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Bold Vision, Bright Future

Canadian Securities Exchange | Richard Carleton | Aug 6, 2019

bold vision bright future - Bold Vision, Bright FutureIn the financial space, “uncertainty” is traditionally associated with a four letter word: risk. When given the option, most investors and financiers prefer to avoid uncertainty, not wade directly into it. However, when it comes to innovation and pursuing new industries, the Canadian Securities Exchange is proving that boldness in the face of “uncertainty” can result in transformative growth and add new dimensions to the Canadian financial landscape.

Take the commercial cannabis industry, for example. When the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) began listing cannabis companies in 2014, there had not yet been an actual target date set for recreational cannabis legalization, and the potential legislative framework was nebulous at best. The potential for success was high, but the risk factor was also elevated.

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Today, over 150 Canadian and US cannabis companies are listed on the CSE, making them the undisputed leader of listings in this space. By providing opportunities for cannabis companies in the public markets, the CSE has made progress in normalizing what is still considered to be a somewhat taboo business prospect. “There’s still a little bit of stigma attached to the industry,” stated Richard Carleton, CEO of the CSE, during a recent trip to Davos, Switzerland. “I think, I hope, that we can help change some minds.”

Making marijuana mainstream also has significant implications in Canadian public markets. During the Davos trip, Richard Carleton elaborated:

“We want to showcase Canada’s public market’s ability to fund startup industries. So, if you look at the cannabis space, in less than five years we’ve gone from $0 to more than $60 billion in market capitalization. And that funding was raised from cannabis public markets.”

Blockchain is another entrepreneurial space for the CSE. Last year, they announced the introduction of an innovative securities clearing and settlement platform that harnesses the unique features of blockchain technology, reducing the cost for smaller companies to trade publicly. At Extraordinary Future in 2018, Carleton discussed the benefits.

“It’s a revolution in terms of cutting out all the intermediaries that are in the way at this point, and are adding costs at each level,” Carleton remarked. “By going to real-time clearing and settlement… you free up all of that capital that’s being tied up in the legacy clearing and settlement process.”

The CSE is also interested in eSports, an industry that’s currently poised for exponential growth. A recent Toronto eSports-themed event co-hosted by the CSE explored the potential role of capital markets in the future of eSports. A similar event will take place in Vancouver later this year. By providing a forum for these conversations, the CSE is helping build foundational relationships in an industry that has the potential to add yet more opportunities in the capital markets space.

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By taking an entrepreneurial approach to growth-stage companies and industries, the Canadian Securities Exchange has helped foster a more diverse economic landscape in Canada. While there may be uncertainty ahead, something the CSE can count on is having the courage and wisdom to think and act boldly.


Richard Carleton - Bold Vision, Bright FutureRichard Carleton, CEO, Canadian Securities Exchange

Richard has been CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange for seven years. Prior to this appointment, Richard served as Vice-President Corporate Development with responsibility for the CSE’s technology, operations, market data and trading sales teams. Before joining the exchange, Richard worked as a business development consultant in Toronto and New York in the risk management and index product fields after spending twelve years with the Toronto Stock Exchange, serving most recently as a member of the exchange’s senior management team.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bold Vision, Bright Future The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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