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Digital Currencies Academy


Deadline for applications: 31 May 2020

  • Description

    Digital currencies are transforming our monetary system. Since the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was introduced in 2009, many new developments have challenged the use of traditional payment instruments and financial contracts. Current examples are LIBRA, an initiative led by Facebook to challenge national and international payment arrangements and the recent wave of initial coin offerings (ICOs) that has rattled traditional financial regulation.

    The course gives a thorough introduction into the topic of digital currencies. It first exposes participants to some of their technological foundations and then discusses the economic significance of their design and impact. Participants will also be exposed to current policy and regulatory challenges through case studies, mediated group discussions and expert panels. Among the topics covered are cryptocurrencies, central bank issued digital currencies (CBDCs), optimal digital currency areas, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and private efforts to facilitate international payments.

  • What you will learn

    After having completed this course, you will:

    • have understood the basics of technology (e.g., blockchain, distributed ledgers, distributed consensus).
    • have learnt about crucial design choices and the economic trade-offs involved.
    • have obtained familiarity with to cutting edge research on cryptocurrencies, ditigal tokens and CBDC.
    • have understood how to assess the role of central banks in providing digital currency.
    • have an overview of the emerging regulatory framework for privately issued coins.
    • have got up to speed on recent developments in international payments infrastructure.
  • Meet the course director

    Thorsten V. Koeppl is a Professor and RBC Fellow in the Department of Economics at Queen’s University. He is currently also the Scholar in Financial Services and Monetary Policy at the CD Howe Institute one of Canada’s most influential policy think tanks. Prof. Koeppl advises the Bank of Canada on Central Bank Digital Currency and in the past has served as an adviser to several other policy institutions in matters of financial market organization, regulation and intervention in the past. Prof. Koeppl has degrees in management and in economics from the Universities of Eichstaett/Ingolstadt and Basle, and received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 2002. His main research interests are in the areas of macroeconomics (in particular monetary economics), financial market infrastructure and blockchain economics. He has published on these topics in top economics journals such as Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory, Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Financial Economics among several others.

  • Instructors

    Katrin Assenmacher is Head of the Monetary Policy Strategy Division at the European Central Bank (ECB) since November 2016. From 2010 to 2016 she led the Monetary Policy Analysis unit at the Swiss National Bank (SNB). Her professional interests lie in the areas of monetary policy and time-series econometrics. She published several articles in international academic journals on modelling the role of money in the inflation process, analysing business cycle indices and estimating central bank reaction functions. Katrin was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis and Atlanta, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and the Universities of Copenhagen and Southern California. She holds a Doctorate and a Diploma in economics from the University of Bonn, where she also received her Habilitation. During her tenure at the SNB she lectured courses on monetary policy and macroeconomics at the universities of Zurich and Bern and served as a member of the Czech National Bank´s Research Advisory Committee.

    Anne Choné is Senior Risk Analysis Officer at ESMA, where she monitors financial innovation and financial activities across the EU. Among the topics that she has recently addressed are Crowdfunding, FinTech and Regulatory Sandboxes. She has led ESMA’s work on Distributed Ledger Technologies and crypto-assets and authored various publications from the authority on the topic, including the ESMA Advice on Initial Coin Offerings and Crypto-Assets to the EU Institutions that was published in January 2019. Before joining ESMA in 2013, Anne was Principal at Mercer Investments, where she advised institutional clients on the design and implementation of their investment strategies. Prior to that, she worked as a Director in charge of financial institutions and then banks at FitchRatings. Anne holds of master’s degree in Finance from NEOMA Business school and has earned the CFA certification.

    Daniel Heller is the Head of Regulatory Affairs at Fnality International and a research associate at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies at University College London. He held various senior positions at the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) in Washington, he published widely on the impact of blockchain-based financial innovation and how it should be regulated. He received a Ph.D. degree in Economics from the University of Bern and was a research fellow at Stanford University.

    Jean-Pierre Landau is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and Associate Professor of Economics at SciencesPo (Paris). He has worked in the French Government for most of his career. He served as Deputy Governor of the Banque de France (2006-2011), Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (Washington) as well as Undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance. He has been Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School) and Visiting professor at SAIS (John Hopkins – Washington DC). He also was Dean of the School of Public Affairs at SciencesPo in 2014-2015.

    Klaus Martin Löber is Head of the Oversight Division of the European Central Bank, in charge of the oversight of financial markets infrastructures and payments instruments. His areas or responsibility also encompass the ECB’s global regulatory policy activities with a focus on payments and market infrastructures. Furthermore, Mr Löber is contributing to the global fintech and digital innovations agenda, chairing the CPMI working group on digital currencies and co-chairing the CPMI-IOSCO working group on digital innovations looking into relevant developments. Prior to his current position, from 2012 to 2016, Mr Löber was Head of the Secretariat of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) hosted by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a global regulatory standard setting body in the areas of payments, clearing and settlement. Earlier positions include the European Central Bank, the European Commission, Deutsche Bundesbank and private practice. Mr Löber regularly publishes on financial markets legal, regulatory and infrastructure issues.

    Cyril Monnet is Professor of Economics at the University of Bern and Doctoral Program Manager at the Study Center Gerzensee. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Minnesota (USA). He started his career in the research department of the European Central Bank. He was also a Senior Economic Advisor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and a Visiting Economist at the BIS. His research, which has been published in leading academic journals, focuses on monetary economics including DLT and CBDC, financial intermediation and the design of financial institutions.

    James Chapman is the Senior Research Director in the Funds Management and Banking Department at the Bank of Canada.

  • Prerequisites

    An Master’s Degree in economics, finance, or a related subjects is required to attend the course.
  • Application

    In order to apply for the Digital Currencies Academy, please fill in the application form before 31 January 2020.

    Applications will be reviewed for ensuring their suitability to the programme within the first two weeks of February 2020. The outcome of the selection will be notified by 17 February 2020. Selected applicants will receive a link for online payment.


    • Payment is due within 30 days of notification of acceptance.
    • Registrations are confirmed on receipt of full payment of the programme fee.
    • Places are allocated in order of receipt of payment.
  • Fees

    2500€ – Public Authorities (e.g. National Competent Authorities, Central Banks) and European Institutions

    2900€ – Private Sector

    1300€ – Academics (Assistant, Associate or Full Professors) *seats for academics are limited and assigned by the FBF secretariat on a case-by-case basis

    2250€ – FBF Alumni (previous participants in FBF residential courses)

    The course fee covers coffee and lunch breaks. Travel and hotel costs are not included.


    • In case a course is cancelled, registered participants will receive the full refund.
    • In case a course is moved to another date, registered participants may request a voucher to attend another FBF course.
    • Registered participants who cancel their participation will receive a voucher to attend another FBF course.

    For more details, please contact fbf@eui.eu
  • Practical information

    A certificate of attendance will be provided to all participants after the course.


    Please notice that the course dinner, and most of the social activities, will take place downtown.

    Recommended hotels in downtown Florence:

    Recommended hotels nearby the EUI:

    Suggested restaurants in Florence city centre


    On arrival, participants will be provided with temporary wi-fi access for the whole duration of the course.

    Privacy Notice

    The personal information you have provided will be processed in compliance with the EUI Privacy Statement for conferences. For general queries: fbf@eui.eu


    General information on local transport

    From Florence airport:

    Florence airport is located 8 km from the city centre, approximately 30 minutes by taxi or bus. Taxis can be found outside the arrivals terminal; no reservation is needed. A taxi ride from the airport costs about €20 and takes approximately 25/30 minutes.

    A tramway (line T2) connects the airport to the city centre. Trains leave from the airport terminal and take 20 minutes to the main railway station. One-way tickets can be bought from vending machines for €1.50.

    The airport is also connected to the main railway station in Florence by a shuttle bus (‘Vola in bus’) that leaves every 30 minutes (on the hour and on the half-hour) and takes 25 minutes. Tickets are available on board for €6.00.

    From the central railway station:

    Take bus n. 7 at the bus stop Stazione Nazionale in the direction “Fiesole Piazza Mino”, get off at the stop ‘San Domenico 01’. For bus routes and timetables consult the official timetable.

    Bus tickets are sold outside the railway station, at ATAF ticket kiosks and vending machines, tobacconists (tabacchi), newspaper kiosks (edicole), and most cafès (bar). Bus tickets can be purchased also on board with a contactless credit card (Mastercard, Maestro, Visa and V PAY).

    Private car

    From the A1 Milano-Napoli (Autostrada del Sole), take the Firenze Sud exit and follow directions to the city centre/Stadio. Follow the directions to the stadium (Stadio), then for Fiesole. San Domenico is on the main road to Fiesole.

    The EUI has several free parking areas available all over the Campus.