCRR, and similar regulations.
Jeannette previously worked at PwC within Risk Assurance and on their Blockchain Validation Solution that combines a risk control framework with continuous auditing software to enable real time auditing. Jeannette graduated from the University at Buffalo with an MBA in Accounting and a B.S. Summa Cum Laude in Accounting. She has achieved the CPA, CISA, CISSP, and CIA designations.
Joey is a licensed CPA with a 10-year track record performing financial statement audits.
As CFO of Gilded, Joey directs the company’s efforts to seamlessly integrate crypto assets into corporate accounting processes.
Joey began his accounting career at RSM, where he was designated a firm-wide “Technology Champion”. At EY and LaPorte, Joey was exposed to a vast range of institutional clients and gained a wealth of experience auditing publicly traded companies.
In early 2017, Joey went down the crypto rabbit hole after reading an AICPA newsletter describing how blockchain would revolutionize accounting. He began attending blockchain meetups and soon obtained the AICPA’s “Blockchain for Accounting and Finance” Certificate.
Joey holds a M.S. in Accounting from Florida State University.
McDermott Will & Emery
Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Alexandra is co-head of the Firm’s FinTech and Blockchain Practice Group. She focuses her practice on representing financial institutions and financial technology companies in structuring and negotiating a broad range blockchain projects and related regulatory and transactional matters. Alexandra specializes in structuring and negotiating transactions involving financial services and technology companies, and has focused on the use and implementation of blockchain technology in platforms for derivatives, structured finance and securitization. Alexandra advises a wide range of market participants across multiple industries, including early-stage and established companies developing blockchain solutions, investors, exchanges, broker-dealers, banks and consulting firms, on the legal and regulatory implications of ICOs, including securities, commodities and money-transfer issues, custody, money service business registration requirements, and SEC and CFTC regulatory inquiries, as well as on state and international regulation. She also assists financial services firms and others in negotiating technology agreements for all types of services in light of the constantly evolving regulatory issues arising from the use of blockchain and other technologies. Alexandra also advises financial institutions and other market participants in connection distressed municipal debt offerings, and bankruptcy and restructuring issues in the municipal and tax-exempt market. Alexandra is a frequent speaker and writer on various topics in FinTech and blockchain, with a particular focus on distributed ledger technology, virtual currency, money transmitter and related regulatory issues.
Business Development, MakerDAO
Jennifer Senhaji is on the Business Development team at MakerDao, a decentralized financial platform built on Ethereum that creates the Dai stablecoin. Jennifer works with dapps, exchanges and platforms that benefit from a stablecoin and credit facility via MakerDAO’s smart contracts. Prior to MakerDAO, Jennifer worked with startup’s and fortune 500 companies in digital media sales and business development roles.
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Co-chair, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
David Shapiro is co-chair of the Tax, Compensation and Employee Benefits group of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, where he represents businesses and their owners in international and domestic tax planning. His practice includes entity formation and structure planning, securities offerings and hybrid financings (including blockchain and other innovative financing structures), joint ventures, restructuring, and strategic acquisitions and dispositions. He also has taught as an adjunct professor at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.
David is a frequent speaker on tax matters to organizations such as New York University’s Institute on Federal Taxation, the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association, and is a regular author of articles on tax matters.
David is a member of the International, American, and Philadelphia Bar Associations. He is Treasurer of the Taxes Committee of the International Bar Association, a past Chair of the Committee on U.S. Activities of Foreigners and Tax Treaties of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, and the immediate past Chair of the of the Philadelphia Bar Association Tax Section. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and is ranked in Chambers USA.
Mr. Shapiro holds a Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in archaeological studies from Yale University. An avid violinist, David is a long-time member of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra.
Senior Financial Economist, PCAOB
Saad Siddiqui, Ph.D., CPA, is a Senior Financial Economist in the Office of Economic and Risk Analysis at the PCAOB. In this role, he works with inter-disciplinary teams dedicated to standard-setting activities, risk assessment, and conducting empirical research. Saad is part of the standard-setting team dedicated to exploring whether there is a need for regulatory action related to emerging technology-based tools including blockchain, cryptocurrency, and smart-contracts.
Saad also teaches auditing theory as an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University. Prior to joining the PCAOB, he was a Senior Associate at Horne, LLP and an instructor for Becker CPA Review. Saad has a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Memphis.
Plante & Moran, PLLC
Senior Manager – Professional Standards & SOC Technical Leader, Plante & Moran, PLLC
Soma has more than fifteen years of experience providing accounting, auditing, and financial reporting services to organizations within various industries, including manufacturing and distribution, and technology service providers. She is a part of Plante Moran’s Professional Standards Group, her major focus areas being revenue recognition, internal controls, and emerging technology impacting audit and accounting. She also serves as the Technical Leader of Plante Moran’s SOC practice. She is involved with several organizations in matters related to SOC and distributed ledger technology.
Lehman College (CUNY)
Assistant Professor of Accounting, City University of New York (Lehman College).
Sean is an expert and sought after speaker focusing on the intersection of financial services, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. He is a regular contributor to the official IBM’s Blockchain Unleashed website, analyzing applications for blockchain technology on business at large, as well as being a regular expert guest on China Global TV Network discussing blockchain and related applications. Sean is a member of the Advisory Board for the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, and heads up the Accounting Working Group, which coordinates with the AICPA in developing standards and reporting frameworks in this emerging area. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Gilded “Crypto Accounting Made Easy”, a TechStars 2019 company.
Sean continuously works with, and consults for the AICPA and several professional training organizations in the creation and delivery of blockchain and cryptocurrency related content. Additionally, his analysis and thought leadership in the blockchain and cryptocurrency area has been featured in dozens of articles, including a 2018 cover article in the CPA Journal. Sean has given dozens of presentations of blockchain technology, both domestically and internationally. He is currently under contract to publish two full length books focusing on blockchain applications for financial services and other industry sectors.
Mazars USA LLP
Senior Audit Manager, Mazars USA LLP
Andre is a senior audit manager and practice leader for the Mazars USA Digital Asset Group. The mission of the Digital Asset Group is to help organizations navigate the complex accounting, tax, audit and other advisory issues relating to cryptoassets and blockchain technology. Andre is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA), CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and a Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP). Andre co-chairs the A&A working group of the Accounting Blockchain Coalition.
Tax Senior Manager, Deloitte
Scott Stewart is an International Tax Senior Manager for Deloitte based in New York. He has been with Deloitte for 8 years and spent 7 of those years based in London. Primary focuses of his career over that period have been inbound investment into the US, data businesses, and the healthcare sector. In his role in the US, he is an East Coast leader in the crypto and blockchain practice. As a leader in this space, he has assisted companies launching tokenized businesses, major crypto exchanges, crypto custodians and traditional businesses implementing blockchain solutions. He is a Georgia and New York licensed CPA and holds a Masters of Taxation from the University of Mississippi.
MG Stover & Co.
Founder & CEO, MG Stover & Co.
Matt is the Founder & CEO of MG Stover & Co., a full-service fund accounting & administration firm built by former auditors and fund operators to deliver world class solutions to the alternative investment industry. MG Stover supports a wide range clients which includes: hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, family offices and broker-dealers. MG Stover is the largest fund administration firm for cryptocurrency funds. Matt started his career in public accounting with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a FINRA Series 27 license. Matt is also a member of the American Institute of CPAs and a Director for Help For Children | Hedge Funds Care.
Clark Thompson leads ConsenSys’ global solutions architecture based out of Brooklyn, NY, building a team of top solution architects to support ideation, design and blueprint development on Ethereum and blockchain generally. Clark’s area of expertise is financial systems, with deep background in transaction processing, clearing and settlement automation and business architecture process and methodology across brokerage, investment management and private wealth.
ConsenSys is one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the blockchain technology space, building developer tools, decentralized applications, and solutions that harness the power of Ethereum. Headquartered in New York, ConsenSys invests in and employs top entrepreneurs, computer scientists, software developers, and experts in enterprise delivery worldwide.
Clark is a seasoned enterprise executive with expertise across IT, finance and operations with 20+ years in business — He played an active role in the development of R3’s architecture working groups, contributing to nine of the white papers on topics including asset modeling, security, oracles, and interoperability. He has played lead architect roles in transaction processing systems for prime brokerage, global equities, cash management and portfolio accounting and driven strategies for wealth management and clearing platforms. He led development of the business architecture practice in IT Strategy at Credit Suisse and has lectured on business architecture and Blockchain at universities including Oxford, UCL, NYU and University of Delaware. His writing on distributed ledger and Blockchain technology have appeared in the IEEE Computer Journal and R3 Research. He has played an active role in digital currency experiments involving central banks, including project Jasper with the Bank of Canada and project Ubin with Monetary Authority of Singapore, and has advised and led workshops for Central Banks across the Americas.
Tinianow Consulting, LLC
Founder and CEO, Tinianow Consulting, LLC
Andrea Tinianow has been dubbed the Blockchain Czarina for her role in bringing blockchain to Delaware and securing the First State’s imprimatur on the nascent technology. Andrea is the founder of Tinianow Consulting LLC, a boutique consultancy that helps clients to reimagine and elevate their organizations, including identifying new revenue streams and creating strategies that leverage disruptive and cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain technology.
In 2014, the Markell Administration recruited Andrea to launch the Division of Corporate and International Development for the State of Delaware. The following year, she founded the Delaware Blockchain Initiative (DBI), the first of its kind blockchain endeavor designed to deploy blockchain technology in government and enact blockchain-friendly legislation. The DBI gave rise to the “Blockchain Amendments” to Delaware’s General Corporation Law which authorize corporations to maintain their corporate records, including stock ledgers, on a blockchain.
Andrea is on the Advisory Board of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and the founding chairperson of its Enterprise Solutions Working Group. Andrea serves as an advisor to BlockchainCT, a non-profit that supports blockchain innovation in State of Connecticut. She is a frequent contributor to Forbes.com. MarketsMedia awarded Andrea its “Women in Finance Award” for Excellence in Blockchain. Forbes and KPMG selected Andrea for it “Great Rewrite” video series.
Andrea received her undergraduate degree in economics from Brown University. She attended Delaware Law School, graduating magna cum laude. Following her clerkship for (former) Chancellor William Chandler III, of the Court of Chancery, Andrea joined the Wilmington office of Pepper Hamilton and represented clients in litigation.
Global Tax Accountants
Global Tax Accountants specializes in cryptocurrency tax and accounting, including token sales and international issues such as FBAR/FATCA/foreign entity reporting. Daniel’s conference appearances and articles cover topics such as the IRS subpoena of Coinbase, Bitcoin taxation, and triple entry accounting on the blockchain. Clients include high volume crypto traders, miners and the largest seller of Bitcoin mining equipment in the US.
Lisa Zarlenga represents public and private companies on a wide range of corporate transactional and tax policy issues. She advises clients on structuring tax-free and taxable acquisitions and dispositions, tax-free spin-offs, and internal restructurings, including the special rules governing consolidated groups. Lisa also advises clients on tax policy issues before the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service involving regulations and other administrative guidance, and before Congress involving legislation. Lisa previously served as Tax Legislative Counsel at the US Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy.
Lisa has combined her policy and transactional backgrounds to advise clients on certain specialized tax issues, such as blockchain and digital currency and qualified opportunity zones. She advises clients on conducting digital currency transactions and conversions, token offerings, and different investment and entity structures. With respect to qualified opportunity zones, Lisa has advised investors and funds on the intricate tax rules that govern the investments and structured those investments. She has also assisted clients during the rulemaking process, including preparing comment letters and meeting with policymakers.
Regulatory Outlook on Digital Assets
Entrepreneurs, investors and professionals in the blockchain/crypto space have been clamoring for regulatory clarity for digital assets. They may have gotten more than they bargained for. In the last few months, the SEC offered guidance in the form of the Framework for Investment Contract Analysis of Digital Assets, and FinCen delivered interpretive guidance on how anti-money laundering regulations apply to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Meanwhile, the State of Wyoming has enacted groundbreaking enabling legislation related to the use of digital assets in trade finance. If that wasn’t enough, two blockchain-related taxonomy bills were introduced in Congress. Finally, outgoing CFTC Chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, affectionately known as Crypto Dad, recently announced he is exiting the CFTC, leaving many to wonder what comes next. Sounds like a lot? We will unpack all of this and more!
Moderator: Andrea Tinianow, Tinianow Consulting, LLC
- Alexandra Scheibe, McDermott Will & Emery
- Michael del Castillo, Forbes
- Jeff Bandman, Bandman Advisors
Sponsor Spotlight: Understanding the Emerging Challenges for Accounting With Blockchain (Blox.io)
Taxing Tokenized Businesses: Issuers, Miners, & Exchanges
Use of blockchain, cryptocurrency and tokens are being evaluated in virtually every business model in today’s enterprise. In this panel, we will discuss a wide range of tax considerations for tokenized business models, miners and exchanges. Participants will hear from advisors as they talk about their experiences navigating this technical landscape without robust guidance.
Moderator: Rob Massey, Deloitte
- David Shapiro, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
- Lisa Zarlenga, Steptoe
- Emily Fett, PwC
- Scott Stewart, Deloitte
Looking at the Future of Stable Coins and impact on fiat currencies
Looking at the Future of Stablecoins and impact on fiat currencies: Stablecoins are the latest virtual currency innovation with the potential to transform commerce. This panel will discuss the rise of stablecoins and their impact on traditional financial services, including case studies. The speakers will share their experiences with the audience and discuss stablecoins prospective for blockchain adoption and opportunity for wider acceptance by the general public.
Moderator: Dmitri Alexeev, BPM LLP
- Prashant Nisar, RSM US LLP
- Yorke Rhodes, Microsoft
- Jennifer Senhaji, MakerDAO
Fund Considerations from an Accountant’s Perspective
With the increasing number of institutional investors allocating funds to the cryptoasset space, the importance of answering accounting related questions and establishing standards is even important. Crypto oriented funds, with billions in investments, have a fiduciary responsibility to provide answers to clients large and small on accounting and financial services issues. For example, are there best practices to account for, value, and appropriately disclose the crypto holdings at the fund itself? What controls and policies should be implemented to safeguard client information and funds held both in hot wallets and cold wallets? Are clients aware of the cybersecurity risks and potential liability, including a lack of FDIC coverage, associated with many crypto investments? These questions, and many more, will be tackled with a panel or experts sharing real world scenarios and feedback.
Moderator: Dr. Sean Smith, Lehman College
- Matt Stover, MG Stover & Co.
- Karl Cole-Frieman, Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP
- Mark Li, BPM LLP
- Chen Fang, Lumina
Latest Issues Impacting Custodians and Exchanges
Moderator: Vanessa Grellet, ConsenSys
- Justin Blincoe, ShapeShift
- Lewis Cohen, DLx Law LLP
- Brandon Russell, Etana
Auditing Blockchains & DLT, SOC and Internal Controls
The ABC’s internal controls working group created a document which looks at risks and controls specific to blockchain processes and assets. This session will discuss the relationship of the threats and the related internal control procedures to the participant’s practice. In addition the participants will provide some insights into the applicability of the working group’s document to future applications.
Moderator: Graham Gal, Isenberg School of Management
- Jeannette Russell-Shepherd, Friedman LLP
- Avani Desai, Schellman & Company, LLC
- Soma Sinha, Plante Moran, PLLC
- John McCallig, University College Dublin
Taxation of Investments in Digital Assets – Still Clear as Mud?
5 years have passed since the IRS issued the guidance in Notice 2014-21 and tax and accounting professionals have had to figure out everything that has happened in blockchain and cryptocurrencies since by themselves. This panel will discuss the best practices that have emerged over that time period with some of the most experienced practitioners in the space. We’ll discuss future regulations, the Coinbase IRS data turnover, cost basis, cryptocurrency reconciliation software, staying organized, foreign asset reporting requirements, client disclosures, how to enter this lucrative and growing segment of the industry plus make time for your Q&A.
Moderator: Mario Costanz, Happy Tax
- Kirk Phillips, The Bitcoin CPA
- Ryan Babiak, WithumSmith+Brown
- Daniel Winters, Global Tax Accountants
Latest Innovations in Software Tools
Moderator: Len Porcano, Vertex, Inc.
- Kell Canty, Verady
- Joseph Ryan, Gilded
- Jeremy Drane, Lukka, Inc.
- Patrick White, Bitwave
Auditing Tokens, Miners, Exchanges and Wallets
Tokens and cryptocurrencies are the foundations of the blockchain and digital assets industry, while miners, exchanges and wallets are critical to the eco-system. There has been no specific accounting and audit guidance to address digital transactions. What are the audit and accounting implications of tokens and digital assets being used or transferred across protocols to the users and the entity that built the protocol? Are there different treatments for miners versus exchanges and wallets? What are the views of the accountants and auditors?
Moderator: Mark Li, BPM LLP
- Christopher Mora, Centri Business Consulting
- Bennett Moore, RSM US LLP
- Andre Sterley, Mazars USA LLP
- Steve Baum, Friedman LLP
Which Blockchain Use Cases are Gaining Traction and Why
We will discuss how the distributed and secure nature of blockchain can provide the infrastructure to build accounting and financial systems that play the role of trusted third parties, exchanges and information systems that are shared between multiple parties. We will also discuss how these systems should be built and how they should be evaluated. We will provide insight on where the focus of these development efforts may be in the next 12-18 months.
Moderator: John McCallig, University College Dublin
- Saurav Dutta, Curtin University
- Elie Gerges, BDO LLP
- Clark Thompson, ConsenSys
Accounting and Auditing Regulation on the Treatment of Digital Assets
This session will highlight the conceptual framing of the accounting and auditing regulation that can be applied to digital assets. Ideas on auditing digital assets and SEC enforcement actions against digital assets / initial coin offerings are also presented.
Speaker: Saad Siddiqui, PCAOB