ToDeFi: Torino Decentralized Finance Conference

Grant Name

ToDeFi: Torino Decentralized Finance Conference

Proposal Summary

We would like to organize a new international conference purely dedicated to topics within decentralized finance partially sponsored by Zcash. We strongly believe that frontier research involving DeFi platforms will become more and more important. However, currently the academic community is not offering sufficient events for the exchange and discussion of ideas related to the DeFi subject.

Therefore, we are planning a one-day conference in early 2023 hosted by the Collegio Carlo Alberto and the University of Turin, which aims to promote the highest level and up-to-date research in DeFi within the academic community. Speakers and discussants are selected among the world’s most innovative junior researchers and established scholars. One presentation slot is devoted to the PhD candidate for the best paper in DeFi. The winner of this slot will receive a discussion during the conference and will be awarded a prize.

We are planning to include 6-7 paper sessions (30min presentations + 15min discussions + 5min Q&A) into the conference program covering for example topics such as DEX (AMM), Yield Farming (Staking, Lending, Liquidity Provision), Tokenization, NTFs, and Cryptocurrencies. Our goal is to provide a setting that produces the kind of in-depth participation of a small conference but including a large audience. Currently, we are planning for an in-person conference (with an online option for additional non-presenting and non-discussing audiences). We also plan to invite students from our Master’s in Finance Program (from the Collegio Carlo Alberto and the University of Turin) to participate in the event. To maximize the visibility and outreach for your foundation and ecosystem, we would appreciate having a guest presentation from one of your members on a DeFi-related topic during the conference.

The Collegio Carlo Alberto is a well-experienced institution in the organization of academic events. We successfully host the yearly LTI conferences, which cover topics related to the long-term finance. For fall 2022, we will host the 5th Asset Pricing Conference. Long-Term Investors (LTI) is a think tank established as a joint initiative of some of the major Italian market players in long-term financing and the University of Turin, which is hosted by the Collegio Carlo Alberto.

The grant would allow us to host and organize the described one-day conference in early 2023. The Collegio Carlo Alberto and the University of Turin will host the conference.

To our knowledge, there are almost no academic research conferences covering solely DeFi topics in Europe (at most, major conferences offer a single session covering cryptocurrencies). Our proposed conference created and offered by established academic researchers, would facilitate the research activity within the DeFi subject and allow the interaction of several researchers worldwide.

Beyond the conference organization, we are potentially open to discuss about a deeper cooperation with your company. In particular, the Collegio Carlo Alberto hosts a postgraduate Master’s in finance, insurance, and risk management (Mafirm), which is a small high-quality program that exists for more than 20 years. The program appears in several international rankings (e.g., 1st in Italy, 6th in Europe, and 25th worldwide in the quantitative finance masters’ ranking by and has established regular partnerships with a few local players in the financial industry (partnerships concern, e.g., visibility and promotion, career day and placement, events organization, and student scholarships). The students attending our master lectures are excellent but more importantly, really motivated.

Benefits for your Foundation and Ecosystem

You would sponsor a high-level academic research conference on the DeFi subject and hence gain visibility among the academic community, students, and participants. We will promote the event online on various channels. The promotion of your logo on all the communication tools related to the conference (including the website, the playbills and posters, the social channels, and any other ad-hoc material) is self-evident. We could for example award the best paper award for the PhD candidate on behalf of Zcash or name a conference session after Zcash.

To maximize the visibility and outreach for your foundation and ecosystem, we also plan to invite students from our Master’s in Finance Program (from the Collegio Carlo Alberto and the University of Turin) to participate the event. We would appreciate having a guest presentation from one of your members on a DeFi related topic during the conference.


Grant Timeline:

  • Design the conference program:
    • Select up-to-date topics in the DeFi subject.
    • Select speakers and discussants among established international researchers.
  • Preparing a webpage of the event for the sake of visibility.
  • Advertise the event on various platforms and social channels.
  • Organize the event: venue, hotel, social dinner.

Funding Request

We estimate to have total costs for the conference of about 7.000-9.500€ covering travel, accommodation, catering, and social dinner for approximately 15 invited international speakers and discussants. Any amount of sponsorship or donation would be beneficial for us since we are trying to request funding from different funding sources.

Budget Breakdown

  • Travel: 3.000€ - 4.000€
  • Hotel: 2.000€ - 3.000€
  • Catering & Social Dinner: 1.500€-2.000€
  • Promotion: 500€
  • PhD Price: typically, around 500€ but the price can anything (for example tokens, delegation rights for your DAO or company, or any other ``non-cash prize”)

About us

My name is Lorenzo Schoenleber, I am an Assistant Professor at the Collegio Carlo Alberto & University of Turin in Italy. My area of interest is asset pricing, especially within the area of option-implied information, asset management, and decentralized finance (DeFi). I obtained my Ph.D. in Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in 2020. I earned my B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the University of Mannheim where I studied Business Mathematics. I am currently working on two DeFi projects dealing with (i) Yield Farming and (ii) Tokenization (in the spirit of the recent article by Cong, Li, Wang – Tokenomics: Dynamic Adoption and Valuation, published in the Review of Financial Studies, 2021).

The conference will be organized jointly with Roberto Marfè, who is tenured Professor of Finance at the Collegio Carlo Alberto & University of Turin. Roberto obtained a Ph.D. in Finance at the University of Lausanne and Swiss Finance Institute. Roberto’s research concerns macro-finance, asset pricing, and derivatives and has been published in top finance journals, such as the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Review of Finance.

The Collegio Carlo Alberto is a private institution, located in the city of Turin. The institution was created in 2004 as a joint initiative of the Compagnia di San Paolo and the University of Turin. The mission of the Collegio Carlo Alberto is to promote international academic research, high-level education, and scientific outreach in the social sciences, with a particular focus on Economics and Finance.

Additional Links


Hey @LorenzoSchoenleber :wave: Thanks for the grant submission!

We’re looking forward to checking it out and discussing it.


Dear @BrunchTime,

thanks for your response. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best Regards

@LorenzoSchoenleber & Zcash Community members, I am pleased to announce that the @ZcashGrants Committee has voted unanimously to pledge $2,500 to sponsor the ToDeFi Conference. Per your conversation with the committee, payment is contingent on you receiving other sources of funding for the conference and the conference being formally scheduled. The committee will work with you to determine how ZCG should be promoted during the event. Thanks!

1 Like

Dear Zcash community,

we are currently searching for a Zcash representative who is willing to represent Zcash during our conference in Turin (19th of April 2023).

Besides academic presentations in the DeFi area, we are planning to have a Q&A for students about career perspectives and eventually a Roundtable. In the Q&A for students a 10min presentation slot about Zcash and their career opportunities is devoted.

Lunch and the conference dinner for the Zcash representative will be paid with the funds we collected. Travel and accommodation are not covered by us, but we can provide access to cheaper hotel rates via our internal booking system.

Interested community members can write me an Email (

Best Regards