Pub talk will dive into the tangled world of cryptocurrency


Words like blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrency started infiltrating financial news headlines several years ago, and these days, they’re all the buzz. But for many people, the terms remain a mystery shrouded in a cloud of technical and financial jargon.

UO finance professor Stephen McKeon has become a national expert on the topic. He has appeared on CNBC and in The Wall Street Journal.

On Wednesday, April 25, McKeon will give a free Quack Chats pub talk titled “Blockchain 101: Everything You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency.” The talk begins at 6 p.m. at the Ax Billy Grill & Sports Bar at the Downtown Athletic Club, 999 Willamette St. in Eugene.  

“I will start by introducing the concept for people who aren’t very familiar with it or who might feel intimidated by it, to provide a base level of understanding,” McKeon said. “Most people have heard the terms blockchain and bitcoin at this point. They’ve heard it on the news. They’ve seen how much activity there is around it. This talk will introduce them to the ideas behind the headlines.”

Hear Stephen McKeon give a short primer on blockchain

Trained in finance and technology, McKeon’s research focuses on securities, and mergers and acquisitions. When cryptoassets came on the radar, he knew he’d found his niche.

“Blockchain always seemed like the perfect merger of economics and technology,” McKeon said. “It put me in a very unique position because there are lots of experts in economics and finance, and there are lots of experts in technology, but there are fewer that can see both sides of the coin.”

It’s now become his primary focus. In his talk, McKeon will explain what cryptocurrency is, how it works, who uses it and where it’s headed.

To learn more about upcoming Quack Chats, see the Quack Chats section on Around the O. A general description of Quack Chats and a calendar of additional Quack Chats and associated public events also can be found on the UO’s Quack Chats website.

By Molly Blancett, University Communications