Category Archives: FinTech and Alternative Finance

Blockchain a ‘catalytic force’ in soaring fintech market

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Digital Journal | By James Walker | August 21, 2017

Blockchain technology is propelling the fintech space to new highs as more investors get on board. The rising increase in fintech and the applications of the blockchain is leading to "exponential" increases in pilot projects, according to a new report.

KPMG covered the global fintech trends as part of its quarterly "The Pulse of Fintech" analysis. In the report, the firm said blockchain is attracting "significant attention" from a variety of fintech investors. These include traditional VC groups as well as corporations.

Investing in the blockchain is now starting to pay off. Last year, the amount of capital invested in blockchain companies more than doubled, up from $153 million in 2015 to $367 million. 66 deals were closed. This year, the blockchain is still growing steadily and is expected to meet or exceed last year's records. To the second quarter of 2017, 31 deals worth $133 million had been closed.

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This suggests the first quarter of the year was slower than in 2016. According to KPMG, this can be attributed to a rush of uncertainty around the long-term possibilities of blockchain tech. Having demonstrated the blockchain's a technically viable fintech solution, participants now need to start creating value from their prototypes.

"In the rush to prove the technical capabilities of blockchain prototypes, companies have neglected the need to show how blockchain can create value," said Eamonn Maguire, Managing Director of KPMG U.S. and Global Head of Digital Ledger Services at KPMG International. "For long-term success, there needs to be an emphasis on demonstrating how a blockchain production system can enable transformative change, whether by lowering costs, lowering capital or improving the customer experience."

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Feds to consider expanded services from banks, fintechs

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Investment Executive | By Rudy Mezzetta |

The Department of Finance Canada has committed to reviewing banking legislation to make it easier for both banks and financial technology (fintech) firms to offer clients expanded technology services while maintaining consumer protections and the prohibition against banks engaging in commercial activities unrelated to financial services.

"Clarifying the fintech business powers of financial institutions and removing obstacles to collaboration between fintechs and financial institutions can help to accelerate innovation, potentially making the sector more accessible and affordable to Canadians," Finance Canada indicated in its second consultation paper released last week as part of its review of the federal financial services sector framework.

The review is part of the updating, which occurs every five years, of the Bank Act, the Insurance Companies Act, and the other statutes that govern federal financial services institutions. The sunset date on the current legislation is March 2019. The first consultation paper was published last year, and the deadline for comments on this second and final consultation paper is Sept. 29.

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In the near term, Finance Canada will review ways it might:

> Update the rules around fintech activities banks are allowed to do. For example, current statutes use terms such as "portal" or "platform" to describe additional information processing activities a bank may do in-house with approval. These terms may be difficult to apply to emerging business models, Finance Canada says.

> help banks and fintech to collaborate in order to encourage the "cross-pollination" of ideas and to foster growth and innovation. Finance is asking for comments on whether to provide banks with additional flexibility to make non-controlling investments in fintechs and the corresponding authority to make referrals, subject to consumer protection, prudential, and commercial activities limitation.

Streamline the "entry and exit framework" for fintechs. This refers to the process by which a fintech firm can enter the financial services sector to serve an underserved market, or exit the sector if business plans change. Finance Canada is considering refinements to the current framework, including allowing the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to extend the period to issue an order to commence and carry on a business in certain circumstances.

 

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Blockchain in Real Estate: You Can Now Buy Fraction of House

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The Cointelegraph | By Darryn Pollock | August 14, 2917

The power of the Ethereum Blockchain continues to permeate traditional models of business and investment with Real Estate the latest target. Through crowdfunding and smart contracts, REALbelieves that the inefficacy and illiquidity of this traditional institution of investment potential can be opened up.

The idea of investing in real estate used to involve forking out huge sums of money to buy property, in a person's locality, with the hopes that it earns a profit over running costs. However, crowdfunding, and even more recently, Blockchain technology, is disrupting this model.

Buy a fraction of a house

There is a lot of promise that comes with investing in property. Rent, as well as the appreciation of property, are consistent and reliable streams of revenue and return, however, breaking into the property market is not a game for all.

Recent ideas, such as crowdfunding have simplified many aspects of traditional investments and business, but they still have their problems. Crowdfunding involves the coming together of multiple parties, in an agreement of trust, to effect an outcome that usually has to be regulated by a third-party.

In the case of real estate crowdfunding, middlemen have to be employed to sustain an agreement between multiple parties so that the proper dividends are received and the benefits are equally and fairly distributed. Cross-border investments also come with their own issues.

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Breaking down the walls, with Ether

REAL’s belief is that their use of Blockchain, Ethereum smart contracts, and digital currencies, or their own tokens, can alleviate these problems.  REAL tokens will be used to invest in properties on their crowdfunding platform.

While some of the traditional real estate investment issues are being solved through crowdfunding, a new world of cross-border and trustless investment can be opened with Blockchain technology.

Through REAL’s platform, tangible real estate can be invested in fractionally and with digital currencies. By using the Ethereum network, smart contracts do the work.

In an Ethereum environment, the need for regulatory bodies and middlemen would seem to fall away, and with them the fees and problems surrounding potential global investment. By investing on an Ethereum Blockchain REAL propose that rental dividends, agreements between investors, and other intricate aspects of property investment - on a crowdfunded level - will be executed fairly and transparently.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Why Blockchain Is The Future Of The Sharing Economy

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Forbes | By Omri Barzilay | August 14, 2017

Everyone’s talking about blockchain, but you’re still not entirely sure what it is, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s something that Jack Dorsey, the CEO and chairman of Square and CEO of Twitter, described this week as the “next big unlock,” and something that, according to Dorsey, is normally applied to accounting terms but has the potential to “be applied to so much more.”

Enter the sharing economy. The sharing economy burst into our lives as a big promise during the 2008 recession with an initial wave of investor enthusiasm and a number of “sharing” startups such as Uber and Airbnb. However, many others failed to ride the trend.

These days, the sharing economy feels a bit past its prime. “The ‘Sharing Economy’ is Dead,” Fast Company declared two years ago, summarizing a general sense of fatigue with what now feels like a wildly overhyped idea. But, according to many, the fusion of blockchain and the sharing economy may create a revolution that will transform our economy and share the wealth beyond certain companies and individuals.

Smart contracts help to unbundle ownership

Blockchain can help energize and unlock the sharing economy by making it cheaper to create and operate an online platform. For example, transactions could be coordinated by self-executing smart contracts or performed at lower cost by other small competing providers. The next phase of the sharing economy can emphasize today’s inequalities or ease them, depending on the purpose of the technology itself.

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Basically, blockchain is a different way of keeping track of a normative set of information, instead of storing the information in one central location – the county records office, say, or Airbnb’s database – blockchain makes multiple copies and distributes them across all the nodes of a network. These nodes don’t have to be people, they can be things. This is what makes blockchain a potentially powerful accelerant of the sharing economy as it gives a property the ability to know who its owner is.

Anything with an internet connection can hook up to a blockchain, which means anything with an internet connection can have a perfect record of who owns what. So let’s say I rent out my house like I would on Airbnb. By utilizing blockchain technology, I could program my front door to open only when a person reserved it, and automatically pay me, and lock the door, once he leaves the property.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Impak Finance ICO planned for launch Aug 21

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Impak Coin | Paul Allard | Aug 16, 2017

impak Coin (MPK) first legal Initial Coin Offering (ICO) positions Canada as a global leader in the cryptocurrency space and gives individuals around the world the opportunity to ignite the impact economy by participating in the crowdsale opening August 21 2017.

MONTREAL, Canada, August 16, 2017 - impak Finance, the fintech company focused on driving the social impact economy, announces the public presale of its impak Coin which is Canada’s first ICO (Initial Coin Offering) fully compliant with Canadian securities laws. A truly innovative investment device, this complementary currency is designed to work alongside traditional economy but with public benefit in mind. The public crowdsale of impak Coin begins on August 21, 2017 and investors can participate on  www.impakcoin.com

“impak Finance is writing a new page in the young history of ICOs by taking on the challenge of becoming fully regulatory compliant and as a result bringing a higher degree of protection for participants. Once again, impak Finance demonstrates that transparency and trust are core to our project”, says Paul Allard, impak Finance’s Chief Ecosystem Officer. “We are delivering on our promise to use technology to reinvent the way citizens can use money for doing good.”

See:  Impak Finance raises largest single-day amount for Canadian equity-crowdfunding initiative

impak Coin is one of the few ICOs in the world to have passed all of the national regulatory requirements ensuring transparency and integrity for participants in the presale of this cryptocurrency. The impak Coin ICO will be a model for regulators worldwide to protect investors, while playing a positive role in enabling small businesses to raise capital with the latest developments in financial technologies.

impak Coin, a cryptocurrency for a better world

Impak Coin combines the advantages and functionalities of complementary currencies, recognition programs, and new cryptocurrencies. Built on the WAVES fully transparent blockchain platform, it is stable, safe and more efficient than many other digital currencies. Designed for everyday use, transactions within the impak ecosystem are free for both merchants and customers. By also rewarding user participation in the ecosystem with impak Coins, we will ensure that all stakeholders become winners and continue to grow the impact economy.

 

About impak Finance

impak Finance Inc., an innovative Canadian fintech company focused on driving the social impact economy, recently raised over $1.5 mm in 2016 with strategic investors and through a highly successful equity crowdfunding campaign. Dedicated to the development of the social impact economy, impak Finance proposes to radically change the way citizens and organizations collaborate and transact. Impak Finance Inc. is building a financial ecosystem that connects investors, businesses and citizens who share the same social values while on its way to creating  Canada’s first 100%  digital Canadian  chartered  bank.

Regarding Blockchain and ICOs

ICOs have already raised USD 327 million this year alone, compared to USD 101 million in all of 2016, according to the latest numbers from  Smith +  Crown a blockchain research firm. “This is inevitably becoming a fast-growing alternative for businesses to raise capital.”

Blockchain technology has been on fire in the past year, with blockchain-based cryptocurrencies recently passing $100 billion market cap, and the technology being adopted in projects all over the world. The fact that multibillion dollar companies like Toyota and Deloitte are working with the blockchain just adds to the technology’s reputation and proves it has value. As for ICOs, around 20 offerings a month are currently taking place and the Tezos blockchain ICO is the most recent record that generated US$232 million, ending on July 13.

 

Media Contacts

Eve Montpetit -  eve.montpetit@impakfinance.com  514-813-0871

Press kit :  download  link

Video:  Introducing impak  Coin  Info at  www.impakcoin.com


The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Peggy Van de Plassche, VP Innovation at CIBC, Joins the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Board

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About NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2017

Peggy Van De Plassche, Advisor

TORONTO, AUG 10, 2017 – The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Peggy Van de Plassche, VP Innovation at CIBC has joined the Association’s Advisory Board as Advisor.

As the VP Innovation at CIBC, Peggy and her team lead the strategic partnerships for the organization.  Prior to joining CIBC, Peggy started a couple of Fintech ventures, invested in the space, consulted for large and small entities, and worked at CGI and BMO on their strategic technology investments.  A Finance professional by trade, Peggy started working in technology 15 years ago; She brings a wealth of experience to the NCFA.  A board member of the Digital Finance Institute, Peggy is also involved in the community via United Way, the Wild Animal Sanctuary and Ladybird Animal Sanctuary.

There is a huge opportunity to democratize the access to private investments in Canada while decreasing the costs and improving both the quantity and the quality of the deals. I am excited to join the NCFA to support that agenda that will benefit greatly retail investors!  Peggy Van De Plassche, VP Innovation, CIBC

Peggy is in the 'right place at the right time' and we're thrilled to have her join the NCFA's Advisory board to further advance the development of next generation crowdfunding market opportunities for Canadian companies and investors.  Her wealth of knowledge and experience will provide great value to industry and we look forward to working closely with Peggy and her team.  Craig Asano, CEO, NCFA Canada

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About National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1650+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. For more information please visit: www.ncfacanada.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Craig Asano
casano@ncfacanada.org
416 618 0254

 

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So You Want to (Legally) Raise an ICO?

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CrowdfundInsider | By

On Tuesday, July 25, the SEC announced that Initial Coin Offerings, also called Token Sales, in many cases may be considered securities. Of course, this probably terrifies a large amount of the ICO community. So how do you actually legally raise an ICO?

Your first consideration should be whether you want to take U.S. investors. Many people seem to think that if they form the ICO in another country, they are not subject to U.S. laws. If only it were so! In truth, U.S. securities laws apply whenever someone is raising capital from a U.S. investor. It doesn’t matter if you are onshore or offshore–it only matters if you are going to include U.S. investors in the raise.

This all ultimately becomes a business decision. If you choose to include U.S. investors in your ICO event, you pay the price of adherence to U.S. securities laws. If you do choose to include U.S. investors on the ICO offering, the next question becomes what kinds of U.S. investors are you going to take funds from?

See: ICOs: New Model of Blockchain Capitalism

This boils down to two categories of people: rich people and non-rich people.

Limiting it to Rich People Only

Under Rule 506(c) of Regulation D, the SEC allows you to take as much money as you want from rich people only. There is no waiting period–you simply tell the SEC about your raise after the fact. You do, however, need to have proper legal paperwork. Because you are going to be openly advertising the ICO, the SEC requires you to take reasonable steps to verify that your investors are actually rich.

When I say “rich”, I’m talking about what the SEC thinks a rich person is. Their technical term for this is “accredited investor”–or a person with at least $1 million in net worth (excluding their primary residence), or with an annual income of at least $200,000. The investor will be required to prove to you that they meet this threshold.

Raising from Non-Rich People

  • Raises up to $1 million

Under the relatively new Reg CF rules, ICOs can raise up to $1 million every 12 months from non-rich investors. In order to do so, however, the investor must file some paperwork, get their financials together, and find a registered funding portal or broker dealer that will list them.

Although not the strictest of the fundraising regulations, some issuers may still find this type of raise burdensome. This is because they will have to spend money on at least a financial professional and an attorney. Additionally, they will be subject to some annual reporting requirements and so should be okay with transparency.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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