Leon Perlman

Senior Research Scholar in the Faculty of Business

Leon Perlman is a specialist consultant on Digital Financial Services, emerging payments, mHealth, mAgriculture, Big Data, and crypto-currencies, concentrating on commercial, technical and regulatory aspects of these ecosystems. He is also a Senior Research Scholar in the Faculty of Business at the Columbia Business School, 

A former scientist and successful entrepreneur, he has been in the telecommunications and micro-payments industry since the mid 1990’s. He has wide range of experience in developed and developing markets, and is currently the legal and regulatory functional expert for the IFC on the Tanzanian MFS interoperability project.

He was the founder and elected Chairman for 10 years of  WASPA, the mobile industry association in South Africa, and also held chairmanship of the International Audiotext Regulators Association.

A recipient of numerous grants, he holds the degrees BSc, BSc (Hons), MSc, BProc (Law), LLB, and LLD. 

His doctoral thesis was the first legal and regulatory treatise in the world on Mobile Financial Services, and involved a comparative approach to the interaction between MFS and existing law in South Africa, USA, Kenya, and the EU, as well as the commercial, security and technical aspects of MFS and money. 
He is currently an affiliate research fellow at CITI at Columbia University Business School in New York, exploring the regulatory, disruptive and commercial aspects of DFS, emerging payments, big data, and the crypto-economy.

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