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What is money?

What does the move from paper to data mean?

June 15th in Oslo, Norway

in collaboration

with Mastercard

Together with our partners we make a strong team

A network established to enhance cross-industry collaboration and innovation

Jesse McWaters

Jesse leads Mastercard’s global public policy strategy for digital issues. In this role he advises Mastercard’s senior leadership on emerging digital trends and is responsible for developing thought leadership on how a range of issues, including AI, central bank digital currencies, blockchain, and M2M payments, could impact the strategic, policy, and regulatory landscape of the payments industry over the medium to long term.


Prior to joining Mastercard Jesse served as Financial Innovation Lead at the World Economic Forum where he convened senior financial services executives, fintech founders, and global regulators to explore how emerging technologies are reshaping the global financial ecosystem.


Jesse is a frequent media commentator on fintech, having been featured on CNBC’s Closing Bell, and quoted in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Bloomberg.

Global Head of Digital & Public policy at Mastercard

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Chris Skinner

One of the worlds most known futurist and commentator on the Financial markets, and fintech through his blog, the,  author of the bestselling books Digital BankValueWeb, Digital Human and Doing Digital.


Chris has been voted one of the most influential people in financial technology and has been an advisor to the White House, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.

Chairman of the Board, NFI

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Stay tuned

More speakers will be announced soon!

Quotation mark

When you strip things down to the basics, money and currency is purely what you believe has value as a token that can be exchanged. It could be shells, leather, stones, underwear or just a few bits and bytes of data. If the community believes it works then so be it, it works.

Chris Skinner  |  Chairman of the Board, NFI



Registration at Bjørvika Konferansesenter


Welcome by Iren Tranvåg - CEO at NFI and Inge Kjønnøy - Country Director Norway at Mastercard


Introduction to "What is Money" by Chris Skinner - Author, Speaker, Commentator on The Financial Markets


Lasse Meholm - CEO Finansit and Consultant for the Norwegian Central Bank


Benju Shah - Head of Nordi Centre, BIS Innovation Hub at Bank for International Settlements


Fireseide chat, Chris Skinner and Ger Rottink - CEO at Yorz


Coffee Break


Martin Etheridge - SVP Product Development, Blockchain and Digital Asset Products at Mastercard


Sveinn Valfells - Co-founder and CEO at Monerium, Iceland


Panel Discussion, Moderated by Chris Skinner

  • Stephan Erne - CDO Group Handelsbanken

  • Tom Staavi - Head of Communication at Finance Norway

  • Martin Etheridge - Mastercard, Expert on Crypto and CBDC


Stephan Erne - CDO Group Handelsbanken


Chris Skinner and David Birch discussing "Identity is the new money, why?"


Closing by Chris Skinner

16:30 - 18:30

Tapas and Networking, continuing the discussion about "What is the Future of Money"

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Tom Staavi

Tom Staavi is the head of communication at Finance Norway. Besides that Staavi runs projects with participants from the industry on blockchain, CBDC, cryptocurrencies and the need for a regulatory framework. 


Staavi has got an Executive MBA in technology and innovation of finance from Norwegian School of Economics.


Before joining Finance Norway, Staavi has been a journalist for 25 years. He has been part owner, editor and CEO of the magazine “Dine Penger” and commentator and editorial writer in VG

Head of Communication at Finance Norway

Over the past decade, money has become digital. It began with bitcoin, then Ether, and now we have most banks trialling and issuing digital currencies. The Federal Reserve, ECB and PRC are all issuing digital currencies, and shifting us away from paper cash to data cash. But do we lose something in this process? What does the move from paper to data mean? And how do we see a digital dollar or euro being of value? Who says it's valuable and why? And then, just to add another layer of complexity, why do people think a data file can be worth $70 million? Non-Fungible Tokens are just tokens to online files. How come they're seen as valuable? Wouldn't you rather have a Picasso on your wall? All of these questions about what has value and does not have value are going to be debated in our next NFI meeting.



Bjørvika Konferansesenter,

Dronning Eufemias gate 6A, 0191 Oslo, Norway

David Birch

David G.W Birch is an author, advisor and commentator on digital financial services. He leads 15Mb Ltd (his advisory practice), is Global Ambassador for Consult Hyperion (the secure electronic transactions consultancy that he helped to found), Non-Executive Chairman of Digiseq Ltd, Ambassador for Jersey for Fintech, a member of the Governing Council of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (the London-based think tank) and holds number of board-level advisory roles. 


Before helping to found Consult Hyperion in 1986, he spent several years working as a consultant in Europe, the Far East and North America.

Author, Advisor and Commentator on Digital Financial Services

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Inge Kjønnøy

Inge Kjønnøy head up sales in the Nordic and Baltics region for Mastercard and he also act as the Country Director for Norway.


Inge has 30 years + of experience from the payments industry working with the Norwegian bank DNB and American Express. Prior to Mastercard he held the position as Managing Director of the American Express Branch in Norway.

His education is from Norwegian School of Management

Vice President Fintech & New Sales Nordic & Baltics Country Director Norway

Lasse Meholm

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is a different type of money with a different payment infrastructure and new business models.


Lasse has worked in the finance and securities market since 1986. He has started and sold two FinTech companies before he was engaged by Nordea. After Nordea he was the “head of blockchain and DLT strategy” at DNB. He is now lead DLT & Digital Asset at EY Tax & Law in Oslo.


Lasse have authored a number of best selling books in Norway, the last one called “Bitcoin, blockchain and new smart money” (in Norwegian). He is engaged by Finance Norway (the bank association) to plan how to maneuver in the CBDC, Crypto, tokens, DeFi future space.

CEO at Finansit

Beju Shah

Beju Shah is leading a portfolio of projects on CBDC, Cybersecurity, Next Generation Financial Market Infrastructures and Green Finance.


Before joining the BIS he was Special Advisor for Digital Innovation at the Bank of England, where for almost a decade in a variety of roles, leading digital and data strategies, catalysing innovation including a leading role in the success of its FinTech Accelerator and an industry award for the ‘Best Use of RegTech’ at the 2018 Banking Technology Awards. Beju has a background in Artificial Intelligence.

Head of Nordic Centre, BIS Innovation Hub at Bank for International Settlements – BIS

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Ger Rottink

Serial Entrepreneur, autodidactic / fast learner. Proven Dealmaker, who delivers required results. Team player. 


Experienced in: startups, re-organizations, project management, buy-in / buy-outs, mergers and acquisition of/for international (stock listed ) companies, managing complex legal and political projects.


Analytical mind-set, successful in diagnosing problems and suggesting appropriate remedies that result in practical and timely resolutions.

Experienced in operating successfully in complex political environments.

CEO of Yorz

Martin Etheridge

Martin Etheridge is Senior Vice President for product development in Mastercard’s Digital Assets and Blockchain business. He leads Mastercard’s future product strategy for blockchain and digital assets, including CBDC. 

Prior to joining Mastercard Martin spent more than 20 years in the public sector, holding a variety of Senior Leadership positions in banking and insurance regulation, as well as at the Bank of England. In particular, Martin led the Bank of England’s currency operation, including leading its work on digital currencies between 2014 and 2019.

SVP Product Development, Blockchain and Digital Asset Products, Mastercard

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Stephan Erne

Stephan has more than 20 years of top level industry transformation experience and holds the role as Chief Digital Officer at Handelsbanken since September 2016. He has been with Ericsson for 10 years where he was Director of Strategic Marketing and Networked Society Evangelist.


Prior to his work at Ericsson, Stephan was the Senior Executive Vice President of Strategy and Sales Coordination at T-Systems in Germany, Deutsche Telekom´ s ICT Service Provider unit. Stephan had also served in a variety of roles within Deutsche Telekom including Sales, Executive assistant to the CEO, Strategy and Business Development.


Stephan holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from KTH/Stockholm, Sweden and RWTH/Aachen, Germany and has completed post graduate executive programs at London Business School, Boston University, European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), and Kellogg School of Management.

CDO at Handelsbanken

Sveinn Valfells

Sveinn is a co-founder and the CEO of Monerium, the first company authorized to issue money on blockchains. Prior to Monerium, he served as a founder, investor, advisor, and executive with companies in biotechnology, mobile software, telecom, and venture capital. 


Sveinn first came across Bitcoin in 2011 and has given several talks and interviews about cryptocurrency and blockchains including at Consensus, CoinSummit, the BBC, the Guardian, and Coindesk. His academic background is in physics and management science.

Co-founder and CEO of Monerium, Entrepreneur, Scientist, Investor

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Iren Tranvåg

Iren is a passionate and visionary entrepreneur with more than 25 years of banking / finance industry. Long-term strategic advisor for Nordic banks with emphasis on strengthening strategic position. Iren has been working with international companies who wants to take their concepts to the Nordics.


Her passion is connecting people that wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves and over the years she has built a tremendous Global network through her enthusiasm and engagement for Global collaboration and co-creation.

In 2017, she co-founded NFI and together with a great team NFI soon became the largest cross-sector network in the Nordics working for bringing the Nordics together across industries and borders.

CEO, Nordic Future Innovation

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