Category Archives: Blockchain, Crypto, ICOs

Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Not yet a done deal

 

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Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords

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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 based on the idea of non-domestic intervention.

What Mark Zuckerberg didn’t dare to say in Congress when he had to testify about Russian influence exploiting Facebook is that the internet is no longer compatible with the nation-state.

Today’s internet AI is governed with our likes, retweets, upvotes and links — tokens we don’t own. These tokens own us as they constantly survey society in benefit of the network’s owners. To remain competitive with each other, Facebook and Google have incentives to become even more Orwellian.

What made them incredibly successful was their ability to formalize humans on the web. But the steep price is the privacy of a society that no longer connects via dial-up but lives online 24/7.

The question we now face is how can we formalize humans online in a decentralized way, hence guaranteeing a voice and a vote for everyone without making them subjects of corporate propaganda?

Turing-impossible Proofs

In order to establish a frontier between ourselves and internet AI, we need a decentralized protocol for singular human identities.

Unlike Facebook, a network of this kind must not be limited to the logic of media and attention-grabbing algorithms. Instead, a human consensus should be the source of legitimacy, effectively constructing a one-human-one-node graph to unlock the full potential of blockchain governance.

Legitimate influence over cryptographic budgets can transform a social network deployed over the internet into a living democracy. But this is far from a trivial task: formalizing humans in decentralized networks requires preventing bots, Sybil attacks, bribes and a Big Brother from emerging.

See:  How AI and Blockchain Have Changed Canada’s Business World

Let’s begin with bots. A machine’s perception threshold can be measured using Turing tests, tasks designed to tell robots and humans apart. So, a human-based consensus by definition requires Turing-impossible proofs, hard for computers but easy for brains to process. To illustrate this, the birth certificate for my daughter Roma was made using video, a simple format for a fellow human to decode, but still very hard for any machine to understand.

The proof can remain private and secret — only a hash goes on a blockchain. This string of numbers is able to certify the contents and timestamp the original proof, letting nodes get validated without the need of broadcasting all the information. We can expect Moore’s Law catching up with the Uncanny Valley, so the format of the proof should be always open up for debate.

In order to ensure an identity is singular, we need to fight Sybils (in this context: humans aiming to get control of more than one node). A reputation-based graph must be put in place giving attestation rights to those able to gather more trust from the network. At Devcon4 Sina Habib introduced the idea of building a “trust graph” using well-known reputation algorithms like PageRank. My own experience implementing PageRank to weight retweets on Twitter led to a virtual currency project named Whuffie Bank back in 2009; it does work.

But the stake from validating nodes should also be a bounty for those able to detect false-positives in the consensus. Network policing cannot be strictly algorithmic if we want the humans to be in charge.

The risk of reputation algorithms is that they are really centralization algorithms.

This leads to nodes that can use their excess influence to buy others or be targeted and bought. To prevent bribes and monopolies from forming, a node’s ability to validate new Turing-impossible proofs should be based on a cryptographic lottery that introduces randomized voting to the consensus.

If the lottery’s entropy is based on a node’s stake, it can aim to equalize attestation chances across all nodes in the long term. As a validating node, the higher your stakes the less likely you’ll be given a chance to validate again. This creates an incentive to focus on validating family first.

See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech

Today, Tomorrow and the Future

At Democracy Earth, we are designing our consensus protocol using ERC-20 tokens with staking logic designed to validate Turing-impossible proofs. When the score for a given hash reaches the consensus threshold, a check on the claim “Are you Human?” is issued for a provided ERC-725 identity.

These open specifications allow the quick prototyping and deploying of these ideas on top of any EVM-compatible blockchain. Recent research and new protocols, such as the work by David Chaum of DigiCash on randomized voting, and AlgoRand led by zero-knowledge proof co-inventor Silvio Micalli, signal the relevance of cryptographic lotteries in keeping governance fair.

In our initial work implementing web-based digital democracies it became clear that whoever controls the registry of voters can manipulate the outcome of an election. Providing a decentralized consensus on human rights can replace this point of failure also present in traditional elections.

Why not simply use the legacy reputation of established institutions for human identities?

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

 

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

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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

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Not yet a done deal

 

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Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval

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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 evidence. Further, this type of price co-integration “is evidence of a well-functioning capital market.”

The firms went on to explain that “Similar to commodity futures, the spot and futures prices [of bitcoin] are tightly linked,” again providing “evidence of a well-functioning capital market.”

On another note, they argued that the bitcoin ecosystem is “less susceptible to manipulation” than other commodities which already support exchange-traded products.

For example, insiders might possess or trade information related to the supply of physical commodities – say, if a new source for an asset is discovered, or if some event lowers the production – and this may impact price.

Bitcoin does not face this sort of issue, the presentation notes, adding:

“The linkage between the bitcoin markets and the presence of arbitrageurs in those markets means that the manipulation of the price of bitcoin on any single venue would require manipulation of the global bitcoin price in order to be effective … Bitcoin therefore is no more susceptible to manipulation than other commodities, especially as compared to other approved ETP reference assets.”

See:  Crypto prices sharply down after SEC postpones Bitcoin ETF decision

Any attempt to manipulate bitcoin’s price “would require overcoming the liquidity supply of such arbitrageurs who are effectively eliminating any cross-market pricing differences,” especially as these arbitrageurs are likely to have their funds stored on different exchanges to take advantage of price differences.

The applicants’ pitch came a day before SEC chairman Jay Clayton said concerns about market manipulation are one of the barriers preventing an ETF approval.

Speaking at CoinDesk’s Consensus: Invest conference a day after the presentation, Clayton explained that “the prices retail investors are seeing are the prices they should rely on, and free from manipulation.”

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


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CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


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


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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 ...
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Not yet a done deal

 

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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23): Future of Business Tokenization – How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder

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NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money

About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy!

  • The future of business tokenization
  • How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry
  • How blockchain challenges the concept of money

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin)

Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and startups.

Alan is a leading blockchain / fintech expert. Alan has hands-on finance and technology executive with deep governance, strategic planning, process reengineering, big data analytics, risk management and information management transformation consulting experience. Alan is elected Canadian Chair of Canada’s ISO/TC307 Blockchain Standards Committee. Alan is a blockchain startup CEO, conference speaker, blockchain community organizer. Throughout his 25 year career, Alan has been a trusted business partner to CIO’s, CFO’s CRO’s, CMO’s and CHRO’s, leading business performance improvement programs by transforming finance, customer and risk IT systems, processes, and organizational structures.

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

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Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody. Hopefully you're having a fantastic day. Manseeb Khan and you were tuning into Fintech Fridays is brought to you by the National Fintech and Crowdfunding Association also known as the NCFA.  Today I have the absolute pleasure of having Alan Wunsche the CEO of Token Funder. Alan thank you so much for sitting down.

Alan Wunsche: It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

Manseeb Khan: No absolutely. I'd love to. Just for a second ,for I guess some of the audience members that may not know who you are and what your company is. Could you just for a minute tell us who you are and what Token Funder is?

Alan Wunsche: Sure thing. So, my name is Alan Wunsche and I am the CEO of Token Funder. Who I am. So, I started in blockchain four years ago having left the traditional banking space. So, I worked at it as an executive in a fairly large bank. But I left and who I am really is a leader of a company that is on the leading edge of a lot of this new era of funding and alternatives to what is currently our financial infrastructure and banking system. So Token Funder and we can talk about anything you want to in terms of your questions. So, I'm sure you'll have lots of them, but I'll just say Token Funder as a company. We started on this journey of two years ago. To build a platform for companies to use in a legal regulatory compliant way such that they could use the latest in blockchain technology and bring their company to the market and use it as a funding vehicle so that these companies that would go under the platform can raise funds and do that in a way that helps really drive a democratization of ownership. So, what drove Token Funder is not that we could just do something that was happening already, and you know crowdfunding existed for sure but that was a real eye opener that we could also do crowdfunding. But in really interesting ways on through blockchain. So, we took the approach that we were going to take a company keep it in Canada, build it in Canada use it initially as a service for Canadian companies and then go global. So, in a nutshell Token Funder is  building really an alternative funding mechanism and some additional services that now make us look like a funding and growth company for startup companies and scale ups. So, we're getting interest from not just your super early startups but also companies that are in market as well.

Manseeb Khan: That's very exciting. I can't wait to, I don't know if you can talk about that but maybe next time when you come on the show would love to dive a little bit deeper on like the growth stuff that you guys are interested in.

Alan Wunsche: Sure, we can talk, or we could talk a little bit about that today.

Manseeb Khan: Ok. Also, you mentioned you guys are actually going to help companies when it came to regulation. Could you talk a little bit more about that because when you think of raising tokens and raising Regulations definitely have been something that people have been concerned of. If not, there's been a lot of ambiguity when it came to regulations. When you talk about regulations what does that mean to you. And what is that coming from your end?

Alan Wunsche: Sure, we do have a fairly well-established securities regulations in Canada, the US, UK, Australia, and other places right. So, these regulations that we're referring to include securities regulations that also includes anti-money laundering regulations that the government is obviously concerned about. So, when you think about looking at the kind of journey we had. So when I talk about the regulatory route that we had, we started working with the Ontario Securities Commission launch pad when they first came out and we looked and said okay we looked around and there were some early indications that that at least one company essentially had to leave or decided to leave didn't have to but decided to leave and incorporate in another jurisdiction. And it could have been you know Barbados or Switzerland or one of these others. And the reason for that being that the regulators didn't have as much certainty for them or that very likely their particular business was going to result in the securities offering. So, these companies said to themselves well will establish ourselves in another authority. So that essentially, we don't have to worry about the regulatory concerns or restrictions that may be placed on the company here in Canada. And that actually worked really well in 2017 and into the mid part of 2018. So, they raised a lot of cash. Now where the story is important for your audience if you're going to go down this road. So those companies that raised on cash outside did not include a process that's referred to as KYC. And sometimes some little misunderstood. But I'm sure you've talked about that with the previous podcasts. I'll just repeat it. KYC meaning know your customer or your client and in the given the traditional kind of initial coin offering process that you could have undertaken outside of Canada, Us and as I said Australia or the UK you could go out and you can anonymously raise funds from pretty much anyone in the world because blockchain allows for that to happen fairly anonymously. So not purely anonymously but we will get into the technology around that. So, company could go to Switzerland, Barbados or the Caymans and these other jurisdictions say OK set up shop we've got a new business and you can invest in us quote unquote right. But we're not going to worry about who you are, we're not going to really worry about those things. Well if you're going to do that in Canada if you're going to do that as a Canadian company in Canada there's very clear guidance and regulations that you really have to understand who that person is that's investing. And the reason for that is because you have to also understand their risk profile. So, know your customer just doesn't mean you actually know what they're you know what their name is and where they live. But for the sake of investor protection and this is throughout Canada throughout the U.S. for the sake of investor protection you really have to understand the risk profile of the investor and whether your particular investment is a good suitable investment for your business or for them into your business. I should say so. So, I'm just and drawing some contrasts for you and any audience at this point because you know what's happened is that we've gone through kind of a two-year process here working with the regulators and we added KYC. So, I'll talk about maybe our token offering we added KYC is a process in terms of our Canadian offering. And that's in contrast to a company that didn't do that well. Now the OSC and the S.E.C. are coming back around to these do these coin offerings that happen over 2017 and 18 and saying well you were actually selling an unregistered security. And if you've not protected yourself and it was impossible to do so you've allowed Canadian residents to invest in your business.  Then we have a problem with that. So, when we did our token offering this the process we went through last year. So, we started last over the winter into the early part of 2018 and through the whole hype cycle of all these ICOs and here we are in Canada doing a token offering that has KYC understands the risk suitability of these potential investors. And we turned a lot of people away that we're interested in investing because we determined that it wasn't just suitable investment for some of them. So, it's essentially an online process that we installed, and  we know who the investor is, we white list them in a smart contract and then we also token it. We also issued a token which would probably end up being our token and that token also had some rights. So, we're going to continue a little bit more along the contrasting because many of those new projects that went out in 2017 and 2018 outside of our jurisdiction would have terms essentially that that included something like you're contributing to this particular project but frankly you have no rights whatsoever. And just hope and pray that our new protocol token will be appreciating in value and oh by the way you can go and trade it and pump and dump it on one of these new digital exchanges. Well that's what our regulators here refer to as the Wild West. We contrasted that with OK. So if you're going to invest to get a Canadian startup such as ours you're going to have to have some patient money and we won't issue our token on a digital exchange that you can go pump and dump in because if we just don't believe it's appropriate next to other regulators by the way in the Canadian context and as long as you have some patient capital and you're willing to consider at risk capital and then we think it's appropriate for a part of your portfolio. So just like any other kind of proper investment process we implemented  that kind of steps and we had an offering memorandum and we had an annual report attached to the offering memorandum I should say and audited financial report. And that's the kind of disclosure that investors expect. Now I'll just stop there because I'm sure you've heard of the whole speculation craze that happened with initial coin offerings and now it's kind of fallen apart and for good reason now that they are in  the broad world.

Manseeb Khan: You did mention a really good point of talking about how KYC it goes a little bit further than just other than the baseline surface level like first name, last name and where you're really from. I'm glad that you guys actually took a little bit more of initiative of understanding. Not only is it important to understand who you are but would this be a good enough investment for you. Right. Not even like oh hey yeah this is  money we're taking it. Its you guys have a more of a screening process, more a vetting process which hopefully more companies like yourself in the space to start to adopt and actually have these like set requirements that people have to kind of meet to either throw their money in like you mentioned patient money. People  don't think of patient money when you talk about blockchain or crypto because they think again, they think pump and dump  which makes sense because a lot of the news and a lot of the media out there is very much of oh look at this coin. It went from zero to 100 million and then the founders just disappeared, or they just shut everything down right.

Alan Wunsche: Yeah. I mean this is really important, and I hate the term pump and dump  but unfortunately, it's out there.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I'm not a fan of either.

Alan Wunsche: You know And I'll also. We didn't invent this. These are best practices that are already baked into our securities legislation. Not everyone appreciates this. So, when we started working with the launch pad you know it was it was a learning experience on both sides. So, we shared everything we knew about blockchain we came in and said this is how it all works. We're going to tokenize these businesses. Oh well what does that mean. And we can talk a little bit about that subsequently but ok sounds interesting sounds like something really novel. Now we'll also make sure that you're aware of how we expect companies to behave like good corporate citizens in the Canadian space. And you know it is very clear if you choose to look for it that it says when you accept investment into your business you need to understand a person's risk profile. In fact, that's what goes on in the online trading world today. And you know there are existing rules that say essentially, you're supposed to look at them every time anyone makes a trade and that it's a risk suitable trade for them. And there's other kinds of you know online verification that people have to do. So very similar. Just because we are in a new space doesn't mean that we have to create everything from scratch. And I want to make that point because we took the time to really understand what the big boys and let's call it, we're doing and then apply it to our particular case. So, you know we scaled it down to make it appropriate for us and we got some particular exemptions for our token offering such as being able to raise funds from our own platform which is something that traditionally you're not allowed to do. So, there were certain things that we essentially were allowed to experiment with. And this is part of trying to frankly do the right thing work with it, work with our regulators and use the latest innovative technology. Now for your benefit and others let's be clear that's a long process. So, it would have been and trust me in terms of temptation it would have been a one-month process for us to go to Barbados or Caymans or Switzerland or another place like that raised 20 million dollars. We ended up doing about a nine-month process. So not for the faint of heart to just stay here. There's a lot of regulatory discussions that ended up happening just to be super clear about that. But you know what. At the end of the day I think we're proving out that doing it for the right reasons and doing the right thing. Actually, let you sleep at night and hopefully let your kind of do right by everyone in the space. And I mean you know I've been in this space now for four years. When Ethereum  kind of hit the world. I saw it launch with a small group of folks here in Toronto and I was disappointed Ethereum had to leave the country for Switzerland. I understood how it was kind of regulatory uncertainty and other reasons that that drove that decision. But you know still you want to. You want to do it. You want to build a business for the right reasons and act accordingly. My background I didn't mention this as a CA now we're part of the new CPA organization. And you know there's ethics and guidelines and all of that good stuff that frankly went out the window in the ICO craze and it was disappointing to see all those ICOs that kind of tarnish the image of the blockchain industry. So yeah. Yes. So, I mean moving forward we're living in an environment now. I'll just add that you know while we're using the blockchain technology we're also that kind of company although we're called Token Funder, we're not saying to people you know we're somehow blockchain or bitcoin evangelists or ether evangelists if it makes sense for your business. We're going to we're going to help you out.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah like you've mentioned a couple of things. There's always going to be bad actors that make sense and I guess any new emerging industry just do again like you've said. Doing the right thing is always the right thing and helps to sleep at night right. It would have been a lot easier for. You're seeing a lot of these crypto companies going to the Cayman Islands or going to Switzerland or what have you and not really knowing that like okay cool like this. Okay. Awesome. The Cayman Islands is very right now. They're very willing to work with crypto companies and everything but this goes back down to KYC of knowing your customer and knowing. Okay cool. But What about everybody else. What about people in the rest of the world. What about Canada in the US and all the other markets that are very apprehensive when it comes to this new market. You can't really tackle them, and you can't really maximize or just sorry. If not anything you can capitalize on because they're restricted to the rules and regulations just because you're not. It's not as an even playing field as you might really think it's a temporary fix if anything.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, it's really complex because as I said the temptation was there and the temptation was strong enough for a lot of companies to go and do it frankly. And you know just say well we're going to do this in another jurisdiction and will eventually come home and try to. Well let's just park that because there's tax reasons also that people make tax, or you know businesses tax decisions to go to these kind of tax havens and we get all that. Now ultimately, you're going to have to come back here. Ultimately if you're businesses here and you're interested in living and working in this great country then you have to come back around to our environment. Now so all of that going to make it clear that it's a process that I believe in and yet we're trying to make change within the regulatory regime. There are outdated regulations there and there's no question about it. There are regulations today that benefit the big players and the incumbents. So, you know a startup getting into this space for alternative funding and a startup like ours that is looking to do have a marketplace for these future tokens. That's great. Trust me that kind of system that's in place today makes it difficult. So, we're trying our level best to  get change and to get exemptions to make some of these existing regulations work for startups that want to innovate in the space.

Manseeb Khan: Which I mean it makes sense because like we talked in the past I mean if anything last episode we talked about how we had Charlene from Coinsquare. I like Charlene, she’s great. She is really! she mentioned she's like hey look people have to understand that the banks had 20 years at this and they're still I mean to this day they're still trying to figure out regulations and everything. So, it’s kind of make sense that especially in the startup community in Canada it's been very new, it's very new around the world. Entrepreneurship is finally getting the warm embrace that it's longing  for so many years now. And it makes sense that I guess for the time being that it is an uphill battle and hopefully within due time with  amazing players like you want amazing players like Her the regulators be the government or be it any other bodies understand where you guys are kind of coming from an understand that hey like having regulations that are not as rigid, a little bit more fluid it only benefits everybody in the long run.

Alan Wunsche: Yeah. I just add also to this point there are a lot of restrictions about  what investors can do. And you know there's a lot of good reasons historically for that. Now we're moving into a world where the millennial generation wants to manage their own portfolios. They want the kind of freedom that a decentralized place can offer them. They look around and you know we talk to many that you know they're in their 20s 30s and you know they're saying why. Why are these startups and innovative companies’ kind of limited to the accredited investors that are the really wealthy ones? So why did the really wealthy people get to continue to get first dibs if you will  on the really great next investment. And  that was really one of those kind of if you will big why's or big reasons for us pushing for the democratization we're where we said we could have easily have cut short our timeline for  our own token timeline and said yes are legal and others said this is easy just let accredited investors in and shut out all the retail investors and we said no we really believe deeply that this is a space now that let's say a startup is getting some traction it can go to the marketplace and wants to have you know a broad ownership pool of up its platform let's say. Like let's just say there's you know that the future Airbnb and wants a broad level of ownership through this new mechanism well you know is it limited to just accredited investors. We don't believe it necessarily needs to be. As long as again the retail investors aren't spending you know investing everything they know into a super high risk or everything they have into a super high-risk investment that kind of throws caution to the wind. But it's I want to get the point across here that we have the ability to make it easy for someone to go directly to a company and invest almost directly without traditional kind of financial intermediaries that that are the big names that you might see today and you won't describe them but  you can apply new technology in a way that that really reduces the friction between the investor and the company and want to open that up to the retail investor. And if you think it's like crowdfunding Well it's like crowdfunding on a new level. Yes, it's Yeah. Oh, for sure. And then and then we're looking at you know traditionally when you invest in a private company there are pretty strict rules for traditional reasons that are that are still good reasons about the liquidity and you know they were there so many of these ICOs that said you would get immediate liquidity and  then you can go. You know you don't have to believe in the company you can go get an immediate liquidity on you know X,Y or Z digital exchange. And that's great. Do whatever you want on the other end of the spectrum. We've traditionally been very restrictive about or quite restrictive about what the retail liquidity to look like in a private company and we believe that there's no changes that should happen. So, it's a bridge, right? We in effect to we as a company here are looking to  and have been you know I describe ourselves as kind of a bridge between the traditional way things for working and in the existing regulatory environment. But I mean we've got very clear regulations Yeah. we can change them.

Manseeb Khan: It is very important to again have companies like you, have amazing people like you in the space to make not only I guess the old traditional world but also the new world understand like millennials like me. I'm like Yeah. No why can't I invest in the next and Airbnb and become an accredited investor. But I'd love to. I'll be amazing.

Alan Wunsche: Today you wouldn't be able to.

Manseeb Khan: Exactly because there's so many rights now to become accredited investor. There’re so much more criteria you have to meet. And like you said for private companies it's even more so. Right there there's even more rules and even more red tape for just a 23-year-old college student like me to like to invest in next Airbnb like we're not there yet. But it's very exciting that it could be on track and that there is stuff put in place to make sure that one day everybody can potentially invest in the next Airbnb.

Alan Wunsche: That's the exciting part about this. And you know I talked to so many people. You know I  still feel young but I'm not as young as you are. No. You see you know 20 20 and 30-year old. I mean in terms of age but in terms of you know that the mindset is why can't we do this mindset right. Let me just be clear. There are very good reasons  why there's certain regulations in place essentially to prevent the scamming that happened all around the world in the ICO craze. OK. So, putting that aside if we can do this very in a safe manner it still looks after the investor protections then why can't a retail investor get in on the next really cool startup. Why does it have to be kind of limited or why should a retail investor be limited to you know twenty-five hundred dollars or something like that. You know when an accredited investor by the way who is typically very wealthy you know they have much higher limits but they're not always frankly more intelligent or aware of what this new technology is. So, we get a lot of people saying well I really understand this technology why I am limited. You know a small tiny little investment. What's the art of the possible and how can we get it. How can we get a safe environment? And it's not in or position and opened the door to a broad kind of democratization of investing opportunities.

Manseeb Khan: This bridge is very much it can be built like again all regulations are not there to like they're not out to get us right. Like the man isn't like putting us down or anything. Like you mentioned what we've pretty much started the show off with like Hey these rules and regulations are put in place so that we don't get any more scam. There's no pump and dumps and this whole potential market gets kind of blown to bits because there's no rules in place as the Wild, Wild West and everyone kind of gets screwed over which is terrible. Since you are working with startups and I'm myself in the startup world do you see ICOs taking over IPO's  in the future and I guess what the future of ICOs is look like to you given that your opinion is a little bit biased but still.

Alan Wunsche: Yeah, I mean for sure I'm biased in looking at what the art of the possible is. So, what is possible, and I don't  you know for the last couple of years since we started Token Funder,  I didn't use the word ICO whenever I talk to anyone in this space. I mean of course the ICO term was taken off, but I more can keep them in this initial token offerings and the token being the more generic form because not everything you put out there is a coin or a crypto currency. So that's kind of like where do you see the future right. I do think that token offerings and this democratization of investing opportunities  into innovation puts us into innovative startups will be very real and it's a very real outside alternative funding mechanism for companies. Now what that means is that. There's that there's going to be a transition period. So, it's yeah. Let's say and we all know what's going on with the broader crypto currency in quotes. Marketplace today. Right. So, the value of its down and it would seem that even know  some people that have lost some amount of value added and all that. But let's just in one sense if we put that aside it's quite efficient to move anything of value whether it be a share in a company or you can say I'll take this business and I'll put 10 percent of this business on to go into a token that people could buy into. And then there's a marketplace for it. It's very efficient and you don't need a large infrastructure when you already have a public blockchain. You don't need to use a traditional funding vehicle. So, people have also asked me if I could address this in other in other conference panels and whatnot. Whether this is the venture capital and ultimately the answer is not necessarily because some companies may want just one or two people investing in them and some companies might want thousands of people investing in for different reasons for different business reasons. So they'll be a hybrid but there's no question that the token offering model is a very efficient one and you can just imagine you know in the future you're going to have your wallet there and you're going to have a wallet that shows some Canadian cash or some other kind of currencies and then you'll have you know a share of. So, what your startup called? It's called Curexe. Ok. So Curexe. So, I'll have a share of Curexe alongside a share of Apple alongside you know some crypto in a wallet. And  if I want to sell that share of Curexe. So, you know I'll be able to do so with whatever is appropriate you can be in the marketplace. And this will be the new way of our next generation of investing. And it's going to be powered by public blockchains I believe.

Manseeb Khan: I'm very excited for it to be one of those many thousands of investors if anything this is just another leg that's going to be attached to the  be it VC's, be it any other investment funds out there right. Because it's just in a sense they're just diversifying. And if anything, it just can be a supplement. Right. Like it is an alternative way of funding. It's going to be a shift. Your absolutely right.

Alan Wunsche: So yeah. Where did and where do you want to take the conversation.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. So, you did mention a little bit more of tokenization of businesses. Could you talk a little bit more of that? What is a tokenized  business? What does it mean? How do I get my start up to become a tokenized business?

Alan Wunsche: I won't give you the  fully comprehensive answer to it but just think about think about some example’s tokenization is this mechanism of enabling fractional ownership and then the fairly easy transferability of that fractional ownership. That's from person to person in a blockchain right through the blockchain. There's very recently an example where a company tokenized in an entire building. So, imagine an entire building. Thought of as you know a particular token. And then imagine being you know on one side of the country and you just want to invest in a you know in a fraction of a building that happens to be on the other side of the country. No problem. And then you know your circumstances change and you'd like to liquidate that and or the value of that building goes up. You can. You can basically sell your interests. This this is technically so easy to do on the blockchain now. Now we've just got to kind of connect with the real world. And the real-world documentation that says by the way this building is represented on a blockchain officially at this location. And now go now it's available for people to buy into and transfer. That's  really interesting. So, I took great interest in that. There’re other examples of. There's an example that I think is  intriguing and I'd be interested in your take on this. There's this company called rally road. So, they've now said we'll go out and on behalf of people will go out and buy this this antique car and this antique car is X and it's a named vehicle it's a real vehicle. Happens to have no value X today and we believe that if we hold onto it it'll have value Y tomorrow. So, we convert that into a token and allow for fractional ownership of that particular antique car. And it's called rally road. So, they're embarking on a tokenizing that kind of asset. And then at some point you know on a fairly regular basis the company will presumably say OK, so this asset is now worth X, worth Y and if you've got enough appreciation out of it you can now sell your interest.

Manseeb Khan: That sounds amazing. I'd love to own a piece of it like a 1969 Mustang or something like. that Ford Mustang would be. It would be exactly the kind of example that that I heard talked about it so. Oh wow.  All kinds of really interesting cars that they happen to be focused on so that's just that's just one model. So now cars, real estate, business, business shares you name it any essentially any assets. Just kind of marry up to the legality of it  and people are considering you know that the home or the condo that you own. You know if you want some help in owning that you have that house or condo down the road. I'm sure it will be quite possible that you'll say great I've got this this residence that is known in the world in you know as registered by the government and under this lot. And you know identity and oh by the way I'm willing to legally sell a fraction of it. Which is going to be pretty easy for you for that residence to be the tokenized.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I love it. I'm waiting for the day for a company to say like hey you want it we tokenize it.

Alan Wunsche: So, this is it so Token Funders vision here is to start with companies and you know doing it in a manner that allows them just to say let's call it equity, let's call it debt let's call it something like that and we'll do that right. But we have got a lot of other interesting thoughts around how we can take the token model and not just be about capital raise. Yeah. And so, some of those ideas I've just kind of touched on here. So you have the hope that these  other spaces certainly interest me  and then we become  so the other thing I mentioned at the top of this chat with you is we've said that and we're going to also build a network around these companies that we're currently helping and that's what I call this not just funding but actually involved in the growth of the company so identifying advisors and resources from wherever they might be and providing them with an incentive of a token. say to help that particular startup. So that you're not just then a startup that's only getting you know help and  guidance from those immediately around you but that that can come from anywhere in the world if you incentivize it through a token structure.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No that's wow I can't wait for that.  Yeah. No, I'm working on it. No that's wow. No that's  incredible. I can't wait for that. So, like I'd like a nice network or even. You can probably call a community of just advisors and just people like be it from actual customers that are willing to use it or be from actual like V.C.s that are willing to like oh yeah no I can totally see that like the actual implementation of this XYZ  product or service like you might have right.

Alan Wunsche: I'm just going to I'm just going to add a little reality to this right now. So, I just recently came from the global Ethereum developers conference called Dev Con in Europe it was  in Prague and there were thousands of developers and continue to work on the next big thing. And also, creative people. So, the UX is really important. The important thing that folks listening to this will probably want to understand this is that we're not quite there in this new infrastructure called you know in this case the Ethereum that it's scalable worldwide as we might want it to be. So, we expected that there was there was going to be some changes this year. And so there was a lot of kind of pent up hope and all the anticipation for upgrades to the public blockchain for scalability. And now it's being pushed into 2019 but it's not that far off. So while it's not a platform that's fully scalable such that you know you can put every single asset in the entire world on a public blockchain and know we can run a piece of network on the public blockchain those are still very visionary but 2019 is now the year that we can anticipate some upgrades to scalability and speed throughput on these blockchains. So that's kind of a dose of reality.

Manseeb Khan: I love it. I can't wait, so yeah everybody you heard it here first. Make sure 2019 you guys start earmarking for getting a piece of that Ford Mustang that I so badly want. There you go. I can't wait. I can't wait. So, can anything else that really excites you that's going on in the space other than owning a piece of a building and owning a piece of my dream car.

Alan Wunsche: I think it's generally really exciting that this is going to be a technology that will bring and has really kind of awakened. I'd say a vast number of people in the population around asking real big questions around Where's the power in today's society? Who's running our big financial systems? Are they running it the right way? Should we be decentralizing some of this power? I mean these are really big questions. I don't have all the answers to them, but I think it's been real. The technology itself has been a really good catalyst to asking these questions and to ask questions of governments that they currently manage are central banks and central currencies. When and if let's say in the coming years they'll start to suggest that we're going to have central bank digital currencies as they are looking at today. It will be really interesting and it's exciting to think about these things, but it also be interesting to think and important for people to think about you know Are they getting the privacy they need going forward? Are they getting investment opportunities? Is this technology decentralizing our power structures? What will happen if we have no central bank digital currency? I think it's actually opening up exciting conversations for  a lot more people to understand how money moves. Who manages. Are our societies. Who governs our societies and how money flows and those are so those are some really big socio-economic questions in in the context of you know things to think about. This is not just a blockchain, but this is a technological shift that we're going through with the impact on a lot of jobs too. Oh absolutely. So, what do I think. I think that you know opening up this dialogue about what is money? Is Bitcoin money? Is ether money? Should it be, or should it be something else? This is an exciting time to be challenging the status quo and in doing it and always doing it for the right reasons right. Yeah absolutely. But for decades had infrastructure that's been very centralized. And now people have the opportunity to rethink some of that with decentralizing technology. Rethink the fact that you know one or two or three very large companies own our social identity if you allow them to do so and we may have you know the decentralized version of Facebook that gives you your identity back. That's exciting.

Manseeb Khan: It really is because it's this is the first-time in. I kind of want to say first time in a long time where power is really going back to the people and the people actually have the power to fight back. And every everybody's kind of looking at the current way the world works. How do how money flows. Who actually runs and operates the money. Who and why they get to operate the money everyone is kind of looking at it as more. they're looking at it more skeptically if anything right and their take their second guessing it. And there's  again the technology is emerging where maybe not only fight back but maybe create a world where it's a little bit more of an even playing field and where everybody and anybody can hopefully one day participate, own a building, buy my dream car. You know and take it from there.

Alan Wunsche: You said it even playing field and that's the whole discussion around decentralization and is there. What playing fields are we evening. I think it'll be a bigger wake up call. Should there be a nobody wants this frankly, but should there be another recession. Because you know in 2008, 2009  we all lived through it. We kind of woke up and realized hey call your financial infrastructures really entangled in you know something that happened and see in Greece or in Italy or in you know or in the U.S. or somewhere reek contagion on the broader world and you know we had a liquidity crisis. That got people concerned that they understood where and how our financial world was managed and so nobody wants it. But you know think about the fact that this is a disintermediating excuse me technology. It's potentially decentralizing existing power structures. It's a could level the playing field, it could bring new opportunities for people to decentralized large. I can call them kind of large centralized web properties that exist today. There's that there's a there's a book that's out you know after Google may or may not have the title exactly right. But you know it's a discussion. It's a  book about how the blockchain will in fact decentralize what Google looks like today. And this is a new time. I mean it opens up a lot of new questions and maybe I'll just leave it there because you know I don't have all the answers.

Manseeb Khan: No, I just think it's early but it's an exciting time. Yeah. No, I think it's a great way to really end it like this is. I'm excited. I mean I get own my dream car a lot faster than I thought I could. Oh, I got to get to a real estate a lot faster. I'm very, I'm very fired.

Alan Wunsche: Maybe a thousandth of that dream car.

Manseeb Khan: I mean hey  I rather own a piece of it and none of it.

Alan Wunsche: Very good.

Manseeb Khan: All right. So, Alan thank you so much for again coming on the show. I can't wait to have you on again. And thanks for refiring the dream.

Alan Wunsche: I'm excited for you and it's a pleasure to be here with you today.

Manseeb Khan: Absolutely. All right Alan. So, thank you again. So, on behalf of the National Fintech and crowdfunding association I wish you an amazing Fintech Friday and weekend.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

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


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


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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 ...
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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

 

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

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CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018

The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology.

  • Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone.
  • Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent.
  • Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models.

As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research.

Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft.

These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through large internet companies to market goods and services, connect, communicate, execute transactions or process payments.

See: 

Thus, blockchain users don't need to pay large concerns for these services (nor do they need to pay bank fees when paying with bitcoin, lumens, dash or other cryptocurrencies that use blockchain as their transmission vehicle). In rushing into blockchain, these large firms are seeking to keep users of such functions within their realm to keep from being disintermediated.

In the parlance of blockchain proponents, these companies are known as "centralized authorities." But the whole idea behind blockchain, proponents say, is to decentralize the authority that goes with controlling internet commerce and internet use in general. So blockchain, at its core, is referred to as a decentralized system — where power lies with individuals for peer-to-peer transactions rather than with these centralized authorities profiting mightily from acting as intermediaries.

Still, large companies seeking to retain their dominance are neck-deep in blockchain development and investment. For example, IBM and Microsoft are leading global blockchain development projects in 2018, according to Wintergreen Research and Juniper Research. Those big firms are offering blockchain-related tools for clients to use in experimenting with digital ledgers in their cloud services. Accenture, the third-leading firm, is also focused on cloud-services development.

Amazon has also started to build blockchain applications, seeking to harness its potential ahead of online retail competitors. Further, Amazon is offering blockchain functionality as a discrete service, competing for that market slice with IBM and Oracle, which has been unveiling blockchain offerings in recent months.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has assigned several top executives to blockchain development efforts as the company examines functions involving decryption and cryptocurrency, an area seemingly removed from its social networking service and controversial personal-data issues.

Yet an overarching development concern for Facebook may be related to the blockchain raison d'etre, loudly voiced by early proponents, of retaining data privacy. Facebook, long under legal and reputational fire for breaches of users' personal data, is fending off criticism for a new breach, revealed in late September, affecting 50 million users.

See:  Using Blockchain In Advertising

Though its level of investment so far isn't as great as that of these other companies, Google is also in the fray, seeking to protect its global dominion over web searches. The company has characterized its dedicated blockchain group as a "small team."

Yet some marketing firms are already using blockchain for digital-ad purchases, a move disruptive to Google's core business. One focus for Google is investing in blockchain firms primarily working on bitcoin applications, according to CB Insights.

To the extent that huge companies get into blockchain, this could provide a ready outlet for dollars itching to be invested publicly in this technology — thus siphoning off investment that might go to start-ups. Previously, the only way to invest in various amply venture-funded start-up firms developing blockchain applications (chiefly for bitcoin) was through ownership of private equity.

The shifting innovation of blockchain development complicates efforts to project outcomes for investors seeking to position their portfolios. Instead of a black-and-white scenario of cheeky start-ups tilting at tech-Goliath windmills, recent developments suggest a rainbow of outcomes, including partial disruption along with strategic acquisitions and alliances that lure markets this way and that.

"The battle for blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment, resulting in the development breakthroughs and attendant corporate moves to consolidate and divest."

One way that large companies are seeking an edge is to try to prevent competitors from doing so; the tech-era approach to this involves acquiring patents. IBM, Facebook, Ford Motor and Walmart are spending tens of billions on blockchain patents. Bank of America leads this acquisition race with 45 patents — a natural defensive move since bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies are designed to eliminate the need for banks.

Though blockchain has drawn significant attention, many analyses and media articles fail to distinguish public blockchain from private blockchain, the latter being B2B services or products used for internal business processes, such as IBM's application enabling location and tracking of maritime shipments and Walmart to track produce.

See: Cybersecurity, Blockchain And The Industrial Internet Of Things

While private blockchain is a lucrative area with myriad potential uses, the larger battlefield for blockchain dominance involves public blockchain, which, though universally accessible, involves private recesses accessible only with passwords.

Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. Those that succeed could be in use for decades, as the potential applications in both areas seem to be limited only by imagination, opening up the spigots of venture capitalists.

Paralleling the crush of huge companies getting into blockchain is the nascent movement of Wall Street into what is now the most renowned blockchain user: bitcoin. A venture is in the works for a public exchange for investing in bitcoin as a currency and to serve other bitcoin functions, including transactions.

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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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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 ...
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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
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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