The future of money is evolving in real time. The emergence of cryptocurrencies, the continued shift to e-commerce and contactless payments during the pandemic and the rise of “buy now, pay later” options are transforming both our economy and how people spend their money. On Thursday, Nov. 18 at 3:00 p.m. ET, Christina Passariello speaks with Affirm CEO Max Levchin and Cornell University professor & author Eswar Prasad about the evolution of the financial industry and implications for payments security.


“I don’t believe we’ve seen anything suggesting that consumers are opting out of shopping while tracking the inflation news.” (Washington Post Live)
“One of the ultimate things we have to decide as a nation is what is our plan and what is our play for creating a digital dollar. I mean, ultimately we want to remain the reserve currency of the world. For that to happen there has to be a true digitization of the dollar.” (Washington Post Live)
“I think the pandemic experience really gave them a sense for just what it’s like to live a very different life inadvertently… There are plenty of people that we talk to that say, ‘You know what, I realized during this year that I’m actually not in the line of work that I want.’” (Washington Post Live)
“The technological platform on which Ethereum is traded is called blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain compared to the Bitcoin blockchain is a lot more efficient in terms of processing transactions and there is going to be an upgrade of that blockchain soon.” (Washington Post Live)
“Bitcoin has become a pure speculative financial asset that people are not using for transactions but holding it because they believe it will increase in value. Now there is a risk here that people are buying into Bitcoin because they’re taken in by the technological razzle dazzle and don’t fully understand the technology because after all, there is nothing backing Bitcoin other than investors faith.” (Washington Post Live)
“Cash certainly gives us privacy in our financial lives and you know we have very little privacy as it is… If we were to give up cash it would mean the last vestiges of financial privacy may be gone.” (Washington Post Live)

Max Levchin

Provided by Affirm.

Max Levchin is the Founder & CEO of Affirm, the payment network that empowers consumers and helps merchants drive growth. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of Glow, a data-driven fertility company. Both companies were created and launched from his San Francisco based innovation lab, HVF (Hard, Valuable, Fun). Max was one of the original co-founders of PayPal, where he served as Chief Technology Officer from its founding until its sale to eBay in 2003. Prior to HVF, Max founded and was CEO of Slide, a personal media-sharing service, which was acquired by Google in 2010. Max also helped create Yelp Inc., a consumer internet company, where he served as Chairman of its Board of Directors from its founding in 2005 until July 2015. He served on the board for Yahoo! Inc., an internet company, from 2012 until 2015. Max was born in Kiev, Ukraine before moving to the United States and settling in Chicago in 1991. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he founded and led four other technology startups.

Eswar Prasad

Provided by Eswar Prasad.

Eswar Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the New Century Chair in International Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was previously chief of the Financial Studies Division in the IMF’s Research Department and, before that, was the head of the IMF’s China Division.

Prasad’s latest book is The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance (Harvard University Press, 2021). He is also the author of Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi (Oxford, 2016) and The Dollar Trap: How the U.S. Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global Finance (Princeton, 2014). Prasad has testified before the Senate Finance Committee, the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is the creator of the Brookings-Financial Times world economy index (TIGER: Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery). His op-ed articles have appeared in the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Content from Visa

The following content is produced and paid for by a Washington Post Live event sponsor. The Washington Post newsroom is not involved in the production of this content.

(Washington Post Live)

“Artificial Intelligence in Digital Payments: Balancing Innovation, Security, and Equity”

In a segment sponsored by Visa, Melissa McSherry, SVP and Global Head of Data, Security, and Identity Products will discuss how payment networks like Visa are working to maximize the potential of artificial intelligence in service of a more secure and equitable global payments ecosystem.

Melissa McSherry

Provided by Visa.

Melissa McSherry joined Visa in 2016. The Global Data, Security and Identity Products team serves Visa clients and partners globally with products to drive higher authorizations, lower fraud, more customer engagement, better underwriting, and greater marketing ROI. The team is especially focused on making insights responsibly available where and when our clients need it, through APIs, web applications, and execution engines, and providing easy to use applications that leverage the scope and power of the Visa network.

Prior to Visa, Ms. McSherry spent 12 years at Capital One where she managed Subprime Acquisitions, Decision Sciences, and Marketing and Credit for cobrand and private label partnerships. While at Capital One, her teams delivered 3x growth in internet originations and loan growth from $30M to $25Bn through partnerships. Prior to Capital One, she was a Vice President of Product Marketing at a technology start up. Ms. McSherry has spoken internationally on data science in business applications and women in data science and technology. She holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Harvard.

Moderated by Ruth Umoh

Ruth Umoh is the Editor-in-Chief of The Filament, the definitive news source for DEI leaders in tech. A veteran business journalist, she previously served as Forbes’ Diversity and Inclusion Editor and was a CNBC reporter covering leadership strategy, corporate management, and personal finance prior. She’s a graduate of the University of Maryland and received a master’s degree from Columbia University.