NCFAs innovation and funding ecosystem

Category Archives: FinTech and Alternative Finance

IMF Seminar (On-demand): Digital Money Revolution

IMF Annual Meetings (2021 Washington DC)| Oct 18, 2021

IMF Seminar Digital Money Revolution - IMF Seminar (On-demand):  Digital Money Revolution

Overview of IMF Seminar 'Digital Money Revolution'

Digital finance innovations—central bank digital currencies, private eMoney, stable coins, or cryptoassets—may bring changes in the way we lead our lives. This seminar reviews the implications of this transformation for the international monetary system.

See:  The Impact of Fintech on Central Bank Governance

Moderator: 

  • Martin Wolf is chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, London.

Speakers:

  • Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Benoît Cœuré was appointed Head of the BIS Innovation Hub in 2020.
  • Eswar Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy and Professor of Economics at Cornell University.

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

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Canadian securities regulators seek comment on climate-related disclosure requirements

CSA | Release | Oct 18, 2021

climage change disclosures - Canadian securities regulators seek comment on climate-related disclosure requirementsCalgary and Toronto – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published for comment proposed climate-related disclosure requirements. The proposed requirements address the need for more consistent and comparable information to help inform investment decisions. They also demonstrate the CSA’s commitment in favour of the growing international movement toward mandatory climate-related disclosure standards.

The requirements contemplate disclosure largely consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. They will improve the comparability of the information issuers disclose and help investors make more informed investment decisions by enhancing climate-related disclosure. The requirements are also intended to address costs associated with reporting across multiple disclosure frameworks, improve access to global markets and facilitate an equal playing field for issuers.

See:  The evolution of ESG: Corporate sustainability leaders in the financial services sector are taking on new responsibilities

“We recognize some issuers already share certain climate-related information,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Our proposed requirements will bring those disclosures into a harmonized framework benefitting investors and issuers alike and aligning Canadian capital markets with the global movement towards consistent and comparable standards.”

The proposed requirements contemplate disclosure by issuers related to the four core elements of the TCFD recommendations:

  • Governance – an issuer’s board’s oversight of and management’s role in assessing and managing climate-related risks and opportunities.
  • Strategy – the short-, medium- and long-term climate-related risks and opportunities the issuer has identified and the impact on its business, strategy and financial planning, where such information is material. As a modification from the TCFD recommendations, the proposed disclosure would not include the requirement to disclose “scenario analysis”, which is an issuer’s description of the resilience of its strategy within different climate-related scenarios, including a 2°C or lower scenario.
  • Risk management – how an issuer identifies, assesses and manages climate-related risks and how these processes are integrated into its overall risk management.
  • Metrics and targets – the metrics and targets used by an issuer to assess and manage climate-related risks and opportunities where the information is material.

See:  Regulators target “greenwashed” products susceptible to marketing hype

Issuers would be required to disclose their Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the related risks, or their reasons for not doing so. The CSA is also consulting on an alternative approach that would require issuers to disclose Scope 1 GHG emissions. Under this alternative, disclosure of Scope 2 and Scope 3 GHG emissions would not be mandatory.

“With global momentum building on sustainability-related disclosures in both the public and private sectors, these proposals reflect our vision and expectations for reporting issuers as we move towards a global baseline for such disclosures,” said Morisset.

The disclosure requirements would be phased in, as outlined in the notice, to give companies sufficient time to plan for implementation.

The proposed disclosure requirements draw on extensive engagement with stakeholders, follow environmental and climate-related reporting guidance issued by the CSA in 2010 and build on CSA Staff Notice 51-358 Reporting of Climate Change-related Risks published in August 2019.

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

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Foreign property tax implications associated with owning cryptocurrencies

Financial Post | Jamie Golombek | Oct 14, 2021

Crypto taxes - Foreign property tax implications associated with owning cryptocurrenciesWhere, exactly, is your cryptocurrency located? It's complicated

If you hold foreign property whose total cost exceeds $100,000 at any point in a tax year, you’re required to file Form T1135. The form covers the obvious things, such as your Swiss bank account or Cayman offshore investment portfolio, but it’s also required for foreign stocks, such as Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. or Google owner Alphabet Inc., that are held in a Canadian, non-registered brokerage account.

The penalty for filing late is $25 per day to a maximum of $2,500, plus arrears interest. There have been at least 20 reported cases in which taxpayers have been assessed a late-filing penalty since the 1998 introduction of Form T1135.

Is cryptocurrency considered foreign property?

Those questions were discussed in a recent article by William Musani and Ashvin Singh of Felesky Flynn LLP, a boutique tax law firm with offices in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They analyzed whether cryptocurrency falls under the technical definition of “specified foreign property” in the Income Tax Act, which includes “intangible property situated, deposited, or held outside Canada that is not used or held exclusively in the course of carrying on an active business of the taxpayer.”

Back in 2015, the CRA stated that “digital currency would be funds or intangible property and would be specified foreign property of a person or partnership to the extent that it is situated, deposited or held outside of Canada.”

See:  Proposed Amendments to the GST/HST Treatment of Cryptocurrencies

But where, exactly, is your cryptocurrency located?

In practice, an entitlement to your cryptocurrency exists in the form of a digital ledger on the related blockchain. But because it’s stored on a blockchain, it can simultaneously exist in several geographic locations.

These digital ledgers are considered both “distributed” and “decentralized” databases. The database that records the entitlements of a cryptocurrency holder is stored and updated in many locations at once — that is, distributed — which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to manipulate its records. The ledgers are also decentralized, since no single distributed database is the sole source of the true ownership of the particular cryptocurrency.

The article’s authors argue that in relation to the location of your cryptocurrency holdings:

The geographic location of your private key is “arguably the most relevant factor in determining where such cryptocurrency is situated, deposited, or held for the purposes of the act.”

See:  Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin

But the answer to this may depend on whether you are using a “hot” or “cold” digital wallet. Hot wallets are digital wallets connected to the internet, which is how nearly all cryptocurrency exchanges or online providers store your cryptocurrency.

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

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CFTC fines Tether US$41M for misleading claims about currency backing

Bloomberg | Jesse Westbrook | Oct 15, 2021

Tether fined 41M - CFTC fines Tether US$41M for misleading claims about currency backingTether will pay US$41 million to settle allegations it lied in claiming its digital tokens were fully backed by fiat currencies, putting a major compliance headache behind the world’s biggest issuer of stablecoins even as regulatory scrutiny intensifies.

For years, Tether told customers and the broader cryptocurrency market that it had US$1 in reserve to back every token, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a Friday statement. That claim was wildly misleading, according to the agency. For instance, from June to September 2017, there was never more than US$61.5 million backing Tether, even as more 442 million coins were circulating at one point.

Read:  Tether banned on Canada’s first 2 licensed digital currency exchanges

“This case highlights the expectation of honesty and transparency in the rapidly growing and developing digital assets marketplace,” said acting CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam.

Tether is widely used to trade Bitcoin and other tokens, making it pivotal to the crypto market. That’s because the coin allows quick transactions and because it’s designed to be largely immune to volatile price swings -- a function of its one-to-one peg to fiat currencies.

But many traders have long been skeptical that Tether genuinely had the money backing the coins that it claimed. More recently, the Treasury Department and other federal agencies have been alarmed by the stablecoin’s dramatic growth. There are now Tethers worth about US$69 billion in circulation, prompting concerns among that crypto-market disruptions could trigger chaotic investor fire sales that threaten the financial system.

In its enforcement action, the CFTC said Tether failed to disclose that it held unsecured receivables and non-fiat assets as part of its reserves, and falsely told investors it would undergo routine, professional audits to demonstrate that it maintained “100 per cent reserves at all times.”

See:  Is Tether a Black Swan?

In fact, Tether reserves weren’t audited, the agency said. Until at least 2018, Tether manually kept tabs on its reserve levels, a process that wasn’t updated in real time, the CFTC said. Tether didn’t admit or deny the CFTC’s allegations.

“Tether agreed to resolve this matter in order to move forward and focus on the future,” the company said in a statement posted on its website.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - CFTC fines Tether US$41M for misleading claims about currency backing The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut Tuesday

MarketWatch | Mark DeCambre | Oct 18, 2021

ProShares bitcoin ETF approved in US - First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut TuesdayProShares looked set to offer the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund, marking a major milestone in the crypto sector as digital assets gain greater mainstream adoption.

The fund provider submitted an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for a bitcoin futures ETF that set the table for a launch soon, said Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, in a phone interview.

See:  Bitcoin ETF option gives investors a safer and liquid way to get exposure

The filing for the Bitcoin Strategy ETF points to a rollout of the fund on Tuesday. The new ETF would end a yearslong push for a approval of a bitcoin ETF that started back in 2013 and has seen scores of applications rejected by the SEC.

Anticipation had been building for a bitcoin futures ETF after SEC Chairman Gary Gensler earlier this year said he supported such a structure, which he argues offers more investor protections than an ETF that is tied directly to physical bitcoin.

Bitcoin has seen its price surge in anticipation of the ETF, with the value of the world’s No. 1 crypto above $61,000 up 7.1%, in anticipation of a bitcoin ETF.

Some bitcoin professionals have made the case that using futures contracts for an ETF, rather than using bitcoin directly, confers additional costs to the end user, which could be mitigated by using the spot market. Futures are derivatives that are designed to allow investors to gain exposure to a commodity without owning it outright. However, futures contracts roll monthly, or expire, and must be repurchased, which can add to costs in administering the fund, which, in turn, are passed on to end users.

See:  Cathie Wood’s Ark grants itself power to buy Canadian Bitcoin ETFs

The ticker symbol for the ProShares offering is set to be “BITO” and the fund carries and expense ratio of 0.95%, which means that it will cost $9.50 annually for every $1,000 invested.

On top of the costs, futures don’t always track the underlying asset accurately.

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

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MintGreen to make North Vancouver world’s first city heated by bitcoin

Vancouver Tech Journal | William Johnson | Oct 14, 2021

mintgreen leadersrhip team 1 - MintGreen to make North Vancouver world’s first city heated by bitcoin

Bitcoin mining company MintGreen to deliver innovative low-carbon mining waste solution to heat City of North Vancouver.

As part of an effort to reduce its urban carbon footprint, the City of North Vancouver and Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC), its district energy utility, will be introducing a novel heat source to their district energy system. MintGreen, a Burnaby-based cleantech cryptocurrency miner, will be working with LEC to provide heat to North Vancouver from bitcoin mining.

How will this work?

Bitcoin mining facilities produce significant amounts of heat, which until recently, would have been considered an undesirable output. To combat this, miners have gone so far as to invest in venting and cooling infrastructure to remove this heat. MintGreen, however, has built a proprietary solution to capture this heat and sell it to buyers of heat

See:  El Salvador taps renewable energy from volcanoes to start mining bitcoin

MintGreen calls this tech their “Digital Boilers” and says it can recover more than 96% of the electricity used for bitcoin mining in the form of heat energy that can be used to sustainably heat communities and service industrial processes. Because cryptocurrency miners run at full capacity 365 days a year, this creates a unique opportunity to provide a reliable and clean heating baseload for North Vancouver's district energy system.

“Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for LEC, in that it's an innovative and cost-competitive project, and it reinforces the journey LEC is on to support the City's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Lonsdale Energy Corporation CEO, Karsten Veng, in a statement.

A partnership two and a half years in the making

The partnership didn't happen overnight. In fact, MintGreen has been working with LEC for nearly three years, according to MintGreen CEO Colin Sullivan, who spoke to Vancouver Tech Journal over the phone. “When we were sort of in our proof of concept phases, we did a bunch of cold calls for district energy companies,” said Sullivan, and LEC picked up.

LEC had certain demands related to temperature thresholds and other hardware considerations — and MintGreen essentially built their product to meet them. “That was kind of the technical challenge that we had to deal with, so you know, flash forward, two years later, and we have an MOU,” Sullivan explained.

See:  How blockchain and cryptocurrencies can help build a greener future

“It’s really exciting,” he added.” I mean, I feel like we have a very exciting opportunity to sort of go against the narrative of ‘excessive consumption of bitcoin.’ In our work, we're contractually obligated to provide 96% of our energy in the form of heat. We think we can do better than that.”

The deal with North Vancouver comes nearly half a year after MintGreen closed its seed round, a USD$2.5 million injection of cash which valued the company at USD$25 million. The round was led by Nelson Investments and CoinShares, as well as a dozen more of MintGreen’s pre-seed investors.

MintGreen has already deployed its tech on a smaller scale, including with Campbell River’s Shelter Point Distillery (which interestingly, has also taken in funding from Nelson Investments). Now the firm gets to operationalize its innovation on a much larger platform.

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

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Bitcoin’s mystery man turns up in the law courts

The Law Society Gazette | | Michael Cross | Oct 14, 2021

Bitcoins mystery man - Bitcoin’s mystery man turns up in the law courts

Source: iStock

As far as his acolytes are concerned, the ministry on earth of Satoshi Nakamoto lasted just over two years.

During that time, from the end of 2008, ‘he’ - Satoshi is a male given name - published a brilliantly written white paper setting out the principles of a currency that could operate without a central authority. He also released the computer code to turn Bitcoin in to practice (written in the programming language C++) and engaged in web conversations about its debugging and development. The last public comment appeared in December 2010. Email exchanges with developers continued for a few months, but then Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared without trace. 'I’ve moved on to other things,' he wrote in April 2011.

His, or their, identity remains a mystery.

See:  Privacy laws might prove to be a blessing in disguise for crypto

At least that is the widely accepted version of history among the mixture of geniuses, visionaries, hard-headed entrepreneurs, gullible punters and outright rogues who make up the global Bitcoin community. However a series of actions in the English courts could rewrite the authorised version. They are being brought by Dr Craig Wright, an Australian academic and Bitcoin entrepreneur resident in England, who says that the identity of Satoshi is no mystery, because it is he. Wright has registered the US copyright of Bitcoin's founding white paper and the original computer code. In June this year the High Court granted default judgment against the bitcoin.org website for infringement of his rights.

Wright is also taking vigorous action for defamation against those who dispute his claim. Judgment in a pre-trial review of one such action, against posts by a podcaster named Peter McCormack, resulted in a 256-paragraph ruling in the Queen's Bench Division earlier this month. Legal action is understood to be under way against another blogger.

Why, you may ask, does this matter? Surely Dr Wright has every right to defend his reputation, which has been subject to unquestionably vicious attacks. To quote Mr Justice Julian Knowles, Wright 'avers by way of innuendo the said words meant and were understood to mean that the claimant had fraudulently claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto'. Not that there appears to be much innuendo in complained-of phrases such as: 'Craig Wright is a fucking liar, and he's a fraud; and he's a moron'. (McCormack admits publication.)

See:  Bitcoin is an Unstoppable Force

The immediate answer is that anyone claiming, or admitting, to being Satoshi Nakamoto must accept responsibilities along with the kudos. A widely believed reason for 'Satoshi's' disappearance was the growing concern by law enforcement agencies in the use of Bitcoin to finance criminal and terrorist activity. These concerns have not gone away. The financial services authorities may also be interested: Satoshi's Bitcoin holding is in theory worth some $60bn. And HMRC is unlikely to ignore the sudden appearance of a multi-multi-billionaire apparently within its jurisdiction.

Wright is already contesting a lawsuit in the US over the ownership of a very large sum in Bitcoin; a trial opens in Miami next month.

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

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