It was just last month that Rakuten made headlines with the opening of its Rakuten Blockchain Lab, in Belfast, UK – a move that sparked speculation about how the company might one day deploy a potentially revolutionary technology in the financial sector.

Interest is booming right now in all kinds of fintech, including Blockchain – and Rakuten’s involvement extends beyond that of investor and developer to facilitator, too. On September 28 the company hosts its second annual Rakuten FinTech Conference in Tokyo – an event that last year attracted 1,000 people and this year will welcome more than double that number.

Across 14 sessions held over two stages, the conference will feature more than 40 of the biggest names and brightest lights in fintech: founders, entrepreneurs, developers, researchers and journalists. Handpicked from Japan and around the world, the speakers will share their experiences and thoughts on topics such as blockchain, robo-advisory, big data, online lending, next-generation tech and regulatory reform.

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, who will participate in the conference’s wrap-up session, said he hopes the event will provide “fresh insight and lively discussion on how the environment surrounding finance is likely to change in the future with the innovations that fintech delivers.”

Freshness and enthusiasm will be a given at the conference, considering the youth and diversity of the speaker line-up – which in turn is a reflection of the sector itself.

Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Managing Partner of the Rakuten FinTech Fund, who will moderate two of the conference panels, explained that while the financial sector tends to require a high level of industry knowledge, a generation of younger industry newcomers is managing to “figure out disruptive approaches that could change the way the industry or elements of the industry will operate in the future.”

Miel also pointed to the presence of three inspiring women among the conference panelists as evidence of diversity in the sector. “The financial industry has traditionally been dominated by men, but if you look at some of the preeminent figures leading part of the fintech innovation now it suggests things may well change in the future,” Miel said.

Either way, one thing is certain: the fintech revolution is real and it is already impacting many countries around the world, including Japan. But where will it lead us? Just how will it improve our lives? At Rakuten FinTech Conference 2016, we hear from the people in a position to shed light on the answers to these questions: the people who are leading the revolution.

Below you’ll find a full list of conference sessions and speakers, and remember, if you’re unable to attend the event in person, be sure to tune into the live-streams from each of the two stages and follow Rakuten.Today for live tweets and session reports.

Rakuten FinTech Conference 2016 Program

  • Fintech creating new Economy in Japan
    • Takatoshi Ito, Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University / Senior Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
  • Technology Evolutions
    • Stephen McNamara, Rakuten Blockchain Lab, CTO
    • Vladyslav Yatsenko, Revolut, CTO
    • Fernando Paulo, Rakuten, Inc., Executive Officer/General Manager, Ecosystem Services Dept. (Moderator)
  • Innovation in Fintech
    • Freddy Dominguez, ComparaGuru.com, Co-Founder
    • Alain Falys, Yoyo Wallet, Co-Founder and CEO
    • Margaret J. Hartigan, Marstone, Founder & CEO
    • Leanne Kemp, Everledger, Founder & CEO
    • Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Rakuten FinTech Fund, Managing Partner and Executive Officer (Moderator)
  • Tencent’s Disruptive Financial Service
    • Ling Tang, Tencent, Assistant GM of Strategy Development
  • Can Robo Advisory Change the World of Asset Management?
    • Eli Broverman, Betterment, President and Co-Founder
    • Walter Cruttenden, Acorns, Co-Founder & Chairman
    • Nobuhiko Masaki, Rakuten Securities, Inc., Department Manager, Investment Management Business Unit, Asset Solution Division
    • Shaun Port, Nutmeg, CIO
    • Ryushi Watanabe, Thomson Reuters, Head of Market Development-Japan (Moderator)
  • Asian Fintech Innovations
    • Ryota Hayashi, Finatext, CEO/Co-Founder
    • Satyen V Kothari, Cube, Founder, CEO
    • Daniel Tu, Ping An Group, Group Chief Innovation Officer
    • Sumant Mandal, March Capital, Partner (Moderator)
  • Data Based Lending – A Revolution?
    • Alexander Graubner-Müller, Kreditech, Founder/CEO
    • Paul Gu, Upstart, Co-Founder
    • James Gutierrez, Insikt, CEO & Co-Founder (Oportun, Founder)
    • Koichiro Isami, Rakuten Card Co., Ltd, Executive Officer/Dept. Manager, Business Loan Promotion Department
    • Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Rakuten FinTech Fund, Managing Partner and Executive Officer (Moderator)
  • New Era of the Financial Institutions Under the Blockchain Revolutions
    • Nicolas Cary, Blockchain.info, Co-Founder
    • John McDonnell, Uphold Merchant Services, CEO
    • Yukio Noguchi, Economist / Waseda University, Adviser of the Center of Finance Research / Professor Emeritus at Hitotsubashi University
    • Kenji Saito, BlockchainHub Inc., CSO (Moderator)
  • Leading in Digital
    • Jorn Lambert, Mastercard, Executive Vice-President, Digital Payments & Labs – Channels and Regions
  • Samurai Bitcoin Players to Open Up New Era
    • Yuzo Kano, bitFlyer, Inc., CEO/Japan Blockchain Association, Chairman
    • Mike Kayamori, Quoine, Co-Founder, CEO
    • Koichiro Wada, ResuPress, Inc., CEO/Japan Blockchain Association, Manager
    • Takashi Hara, Nikkei Business Publications, Chief Editor of Nikkei FinTech (Moderator)
  • Fintech Regulations: What Should Be Regulated?
    • Benjamin Duranske, CCOBOX, Co-Founder, CEO
    • Norio Sato, FSA, Director, Planning Division, Planning and Coordination Bureau
    • Tom Theobald, Luxembourg For Finance, Deputy CEO
    • Masakazu Masujima, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Parter, Attorney at Law admitted in Japan and New York (Moderator)
  • Money Transfer to the World- Faster, Cheaper, and Easier
    • Scott Galit, Payoneer, CEO
    • Michael Kent, Azimo, Founder and CEO
    • Michael Laven, Currencycloud, CEO
    • Bundeep Singh Rangar, Rangar Capital Management, Managing Partner (Moderator)
  • Changing Finance, Life and Society by Big Data
    • Jose Garcia Moreno-Torres, Kreditech CDO
    • Masaya Mori, Rakuten, Inc., Executive Officer / Rakuten Institute of Technology, Global Head / Japan Institute of Information Technology, Secretary
    • Katsuaki Sato, Metaps, Inc., CEO & Founder
    • Takuya Kitagawa, Rakuten, Inc., Executive Officer / Director, Data Intelligence Supervisory Dept. (Moderator)
  • Wrap-up Session – Fintech Revolution Changes Japan and the World
    • Joichi Ito, MIT Media Lab, Director
    • Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten, Inc., Chairman & CEO
    • Waichi Sekiguchi, Nikkei Inc, Editorial Board Member and Nikkei Asian Review Editorial Board Member (Moderator)