Jersey Finance Insight Day: Digital assets

Our second preview for the school students’ event on 9 March looks at trading in financial markets with a crypto execution trading professional 
by Lauren Johnson, CISI copywriter 

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Sessions on the day

•  A day in the life: working in the Jersey finance sector
•  Impact investing as a fund manager
•  Digital assets: a new breed
•  Speed networking with practitioners
•  Interactive portfolio construction game
•  Greenwashing and transition companies
•  Global mobility of labour markets in a digital age

Those in years 11, 12, and 13 can sign up by speaking to their careers teacher.

For more information please email Leigh Hanna at

Our first preview of the Insight Day on 9 March provides some context around the day and what it involves, and outlines some key points from a planned session on greenwashing and transition companies. 

Our second preview provides a brief outline of what to expect from a session on digital assets. Steven Blackburn, a crypto execution trader at Elwood Technologies, will talk to school students about these, with a particular focus on crypto assets.  Evolution and trust

Digital assets are electronic files or entities that exist in digital format and are accompanied by usage rights. They are always developing, with new cases constantly cropping up. An example of this is cryptocurrencies which are, according to our previous article on ‘The cryptocraze’, a “decentralised digital asset that is secured by encryption”. ‘Decentralised’ in this context refers to control and decision-making spread over a network rather than with a centralised entity.

Steven’s presentation will provide a whistle-stop tour of the evolution of digital assets and aspects of trading with it. It will look at cases of how these financial instruments are currently used and what they might look like in the future. 
Steven has benefited from knowing that other options were available for him at the start of his career without the need for a degree

He has become convinced of the ability of digital assets “to create efficiencies while removing trust”. He explains that he is referring to the trust that we place in financial institutions, like banks, to handle our assets. Decentralised networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, replace this trust with “hard code” where no single counterparty is in control. “The trust is in the code,” he says. He explains further that efficiencies can come from ‘smart contracts’ – “pieces of code which help automate processes, removing the need for intermediary businesses and as a result become more cost-effective and efficient". 
Session speaker Steven Blackburn - 250Steven Blackburn
Steven has ten years of experience in foreign exchange sales, working in world-renowned banks including Santander, HSBC, and RBS International. During this time he has helped clients understand and manage risks associated with foreign currency. Currently, he works in the crypto market where he consults clients in private wealth, hedge funds, asset managers, and more. He will give the students more detail about what his day-to-day work involves. 

In this business, Steven says it is important to gain an understanding of the markets and to observe the interconnection between asset classes like stocks, real estate, and currencies. It is crucial to remain inquisitive to keep up, he says, because, in crypto, “there's a saying that years are like dog years because everything moves so fast!” 

After completing his A-levels, Steven deferred his sports and exercise science degree placement at university to work in finance, starting as a private banking assistant at Santander in 2010. He has benefited from knowing that other options were available for him at the start of his career without the need for a degree. “There is a broad range of skills required to support Jersey's financial services sector and so knowing what roles are out there could help shape students' future career paths,” he says. 

If you would like to deep dive into digital assets, Steven recommends reading whitepapers to understand projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, or using YouTube to learn about the ecosystem. This will help you get a better idea of the current standing of some digital assets.

Looking at the finance sector more broadly, Steven hopes to see innovation going forward to match the fast-evolving nature of digital. “Financial services need to embrace technological advancements to create efficiencies in their product offering and services,” he says.  

Upcoming previews

Our speakers agree that they would have appreciated an event like this when they were at school. Our final preview of the day will look at wealth management and investment portfolios.

We would like to thank SG Kleinwort Hambros Bank Limited, Jersey branch for sponsoring this event.

Published: 03 Mar 2023
  • Fintech
  • Training, Competence and Culture
  • Jersey finance insight day
  • Jersey
  • digital assets
  • crypto

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