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EPIC Hack Night: Henri Arslanian Provides Vision for Crypto Future

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On October 20, 2021, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted global crypto leader Henri Arslanian. Addressing an overflowing crowd in the auditorium, Arslanian shared his vision for 21st-century financial services and banking, laying out prospects and providing deep insight into the impact of fintech and the latest crypto trends.

Arslanian is PwC Crypto Leader and Partner, the former chairman of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong, and an adjunct professor at the University of Hong Kong, where he teaches the first FinTech graduate course globally. With over 500,000 LinkedIn followers and 40,000 newsletter subscribers, Arslanian is a TEDx and global keynote speaker, as well as a best-selling published author. He is regularly featured in the global media, including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Financial Times.

In his talk to AUA students and faculty, EPIC entrepreneurs, and community attendees, Arslanian focused on the future directions of global finance and its impact on our everyday lives and careers. He stressed that currently, we all live in the most exciting time in the history of money. The speaker emphasized the essential role of cryptocurrency in overcoming the challenges of the traditional financial system by using blockchain to eliminate intermediaries. He asserts that cryptocurrencies are the newest fintech innovation, a revolutionary technology that challenges society’s political and social underpinnings. Arslanian also mentioned the active cryptocurrency ecosystem in Armenia, praising the many young people active in the crypto and blockchain realm.  

Providing an informative background to his talk, Arslanian briefly reviewed the history of money, then informed the audience about the six latest global crypto trends, highlighting that Bitcoin just hit an all-time high price as he was giving his talk. As crypto keeps developing toward worldwide acceptance, more and more countries are addressing its economic, political, and social impact, including Armenia’s Central Bank. 

As Professor Michael Kouchakdjian, director of EPIC, stated in his introduction, “We are very fortunate to have a world-renowned leader of the fast-emerging global fintech industry visiting EPIC and AUA. We always strive to expose our students to world leaders in their fields, to keep them apprised of the latest technology trends and to inspire all of us to participate in the innovations and opportunities of the future.”

Arslanian encouraged universities around the world to offer courses in fintech, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain, acknowledging that he is looking forward to teaching a course in fintech next year at AUA. He praised Armenia’s young generation for its interest and activity in fintech, including many AUA graduates that now work in the industry in Armenia.

His latest book “The Future of Finance: The Impact of FinTech, AI and Crypto on Financial Services” published by Palgrave Macmillan, was ranked as one of Amazon’s global top 10 best-sellers in financial services and was recognized as one of the “Best FinTech Books of All Time” by Bookauthority. The public talk was concluded by him gifting copies to EPIC and the AUA AGBU Papazian Library.

The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) is a platform of the American University of Armenia (AUA) for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and startup venture incubation. EPIC provides an ecosystem for emerging entrepreneurs consisting of first-class facilities and collaborative workspace, programs and events, and a network of mentors, advisors, and investors. EPIC fosters the understanding and application of entrepreneurship in students and faculty at AUA to craft high-impact multidisciplinary ventures.

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