Decentralised Finance: Advantages and pitfalls – a business perspective

Join NBS and figNorwich as we talk about Decentralised Finance, its potential advantages and pitfalls in the modern financial system

Join NBS and figNorwich as we talk about Decentralised Finance, its potential advantages and pitfalls in the modern financial system and how this could affect you and your organisation.

Join NBS and figNorwich as we talk about Decentralised Finance, its potential advantages and pitfalls in the modern financial system and how this could affect you and your organisation.

The event is hosted by Dr Tiago Bothelo (Associate Professor in Business Strategy), joined by Mark Hinds (Charles Stanley & Co Ltd), Tim Robinson (TechEast), Apostolos Kourtis (Associate Professor in Finance) and Lucia Murgia (Lecturer in Finance, NBS Fintech LAB Coordinator).

Decentralised Finance (DeFi) marries Financial Services and Blockchain Technology by replacing traditional financial intermediaries with algorithms and computer networks. In this way, DeFi aims to address several critical issues in the business world related to efficiency, security, transparency and inclusion, among others.

DeFi can be the biggest competitor of traditional financial intermediaries (banks, insurances, asset managers), particularly when they are small in size. Even though the financial system in the UK is relatively solid and competitive compared to other European countries, DeFi can become an appealing source of funding and investment opportunities.

The following themes will be considered:

-What is Decentralised Finance?
-Building Blocks of the DeFi ecosystem
-Decentralised Payments, Fundraising and Accounting
-Risks and Opportunities in DeFi
-DeFi and Business Education

There’s also the opportunity to see the newly refurbished NBS Fintech LAB where our students can engage with industry-standard trading and fintech software using state-of-the art equipment. Join the tour at the end of the seminar to find out how industry can engage.


7.30am: Registration, breakfast and networking

8.00am: Welcome and intro from the NBS host (Dr Tiago Botelho,)

8.05am: An introduction and overview of DeFi (Dr Apostolos Kourtis)

8.15am: Reactions – Thoughts, Issues and Insights (Mark Hinds)

8.25am: Fintech Cluster Project Overview (Tim Robinson)

8.35am: Panel Q&A – hosted by Tiago Botelho

8:50-9:00: Optional FinTech Lab tour

About the speakers

Mark Hinds
Mark is a Senior Investment Manager at Charles Stanley Wealth Managers and the Branch Manager of the Norwich Office. He has 25 years of investment industry experience. He is an advocate of drawing on economic history to make sense of a complicated world. He is also President of the East Anglia committee of the CISI (Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment).

Tim Robinson
Tim is Chief Operating Officer of Tech East, the digital tech cluster organisation for the East of England. He is a founding board member of the UK Tech Cluster Group. Prior to returning to the East of England Tim held general management, strategic marketing and tech leadership roles at Thomson Reuters, Informa and RICS. He is an alumnus of London Business School and Newcastle University.

Lucia Murgia
Lucia is a lecturer in Finance at Norwich Business School (NBS). Prior to joining NBS in September 2021, Lucia was a senior Research Associate at the School of Economics (UEA) and has completed a PhD in Finance at NBS. Lucia holds a MSc in Economics Major in Finance from the University of Lugano (Swiss Finance Institute), and BSc in Economics and Business Administration from Bocconi University in Milan (Italy). Research Interests: Financial Markets Microstructure, Macroeconomic Announcements and Experimental Finance.

Apostolos Kourtis
Apostolos is an Associate Professor in Finance and the Head of the Finance Group (FIN) at NBS. He holds a Visiting Research Fellow position at the Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece. He is also an Adjunct Instructor for the MSc in Blockchain and Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia. He read for his doctorate at the Athens University of Economics and Business, under a scholarship from the Greek State Scholarship Foundation (IKY). Apostolos’ current research interests lie in the areas of investments, risk management, forecasting, blockchain and energy finance. He has recently published academic articles in high-profile peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Empirical Finance and the Financial Review. His research has been featured in several popular media outlets, including the Financial Times, Bloomberg and the Telegraph. Apostolos is also a regular member of the American Finance Association and the European Finance Association.

Further information:

Contact us at if you have any questions about this event.

Cancellation Policy:

This event is limited to 60 attendees. If you are unable to attend, please notify us in advance by contacting

Please notify us if you have any dietary or access requirements.

Please note that when registering for this event, your name and organisation will be included on the delegate list circulated to event attendees.

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