Conference Announcement and Call for Papers The 5th Annual Cambridge Conference on Alternative Finance

Conference date

29 Jun 2020


University of Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), England, United Kingdom


Conference Announcement and Call for Papers
The 5th Annual Cambridge Conference on Alternative Finance

29 June 2020, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, University of Cambridge, England, UK

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance with the support of the CME Group Foundation and Invesco is hosting the 5th annual conference on alternative finance on 29 June 2020 at University of Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS).

RESEARCH PAPERS: Alternative finance is defined as instruments, channels, or systems of finance that emerge outside of the regulated banking system. It makes use of technological innovations, such as alternative currencies, disintermediated business models and lending mechanisms to change the way finance has been carried out traditionally. Other terms that have been used to describe it include disruptive finance, distributed finance, fintech, or disintermediated finance. This new era of financial innovation with its characteristics of transparency, speed and convenience has changed the way people, businesses and institutions perform financial transactions, invest in assets, approach potential financing sources and operate. The evolution of this area has been widely covered in the media and is playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses and individuals access the funds they need.

This small boutique conference solicits papers from all areas of the social sciences that will shed light on this emerging area.

TOPICS: Topics include but are not limited to:
- Historical perspectives - Throughout history there have always been instruments and channels of finance operating outside of a formal, regulated banking and capital markets system, and this activity has often been a source of financial innovation. Are there parallels between historical and current forms of alternative finance?
- Business models - Different types of alternative finance models and how they solve asymmetric information problems in businesses, industries, or countries
- Governance models - How alternative finance institutions affect corporate governance or financial policy
- Trust and reputation - The evolution of trust and reputation for platforms
- Crowdfunding and capital formation for early stage firms
- Network and social effects affecting platform adoption
- Alternative analytics and new forms of data
- Privacy concerns, security, and risks with distributed financing
- Alternative currencies, Exchange tradeable digital assets, Collateralised coins, Digital cryptocurrencies or digital merchant tokens, Sovereign backed issuance
- Machine learning, AI, and other predictive technologies
- Blockchains, Distributed ledger technologies, Digital Autonomous Organisations, Smart contracting, Internet of things
- Regulatory implications of the spread of alternative technologies

FORMAT: The conference will open on Monday June 29 at the Cambridge Judge Business School, with morning refreshments followed by a full day of paper presentations (including lunch and afternoon refreshments). The day's events will be followed by a cocktail reception and dinner at Trinity College (founded in 1546). Trinity alumni include six British prime ministers, physicists Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, the poet Lord Byron, historians Lord Macaulay, G. M. Trevelyan and E.H. Carr, philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, and Soviet spies Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, and Anthony Blunt.

Cam Harvey, Duke University

Raghavendra Rau, University of Cambridge

- Abstract and paper submission deadline 31 March 2020
- Notification of acceptance: End April 2020
- Final paper submission deadline: Early June 2020
- Academic Conference: 29 June 2020

Interested authors are kindly invited to submit their papers to by 31 March, 2020 using the subject heading - Conference on Alternative Finance submission. Complete papers will receive priority.

FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information about the conference and logistics, please contact

ABOUT THE CAMBRIDGE CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE FINANCE (CCAF): The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) was founded in January 2015 and has established itself as a world-class research group within the University of Cambridge. The CCAF is dedicated to the study of new and innovative financial instruments, channels and systems that have emerged outside of the traditional banking and capital markets. We term this as alternative finance but other terms that have been used to describe it include disruptive finance, distributed finance, or disintermediated finance. Examples include crowdsourcing, cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and credit analysis using social data.

You can read more about the CCAF, and obtain copies of all its research and latest benchmarking reports via