Grant Application - ToDeFi 2024

Grant Name

ToDeFi 2024: Torino Decentralized Finance Conference - 2024

Proposal Summary

We would like to organize the second edition of the international conference purely dedicated to topics within decentralized finance partially sponsored by 0x. 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. You can find information and the program about last year’s edition here: I would like to emphasize that 0x was the main sponsor of ToDeFi 2023.

Therefore, we are planning a one-day conference in early 2024 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 invite students from our Bachelor and Master programs in Finance, Economics, Statistics and Data Science, and Mathematics (from the Collegio Carlo Alberto and the University of Turin) to participate in the event online and offline. We could therefore outreach to a few thousand students in different disciplines in Turin. 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 2023, we will host the 6th 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 2024. 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 again 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 0x or name a conference session after 0x.

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. In the 2023 edition we also hold a dedicated session about “job opportunities in DeFi” where the sponsors could present the audience and the students their protocol and needs.


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 10.000-13.000€ 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: 4.000€ - 5.000€
  • Hotel: 3.000€ - 4.000€
  • Catering & Social Dinner: 2.500€-3.500€
  • 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 various DeFi projects dealing with (i) Yield Farming and (ii) Impermanent loss.

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 @Aishwary92 does this request fall under the scope of your new program? Further to that, how far away are you from kicking it off?