2020/11/25-26 — “Evolving Geographies of FinTech” (FinGeo online workshop)

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The workshop will take place online via Zoom. Please register via the link above by 23rd November 2020. After registration you will receive a personal link that will grant you access to the workshop.

The Global Network of Financial Geography (FinGeo) Online Workshop

25th  November 2020 (13:00-17:00 GMT) and 26th November 2020 (08:00-12:00 GMT)

Evolving Geographies of FinTech


David Bassens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Reijer Hendrikse (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Karen P.Y. Lai (Durham University)
Dariusz Wójcik (Oxford University)

This 2-day workshop aims to bring together a global audience of academics, industry practitioners and regulators to take stock of emerging, evolving and maturing geographies of financial technology (FinTech). FinTech operates at the intersections of the financial and technology sectors, where big technology (BigTech) firms and start-ups are creating new platforms, products, and services beyond those currently provided by the traditional finance industry. FinTech domains and applications cover a wide range – from blockchains, cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence, to robo-advising, mobile platforms and big data analytics. Instead of being threatened by the ‘disruptive’ potential of FinTech as such, incumbent banks and financial institutions have become more aggressive in the adoption and development of FinTech through the acquisition of technological capabilities, partnerships with tech firms, and setting up FinTech platforms. Novel digital solutions are increasingly rolled out in ‘underbanked’ environments leading to the rapid financial enclosure/inclusion of populations in the Global South. Meanwhile, regulatory attention has shifted towards BigTech platforms and their endeavours into finance and even monetary policy, such as Facebook aiming to develop a global digital currency. Increasingly, there are geopolitical implications to these developments, as American BigTechs and financial regulators are increasingly challenged by major Chinese platforms, amidst broader trade tensions relating to technology and security issues. This raises the increasingly significant role of FinTech in the rise and evolution of ‘surveillance capitalism’ and concerns over the rights of data ownership and utilisation. The relevance and potential impacts of FinTech have become all the more pertinent in the age of coronavirus and the accelerated shift towards online transactions and consumption practices.


All times listed as GMT

Day 1: Wednesday 25 November, 13:00-17:00 (GMT)

13:00 – 13:10    Welcome by the Organisers

13:10 – 15:00    Session 1: Economic Geographies of FinTech (Chair: Karen Lai)


How does artificial intelligence change advanced business services?

The future of accounting and law and the implications for finance

James Faulconbridge, Lancaster University


AI-related General Purpose Technology (GPT) in Advanced Services:

An Industry Space

Francisco Trincado-Munoz, Loughborough University

Tzameret H. Rubin, Loughborough University

Michiel van Meeteren, Loughborough University

Tim Vorley, Oxford Brookes University


Exploring the global dynamics of London’s FinTech labour market(s)

Ylka Hysaj, University of Bristol

Jonathan V. Beaverstock, University of Bristol

Greg Schwartz, University of Bristol


FinTechs and digital banks in Brazil: an empirical analysis (2015-2020)

Fabio Betioli Contel, University of Sao Paulo


Old Finance in New Cryptos: The Pesky Persistence of Structure in Geography

Matthew Zook, University of Kentucky

Michael Grote, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management


                        Open discussion


15:00 – 15:10    Comfort Break

15:10 – 17:00    Session 2: FinTech Consumption and Practices (Chair: David Bassens)


Customer centricity’ and other investor tales of European universal banks in digital times

Mariana Santos, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Disrupting the Corridor: The Micro-Worlds of Mobile Money and Migrant Infrastructures

Liza Rose Cirolia, University of Cape Town


Algoritmic economy and speculative strategies across time and space

Thomas Skou Grindsted, Roskilde University


“Invest in people. Literally”: Income Share Agreements, FinTech and the search for profit in post-secondary education 

Tom Baker, University of Auckland

Dan Cohen, Queen’s University

Emily Rosenman, Penn State University


FinTech and the Gamification of Finance

Karen Lai, Durham University

Paul Langley, Durham University


                        Open discussion

Day 2: Thursday 26 November, 08:00-12:00 (GMT)

08:00 – 09:50    Session 3: Geopolitics of FinTech (Chair: Dariusz Wójcik)


Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain Technologies and International Sanctions:

The Dawn of New Finance/Security Infrastructures?

Malcolm Campbell-Verduyn, University of Groningen

Francesco Giumelli, University of Groningen


“War on cash” and FinTech geopolitics

Dennis Stolz, Independent Researcher


The Financialization of BigTech

Ilke Adriaans, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)

Rodrigo Fernandez, Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)

Reijer Hendrikse, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Tobias Klinge, KU Leuven


Europe’s Quest for (FinTech) Autonomy

Carola Westermeier, University of Amsterdam


The Geopolitics of Platform Finance: BigFin-BigTech relations in the European Union

David Bassens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Reijer Hendrikse, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


                        Open discussion


09:50 – 10:00    Comfort Break

10:00 – 11:50    Session 4: FinTech Markets and Regulation (Chair: Reijer Hendrikse)


FinTech and financial instability. A Minskyan perspective

Stefanos Ioannou, University of Oxford

Dariusz Wójcik, University of Oxford


Governing China’s FinTech ecosystem: Entrepreneurial opportunity pursuit in the world of BAT and CCP
Vladimir Pažitka, University of Oxford
Dariusz Wójcik, University of Oxford
Wei Wu, University of Oxford


Law, trust, and the development of crowd funding

Raghavendra Rau, University of Cambridge


Reshaping Geographies of Real Estate Financing and Investment by Crowdfunding

Dasom Hong, Seoul National University


Formalizing Cryptocurrency Futures

Chris Muellerleile, Swansea University


                        Open discussion


11:50-12:00      Closing Remarks by the Organisers

Call for papers 


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