Category Archives: Blockchain, Crypto, Digital Assets, Tokens

FFCON20 This Week: Thur, August 6: DIGITAL IDENTITY & CONVERGENCE MARKETPLACES

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NCFA Canada | Team FFCON20 | Aug 3, 2020

Week 5 Digital Identity and Convergence Marketplaces resize2 - FFCON20 This Week:  Thur, August 6:  DIGITAL IDENTITY & CONVERGENCE MARKETPLACES

Join us Thursday, August 6, 2020!  As the digital economy grows and the world increasingly moves online, the future of digital identity will deliver new frameworks and infrastructure to support digital commerce, online interactions and social identification in more secure and robust ways than ever thought before. This future is here today where individuals and businesses can establish digital representations of their identities to serve as the gateway to store and protect sensitive data, manage permissions and ultimately enable the future of Convergence Marketplaces.

  • Why digital identity matters globally in 2020 – where is it taking us and what’s the future
  • How businesses and government need to adapt to consumer ownership of data
  • Are consumers ready to control their own data?
  • How blockchain technology and other core tenants are the foundation for Convergence Marketplaces – A peak into the future
  • Liquid Avatar and and convergent marketplace DEMOs

FFCON20 Week 5 agenda 2 resize - FFCON20 This Week:  Thur, August 6:  DIGITAL IDENTITY & CONVERGENCE MARKETPLACES

 

 

FFCON20 Week 5:  In Focus

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Digital Identity & Convergence Marketplaces

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Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator Says

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Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Jul 22, 2020

bank vault - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator SaysIn a letter dated July 22, Senior Deputy Comptroller and Senior Counsel Jonathan Gould wrote that any national bank can hold onto the unique cryptographic keys for a cryptocurrency, clearing the way for national banks to custody digital assets for their clients. At present, only specific crypto custodians, such as Coinbase, can do so, usually with a trust charter issued by a state financial regulator.

The letter, which appears to be addressed to an unidentified bank or similar entity, notes that banks “may offer more secure storage services compared to existing options,” and that both consumers and investment advisors may wish to use regulated custodians to ensure they don’t lose their private keys, and therefore, access to their funds.

See:  Consilium Crypto Saves 10% on Transactions for Institutional Digital Asset Traders

“Providing custody for cryptocurrencies would differ in several respects from other custody activities,” the letter said.

It pointed to the need for digital wallets, adding that because they exist on a blockchain, there is no physical possession for cryptos.

“The OCC recognizes that, as the financial markets become increasingly technological, there will likely be increasing need for banks and other service providers to leverage new technology and innovative ways to provide traditional services on behalf of customers,” the letter said.

Banks can provide both fiduciary and non-fiduciary custodian services, the letter said.

It also specified that banks entering the space “should develop and implement those activities consistent with sound risk management practices and align them with the bank’s overall business plans and strategies.”

The OCC is currently headed up by Brian Brooks, a former Coinbase exec who joined the regulator earlier this year. He’s filled in as Acting Comptroller since the beginning of the summer, and has already proposed a number of reforms that would benefit crypto companies, including a national payments charter which would let crypto startups bypass the state-by-state approach in terms of acquiring money transmission licenses if they provide payment services.

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

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Coinsquare to pay $2.2 million in OSC settlement

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Advisor's Edge | James Langton | Jul 21, 2020

Bitcoin - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator SaysIt’s the regulator’s first enforcement case against a crypto trading platform

In a settlement that aims a shot across the bow of the fledgling crypto asset sector and mounts its first defence of whistleblowers, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) sanctioned crypto trading platform Coinsquare Ltd. and several executives.

The regulator found the firm faked its trading volume, lied about it, and retaliated against an internal whistleblower. Following a virtual hearing, an OSC hearing panel approved a settlement with Coinsquare and its executives that includes over $2.2 million in sanctions and costs, as well as industry bans.

The sanctions follow admissions that the firm violated securities rules by reporting inflated trading volume, which was generated by an internal algorithm that produced 840,000 wash trades (involving 590,000 Bitcoins), representing 90% of the platform’s reported trading activity.

The OSC also found the firm made misleading statements about the phony volume when concerns were raised by clients on Reddit, and that Coinsquare retaliated against an internal whistleblower who brought concerns about the suspect volume to senior management. The whistleblower was terminated by the company.

See:  Wealthsimple to expand into crypto trading

In settling the case, the firm admitted to engaging in market manipulation by reporting inflated trading volumes, misleading clients about the suspect volume and retaliating against a whistleblower.

CEO Cole Diamond and founder, president and CTO Virgile Rostand admitted to facilitating the firm’s breaches of Ontario securities law, while former chief compliance officer (CCO) Felix Mazer admitted to failing to fulfil his role as CCO.

Under the settlement, Diamond and Rostand both agreed to resign from the firm. Diamond paid a $1 million penalty and Rostand paid $900,000.

Coinsquare, Diamond and Rostand agreed to pay $300,000 in costs.

“Being an innovator in our capital markets is not a free pass to disregard Ontario securities law,” Kehoe said in a statement following today’s hearing.  “All market participants – including those in novel industries – must act honestly and responsibly,” he added.

The two executives are also banned from registration for three years, and they are both banned from participating in the management of Coinsquare for three years.

Additionally, Diamond received a three-year director and officer (D&O) ban, and Rostand agreed to a two-year D&O ban (although there’s a carve-out in the deal that will allow them to be involved with a Coinsquare affiliate that’s not a market participant after one year).

Mazer is also banned for one year and agreed to pay $50,000 for his role in the misconduct.

See:  An IOSCO report highlights crypto trading issues, but stops short of setting standards

“Despite several employees raising concerns about inflated trading volumes, Coinsquare not only stuck with the practice, but lied to investors about it and retaliated against a whistleblower,” said Jeff Kehoe, director of enforcement at the OSC, in a statement.

As part of the settlement, Coinsquare and its subsidiary, Coinsquare Capital Markets Ltd., which was seeking registration with the OSC and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), are also required to “implement substantial corporate governance improvements” before it can continue to pursue possible registration with the OSC and IIROC.

These improvements include establishing independent boards of directors, appointing new CEOs and CCOs, creating an internal whistleblower program, and implementing policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

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

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Wealthsimple to expand into crypto trading

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Betakit | | Jul 14, 2020

Wealthsimple crpyto - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator SaysWealthsimple is set to expand into the cryptocurrency trading space with the launch of Wealthsimple Crypto.

The new product offering will provide commission-free trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum through a mobile trading app. The Toronto-based FinTech startup has launched Wealthsimple Crypto in private beta and will roll out the product to users by invitation over the coming weeks.

“It’s important that [Wealthsimple] started thinking about the role that crypto is playing in the financial services ecosystem.”

Wealthsimple Crypto will be offered by Wealthsimple Digital Assets Inc., a newly-formed, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Wealthsimple Financial Corp. Wealthsimple registered the business earlier this year; one of three, in preparation for the launch of a variety of new services.

See:  Consilium Crypto Saves 10% on Transactions for Institutional Digital Asset Traders

According to Wealthsimple, Digital Assets is a virtual currency dealer money services business authorized by Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). It is also reportedly working with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) on a regulatory sandbox framework for offering Wealthsimple Crypto to Canadians.

“Crypto is already super popular and growing in its popularity, and growing in its credibility. And the reality in Canada is that there aren’t that many options to buy and trade cryptocurrencies in a safe and secure platform,” Wealthsimple co-founder and CEO Michael Katchen told BetaKit. “We really see ourselves as building a brand all around helping people invest their money, trade their money in a responsible way, and we think we have an opportunity to extend that into buying and selling cryptocurrencies.”

“There are a lot of barriers to safely buy and sell these assets on a Canadian platform,” Katchen said, noting that Wealthsimple’s goal by moving into the space is to remove those barriers by giving Canadians access to an “affordable, easy, and secure” crypto product.

The move into crypto may prove to be an interesting one. Recently, the Canadian cryptocurrency trading space has faced some controversies, most recently with popular Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare being accused of “artificially inflating” how much currency it trades. According to Vice, Coinsquare was “wash trading” – automatically buying and selling currency between accounts it controlled – something that is likely to draw attention from securities regulators.

See:  New York to relax cryptocurrency rules

The lack of clarity on how regulation applies to cryptocurrency has long-affected FinTech startups in Canada. The Canadian Securities Administrators, a non-federal body of securities regulators from Canada’s provinces and territories, has previously suggested the implementation of a “regulatory regime” tailored toward crypto trading platforms.

Recent amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) made by FINTRAC, the national financial intelligence agency of Canada, have had regulatory implications for cryptocurrency business.

Under the amendments, businesses including virtual currency exchanges and brokerages are now required to register with FINTRAC, comply with PCMLTFA, and develop “comprehensive and effective” anti-money laundering compliance programs.

“The reality is that crypto is still a very novel space, regulators are still understanding the role that they’re going to play in this industry,” said Katchen. “[Wealthsimple is] trying to collaborate with the OSC to help figure out that framework going forward.”

“Crypto is still a very novel space, regulators are still understanding the role that they’re going to play.”

“I think the fact that we come from it as a regulated entity across our various other business lines gives us a greater sensitivity and appreciation for what it means to work with regulators, how to help inform their thinking about this, and work collaboratively on a solution that’s right for the industry and right for regulators too,” he added.

The cryptocurrency traded on Wealthsimple’s platform will be custodied at Gemini Trust Company, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Gemini was founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

See:  Wealthsimple launches its first spending account

Katchen called the partnership with Gemini “a big part” of Wealthsimple Crypto’s model.

“There are few credible players in this space today, which is one of the ways we see an opportunity,” he said. “The reality is, there’s a lot of complexity in delivering crypto securely, and Gemini has become the de facto credible custody platform in North America. They are regulated. They are audited. They are definitely the farthest along with respect to maturity and credibility from controls and regulation.”

While Katchen noted that Wealthsimple built the rest of the technology behind its crypto trading platform, the company decided to use Gemini as a third-party custodian, rather than taking what he said would be years to build out its own such service.

The Wealthsimple CEO hinted at future expansion in the crypto space, beyond trading. Katchen, however, would not expand on what that may mean for Wealthsimple. “All I can say is that I think it’s important that [Wealthsimple] started thinking about the role that crypto is playing in the financial services ecosystem. Adding it as a way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies is a great place to start.”

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

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Check out the latest books by a few of our featured FFCON speakers!

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NCFA | Team FFCON20 | July 6, 2020

FFCON speaker author books - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator SaysWe have great thought leaders and authors that will be speaking at FFCON20 (also some prizes!) Check these out and stay at the forefront of digital change in financial services:

doing digital cover - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator Says

Banking in today’s day and age has evolved rapidly, especially in the recent decade. With the rise in digital and open banking, new opportunities are sprouting up and disrupting the traditional ways of banking. Prominent banks such as JPMorgan Chase (USA) and ING (Europe) are fully aware of this and have adopted radical new approaches to best adapt and survive the changing environment. Voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand, Chris Skinner provides detailed interviews with 5 banks in Doing Digital and shares his commentary on the secrets to thrive in the new era of finance and technology. Get DOING DIGITAL book now

See Chris Skinner speak at FFCON20 Week 3:  July 23 Sustainable Finance:  Purpose Driven Finance

Tech revolution in financial services cover - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator Says

The financial services industry has been evolving at unprecedented speeds with increasing competition from both within and outside the industry, notably from entrepreneurial FinTech start-ups and non-financial technology-based companies. Some of these entrants are looking to replace the incumbents with the technological disruption while others look to partner with them. In The Technological Revolution in Financial Services, Michael King and Richard Nesbitt ultimately believe that the increased competition from the technological revolution will benefit customers and lead to a more open and inclusive financial system. Get Technological Revolution in Financial Services book now

See Michael King speak at FFCON20 Week 1:  July 9 Scaling Fintech Funding, Innovation and Competition:  Intangibles Economy and Scaling Fintech in Canada

Friction Roger Dooley resize - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator Says

According to data, the US economy loses $3 trillion dollars in productivity due to excess bureaucracy, and $4.6 trillion of merchandise is left in abandoned e-commerce shopping carts. Why is the cause of these appalling statistics? Roger Dooley believes it is attributed to the growing presence of ‘friction’, which he defines as the unnecessary expenditure of time, effort, or money in performing a task. In FRICTION - The Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage, Dooley combines scientific research with real life examples to illustrate how to spot out areas of friction in an organization and explains the strategies to help eliminate them, creating a more swift and efficient experience for both the business and the customer. Get FRICTION book now

See Roger Dooley speak at FFCON20 Week 2:  July 16 Open Banking and Future of Paytech:  Reducing Friction in Banking and Financial Transactions

financial services revolution cover - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator Says

Blockchain is a growing field that is transforming the financial and technological industries in profound ways. In Financial Services Revolution: How Blockchain is Transforming Money, Markets, and Banking, Co-founder of The Blockchain Research Institute Alex Tapscott shares insights from some of the world’s top thinkers in blockchain in how to survey the coming digital storm. Discussions in the book revolve around global payment networks, tokenization, and innovative financing methods. Get FINANCIAL SERVICES REVOLUTION book now

See Alex Tapscott speak at FFCON20 Week 2:  July 16 Open Banking and Future of Paytech:  Financial Services Revolution


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

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Consilium Crypto Saves 10% on Transactions for Institutional Digital Asset Traders

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Consilium Crypto | Austin Hubbell | Jun 29, 2020

order recommendation system by Consilium Crypto - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator SaysTORONTO, June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - Consilium Crypto, provider of Institutional-grade trading & risk management tools for digital asset markets, today launches its Liquidity Routing System for cryptocurrency exchanges, Consilium ORS. This product has multiple one of a kind features built in, designed to meet the needs of high-volume crypto traders (hedge funds, miners, OTC trading desks).

High-volume clients can save 10% and more on transactions of select coins including Ethereum, Litecoin and Zcash. Consilium ORS also significantly improves pricing on Bitcoin and other digital assets, spreading orders across multiple exchanges to avoid disrupting prices, enabling users to get more for their money. Furthermore, there is no fixed cost for this service. Costs are a function of the trader's savings. If customers don't save on a transaction, they pay $0!

See:  Fintech Fridays EP40: Why Bitcoin Exists and Education for the Masses

We offer a streamlined Liquidity Routing System that does not require custody of funds, a new concept in this type of trading. Consilium Crypto users keep complete control over all their assets, from quote to execution. All trading is done directly between the user and the exchange, reducing the risk of cyber attacks.

"We started this company 3 years ago aiming to build a crypto hedge fund" says CEO Austin Hubbell. "First, we built the tools and technology we would need to run a hedge fund ourselves because we didn't like what was out there. Once we started down that path, we quickly realized this sector was ripe for disruption. There is a better way to buy and sell digital assets at scale, and we believe this is it."

This comes on the heels of new equity partners coming on board, with Exponential Ventures, Holt Accelerator and Cary Investments partnering on a $600,000 USD seed round. Previous investors include Portag3 Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Globalive, and Data Collective.

About Consilium Crypto

Consilium Crypto provides quantitative and qualitative insights to market participants in the digital asset space. Analyzing 17,000 trading pairs, over 1000 assets, across 50 exchanges, we track trading activity to the millisecond. Our system monitors raw transaction data, as well as complete price and liquidity information from order books worldwide. These data feed into our core products, designed to help market participants find alpha and place large orders efficiently in times of thin liquidity. For more, visit https://consiliumcrypto.ai/.

View release

 


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

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New York to relax cryptocurrency rules

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Finextra | Jun 15, 2020

New York City - Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator SaysNew York's financial regulator is preparing to remove a number of regulatory hurdles impeding the development of cryptocurrency businesses in the US state.

Virtual currency firms wanting to conduct business in New York currently have to apply for a BitLicence, which can take years to process.

Under the new regime, firms will be able to apply under a new 'conditional licensing framework' that makes it easier for start-ups to enter the New York market by piggy-backing on the licences already authorised by DFS.

Superintendent Linda Lacewell, says: “The DFS actions announced today in consultation with numerous industry participants and the public will boost responsible innovation and help get New York’s economy back on its feet. DFS is proud to foster accessibility and will continue to blaze a trail in the virtual currency marketplace.”

See: 

As part of the initiative, the financial regulator has signed an MoU with State University of New York (Suny) to launch a new Suny-related virtual currency program, under which participating startups will also be able to apply for a conditional licence. Once licensed by DFS, Suny Block will be able to support nascent virtual currency entities from local communities, including those started or run by students or alumni.

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

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