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The Economics of FinTech and Digital Money

   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr E Oh, Dr G Magkonis, Prof Lester Hunt  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Business and Law and will be supervised by Dr EY Oh, Dr Georgios Magkonis and Professor Lester Hunt.

The Faculty of Business and Law offers funding to attend conferences (currently £550), training (currently £450), and a work-based placement (currently a maximum of £3,000 tied up to the period of 12 weeks).

The work on this project will involve:
-research design
-theoretical modelling
-cutting-edge methods to support research design
-implementation and analysis of a large-scale development project

Project description
New financial technologies (FinTech) have erupted around the world. It has been transforming the world by employing the block chain, artificial intelligence, internet of things and machine to machine supporting automation. Traditional financial systems are modernised with FinTech features, which also contribute to the development of digital money. Understanding the benefits and risks of FinTech is important as it can influence the monetary and financial stability. We welcome research proposals in the following areas:

1.Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – What are the benefits and costs of the implementation of CBDC? What is a policy framework for the central bank to determine whether to issue digital currency? What are the implications of CBDC on the monetary transmission mechanism?

2.Cryptocurrency – Is there any potential competition between CBDC and cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin? What are the monetary policy implications of the future existence of private digital money? What are the challenges and opportunities of the use of cryptocurrency?

3.Alternative Finance (P2P lending and equity-based crowdfunding) - Is P2P lending complementary to traditional bank loans? How does alternative finance help the SME funding gap? What are the challenges that alternative finance poses to regulators?

Entry requirements
You’ll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in Economics or Finance or a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific Admissions
We are especially seeking applicants with strong quantitative skills: programming, statistics, and/or mathematics. We welcome applicants who have experiences in using software packages such as Stata, MATLAB, R, Python etc.

An economics or finance background (eg. MSc level topics in monetary policy or financial economics) is desirable.

How to apply
We’d encourage you to contact Dr EY Oh ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form (please follow the institution website link to access it). Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

Please also include a research proposal of 1,000 words outlining the main features of your proposed research design – including how it meets the stated objectives, the challenges this project may present, and how the work will build on or challenge existing research in the above fields.

When applying please quote project code: ECFN4641020

Funding Notes

Self-funded PhD students only.

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

The Faculty of Business and Law offers funding to attend conferences (currently £550), training (currently £450), and a work-based placement (currently a maximum of £3,000 tied up to the period of 12 weeks).


Barrdear, J., and Kumhof, M., 2016. The macroeconomics of central bank issued digital currencies, Bank of England Staff Working Paper No. 605.

Kumhof, M., Noone, C., 2018. Central bank digital currencies design principles and balance sheet implications, Bank of England Staff Working Paper No. 725.

Corbet, S., Lucey, B., Urquhart, A., and Yarovaya, L., 2019. Cryptocurrencies as a financial asset: A systematic analysis. International Review of Financial Analysis, 62, pp. 182-199.

Walther, T., Klein, T., and Bouri, E., 2019. Exogenous drivers of bitcoin and cryptocurrency volatility - A mixed data sampling approach to forecasting. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, 63, pp. 101133.

Tang, H., 2019. Peer-to-Peer lenders versus banks: Substitutes or complements?, The Review of Financial Studies, 32, pp. 1900-1938.

Bruton, G.D., Khavul,S., Siegel, D.S., and Write, M., 2015. New financial alternatives., In Seeding Entrepreneurship: Microfinance, Crowdfunding, And Peer‐To‐Peer Innovations., Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 39, pp. 9–26.
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