The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Davos Needs to Wake Up to the Ills of Centralization: Cryptocurrency Expert Michael Casey for CoinDesk

World leaders and dignitaries from every sphere of influence will gather in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. Topics to be discussed range from climate change to political polarization—but are the elite guests missing the point? In Michael Casey’s latest article for CoinDesk, he makes a compelling argument that today’s most important issues are being overlooked. 

“The disintermediating, fragmenting and decentralizing impact of the internet has made the 21st century’s political and economic structure profoundly different from the previous one,” writes Michael Casey. “But the Baby Boomers who run our governments and companies still tend to apply 20th century assumptions about centralized money and power. They fail to see how our outdated political and economic institutions are out of touch with this new reality, and how that explains society’s ever-waning trust in them. It’s a myopia that also means they often fail to recognize, much less understand, the alternative decentralized models quietly emerging from the developers building cryptocurrency, blockchain and digital identity technologies.”

From rumors of China launching its own digital currency, and the impact that will have on the “dollar-centric” global economy, to the culminating fears around digital privacy and disinformation, there are many issues that are either poorly understood by the Davos crowd, or worse, being completely ignored.


Read the full article here.


To book speaker Michael Casey for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, his exclusive speakers bureau.

Amber Baldet Visits The Verge to Discuss What Blockchain Can Do For us

Cryptocurrency expert Amber Baldet joins Vox Media’s The Verge for an insightful conversation on where cryptocurrency is going, Facebook’s potential in the game, and how blockchain can dismantle skepticism and renew trust when it comes to sharing our data online.  

Money is one fantastic and useful application of blockchain technology, and it has the potential to change our lives. In recent years, there has been a push towards cashless in societies, says Amber Baldet, who points out that several Scandanadvian countries are nearly entirely cashless already. Thirty years ago it might have been considered illegal not to accept cash as tender, but now it’s a possibility for any business. “Now, you can definitely go to a bistro, and they will say ‘We’re cashless’ or your farmers market where you buy asparagus for five bucks, they’d rather you use Square. And what does that mean? It means that every financial transaction, every time you buy something, you are actually asking a third-party service, ‘Is it okay that I do this?’ And you don’t really have insight into how many different providers are part of that yes or no decision that happens so quickly.”

There are plenty of reasons why we expect financial privacy, from health insurance payouts to political donations, says Baldet. “We can’t really look at ‘If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you don’t need privacy.’ It really is privacy from whom in what context. And that context is changing all the time. So what might be fine for you today might not necessarily be fine for you tomorrow, and might definitely not be fine for a vulnerable population that struggles to be financially included day-to-day anyway.”


Listen to the full conversation here.


To book speaker Amber Baldet for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a skilled representative.

A Free Market Requires Free Will: Michael Casey Discusses Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Celebrated author, journalist, and entrepreneur Michael Casey joins Demetri Kofinas on Hidden Forces to discuss how a loss of faith in our financial institutions—and the rise Surveillance Capitalism—act as a driving force in the remaking of the modern world. 

Michael Casey first reviewed Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism for Coindesk, writing  that the book would be a “defining text of the age.” A meditation on the growing ability of corporations to predict and control human behavior, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism was recently longlisted for a McKinsey Business Book of the Year.


Casey revisits Zuboff’s book in his conversation with technology entrepreneur Demetri Kofinas: “It’s not only about how we are having our data extracted from an analytic perspective, but then [how it’s] being turned back on us,” Casey says, explaining why it initially captured his interest. What are the economic implications of such a system? Casey dives deeper. “A free market requires […] free will,” he says. The idea of surveillance capitalism suggests “we would actually be diminishing [free will] and effectively becoming a part of the machine.”


Casey and Kofinas go on to discuss how surveillance capitalism affects cryptocurrency, why our trust in central banks has waned, and the potential for blockchain technology to achieve social impact goals. You can listen to their full conversation, here.


To book speakers Michael Casey or Shoshana Zuboff, contact The Lavin Agency today, their exclusive speakers bureau.

Amber Baldet Reveals Why She Left JP Morgan to Start Her Own Blockchain Startup

Once a blockchain program lead for America’s largest bank, Amber Baldet left Wall Street to start her own business. She joins entrepreneur and bitcoin advocate Charlie Shrem on the Untold Stories podcast to explain her decision, and discuss where the cryptocurrency movement is going today.  

“I knew what banking was when I went into it, but I was interested in the power structures and how this stuff really worked,” Amber Baldet says. “I didn’t think at the time that going to work for a startup and being on the other side of the wall was actually going to help me be disruptive.”


After a while, Baldet discovered that she wasn’t able to do a lot of the research and development work she wanted to do.  “A lot of the work that needs to be done to make these systems really usable at production scale, you can’t do that from inside a financial institution. I mean, they’re a publicly traded company. Their mandate is to increase value for shareholders,” she explains.


With a desire to do more of the technical work, Baldet switched tacks and started Clovyr, a blockchain startup “working on creating an infrastructure and coordination developer tooling.”


You can listen to the full conversation here.


To book speaker Amber Baldet for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency today.

What a Currency War Means for Bitcoin: Michael Casey Explains in CoinDesk

With the global economy in crisis, bitcoin should be in a position to prove itself as an asset immune to political effects. Michael Casey explores how the currency war might affect it in his latest article for CoinDesk

Something may or may not come out of Trump’s decision to label China a “currency manipulator,” but it’s simply a background of what’s to come. “The problem is the global political economic environment doesn’t build confidence that politicians will act rationally. Facts and multilateral institutions’ views carry less weight in an era when major Western nations are retreating from the neo-liberal norms of the nineties and aughts. So, don’t be surprised if we see even more extreme market turmoil over currency war risk in the near future,” Michael Casey warns.

With digital properties that resemble those of gold, bitcoin could be an alternative to the centralized control of banks and the effects of political turmoil. “Regardless of your own beliefs, a sufficiently large number of […] people now believe bitcoin to be the best way to hedge against political-economic turmoil in the global financial system.”


You can read the full article here.


Interested in booking speaker Michael Casey for your next speaking event? Contact a sales representative at The Lavin Agency for more information.

Blockchain Start-Up CEO Amber Baldet Weighs in on the Future of Bitcoin for Fortune

What is the future of bitcoin? That is the question that Fortune posed to seven CEOs and one COO at their most recent Brainstorm Finance Conference. Lavin Speaker and Blockchain CEO Amber Baldet weighed in on the question.  

Fortune’s Brainstorm Finance Conference gathered notable finance executives in Montauk to discuss big ideas in the financial world, including how emerging technology will affect traditional institutions and banks. The conversation surrounding the future of cryptocurrency was especially rich and timely.


A former blockchain executive at JP Morgan, Amber Baldet now runs her own blockchain start-up called Clovyr. Her answer to Fortune’s question was optimistic for the longevity and staying power of the digital currency. She said, “[Bitcoin] technology is out in the wild and is being learned from and modified and, in some incarnation, the problems that it solves and the things people need from it will stick around.”


To book Blockchain Speaker Amber Baldet for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today.

Blockchain Expert Michael Casey Reveals the Biggest Problem Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Faces

Facebook’s potential Bitcoin rival Libra faces the same centralization vs. decentralization debate that plagued cryptocurrencies before it. Michael Casey, the Senior Advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, explores the competing interests in a new op-ed. 

The tension between law enforcement and cryptocurrency developers is hinged upon privacy. While regulators are demanding more user-identifying information, crypto developers are hoping to create something akin to electronic cash: allowing users more autonomy, privacy, and self-custody. Facebook’s Libra is caught in the cross-hairs of this debate.


“In many respects, this contradiction is not a function of Facebook’s involvement in this project or Libra’s structure per se but of competing public interests,” explains Michael Casey. “We can’t have our cake and eat it too. We can’t simultaneously insist on absolute privacy and the power to intervene in transactions to catch bad guys laundering money.”


Casey’s article, which you can read in full here, discusses the economic impact of sharing our private information. His hope is that we can develop better tools for curbing crimewithout relying on people’s personal infomation.


To book Michael Casey or another Blockchain Speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today.  

Top Blockchain Speakers Michael Casey and Amber Baldet Are Building the Future of Finance

A decentralized means of record-keeping, blockchain has revolutionized digital ownership in the twenty-first century. The benefits of the technology range from preventing human fallibility and corruption, to guarding our data against cyber attacks. Lavin speakers Michael Casey and Amber Baldet stand at the frontier of the blockchain revolution: developing, charting, and implementing the future of finance, one digital link at a time. 

The analog institutions of the twentieth century are no match for the digital revolutionand as a result, our faith in them is waning. Finance expert Michael Casey believes the path to rebuilding trust is through a decentralized system. An MIT Media Lab advisor and notable blockchain speaker, Casey presents an attractive alternative to our current infrastructure using software and algorithms.


Michael Casey  - Senior Advisor for Blockchain Opportunities, MIT


With precision and transparency, blockchain speaker Amber Baldet has a knack for demystifying a traditionally foggy subject. A former blockchain program lead at JP morgan, Baldet is now the CEO of Clovyra startup striving to make the technology useful and valuable for everyone. Named one of the New York Time’s “People Leading the Blockchain Revolution,” Baldet’s talks invigorate crowds to action by bridging the gap between corporate and hacker audiences.


Public Blockchain is Changing the Trust Model | Amber Baldet


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