Category Archives: Stories

No joke: KFC Canada starts accepting Bitcoin for a bucket of chicken, immediately sells out

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Financial Post | Hollie Shaw | Jan 12, 2018

Many commenters on the Facebook post appeared to regard the promotion as a joke

TORONTO — A professed failure to understand Bitcoin has not deterred KFC Canada from accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for a bucket of fried chicken.

A limited-time marketing promotion for a “Bitcoin Bucket” was launched Thursday afternoon by the quick-serve restaurant chain — so limited, in fact, that it appeared to sell out of the ten-piece chicken buckets entirely between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. ET on Friday.

“Sure, we don’t know exactly what Bitcoins are, or how they work, but that shouldn’t come between you and some finger lickin’ good chicken,”

the company said in a posting on its Canadian Facebook page that featured a live tracker of the virtual currency’s value superimposed on a bucket of chicken.

See:  [CCS2018 March 5-6, Toronto]: NEW GROWTH Blockchain, Fintech & Funding Conference and Expo

For a Bitcoin payment worth the equivalent of $20, a customer could order a bucket of 10 chicken tenders, with waffle fries, a side dish, gravy and two dips. The post provides a link to a digital ordering hub that allowed users to make a payment using the Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay.

Many commenters on the Facebook post appeared to regard the promotion as a joke.

“$20 bucket today, $5 bucket tomorrow, $200 bucket next week,” wrote Nathan Hudson, alluding to the cryptocurrency’s volatility.

Others noted the cost of the bucket would come out to about $40 due to a $20 transaction fee.

The promotion is also highlighted on Twitter, where KFC Canada alluded to Bitcoin’s alleged founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for one or several unknown individuals who launched the virtual currency. “If Satoshi reveals his true identity, his bucket is on us,” KFC said.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a national non-profit actively engaged with social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, peer-to-peer (P2P), initial coin offerings (ICO), and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, networking opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, academia and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and online financing industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Bitcoin rises after report says early Facebook investor Peter Thiel is buying massive amounts

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CNBC | | Jan 1, 2018

  • Peter Thiel's Founders Fund has bought millions of dollars in bitcoin, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the situation.
  • Those holdings are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the newspaper says. It wasn't clear whether Founders had sold any of its holdings, the report says.
  • Bitcoin rises more than 11 percent to trade near $14,711, according to Coinbase.

PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel's Founders Fund has bought millions of dollars in bitcoin, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the situation.

Bitcoin rose more than 11 percent to trade near $14,711, according to Coinbase, amid the report.

See:  Bitcoin is making banks nervous. Here’s why

The venture capital firm bought about $15 million to $20 million in bitcoin, and told investors that after bitcoin's surge in the last year, those holdings are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the newspaper said. It wasn't clear whether Founders had sold any of its holdings, the report said.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a national non-profit actively engaged with social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, peer-to-peer (P2P), initial coin offerings (ICO), and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, networking opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, academia and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and online financing industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Coinbase ordered to give the IRS data on users trading more than $20,000

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Techcrunch | | Nov 29, 2017

Most digital currencies exist in a sort of twilight state just beyond the grasp of federal regulators, but the U.S. tax authority is starting to get savvy to this whole bitcoin thing.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Coinbase must supply the IRS with identifying information on users who had more than $20,000 in annual transactions on its platform between 2013 and 2015. After noticing that the number of tax returns claiming gains from virtual currency didn’t line up with the emerging popularity of digital currencies like bitcoin as an investment vehicle, the IRS asked Coinbase to hand over a broad swath of information on its users. Coinbase pushed back, and now the court has landed on a compromise that the company is calling a “partial victory.”

See:  BCSC sponsors British Columbia’s first Regtech Hackathon

“Coinbase itself admits that the Narrowed Summons requests information regarding 8.9 million Coinbase transactions and 14,355 Coinbase account holders. That only 800 to 900 taxpayers reported gains related to bitcoin in each of the relevant years and that more than 14,000 Coinbase users have either bought, sold, sent or received at least $20,000 worth of bitcoin in a given year suggests that many Coinbase users may not be reporting their bitcoin gains,” the court documents read.

While cryptocurrency users who value the relative decentralization and privacy afforded by digital currencies won’t be happy, Coinbase succeeded in limiting the government’s initial request for information on all Coinbase users who made transactions from 2013 to 2015 to the smaller subset of high-value users.

The IRS initially requested nine kinds of user data, including “complete user profiles, know-your-customer due diligence, documents regarding third-party access, transaction logs, records of payments processed, correspondence between Coinbase and Coinbase users, account or invoice statements and records of payments.”

Rejecting some of those requests, today the court narrowed the scope of documents that the IRS can request from Coinbase to taxpayer ID number, name, date of birth, address, transaction logs and account statements, deeming the rest of the documents “not necessary.” Again, these personal data requests will only apply to accounts that have bought, sold, sent or received more than $20,000 in any of those types of transactions between 2013 and 2015.

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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, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, 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.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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‘Old school’ B.C. ski resort sets crowdfunding record in quest to fend off Vail

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Financial Post | By Natalie Obiko Pearson | Nov 1, 2017

Red Mountain is famous among lovers of powder snow and long runs so it's no wonder its web-based campaign has struck a chord with skiers worried about a wave of consolidation in the resort business

A tiny Canadian ski resort forged by Scandinavian miners chasing a 1890s gold rush has become the unlikely recipient of a record equity crowdfunding raise, tapping into powder hounds’ quest to fend off a wave of consolidation led by Vail Resorts Inc.

Investors are lining up to buy a piece of Red Mountain Resort in Rossland, B.C., drawn by its rebellious pitch of “Fight the Man, Own the Mountain.” The web-based campaign, the first by a ski resort, appears to have struck a chord with skiers anxious about a flurry of acquisitions that has put 39 resorts in the hands of just three corporations.

“Consolidation sometimes has the potential of stripping the soul and heritage out of these old-school resorts,” says Howard Katkov, chief executive officer of Red Mountain Ventures, who’s publicly taken jibes at the purpose-built villages and ubiquitous clock towers found at resorts like Vail and Whistler Blackcomb. “It’s about preserving what we consider an endangered species.” Vail didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

On the first day of its Canadian fundraising in August, Red drew pledges for $508,500, the largest single-day amount for an equity crowdfunding campaign in the nation, according to Sean Burke, chief operating officer of FrontFundr, the online investment platform in Canada. As of Tuesday, it had raised $455,050 with an additional $530,800 in process.

See:

RED Mountain Goes LIVE With Crowdfunding in Canada; Urges Fans to “Fight The Man. Own The Mountain.”

RED Mountain Hits Their $10 Million Goal on Crowdfunding

Heavy Powder

Ahead of its U.S. launch, it had received more than 3,500 reservations for as much as $13.3 million — 12 times the annual maximum permitted under U.S. regulations. The campaign is set to close on Dec. 1 and has set a minimum target of $1.5 million for the offering to close.

Red has more to offer than hype.

Western Canada’s oldest ski resort is legendary among powderhounds for steep, long runs that have groomed national team racers and Olympic champions, including Nancy Greene and Kerrin Lee-Gartner. Located in eastern British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies, just miles from the Washington and Montana borders, it boasts 300 inches of snow a year that’s dry and light.

Red’s fabled roots stretch back to Norwegian miner Olaus Jeldness, who arrived in the area in 1896 following the discovery of a massive vein of ore on Red Mountain named Le Roi. Jeldness, who’d set a world record by ski jumping 92 feet at the age of 15 in his homeland, enthralled local townspeople hurtling down the hill on 10-foot long wooden skis with only a single leather strap to hold them in place. Within a year, he organized Canada’s first ski race — a 2.5-kilometre free-for-all from the summit, beating his lone rival by five minutes.

‘The Beauty’

“The beauty of Red is that we have Rossland, a real, historic, gold rush-era town at the bottom of the hill,” says Katkov. That town at its peak teemed with 7,000 people, 42 saloons, and the likes of “Popcorn Kate” and “Scrap Iron Nelly,” according to historical records at the local museum. Rossland’s one main street has preserved the architecture of that era but now sports a sushi restaurant, a trendy cafe, and a gourmet supermarket.

“It’s this little gem of a place that no one really knows about,” says Jason Davies, a 45-year-old British snowboarder who invested in Red and has visited slopes all over North America and Europe.

 

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing 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 vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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Lending Loop Surpasses $10M in Loans to Small Businesses Across Canada

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Lending Loop | | Oct 18, 2017

TORONTO Oct. 18, 2017 – Lending Loop has officially helped provide financing of more than $10 million to small businesses across Canada. To date, the company, which is Canada’s premier peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, has helped over 180 small businesses in a variety of industries access funding to expand their businesses.

Speaking on the achievement, Lending Loop co-founder and CEO Cato Pastoll said:

“We’re excited to have hit this milestone in such a short period of time. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our rapidly growing community of 12,000 Canadians who are all helping to contribute to our collective success. Everyone knows how important small businesses are to the continued growth of our economy and we’re proud to be playing a part in helping their growth.”

Lending Loop’s unique P2P lending model allows Canadians across the country to lend their money to small businesses posted on Lending Loop’s online marketplace. These investors derive their return from the interest rate attached to each loan, which in turn corresponds to the risk rating of that business. By cutting out the banks and the middlemen, Lending Loop loans are often significantly more affordable than loans from other financial providers, with rates starting as low as 5.9%.

See:  Lending Loop launches “Auto-Lend” after raising new round of funding

When asked about the milestone, Lending Loop co-founder and CTO Brandon Vlaar said that:

“Our team is deeply passionate about helping the small business community thrive. We’re looking forward to helping even more small businesses learn about our better way to borrow, while also educating Canadians about how they can grow their wealth through this new and exciting investment opportunity.”

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing 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 vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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Ottawa teen’s low-cost smartphone to take on Apple, Samsung

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CBC News Ottawa | Joe Lofaro | Sep 3, 2017

Moe Omer, 17, and business partner hope $180 smartphone will take off

Moe Omer is about to take on tech giants Apple and Samsung with the launch of his own smartphone next week, with one noticeable difference between him and competition.

He's launching the phone with some of the features you'd expect in most mid-range phones, but for just $180. Oh, and he's only 17 years old.

What started out as a passion project for the Ottawa teen has now blossomed into a full-blown entrepreneurial undertaking.

Moe Omer, 17, is studying industrial design while launching his new smartphone company. (Twitter/@therealmoeomer)

Omer told CBC Radio's All in a Day that when he met with a millionaire investor and shared his idea, he was told he was on embarking on a futile enterprise.

See:  Crowdfunding Best Practices  |  Campaigns

"I kind of just went with it, and he didn't think we were going to make it up to this point. And we're here now," Omer said.

Omer is now the chief technology officer of the new smartphone brand "frank." Along with his business partner and CEO, Fahd Alhattab, Omer hopes to attract prospective customers with an Indiegogo fundraising campaign that will launch Sept. 5.

The new phone looks like your typical, modern smartphone. It has a fingerprint reader, a 16-megapixel rear camera, a 5.5-inch HD display, and it runs on Google's Android operating system.

But what stands out most about the phone is the price, which is the focus of their cheeky social media campaign.

"I just want this to be a brutally honest, frank phone. I want to be honest with everyone in the most brutal way possible, and we're not shying away from different methods of marketing," Omer said.

See:  For Canada’s tech to thrive, startups must grow up

The first 500 phones will be available for the $180 price, but after that the cost jumps to $220. Omer hopes to attract a young, money-conscious demographic with the low price tag.

The guiding mantra behind developing the phone over the past year was sacrifice.

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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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ICO Ban? Canada’s Regulators Are Giving One Token Sale a Big Break

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Coindesk | by Aaron Stanley | Sep 6, 2017

As China moves to ban initial coin offerings (ICOs), a regulator on the other side of the world is taking the polar opposite approach.

Far from imposing penalties and refunds, Quebec's regulator for financial institutions, the Autorite des marches financiers (AMF), is seeking to better understand the blockchain use case – if not altogether encourage it. In fact, the AMF has not only determined that a token sale by Impak Finance, a platform for investing in socially responsible enterprises, is a security, it has gone so far as to accept the company into its regulatory sandbox.

With the news, Impak Coin becomes the first project to launch in the AMF's sandbox, announced earlier this year, and the first regulated ICO based in Canada.

 

See:  CSA Staff Notice 46-307: Cryptocurrency Offerings

Most notably, however, the AMF is also showing a willingness to bend certain rules for the sale, relieving Impak from several requirements securities issuers would normally be subjected to for investor protection purposes.

And according to Patrick Theoret, a director in AMF's corporate finance division, the regulator believes that's the best strategy for approaching new and novel tech.

He told CoinDesk:

"It’s in the spirit of the sandbox that we are willing to alleviate some of the requirements on, sort of, a test case basis. It's a test run to see whether there are investor protection [issues] with the relief that we grant."

Looking ahead, AMF will serve as the principal regulator to the token, and Canada's other provinces and territories will honor the decision via the Canadian securities passport system, which allows the startup access to all markets in the country while only complying with their principal regulator.

Catching up

Announced earlier this year by the Canadian Securities Administration – a consortium of provincial securities regulators – the sandbox is meant to jumpstart fintech projects that don't easily fit within the confines of a legacy framework. And ICOs, a nascent fundraising mechanism by which new cryptocurrencies are created and sold to investors, fit this definition.

In this light, Paul Allard, president of Impak, said the decision to participate in the sandbox was straightforward.

"I had been working with the regulators for several years prior to Impak Coin, and I knew that they were keen in adapting their regulatory framework to catch up with the cryptocurrency sector," he said.

But the decision was also a necessity since AMF determined Impak Coin – which will be used to power Impak's platform – met its definition of a security. Specifically, it's a contract in which there is an investment in a common enterprise with the expectation of profit on the efforts of others.

Yet, as this ruling could come down on other ICO projects in the country in the future, AMF representatives said Impak Coin is serving as a de-facto test for a new kind of business onramp.

Granting relief

But while impactful for regulators, it's the relief granted to Impak that might be most notable for innovators and entrepreneurs.

Firstly, Impak will not have to register as a securities dealer, provided certain terms and conditions – such as know-your-customer screenings – are met, according to Sophie Jean, director of supervision of intermediaries at AMF.

Plus, because of its categorization as a security, the token distribution is supposed to come with a prospectus – a printed document describing a commercial enterprise in order to inform investors – but the AMF waived that requirement also, Jean said.

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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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