• Speakers

    Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy

    Born in Belfast in 1970, Paul was raised in Edinburgh, attending Stewart's Melville College. He has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Aberdeen and an MBA from University of Edinburgh. He has lived in Berwickshire since 2000.


    Paul is a professional economist and, since 1992, had specialised in higher and further education markets, policy evaluation and economic appraisal and impact assessment of capital projects.


    Paul previously held a number of roles in the Scottish Parliament and is SNP MSP for South Scotland. Prior to taking his Ministerial position Paul was a member of cross-party groups on Epilepsy, Rural Policy, Armed forces Veterans, Funerals and Bereavement, Boating and Marine Tourism and deputy convener of Sport.


    He has previously held posts in the Scottish Government as Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs. In May 2016 he was appointed Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.

    Associate Professor of Law and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies

    Angela Walch is an Associate Professor at St. Mary's University School of Law and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies at University College London. Her research focuses on money and the law, blockchain technologies, governance of emerging technologies, and financial stability. She has presented her research at Harvard Law School, Stanford University, University College London, and with the Modern Money Network at Columbia Law School, among others. Her work on blockchain technologies has appeared or is forthcoming in the NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy, the Review of Banking & Financial Law, and American Banker, and has been featured in the Financial Times.


    Angela was nominated for “Blockchain Person of the Year” for 2016 by Crypto Coins News for her work on the governance of blockchain technologies and her “influential article” in American Banker arguing that the coders and miners of public blockchains should be treated as fiduciaries.

    Global Ambassador for Consult Hyperion

    David G.W Birch is an author, advisor and commentator on digital financial services. He is Global Ambassador for Consult Hyperion (the secure electronic transactions consultancy that he helped to found), Technology Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (the London-based think tank) and a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey Business School. He is an internationally-recognised thought leader in digital identity and digital money; was named one of the global top 15 favourite sources of business information by Wired magazine and one of the top ten most influential voices in banking by Financial Brand; created one of the top 25 “must read” financial IT blogs; was found by PR Daily to be one of the top ten Twitter accounts followed by innovators, along with Bill Gates and Richard Branson; was ranked in the top three most influential people in London’s FinTech community by City A.M.; was listed by Hot Topics as one of the world’s top 100 most influential FinTech leaders and was rated Europe’s most influential commentator on emerging payments by Total Payments.


    His latest book “Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From money we understand to money that understands us” was published in June 2017. The London Review of Books called his 2014 book “Identity is the New Money” fresh, original, wide-ranging and “the best book on general issues around new forms of money”.


    David graduated from the University of Southampton with a B.Sc (Hons) in Physics.

    Chief Executive Officer - Spiritus Partners

    Always driven to provide over the horizon leadership, Susan Ramonat brings over 25 years of executive experience on Wall Street and in banking. Susan established the Blockchain program strategy for a leading technology service provider to global wealth and investment managers. She speaks frequently about Blockchain, cybersecurity and operational resilience for audiences ranging from healthcare, financial services, and other critical infrastructure industries to academic researchers and government agencies in the US and UK. She also serves on the Industrial Advisory Board for Engineering Science at Loyola University Chicago. Susan is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University.

    Director at Deloitte UK

    Kent leads Deloitte’s Risk Analytics and Fintech practice on Scotland where he is responsible for working across the industry on the impact and opportunity disruptive and advancing technology brings to innovate products, services, and overall customer propositions. Kent is part of Deloitte’s UK Fintech executive and is currently working directly with clients from across the UK and beyond on a range of initiatives in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, and digital identity. Kent also leads Deloitte’s Partnership with SFE and SE focussed on accelerating the growth of Fintech in Scotland and connecting our eco-system with other like-minded centres around the globe.

    Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University​

    Bill Buchanan is a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the BCS and the IET. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to cyber security. Currently he leads the Centre for Distributed Computing, Networks, and Security and The Cyber Academy (http://thecyberacademy.org).


    Overall he has published over 250 academy papers and 27 textbooks, and has a number of patents. His main research focus is around information sharing, such as using Trust and Governance Policies, threat analysis, cryptography, Blockchain, e-Health, and triage within digital forensics. This has led to several World-wide patents, and in three highly successful spin-out companies: Zonefox (zonefox.com); Symphonic Software (www.symphonicsoft.com/); and Cyan Forensics (cyanforensics.com). Bill regularly appears on TV and radio related to computer security, and has given evidence to both the UK and Scottish Parliament.


    He has been named as one of the Top 100 people for Technology in Scotland for every year since 2012, and was also included in the FutureScot "Top 50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World". Recently his work on Secret Shares received “Innovation of the Year” at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, for a research project which involves splitting data into secret shares, and can then be distributed across a public Cloud-based infrastructure. He was included in the JISC Top 50 Higher Education Social Media Influencers in 2015.

    Chairman at MBN Solutions

    Paul has some twenty-five years experience of helping businesses to solve complex business problems, deliver their transformation goals and to achieve tangible strategic outcomes. Hands on and deep thinking, he has worked with many FTSE 100 clients, Global 500 businesses and major Government entities around the world including Ford Motor Company, VAG Group, BAE Systems, GSK, AkzoNobel, RBS, HBOS, Diageo, Bacardi, Wal-Mart, British Airways, Virgin Galactic, Etisalat, British Telecom, Vodafone and Allen & Overy. Paul also sits on the board of a number of agile, disruptive and challenger businesses whilst supporting value creation programmes for Private Equity backed businesses.

    Founder & Commercial Director at Wallet.Services

    Peter earned his spurs as a software developer spanning the adoption of the PC and the Internet. As a hotshot techie he co-founded Microsoft Scotland and spent much of the dot com boom in the large financial services institutions of Scotland, consulting on web, infrastructure and security projects. Peter's corporate career continued ultimately leading Microsoft's Cloud and Partner programs and building the Microsoft Technology Centre to demonstrate the business impact of disruptive tech.

    Peter gets excited about leapfrog technology that can change the World. That’s why he founded Wallet.Services to simplify and realise the potential of BlockChain technologies.
    Peter has a passion for Digital Technology positive impact on society and government, learned from a spell living in Estonia, Europe's Baltic breakaway Digital Nation. He's served on the board of Scotland IS, runs a Code Club for Primary age kids, and serves as the Honorary Consul to the Republic of Estonia in Scotland.

    Consultant - Blockchain Lab, Deloitte UK​

    Ross has been working with distributed ledger technologies since 2013, since then his interests in Ethereum and AI have led him to join Deloitte and work on the development of Firm’s blockchain solutions. His work includes the development of SmartID, an identity platform based leveraging blockchain capability to redefine the way in which identity is managed and shared.

    Head of CivTech® at The Scottish Government

    Alexander has worked in the Digital Directorate of the Scottish Government for the past three years. His current role is as architect and Head of CivTech® - the groundbreaking programme with a mission to drive daring and innovation in the public sector, deliver better public services, and provide economic development opportunities. Previous roles included running a number of government tech procurements. Before moving back up to Edinburgh he spent eight years in London, six of which were spent growing his own digital creative agency delivering 'super shiny' web apps for Google, PayPal, Sony Ericsson, McDonald's, Adobe and other leading brands. He is massively passionate about the benefits of digital transformation in the public sector which leads to better value services that make our lives better.

    Distinguished Engineer at Royal Bank of Scotland​

    Mark ‘Bart’ Simpson currently works in the Innovation Engineering team at RBS. He has over 20 years of development experience in both retail and wholesale banking and has designed and built portfolio trading, algorithmic trading, trade processing and reference data systems. He has also worked on risk, cash management, clearing and data distribution systems in RBS. He has built systems using C#, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, Go, SQL, Assembler and even COBOL!


    Mark has been working with block chain technologies since the beginning of 2016 and using them to build prototypes for use cases across the bank.


    He has worked on Hyperledger fabric, Ethereum and Corda from the R3 group.

    Co-Founder and CEO of Coinfirm

    Pawel is the former head of Global AML Processes at Royal Bank of Scotland and Head of Regulatory Risk and Compliance at Eversheds. A recognized specialist in compliance and anti-money-laundering with extensive experience conducting global projects for international financial institutions and cooperating with supervisory authorities, Pawel is also the chairman of the Compliance Association of Poland.

    Managing Director, Avaloq ​

    Philippe Meyer has been working in the Capital Markets industry for more than 25 years bridging IT and business and focusing on innovation. He has been managing awarded projects like onemarket certificate platform for Unicredit, high frequency trading and electronic brokerage platforms for Credit Agricole. He has a strong technical background used in particular in systems integration. For a few years, he has been closely looking at the Fintech boom, analyzing the impacts and the possible responses from the banking industry. Meanwhile he has been fascinated by the Blockchain technology and has been helping companies to define their Blockchain strategy. He has recently moved to Avaloq Innovation where he manages the Edinburgh development centre.