Category Archives: FinTech and Alternative Finance

Dragons’ Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing

Share

Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018

Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms.

Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth.

“We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.”

Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts.

Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based on the customer’s ability to repay. There are no fixed payment schedules, maturity dates, late penalties or collateral, and companies typically repay their obligations within six months. They also don’t have to give up a chunk of equity in their company to venture capital firms to fund their marketing spend. “I really believe if they do this right it will disrupt traditional venture capital,” said Rajen Ruparell, founder of online mattress company Endy Canada Inc. and a new member of Clearbanc’s board of directors.

On Nov. 12 the couple revealed their company had raised US$70-million from 12 U.S. and Canadian venture capital firms and had done 500 deals with e-commerce firms to date, providing US$100-million in total funding – partially drawn from the money it had raised. After that news broke, Clearbanc was inundated with applications from 1,000 more companies seeking US$1-billion in total capital. “We used up the initial allocation much faster than we expected and realized we needed additional capital,” said Mr. D’Souza, co-founder and chief executive.

See:  Canadian tech leaders form coalition advocating for new blockchain regulation

The couple told their investors they needed more capital, and fast. A principal at one of Clearbanc’s investors, New-York venture capital firm CoVenture, introduced them to Jason Finger, chairman of Upper90, a private equity firm and one of CoVenture’s backers. That was on Nov. 16. Seventeen days later, Upper90 closed on a deal to provide Clearbanc with the US$50-million.

Mr. Finger said New York-based Upper90, which is backed by individuals who have built businesses, was set up to provide “alternative capital” to tech firms that have struggled to raise money because conventional financiers “misunderstood” their opportunity.

“When we met with [Clearbanc] we felt the stars were aligned and we were ready to deploy quickly ... we saw that the revenue growth [Clearbanc’s financing business] was able to drive was extremely compelling. It made us confident we would be helping businesses in a positive way."

Mr. D’Souza said Upper90’s money will be used to create a US$50-million, two-year fund that will be separate from Clearbanc’s capital structure but which it will draw from to finance its e-commerce customers. Clearbanc will manage the fund, taking an upfront management fee plus a share of the returns the fund earns from financing Clearbanc’s customers. Mr. D’Souza says he expects to be able to deploy the money four times over the fund’s two-year life, meaning it will be used to provide about US$200-million worth of financing in total. He said another new Clearbanc director, Keri Findley, a former partner with Third Point Hedge Fund, helped develop the fund structure.

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, 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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

Share

Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?

Share

When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users.

The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment.

We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you!

Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases?

Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at one point it had increased over 1,800% in value during the year), it has recently been back on the rise.  It’s still not as widely accepted at many retailers though, and it had a minor setback recently, with Expedia removing the ability to pay with Bitcoin from its website.

But there are still a number of other places that accept Bitcoin as a form of payment!

See:  TravelCoin Foundation - Unlock a World of Possibilities

Travel Agencies

If you’re looking for alternative travel agencies to book flights, hotels, or car rentals, there are several options you’ll have:

Airlines

You can book tickets directly with a few airlines that accept Bitcoin as payment:

  • Bitcoin.Travel – probably one of the more well-known travel sites, you can use your Bitcoin currency to book flights and hotels!  It was established in 2011 with the goal of creating the world’s largest and most trusted bitcoin travel site
  • eGifter.com – eGifter is an online gift card shop where you can use your bitcoins to purchase gift cards at over 250+ different retailers.  This includes gift cards for airlines like Southwest and American Airlines, which you can then redeem for airfare!
  • Gyft.com – Gyft is another website that allows you to purchase gift cards with bitcoin. The available options currently include over 200 retailers, including American Airlines, Delta, Hotels.com, and Southwest Airlines!
  • Far Eastern Air – This airline used to be the most used airline in Taiwan, and recently confirmed they will now accept Bitcoin as payment for over 20,000 of its flights
  • airBaltic – Considered by many to be one of the most innovative airlines, it’s no surprise that they were one of the first airlines to accept Bitcoin as payment for tickets to over 60 destinations in Europe, Russia, and the Middle East
  • FlyPeach – This is Japan’s first airline to accept payment in Bitcoin.  The airline is based out of Kansai International Airport in Osaka, and offers many flights in the North Asia region

Buses

  • eTravelSmart – If you’re looking to buy bus tickets for travel in India, this could be your ticket (no pun intended)!  With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to purchase tickets using this online bus ticket booking portal for over 80,000+ bus routes.  eTravelBus takes bitcoin payment using the Unocoin payment gateway, which is the equivalent of Coinbase in the US

Hotels

  • 9flats – This is a great option for those looking to book vacation rentals, apartments, or guest houses, and want to stick with Bitcoin

Airports

  • Denver International – If you’re in the Denver area and need to pay for parking at Top Airport Parking, you’ll be happy to know they also accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, in addition to other types of payment like cash and credit cards
  • Brisbane International – The world’s first crypto-friendly airport!  Travelers to this airport are able to use Bitcoin at various merchants

Tourism Spots

  • Caribbean Tourism Organization – There are plans to introduce cryptocurrency payments for tourism services in this region.  The organization is partnering with a local company to implement crypto-based merchant application in this industry

What Are Some Best Practices for Paying With Bitcoin?

With the run that Bitcoin had in increase in value last year, reaching a value of as much as over $17,000+ for 1 Bitcoin, you might have a lot of questions about how you can invest and pay using this cryptocurrency!  So here are a few tips to keep in mind!

Many major banks no longer allow you to purchase cryptocurrencies with their credit cards, but fortunately there are still plenty of other options.  You can still use debit cards, regular ACH transfers, and peer to peer platforms such as PayPal to purchase Bitcoin.  Each has their own pros and cons in terms of how quickly the transfer can be made, size of the transfer/purchase, and any applicable fees.

You’ll also want to ask yourself what your investment goals are.  For instance, are you looking to hold Bitcoin as a long-term investment, or are you looking for short-term gains?

See:  Global payments: Expansive growth, targeted opportunities

With something as volatile as Bitcoin, which could fluctuate wildly in value, you won’t want to invest anything you can’t afford to lose.  Regardless of the amount of hype, there’s never any guarantee of a positive return on this, or any investment.  Along these same lines, borrowing money to invest in Bitcoin could spell disaster for you, because not only is there no guaranteed return, you could actually end up losing money this way and still have to pay back the monies you originally borrowed.

You’ll also need to do your research and choose trusted wallets to store your cryptocurrency.  These wallets come in different hardware and software forms, such as apps on your phone, software on your computer, online storage, and physical hardware devices, similar to a USB thumb drive.  Make sure the company you’ll be storing your valuable Bitcoin with is reputable, and not something that will disappear overnight.

The same advice applies for when you are paying with Bitcoin and paying through a travel portal, for instance.  Doing a quick online search to see if a website is legitimate may save you a lot of headache in the future.  If you’re able to find a good number of positive reviews from others, then chances are it’s legitimate.  But if you’re not able to find any information on the website, then you should proceed with caution!

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, 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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

Share

What fintech can learn from Robinhood’s ‘epic fail’ of launching checking accounts

Share

CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018

Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry.

  • The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate.
  • Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm.
  • Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken.
  • “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said.

On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan.

There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side.

The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry from FDIC-checking and savings accounts, which have different capital requirements and are equipped to handle bank failures or a run on a bank.

See:  Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019

President and CEO of SIPC Stephen Harbeck had "serious concerns" about Robinhood's product when the news hit Thursday. But said he didn't have a chance to air those to the company because Robinhood never called him, or the SEC, ahead ahead of the launch.

Harbeck's key worry was that accounts Robinhood was touting as checking and savings were not insured the same way. SIPC protects brokerage accounts, which Harbeck explained are meant for the purpose of investing in securities. Cash in those accounts that isn't being used to invest in stocks, would likely not be protected, he said.

"I understand that people want to be innovative and things change, but I have to work within a certain statute," Harbeck told CNBC in a phone interview Monday. "The statutes we work with can only can protect certain funds."

Aim before you shoot

Late on Friday evening, Robinhood's co-CEOs published a blog post amending their original plan and said they would re-brand and re-name the product, which "may have caused some confusion."

"They've done the responsible thing," SIPC's Harbeck said. "Next time they'll aim before they shoot."

UBS analyst Brennan Hawkins was the first and only major Wall Street analyst to call out major holes the Robinhood's plan. He said he was shocked by the speed at which SIPC responded, which is not a good sign for Robinhood.

"That shows that this was really was a really significant over-reach," Hawken told CNBC on Monday. "We shouldn't call it an about-face, but an epic fail."

The marketing material described this as a banking product. While they may have said otherwise in the fine print, Hawken said unsophisticated investors might not have gotten the message. There are guarantees and reassurances that come with FDIC-insured banking products that a first-time investor might not be aware of.

See:  UK banks publish fintech collaboration toolkit

This was also a key worry for former Rep. Barney Frank, a key architect of the post-crisis financial reform that bears his name.

"If there's any uncertainty about regulatory protection, there is serious potential for people to be misled," Frank told CNBC on Friday. "There needs to be certainty — if there's stuff that isn't covered it needs to be in big bold [letters] on the top of the page."

Make apples to apples comparisons

Robinhood said it's investing customer deposits in government-grade securities like U.S. treasuries, which yield 2.8 percent. That model is strikingly similar to what's known as a money market fund. Those investment vehicles also put money in short-term debt securities like U.S. Treasury bills and are widely regarded as safe investments with a higher yield.

Hawken said by offering something like a money-market fund and calling it a checking account was misleading, and more of an "apples to oranges" comparison.

"This situation with Robinhood is a flashing red light for fintechs and lawmakers — our current regulatory environment is not prepared for this rapid transformation," Mills told CNBC. "It's an example of the fact that we have entered un-chartered territory."

"The product is far less of an outlier in the money market world versus banking products," Hawken said. "You're not really comparing apples to apples with those interest rates."

Robinhood's 3 percent interest rate for checking and savings would have been roughly 30 times the national average. The average yield for checking accounts is 0.08 percent yield on U.S. checking accounts and the 0.1 percent average on savings accounts, according to the latest data from Bankrate.com. Goldman Sachs' consumer banking arm, Marcus, is one of the highest-yielding banks in the savings products category with a 2.05 percent annual percentage yield. But plenty of other money market funds are actually in the same range 3 percent interest as Robinhood.

See:  Passion For Banking Innovation Fueled By Fintech, Big Tech Disruptors

Unlike a money market fund though, Robinhood planned to offer customers immediate access to their money, JMP Securities' Devin Ryan said Robinhood's structure is more of a "hybrid."

"The company is going back to the drawing board to put their own spin on some type of higher yielding instrument that passes along the benefit of a checking account," said Ryan, a managing director and analyst at JMP. "It's still something different than the incumbent firms."

The challenge for Robinhood, he said is playing the role of disruptor in an old school, highly regulated industry.

"When you're in that position, everything you create isn't going to succeed on the first pass and that's okay," Ryan said. "They're going to have to evolve this product to have to pass the test of regulators."

Applying the tech model to finance

UBS's Hawken said Robinhood "stubbed their toe pretty badly," but it's "not a mortal blow, it's a step back."

"Clearly this is a company that's trying to apply the technology 'run fast and break things' approach to a highly structured and regulated industry," Hawken said. "Those two approaches are not necessarily congruent."

Robinhood certainly fits that mold for high-growth. The company's free stock-trading model has ushered in 6 million users and a $5.6 billion valuation in its five-year existence. The company's model took Wall Street brokerages by storm by offering stock trading for free and has put pressure on incumbents like Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade, which charge $4.95 and $6.95, respectively, for equity trades. That price war is still intensifying. J.P. Morgan Chase unveiled its own free trading app in August.

Still, tech companies looking to disrupt banks and other areas of finance are dealing with an especially high bar.

While Robinhood may not have been legally required to check in with SIPC before launching the product, it's more "sound practice," and what regulators have come to expect.

"This isn't the way you're supposed to operate," Hawken said. "This is a cautionary tale for those that don't vet their new products with a regulator — you can hurt yourself from a perception standpoint, and you can end up with a little egg on your face."'

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, 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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

Share

The Security Token Field – The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?

Share

Forbes |

The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology.

Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the somewhat murky beginnings of Blockchain and embrace this new technology and the great potential it may hold for the future.

In this article we will be discussing three projects in the STO area, a crowdfunding platform, an AI based investment platform and finally a traditional company which is not a typical idea for blockchain.

See:  How Blockchain Can Help Marketers Build Better Relationships with Their Customers

One such project which has ambitious plans in the space is Crowd for Angels. This claims to be a regulated, crowdfunding platform that helps companies list their projects and helps them raise capital by way of equity, debt and crypto tokens. They claim to be are one of the first regulated entities in the UK and Europe to allow tokens to be sold through their platform. They recently launched a Sports Investment Security Token Offering where investors can own a share in a Premier League or Serie A club's shirt sponsorship.

The Sports Investor Coin ('SIC') is a Security Token that is expected to populate the world's first sport asset-backed portfolio. The founders run a successful sports marketing business that has brokered millions of dollars in deal value over the last 8 years. According to the founders, the capital raised from the sale of SIC Security Tokens will be used to make strategic acquisitions of sports sponsorship assets on a medium to long-term basis, using the adage of purchasing at wholesale price and selling at retail. These assets will eventually be sold initially through existing sales networks but will eventually be moved onto a digital marketplace.

"Before agreeing to list any project, we ensure the utmost transparency and due diligence to make sure that participants associated with any of the projects are genuine and act in the best interests of the investors with as little risk as possible", CMO Andrew Adcock said.

Crowd for Angels Director Tony de Nazareth said that utilizing the blockchain and tokens to digitize assets allows previously illiquid assets to become liquid and promote a market economy. Investors benefit from greater diversification, transferability, and transparency in decision making with the internet having now penetrated into the traditional financial markets, he added.

Malta is currently rolling out its blockchain and DLT legislation with several companies applying for a VFAA license in order to conduct ICO's and STO's. One of the most interesting as regards the latter is Valora, a Japanese company which aims to revolutionize the way the financial markets operate, or so, they claim.

Valora is a blockchain-based investment matchmaking platform which aims to disrupt the world of traditional investments while also bringing liquidity to the exciting ideas of tomorrow and any business visionaries who wish to make their project or blockchain-based business a reality.

See:  Blockchain’s potential will continue to spur public and private investment

Interestingly, it uses artificial intelligence (AI), data and opportunities to present investment opportunities and information to the investor - the investor uses this information to make an informed decision.  With 10 years of experience in the investment field, the Valora team are now using Artificial Intelligence to filter the quality of the offered services continuously. With the help of VALORA, investors have a wide array of ROI (return-on-investment) choices in the form of profit share, tokenized assets, bonus exit gains, and development projects. You can also make informed investments whilst choosing from a curated pool of projects. The fact that it is a public blockchain also ensures safety.

Valora's platform also assesses the risk and calculates the percentage of the project that is paid annually to the 3rd party insurer ( such as MIGA). It also enables the best investment opportunities to be more accessible than otherwise would only be reserved to VC Companies, Insiders or Banks. Users also have access to an untapped pool of global investment entities and business individuals.

Valora also claim to have unparalleled levels of liquidity which are also provided by the worldwide investment community. Not to mention the added advantage of investing in crypto-related and Blockchain projects with FIAT (fiduciary) currency. The concept was born when people wanted to invest but within the safety net of an established blockchain project like Ethereum, Cardano and EOS among others.

You wouldn't expect a company that makes the famous red boxes used by British Prime Ministers to go for a Security Token Offering but that's exactly what Wickwar are doing.

Wickwar has been making its exclusive despatch red boxes for over 200 years. This London-based business makes handmade, bespoke items for elite clients. These include Theresa May, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and even the Queen of the United Kingdom, herself.

See:  Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019

Despatch boxes were originally used by British Members of Parliament to carry documents into the Commons Chamber. Two can now be found permanently in the Chamber on the central table and contain religious texts of the Oath for the day. Frontbenchers (ministers and shadow ministers) deliver their addresses from their side's despatch box. The despatch boxes in use today were gifts from New Zealand and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott to replace the boxes destroyed during bombings in the Second World War.

Now, Wickwar is working on its security token offering (STO) where investors are offered tokens to benefit from the possibility of token appreciation or unlocking the ecosystem’s utility. They are looking to raise funds in UK of about £2 million, eventually being valued at approximately £8 million. Wickwar is fully regulated under UK prospectus regulation with tokens in Ethereum ERC 1400 and tied to shares of 1 token which would be equal to 1 share £1 each. Funds raised will be used to expand the output of the factory and the workshop as well as to expand supply into Asia, due to a recent order of 100 units, where each unit retails for £5000.

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, 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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

Share

Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019

Share
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018

In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions.

What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.)

See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee

IPOs looming

Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO isn't unthinkable in 2019. Credit Karma and Robinhood are cited as two possibilities, and other large companies may get serious about at least laying the IPO groundwork next year.

  • Vanessa Colella, head of Citi Ventures at Citigroup Inc.: "I do not think we’ll see any major mergers, acquisitions or IPOs in fintech specifically. Stripe has done some incredible work and has the potential to be one to watch for the IPO track, but ultimately we expect to see continued growth in the private market."
  • Lindsay Davis, analyst at CB Insights: "Fintechs have been focused on scaling up, and on products over profit. That mentality is fundamentally flipped when a company goes public. As a result, many have taken the slow approach to an IPO, and that trend is likely to continue since many of the rumored candidates have enough runway to stay private after record financing rounds in 2018."
  • Matt Harris, managing director at Bain Capital Ventures: "In terms of 2019 IPOs, it will be interesting to see if Credit Karma decides to go public. They certainly have the scale and profitability."
  • Kyle Lui, principal at DCM Ventures: "Many fintech companies have gained traction and are ripe for acquisition. Truly breakout companies like Robinhood will likely go public in 2019."

See:  Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings

Consolidation picks up

Our experts were unanimous on this one. There are plenty of startups out there that have gained enough footing for incumbents to take notice, but have stayed small enough that an acquisition is still feasible.

  • Lindsay Davis: "Digital-first 'challenger' banks are prime acquisition targets for incumbents. We’d also expect to see the largest fintech unicorns become more active on the M&A front, as we saw firms like Stripe and Credit Karma make more acquisitions in 2018."
  • Kyle Lui: "Major U.S. banks have over $100 billion of excess capital and a major appetite for technology. Meanwhile, many fintech companies have gained traction and are ripe for acquisition."
  • Arjun Sethi, co-founder of Tribe Capital: "We think there will be a continued increase in M&A interest from large finance companies. I think you'll see much larger transactions from traditional industry players as well as they evolve and become more tech stack-enabled."
  • Zachary Aron, principal in the payments and banking consulting practice at Deloitte: “It’s quite possible to see fintechs looking to continue to combine, to both create scale and a deeper and richer set of capabilities.”

 

Big tech vs. big finance

While more big tech companies are testing the waters in the finance industry, don't expect to see the emergence of the Bank of Facebook anytime soon.

  • Vanessa Colella: “Alibaba continues to make progress there with its large stake in fintech affiliate Ant Financial. And Google has been deepening their work in Asia with Google Pay, which is experimenting with QR codes for peer-to-peer payments. These players are digging in, and we expect that trend to continue.”
  • Matt Harris: “I’m skeptical that big tech will be more aggressive in fintech in 2019 ... privacy concerns will make that hard for many of them. Amazon is the notable exception. Never bet against them!”
  • Kyle Lui: "Big tech will get into finance, but it will happen slower than people think. Financial services is both slow-moving and highly regulated. It will take time for major tech companies to understand the landscape. Their initial focus will be providing key products for their customer or user base."

See:  A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services

The future of funding

Fintechs can thank the likes of SoftBank Group Corp. for the ample supply of capital, allowing more companies to expand quickly and test new products while remaining private. Most experts said they thought the money would keep flowing, though a turn in the economy could change that dynamic.

  • Vanessa Colella: "2018 was a year for massive funding rounds, and I can see that continuing into next year. There is a lot of capital in the private sector right now—venture funds have risen up to compete with SoftBank’s war chest, so we’re seeing more venture capital firms like Sequoia raise several billion dollar vision funds, which I anticipate will only continue to increase in size. Those funds will likely be deployed in the next two to three years, resulting in more funding and big valuation bumps in 2019."
  • Lindsay Davis: "In the second half of 2018, the data started to show a bigger pull-back in early-stage fintech deals and funding in the U.S., and that could continue heading into 2019. However, there is no shortage of big-pocketed investors like SoftBank actively looking to make fintech investments."
  • Frank Rotman, founding partner at QED Investors: "There are a growing number of mega-funds that need to deploy capital in nine-figure chunks so I see the valuation trend continuing for the best businesses in the space. But, if the economy shows any significant signs of slowing, I think the U.S. market in particular will see a modest reduction in availability of capital and rationalization of valuations as VC and PE firms become a bit more cautious in their outlook."

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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

Share

Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings

Share

Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018

The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on
the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem

TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies.

See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

"We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond."

BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them to move on the Stellar network, at a fraction of the cost of moving any other assets in the world, with near instant settlement. Their innovative technology means increased user acquisition, and an incredible ability to scale into the quickly maturing cryptocurrency world. Coinsquare and BlockEQ will be working towards launching a huge number of crypto assets together, none more notable in the short term than an upcoming Coinsquare Stable Coin.

"We're excited to be working under the Coinsquare umbrella," said Satraj Bambra, CEO of BlockEQ. "Coinsquare was the reason we initially became interested in the cryptocurrency space, so when Cole and team approached us about coming onboard, it seemed like a natural next step."

See:  FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

BlockEQ will remain its own entity, operating as a subsidiary of Coinsquare as the company continues to diversify its business lines and move toward becoming a 21st-century financial institution. Earlier this year, Coinsquare announced the launch of Coincapital, the portfolio and investment fund management division of the trading platform; and was recognized by LinkedIn as the fastest-growing startup on the Top Canadian Startup list based on the company's 92 per cent employee base growth from July 2017 to June 2018.

To learn more about Coinsquare, visit coinsquare.com. To learn more about BlockEQ, visit blockeq.com.

Source:  release


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

Share

OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee

Share

OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC).

The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation.

The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following:

  • Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers);
  • Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain);
  • Data science or artificial intelligence (AI);
  • Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector;
  • Fintech or technology entrepreneurship;
  • Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or
  • Cryptography or cybersecurity.

See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019

Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their relevant experience by January 4, 2019.

Applications and questions regarding the FAC can be addressed to:

Isabel Cupryn
Fintech Coordinator, OSC LaunchPad
Ontario Securities Commission
osclaunchpad@osc.gov.on.ca

Source:  view release

 


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

Share