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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.10-Sep 21): A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody with Brice Penaud, CEO Commercial Passport

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NCFA Canada | Sep 21, 2018

Ep10-Sep 21: A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody

About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Commercial Passport Brice Penaud. They chat about what KYC looks like in blockchain, how fintech and regtech can work alongside with governments, and the benefits of creating a digital identity. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Brice Penaud, CEO, Commercial Passport

Bio: Commercial Passport provides global digital KYC solutions, helping financial institutions reduce the time to on-board clients by automating beneficial ownership analysis and client document maintenance. Based in Toronto, Canada, Commercial Passport’s Universal KYC Solution is a paradigm shift in KYC collection, providing senders and receivers a clear chain of custody for KYC documents through blockchain technology.

 

Subscribe 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 how are you doing today Manseeb Khan here . And you tuning in to Fintech Friday's today. I have. OK. I know I see this every episode. But I do have a really incredible guest today.

Manseeb Khan: I have Brice Penaud from Commercial Passport and Bryce pretty much is on the forefront of all the regulation tech. And all of the blockchain KYC that are going to be what are going to be hopefully implemented in the next 18 to 24 months that are going to help either investors or aspiring investors. Brice Thank you so much for sitting down with me today, I know you are super busy. This means the world to me.

Brice Penaud: Thank you so much for inviting me I'm happy to be here and help or share what I understand about the industry and where I think it's going and what people should expect to be doing and what the future kind of looks like for the space.

Manseeb Khan: So, could you I guess for the audience. Tell us a little bit about who you are and essentially what commercial passport is.

Brice Penaud: Sure. So, I'll start with who I am. So, my name is Brice. The company is called commercial passport and are like what you might guess by the actual name. The idea behind our business is that entities and companies should have a passport just like an individual. That's right. The difference is that it's a commercial passport it's a digital I.D. identity that basically verifies you our as a business. So, there is sort of different categories of KYC or KYB some are you know your customer, and some are not your business were obviously sort of more focused on the complex legal entities that need this IP and so that can be a mutual fund. If the sovereign funds it could be hedge funds from banks know wealth management arms so on and so forth. Anywhere where there is are even offshore component or sort of a complex environment that sort of who we're looking to help the most those people who have you know very complex ownership structures where there is an identified need for analyzing all those relationships and then which documents you need for which people based on the jurisdiction that you're in. So that is essentially the problem that we're tackling.

Manseeb Khan: You could you just touch base a little bit more of why is focusing on regulation like regulatory tech. So crucial for businesses like be it in just the regular fintech space or even if they are in the blockchain space why is either understanding regulatory tech and looking into regulatory tech why is it important?

Brice Penaud: Well I guess you have two ways of thinking about it. One is sort of like the legal legislative regulatory jurisdictional perspective which is mostly about staying in compliance and you know not getting slapped with fines or fees or getting caught doing something you're not supposed to be doing. So, from that perspective it's more about avoiding pain than anything else. But then the other perceptiveness about being I guess it’s OK forward thinking or forward minded or futuristic. And that is sort of hopefully what we want to inspire and the people that we work with. It's not just the fact that you know we're thinking about solving these you know problems that are regulatory based that are becoming more and more complex for sort of each line of business that you might associate KYC with for example you know typically it was only for you know large corporates who had all the sort of complex stuff that they need to submit. But now you have you know things of real estate that are coming out and insurance in the medical world this is slowly coming up as well. So, you have this creeping sort of KYC expansion that's reaching and touching these other industries that weren't necessarily always affected by it. Now we see that now with ICOs and sort of other sort of token offerings. So, with that happening we want people to think about OK how do we solve this in a way that's kind of frictionless in a way where we do some work up front to create this digital identity. This commercial passport. And then from there you're now being able to use that interchangeably with sort of a whole host of different businesses who you might do business with. And I think that's what we want people to sort of be aware of is not just reducing the pain but actually being proactive about what it means to work with other people so that you're not stuck in this world of Excel spreadsheets and PDF's and e-mails and sending faxing paperwork you know back and forth with just that that happens.

Manseeb Khan: I totally agree with that you don't want to be stuck in that little purgatory of Excel sheets and e-mails right just not just time and energy that's getting wasted and not being put into business to make you as incredible as you aim to be right.

Brice Penaud: So while it also prevents you from being productive in your job right if you're absolutely out doing all this paperwork you're now focused on oh what do we need right now and let's not get caught being behind on work versus we have what we need let's be proactive about how do we manage our relationship with our clients and also how do we seem modern ourselves. Right. You know how do you feel if someone's managing a fund of let's say you know 10 billion dollars and they're still asking you to fax stuff over it doesn't really seem like current does it. You know like you have some of the best traders in the world or whatever who are executing some and incredible investments on their behalf using all kinds of you know you are a crypto slash you know algorithmic analysis of different things that seems quite a quite cool and high tech but how does that sort of relationship juxtapose itself to you know saying hey the media that some this documentary or PDF or an email or your fax right that seems kind of a mismatch.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. It's not is not as efficient and fast pace as it really should be and that's the whole purpose of being in financial tech and being in the block chain space is like hey we want to be as we want to move in microseconds when it comes to these things.

Brice Penaud: Exactly.

Manseeb Khan: What does blockchain KYC look like?

Brice Penaud: So, I guess there's a couple different ways of thinking about it but for us we're using just the business application of blockchain. So, we're not necessarily creating any kind of you know new currency or anything like that and we're not necessarily taking people's ideas and putting them on the blockchain. where we're doing essentially is gathering the necessary documents for you know all of the due diligence or the compliance checks that people might have. Instead of publishing these ideas on the watch and what we're doing is we're publishing a hash of these documents so that there is a ledger as a chain of custody of all these documents somewhere that says hey isn't these documents have integrity they haven't been changed they haven't been altered. They're real they're the ones that have been submitted by clients. So, on and so forth so that when you have this sort of proof of sort of kind of like you would like track changes in Microsoft right it's kind of like the same idea. The difference is that here as you know that nothing has been changed be published. And even though the Hash presented documents no one has no access to the actual document itself. so, no one can reverse engineer what that document looks like. This is obviously quite sensitive as you let know personal and sensitive data. So that's kind of how we see KYC fitting with blockchain. We don't necessarily see it as you know you need to take people's ID and distribute them across the ledger. We don't necessarily think that that's the safest thing to do. But what is safe for us to sort of keep a track record of all these super sensitive documents that people want to make sure are valid and they're legal and they've been certified properly.

Manseeb Khan: So, some of the challenges that KYC may face I'm going to try to break this down is as detailed as I can. Sounds good. Yeah as the disparity of specification. Right. So, every bank has their own specifications that they adhere to. Some of them also might be stringent regulations by regulation. Rules are often changed they're often even added more. The compliance burdens on banks and the adverse impact to relationships with customers because banks is constantly have to keep hitting up the exact same customers even though they have the information. Again, it comes on the faxing right like a fax to one bank, but this other bank wants it. But OK. Right. Right. It just it just gets so troublesome and you just get and just get really angry. On top of that it starts escalating costs right. I mean like Reuters even talked about how like onboarding a KYC can increase your costs to go up above 18 percent. Right. And it takes a minimum of like 26 days to completely onboard a customer. How do you see commercial passport tackling these problems?

Brice Penaud: Well whether it's our company or another company I think that what you want to get access to is documents are being updated in real time that are also either changed or sort of you know Evolved with the regulation. So, like you mentioned if things change right. Because we know that all these new laws come out every year that sort of change the gathering or of a certain specification of these requirements. So, whether it's our company or someone else's that you know these financial institutions work with what they what they should want is to make sure that whenever someone says something they can send it in real time that can be updated that can be changed. And another way of thinking about this is if you know documents going to expire for example you won't be able to know that AND track that. And that sort of helps you stay ahead a little bit of the sort of regulation you know nightmare and the other piece too is you know kind of lobbying some of the you know bodies that sort of decide on these legislative matters. Right. Is giving them also the best information that fintech companies have because they actually deal with this on a day to day basis and giving them the information so they make you know informed decisions about what it means to have great data that is actually helpful to both you know the people who are supposed to be overseeing these financial institutions but also for them and for their clients.

Brice Penaud: So, what you really want is the synergy between you know the government and the fintech companies and the large institutions that are sort of now somewhat being sought after in terms of being you know compliant and you know being you know sort of responsible with the way that they're gathering information. So, I think whoever it is that is doing this needs to keep that in mind throughout the entire time. So for us obviously that's one of our key priorities and why we see the future for KYC of being you know in one sort of central location that has real time changes and updates that are going to be complaint with these banks don't get in trouble so that these financial institutions have exactly what they need without having to do this paper based chasing.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. And to make sure I like we dot our p's and q's to make sure that everything is adds up.

Brice Penaud: Absolutely that that's exactly right. I think most people will subscribe to that idea but it's harder to implement in real life right and that also has to make a mental shift in their mind and say OK we understand it we've been doing it this way for 50 years and whether it's through fax or e-mail or PDF sharing or order or courier or whatever it might be. So, it means that whoever is you know leading inside these institutions they have to be willing to make a decision to say we understand that this process is outdated and it's not really going to be fit for purpose anymore. And so, if they want to you know be a leader is in that sense. I think they have to come to terms with the idea that no solutions are available out there we're not the only company doing that. But in either case, I think that there has to be a sort of a wave of a recognition that this change is coming and that these digital solutions are going to be a part of the future. And you know that's led both within the people who are you know innovative inside these institutions but also know from people in government we need to recognize it as a solution. It's better for everyone involved. So, there's sort of you know multiple layers of complexity of you know making this sort of happen. But it is going to come one way or any other and I think it's better to be sort of prepared and proactive about it then just wait and let it take you by storm when it's kind of too late and you suddenly have to do all these changes and be kind of unprepared for it.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no I absolutely agree. I think if we start educating some of the lobbers and make them understand like hey this is the new tech that's coming in without like all the flash and bling. This is exactly what it does. This is why implementing companies like commercial passport and other KYC companies like us.  It's going to help just move faster and we're smoother I'm just going to be so much more ease of use. Right. I mean I don't like everybody knows the joke that like government officials and government workers are overworked already. Let's just try to make the jobs that are easier. So, we have to start moving and things a lot smoother.

Brice Penaud: That's exactly right. I mean and part of that you know helping people do that is having you know a digital version of things that's available to for example auditors. Right. I mean I don't know who really wants to sit through you know hours of paperwork and scan documents so on and so forth. You know people have this sort of no digital I.D. or version of a digital passport. Then you have something that actually people can look at in a currently you know I guess it's a speedy way to say hey this you know checks of all the compliance things that you know you know financial institutions are supposed to be doing. So, you're out. You're also helping. You know one hand kind of leads the other all the way up down the value chain of you know the KYC world. I think part of that needs to be taken into consideration. While the lobbying happens right. While the advocacy of this change happens is that this isn't just for the institutions or just for the fintech companies but it's also for the people who are supposed to be overseeing the process.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I love the how one had feed the other I know we touch this a little bit prior so some of the caveats of having KYC's in blockchain is having trusting parties right the trust factor that's built in block chain. It's very crucial to have to make sure OK how do we verify these trusting parties. what are the checks of the check off on the checklist to make sure hey this is up this is Manseeb's bank. This is. I meet all the regulations cool, you can move money and move crypto through me. dealing with the nature of blocking itself right, we have to decide OK we'll block chain be private will be public would it be a hybrid and just tracking variabilities right. So, which changes a lot. Right. So, investors and like people that have stake under 25 percent in a client’s company that's very hard to track, because it's such an it's such a minuscule amount. Right. It's like. So again, how do you how do you see commercial passport tackling this problem.

Brice Penaud: Well whether again whether it's us or another company that does things similar to us part of it is building tech that can help map what you just described out so you know mapping out you know who owns the interest and you know all those key things that you need to know to make sure that you're gathering the right documents from all the different entities or individuals. But the other key is that you get from about you know all the you know how is this trusted and how does that function within the greater scope of the longevity of the idea. And I think part of that is making sure that you're choosing you know a ledger or block chain that essentially you know is going to be around for a while. Right. There’re different ways of thinking about that but for us it's pretty obvious that you know Bitcoin ledger the public ledger makes more sense for now. It's the one that's been used it's one of the ones that has been you know sort of surpassed in terms of security flaws that it may have but even the application of that isn't necessarily to just secure a document it's more to secure the variability of what you said a change in the document. So even from that perspective we're safeguarding you know the documents and just publishing a hash of those documents. So, if you're thinking about how you know trust is built in part of it is how you're using the technology. It's not just using blockchain and the idea that oh well it's pretty secure right because it's decentralized. You can't just be thinking about it from those simple terms that have to also be OK but how does it specifically you know benefit us and our customers. Why do they get a benefit from us? Oh well they get a benefit. Because we understand that they can work at any of their documents being you know changed or signed or sent over to anyone without having to expose any real you know sensitive data. So, I think that's the way that we think about.

Manseeb Khan: Do you have any questions you want to you want to throw in or they've come up with on the the way?

Brice Penaud: Well sure. I mean I think that there are more questions for the greater community. You know people who are in regtech or fintech or the KYC side. which is you know if you are an innovator in this space and you're trying to help financial institutions are seeing the light and you know some of these changes that are coming I think part of it has to do with asking yourself how do I make sure that people who are going to be using these kinds of services or products from a fintech perspective how do we make sure we serve them in the best way possible but that fits current regulation. And there's some really interesting companies are doing great things out there. I'll mention one from the U.K. called Cube for example where they gather all the regulatory changes that happen every day and they have an ability to sort of source and track all these different jurisdictional changes. And so, if you're a company that's in that space. you need to be thinking about how to create partnerships with those kinds of businesses because not one company can do it all. So, a lot of that has to do with integrating and partnering to make sure that when this innovation does happen we have at least sort of cohort of solutions can coexist with each other right.

Brice Penaud: So, for example I think in the early days of Salesforce didn't necessarily do everything. But now the Salesforce exchange where no other parties can come in and help build top of what they do. And I think that that's essentially what's going to happen with the KYC space I think will be a couple big players who will of Win the sort of core of what KYC, you know automation in happens for you know from the digital perspective. But then there will be other people who come in and sort of build off that. And so, I think that the way to do that is to think about how do we best serve the people who are going to be using it and how do we best serve people. We need to follow those kinds of laws so that's just one question that poses you know how people think about that and how to focus to make sure that you're serving all the parties that are involved.

Manseeb Khan: It was mentioned a couple of episodes back but this whole thing is just it's a grand experimentation right. we're just testing and we're learning and we're failing and we're saying OK what works what doesn't work. OK what if we service our customers this way with this. OK. OK. Kind of sort of we did. Eighty percent. OK. Well I was going to get some next 20. How do we automate a couple spaces here? And we know it is an educational factor that we are throwing in. It's all we're all just like playing with the clay and hopefully molds into something.

Brice Penaud: That's exactly right. That's exactly right.

Manseeb Khan: Thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I definitely learned a lot more about KYC than I did 12 hours ago. so, thank you so much for sitting down with me today, very much educational and I'm very excited to see the journey that commercial password is going to embark on and all the other KYC companies

Brice Penaud: Thank you I really appreciate you having me on the show. And if anyone wants to reach out to me they can if I can be of help in any way and whether it's competitors whether it's institutions or people who just want to know a little bit more about the space and I'm happy to help.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. What would be the best way to contact you would be through Twitter with snapchat you.

Brice Penaud: Yeah, I'm just I'm just on LinkedIn. It's just Brice Penaud. B.R.I.C.E , P.E.N.A.U.D and that's the easiest way to get me.

Manseeb Khan: Ok awesome. Brice Thank you so much again for sitting down with me. I cannot wait to have you on the show again.

Brice Penaud: Thanks so much for inviting me. And hello to all the listeners out there.

End of Podcast

 

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Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive

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FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018

When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry.

Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company.

The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored.

Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide. These applications are so new, in fact, that at another event, Rozencwajg spotted an error on a fellow presenter’s slide deck about smart contracts and was able to help him correct it before he delivered it to the group.

Although Rozencwajg admits she’s not afraid to speak up, even when she’s the only woman in the group, she’s gotten plenty of pushback over the years that she’s worked in technology. Not this time.

“There’s an acceptance that women know their stuff,” she asserts. The newness, she explains, “puts all of us on the same level.”

The related world of cryptocurrency roils with tales of “blockchain bros.” A recent Bitcoin Conference featured just three women out of 88 speakers. Another held official conference parties at strip clubs. Yet despite the overall lopsided gender balance in crypto, according to some measures, blockchain itself–while it also tilts toward being dominated by men– events like those at SXSW this year show that it’s emerging as a space where women can get in early and change the ratio.

Not as risky as it seems

The barriers to entry are mostly about perception, according to Emilie Choi. The former vice president and head of corporate development at LinkedIn joined Coinbase in March 2018, moving from the professional networking platform’s staff of over 13,000 to a startup with less than 500. “It is intimidating for outsiders to think about the crypto world,” she says. Not only that it’s a man’s world, Choi explains, but that media coverage around price volatility of virtual currency, “and the antics of certain personalities,” reinforce the crypto/blockchain bro myth versus reality. This Choi states, is “erroneous.”

See:  Slowly but surely, women are changing fintech

At Coinbase, she says there’s a more inclusive culture than other places she’s worked. Although Choi admits the learning curve was steep early on, there was no shortage of experienced people on staff to help her get up to speed. Additionally, she notes, the executive team at Coinbase is 1/3 female. On making the leap from the more established LinkedIn, Choi maintains, “I wanted another once-in-a-lifetime experience at a tech company.” That said, she admits, “The whole goal is to serve a diverse base. If I’d known [how inclusive Coinbase was inside and out], I would have jumped in faster.”

Potential in democratization

That’s precisely what drew attorney Paroma Indilo to work with blockchain companies. A lawyer specializing in advising companies on initial coin offerings (ICO), she started getting involved two years ago after attending a conference and dipping a toe into investing in bitcoin and ethereum. “As a lawyer, I am a bit risk-averse,” she admits. But she said she spent a lot of time reading about it and learned that the blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies “had the potential to change the world economy for the better.”

The way Indilo sees it, it’s similar to the promise of the internet where everyone with access had the chance to be a participant. However, that democratization wasn’t totally realized as areas with limited access prohibited participation and the growth of large tech companies. The data created on the internet is a “huge asset essentially owned by few companies use for their own benefit,” she says. “We don’t even understand why they are doing certain things, and in many cases they hugely undermine privacy.”

But blockchain can deliver on that promise. Simply being able to send and receive money in a secure, transparent way has huge implications for both the banked and unbanked populations of the world. And it’s not just about money, Indilo contends. Opu Labs is a skincare web application built on the blockchain. It allows users to scan their faces and get analysis on skin conditions. Not only is this very personal information secure and unable to be tampered with, Indilo points out that people are getting paid to get something valuable. The platform pays you if they are sending your data to a dermatologist, but the choice is yours to share your data.

How to bring in more women?

Coming from a career culture steeped in the traditional bureaucracy and hierarchy, this approach was refreshing to Indilo. “For too long I felt like I wasn’t doing anything meaningful,” she confesses. Now, she says, she’s a passionate advocate to get more women into the mix. She’s tried to educate friends and family as well as her professional networks on the opportunities in blockchain, but Indilo says that sometimes all it takes is pointing out that she’s often the only woman in a group of men at startups. “Their consideration was on more important things like funding and skills, they aren’t thinking about gender discrepancy,” Indilo says. “But it just needs to go hand and in hand with educating the industry.”

See:  FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.3-Aug 3): Investing in Canadian Diversity with Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner at Roar Ventures

Education is the primary challenge according to Susan Joseph, a cofounder and the executive director of Diversity in Blockchain. She believes the blockchain space is a reflection of the larger tech industry when it comes to gender imbalance, and that is because of lack of knowledge.

“People think they can’t do it,” Joseph contends, because it is considered a “tech” job. “You don’t need a university program in computer science,” she says. “What you need is curiosity and the ability to sift through public information.” There is plenty to do beyond coding, says Joseph, who is an attorney by trade.

She says those currently in the industry are willing to educate others and share their knowledge as long as someone asks. To encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to hop aboard the blockchain wagon, the organization is also hosting events like the one in which they partnered with the U.N.

Continue to the full article --> here


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 and 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: www.ncfacanada.org

NCFA Canada | Sep 21, 2018 Ep10-Sep 21: A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Commercial Passport Brice Penaud. They chat about what KYC looks like in blockchain, how fintech and regtech can work alongside with governments, and the benefits of creating a digital identity. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Brice Penaud, CEO, Commercial Passport Bio: Commercial Passport provides global digital KYC solutions, helping financial institutions reduce the time to on-board clients by automating beneficial ownership analysis and client document maintenance. Based in Toronto, Canada, Commercial Passport’s Universal KYC Solution is a paradigm shift in KYC collection, providing senders and receivers a clear chain of custody for KYC documents through blockchain technology. Subscribe 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 how are you doing today Manseeb Khan here . And you tuning in to Fintech Friday's today. I have. OK. I know I see this every episode. But I do have a really incredible guest today ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.10-Sep 21):  A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody with Brice Penaud, CEO Commercial Passport
The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
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FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018 When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry. Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company. The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored. Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide ...
Read More
Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive
Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
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Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
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Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
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Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
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NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
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Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency

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Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018

Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency

Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy.

The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success.

See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith

“This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of the emerging digital economy.  According to the whitepaper, cryptocommodities are an essential part of a complete digital economy;

"The functional decentralized equivalent of all financial tools do not exist. Lack of these instruments is a significant contributor to the overall volatility of cryptocurrency markets. Solutions to fill these gaps are needed to forge a viable, global digital economy.”

The next stages for Incipient Industries, after the publication of the whitepaper, include the deployment of cryptocommodities and proving use cases for a carefully selected cluster of digital assets. These deployments will follow methods that are both compliant and viable. A significant influx of cryptocommodities projects that are not initiated by Incipient Industries are also expected to enter the market following the publication of the whitepaper.

The whitepaper is available for download at the Incipient Industries website as well as other platforms where Incipient Industries has a presence.

White paper intro:

The purpose of this document is to explain the implementation and purpose of a cryptocommodity.  This document will explain what a cryptocommodity  is and outline the necessary considerations for a functional ecosystem. The ecosystem is intended to support a single type of cryptocommodity  using a predefined underlying resource. This ecosystem is designed to be replicable to enable expansion and reusability for other underlying resource quantities and types.  Regulatory or legal structure is beyond the scope of this document. Elements of a cryptocommodity  implementation will likely reach beyond a single territory so regulatory and legal structures are based on the jurisdiction of the deployment logistics.  This document is intended to be “resource-neutral”, meaning that knowing the nature of the underlying resource used in the creation of the cryptocommodity  is not required for understanding the information presented.  This document is “platform-neutral”  with regard to technology solutions. The technology platform options are specific to deployment logistics and are not necessary for understanding the information presented.  The examples provided contain elements that are interchangeable. Parts that are specific to cryptocurrency deployment are also replicable and potentially interchangeable.

Download the 12pg whitepaper (PDF) --> here

###

About Incipient Industries Inc.:

Incipient Industries is a company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Incipient Industries has been involved with many pioneering cryptocurrency initiatives and continues to create innovative solutions for the cryptocurrency industry. The company website is http://incipient.ca.  Steven Dryall is the CEO of Incipient Industries and Co-founder of Nikola Tesla Unite Ltd. He is also co-author of The WealthTECH Book, published by Wiley, and a lecturer for The FinTECH Circle Institute. He can be followed on Twitter at @SDryall

 

 


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 and 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: www.ncfacanada.org

NCFA Canada | Sep 21, 2018 Ep10-Sep 21: A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Commercial Passport Brice Penaud. They chat about what KYC looks like in blockchain, how fintech and regtech can work alongside with governments, and the benefits of creating a digital identity. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Brice Penaud, CEO, Commercial Passport Bio: Commercial Passport provides global digital KYC solutions, helping financial institutions reduce the time to on-board clients by automating beneficial ownership analysis and client document maintenance. Based in Toronto, Canada, Commercial Passport’s Universal KYC Solution is a paradigm shift in KYC collection, providing senders and receivers a clear chain of custody for KYC documents through blockchain technology. Subscribe 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 how are you doing today Manseeb Khan here . And you tuning in to Fintech Friday's today. I have. OK. I know I see this every episode. But I do have a really incredible guest today ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.10-Sep 21):  A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody with Brice Penaud, CEO Commercial Passport
The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
Read More
Coinsquare moves into ETF business with two new funds
FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018 When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry. Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company. The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored. Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide ...
Read More
Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive
Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
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$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies

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Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018

Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament.

The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas.

Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors.

See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies

Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards.

Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross assets or more, or 50 employees or more, have previously had to prepare such reports.

Those private companies accessing equity crowdfunding will also become subject to related party transaction rules and takeover rules, and will have to include details about the offer and the shareholders as part of their company register.

Some compliance relief has been provided to the unlisted public companies already eligible to use equity crowdfunding.

Now, all companies raising money via the crowd will only have to have their financial statements audited when they have raised $3 million or more, up from $1 million previously.

The cost and compliance of converting to an unlisted public company had previously deterred most businesses from considering equity crowdfunding, said Jonny Wilkinson, co-founder of one of the ASIC-licensed portals, Equitise.

 "Having a formalised structure and process for smaller proprietary companies to raise funds from the crowd - their customers, friends and family - will be a huge boost to small businesses and the economy, driving both growth and employment," he said.

"In turn, it also gives everyday investors the opportunity to invest in these companies and potentially make a return."

See:  Equity crowdfunding is eroding the best returns VC funds used to enjoy

The performance of equity crowdfunding has been mixed in its most established market, the UK, where it has been legal since 2011 . A 2016 study by licensed platform Seedrs of the 250 companies that had used it to raise money found they had produced an overall 14.4 per cent internal rate of return, but 41 per cent of the deals had lost money or collapsed altogether.

The quality of companies seeking funding on equity crowdfunding  platforms was questioned by 2018 research from Belgium's Ghent University and France's SKEMA School of Business, which compared data from 277 firms that sought financing on UK-based Crowdcube with two sets of similar firms that didn't list on crowdfunding platforms.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding 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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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe

 

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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14): Curexe’s New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe

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NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018

Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments

About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe

Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges!

Subscribe 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 here and you are tuning in to the NCFA's  newest podcast series Fintech Fridays. Today I have an absolutely incredible guest. I know I say this every week, but I truly, truly do have an incredible guest today. Today I'm Johnathan Holland the CEO and founder of Curexe and he's my boss. So, everybody please play nice.

Johnathan Holland: Johnathan how are you doing today man? I'm doing well Manny how's it going?

Manseeb Khan: I'm doing really well.

Manseeb Khan: So, for the audience who don't know who you really are could you just for a minute give us a little breakdown of who you are and essentially what Curexe does?

Johnathan Holland: So yes, basically I look at the world of banking like know technology hadn't really affected it in a meaningful way, it’s as one of the last industries to really be innovated. So about four years ago I decided to build this business basically out of necessity. I applied to all the banks. I wanted to be an investment banker. Nobody would give me an interview. So out of that I decided to build a foreign exchange business and out of that business. We essentially help small companies in need to send money to different countries and different currencies and then we launched another product which allows them to accept debit card payments online when I say debit card. I don't mean to Interac rails and definitely avoiding Visa, Mastercard rails and it allows any e-commerce business to integrate our one line of code. And you can accept debit card payments in 10 minutes. So, kind of built those two businesses and now we're starting to roll and feels good.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome, so the secondary product is under a whole different name which was originally. So, it's under SmartPay right. So initially started a SmartPay then you changed it to Curexe. Now back to SmartPay I guess. Why do you go back and forth like why don't you just kind of stick to one topic and is it? Are you building two different companies. Is it under a whole umbrella? How does it really work?

Johnathan Holland: Honestly Manny it’s a mess bro, so basically what I did is it started out as student currency exchange. So, I started the business it was to help international students pay for tuition around the world of course. From there I realized that it was hard enough to get banking relationships in our own country here in Canada let alone get relationships globally. Because I'd have to set up to accept money from India for someone in India to come to school in Canada and make those payments. So, it was student currency exchange and then it basically pivoted to what I called SmartPay. It ended being our legal name SmartPay incorporated and that was basically an online foreign exchange business for the small business owners that are out there. And then from there it essentially kind of changed. We kind of did it doing business under a name called Curexe C.U.R.E.X.E that ran for you know a number of years. And then when we launched this new debit card payment processing company which is still the same company is two different products now but because you know we still use that SmartPay name before, so that's what we brought back, we have a logo. You know we got the domain. So, it was easy to kind of jump into it. So, there's no real rhyme or reason it's just hop and the like name changes and pivots  and all that kind of good stuff for the start-up.

Manseeb Khan: So, could you talk a little bit more of the whole debit processing side because I'm pretty sure probably not many people know of the fees that entails. If you're using Visa MasterCard and or PayPal as an online merchant, as an online seller. could you talk a little bit more of why you decided to just build a whole different system and kind of why we're doing this whole David versus Goliath.

Johnathan Holland: Yes definitely. Yeah like it came out of necessity from our customer. so, all of them had a need to make payments to international suppliers in different currencies that was Curexe the after the first product and then they all kept complaining about accepting PayPal payments and it wasn't necessarily PayPal that was the problem. The system works fine. The problem is the fees for the business keep in mind this should be clear. If you're an online shopper out there you don't ever pay anything. You never pay anything to PayPal or credit cards. When you're online shopping and the business owners always charge this two-point nine percent of their revenue that never seems to go away. But if you're accepting money from different countries PayPal is going to force you to exchange those different currencies from say U.S. dollars accepting U.S. customer payments back to Canadian if your bank accounts are in Canada. But with that conversion there's an added cost of three and a half percent, two to three and a half depending on different credit cards and stuff as well. So, a six-point four percent of your topline revenue. And if you look at a business with a net profit margin of 10 percent you're eating into a profit. So, the businesses were complaining we realized that we had the technology to basically make it easy to collect the information we needed, and we had the bank accounts and the bank relationships to be able to pull funds from an online shoppers account. So that's what we've done. We've made it very simple putting in your credit cards easy. I'll be honest I have good credit. I don't even think I would ever use my product. I always use credit card. I'm not a points junkie like some people. some people care about their points other people there's a percentage of the population that don't like getting in debt because they're starting to learn more or they don't even own a credit card at all for that reason they just don't want to be in debt but there's no option that's not viable to buy a product online, outside of credit card or PayPal. So, what do you do have to sign up for a PayPal account or if they don't offer PayPal you have to get a credit card. So, some people just don't shop, or they drop off in check-outs.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I think it's I think it's a lack of education thing. right? I think it's like now kind of what you have mentioned of what you mentioned right. Like people are getting a lot more smarter and knowing a little bit more of how credit score works. What you should and shouldn't do when you get a credit card and just like what good credit really doesn't like how much it opens so much more doorways right. So, it's incredible. You guys are ,we are kind of providing a not only a great system to help business owners save a crap ton of money that can go right back into the business. Help them grow but you're also providing a very good education behind them and like teaching people. hey that's not the only way you can do it. There’re other ways you can do it and we're building a system to help you understand that.

Johnathan Holland: That's definitely right

Manseeb Khan: Could you talk a little bit  more of the regulations behind this and just regulations being a money service business in general?

Johnathan Holland: So, we have these special bank accounts that essentially that allow us to pull money from any Canadian or U.S. bank account. now because we have that capability there's a lot of responsibility that goes with that. So, we're registered what's called a money service business as a money service business. We're very highly regulated it's Fintrac in Canada, FinCEN in the U.S. They basically have very strict rules that apply when you're dealing with money launderers out there, terrorist financing. There's a lot of like global sanctions list that we scrape, screen names that we need to make sure that the bad guys aren't able to move money around with our system and the regulations make sure that we're reporting and at least giving them all the information that they need that if there was a deep investigation that they would be able to at least maybe track down those individuals the bad guys, the bad actors and then do something about it. So, what happens is Fintrac or FinCEN and we'll collaborate with law enforcement and they'll be able to essentially help stop terrorism or funding I guess of terrorism and money laundering. as well which is obviously a big issue with lots of criminal organizations and the bad stuff that can happen with that. So, we're very regulated. We have annual reviews there's like every two years we ever review from our federal regulator which is a very serious kind of event and we just always have to make sure we're on top of this stuff for moral issues and for the laws that we have to follow the law.

Manseeb Khan: So being a money service  business you're definitely going to deal with a lot of fraud or have you have a way higher potential risk of fraud. Could you talk a little bit more what fraud prevention you're putting in place and talk a little bit more of what you're seeing that's there. And like pretty much the loopholes or fraud prevention your kind of hoping that kind of gets filled in moving forward?

Johnathan Holland: Yeah, no absolute fraud happens. money service business is a broad term, so money service business could be that little kiosk in the mall. where you can go to exchange or Canadians in euros before you go to Europe. I mean you could wash money through that stuff, but fraud is probably less prevalent. Assuming they check the Bills under lighting and everything because there could be against counterfeit. But with online money transfer businesses there's always that risk right. I mean you can create a business fairly easily get it registered open up an online store start accepting payments with no intention of paying the people basically just ripping off shoppers never send in products out. So, us as a business we have to be able to combat against this stuff, so we have a really strict analysis on the business. How long have they been in business? Identify all the individuals in the business pull Corp reports from different sources who can make sure the business is legitimate. We'll even go as far as talking to their end customers making sure that things are smooth. So we do a lot of in-depth stuff that a fraudster pretty much can't avoid which is what really helps us kind of combat against these guys and then outside of that a lot of fancy technology stuff or we track IP address as we screen different computers we have different recording systems and being very vague here for a reason because the deeper I go, the more knowledge I'm giving out there and then these fraudsters because there's an entire industry around the stuff that there's conferences that I've been that, that explain to me there's conferences for hackers and how to rip off credit card lists like you know all this stuff that's happening so the conventions in Vegas to teach people how to rip people off with their credit cards right.

So, the credit cards are very easy to rip off. Luckily your credit card company reimburses you of course at no cost to them. And shoppers don't realize it. But if somebody steals your credit card but has a product from the store. Visa MasterCard or not out the money. That's why their stock charts a 45 degree angle up and to the right. Essentially the business owner loses that money. So, this could be a small business owner. You know you name it. That are now out funds and that's a loss of they have on their books. so, it's definitely a serious thing. That's why people should be very diligent about making very secure passwords my passwords are anywhere from 25 characters to 64 characters. Random numbers letters and symbols. It has to be that way. Use a password manager that makes it easy. You don't have to be typing anything off the piece of paper and type it in and it makes your life easier and safer and then you're helping business owners that are out there as well because the fraud that happens in this industry it's amazing what they've came up with to fraud systems and everything so that there's a lot of stuff that we do.  I just want to make sure I don't give away too much. Yeah nation's nerve. Can somewhat crack the code which they sill. We have endpoints that are manually can't but still helps.

Manseeb Khan:  Right .Canada has been on the up of A.I. so do you see I guess A.I playing a role in helping Curexe and other businesses like Curexe in the future

Johnathan Holland: No absolutely. I mean AI is going to touch every industry I think in a very meaningful way especially in the payment side now. The ones that have the most advantage are the ones with the most data. So, you have to work with banks, you have to work with organizations that are willing to share data.  Visa ,MasterCard have built some pretty good rules you'll notice now if you go on a trip oftentimes will say you don't have to call the credit card company. It's because you probably booked it through flight through a booking thing and they're sharing the data back and forth. There's such a good thing for the end customer. But yeah, I mean in general there's a lot of interesting things going on in the space from that angle and we're all just doing. We can I mean A.I will change a lot of this and I've haven't seen a lot of very developed A.I that really has helped us this besides maybe Visa MasterCard and what they do. Keep in mind online shopper it doesn't matter how you pay you never to charge anything. you never get frauded any money. You'll ultimately get your money back. I mean if there is a unique scenario where there was big complications that just make sure like I said Protect your passwords securely. What happens is we'll take a longer period of time for the resolution to happen if it was something bigger. So, if you're wealthy individual and you listen to this just be very secure with all your passwords and stuff. which you probably already are because you probably had an incident happened at some point. For anybody that's just using typical credit card .they just give your money back off the work. So, there's no stress about buying something online and that's why the market's growing 15 percent year over year with online shoppers everybody is going online. It's easy. You know people are starting to order groceries online. It's becoming a more convenient world. And I think that there'll be more shopping online.

Manseeb Khan: Yes, speaking of online shoppers you are seeing a growth maybe not. Nothing too crazy. We were seeing a growth of people buying items through crypto. Right. So, do you see how do you see crypto playing a role in this do you. Do you guys see that. Later on, accepting crypto. Do you guys see maybe launching an ICO like what's your take on servicing cryptos.

Johnathan Holland: So, the reason I love cryptocurrency is because I started studying it in 2014. I looked at crypto like this is going to be the next thing that could rip away my business. Now a lot of interesting things have happened with Bitcoin the way it took off it is honestly like magical is the best word to describe it because for the network effects and everyone to get that on board with you know really what it is. Now finally someone can compete with money transfer businesses and banks and stuff like that. So, it was very exciting to see the way it took off. It still hasn't proven itself to be viable in the market. And what I mean by that is the volatility. And I'll explain if a lot of viewers aren't very finance savvy but the volatility. so, Bitcoin can move 5 percent in a day. If you're a business owner accepting 100 bucks with crypto and within that day it drops to 95 that literally with the PayPal fees as well could cripple a good or 10 percent net profit margin like we discussed before. So, the volatility in the movement of it can go in your favor and you make 105 bucks. But it could also go against you. the business orders aren't typically comfortable with our kind of risk. So what needs to happen and any bankers listening please push for this within your banks, become a market maker for crypto and market makers. Basically, you provide a lot of liquidity a lot of dollars like billions of dollars and buy and sell and take both sides of the trade. So, you sell side buy side in any given market and that's why you have a very liquid market get in and out in seconds.

So, for example you could buy a Wal-Mart stock your order executes instantly, if you buy a small cap company meaning they're you know a smaller size company who might only trade three times throughout the day. so, you can only have three times where a buyer and seller are willing to agree on a price. And then and then a change happens. So, a crypto more liquidity spreads are still crazy like the volatilities moving about 5 percent a day. So, if you have market makers come in it basically reduced that volatility not 5 percent but smooths it out. And if it's more smooth then at least the business can accept the crypto and then you know convert back to fiat and not have to worry, ideally in a perfect world for like I'm talking to consumers, business owners everybody adopts crypto and everybody just uses that as a currency because the fees are much lower. The system is very secure. It's a secure network of nodes and all those nodes literally have to agree on all the transactions that happen, or it doesn't go through. There's no duplicate of money. There's oftentimes the SWIFT network our international payment network gets hacked and money gets lost. You hear about it, but they keep it very quiet as the like. What's actually happening around the world. crypto and bitcoin has risks like this as well because it's early, but it does have the potential to become something that would be very viable. I personally didn't invest in crypto because it's a it's a buy sell thing. It's like Warren Buffet says why would you buy a piece of gold. And the reason he says have a bar of gold and you have to buy things so what you do is you clip off a little piece of gold. And you paid for your groceries at a clip of a piece of gold and he buys clothes for the day of your family whatever it is that you clip off in a little piece of that bar. You don't even have a gold bar at the end of it. Warren Buffet would rather do is buy a piece of land that has a store value  you which is what crypto kind of has. I mean bitcoin with the scarcity of the coins gives us somewhat of a perceived value like the scarcity of diamonds and gold. Right. So, if you have a piece of land and that produces you crops every year you can mine those crops then buy your food and beverage and you still have a piece of land you still have that store value. with Bitcoin. You're saying it's worth 10000 but you're only saying we're 10000. Everybody's agreed it's 10000. If everybody agreed that tomorrow that it's worth hundred it'll go to a hundred or go to 100k some people are predicting. So, I'm unsure where the price of crypto will go. But I love the fact that it could actually come in and start to transact the businesses have to accept that widely. And individuals have to start paying with it and then hopefully we see the network effects take off and maybe commerce will begin.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mentioned in a couple of episodes past you're seeing a lot of institutions and banks started to get on the crypto market like trying to in a sense bring both worlds together where you have like the regulations unlike the traditional marketplace into the new marketplace the whole decentralization everything. So, you're seeing like a bridge if not a maybe arranged marriage being built around it. So yeah it should be very interesting to see how it goes the next 18 to 24 months to wrap this up. What would be other than make sure you secure your passwords make sure you're paying attention to where your money is going. What would be your advice to either online merchant’s small business owners and anybody else that's in the industry.

Johnathan Holland: I mean it depends it's a very broad questions of we can go in a number of different ways but online merchants there are other services available like now because we've launched this debit card solution. I know there's going to be several other players that are coming in and they're going to build there a new type of credit card or different type of payment systems using crypto to make online payments. That's some exciting areas that can move into. So, I would say the online merchants especially if you're doing big volume that 2.5 percent and then FX stuff as well that you're getting dinged that matters to your business so look for other solutions it doesn't necessarily have to be lower cost and sacrifice quality. Right because there's products out there that can still have the same quality, but you also get to save a bit of money while you're doing it. So, the merchant should do that, online shoppers I mean ultimately you know your personal finances are important. Do what you can to save your money and getting into debt is obviously not that smart. Interac in Canada a lot of ads but this like back in the black meaning you know back in the positive. I don't think the general population you know is that black is positive and red is negative. But you know maybe this is where that degree maybe I'm given them you know some food for thought there but, so you know it's good I think as a consumer to make sure that you're saving your money. so be mindful of what you're spending on. And when you do spend it I would say use debt but I'm biased. I think it's better to not get in debt.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, Johnathan thank you so much for sitting down with me today. This has been very educational for me even though I'm in the company but I'm pretty sure a lot of people might have learned a thing or two and hopefully it will change the passwords like I'm going to in the next 30 seconds and I can't we talking on the show going man.

Johnathan Holland: Happy to be here Manny. Cheers.

 

End of Podcast

 

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding 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: ncfacanada.org

NCFA Canada | Sep 21, 2018 Ep10-Sep 21: A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Commercial Passport Brice Penaud. They chat about what KYC looks like in blockchain, how fintech and regtech can work alongside with governments, and the benefits of creating a digital identity. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Brice Penaud, CEO, Commercial Passport Bio: Commercial Passport provides global digital KYC solutions, helping financial institutions reduce the time to on-board clients by automating beneficial ownership analysis and client document maintenance. Based in Toronto, Canada, Commercial Passport’s Universal KYC Solution is a paradigm shift in KYC collection, providing senders and receivers a clear chain of custody for KYC documents through blockchain technology. Subscribe 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 how are you doing today Manseeb Khan here . And you tuning in to Fintech Friday's today. I have. OK. I know I see this every episode. But I do have a really incredible guest today ...
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The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
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Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
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Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
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Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech

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Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018

A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community

Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups.

UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep.

UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies.

The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK.

Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow.

See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany

But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes of Tech Nation come in.

Growing appetite for fintech

In its first guise, Tech Nation was launched in Shoreditch in 2011, by then prime minister David Cameron, to support the East London tech cluster known as London Tech City. It initially offered broad support across the UK tech startup sector, but such is fintech’s rise, Tech Nation has introduced a dedicated fintech support programme.

This not surprising, as the appetite for fintech products among financial firms, their customers and investors is insatiable – and the UK finds itself on the top table.

Fuelled by the $12.9bn deal that saw Vantiv acquire WorldPay, investment in UK fintech in the first half of 2018 reached $16bn, compared with $14bn in the US and just more than $15bn in China.

Meanwhile, the take-up of financial technology, and its impact on the global finance sector, is overt. Recent figures from the European Banking Federation revealed that European retail banks shut down 5,900 branches in 2017. This was brought about by the arrival and widespread acceptance of online banking and mobile banking apps. Banks simply do not need as many branches because people prefer the convenience of managing their money on their smartphones.

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

But financial technology isn’t all about banking on a smartphone. While challenger banks such as Starling carry the fintech torch to consumers, there is a huge opportunity in the vast nooks and crannies of the finance sector.

Helping fintech startups level up

Tech Nation is providing a guide rope to early-stage UK fintechs trying to find their footing. These small companies already have some customers and are generating revenues, but need to move to the next level.

With a background in the trading sector, fintech and venture capital, Greg Michel is heading up that support programme at Tech Nation.

He told Computer Weekly the latest programme was focused on fintech firms that supply other businesses, rather than those going direct to consumers like many of the better known fintech operators.

When choosing participants for the programme, it sought fintech startups that had already raised a bit of money, had some customers on board and were generating revenue. “They are viable propositions, not just two men and a dog in a garage or [bigger] with 30 people in their own office,” said Michel.

“They have a product, they have sold it so have some traction, and are making a bit of money. So they have something going for them, but they need to be accelerated.”

Learning the ropes

The 20 fintech startups taking part in the Tech Nation programme will receive coaching in how to scale a business. At the moment, the participating companies each have 15 staff, on average, with average revenues of £250,000.

Coaching in scaling involves teaching entrepreneurs how to build a more established business, which will include the likes of human resources management, incentivising salespeople and finding the right partners. This can be a significant challenge for startups, which often have a background in technology or another specific area of business.

See:  Canadian governments must double-down to foster tech boom here

Michel said the programme was “a vector of knowledge transfer” from those who have previously built unicorns and large companies to those who aspire to do the same.

“We hope the entrepreneurs will take lessons from this that would normally take years of experimentation,” he added.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding 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: ncfacanada.org

NCFA Canada | Sep 21, 2018 Ep10-Sep 21: A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Commercial Passport Brice Penaud. They chat about what KYC looks like in blockchain, how fintech and regtech can work alongside with governments, and the benefits of creating a digital identity. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Brice Penaud, CEO, Commercial Passport Bio: Commercial Passport provides global digital KYC solutions, helping financial institutions reduce the time to on-board clients by automating beneficial ownership analysis and client document maintenance. Based in Toronto, Canada, Commercial Passport’s Universal KYC Solution is a paradigm shift in KYC collection, providing senders and receivers a clear chain of custody for KYC documents through blockchain technology. Subscribe 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 how are you doing today Manseeb Khan here . And you tuning in to Fintech Friday's today. I have. OK. I know I see this every episode. But I do have a really incredible guest today ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.10-Sep 21):  A Regtech-based Blockchain KYC Solution for Document Custody with Brice Penaud, CEO Commercial Passport
The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
Read More
Coinsquare moves into ETF business with two new funds
FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018 When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry. Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company. The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored. Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide ...
Read More
Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive
Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
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The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
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What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

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Forbes |

The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon.

The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size.

Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, and to the need for a replacement highlighted by the fact that fintech attracts younger people. Clearly, if nothing is done, there is a risk that many customers who today resort to competitors from the fintech world for relatively specific needs such as making a transfer or traveling abroad will end up seeing them as a more and more attractive option to the big banks, who are burdened by a specific approach to banking and many years of bad image.

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So what should the big banks do about fintech? Study how they do things and use them as external innovation laboratories. For a traditional bank, the news is not that a fintech closes a round of successful financing or grows its client base, but that it is able to present itself as a “bank without commissions” when in a reality, their freemium service is very limited, and access to a real range of services requires paying between €7.99 and € 13.99 a month. For a traditional banking executive, the idea that those same customers who protest their operation-by-operation commissions every day may consider paying those amounts because “they are not a commission but an extra service” should be very interesting. If we add seemingly more superficial elements to the equation, such as the new tendency towards heavier metal cards than the usual plastic, supposedly higher status, the question seems obvious: is there a demand for a type of client who not only wants a bank that offers traditional banking services, but also “feels” different in some way. Absurd? Image? A mere fad? The point is that a certain number of people go from protesting about daily commissions from traditional banks to religiously paying a monthly or annual fee for a metal credit card, and the banks need to ask themselves why.

Believe it or not, the new Revolut card’s marketing emphasizes its careful manufacture as if it was some sort of luxury item, while N26’s has no less than an inner tungsten layer. But what they’re really about are services such as cashback systems paid in a cryptocurrency of your choice, special advantages for users of work centers like WeWork, or access to insurance, along with highly customized services for certain customer segments. France’s Shine, for example, is particularly interesting: a specialized approach for freelancers offering services ranging from legal registration to tax payments (a real pain in terms of bureaucracy in France), and with a sign up process pretty similar to a social network’s. For certain groups, a Shine account offers advantages that, whether you’re a Deliveroo runner, somebody offering your services in Upwork or who works directly with your clients, allow you to enter your Shine IBAN on the platform to regularize the entire process, or create a page from which to manage your billing and that allows your customers to pay you with a card.

What do we look for in a bank? Increasingly, services far beyond traditional banking operations, and with much higher tolerance for payment derived from a perception of added value, of simplifying a process. Pay for convenience, not by decree, for what we really value, be it a service or a perception. Where can you expect these kinds of trends to start, where is the right place to see and understand them? Not in a traditional bank that launches them as “another project” by someone who competes for the attention of senior management with a thousand similar projects, but in small fintech companies that treat these services as a matter of identity or even life and death.

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How many senior banking executives are curious enough about fintech to have bothered to open an account with a fintech and then to use it to the full to learn from their practices? How many are thinking about what it would take for their organizations to launch similar products or services? How many people in the traditional banks are studying fintech as a source of ideas for innovation at all levels? Or are they too busy with other, supposedly more important things?

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding 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: ncfacanada.org

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