Capital Markets Series: Cryptocurrency

Institutionalization of Cryptocurrencies: Real or Just Another Fad
Please note that this event will be through Zoom. Login information will be provided in the reminder email closer to the event.
Hosted by: Education Advisory Group

Bitcoin and alt coins have been all the rage in 2020-2021 much like they were in 2017 and early 2018. What is different this time? The possibility that institutional investors are getting involved and making Bitcoin a permanent part of their investable universe. Is this a fundamental change or is this a passing fad? Join us for our next Capital Markets Series event where we'll look at the developments in the cryptocurrency market and portfolio construction across asset classes.
Matt Hougan – Chief Investment Officer, Bitwise Asset Management
Tim McCourt – Managing Director and Head of Equity Products, CME Group
Robbie Mitchnick, CFA – Head of DLT & Digital Assets, Blackrock

Moderator: Lyric Hughes Hale - Editor-in-Chief, EconVue


Members - FREE  
Nonmembers - $20
(member pricing underwritten by CFA Society Chicago)

*Limited Sponsorships available. Please contact Kim Augustyn at

CFA Institute Qualified Activity: Eligible for 1 credit hour

Registration: Online  
Zoom login information will be provided in the reminder email closer to the event. Registration closes at 5:00 PM on May 12, 2021.

This event is Part VI of our Capital Markets Series. Did you miss the previous CFA Society Chicago’s Capital Markets Series events? You can watch the replay on the Society's website or YouTube channel, or read the recaps on the CFA Society Chicago Blog!

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT: Program 
Please log in a few minutes early to test your video and internet connections.

*Distribution of presentation slides is at the discretion of the speaker and may not be available for this event


Matt Hougan
is one of the world’s leading experts on crypto, ETFs, and financial technology. He is the chief investment officer for Bitwise Asset Management, the world’s largest provider of cryptocurrency index funds, with more than $1 billion in assets under management. He was previously CEO of and Inside ETFs, where he helped build the world’s first ETF data and analytics system, the leading ETF media site, and the world’s largest ETF conference. 

Hougan is co-author of two publications from the CFA Institute Research Foundation: “A Comprehensive Guide to Exchange-Traded Funds” and “Cryptoassets: The Guide to Bitcoin, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies for Professional Investors.” He is a crypto columnist for Forbes, a three-time member of the Barron’s ETF Roundtable, a member of the ETFdb’s ETF Hall of Fame, and recently received a  Lifetime Achievement Award from for contributions to the ETF industry.

Hougan sits on the board of directors for Equbot, creator of the first AI-driven ETFs (in partnership with IBM Watson), and is a strategic advisor to multiple crypto- and financial advisor-related startups, including Blockworks, Stratifi, Advisor Circle, and Exchange.

Tim McCourt 
serves as CME Group’s Managing Director and Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products. He is responsible for leading the development and execution of the company’s global Equity Index, Commodity Index and Cryptocurrency product strategies. He serves on the CME Ventures Investment Committee and the S&P Dow Jones Indices U.S. Advisory Panel.  

Before joining CME Group in 2013, McCourt worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland, where he was responsible for building and managing the Americas Index and Delta One trading book. Prior to RBS, he held a senior trading role with JPMorgan in New York, spending 10 years with the Equity Derivatives Group.  

McCourt holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston College and an MBA from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Robbie Mitchnick, CFA, 
serves as the head of DLT & Digital Assets for BlackRock. He is a member of the BRS-COO Exec team. Mitchnick is responsible for driving BlackRock's distributed ledger technology strategy (also referred to as "DLT" or blockchain), including working with internal business units to develop and execute on strategic initiatives involving blockchain, and engaging with clients on issues related to blockchain, bitcoin, and other digital assets. He chairs the firm's Blockchain Steering Committee.

Prior to joining BlackRock, Mitchnick spent time at CPP Investment Board in Public Markets and Private Investments, and at Ripple. During his time at Ripple, Robbie co-authored 'A Fundamental Valuation Framework for Cryptoassets' along with John Bates Clark medal winner Susan Athey.
Mitchnick has BA and BCOM degrees from Queen's University, and an MBA from Stanford, where he graduated as the Robichek Award winner in Finance and an Arjay Miller Scholar. He holds a Blockchain Technologies certification from MIT Sloan, and is a CFA charterholder.


Lyric Hughes Hale is editor-in-chief of EconVue, a publisher of online economic news and analysis by independent experts. She is producer of the Hale Report, a Chicago-based podcast series on economics with featured guests from around the world. A consultant to multinational corporations, she has contributed to a range of publications including the Yale Books Blog, the Huffington Post, the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Current History and Institutional Investor. "China Takes Off", published in Foreign Affairs in 2003 and written jointly with her husband David Hale, is one of the most oft-cited surveys of China’s economic ascendency. Their book, "What’s Next? Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy" was published by Yale University Press.

A noted speaker, Hale has addressed audiences at the World Economic Forum, the Brookings Institution, the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Tokyo, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, as well as Stanford, Northwestern, Harvard and the University of Chicago. She was founder and publisher of the pathbreaking daily publication China Online from 1998-2003, providing China business news in English on the web. She led a sixty-person bilingual editorial and technical team headquartered in Chicago with operations in China.?Hale bought the rights and produced the first telecast of the Super Bowl in China in 1986, and has worked with major Chinese media since 1980.

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, Hale served as CEO of Hughes International. The company developed market entry strategies and created and managed multilingual print and broadcast campaigns for technology-focused companies such as Hughes Aircraft, Microsoft, Hitachi, Motorola, AT&T, and Apple Computer in Asia. She co-founded Women in International Trade, now a worldwide organization, to help entry-level women pursue global careers.

Hale studied at Northwestern University, and graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in near eastern languages and civilizations. She has studied six languages at the university level. She has lived in Europe, Japan, and Iran, and first went to China in 1979. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The American Economics Association, and The Association for Asian Studies. She is mother to a blended family of five children, and has two grandchildren with musical names.



*Special Notes Regarding Fees
This event is complimentary for members only. Credit card required to guarantee all nonmember reservations. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club are accepted. Registration online is required and closes at 5:00 PM on May 12, 2021. Cancellations for refunds accepted until 5:00 PM, May 10, 2021.

Passport Program

Members of any CFA society may attend at the CFA Society Chicago member rate. Please call the CFA Society Chicago office at 312-251-1301 to register. If you are only a member of CFA Institute, you do not qualify for the Society member rate.

CFA Institute CE Qualified Activity
This program qualifies for credit under the guidelines for the 
CFA Institute Professional Development Program.

5/13/2021 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

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