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I Meeting of Heads of Financial Market Infrastructures

Digital Meeting
September 30 to October 2, 2020.


The Center for Latin American Monetary Studies hosts regional experts´ groups on core central banking areas, including monetary policy, central banking operations, financial stability and payments and financial market infrastructures. The I Meeting of Heads of Financial Market Infrastructures is aimed at providing forum for the analysis and discussion of relevant issues for the design, functioning, regulation and operation of financial market infrastructures. This meeting is preceded by a biennial meeting known as the Regional Payments Week, which was organized since 2001.

The Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA) held the I Meeting of Heads of Financial Market Infrastructures in digital format, from September 30 to October 2, 2020. The Meeting was attended by over 100 participants representing Latin American and Caribbean central banks, national central banks from Canada, Germany, Hungary, Philippines, Portugal, the European Central Bank and the Secretariat of the Committee and Payments and Market Infrastructures. Industry representatives also participated in the Meeting on a dialogue on enhancing the cross-border payment systems regionally.

The objective of the Meeting was to bring together the central banks’ heads of payments and financial market infrastructures, to discuss key policy and practical developments to deal with the new social, economic and financial needs posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the new technologies.


Keynote lecture. “Optimized Payment and Financial Infrastructure under New Technologies: the Case of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)”

Professor Robert M. Townsend, Massachusetts Institute of Technology centered his discussion on the fundamental economics of Central Bank Digital Currencies outdoing technology applications labeled as distributed consensus protocols, to enhance existing payment infrastructures.

In his presentation, he identified the main motivations for central banks to issue digital money for the public having in mind the potential of optimized payment and financial systems to meet the goals of retail CBDC. In particular, noting that payment systems underpin a wide range of financial, monetary, and real sector activities, thus new technologies need to be carefully studied to find out the best possible design for payments and settlement features of such a relevant infrastructure.

In principle, as payment systems chiefly underpins the current monetary systems, that is supporting the role of money as a medium of exchange and store of value, central banks need to assess the potential role for digital money as it is a retail CBDC. Following with design aspects of such a transformation of money, Prof. Townsend stressed out how relevant is to properly identify the best approach for a central bank to deal with wholesale and retail needs using the same rails of the payments infrastructure, either using new or conventional technologies. And while cryptography and decentralized finance is a promising technology development for financial market infrastructures, an optimized design of a retail CDBC is not necessarily merged with the use of said technologies. Instant fast payments enabled by RTGS systems are a good example of how previous technology can embrace new needs.

As a special note, it was mentioned that as payment systems evolve and central banks take steps toward the possible adoption of retail CBDC, it can be underscored the inherited risks for traditional liquidity saving mechanisms that such developments could represent for the central bank and the financial system’s participants.

Prof. Townsend concluded his lecture by noting that there are important trade-offs around the public-private provision of payments, and Bigtech companies and other similar developments can be a source of concern for the current policy framework for safe, efficient and contestable payment systems.


Session 1. The role of payment and market infrastructures in times of COVID-19

This session was devoted to learn about the response of the payments and financial market infrastructures to support the new economic and social needs in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were two topics driving the discussion in this session. First, how the COVID-19 forced central banks and operators of prominent market infrastructures to re-strategize the functioning of wholesale platforms to cope with unusual high-frequency trading and the implementation of special operations to be settled under extraordinary circumstances. In this respect, it was mentioned by some of the speaker the importance of having adaptable collateral management frameworks to better respond the pandemic with sound risk management practices. Overall, it was underlined the significance of having both resilient market infrastructures and a capable RTGS to support liquidity needs and interbank activity during the first weeks after the Great Lockdown.

Second, the panel paid great attention to learn about the effort of central banks to coordinate and get operable the emergency and relief programs for vulnerable households and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. A clear example of this is the Sand Dollar Project led by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, that have proved to manage the challenges of such an unusual environment, to keep providing an ecosystem for the continued adoption and greater use of the CBDC in times of the pandemic.

It was concluded that the COVID-19 crisis took central banks and payment systems and market infrastructures to the next level of testing their resilience and ability to remain purposeful platforms for the financial system and the entire economy.  


Special talk. “The international agenda for payments and market infrastructures”

The Head of CPMI Secretariat, Dr. Tara Rice, presented a snapshot of how the pandemic accelerated recent trends in the use of retail payment services and the functioning of financial market infrastructures.
The Head of the CPMI Secretariat showed that one of the most relevant challenges for financial market infrastructures relates to operational capacity to ensure availability and the utmost importance of managing properly communications and incidents, during the confinement. It was pointed out that stress for CCP stemming from significant increases in trading and post-trading requires preparedness, more specifically having capable default management arrangements. This subject is closely connected with the CPMI Strategy to reduce cyber risk in wholesale infrastructures, given the complexity and interconnectedness present in domestic financial systems.

With respect to retail payment services, it was noted that contactless and remote payments have had a sharply rising, especially in advanced economies. While digital platforms keep gaining space worldwide, it becomes necessary to improve coordination and scope of central banks to ensure that new technologies and payments innovation improve financial inclusion without hampering the integrity of the entire ecosystem. Retail CBDC was mentioned as a subject turning more positive from central bank stance to deal with the challenges in the retail domain.

In this special talk, it was also introduced the G20 roadmap to enhance the cross-border payments market, and the role of the CPMI to co-ordinate efforts with central banks globally.


Session 2. Central bank efforts to enhance the retail payments market

This session served to deep dive on relevant efforts by central banks to embrace innovation for the enhancement of the retail payments market, from retail CBDC to fast payments and the introduction of regulatory and oversight measures to catalyze the change in this complex market.
As a one of the key lessons from this session, it was underscored that central banks are becoming more active in the field of payment and market infrastructures, both as operator and agent of change. Its role, however, remains equally important to ensure that payment infrastructures enables a smooth functioning of financial markets.

In particular, it was mentioned how central banks by establishing fast payment schemes and retail CBDC projects are actively leading further interoperability in existing ecosystems, and at the same time such initiatives led by the central bank serve as catalyzers to ensure wider financial access in an each-time more digitalized environment.

Some of the challenges mentioned in the panel correspond to the partnership with incumbent and new entrants to make that the private and public provision of retail payment services obeys to the new needs of the population. For this purpose, an active regulatory and oversight framework is a powerful tool to leverage coordination with the private sector and enhance the public policy goals and mechanisms to achieve the ultimate goal of a safer, more efficient and contestable retail payments market.

Briefing on Cyber Risk

The pandemic underlined the importance of managing the operational risks in payments and market infrastructures. The meeting included a briefing on international and regional initiatives to enhance the cyber resilience in said infrastructures and the responsibilities for central banks.
It was briefly presented recent developments, in a domestic context, on the CPMI Strategy to reduce cyber risk in wholesale payment infrastructures. A special focus on promoting regulations that define clear rules for operators of critical infrastructures, establishing requirements for all the participants of said system, and continuedly review and update said rules and requirements, were mentioned as strategic actions for a central bank to face the challenges of cyber risk. It was also mentioned that a periodic assessment of all the technological infrastructure and detecting how incidents response can be enhanced, are supporting measures to make an effective adoption of the CPMI Strategy.

In this briefing, it was also underlined that payment infrastructures continue and increase its dependence on information technologies, making such infrastructures to be the target of cybercrime. For this reason, it is important that international groups and domestic authorities take actions to prevent and improve the security of the endpoints in a domestic, regional and international scope. Within this, central banks can benefit from the experience of the community. This is the case of the Caribbean Central Banks and the framework set by the European Central Bank to comprise a single unified approach to deal with cyber threats.


Session 3a. Cross-border payments: a central banking perspective.

This session was devoted to learn about the efforts and concerns of the global central banking community around cross-border payments, including the G20 call for a roadmap to enhance this market and the role to be played by Central Bank Digital Currencies and the Global Stablecoins.

It was presented how the CPMI is supporting the G20 roadmap to enhance cross-border payments worldwide, identifying five focus areas which as a whole are useful to set the plan to improve the present situation. These areas entails existing a new payment infrastructures serving for cross-border, the regulatory and supervisory framework necessary to level the playing field in terms of prudential and compliance requirements, and the commitment and coordination at the highest level possible. In particular, it was mentioned that agreeing on cross-border payment service levels is of the essence to establish a common and binding framework on aspects such as data standards, message formats and compliance processes, and thus overcome current challenges related to the path dependence and long transaction chains. In effect, long value chains lead to high costs of capital and weak competition, all of which negatively affect payment speed, cost and transparency. The CPMI framework seeks to make simpler the value chain, lowering current fees schemes and unify multilateral arrangements to reduce liquidity and operation mismatches.

The case of the Eurosystem was spotted as a successful effort to enable cheaper and better cross-border payments, yet new players and technologies are a disruptive factor, even for consolidated retail payments markets. As such, Bigtech companies are already testing the market with different approaches to serve the cross-border payments market. To face the challenges, coordination, communication and diversifications were mentioned as ingredients to establish a global policy for Bigtechs and Global Stablecoins. From a payments infrastructure angle, this entails a regulatory framework based on principles of same risks, same rules.


Session 3b. Cross-border payments in perspective: the industry view

This session served as forum to discuss how conventional and innovative approaches can bridge the gap in the cross-border payments market. The session focused on the market failures and the opportunities ahead.

First, it was mentioned that some of the most relevant pain points of the cross-border payments market relates to low rate of straight-through-processing in payments, an incongruity of clearing and settlement operational set up, and a complex mechanism to meet anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws in each jurisdiction. Second, it was mentioned that frontier technology could bring answers but the issue goes beyond gaps in technology.

The discussion in the panel unveiled the need for the entire industry to better understand the needs of small businesses and households who bear the cost of sending money overseas with significant frictions. Moreover, it was also underlined the importance of relying on existing infrastructures to leapfrog a new ecosystem best prepared to cope with hiccups like the decline of the correspondent banking relationships in several emerging market economies, including many of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The discussion also helped to learn that the financial literacy and the weaknesses of certain sovereign currencies could pose major risks to the confidence in traditional monetary systems and thus central banks need to provide a timely and forceful response to the changing landscape for cross-border payments.

It was concluded that removing frictions to end-users is critical and implies, at the very least, improving the speed, costs and reliability of sending money out of the borders. And, this is ultimately a coordination task for all the industry and the global community.


Wednesday, September 30

Opening speech: The new economics of payments
Dr. Manuel Ramos-Francia, Director General, CEMLA

Keynote lecture. “Optimized Payment and Financial Infrastructure under New Technologies: the Case of Central Bank Digital Currency, (CBDC)”
Professor Robert M. Townsend, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Moderated by Serafín Martínez Jaramillo, CEMLA

Session 1. The role of payment and market infrastructures in times of COVID-19
This session will be devoted to learn about the response of the payments and financial market infrastructures to support the new economic and social needs in times of the COVID-19 pandemic

Moderated by Raúl Morales Reséndiz, CEMLA


Thursday, October 1

Special talk. “The international agenda for payments and market infrastructures”
Tara Rice, Head of Secretariat, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures

Moderated by Raúl Morales Reséndiz, CEMLA

Session 2. Central bank efforts to enhance the retail payments market
This session will spot on relevant efforts by central banks to embrace innovation for the enhancement of the retail payments market, from retail CBDC to regulatory and oversight new approaches.

Moderated by Serafín Martínez Jaramillo, CEMLA


Friday, October 2

Briefing on cyber risk
This session will focus on presenting international and regional initiatives to enhance the cyber resilience of financial market infrastructures and the responsibilities for central banks.

Moderated by Raúl Morales Reséndiz, CEMLA


Session 3a. Cross-border payments: a central banking perspective
This session will be devoted to learn about the efforts and concerns of the global central banking community around cross-border payments, including the G-20 call for a roadmap to enhance this market and the role to be played by Central Bank Digital Currencies and the Global Stablecoins.

Moderated by Serafín Martínez Jaramillo, CEMLA


Session 3b. Cross-border payments in perspective: the industry view
This session will serve as forum to discuss how conventional and innovative approaches can bridge the gap in the cross-border payments market. The session will focus on the market failures and the opportunities ahead.

Moderated by Raúl Morales Reséndiz, CEMLA

  • Ignacio Blanco, SWIFT

  • Christian Catalini, Libra

  • Josiah Hernandez, Satoshi Capital


Next steps
Discussion facilitated by Raúl Morales Reséndiz

Meeting ends



Robert M. Townsend

Robert M. Townsend is the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT. Previously, he was the Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. He is a theorist, macroeconomist, and development economist who analyzes the role and impact of economic organization and financial systems through applied general equilibrium models, contract theory and the use of micro data. He is the author of Financial Structure and Economic Organization (1990), The Medieval Village Economy (1993), Households as Corporate Firms (2010) with Krislert Samphantharak, Financial Systems in Developing Economies (2011), Chronicles from the Field (2013) and numerous professional articles in leading journals. Townsend is an Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Econometric Society.  He was the recipient of the Frisch Medal in 1998, the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize in 2011, and a second Frisch Medal in 2012 for the structural evaluation of a large-scale microfinance program in Thailand. Townsend received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota and his B.A. from Duke University.


Cleopatra B Davis

Cleopatra B Davis, Manager, Banking Department, Central Bank of The Bahamas.

Cleopatra Davis is the Head of Banking, at the Central Bank of The Bahamas. In this role, she has oversight of payments operations, foreign investments, domestic debt market activities, and eSolutions. She serves as co-chair, for a dynamic payments modernization strategic initiative undertaken by the Bank – central bank digital currency (CBDC). She also serves on a number of the Bank’s committees including the Investment Committee and Monetary Policy Committee. Previously she served as the Chief Audit Executive at the Central Bank of The Bahamas from 2009 – 2017.

Ms. Davis obtained a Chartered Banker MBA (MCBI) from Bangor University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and a B.Sc. Electronics Engineering from Herff College of Engineering, University of Memphis. She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), holds a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).  Ms. Davis is a member of the Chartered Banker Institute, UK, and a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Digital Financial Services (DFS) Working Group.


Angelo Duarte

Graduated in Engineering at the Airforce Institute of Technology, he holds the PhD in Economics from Fundação Getulio Vargas School of Economics (EPGE / FGV).
Analyst of the Central Bank of Brazil since 1998, where he was Economic Advisor to the Governor´s Office and is currently Head of the Competition and Financial Market Structure Department. He worked at the Economic Policy Secretariat of the Ministry of Finance and he was also a visiting economist at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) between 2013 and 2016.


Andrés Mauricio Velasco

Currently Chief Officer for Payment Systems and Banking Operation at the Central Bank of Colombia (Banco de la República). Mr. Velasco is a former Deputy Minister of Finance (2017-2018) and a former Macroeconomic Policy Director at the Ministry of Finance (2014-2017). He worked previously at the Central Bank, as Expert Economist of the Research Unit (2011-2014) and as Inflation Staff Member (2003-2007). Economist (2001) and MA in Economics (2002) from Universidad Javeriana, Colombia; and MPhil in Economics (2009) from University of Oxford, UK. He has has been teacher of macroeconomics at several universities in Colombia, and at University of Oxford. He currently teaches introductory macro at Universidad del Rosario, Colombia.


Mario Griffiths

Mario Griffiths, Head Payment System Policy and Development Department, Financial Markets Infrastructure Division, Bank of Jamaica.

He holds a BSc in Business Administration majoring in Finance at the Northern Caribbean University and an MBA in Banking and Finance from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Mario Griffiths is head of Payment System Policy and Development Department, where he is charged with responsibilities for development of policies and operational compliance programs necessary for effective oversight of payment systems, development of system rules and amendments process, overseeing the development and implementation of payment system projects and initiatives, analyze market strategies and technology trends to identify needs for future product development or to improve existing products, and implementing the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures. He also proactively advise on developments and changes in financial technology (Fintech) which impact the NPS.

Mr. Griffiths was instrumental in supporting the implementation of the Electronic Retail Payment Services Guidelines and development of the Fintech Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines. He represents the Financial Markets Infrastructure Division on several committees and working groups, such as the Centre for Latin America Monetary Studies (CEMLA) working groups, Regional Fintech work group, World Bank Expert Group on Fast Payments, BOJ Internal Fintech work group, BOJ Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Steering Committee and Technical Team and BOJ Financial System Stability work group. 

In 2016, Mr. Griffiths was seconded to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) where he was assigned to the Monetary and Economic Department, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI) where he supported:

  • the working group on digital innovations in developing the analytical framework for distributed ledger technology in payment, clearing and settlement systems;

  • the Implementation Monitoring Steering Group (IMSG) on the Level-2 PFMI implementation for Singapore;

  • the task force on wholesale payments fraud to reduce risks related to end-point security: and

  • the updating of the methodology of statistics on payments and market infrastructures in CPMI countries also known as the Red Book among other tasks.


Tara Rice

Tara Rice is head of the secretariat supporting the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, the international standard setter for payment, clearing, settlement and related arrangements. Previously, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Financial Stability and Regulation at the US Department of Treasury. She also worked for nearly 15 years in the Federal Reserve System, most recently as Chief of the Global Financial Institutions section and as a visiting member of the Financial Stability Board in Basel. In 2012, she received the Fed's Special Achievement Award for outstanding contributions towards the objectives and mission of the Fed. She holds a PhD in finance from Boston College.


Manuel Miguel Ángel Díaz Díaz

Miguel Díaz is General Director of Payment Systems and Market infrastructures at Bank of Mexico. An economist trained at the University of Chicago specialized in the financial sector and with experience directing and executing large scale technology projects. His responsibilities include the development, operation, analysis, and regulation of financial market infrastructures. Some examples of the projects completed are: i) the expansion of Mexico’s largest payment infrastructure to operate fast small-value payments in a 24/7 capacity and the creation and implementation of a request to pay functionality (CoDi), ii) the development of a dollar-denominated real-time payment system for transactions within Mexico (SPID), iii) the strengthening of Anti Money Laundering/Counter Terrorism Financing efforts through the creation of information-sharing infrastructure, iv) the generation of rules that allowed for the entry of new participants in the card payment market, v) the application of the G20 accords for the reduction of risks in the over the counter derivatives market in Mexico, vi) the regulation that opened the market to e-money issuers (previously the service was not permitted). Before this he directed Strategic Planning at the Bank, was a direct senior advisor to the Governor and the Board of Governors, and previously he worked at the economic research department on subjects related to macro-financial analysis, monetary policy, and financial stability. 


Scott Hendry

Scott Hendry was appointed Senior Special Director of Financial Technology (FinTech) in the Funds Management and Banking Department of the Bank of Canada in June 2016. In this role, he oversees the Bank’s efforts to monitor and research developments and implications of new technologies affecting the financial sector. This includes serving as the business lead on the Bank’s central bank digital currency research program. He previously held the role of Director of Research in the Funds Management and Banking Department and, before that, for the Financial Markets Department.

Mr. Hendry’s personal research has focused on central bank digital currency, electronic money, price discovery in the Canadian government bond market, and central bank communication. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.


Kirstin Wells

Kirstin Wells is an Economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. Kirstin’s career has been focused on regulatory and policy analysis of financial market infrastructures including large-value and retail payment systems and derivatives clearing houses, both at the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Kirstin’s publications include papers on the emergence of faster payments worldwide and governance arrangements for retail payment systems.  Most recently, Kirstin worked on the policy analysis related to the Board’s decision to offer a new interbank settlement service for instant payments. Kirstin also spent time in the private sector, leading payment strategy at Wachovia Corporation and risk management policy at the Options Clearing Corporation. Kirstin received her doctorate in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina Charlotte.


Milton Vega Bernal

Milton Vega, Deputy Manager of Payments and Financial Infrastructures, Central Bank of Peru.

Mr. Vega studied economics at the University of Lima (1979) and holds two Master Degrees: Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (1984), and Public Administration at Harvard University (1991). In addition, he has participated in several international courses and seminars.

Mr. Vega has been Deputy Manager of Payment Systems at the Central Bank since March 2008. He is in charge of the regulation and supervision of payment systems and services and the administration of the Gross Settlement System in Real Time in Peru and the Central Bank Securities Settlement System, among other functions. He participated in the team that drafted the Law on Payment and Securities Settlement Systems and the Electronic Money Law and he has been a speaker in various seminars and courses and published several papers focused on payment systems in Peru.


Pablo García Arabéhéty

Manager of Payment Systems, Central Bank of Argentina.

Pablo is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires where he studied Political Science and Business Administration, and also holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

He has worked at the intersection of payments and international development for more than 10 years across Latin America, Africa, and South Asia. He has collaborated with multiple research and implementation projects for international organizations such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations Development Program, as well as for Fintech start-ups and SMEs. Between 2015 and 2017 he functioned as CGAP’s Regional Representative for Latin America.

Pablo has published numerous articles about payments, development and financial inclusion and is a regular lecturer on these topics.


César Arian Ortega Arias, Banco de México

Head of the Assistant Manager of Business Continuity and Participant Manager of Payment Systems and Market infrastructures since 2018.
Business Information Security Officer (BISO) of Payment Systems in Banco de México since 2018.

He joined Banco de México in 2005. He spent many years working as a system administrator of Payment Systems participating in the design and support the Public Key Infrastructure developed and administrated by Banco de México.

He also lead a supervisory team for Banco de México related with cybersecurity and operational risk requirements on payment systems.

He participated in the design of the cybersecurity and risk operational requirements in the regulations for participants of Payment Systems.


Kristel de Nobrega

Kristel de Nobrega is Manager Information Security at the Centrale Bank van Aruba.

Next to the responsibility of securing the Central Banks’ Information systems, her department is also responsible for IT supervision.

The Centrale Bank van Aruba has published its Technology Risk Management Policy Paper, as guidance to start with IT on sites in 2020.

Kristel is the chair of the CGBS’ (Caribbean Group of Banking Supervisors) Cyber Risk Technical Working Group.

Additionally, the Centrale Bank van Aruba forms part of the National Cyber Security Task Force in charge of setting up the national cyber response.
Kristel holds a Master’s degree in Information Management, IT –Auditing, and is a Certified Fraud Control Manager. Currently she is pursuing her PhD in Cyber Defense.

She has extensive experience in various industries, namely healthcare, consulting and banking.


Thomas Lammer

Thomas Lammer is a Member of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) Secretariat at the Bank for International Settlements and is responsible for work related to cross-border payments and financial inclusion. Prior to joining the CPMI Secretariat he worked for more than eight years at the European Central Bank, where he had different roles, such as Secretary of the Eurosystem’s Market Infrastructures and Payments Committee and most recently Principal Market Infrastructure Expert, leading the team on payment instrument, schemes and arrangements oversight. During his three years as Senior Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank Group, Thomas worked on global financial inclusion initiatives and contributed to payment system reforms in a variety of countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. In 2008 he was a visiting expert at Banca d’Italia. He started his career at Oesterreichische Nationalbank in 2001, where he was project manager for the implementation of payment infrastructures. Thomas has published a number of books, reports and articles on payments.


Juan Ayuso

Juan Ayuso, Director General Operations, Markets and Payment Systems, Banco de España.

Juan Ayuso joined Banco de España in 1990 as Economist in the Directorate General of Economics, Statistics and Research. In 2007 he was appointed as Director of the Department of Monetary and Financial Studies in this DG and member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the ESCB. In 2015 he moved to the DG Operations, Markets and Payment Systems as Director of the Department of Market Operations and was appointed as member of the Market Operations Committee of the ESCB. In January 2017 he was promoted to his current position as Director General. Juan Ayuso holds a Ph. D. in Economics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Master in Economics and Finance from CEMFI. He has worked mainly in the fields of finance and monetary economics. He is also member of the BIS Markets Committee and the BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures.


Ignacio Blanco

Ignacio Blanco is the Head of Latin America & Caribbean at SWIFT. In this role, Ignacio is responsible for SWIFT’s commercial organization in the Latin America & Caribbean region, including the relationship with SWIFT’s Global Key Accounts who conduct business in the region. Ignacio was previously responsible for managing strategic relationships with key clients in North America and for SWIFT’s strategic vision and thought leadership on payments in that region. 

Prior to joining SWIFT in June 2016, Ignacio was VP Network Products for FIS, overseeing the development and management of products and solutions for the NYCE and PayNet networks of FIS. Prior to his role at FIS, Ignacio worked for both Mastercard and Visa. While at Mastercard, Ignacio was VP Product Management, responsible for defining the Debit strategy in the U.S. as well as developing new products and solutions; during his tenure at Visa, Ignacio was a member of Visa Inc.’s Consulting Services leading consulting engagements with financial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean region. 

Ignacio began his career in the payments industry with MBNA Corporation, spending his first years with the company in Spain building MBNA’s business in that country. Ignacio moved to the U.S. in 2005 with responsibilities at MBNA America that included growing the multicultural segment with focus on both Credit and Debit products. 

Ignacio holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Universidad Argentina de la Empresa, and an M.B.A. from University of Phoenix.

About SWIFT SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern. SWIFT’s strategic five year plan, SWIFT2020, challenges SWIFT to continue investing in the security, reliability and growth of its core messaging platform, while making additional investments in existing services and delivering new and innovative solutions.

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.

For further information about SWIFT, visit www.swift.com  or follow us on Twitter: @swiftcommunity and LinkedIn: SWIFT.


Christian Catalini

Christian Catalini is the Chief Economist of the Libra Association, and a co-creator of Libra. He is currently on leave from his role as Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he founded the MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab and designed the MIT Digital Currency Research Study. He is also a Faculty Research Fellow in the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Christian's research focuses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, and he previously worked on the economics of equity crowdfunding and startup growth, and the economics of scientific collaboration. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management), and MSc (summa cum laude) in Economics and Management of New Technologies from Bocconi University, Milan.


Josiah Hernandez
Josiah Hernandez is a FinTech entrepreneur as well as global thought leader and expert on central bank digital currency, bitcoin, and financial market structure; releasing research frequently reviewed by senior leaders at the IMF and numerous central banks. His work and expertise has been cited in mainstream publications such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, International Business Times, and The Hill.

He is a bitcoin early adopter with extensive experience building institutional & retail digital currency liquidity solutions starting in 2013. He currently serves as the CEO of Satoshi Capital Advisors, an advisory firm that works with central banks, governments, and industry leading corporations on digital transformation, fintech, and growth initiatives. He was previous the business development lead at an institutional Wall Street based, HFT focused digital currency exchange acquired in 2016, and subsequently strategy lead at a large retail bitcoin brokerage firm.