What Bitcoin Means for El Salvador


Tuesday, March 29, 2022, 5:30pm to 7:00pm

This event is virtual, to register click here.

Speakers: Christian Catalini, Founder of the MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab, Research Scientist at MIT; Nelson Rauda Zablah, Salvadoran journalist at El Faro
Moderated by: Laura Alfaro, Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration

Christian Catalini is a co-creator of Diem (formerly Libra), and the Chief Economist of the Diem Association. Christian is the founder of the MIT Cryptoeconomics Lab, and a Research Scientist at MIT. While a Professor at MIT, Christian designed the MIT Digital Currency Research Study. In 2018, Christian was appointed as 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. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, WIRED, NPR, Forbes, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, VICE news and the Washington Post among others. Christian has presented his work at a variety of institutions including Harvard University, MIT, Yale University, London Business School, New York University, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, the Federal Reserve Bank, the US Treasury, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the World Bank, the IMF, the White House OSTP, and a number of central banks and regulators.

Nelson Rauda Zablah is a Salvadoran journalist since 2013. He works for El Faro, Central America’s first online-only newsmagazine. He specializes in judiciary and political coverage and his work has been featured in BBC, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and The Economist. Since 2021, he has covered the implementation of the Bitcoin Law in El Salvador.

Laura Alfaro is the Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration. At Harvard Business School since 1999, she is also a Faculty Research Associate in the NBER International Finance and Macroeconomics Program and the International Trade and Investment Program, CEPR IFM program, member of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Economic Advisory Board, the Latin-American Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF), Faculty Associate at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and member of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies’ (DRCLAS) policy committee, among others. She served as Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy in Costa Rica from 2010-2012, taking a leave from HBS. In 2008, she was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Professor Alfaro is the author of multiple articles published in leading academic journals such as the American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of International Economics, and of Harvard Business School cases related to the field of international economics and in particular international capital flows, foreign direct investment, sovereign debt, trade, and emerging markets. Professor Alfaro has taught in General Management Program, the Program for Leadership Development, and in other executive education offerings as well the first year and second year of the MBA program and the doctoral program. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, at Los Angeles (UCLA), where she was recipient of the Dissertation Fellowship award. She received a B.A in economics with honors from the Universidad de Costa Rica and a 'Licenciatura' from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile where she graduated with highest honors. She was awarded a Francisco Marroquin Foundation scholarship.