FinTech Series — Bitcoin in 2021: The Uncertainty and Appeal

Wednesday, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Zoom Meeting


Nik Bhatia, CFA — Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics, USC
Lawrence Johnson — Senior Vice President & Head of Fintech Engagement, Morningstar
Krishna K. Memani — CIO, Lafayette College
Jay Schulman — Principal, Consulting, RSM USLLP

Time: 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm: Virtual Panel Discussion
4:45 pm - 6:00 pm: Virtual Meeting/Networking
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In March of 2020 Bitcoin demonstrated it was a poor hedge compared to gold. Institutions are dabbling, but what does Bitcoin have to accomplish before it’s considered a sound mainstream investment? Is it just another speculative investment to be avoided or is there real sustaining value? Join us for a lively discussion as our expert panelists will debate the future of Bitcoin and its investability. Then weigh in on the debate yourself in our breakout rooms.


Nik Bhatia, CFA | Nik Bhatia is a financial researcher, CFA charterholder, and Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business where he teaches Applied Finance in Fixed Income Securities.

Previously, Nik worked the US Treasuries trading desk for a large institutional asset manager and has extensive trading experience in money markets and interest rate futures. After starting his teaching career, Nik felt the urge to bring his research on both the international monetary system and Bitcoin together as one to write Layered Money: From Gold and Dollars to Bitcoin and Central Bank Digital Currencies. He has a BA in Social Sciences from University of Southern California and a Master in Finance from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Nik lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife and young daughter. Back To Top ^^

Lawrence Johnson | Lawrence leads Morningstar’s global financial technology outreach initiatives. He is working to strengthen the firm’s leadership role with world-class emerging growth companies and organizations fostering innovation in software, data management, business intelligence and user experience in the financial services sector.

Lawrence is a member of the Fintech Advisory Board of the Fubon Center for Technology, Business, and Innovation - NYU Stern School of Business, and the Board of Directors of iD-Lab. Lawrence moderated and served on panels at London Fintech Week, Fintech Week Chicago, IBM Think 2018, CryptoCon 2018, Morningstar Investment Conference MIC 2018, 2nd International Blockchain Congress, Intellisight (CFA Society), the Asset/WealthTech Advisory, and the Digital Asset Summit.

Lawrence has a track record of leading emerging growth companies to successful exits, including RightPond (acquired by Morningstar), a Fintech company using machine learning to harvest unstructured financial data. He was a co-founder of (acquired by AT&T), and director of CLRS Technologies (acquired by Solta Medical - Valliant).

Before his entrepreneurial endeavors, Johnson practiced law in the area of securities and technology law. He began his career at IBM.

Lawrence holds a commerce degree from McGill University and a law degree from the Université de Montréal. He is a member in good standing of the California Bar. Back To Top ^^

Krishna K. Memani | Previous to serving as the CIO at Lafayette College, Memani joined Invesco as vice president of investments when the firm combined with OppenheimerFunds in 2019. Before joining OppenheimerFunds in 2009, he was a managing director at Deutsche Bank, heading U.S. and European credit analysis. Earlier, Memani headed global credit research at Credit Suisse, was in charge of high-grade and high-yield portfolios at Putnam Investments, and was the fixed income strategist and manager of mortgage research at Morgan Stanley. He began his career as a research analyst at Morgan Stanley and Price Waterhouse.

At Lafayette, Memani will manage an endowment of more than $850 million, which ranks among the top 10 percent of American colleges and universities in endowment per student. Back To Top ^^

Jay Schulman | Jay Schulman is the National Leader for Blockchain and Digital Assets at RSM. Bringing together all of the services across RSM including Audit, Tax, and Consulting, Jay leads the firm’s capability in addressing both enterprise blockchain technology and the adoption of digital assets such as bitcoin.

With 20 years’ experience in information security and technology innovation, Jay helps clients think through the overall risk of adopting blockchain and digital assets and how to mitigate those risks through operational security and proper implementation of the technology.

Jay is a Board Member, Accounting Blockchain Coalition and a Member, AICPA Working Group on Cryptocurrency Audit and Accounting. Back To Top ^^

Registration Fees
$5 (Members) | $20 (Non-Members)

Payment Information
We accept the following:

If you prefer to pay by check please email and request to pay by check. Your registration will be completed manually and you will receive an email confirmation.

Mail Check To:
CFA Society of Los Angeles
13400 Riverside Drive, Ste. 215
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

*Credit card payments will only be accepted through the secure online registration, and not by phone or email.

Cancellations must be received in writing by 9:00 am the day prior to the event to receive a refund. No phone cancellations are accepted. Please e-mail
As a participant in the CFA Institute Approved-Provider Program, the CFA Society of Los Angeles has determined that this program qualifies for 1 credit hour. If you are a CFA Institute member, CE credit for your participation in this program will be automatically recorded in your CE Diary.
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