Category Archives: Online Funding Portals

Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18

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IT Business | Bret Conkin | June 12, 2018

Real estate and fintech have been integrating in exciting new ways in recent years.

Real estate online investment or crowdfunding has been a sector that has attracted significant interest in the U.S. over the last several years, with more than 100 portals launched to serve rapidly growing developer and investor interest. In fact, industry research hub crowdsourcing.org estimates that the industry will be worth more than $300 billion USD by 2025.

Why would developers consider an online and alternative financing route? A big reason, beyond the capital, is the significant marketing benefits that campaigns can generate, including community building.

Check out:  GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

To investigate where the Canadian market for real estate crowdfunding is going in the next 12 months, we interviewed the two leading portals in Canada, online investment platform NexusCrowd and private equity firm R2 (though R2 notes that they position themselves as an online marketplace or fintech in commercial real estate, not as “crowdfunders”).

Learn more below.

Bret Conkin: How many projects and capital were raised via your portal in 2017? To date in 2018?

Amar Nijar, CEO of R2 Capital & Investments: Since our launch two years ago, R2 has funded 12 projects with $25 million of equity and more than $200 million of debt.

Hitesh Rathod, CEO of NexusCrowd Inc.: In 2017 – three deals worth $2 million. For 2018 to date – one deal worth $1 million, but we’re expecting at least two more deals near term for $3 million in additional capital raised. Keep in mind that we are very selective about the deals we put on the platform and that all deals have been fully subscribed. Of note, two deals closed within four weeks and two deals closed within 2 weeks.

ITB: What are your overall metrics now since the launch of your portal?

R2: We have 2,500-plus investors on our platform, with thousands more on our emails, newsletters, and social media platforms.

NexusCrowd: Eight deals completed, with more than $5 million raised, and more than $240 million in project value.

ITB: What (ballpark) portion of the capital stack has the “online marketplace” contributed to your recent projects?

R2: 75 per cent of the equity we funded has come via online as lead generation or execution.

NexusCrowd: We’ve contributed anywhere between 15 and 100 per cent of the total capital raise (debt or equity) for specific projects. As a percentage of total capital stack (debt and equity required for a project), between five and 20 per cent.

ITB: What was your biggest online raise to date for a project?

R2: Close to $5 million on our $90 million mixed-use project across from Bayview village Mall, located on Sheppard Avenue between Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street in Toronto’s high-end housing area.

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

NexusCrowd: Two projects each raised $1 million. Deal 1 – Debt financing for a town home development in Markham, Ontario. Deal 2 – Preferred equity financing for the development of 10 luxury homes in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

ITB: Has the market for alternative finance unfolded at the pace you expected? Faster? Slower? Why?

R2: Very slow, due to the regulatory burdens of compliance. Currently Canada is not the right country for such innovation, despite the talk by politicians, as it’s not meeting the policy objectives in reality.

NexusCrowd: Slower than expected. It’s a combination of a couple of factors in my opinion – 1) Canadians are generally risk-averse and slower adopters of new products, and 2) Individuals aren’t aware of these alternative methods of investing.

ITB: What do you foresee for real estate “online marketplaces” in Canada over the next 12 months?

R2: Everybody is trying to carve his or her niche. Many think that having an online ID and password-based website with a docusign feature is an “online marketplace.” However, the players who truly engage the digital footprint with their good underlying investments, along with blockchain and security tokens, will be the clear winners over the next four years. Our current model is to provide a balanced risk-return portfolio via our online portal so investors have a dashboard to track their investments in real time. We are aiming to be the first ones in Canada to incorporate blockchain and security tokens into our platform by end of this year.

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NCFA Post | June 20, 2018 Launching your own crowdfunding campaign is a great way for you to start your journey as an entrepreneur. It is also a fantastic opportunity for you to generate a buzz around your business and to get people talking about your plans for the future. However, your attempts at crowdfunding will only be successful if you put the work in and plan ahead. Below are four steps that will help you to do this. Show what you have done already If you are going to get people excited about your crowdfunding campaign, you will need to show them what you have done already. Not doing so will make it extremely difficult for you to stand out from your crowdfunding competitors. It will also cause people to doubt your entrepreneurial spirit, as they begin to wonder why you haven’t achieved anything independently. Why not resolve this issue by setting up an investment portfolio for your business? This is a fantastic opportunity for you to raise your own funds. It will also provide a clear idea of what you are going to do with your future profits. If you are eager to learn more, you should research ...
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Coindesk | Wolfie Zhao | June 20, 2018 On Wednesday, roughly 35 billion Korean won (around $31 million) in cryptocurrency was stolen by hackers from the South Korea-based exchange Bithumb. Although the breach may not be as severe as the $530 million hack of the Coincheck exchange earlier this year, the fact that Bithumb now ranks as the sixth biggest trading venue in the world still marks it as a notable, and worrying, incident. While more details about the heist have surfaced in the hours following the event's confirmation, providing a glimpse into Bithumb's internal operations, some important questions about the hack still remain unanswered. Here's what we know about the hack so far, and some details we still don't. What we know XRP compromised While Bithumb has not yet disclosed full details of the stolen coins, news emerged following the hack that XRP, the native token of the XRP ledger and the world's third-largest cryptocurrency, has been targeted, according to a report from CoinDesk Korea. Based on data from CoinMarketCap, Bithumb accounted for 10 percent of the global trading volume of XRP over the last 24 hours, with a total of $32 million-worth changing hands. Bithumb has so far ...
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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | June 18, 2018 2018 Fintech & Funding Summer Kickoff Networking - PATIO TIME! Join the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada, Pegasus Fintech Inc., Fintech Growth Syndicate, Nikola Tesla Unite Ltd.,  partners, affiliates and the Fintech & Funding community in the heart of upscale Yorkville (neighborhood) on the InterContinental's PATIO and Proof Bar for a night of revelry and prime networking mixer.  Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative finance and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to connect with emerging fintech startups (stealth mode) and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem. EVENT DETAILS: Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018 ~5:30 PM - 9:00PM+ InterContinental Yorkville (PATIO & Proof Bar) 220 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M5S 1T8 (map) LIMITED TICKETS - GET'M BEFORE THEY'RE GONE! $25 Early / $35 Standard / $50 Late All include entrance to private event, a complimentary drink, hors d'oeuvres, prizes and prime networking Taxes and fees extra.  No refunds 7 days before the event (after Jul 4).  Ticket transfers ok. If it rains the event will take place inside the Proof Bar Checkout photos from last year's ...
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Bitcoin.com | Avi Mizrahi | Jun 11, 2018 Canadian bitcoin investors and cryptocurrency traders are going to be subjected to an increased level of market surveillance soon if the government has its way. Once the proposed regulations are implemented, every transaction above $10,000 CAD will have to be reported. Crypto Exchanges to Report as MSBs The Department of Finance Canada has issued a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement regarding proposed amendments to the country’s AML/ATF regime. The statement suggests that Canadian crypto exchanges will be treated as money service businesses (MSBs) and will have to report trades over a certain amount. According to the proposed amendments published in the Canada Gazette, “Persons and entities that are ‘dealing in virtual currency’ would be financial entities or other entities deemed domestic or foreign MSBs, as the case may be. These ‘dealing in’ activities include virtual currency exchange services and value transfer services. As required of all MSBs, persons and entities dealing in virtual currencies would need to implement a full compliance program and register with FINTRAC. In addition, all reporting entities that receive $10,000 or more in virtual currency (e.g. deposits, any form of payment) would have record-keeping and reporting obligations.” See:  Canada ...
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Canadian Exchanges to Report Transactions Over $10k per Proposed Regulations
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Jun 14, 2018 Ethereum rose dramatically today following the comments of William Hinman, Director of the Division of Corporate Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who inserted a statement in a speech today that ended the question of Ethereum being a security. Hinman told an audience at Yahoo Finance in San Francisco; “And putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.” The reassuring comments not only helped Ethereum, but other cryptocurrencies followed higher in its wake. CoinList co-founder and President Andy Bromberg commented on the news from the SEC that it doesn’t consider Ether or Bitcoin – for that matter, a security: “The SEC’s recent comments are a validation of the possibility of non-securities tokens and a big step towards more definitive guidance on how and when individual tokens can be defined as non-securities. The precedent they are indicating here is a powerful one that will enable new projects to continue to flourish in the space.” Of course, the comments by the SEC ...
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IT Business | Bret Conkin | June 12, 2018 Real estate and fintech have been integrating in exciting new ways in recent years. Real estate online investment or crowdfunding has been a sector that has attracted significant interest in the U.S. over the last several years, with more than 100 portals launched to serve rapidly growing developer and investor interest. In fact, industry research hub crowdsourcing.org estimates that the industry will be worth more than $300 billion USD by 2025. Why would developers consider an online and alternative financing route? A big reason, beyond the capital, is the significant marketing benefits that campaigns can generate, including community building. Check out:  GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA To investigate where the Canadian market for real estate crowdfunding is going in the next 12 months, we interviewed the two leading portals in Canada, online investment platform NexusCrowd and private equity firm R2 (though R2 notes that they position themselves as an online marketplace or fintech in commercial real estate, not as “crowdfunders”). Learn more below. Bret Conkin: How many projects and capital were raised via your portal in 2017? To date in 2018? Amar Nijar, CEO of R2 Capital & ...
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Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18
Baer & Karrer | By Daniel Flühmann and Peter Hsu | May 23, 2018 The Fintech Landscape 1.1 Please describe the types of fintech businesses that are active in your jurisdiction and any notable fintech innovation trends of the past year within particular sub-sectors (e.g. payments, asset management, peer-to-peer lending or investment, insurance and blockchain applications). The Swiss fintech landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years and Switzerland continues to be an attractive base for innovators in the financial sector. Approximately 200 active companies in various sub-sectors form the core of the diverse Swiss fintech ecosystem. The total number of fintech-related businesses, however, is much higher. Many established financial institutions and other established financial market players have entered the fintech space in the recent past and, as a result, the distinction between fintech and traditional financial services has become increasingly blurred. Swiss-based fintech businesses include robo-advisory and social trading services, crowdfunding and crowdlending platforms as well as payment systems and businesses active in the area of collective investment schemes. One of the key focus areas in the past year has been driven by blockchain-based businesses, in particular in the areas of cryptocurrencies and decentralised transaction platforms (e.g. Ethereum ...
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Comprehensive Overview of Fintech in Switzerland H1 2018
CSA | Staff Notice 46-308 | June 11, 2018 Montréal – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published CSA Staff Notice 46-308 Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens, which provides additional guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including ones that are commonly referred to as “utility tokens.” “Since publishing initial guidance, we have engaged with numerous businesses considering token offerings and have found that most of these offerings involve securities,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Our notice sets out additional guidance based on situations we have seen to date and common inquiries we have received from businesses and their advisors.” CSA Staff Notice 46-308 outlines specific situations that may have an implication on the presence of one or more of the elements of an investment contract in the context of an offering of coins or tokens. This notice supplements the CSA’s August 2017 publication of CSA Staff Notice 46-307 Cryptocurrency Offerings, which outlines how securities law requirements may apply to initial coin offerings, initial token offerings, cryptocurrency investment funds and the cryptocurrency platforms trading these products. See:  State and Provincial Securities Regulators Conduct Coordinated International ...
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Canadian Innovation Exchange | Peter Jones | June 8, 2018 NCFA Canada is a proud Community Partner of CIX, Canada's most curated startup investment conference. Invited attendees are founders of Canada's most innovative early- and growth-stage tech companies and global investors and corporates. CIX takes place over two days, Oct 22-23, 2018, in downtown Toronto. The 11th annual CIX Top 20 program is now open for submissions. The CIX Top 20 program is Canada's largest national showcase of the nation's hottest and most innovative tech companies. CIX Selection Committee evaluates all submissions and selects 20 to present at CIX, taking place on October 22 & 23 in Toronto. Register online and use code KICKOFFCIX by Friday, July 20th, or reach out to Joel Pinto at jpinto@brunico.com for further registration inquiries Visit the CIX website --> now 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 ...
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Conference Toronto (Oct 22-23):  11th Annual Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX)
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:  ...
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Nikola Tesla Unite to use Alianza Motorsports to Educate Race Fans on Crypto

 


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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What we can learn from Ontario’s $3 million loan to small business

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NCFA Canada | By Gary Buisansky | May 11, 2018

Summary

It's not every day we wake up to hear that the Ontario Government has committed to a loan of 3 million Dollars for small business. A market woefully underserved by traditional lenders.

Beyond the benefit this will have for small business, it provides testimony to the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada’s continued advocacy for financial and regulatory support to the sector. (You can read the NCFA’s March 2018 submission to Finance Canada here and Lifting the Veil on Peer to peer Lending in Q1 2016 here).

As an industry, while we navigate the regulatory hurdles, there are some lessons we can take away from this, to better help ourselves and the Canadian market. There are also several Canadian success stories which we should not lose sight of. AI, Crypto currency and blockchain, are all thriving in Canada.

Ontario Government supports small business

Lending Loop, an active member of the NCFA, has been making the news lately with an announced 2-year pilot project partnership with the Ontario Government for a $3 million loan.

If you're not familiar with Lending Loop, it fills an important void in the market, connecting small businesses and Canadian retail investors, willing to lend to them.

Through the Lending Loop platform, small companies can finance loans at reasonable rates, often within days of their loan application.

These borrowers face very real challenges securing funding in the Canadian market with debt finance to SME's considered very risky. Where loans are made, they usually come with eyewatering interest rates, reflecting their often-limited track record, lack of financial information and availability of collateral.

See:  Ontario government invests in fintech to boost small-business lending

Loans provided by Lending Loop will now have a 10% government participation, with the government portion of the loan amount treated like any other; the principle amount will be repaid together with interest.

The anchor investment by the Ontario Government will enable total funding of around $30 million to Ontario's SME's providing welcome relief to an under banked market and provide leveraged economic benefit into the broader economy.

This is a clear win for all parties. But what can the greater fintech community learn from this success?

The importance of government relationships and support for fintech companies

Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, makes the point that fintech companies underestimate the importance of government relationships, particularly those in the startup phase. He suggests:

"Its up to you to educate the regulators about your business and what societal benefits it provides. You need to make yourself heard. For the most part, fintech entrepreneurs do not make it a priority to try work with government.

It can be vital, particularly in regulated industries, to find the time and make the effort. The governments role is to hear the challenges industries and people are facing and want to understand the dynamics of the market".

In his experience, regulators and government only hear part of the story and if fintech does not speak up, then regulators are left with only the incumbents viewpoint.

Government recognizes that Canada can play a bigger game

In a study released in December last year, the Canadian Competition- Bureau, observed:

"...other jurisdictions have more welcoming and innovationconducive regulatory environments than Canada. The United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong have been identified as leading fintech hubs based on talent, funding availability, government policy and demand for fintech".

This contrasts with the position in Canada, where regulatory gaps, uncertainty and lack of consistency across provinces prevail.

An 11-point plan has been proposed, that includes harmonizing regulation across geographic boundaries, and identifying a fintech policy lead for Canada. These solutions would go a long way to addressing key roadblocks in the growth and development of Canadian fintech. Additionally, Craig Asano, Executive Director of the NCFA, makes the point that:

To help verify Canadas competitive position relative to other jurisdictions, additional resources and support are needed for data collection and education. This will help quantify the number of fintech companies, capital investments, financings and loan volumes of new funding models, and the time and cost spent on compliance.

The Canadian government is extremely well placed to support the sector. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the largest VC fund in the country with over $1 billion in capital under management. Most Canadian VC funds have government money, either directly through BDC investing in the funds or indirectly through funds of funds that in turn invest in VC's.

The significance of government involvement and ability to support and foster a sustainable fintech sector, with market confidence is critical. The C.D. Howe Institute makes the case for a suite of recommendations that, if adopted, will better position Canada to take advantage of its investments in the technological revolution that is underway throughout the economy.

Right way round regulatory sandboxes could offer short term benefits

While Canada makes use of regulatory sandboxes to help start-ups test new products or services in a controlled environment, there is room to improve the model. Unlike competitor countries including the UK and Australia, which offer flexible and proportional regulatory frameworks, Canada follows a more paternalistic model.

See:  How Blockchain and Crypto are Impacting Canadian Fintech Markets

Cato Pastoll says the Canadian model has it the wrong way around.

In Canada one must adjust your business to fit in with the existing regulatory models rather than forcing regulators to figure out how best to regulate.

Getting this right is critical in his view, particularly if we are going to compete with other countries.

What this requires is a mind shift followed by active dialogue between stakeholders and industry to work out a better framework for regulatory sandboxes.

That said, there are some areas of fintech where accelerator programs and innovation hubs are showing strong results.

Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain is accelerating in Canada

KPMG International in their Pulse of Fintech Q4'17 Report, highlights AI as a major driver of innovation in the Americas, particularly in the US and Canada.

It refers to Canada as, "a hotbed for fintech innovation", and goes on to say that Canada’s participation in the space is getting more notice with world-class fintech hubs in Canada rapidly maturing with increased attention from US investors.

Crypto currency and blockchain related ventures are also recognizing Canada as a friendly jurisdiction.  With strong investor appetite available, crypto mining companies, Hut 8 Mining, BitFury and HIVE have all come to market to capital through the TSX-V.

See:  Registration Open: Convergence of the titans: Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Irakli Beridze, to Present in Toronto at AiDecentralized Summit (May 22)

More recently, the Ontario Securities Commission consented to the listing of the first Canadian Bitcoin ETF on the TSX under the ticker, HBLK which invests in companies involved in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

And over the past few days, Huobi a Singapore-based bitcoin exchange, (and the world’s number three exchange by 24-hour volume), has stated its intention to expand its operations to Toronto.

General Manager of Huobi, Ross Zhang stated;

"Canada is emerging as a leading blockchain nation, and Toronto is set to become one of the next most active blockchain hubs across North America".

Canada's fintech time is now

This serves to demonstrate that If Canada is to capitalize on the wave of fintech opportunity washing our shores, we need to act swiftly and get our regulatory house in order.

Without the need to reinvent the wheel, we can borrow from global best practices. We must continue to lobby for a unified regulatory framework and insist that the Federal Government champion fintech. Fintech after all has the wherewith-all to make a marked difference in our economy.

It would be a sad day if in years to come, we look back and wonder how we let slip what could have been ours to have.

 

Gary Buisansky is a freelance writer for NCFA and founder of Coin My Copy  which specializes in writing marketing content, including white papers, website copy, articles and case studies for fintech and traditional finance companies.

 


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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U.S. regulator sues LendingClub over hidden fees

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Reuters |Anna Irrera | Apr 25, 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. regulator sued online lender Lending Club Corp (LC.N) on Wednesday for allegedly overcharging consumers and misleading them on hidden fees.

The Federal Trade Commission said in a complaint filed in federal court in California that LendingClub deducted hidden fees from the loans it issued to borrowers, despite promising “no hidden fees.”

LendingClub also allegedly deducted payments automatically from consumers’ bank accounts even when they had paid off their loans, or had canceled automatic payments, according to the complaint. Some consumers were allegedly charged double payments, the complaint said.

LendingClub shares were down as much as 16 percent at $2.72 following the news.

The San Francisco-based start-up is one of the largest companies known as peer-to-peer lenders and runs a website where consumers can apply for loans that are either funded by individual investors or by institutions such as banks.

“We support the important role that the FTC plays in encouraging appropriate standards and best practices,” a spokesman for LendingClub said in a written statement. “In this case, we believe the FTC is wrong, and are very disappointed that it was not possible to resolve this matter constructively with the agency’s current leadership.”

LendingClub has been in recovery mode since May 2016, when it acknowledged issues, including the way it had sold loans to an investor, prompting the departure of its then chief executive.

Its shares have fallen more than 88 percent since its initial public offering in late 2014.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech 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 and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

 

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Compliant Airdrops: CoinList Service to Offer Investors Free Crypto Giveaways

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Coindesk | Brady Dale | Apr 25, 2018

Who thought giving something away could be so complicated?

That's the question crypto innovators have had to come to terms with since the concept of "airdrops" - or the practice of gifting tokens in massive giveaways - has come under the scrutiny of government regulators.

But with the launch of a new product Wednesday, CoinList, an initial coin offering (ICO) facilitator spun out of the renowned startup incubator AngelList, is looking to streamline the process of airdrops in a way that doesn't run afoul with the law.

Aptly named Airdrops, the product runs users through compliance checks and attestations so that a token issuer can give CoinList's users free tokens. On top of that, if the issuer is looking for users that meet certain criteria (be it a profession or location), they can verify that users actually fit those backgrounds.

Video:  Interview with Coinlist General Counsel, Georgia Quinn (at FFCON18)

In this way, CoinList CEO Andy Bromberg believes he has found a way to enable airdropped offerings at a time when many in the industry are looking for a compliant service. Token issuers themselves have had no shortage of issues here, with some, including video-monetization service Stream, even backing off the concept altogether because of the regulatory uncertainty.

Indeed, the SEC hasn't taken a formal stance on how it views crypto tokens delivered through ICO, airdrops or other forms of sales and giveaways, but it's clear regulators are currently investigating that question.

Still, Bromberg is confident in his assembled solutions, and in interview, he hinted at dialogue with regulators that would attest to the viability of the service.

"In our typical compliance first mindset, we sat down and said: Is there a way to pull this off without violating securities laws? And what we came to is the compliant Airdrops product," Bromberg told CoinDesk.

He continued:

"I can't comment on individual discussions with the SEC. What I can say is we are in frequrent communication with them and -- based on our understanding of securities law -- we are very comfortable with this."

Not only does the startup believe it has a solution for working under existing securities law, but it's also opening up its existing user base of past investors to new token issuers. Once users have gone through the company's compliance flow, they will be verified to receive airdrops, and CoinList will take a nominal fee from users (less than $1 per airdrop) to accept new tokens.

To date, according to its website, CoinList has run $850 million worth of token sales through its platform, representing what could be a vast pool of people interested in investing and taking part in future crypto tokens.

Compliance as a service

While that pool of potential investors will likely be attractive for token issuers, Coinlist's product is opt-in - a feature added to reduce spam and mitigate the security threats that have become a common annoyance from crypto enthusiasts involved in such offerings.

Also, CoinList says it's only willing to work with token issuers that are focused on complying with the law. And that's partly because CoinList will be promoting these projects for issuers.

See:  The Cryptocurrency Industry Might Actually Benefit From an Ad Ban

Still, CoinList's Airdrops product seems to be set up whereby all the compliance effort is offloaded from the issuer, which many issuers will like since many are not securities law experts.

CoinList's product allows for airdrops that might fall under Regulation S and Regulation D and will also collaborate with AngelList spin-off Republic, which has a license to sell securities under limited conditions to non-accredited investors using Regulation CF.

The company is also doing a country-by-country analysis to determine what sorts of checks issuers will need to do in order to airdrop to users around the world.

Depending not only on the goals of the issuer and who they want to give to, different levels of know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements will be needed, and whether issuers can to both accredited and unaccredited investors or one or the other.

And all of this has already proven enticing to token issuers. Bromberg told CoinDesk the company is in negotiations with more than one issuer to use its Airdrops product but declined to disclose which ones.

While CoinList has so far been focused on fundraising, Bromberg said that potential issuers will not have to have a token sale on the platform in order to use the new product.

"We're interested in exploring this model where in some cases ... funding might be separate from distribution," Bromberg said.

 

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech 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 and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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Etherparty Announces Global Crowdfunding Contest Valued at $300,000

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Etherparty Release | April 4, 2018

VANCOUVER, April 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - Etherparty Smart Contracts Inc. ("Etherparty"), a Vancouver blockchain technology company, is excited to announce the Rocket Three for Free contest, which will offer three projects or startup companies the opportunity to win full use of Etherparty's cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform, Rocket, free of charge.

The anticipation surrounding the launch of Etherparty's crowdfund creator has been steadily growing for months, and with the imminent arrival of Rocket, Etherparty has decided to hold a contest for startups looking to crowdfund using cryptocurrency. The smart contract solution developed by Etherparty called Rocket can be used on Bitcoin or Ethereum and is valued at USD $100,000.

Starting today, April 4, 2018, and running until April 30, 2018, applicants can submit a report, detailing their project, white paper and token purpose and functionality, along with company information including team LinkedIn profiles, social media channels, and Github, if public.

See:  Regulation Crowdfunding Surpasses $100,000,000 in Capital Commitments – Signaling an Industry that is Here to Stay and Reaching $1 Billion in the next 5 years

Once all of the applications have been submitted, short-listed companies will be interviewed by Etherparty's leadership team, and the three winners will be announced in May. In addition, outside of the three winners, Etherparty will be selecting up to 100 projects that will be able to receive a discount to launch their crowdfund with Etherparty.

"The contest is an amazing chance for a few young companies to harness the latest in crowdfunding technology at no cost, and no risk," said Kevin Hobbs, CEO at Etherparty.

Each winner will receive free token and crowdfund smart contracts, along with $20,000 worth in marketing services, to support their business and crowdfunding initiatives. The Rocket contest is looking to reward the best of the best, and Etherparty is excited to see what the community has to submit.

"We are looking for blockchain projects that are innovative and exciting, and we especially love projects that are problem-solving a large or global issue."

Only one submission per startup is allowed, and each submission must contain all of the required information to be eligible. To learn more about the Three for Free contest, visit contest.etherparty.com/threeforfree.

For continued updates, visit etherparty.com and subscribe to the company mailing list. You can also join the Etherparty conversation via Telegram, or on Facebook, Twitter, and BitcoinTalk.

About Etherparty

Etherparty is a blockchain technology company that develops end-to-end smart contract solutions powered by the FUEL token. Learn more about Etherparty and its software products at etherparty.com.

SOURCE Etherparty release


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech 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 and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  www.ncfacanada.org

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OSC approves first ICO in Ontario to TokenFunder

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OSC LaunchPad | Nov 23, 2017

Release:  OSC Launchpad approves Token Funder to be the first token offering out of Ontario

OSC approves initial coin offering

Investment Executive | James Langton | Nov 23, 2017

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has approved Ontario's first-ever regulated initial coin offering (ICO).

Under the auspices of the Canadian Securities Administrators' "regulatory sandbox", the OSC granted regulatory relief to Toronto-based Token Funder Inc., which will exempt the firm from the dealer registration requirements, and allow it to carry out an ICO under existing prospectus exemptions.

"We are pleased to announce that we just approved the first token offering out of Ontario. It is important that we continue to foster innovative new ways to raise capital and invest, and this announcement is a testament to the dedicated support we are providing in this space," the commission says in a statement.

According to the OSC's decision, the firm was established to create a "smart token asset management platform", which is intended to, among other things, "facilitate third-party issuers raising capital through the offering of blockchain-based securities, including tokens and coins."

Token Funder also intends to provide token and coin management and governance services for issuers, and to facilitate token transfers, subject to regulatory approval.

The proposed ICO will be used to fund the creation of the platform, and to facilitate transfers of digital FNDR tokens under prospectus exemptions. The firm is planning to create 1 billion FNDR tokens on the ethereum blockchain, and to distribute up to 200 million on them as part of the offering (raising around $10 million).

The relief was granted with conditions, including: the firm will conduct know-your-client (KYC) and a suitability review for each investor; and investors undergo a comprehensive onboarding process to ensure, among other things that they have a "detailed understanding" of cryptocurrency and digital token offerings.

This "should not necessarily be viewed as a precedent" for other firms, the OSC decision says.


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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