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Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision

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Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018

The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin.

A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.)

The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation.

Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Ripple slumped 10 percent while Ether and Litecoin sank at least 4.7 percent. All but two of the 100 biggest virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com slumped over the past 24 hours.

The SEC now has until Sept. 30 to “approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove” a proposed rule change from Cboe Global Markets Inc. that would allow the listing of an ETF from VanEck Associates Corp. and SolidX Partners Inc., the regulator said in a statement. An initial deadline was due to expire next week.

The regulator denied an exchange’s request to list a similar fund run by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss late last month. Some had argued that VanEck’s proposal was more likely to gain approval thanks in part to plans for a high minimum share price that would discourage retail investors. The SEC received more than 1,300 comments on the proposed rule change as of Aug. 6, it said.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

FCA Regulatory Sanbox | Aug 8, 2018 Find out about the 29 businesses that have been accepted into cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms. We received 69 applications for cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox. Applications came from a diverse range of firms operating across the financial services sector including in areas such as consumer credit, automated advice and insurance. 29 firms have been accepted to develop towards testing, including 3 firms that were accepted as part of previous cohorts but did not proceed to test. Firms that have been accepted to develop towards testing are listed below, except for one firm that has asked not to be named at this point in time. See:  Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators We have accepted a number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks. Tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis and the FCA is working with each firm to agree testing parameters and ...
Read More
FCA Regulatory sandbox participants - Cohort 4
Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018 TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners. The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019. Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.” See:  ...
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Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
CNBC Markets | Kate Rooney  | Jul 24, 2018 Fintech company Square is boosting its small-business lending with an eBay partnership. Square Capital, the lending arm of the payment start-up, will be available to eBay sellers looking to expand their business operations. Starting in the third quarter, merchants on the site can apply for a loan as small as $500 and up to $100,000 to help with everything from payroll and inventory to equipment and marketing, the companies announced Tuesday. Square Capital’s focus since launching in 2014 has been on those businesses historically excluded from the larger financial system. The partnership will offer access to capital for those who have been “underserved when seeking funding” and give U.S. sellers a "seamless funding experience," said Jacqueline Reses, head of Square Capital. See:  What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business Lending Loop Surpasses $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada Small-business lending is an increasingly competitive area in fintech. PayPal, which was once a part of eBay, has a program called Working Capital and provides loans to merchants based on sales history. Amazon also does this for sellers, and began extending credit to small business owners ...
Read More
Square partners with eBay to expand lending for 'underserved' small businesses
CBC | Rob Antle  | Aug 6, 2018 Agency wants to make sure tax laws are being followed When Ottawa looks at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it sees problems. Bitcoin can be difficult to track, and there is the potential for "tax noncompliance" through unreported or under-reported income and capital gains. The Canada Revenue Agency "wants to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate in the traditional economic space to ensure that tax laws are being followed," CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement. "It is important to note that using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations." So CRA commissioned research on businesses that installed bitcoin automated tellers on their premises. A bitcoin ATM is not actually an ATM; it doesn't provide a connection to a customer's bank account. Rather, it's an internet-linked terminal that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins. See:  Learn about crypto payments - Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments According to the study that followed — which surveyed 20 businesses — the taxman wanted to understand why a business would install a bitcoin ATM, along with "the perceived value it brings to businesses and their customers, and attitudes towards tax compliance in the ...
Read More
CRA surveyed businesses to find out why they're taking bitcoin ATMs
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2018 We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges! FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Nets Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Amy Wan, Founder & CEO, Sagewise About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, the CEO/Founder of Sagewise, a smart contracts dispute resolution startup. They talk about why smart contact safety nets are important, the bridge between legal tech and fintech and how Amy closed out her seed round while being pregnant. Enjoy! Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here Transcription of Interview Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan and you are tuning in to NCFA newest show Fintech Fridays. Today we have an amazing guest. She's a rock star in the industry. Ladies and gentlemen. Amy Wan is with us today. She's the CEO of Sagewise Amy thanks so ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Net with Amy Wan, CEO & Founder at Sagewise
University of Cambridge and Ivey Business School | by Tania Ziegler and Michael King | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 Americas survey of alternative finance conducted the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is nearing its closing stages. This global survey of crowdfunding and lending via online platforms is the benchmark for the industry, providing the most comprehensive data on this fintech activity.  In Canada, Cambridge is being assisted by their research partners and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School.  NCFA is a supportive community partner. Leading platforms should have received an email with details on how to complete the survey from either Tania Ziegler at University of Cambridge or Professor Michael King at Ivey. It is vital that platforms participate in order to demonstrate the importance of this sector to Canadians and to policymakers at the federal and provincial levels. King says, “As we look ahead to the completion of the Federal Financal Sector Review early in 2019, this data will be vital for promoting open banking and other initiatives that support Canada’s fintech sector. When platforms opt out, they are effectively telling policymakers that alternative finance is not important and not worthy of the ...
Read More
Cambridge Survey of Alternative Finance Needs Your Participation!
Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018 Matt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000. I’ve been proven wrong once again. For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million. With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies. Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, ...
Read More
Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Aug 7, 2018 The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated a new consultation that is going beyond the UK borders when it comes to Fintech innovation. Announced today, the FCA has created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The multinational group includes regulatory agencies from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australian, France and more. FCA Director of Competition, Christopher Woolard, said the creation of GFIN is an important step for the FCA to be able to better understand and harness the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm. “The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.” The members as announced include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA) Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada) Consultative Group to ...
Read More
Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators
Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.) The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
Read More
Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision
Digital Journal PR | Aug 7, 2018 ATLANTA--(Business Wire)--Steady, the income-building platform for the Build-Your-Own (BYO) workforce is already serving 100,000 Americans since it launched last week. The company, which today delivers personalized income-building opportunities, an income tracker, and exclusive relevant discounts, has raised $9 million in Series A financing round led by Propel Venture Partners, with significant participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The funds raised in this round will be used to rapidly scale and extend product features. Other investors include 25Madison, Clocktower Ventures, and Commerce Ventures. Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team as an Advisor and Advocate for the BYO workforce. “The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities, and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.” Work is changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to more flexible arrangements—shift work, part-time contracts, gigs, ...
Read More
Shaquille O’Neal Joins Steady; Company Raises $9 Million in Series A Round of Funding from Leading Fintech Investors

 

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US Department of Treasury Report on Fintech Makes Recommendations to Boost Innovation, Advocates on Behalf of Regulatory Harmonization

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Crowdfund Insider | | Jul 31, 2018

The US Department of the Treasury has published its long anticipated report on Fintech. This is the fourth in a series of reports emanating from Treasury that address emerging innovations in finance.

Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin commented on the reports release stating “American innovation is a cornerstone of a healthy U.S. economy.”

“Creating a regulatory environment that supports responsible innovation is crucial for economic growth and success, particularly in the financial sector. America is a leader in innovation. We must keep pace with industry changes and encourage financial ingenuity to foster the nation’s vibrant financial services and technology sectors.”

The report seeks to identify areas within the regulatory landscape that could be updated to better empower changes in financial services to keep the US competitive with other jurisdictions that are doing the same. Treasury says the document benefited from a wide range of stakeholders focused on consumer financial data aggregation, lending, payments, credit servicing, financial technology, and innovation.

See:  Nov 20, 2017: NCFA Canada Welcomes Competition Bureau’s recommendations to encourage competition and innovation in Canada’s financial services sector

Overall, Treasury made 80 different recommendations for the government to consider. The authors note that rapid advances in technology, the digitization of the economy and an ample supply of risk capital is fueling Fintech innovation. Treasury estimated that the flow of investments into global Fintechs is very large and that U.S. firms accounted for nearly half of the $117 billion invested from 2010 to 2017.

Treasury’s recommendations broadly covered the following four categories:

  • Adapting regulatory approaches to changes in the aggregation, sharing, and use of consumer financial data, and to support the development of key competitive technologies
  • Aligning the regulatory framework to combat unnecessary regulatory fragmentation, and account for new business models enabled by financial technologies
  • Updating activity-specific regulations across a range of products and services offered by nonbank financial institutions, many of which have become outdated in light of technological advances
  • Advocating an approach to regulation that enables responsible experimentation in the financial sector, improves regulatory agility, and advances American interests abroad.

Importantly, Treasury tackled the biggest problem in regard to fostering Fintech innovation. The problematic regulatory fragmentation that has undermined the ability for Fintechs to provide improved services to consumers and businesses while harming global competition.

The report states:

“Many statutes and regulations addressing the financial sector date back decades. As a result, the financial regulatory framework is not always optimally suited to address new business models and products that continue to evolve in financial services. This has the potential negative consequence of limiting innovation that might benefit consumers and small businesses. Financial regulation should be modernized to more appropriately address the evolving characteristics of financial services of today and in the future.”

Treasury advocates that harmonization of state oversight would be beneficial in encouraging emerging Fintech services. The document also encourages the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to “further develop its special purpose national bank charter” or Fintech Charter as it is popularly called. The OCC Fintech Charter has been languishing for years now as special interests have blocked its advancement.

See:  NCFA: Canada Needs a Harmonized Securities Environment as Current Provincial Approach is a Fintech Innovation Killer

Treasury recommends that the OCC “move forward with prudent and carefully considered applications for special purpose national bank charters.” But the report adds that OCC special purpose national banks should not be permitted to accept FDIC-insured deposits.

Treasury explains a portion of the enigma;

“Nonbank lenders that operate in multiple states must acquire lending or credit licenses for each applicable state. As a result, geographic expansion can only generally be accomplished through repeated licensing efforts, each with a state-specific regulatory regime.”

A Long and Complex History of State and Federal Regulation in Financial Services

This unnecessary governmental overlap harms consumers and adds time and cost to aspiring Fintech firms that may challenge incumbent financial institutions. In fact, Treasury puts a number on the cost to businesses of $1 million to $30 million – a lot of money for an entrepreneurial firm. Additionally, a portion of this cost continues in perpetuity as firms must constantly monitor ever evolving state regulations and move quickly to comply when one changes.

“These cumulative challenges of operating in the state-based regulatory regime result not only in excessive regulatory costs, but also constrain the ability of nonbank firms, including start-ups, to innovate and to scale nationally.”

Treasury recommends that regulatory modernization must take place and provides their opinion on a solution. While recognizing that state based regulators play an important role, the inertia exemplified by the current regulatory morass must be addressed within the next few years:

“Treasury supports state regulators’ efforts to build a more unified licensing regime and supervisory process across the states. Such efforts might include adoption of a pass-porting regime for licensure. However, critical to this effort are much more accelerated actions by state legislatures and regulators to effectively reduce unnecessary inconsistencies across state laws and regulations to achieve much greater levels of harmonization. Treasury recommends that if states are unable to achieve meaningful harmonization across their licensing and supervisory regimes within three years, Congress should act to encourage greater uniformity in rules governing lending and money transmission to be adopted, supervised, and enforced by state regulators.” [emphasis added]

Addressing the nagging issue of Madden v. Midland, a problematic legal challenge that impacts online lenders, Treasury “recommends that Congress codify the “valid when made” doctrine to preserve the functioning of U.S. credit markets and the longstanding ability of banks and other financial institutions, including marketplace lenders, to buy and sell validly made loans without the risk of coming into conflict with state interest-rate limits.”

See:  Ontario Securities Commission “Doesn’t Really Know What’s Going On” in Blockchain Fintech, Says Lawyer

Brian Peters, Executive Director of Financial Innovation Now – an entity that represents big US tech and their interests in pursuing Fintech services, had this to say about the Treasury Fintech report;

“Financial Innovation Now advocates for smart federal policies that promote technological innovation in financial services, and we believe the Treasury Department’s report is a strong step towards modernizing antiquated financial regulations. From secure mobile payments to fast and accessible credit, FIN member companies are empowering consumers and small businesses with helpful financial tools. We look forward to working with Congress and federal financial regulators on these necessary policy updates.”

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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FCA Regulatory Sanbox | Aug 8, 2018 Find out about the 29 businesses that have been accepted into cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms. We received 69 applications for cohort 4 of the regulatory sandbox. Applications came from a diverse range of firms operating across the financial services sector including in areas such as consumer credit, automated advice and insurance. 29 firms have been accepted to develop towards testing, including 3 firms that were accepted as part of previous cohorts but did not proceed to test. Firms that have been accepted to develop towards testing are listed below, except for one firm that has asked not to be named at this point in time. See:  Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators We have accepted a number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks. Tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis and the FCA is working with each firm to agree testing parameters and ...
Read More
FCA Regulatory sandbox participants - Cohort 4
Progressa Release | Aug 14, 2018 TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progressa, a Vancouver and Toronto based financial technology company, announced today it has successfully closed an $84 million equity and loan funding round. The equity financing was co-led by Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Gravitas Securities Inc. and included Eight Capital and Paradigm Capital as part of the syndicate. The equity capital allows Progressa to unlock a new forward-flow whole loan purchasing program for up to $72 million, with Vancouver-based credit fund Cypress Hills Partners. The equity financing was largely supported by the Canadian investment banks who see the potential for Progressa to complete a go-public transaction (“IPO”) before the end of 2019. Ali Pourdad, Progressa’s co-founder and CEO, commented, “Progressa is proud to have developed first-to-market technology solutions for the Canadian non-prime credit consumer market. Today’s enterprise business partners are utilizing the Company’s Powered by Progressa solutions to improve their customer experience, while enhancing collections recoveries and mitigating significant risk, a true win for both enterprise and Canadian consumers. We are pleased with this broad level of support from Canadian investment banks who see that Progressa is making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians.” See:  ...
Read More
Progressa Closes $84 Million Funding Round Co-Led by Canaccord Genuity and Gravitas Securities, Supporting Record Growth
CNBC Markets | Kate Rooney  | Jul 24, 2018 Fintech company Square is boosting its small-business lending with an eBay partnership. Square Capital, the lending arm of the payment start-up, will be available to eBay sellers looking to expand their business operations. Starting in the third quarter, merchants on the site can apply for a loan as small as $500 and up to $100,000 to help with everything from payroll and inventory to equipment and marketing, the companies announced Tuesday. Square Capital’s focus since launching in 2014 has been on those businesses historically excluded from the larger financial system. The partnership will offer access to capital for those who have been “underserved when seeking funding” and give U.S. sellers a "seamless funding experience," said Jacqueline Reses, head of Square Capital. See:  What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business Lending Loop Surpasses $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada Small-business lending is an increasingly competitive area in fintech. PayPal, which was once a part of eBay, has a program called Working Capital and provides loans to merchants based on sales history. Amazon also does this for sellers, and began extending credit to small business owners ...
Read More
Square partners with eBay to expand lending for 'underserved' small businesses
CBC | Rob Antle  | Aug 6, 2018 Agency wants to make sure tax laws are being followed When Ottawa looks at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it sees problems. Bitcoin can be difficult to track, and there is the potential for "tax noncompliance" through unreported or under-reported income and capital gains. The Canada Revenue Agency "wants to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies operate in the traditional economic space to ensure that tax laws are being followed," CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram said in an emailed statement. "It is important to note that using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations." So CRA commissioned research on businesses that installed bitcoin automated tellers on their premises. A bitcoin ATM is not actually an ATM; it doesn't provide a connection to a customer's bank account. Rather, it's an internet-linked terminal that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins. See:  Learn about crypto payments - Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments According to the study that followed — which surveyed 20 businesses — the taxman wanted to understand why a business would install a bitcoin ATM, along with "the perceived value it brings to businesses and their customers, and attitudes towards tax compliance in the ...
Read More
CRA surveyed businesses to find out why they're taking bitcoin ATMs
NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 10, 2018 We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges! FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Nets Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Amy Wan, Founder & CEO, Sagewise About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, the CEO/Founder of Sagewise, a smart contracts dispute resolution startup. They talk about why smart contact safety nets are important, the bridge between legal tech and fintech and how Amy closed out her seed round while being pregnant. Enjoy! Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here Transcription of Interview Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan and you are tuning in to NCFA newest show Fintech Fridays. Today we have an amazing guest. She's a rock star in the industry. Ladies and gentlemen. Amy Wan is with us today. She's the CEO of Sagewise Amy thanks so ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (ep.4): Importance of Smart Contract Safety Net with Amy Wan, CEO & Founder at Sagewise
University of Cambridge and Ivey Business School | by Tania Ziegler and Michael King | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 Americas survey of alternative finance conducted the University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is nearing its closing stages. This global survey of crowdfunding and lending via online platforms is the benchmark for the industry, providing the most comprehensive data on this fintech activity.  In Canada, Cambridge is being assisted by their research partners and the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School.  NCFA is a supportive community partner. Leading platforms should have received an email with details on how to complete the survey from either Tania Ziegler at University of Cambridge or Professor Michael King at Ivey. It is vital that platforms participate in order to demonstrate the importance of this sector to Canadians and to policymakers at the federal and provincial levels. King says, “As we look ahead to the completion of the Federal Financal Sector Review early in 2019, this data will be vital for promoting open banking and other initiatives that support Canada’s fintech sector. When platforms opt out, they are effectively telling policymakers that alternative finance is not important and not worthy of the ...
Read More
Cambridge Survey of Alternative Finance Needs Your Participation!
Fortune | Matt Harris | Aug 8, 2018 Matt Harris is a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. He is consistently ranked as one of the top investors in fintech, having participated in the space since 2000. I’ve been proven wrong once again. For eight years running, I’ve predicted that fintech investment is going to plateau. Based on the start of 2018, it hasn’t yet. In fact, we saw more than $5.4 billion invested in fintech during the first quarter of the year, with no signs of slowing momentum. For perspective, fintech investment for all of 2014 was just under $4 billion, so that’s “5x” growth in four years. In 2001, per data from Venture Scanner, it was something like $300 million. With that said, this whole “fintech” thing is kind of a charade. As I shared with attendees last month during our annual Fintech CEO Summit, co-hosted together with Nyca Partners, the CEOs in our portfolios don’t actually run “fintech businesses.” They run a payments business or a lending business, or they build investing technologies, or they sell to banks or insurance or real estate companies. Regardless of what VCs tell limited partners, or how media cover the industry, ...
Read More
Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Aug 7, 2018 The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has initiated a new consultation that is going beyond the UK borders when it comes to Fintech innovation. Announced today, the FCA has created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The multinational group includes regulatory agencies from the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australian, France and more. FCA Director of Competition, Christopher Woolard, said the creation of GFIN is an important step for the FCA to be able to better understand and harness the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm. “The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.” The members as announced include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA) Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada) Consultative Group to ...
Read More
Fintech: UK Financial Conduct Authority Initiates Consultation on Global Financial Innovation, Partners with 12 International Regulators
Globe and Mail | Aug 8, 2018 The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies plumbed new depths on Wednesday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dented enthusiasts’ hopes for an VanEck exchange-traded fund backed by Bitcoin. A broad selloff in coins of all sizes reduced the market value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to about $230 billion, the lowest level since November. Digital assets have now lost about $600 billion since crypto-mania peaked in January, equivalent to erasing the entire market value of Visa Inc. twice over. (Shares of the payments processor are trading near a record high.) The SEC postponed its decision on whether to approve the Bitcoin ETF, dealing a blow to bulls who had bet a green light from the regulator would help sustain last month’s tenuous rally. Optimists are counting on the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies to keep prices supported, but regulators and many institutional investors have remained wary amid concerns over security and market manipulation. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Bitcoin was down 5.6 pe rcent to $6,484 as of 8:19 a.m. in New York, recovering from a 7 percent drop earlier while extending its 2018 decline to 55 percent, according to Bloomberg ...
Read More
Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision
Digital Journal PR | Aug 7, 2018 ATLANTA--(Business Wire)--Steady, the income-building platform for the Build-Your-Own (BYO) workforce is already serving 100,000 Americans since it launched last week. The company, which today delivers personalized income-building opportunities, an income tracker, and exclusive relevant discounts, has raised $9 million in Series A financing round led by Propel Venture Partners, with significant participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. The funds raised in this round will be used to rapidly scale and extend product features. Other investors include 25Madison, Clocktower Ventures, and Commerce Ventures. Shaquille O’Neal has joined the team as an Advisor and Advocate for the BYO workforce. “The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities, and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.” Work is changing. Full-time jobs are giving way to more flexible arrangements—shift work, part-time contracts, gigs, ...
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Shaquille O’Neal Joins Steady; Company Raises $9 Million in Series A Round of Funding from Leading Fintech Investors

 

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FINTECH FRIDAY$ Weekly Podcast

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Financial technology, blockchain, artificial intelligence, peer and alternative finance

 

FINTECH FRIDAY$ is a weekly podcast brought to you by NCFA and partners, where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech and Funding community and talk about trends, product innovations, developments and challenges!  Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers with hosts Manseeb Khan and others.

What to get involved?   info@ncfacanada.org

Ep1:  Facilitating Global Crypto Payments and the Future of Digital Assets

To kickoff the first episode of our Fintech Fridays weekly podcast, our host Manseeb Khan is joined by Samir Bandli, Director of Strategic Partnerships of CoinPayments, to talk about the future of crypto from its role today and its role in the future.  CoinPayments offers merchants an option to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment and currently works with over 700+ altcoins. (more...)

Samir Bandali, Director of Partnerships

Ep2:  Canada's Role in the Global Fintech Ecosystem

On this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the legendary Sue Britton, CEO & Founder of the Fintech Growth Syndicate, and talk about what Canada has to do to stay competitive in the fintech space, Canada being super hot to outside investors, and why diversty is going to revolutionize finance. (more...)

Sue Britton, CEO & Founder

Ep3:  Investing in Canadian Diversity

In this episode of the Fintech Friday Podcast, host Manseeb Khan interviews the incredible Peggy Van De Plassche, General Partner Roar Ventures, about doubling down on investing in diversity and launching her new Data/AI investment fund! (more...)

Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner

Ep4:  Importance of a Smart Contract Safety Net

On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with LA legal tech entrepreneur Amy Wan, CEO/Founder of Sagewise. They talk about why smart contact safety nets are important, the bridge between legal tech and fintech and how Amy closed out her seed round while being pregnant. Enjoy!  (more...)

Amy Wan, Founder & CEO


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Nikola Tesla Unite to use Alianza Motorsports to Educate Race Fans on Crypto

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Race Tech Development Group | Dean Jessop | Jun 8, 2018

Nikola Tesla Unite is new to the cryptocurrency market, but cryptocurrency is not new in the minds of the founders. Working for many years to bring the concept and idea to market, NIKO Coin is set to be one of the major players in not only digital currency, but also business-to-business programs through their partnership with Alianza Motorsports.

“This is a true partnership,” explained Alianza Motorsports’ Lorne Kelly. “We are working together both on and off the track.

NIKO Coin promotion is being done on the side of our racecar, race hauler and with trackside functions and displays while we all work hand in hand to educate fellow teams, drivers and racing enthusiasts on the advantages and benefits of using digital currency.

We have had several meetings with suppliers, other team partners, series and organizations on how we can help them get in on the ground floor of the digital currency market all with the help of NIKO Coin.”

With a digital wallet offered by NIKO Coin and that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, NIKO Coin can now connect with a wider demographic of users.

See:  Highlights from FFCON18: VELOCITY – Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Alternative Investing Conference (March 5-6, Toronto)

Kelly continued, “With NIKO Coin, the general public can conduct peer-to-peer transactions and trade cryptocurrency at local NIKO Coin outlets. The whole idea seems futuristic but the writing is on the wall and we are definitely headed to a more digital society. Alianza Motorsports is happy to have this connection to cryptocurrency and we are excited to help bring it to the world of motorsports.”

“Our mission is to facilitate fundamental change in societal interactions while having a significant impact on many of the ways our world functions by building solutions that will have a profound impact on how global society interacts,” explained Dean Jessop of Nikola Tesla Unite. “

Our values of community, decentralization, and inclusion are all closely and deeply aligned with our belief in the forthcoming digital economy. A future where the people and technology will be a part of a fully liquid system open to everyone. Our group is advancing this state of technology and pushing it forward through innovative development. We are building solutions that will have a profound impact on how global society interacts. Leveraging a top-tier network of global providers, we are building an ecosystem more robust and far-reaching than anything to date.”

While the next on track action is still six weeks away, Alianza Motorsports continues to prepare for their home event at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Taking on the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix during the July 6-8 weekend, this will be the home event for team driver Anthony Simone and provide the perfect backdrop for NIKO Coin to educate potential users of cryptocurrency.

For more information on Nikola Tesla Unite and the NIKO brand of cryptocurrency, please contact Jane Anderson at 1.833.TESLA 56 or via e-mail to Media@NIKO.eco. To visit them online, please visit www.NIKO.eco. or www.nikolateslaunite.com.

Photos: Alianza Motorsports

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

 

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Element AI: The market is still figuring out how to share data with enterprise AI startups

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VentureBeat | | Jun 7, 2018

It’s no exaggeration to call Element AI one of the top startups in the world right now. With the help of deep learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio, the company is making AI-powered products for the enterprise. And from its beginning in October 2016, Element AI has broken the rules of what to expect from a startup.

In December 2016, Element AI was the very first company to receive funding from Microsoft Ventures. Six months later, the company raised a $102 million series A round.

Element AI has yet to release a single publicly available product, but the company is already working with customers, has opened offices in Singapore, South Korea, Toronto, and London, and already plays an advisory role to startups that receive funding from the Global AI Fund in South Korea.

At the creative tech conference C2 in Montreal last month, VentureBeat sat down with CEO Jean-François Gagné to talk about challenges enterprise customers face in implementing AI, his company’s first publicly available products, and why he believes AI is allowing startups to challenge incumbent businesses in tech and finance.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

VentureBeat: Are there any specific kinds of challenges companies encounter in terms of implementation of AI? When you come in the door of a business, what’s stopping them from implementing AI?

Gagné: We’re still all trying to figure out how the IP, data access, and learning component of the technology is going to play out. The market is currently trying to figure that out. The big dynamic that we see is all the conversations about “What piece of IP will your AI keep?”

See:  The forces of change are trumping banks and regulators

Because we totally understand that large chunks of the IP we build on top of the data of our customers is their own, but there is stuff that needs to flow back to our platform so we make the product better. And defining that has been something where we need to spend a lot of time every time educating the customers, making sure they see it’s transparent and understand what are they going to own, what are we going to own, and this is one thing that is right now a big puzzle for the industry to solve as a whole. And because we’re one of the first to really do that at scale, I think we’re opening the way there, and that’s one thing that comes to my mind.

VentureBeat: Lately I’ve heard a fair deal of companies talk about how they want to build common sense and perception into AI; it just keeps coming up as part of some evolution to go beyond narrow applications of artificial intelligence. Where do you think we’re going on that?

Gagné: So here’s the thing: Google doesn’t want to interact with the customer. They want their system to run by their own, so the way they’re approaching the problem is by wanting the assistant to have some sort of common sense and figure things out by themselves, and we have a very different opinion there. We believe in human-in-the-loop systems that are highly efficient, highly flexible, highly agile, but where people are still driving and are in control of the governance, still involved in the decision process.

You look at the work they’re doing with DeepMind and everything, where things are just going to take off by themselves eventually — and first, I don’t believe that this is going to happen anytime soon. The black box effect this creates, going down that road and all the potential downside of having people think that they don’t need to look at what’s going on, is extremely bad given the state of the industry, so I don’t think it’s the right way to go at it.

VentureBeat: They say they want to be more transparent.

Gagné: They don’t want to be evil, they want to be transparent … what matters are the actions. What are people really doing? We have to actually look at that concretely, so the way we’re going at this is really to make sure that we maximize explainability [and] transparency as we’re deploying this, to enable our customers and people who are using our tools to have the right governance on top.

So [we] invest tons of money in all the monitoring systems and explainability of the models.

There’s more effort put in this than in the models themselves, generally speaking, in whatever product we do, whatever thing we roll out, and so of course they don’t want that. They’re at the top already, so they want to make sure that they maintain that edge, so that’s why you’re hearing that from them.

More:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech

VentureBeat: So then what should people expect from Element AI in the next six months?

Gagné: At this point it’s all about scale, like we’re literally in the bottom of the hockey stick looking to be 500 people before the end of the year, 1,000 next year, so we’re really starting to hit that phase. And then for us it’s all about repeatable deployments: successful, repeatable deployments. It’s just about repeatability, getting our cybersecurity product out there, our product for insurance, banking, and we’ve got stuff coming for logistics companies.

VentureBeat: You guys are in a bit of a different position than most companies, but do you feel like the monopoly that large companies have stifles the innovation that could be happening in the AI startup ecosystem?

Gagné: No longer, actually. I think they’re [banks] getting challenged to the point that if they don’t do something about it, they know their business is going to start to — their margins and everything are going to start to diminish, and in the financial sector it’s definitely there.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Plowing Ahead: Bermuda Continues Crypto-Friendly Push With Digital ID Partnership

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Forbes | | May 16, 2018

Bermuda’s transition from crypto-nobody to jurisdiction du jour in the space continued to plow ahead Tuesday with the inking of a deal with Shyft, the Toronto-based digital identity provider.

Announced at Consensus 2018, the partnership builds upon the array of new blockchain and initial coin offering-friendly legislation, which was passed recently and awaits the governor’s signature, by laying the groundwork for a progressive ecosystem rooted in sound Know Your Customer practices, which are seen as a critical ingredient to the industry's continued growth.

“The Government of Bermuda has decided to lead the way and build interoperability into the government legislation [to], in essence, approach regulatory frameworks with exportability in mind,” Premier David Burt explained at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.

See:  Canadian governments must double-down to foster tech boom here, end brain drain to U.S.

Burt continued:

“This is our Bermuda jurisdiction as a service, the high level of exportability ‘stack’ that includes technology, regulation, process and protocol that we have built with assistance and commitment of modern companies like Shyft with expertise in handling KYC and anti-money laundering compliance.”

Shyft is building a decentralized identity solution designed to collate all of the KYC and AML-related inputs required for a compliant blockchain transaction in a manner that maximizes privacy, enables required attestation and offers verification in a more streamlined and cost-efficient manner than current methods.

“Shyft has an ambitious objective of building a global digital identity ecosystem that gives all citizens the opportunity to participate,” Joseph Weinberg, chairman of Shyft.

“We have a goal of leveraging new technology to make positive and inclusive change. We have found a similar intent and aspiration with the Government of Bermuda.”

No Time To Waste

The announcement comes amid a flurry of activity on the crypto front out of the British territory.

Binance, the world's largest exchange by trading volume, last month announced a similar $15M investment into the island. Further, legislation laying out a framework for regulating digital assets and initial coin offerings is also on the cusp of being enacted.

Speaking on the main Consensus 2018 stage on Monday, Burt wooed the crypto community by touting the island’s desire to provide a stable and friendly regulatory environment for innovators who have been playing cat and mouse games with governments elsewhere. He also highlighted the island's proximity to New York City - just a 90 minute flight.

See:  Crypto Self-Governance Touted as Solution to Regulatory ‘Mess’

Representatives from the Bermudan government and business community were also on hand at the event, many of them conspicuously dressed in Bermuda shorts and knee socks, courting companies seeking a new place to domicile and launch. One representative explained that several ICO projects are currently lined up in the queue and will begin moving ahead formally once the ICO legislation is signed later this month.

Faster Than A Startup

Under the MOU, Shyft will invest up to $10M over three years into the local economy for job creation, workforce training and education in blockchain and related technologies, with the goal of returning repatriating many of the skilled labor that has left the island in recent years in search of work elsewhere.

Bruce Silcoff, CEO of Shyft, said that his aspiration was to promote a “brain gain” effect to Bermuda’s population of 60,000.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to over 1700+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Kraken Donates $1 Million to Blockchain Advocacy Group Coin Center

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Coindesk | Leigh Cuen | May 15, 2018

There are few things the cryptocurrency community loves more than outspokenness - except, perhaps, putting your money where your mouth is.

Jesse Powell, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, donated $1 million to the nonprofit Coin Center on Monday night at the advocacy organization's annual gala in New York City. Kraken also pledged to match any donation to Coin Center until the end of the month, up to $1 million.

It was the biggest single donation made to Coin Center, said Neeraj Agrawal, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

See: 

Kraken, based in San Francisco, is no stranger to the regulatory minefield Coin Center strives to defuse and build bridges across.See:

In April, Kraken was one of 13 exchanges that received an inquiry regarding "internal controls and safeguards to protect consumer assets" from former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Unlike many competitors, Powell refused to respond, saying his exchange can "dodge this bullet" because it left New York in 2015, spurred by what he called the state's onerous regulatory approach.

Kraken's donation won Powell a round of applause. Sporting a baseball cap, the long-haired maverick entrepreneur did not make any remarks, letting the donation speaking for itself.

Satoshi walks into a bar...

Almost as warmly received was the litany of cryptocurrency-themed jokes delivered by Coin Center's director of research, Peter Van Valkenburgh.

"Fork: really a word that usually isn't in need of translation for the average person, you may be holding one right now," Van Valkenburgh told the audience of finely-attired crypto veterans munching on their first course.

He added:

"For cryptocurrency enthusiasts, this translates pretty directly to: free coins! And I'd add that, to their tax attorney, this translates to: 'fuck.'"

Jokes aside, the theme of the night was the importance of coming together as a community to curb stifling regulation through transparency and education.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to over 7500+ members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry.  Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE!  Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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