Jones Day kicks off challenge to find solutions to DeFi limitations – City A.M.

Jones Day kicks off challenge to find solutions to DeFi limitations – City A.M.

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Global law firm Jones Day is accepting submissions for the 2023 FinAccelerate DeFi Challenge – a competition that seeks to promote the development of innovative solutions to some of the limitations and risks currently associated with decentralised finance (DeFi).

The contest is part of FinAccelerate Empowered by Jones Day, an accelerator program launched in October 2022 to help selected fintech start-up companies by providing legal guidance and connections to leading financial institutions, investors and potential joint venture partners.

DeFi refers to various financial products and services that allow people to transact directly with each other, using blockchain technology instead of central intermediaries such as traditional banks or centralised exchanges.

DeFi is widely viewed as having the potential to increase the efficiency and speed of financial transactions, extending the reach of finance to those without access to traditional financial services.

“DeFi has enormous potential, but the reality is that it has a variety of limitations and risks in these early stages of its development and many institutional investors are not yet ready to adopt DeFi until some of those concerns are addressed,” said Abradat Kamalpour, a San Francisco-based partner in the Financial Markets Practice at Jones Day, and the partner leading the initiative for the Firm.

“The DeFi Challenge is open to any interested party — an individual or an organisation — that can offer a solution to one or more of these limitations.”

Proposed solutions can be singular or a combination of ideas in areas such as the following:

  • Technological solutions (software and/or hardware) and concepts;
  • Legal and/or financial structural solutions;
  • Process flows;
  • Industry standards;
  • Law reforms; and
  • Any other innovative proposal.

The competition was announced earlier this week in California by Crypto AM editor-at-large James Bowater.

“This is my third visit to San Francisco in the last eight years and one cannot help but notice the lasting effects of the global pandemic have had highlighted to the visibility of both shop closures and homelessness,” he said.

“What does this have to do with DeFi and the Digital Asset space at large? The pandemic acted as an almighty accelerant to development and adoption. 

“But the danger of accelerating technological deployment is that mistakes get made and exploitation by bad actors becomes ‘de rigueur’ which highlights the need for checks and balances ergo fixing problems and enabling non destructive regulation.

“So it’s a very timely and welcome initiative from Jones Day’s Fin Accelerate Program of which I’m an advisor.”

Entrants will be asked to provide a concept summary, including hyperlinks to further written information and relevant diagrams, and a description of their proposed technology build (if applicable).

To fill out the contest submission form, please click here.

Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,400 lawyers in 40 offices across five continents.


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