MASIC Annual Investment Forum 2022 has ended

Digital Currencies:
The Road Ahead

In August 2008, as world leaders grappled with the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression, the domain name was registered on the internet. Two months later, a paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” appeared online, and heralded the meteoric rise of not only Bitcoin, but also the concept of digital currencies (money that exist only in electronic form).


Nadine Hani

Anchor for Al Arabiya News Channel

H.E. Dr. Fahad bin Abdullah Almubarak

Governor, Saudi Central Bank

H.E. Dr. Reza Baqir

Governor, State Bank of Pakistan

Dr. Nouriel Roubini

Professor of Economics, New York University’s Stern School of Business

Alex Tapscott

Globally Recognized Writer, Speaker, Investor and Advisor

Forum Program



08:00 am

Registration and welcoming

09:00 am

Forum Opening

Verses from the Holy Quran

Opening Speech by MASIC Vice Chairman, Nasser M. Alsubeaei

09:10 am

Keynote Speech

H.E. Dr. Fahad bin Abdullah Almubarak

09:30 am

Program Overview

Nadine Hani

9:40 am

Presentation by

H.E. Dr. Reza Baqir

10:10 am

Q & A

10:20 am

Presentation by

Alex Tapscott

10:50 am

Q & A

11:00 am

Presentation by

Dr. Nouriel Roubini

11:30 am

Q & A

11:40 am

Panel Discussion

12:40 pm

Closing Remarks by MASIC CEO, Hani Halawani 

12:45 pm

Presenting the winners of the “Mohammad Ibrahim Alsubeaei Award for Entrepreneurs” (Esameyoon)

01:15 pm

Prayer Time and Lunch

02:00 pm

End of Forum


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Digital Currencies: The Road Ahead

MASIC Annual Investment Forum 2022

In August 2008, as world leaders grappled with the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression, the domain name was registered on the internet. Two months later, a paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” appeared online, and heralded the meteoric rise of not only Bitcoin, but also the concept of digital currencies (money that exist only in electronic form).

Today, the growing significance of digital currencies is challenging the traditional financial system for consumers and companies alike. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and thousands of others, are created and managed through the use of advanced encryption techniques known as cryptography and use a decentralized system which records transactions in a distributed ledger called a blockchain. In 2021, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies crossed $2 trillion as governments, multinational corporations, and mainstream investors and family offices started to either establish, accept or invest in cryptocurrencies. However, this rapid growth has given rise to concerns that a speculative cryptocurrency bubble may be about to burst, as well as further scrutiny of their environmental impact.

Governments, meanwhile, have responded by exploring the establishment of central bank digital currencies (CBDC), which would exist alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than seeking to replacing them. In late 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched Project Aber in conjunction with the UAE to explore the feasibility of a cross-border digital currency. In April 2020, China become the first major economy to launch a CBDC pilot, with the People’s Bank of China conducting real-world trials for its “digital yuan”. Research from the Bank for International Settlements states that 80% of central banks are engaging with CBDC initiatives, with 50% already progressing an experimental or pilot phase.

The 2022 MASIC Annual Investment Forum will be held during a period of significant global technological disruption – as the rise of digitalization, big data and advanced computing capacities creates a new era for financial services. The 2022 Forum theme, entitled “Digital Currencies: The Road Ahead”, will explore what future holds for digital currencies and how investors should respond to this relatively new and multi-faceted phenomenon. As the international adoption of digital currencies gathers pace, the Forum’s globally renowned and expert speakers will cover the emerging opportunities and benefits that accompany digital currencies, while also exploring the eminent risks and threats that they pose for governments, regulators, financial services institutions, investors, and our wider monetary system.

Nadine Hani

Anchor for Al Arabiya News Channel

Since she joined Al Arabiya in 2005, Nadine Hani presents and co-produces the financial news programs “Al Aswaq Al Arabiya”, the highest rated business news shows on Arab TV.

Nadine Hani interviewed some of the most influential decision makers in the Arab business world, and internationally, including former U.S. secretaries of the treasury Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson, Chairman, President and CEO of JP Morgan Jamie Dimon, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group David Rubenstein, Chairman of Kingdom Holding company H.H. Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and current and former Saudi ministers of finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan and Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf.

She also reported live from the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) and has done investigative reports from major Arab cities especially Riyadh, KSA. Nadine covered and reported from major international events and conferences, including the IMF and World Bank annual meetings and the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings in Davos since 2008. Nadine moderated high profile conferences such as panels at the World Economic Forum and Saudi Public Investment Fund events.

Previously she worked as a Private banking consultant for 2 international banks in Lebanon, ABN AMRO Bank and BNP Paribas, advising high net worth individuals on investment alternatives.

A Procter & Gamble scholarship winner, Nadine graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Fahad bin Abdullah Almubarak

Governor, Saudi Central Bank

Fahad bin Abdullah Almubarak holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, a Master’s degree in Accounting and Taxation, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). He also received a Doctorate of Business Administration in Operation and Production from the University of Houston, USA. 

Almubarak has held several positions, including General Manager of Rana Investment Company, from 1992 to 1999. Between 2003 and 2011, he served as a Chairman of the Saudi Stock Exchange Tadawul. He was then appointed as Governor of Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) -currently the Saudi Central Bank- during the period 2011 – 2016. In the following couple of years, Almubarak served at the Royal Court as an Advisor. Between December 2018 and January 2021, He served as Saudi Arabia’s G20 Sherpa and Minister of State and Member of the Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers. More recently, the Royal Decree was issued to reappoint Fahad Almubarak as Governor of the Saudi Central Bank. Last but not least, Almubarak is the Chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Permanent Committee (AMLPC). Furthermore, Dr. Fahad Almubarak has been appointed to chair the Standing Committee on Standards Implementation at the Financial Stability Board.

Almubarak has served in many capacities and has held a number of memberships, including Member of the Shura Council from 1999 to 2005, and Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2011.  He was also a member of the Board of Directors of SABIC, Board of Directors of the National Industrialization Company (Tasnee), Board of Directors of the Saudi Telecom Company and Mobily and Board of Directors of Saudi Hollandi Bank.

Reza Baqir

Governor, State Bank of Pakistan

Dr. Reza Baqirwas appointed as the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan by the President of Pakistan on May 4, 2019, for a period of 3 years from the day he assumes the office of the Governor. He assumed his responsibilities on May 5, 2019.

In addition to his regular responsibilities overseeing financial and monetary stability in the country and promoting sustainable economic growth, Governor Baqir has led several key new initiatives at the State Bank since assuming office. These include an aggressive, targeted, and timely economic support package in response to COVID-19; creation of the Roshan Digital Account initiative to digitally onboard Pakistan’s diaspora into Pakistan’s banking system and provide incentives to use formal channels to remit and invest in Pakistan; launch and implementation of the National Payments Strategy to promote the digitization of financial services in Pakistan including a faster payment system Raast; creation of a comprehensive program to promote construction and housing finance especially for low income segments of society; development of a dedicated policy to reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion called Banking on Equality, as well as several other initiatives.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Baqir had eighteen years of experience with the IMF and two years of experience with the World Bank. He was the Head of the IMF’s Office in Egypt and Senior Resident Representative since August 2017. He has also held positions as IMF’s Mission Chief for Romania and Bulgaria, Division Chief of the IMF’s Debt Policy Division, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, overseeing IMF’s work on debt relief and sovereign debt restructuring, head of the IMF delegation to the Paris Club for four years, and Deputy Division Chief of the Emerging Markets Division overseeing IMF’s loans and policies in emerging markets, amongst other roles.

Dr. Baqir is an ex-officio member of several international organizations. He represents the State Bank of Pakistan on the Board of Directors of the Asian Clearing Union, the Board of Governors of the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade and Development Bank, the Council of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the Financial Stability Regional Consultative Group for Asia, and the IMF’s Board of Governors. He has been appointed as Chairman of the General Assembly of the prestigious Islamic Financial Services Board for 2022. Dr. Baqir’s views on global and national economic issues have been aired frequently by in international media outlets including CNN, Bloomberg, and CNBC.

Dr. Baqir’s academic research has been published in top journals of the economics profession, including the Journal of Political Economy and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Dr. Baqir holds a Ph.Dd in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and an A.B. (Magna cum Laude) in Economics from Harvard University.

Nouriel Roubini

Professor of Economics, New York University’s Stern School of Business

Nouriel Roubini is a Professor of Economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is also CEO of Roubini Macro Associates, LLC, a global macroeconomic consultancy firm in New York, as well as Co-Founder of Rosa & Roubini Associates based out of London. At a 2006 address to the International Monetary Fund, Roubini warned of the impending recession due to the credit and housing market bubble. His predictions of these upside-down balance sheets became a reality in 2008, with the bubble bursting and reverberating around the world into a global financial crisis – a recession we’re only recently rebounding from after a decade climb.

Dr. Roubini has extensive policy experience as well as broad academic credentials. He was Co-Founder and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics from 2005 to 2016 – a firm whose website was named one of the best economics web resources by BusinessWeek, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. From 1998 to 2000, he served as the senior economist for international affairs on the White House Council of Economic Advisors and then the senior advisor to the undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department, helping to resolve the Asian and global financial crises, among other issues. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and numerous other prominent public and private institutions have drawn upon his consulting expertise.

He has published numerous theoretical, empirical and policy papers on international macroeconomic issues and co-authored the books Political Cycles:  Theory and Evidence (MIT Press, 1997) and Bailouts or Bail-ins? Responding to Financial Crises in Emerging Markets (Institute for International Economics, 2004) and Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance (Penguin Press, 2010). Dr. Roubini’s views on global economic issues are widely cited by the media, and he is a frequent commentator on 

various business news programs. He has been the subject of extended profiles in the New 

York Times Magazine and other leading current-affairs publications. The Financial Times has also provided extensive coverage of Dr. Roubini’s perspectives. 

Dr. Roubini received an undergraduate degree at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, and a doctorate in economics at Harvard University. Prior to joining Stern, he was on the faculty of Yale University’s department of economics.

Alex Tapscott

Globally recognized writer, speaker, investor and advisor

Alex Tapscott is a globally recognized writer, speaker, investor and advisor focused on the impact of emerging technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, on business, society and government. 

He is the co-author (with Don Tapscott) of the critically acclaimed non-fiction best-seller, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World, which has been translated into 16 languages. His TedX San Francisco talk: Blockchain is Eating Wall Street has been viewed over 600,000 times. Alex’s newest book, Financial Services Revolution: How Block-chain Is Transforming Money, Markets, and Banking, offers readers a startling view of how blockchain technology will transform the financial industry. It reveals how blockchain can create a token-based incentive system that aligns the interests of participants in large-scale initiatives, as well as the rewiring of global payment networks and innovative financing methods such as initial coin offerings to fund infrastructure development. 

In 2017, Alex co-founded (with Don Tapscott) the Blockchain Research Institute, a multi-million-dollar think-tank that is investigating blockchain strategies, opportunities and use-cases. In November of 2017, Alex and Don Tapscott were recognized with the Digital Thinking Award from Thinkers50, as part of their Distinguished Achievement Awards. On June 12th, 2018, Alex Tapscott and Don Tapscott released a New Edition of Blockchain Revolution with over 25,000 words of new material on crypto assets, smart-contracts, digital identity and more. Alex is a graduate of Amherst College (cum laude). He lives in Toronto, Canada.

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