Regulation Innovation: Protecting Consumers Through Technology & Trust (Fall 2015)

SESSION #1: Introduction to the Study Group and Discussion with Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle 
NOVEMBER 13, 2:00-3:30 pm | Follow-up Notes
Location: CBG Conference Room (HKS Belfer building #503)
M-RCBG Senior Fellow Jo Ann Barefoot will offer the first session of her study group on how technology is disrupting both consumer financial services and the system for regulating them. She’ll outline the technology trends converging on consumers’ financial lives and their likely impacts. Then she’ll have a conversation with her guest, Jeremy Allaire, Co-founder and CEO of Circle Financial. Based in Boston and Dublin, Circle is a top disruptor of the payments system, using Bitcoin, cryto-currency and the block chain to eliminate delays and costs from consumer finance. Circle recently raised $50 million in capital led by Goldman Sachs and is the first company to qualify for the newly-created New York bit-license. Jeremy, a visionary innovator and serial entrepreneur, will share his insight on the future of high-tech consumer finance.
Jeremy Allaire is an Internet entrepreneur who has spent the past 20 years building and leading global technology companies with products used by hundreds of millions of consumers and millions of businesses worldwide. Jeremy's first company, Allaire Corp, pioneered the Web application development platform and grew to become a profitable $120 million in revenue, NASDAQ-traded public company. Allaire Corp was later acquired by Macromedia, where Jeremy became CTO and helped transform Flash into a platform for rich applications and video that became the most widely adopted piece of software in the history of computing. Jeremy would go on to found Brightcove, the first Internet video publishing platform for websites, smartphones, tablets and connected-TVs. The company grew to become a profitable $120 million in revenue, NASDAQ-traded public company with customers including media companies and marketers in more than 100 countries. Brightcove powers video operations for 25 percent of the top 10,000 websites in the world. Today, Jeremy is co-founder and CEO of Circle, a consumer finance company focused on transforming the world economy with secure, simple, and less costly technology for storing and using money.

SESSION #2: Dan Quan, who leads the Project Catalyst innovation program at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Date & Time: TBD

Jo Ann Barefoot
Jo Ann Barefoot is CEO of Jo Ann Barefoot Group, LLC. She has worked for over thirty-five years in private and public sector roles focused on consumer financial protection, inclusion, and technology. As Deputy Comptroller of the Currency she established the first federal consumer protection oversight function for national banks. She has served on the staff of the U. S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; was Co-chair of Treliant Risk Advisors; and was Partner and Managing Director at KPMG, leading the firm’s privacy practice and a nationwide consumer finance consulting group. Barefoot has advised all of America’s largest financial institutions, many other financial companies, various federal agencies, and numerous community banks and non-profits. She serves on the Consumer Advisory Board to the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; is a member of the board of the Center for Financial Services Innovation; and serves on advisory boards to several fintech startups.  She produces the podcast interview series Barefoot Innovation, speaks annually to thousands of people, has authored four books on bank regulatory matters and has published nearly 200 articles. She was the primary author of Common Ground -- Increasing Consumer Benefits and Reducing Costs in Bank Regulation, published by the University of Wisconsin. She was an International Visitor to the European Community and has worked in rural India with micro-finance and education in leprosy communities. Barefoot’s research project is entitled, “Regulation Innovation – Protecting Consumers through Technology and Trust,” and her faculty sponsor is Brigitte Madrian, Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management.

Materials for First Session 11/13/15: Introduction to the Study Group and Discussion with Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle

Thank you to all who joined our first study group session. I greatly enjoyed our lively conversation!

As promised, here are some background materials.

On the Study Group Overall

My 9/15 Forbes article on technology disrupting financial services and the system for regulating them.

My in-depth article in Fintech Law Report (link is embedded in this blog post) on the trends disrupting consumer finance and likely impacts on regulatory issues.   

My website explores all these issues:

My Barefoot Innovation podcast series is at my website and on ITunes.

Center for Financial Services Innovation information on its research on consumer financial health,, and on seeding fintech investment to benefit underserved consumers, including through CFSI’s Innovation Labs annual competition (investing $25 million over five years)

Wired 10/15 article on revolutionary progress in voice technology  

Niv Dror’s thought-provoking article on exponential technology change 

On Jeremy Allaire’s Comments

Circle is at  Follow them on Twitter @Circlepay.

Jeremy Allaire’s article in Re-Code is here. He discusses the importance of Bitcoin and the block chain and compares their evolution to the early years of the internet, emphasizing the need to keep these systems open and accessible to all.

The Economist 10/15 on Bitcoin 

Bitcoin and the block chain are endlessly dynamic and controversial. I don’t think we mentioned that the major banks are exploring how to use the block chain to transform their internal operations and processing. Numerous good publications and blogs are devoted to it. If you want suggestions, let me know.

Next Study Group

Our guest will be Dan Quan, who leads the Project Catalyst innovation program at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Date TBD.

Fintech Gatherings:

If you’d like to be included in invitations for periodic informal get-togethers on fintech, let me know at or tell my RA, Amrita Vir,

Jo Ann Barefoot headshot.

M-RCBG senior fellow Jo Ann Barefoot.