School of Law 1 Camino Santa MariaSan Antonio, TX 78228 +1-210-436-3011 School of Lawlogo St. Mary's University
San Antonio's law school

Angela C. Walch

Associate Professor of Law

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2002
  • B.A., with honors, Harvard College, 1998

License to Practice

  • Texas
  • Massachusetts

Specialties and Courses

  • Contracts
  • Contract drafting
  • Corporate planning
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law of Money

Biography

Walch is an Associate Professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law. Her research focuses on money and the law, blockchain technologies, governance of emerging technologies and financial stability. She is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Blockchain Technologies of University College London. She has presented her research at Harvard Law School, University College London and with the Modern Money Network at Columbia Law School, among others. Her work on blockchain technologies has appeared in the NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy and in American Banker.

Walch was nominated for “Blockchain Person of the Year” for 2016 by Crypto Coins News for her work on the governance of blockchain technologies and her influential article in American Banker arguing that the coders and miners of public blockchains should be treated as fiduciaries.

Prior to joining the faculty at St. Mary’s, Walch practiced corporate law at the firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston, for which her practice included venture capital, life sciences and emerging companies work. After Ropes & Gray, she served as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at Harvard University. While at Harvard, she advised on general transactional matters and federal grants for international projects.

Walch also practiced transactional law in London, where she worked in-house for Sainsbury’s (a large British supermarket chain) and served as general counsel for Brand Events, a venture-backed consumer events company that produced premier events (Taste of London, Top Gear Live) around the world.

Publications

Books

  • Open Source Operational Risk: Should Public Blockchains Serve as Financial Market Infrastructures? in Handbook of Digital Banking and Internet Finance: Alternative Finance, Financial Inclusion, Impact Investing and Decentralized Consensus Ledger (Elsevier, David Lee Kuo Chuen and Robert Deng, eds., forthcoming 2017) (solicited contribution). 

Periodicals

  • The Bitcoin Blockchain as Financial Market Infrastructure: A Consideration of Operational Risk, 18 New York University Journal of Legislation & Public Policy 837 (2015). 

  • The Fiduciaries of Public Blockchains (in progress).

  • The Shifting Lexicon of Blockchain Technology: One More Challenge for Regulators (in progress).

  • Communication Problems & Systemic Risk: How Imprecise Language Could Taint System-Wide Decisions on Blockchain Technology (in progress).

Shorter Works

  • Call Blockchain Developers What They Are: Fiduciaries, op-ed in American Banker, August 9, 2016.

  • Blockchain’s Stumbles Take The Romance out of Decentralization; op-ed in Payments Source, August 24, 2016.

Presentations

  • Public Blockchain Governance: Is There a Middle Ground?, Blockchain and the Constitution of a New Financial Order: Legal and Political Challenges, University College London, June 19, 2017 (invited speaker).

  • The Shifting Lexicon of Blockchain Technology: One More Challenge for Regulators, Symposium on The Law of FinTech: Regulating Cryptocurrency, Crowdfunding, Robo-advisors, and Digital Banking, sponsored by Boston University Review of Banking & Financial Law, Boston, MA, February 27, 2017 (solicited contribution).

  • Open Source Operational Risk: Should Public Blockchains Serve as Financial Market Infrastructures?, Silicon Valley Ethereum Meetup, Institute for the Future, Palo Alto, CA, January 27, 2017 (invited speaker).

  • Open Source Operational Risk: Should Public Blockchains Serve as Financial Market Infrastructures?, selected in competitive Call for Papers for Blockchain Protocol Analysis and Security Engineering 2017 Conference (sponsored by Stanford University Cyber Initiative), Stanford, CA, January 26, 2017.

  • Communication Problems & Systemic Risk: How Imprecise Language Could Taint System-Wide Decisions on Blockchain Technology, Association of American Law Schools Annual Faculty Conference, Winner of Call for Papers by Section on Financial Institutions and Consumer Financial Services, San Francisco, CA, January 6, 2017.

  • Discussant, Ferdinando M. Ametrano, Hayek Money: The Cryptocurrency Price Stability Solution, 2nd International Workshop – P2P Financial Systems 2016, University College London, September 9, 2016.

  • The Fiduciaries of Public Blockchains, selected in competitive Call for Papers for 2nd International Workshop – P2P Financial Systems 2016 (sponsored by Bank of England, Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bundesbank, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, LOEWE Center – Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, and University College London Research Centre for Blockchain Technologies), University College London, September 8, 2016.

  • Invited Participant, W3C Workshop – Blockchains and the Web, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA, June 29-30, 2016 (position statement available at https://www.w3.org/2016/04/blockchain-workshop/interest/walch.html, quoted in opening keynote address by Prof. Arvind Narayanan).

  • Guiding Principles for Transnational Regulatory Engagement with Blockchains, roundtable discussion with invited participants sponsored by Center for International Governance Innovation, New York, NY, May 3, 2016.

  • Engaging with International Regulators (moderator), CoinDesk’s Consensus 2016 (prominent blockchain industry conference), New York, NY, May 3, 2016.

  • Blockchains as Infrastructure, International Conference on Contracts (KCON), San Antonio, TX, February 26, 2016.

  • The Hidden Fiduciaries of Public Blockchains, The Federalist Society Annual Faculty Conference, Works-In Progress Presentation, New York, NY, January 9, 2016.

  • The Hidden Fiduciaries of Public Blockchains, Faculty Workshop, Texas A&M University School of Law, Ft. Worth, TX, December 4, 2015.

  • The Bitcoin Blockchain as Financial Market Infrastructure: A Consideration of Operational Risk, Symposia on Payments Machines: Digitalization, Disruption & Reform sponsored by the Modern Money Network, Columbia Law School, New York, NY, November 16, 2015.

  • The Hidden Fiduciaries of Public Blockchains, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston, TX, September 16, 2015.

  • The Hidden Fiduciaries of Public Blockchains, Harvard Business School Club of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, August 4, 2015.

  • The Hidden Fiduciaries of Public Blockchains, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference, New Scholar Program, Boca Raton, FL, July 31, 2015.

  • Invited Discussant, Banking in a Free Society, Faculty Colloquium sponsored by The Federalist Society and the John Templeton Foundation, Annapolis, MD, June 5-6, 2015.

  • Money: Definitions, Institutions, and the Travel of Value Across Borders, Monetary Design in Global Perspective Research Conference, part of the Institute for Global Law and Policy Biannual Conference at Harvard Law School, June 1-2, 2015 (invited participant).

  • Why Bitcoin Fails as Money: An Operational Risk Analysis, Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies, Scottsdale, AZ, May 27, 2015 (selected after competitive call for papers).

  • Bitcoin and the Problem of Accountability, Arizona State University Legal Scholars Conference, March 15, 2014.

Media

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