November 2022

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Online Via Zoom


Unbanking the Banked: Is the World of Finance on the Verge of Disruption?

The Conversation Series

Alex Tabarrok

Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Co-founder, Marginal Revolution University

Sankarshan Basu

Dean, Amrut Mody School of Management
Ahmedabad University

The financial system of the world revolves around traditional institutions such as banks, stock markets, and regulatory authorities. These institutions keep the wheels of the economy in motion. This architecture provides core financial services and achieves regulatory goals such as tax reporting, anti-money-laundering laws, and consumer financial protection. This system is being challenged. Decentralised finance (DeFi) proposes replacing the central gatekeepers, by empowering decentralised participants, using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, to manage financial transactions. DeFi aims to democratise finance by replacing legacy, centralised institutions with peer-to-peer relationships. This has raised concerns from several countries, especially India, regarding the legitimacy of DeFi.

Is decentralised finance a legitimate system that provides a level playing field? Can the financial system survive without regulations? What will be the future of DeFi and its impact on the world economy?

Our speaker is an economist and the co-author of a popular economics blog, Marginal Revolution. He will explain how the new world of decentralised finance works. He will also argue why it is or isn’t essential to learn about these peer-to-peer transactions and their impact on the economy.


Alex Tabarrok

Professor Alex Tabarrok holds the Bartley J Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center and is a professor of economics at George Mason University. He is a research fellow with the Mercatus Center. Professor Tabarrok is also the co-founder of Marginal Revolution University: An Online Platform for Learning Economics. He is the author/editor of several books, including Modern Principles of Economics. He is also a consultant and advisor to firms, especially but not exclusively in the blockchain space, including LBRY, Wireline and Elrond, and TEAL, among others. 


Sankarshan Basu

Professor Sankarshan Basu is Dean, Amrut Mody School of Management, with vast experience in finance and treasury. He holds a PhD in Statistics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. He has been actively involved in various consulting and training projects across multiple domains like banks (e.g. State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Vijaya Bank, and Federal Bank), insurance companies (e.g. ING Vysya Life Insurance), stock exchanges (Bombay Stock Exchange), and various governmental agencies (e.g. Indian Revenue Service and Indian Foreign Service) as well as other corporate entities. He currently serves on the board of The Federal Bank Ltd., as Director, PRMIA, since 2020 and has been a founder member and Secretary of the Indian Finance Association since 2015.