I’m delighted to announce that I am chairing Money:Tech, a new conference next February in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. I’m partnering with the estimable Tim O’Reilly and the fine folks at O’Reilly Media, which is really about bringing together Tim’s deep cross-industry technology savvy and O’Reilly’s renowned conference-delivery chops.
Oh yes — and the subject? One near and dear to my heart: the confluence of money and technology (hence the name).
The timing feels perfect. While the financial industry has always been tightly intertwined with technology, that relationship has never been more filled with challenges and opportunities, as recent headlines about exploding “quant” funds demonstrate. Hedge funds, unbeknownst to most people, are actually now havens for geeks and software sorts, with all the consequences you might expect, from Moore’s Law’s power, to the potential for catastrophic system failures.
Granted, the tech/money relationship is not a new one. In Wall Street’s early days, people made money by being the first to get access to information via early adoption of the telegraph. Now, however money is software, with traders and physical money more properly thought of as as bits on a network.
And what does that make hedge fund managers? It makes them Wall Street’s hackers — technology-fueled usurpers of the financial status quo.
We are thinking deeply about this subject, and want to meet other people doing the same. Here are just some of the things we’re thinking about: the democratization of realtime, the rise of prosumer consumer finance, how trading is becoming increasingly peer-to-peer, how latency issues like the speed-of-light are becoming gating factors in the next generation of money technology.
We are particularly interested in financial data. With current fund managers over-exploiting the same sources of trading data, where will alpha come from in the future? With it be weather data? Data from Edgar filings? From the web? Or from social networks? Where are the entrepreneurial opportunities in becoming next-generation providers of financial data? Where are the real opportunities at the confluence of money and technology?
These are big and crucial questions, with trillions of dollars at stake, and the timing feels right. We have some great speakers lined up, plus some cool technology, and I’ll be announcing highlights of both over the coming weeks.
Join us next February in New York to talk about all of this. And if you have ideas for speakers, companies, technologies, or topics, send me a note and let meknow.