Blockchain and cryptocurrency: Opportunities and challenges in the age of digital disruption

Date & time
6–8pm Wednesday 16 October 2019

Finkel Theatre, John Curtin School of Medical Research, 131 Garran Rd, Acton, ACT


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.

Alumni Relations
Panel discussion
Blockchain and cryptocurrency: Opportunities and challenges in the age of digital disruption

Since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies have rapidly expanded. A decade on, distributed ledger technology and digital currencies are reshaping the way businesses operate, offering a number of benefits including increased efficiency and lower transaction costs. However, like all new technologies, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are not without risks. Price volatility and cybersecurity threats pose major obstacles to more widespread adoption, while governments and regulatory agencies are struggling to keep pace with the rapid rate of change.

Join a panel of leading interdisciplinary experts from business, law and technology as they explore the opportunities and challenges of blockchain technology and digital currencies for industry, investors, regulators and policy makers.


  • Dr Philippa Ryan »

    Philippa Ryan

    Philippa (Pip) Ryan is a barrister and a senior lecturer in the College of Law at ANU, where she is the Director of the ANU LLM program. She is a member of the Treasury Audit Committee and in her role on the Standards Australia blockchain technical committee, she is the lead author of the international standards for smart contracts. Pip is a non-executive director on the board of Australian law firm, Lander & Rogers and she is on the editorial board of Stanford's Journal of Blockchain Law and Policy.

    Pip’s current research explores the automation of trust, the accountability of algorithms, and the creeping tendency of regulators in developed economies to blame professionals, service providers and financial institutions for the sins of their employees, customers and strangers. In 2018, she was the first Australian recipient of the American Bar Association’s Legal Rebel Award. Pip co-authored Van Rijmenam and Ryan, Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World (Routledge 2019). Her most recent title is Trust and Distrust in Digital Economies (Routledge 2020).

  • Dr Priya Dev »

    Priya Dev

    Priya holds a PhD in mathematics from ANU and has over ten years’ experience as a lecturer and researcher at ANU, Columbia University & UNSW. Her research has focussed on mathematics for finance and she has applied this research to consult to ASX listed companies. Priya also co-founded a financial technology startup that provides online ordering and analytics to the hospitality sector. She is a member of the Australian Digital Currency Association's digital asset working group which has been investigating self-regulatory ICO & STO standards for Australia. Her current passion is investigating how blockchain can create a better financial system for the world.

  • Mr John Powers »

    John Powers

    John serves as the Chief Strategist for the Australian National University’s (ANU) Cyber Institute.  In this position, he supports the Cyber Institute’s CEO and COO in the development and implementation of planning, resourcing, acquisition and engagement strategies that ensure the Cyber Institute and ANU remain Australia and Oceania’s preeminent national centre of expertise for cyber, cyber standards and cyber innovations.

    John has forty years of national security and operational experience in the Australian and Five Eyes special mission and intelligence communities.  A former band 3 member of the Senior Executive Service, his expertise within government and private sector organisations with expansive budgets and national and international responsibilities is extensive.  He has broad proficiencies with inter-agency and multi-national information integration, financial management, strategic planning, and counter-insurgency/cyber operations.  Acknowledged as being a strong writer, editor and speaker, he routinely briefed members of the US Congress and Parliament, to include the Prime Minister and the President in his previous leadership positions.

    John has had multiple overseas postings, to include combat service in the Caribbean, Central America, Southwest Asia, the Balkans, the Horn of Africa, and Central Asia.  A graduate of The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina, he holds advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown University.  A dual citizen of Australia and the United States, John resides permanently in Canberra, Australia with his family. 

  • Ms Meghan McGrath (Moderator) »

    Meghan McGrath

    Meghan is the Design Lead for IBM Pervasive Encryption. She led the design transformation and strategy for the IBM Pervasive Encryption team, which received an Agile in Excellence Award in 2017.

    Currently, she is on global assignment in the 3Ai Institute at the Australian National University where she is looking at the intersections of design research and cryptography, new metrics for tracking qualitative user data, global compliance issues around user research, and the ways workplace or occupational humour can inform ethnographic research.




Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team