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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15): Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation

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NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019

EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski

About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guests:

  • KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn)
  • JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view)

BIOGRAPHIES:

Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The success of TCF has led to Kate being asked to join the Chamber of Digital Commerce Token Alliance, seen her featured on the international podcast Creating Wealth with Jason Hartman, been included in multiple industry articles, and served as a guest speaker at events around the world.

Jason Sosnowski is a full-stack developer with experience across a range of technologies. He leverages his deep knowledge of leading-edge technologies to bring robust, scalable, lasting solutions to complex and evolving business solutions. His expertise includes blockchain (Bitcore, Ethreum, Hyperledger), serverless (AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions), machine learning (TensorFlow), artificial intelligence (TensorFlow), and cloud services like AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud and Google Cloud Platform. Jason’s solutions are grounded in best practices for security and compliance and he works with a variety of languages that include Javascript, Python, Ruby and Node on the server side as well as React, Vue, and WordPress for front end.

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Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


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 : Jason and Kate thank you so much for joining me today.

Kate Guimbellot: Absolutely. Thanks for having us

Jason Sosnowski:   Our pleasure.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. So, I'm going to make this a free ball question so for the fans could just give us a rundown of essentially who you guys are and what the travel coin foundation is?

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. So, you know the Travel Coin Foundation, we're a not for profit we're based out of London, England but because we're a global foundation our team members are all over the place. Jason is in Toronto where I know you are. I'm actually in Kansas in the U.S. So, we travel the world and this whole foundation came out of the belief system knowledge system that. You know why we are here. Why is any one of us here. And for us it's about leaving a deposit not taking a withdrawal so that when we pass, we will have left something behind we will have made a difference and we do that because we believe that travel is the one of the biggest things that can solve the division that we see in the world. If you travel at all in particular if you travel out of your own country. You very quickly realize how much more alike we are than different. And so, with that mindset the question was Well what keeps people from traveling. You know some of those things that you get fluctuating exchange rates, or you land in an airport and there's no Wi-Fi or you have loyalty points at the Radisson, fifty thousand points at Radisson but it doesn't help you a bit if you're trying to put something on Delta or. You know. All of those sorts of things and that's really what the foundation was born out of is a desire to help solve the issues that travelers face so that we can allow travel to be an easier experience to get people out of their comfort zones and around the world. And it comes from Jason and I are partnered with Lisa who is our chief operations officer and all three of us have spent decades on our own both personally and professionally traveling the world. So, all three of us love it. Jason's been to I've been to every all but six countries that I can ever find. Jason how many of you been to?

Jason Sosnowski: I am now one hundred and thirty-one.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah. So that's really what it comes out of.

Manseeb Khan : Wow. I've only been to L.A. That's it. I don't travel much.

Kate Guimbellot: We're going we're going to open the world to you. So yeah really what it's about is when we travel around even now, I go to a country that I haven't been to in a decade or I go somewhere that I've never been before. And you know people who don't travel think Oh my God I don't know what I would do I don't speak the language I don't understand the culture. It doesn't matter. You get there and you realize that everyone just wants to be happy. They want to have a good job they want to have fun with their friends their family. They want to raise their children and they want to leave the world better. And that's what that's what the foundation's focuses is to help make that happen.

Manseeb Khan : I love the idea that you guys are kind of like I'll stick with the Radisson and Delta example. I mean you're having all these like airlines and like hotels like team up and like have their own little groups of like be it benefits like hey look if you travel us you get this this and this the fact that you guys are kind of like combining everything and kind of like hey like this is what might give us a bit more of a conjoined experience was it the point of traveling is to like have more or less like a sense of purpose. See  the world and understand the world a little better get a little bit more worldly get a little bit more culture and see like how you started off the show hey you know we're all the exact same. You know like if it's like for like me and Jason here in Toronto you're in Kansas with the exact same people were very similar, similar experiences, similar pains what may have you and the fact that just bringing that together and making that much more accessible for everybody that's in and of itself is pretty freaking incredible.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah, we're very one we're very proud of what we're doing we're very excited about it and it has taken a level of bravery I've got to be honest from the beginning. We've had a lot of naysayers and we've been around over a year but that first six months was pretty painful. Wouldn't you say Jason?

Jason Sosnowski:  it was challenging for sure.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah because you have to stand in your own truth you know and when you say to someone Look our foundation is going to raise funds and we're going to help bring Wi-Fi free Wi-Fi to the entire globe because we believe that Wi-Fi is a right not a luxury. And people kind of go Oh yeah right. OK. So, like no we are doing it. I mean we're having conversations right now with a company in Africa that gets Wi-Fi to place in Africa that have been up till now unreachable. And we're also working with some of the biggest names out there who are working on the satellite systems that will do that that will canvas the earth with Wi-Fi signal. So, we've had big dreams that we know we're going to continue to focus on and things like that loyalty point system you know in the US and Canada. I know the average is 21 to 23 loyalty point programs people belong to any one individual. And we just feel that there has to be a way to give people an exchange area where they can go in and put in those fifty thousand Radisson points to be able to turn them into Delta points. So big things are that we plan on solving that can that list continues to grow. And it's just really nice to kind of get to this point and be able to say you know look we're achieving what we set out to do because that first six months we didn't have a lot of people standing beside us in belief right.

Manseeb Khan : So I mean before I jump in to a little bit because you guys do have a ICO I think Jason might be a little bit better to go and a little bit of nitty gritty to that would mean you talked on the phone like you mentioned how like you haven't done podcasts like six months and how much you've grown I like how you guys the route you guys took is  so much more unconventional than the rest. Could you just like talk on that a little bit more and just give the audience and me because like I'm obviously very intrigued of like how you've too much deviated from  everybody else and kind of like built allow building this amazing company.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. I'll give you the highlight and then yeah Jason is just absolutely brilliant when most brilliant minds I've ever known. And he can he can tell you kind of the revolutionary tech side of it but in essence you know ICO is I know you're  surely aware of is you know raised the most amount of money and the least amount of time. Right that's the whole point. And so those ICOs tend to come in and go out within hours or days or weeks that no more than a couple months. But from the very beginning we decided that we were going to utilize that ICO and bring it to real people not a handful of millionaires or you know. A. Slightly larger group of people who do this all the time. We want a global community of real people like you and me who can put in up to five hundred dollars, a five-hundred-dollar cap on becoming a subscriber that you can get up to five hundred dollars invested, and it's become part of that ICO. And so, we know we need a time and what we did is we built our ICO out over a 26-trench schedule and each tranche which happens about every four weeks or when that tranche runs out a coin, we release the next tranche of coin and we are bringing. It up from a deeply discounted value that started at a penny. And at the end of twenty-six tranches when it goes public it will have reached a dollar. So. This has not been about getting as much money in the door as we can. This is about enlisting people in our belief of what we want to achieve and doing it globally. And we would love to reach up to a million global community people around the world by the end of that 26 tranche and that global community is. Is the success of travel coin. It's why we sit here now. In tranche 19 headed to tranche 20. So just six months away from the end of this ICO process and we have. Tens of thousands of people around the world who each hold a travel coin because they see the vision, they want to be a part of it. And it's been built so beautifully. So that's what I was referring to in the very beginning people just kind of shook their heads and said that's not how you do it. That's not how it works. And we were like Yeah, we know but. You know one of the issues in the world with digital currency and the countries that are pushing back against it is this fear of people losing everything they own. You know in a pump and dump or something like that and we wanted to do this with complete integrity and transparency and safety. No one's going to lose their hats at five hundred dollars per person. So that's really been the revolutionary approach and it's been really great after a year being able to say to people see it's working, and Jason saw you chime in because you built the system. I mean you're the brains behind it.

Jason Sosnowski: Yeah absolutely. When we started people were calling us crazy. They were saying how can you do this this is what an ICO is about. You know this isn't how it's supposed to happen, and we just like to reiterate what you said there Kate we just decided we're going to do things differently and be open and show everyone how they can be a part of it and that's that was the other point that you made. Kate that was really important to us where it's not about a few millionaires or a few whales getting in and doing a pump and dump or something like that and snapping up all of the assets or funding a specific project because they were big investors or something like that. It was about actually bringing others into the tank as well as into the community that we were building so and making it accessible. We've done that both by the ICO and through our corporate or corporate partners as well.

Kate Guimbellot: And that's been a big part of it. You know we very early on we connected with a company who became our first and is still our biggest and most supportive corporate sponsor someone who saw what we wanted to do. They were starting off themselves. There is a company called my travel biz. They're a global company. They're dedicated to travel. They are opening up the world through a travel product that they have, and they support us. They acquire travel coin and it gets awarded to their reps around the world and so that has helped to build that community as well. What it's done is one we've been able to take market share and get a name recognition literally around the world. So, we have subscribers in over 50 countries in the last year, but it's allowed us to go from that proof of concept and for a long time I talked about as being in proof of life you know as we existed through those first 12 months but now, we're able to talk about proof of success. So even before travel coin goes public the success and the adoption of it have allowed two really huge things for us and one it was a surprise. I'll get to that in a second, but the first thing is we've been able to develop out a merchant program because so imagine if you had been one of those people a year ago who got travel coin. Well great but now it's just sitting there you can't do anything with it. And that takes a lot of patience to wait twenty-six months before you can actually utilize something that you've invested in. And so, Jason built really a revolutionary secondary market where within our close community they were able to buy and sell trade basically their coin. So that was massive. So, it gave them a use if they wanted to trade some they could. The other thing that we that we've done though is we've built out a merchant program. So, I mentioned our corporate sponsor. We now have in excess of 30 companies that want to be involved in travel coin. And so as a merchant they subscribe which means they just sign up they get their electronic wallet and they're now selling their wares and their services in countries all over the world where if you're a travel coin holder you can go in and through our electronic wallet which Jason beautifully built he and his team you can not only get a discount on their product but they will accept a certain percentage of your payment in travel point. So, it's still a close community. It's not a public coin but that whole approach has been crazy. And that's something that is really only doable because of the way in which Jason built the system. And then secondary to that what it's allowed us to do is we've actually just recently launched our first public coin that did not go through an ICO process. It's called Travel coin plus and it's an open exchange right now. That was really that, I'm so jazzed about that I'm not going to steal Jason's thunder because he's got to tell you what makes this so different, but we could not have done travel coin plus had we not taken this slow and steady wins the race approach to travel coin. So, Jason you share what travel point plus looks like. That's I'm very proud of that.

Jason Sosnowski: You know everything you said is spot on travel coin plus is sort of the it's a different asset from travel coin and travel and plus is a publicly available sort of a traditional cryptocurrency where it's in the open market it's not through a. ICO it's available to anybody who wants to acquire it  we're on 2 exchanges at the moment and we're working with a number of others to be on the additional exchanges. But travel coin plus is a sort of a hybrid between a public and a private digital asset in that travel coin. We've launched a private block chain that solves a lot of the problems that are faced by traditional public walk chains, but we provide public access to it. And that's really a step in a really different direction because a purist maybe in the cryptocurrency space would say well that's not really a crypto currency because it's controlled in a secure environment and it's not fully decentralized in the traditional, the way we might traditionally think about it from a technical perspective where it's fully decentralized but the way that we govern travel coin Foundation. First off, we only trade if we have travel point plus which we do we only trade our travel point plus in a very transparent manner. So, we have an announcement. And if we're going to be selling travel coin plus. But we have a what is called a proof of authority network as opposed to a proof of work network. And if you've ever done a cryptocurrency transaction when there is a lot of transactions on the network say last year when I don't if you've ever heard of crypto kitties.

Manseeb Khan :  I know Crypto kitties very well.

Jason Sosnowski: Crypto kitties it virtually ground the ethereal network to a halt and that really exposed a massive issue with it's not just the Ethereum network but with all cryptocurrency with a lot of crypto currencies whereby especially powerful work ones where if that work happens and there's a lot of transactions and there's not a fast mechanism to verify those transactions. Then the cost goes up and you know at one point you know transactions were costing fifty dollars on  bitcoin at one point. And the sort of antithesis of the value of crypto currency if you think about it where I can move tens of thousands of dollars or you know virtually unlimited amount to value cross-border. Person to person anywhere in the world. Normally I can do it for pennies but all of a sudden bitcoin was costing 55 60 65 70 dollars to run a transaction. And that was that sort of defeats the purpose. So, travel coin plus we saw all of these issues’ transactions are slow. The number of transactions that can be processed per second and the cost of transaction and we launch the travel coin plus network it's a fully. Ethereum compatible network it actually runs on pure vanilla Ethereum. And the beauty of it is that it's proof of authority not proof of work. So, we have 10 sealer nodes and only those nodes can approve transactions and travel coin Foundation. We have those kinds of nodes and they're operating all over the world. And so far, I think we're almost out a million blocks actually that we that we've mined. Wow. Actually, sorry let me rephrase that it's not it's not mined its minted because we don't actually mine. Sorry it's seven hundred and seventeen thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight blocks right now but we don't mine blocks in a proof of authority network we mint them. So, we actually just produce those blocks and the sealer nodes that have authority they can verify a transaction and it's a random amongst those ten each time. So, it's super cool.

Kate Guimbellot: And it's green which is very important to us. The green technology side of it being a foundation in particular the idea of utilizing the amount of power it takes to power nodes when people are mining them. It's one of the reasons one of the other main reasons we went the way that we did with cloud minting.

Manseeb Khan : Cloud minting could you talk a little bit more about that because like this is this is a very interesting concept because you guys are going from minting for mining or you guys are sort of like proof its authority. I think like this is something like a concept that I think many people may want to look into it if not adapt so can you talk a little bit more on Cloud Minting.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah, I mean I'll give you sort of the marketing angle because I get the opportunity to travel around the world and tell people who don't understand any of its kind of what it is and then Jason can give you the teeth to it. But in essence you know for those you who haven't experienced it you know if you want to mind bitcoin for instance you've got to have the nodes you've got to. It takes an enormous amount of energy, I think. What is it in the US Jason's like six thousand dollars to mine one Bitcoin I think and in other countries it's up to twenty-seven thousand dollars’ worth of energy consumption to do that work in addition to the equipment and the fans because of the heat and all of that? So, we the people who come to us to become mentors don't have any about it's all through the cloud, so they don't have to have the equipment. They simply buy into it and then the coin every 10 seconds a percentage of coin is minted for them. Jason you want to fill in the blanks with the cool tech stuff?

Jason Sosnowski: That's about it. We've got our sealer nodes and we've got lots of other nodes and those sealer nodes they funnel transactions that are sealer nodes  seal them. The beauty of the system is that you don't need specialized equipment you don't need. You don't need a server farm, a room full of servers and specialized computers that asic miners that are  `running 24/7 competing for the authority to produce a transaction. You're on our network and your producing transactions those sealers will seal  those transactions for you, and they'll be added to our permanent block chain. The idea that you don't need all of that stuff also makes it more accessible to everyone around the world. You know  a normal person without a huge amount of technical knowledge can join our network and benefits of having a cryptocurrency and participate in using that new technology.

Kate Guimbellot: The important thing for us is you know see a need fill the need and then find partners. I've always said I want I don't want to be the smartest person in the room right. I want to have smart people around me all the time because they pull out the best and all of us. We feel the same way with our company. So even with that let's take travel coin plus. Right. Because I talked about travel coin. We have a merchant program and all of that travel coin plus we wanted to not only have to have it as a digital currency that goes out there goes on the open markets. But we wanted to give people a purpose for it. Like let me give you something that could really change your life. With this travel coin plus. So, we've actually partnered with a company called Crowd share club. And so, if you if you become a mentor of travel coin plus you get your node. You can take those travel coins and you can put them towards property ownership real estate which as you know is the number one best investment that you can make. But no one has the money to go to. Well for instance they have a project in Dubai. You can't go to Dubai and spend five hundred thousand dollars on this property you're selling. I mean I know I certainly can't. But what crowd share club is done, and they have now partnered with us to achieve. Are there crowd funding real estate projects? So now if you are someone who has travel coin plus we can give you a real-world application right now that will benefit you over the coming years over the coming decades and help build your portfolio where you can own a percentage of this. Amazing. It's called the world's Dubai. I don't know if you know about it, but they've reclaimed sea. You know they put land out there. They've made all these islands and they're getting ready to get things open for 2020. When they're celebrating their big celebration in Dubai. So, and there are other properties that they offer around the world. So that's you know our point is not just to give somebody a resource like a digital currency or whatever. We want actionable items. We want to help shift people's lives. Ordinary people who would have never been able to do that. Some guy who's working his tail off in Pakistan could never dream to be able to be a part owner in a in a hotel room in a suite in Dubai. But that's what as the foundation. That's what we want to do. And that's why the companies with whom we've connected ourselves as sponsors and as partners are all also revolutionary. I mean my travel biz and crowds share club and you can go onto our Web site and see all these opportunities and that's what we're going to continue to do is not just provide someone anyone can give you a digital currency. God knows there's plenty of them out there. we are doing this to allow people to change their lives in ways that they could never have conceived.

Manseeb Khan : Crowd sharing in the real estate space that's a topic that we've definitely covered on the show. I mean just the fact that people can be part owners or partial owners of property investments. I mean look we have like R2 investments a couple episodes back we're like they're helping people get in getting to commercial real estate which is even tougher right. Like owning a house is great but I try owning an office building or an entire plaza. Oh, and let and you're my age. Like I'm just a kid out of college I could never build a lot of wealth right.

Kate Guimbellot: Well I mean like just this property in Dubai for instance because everything that crowd share putting out there are really good solid. They already have yields right there we have rental yield numbers so they're able to say this is an established property not buying a slack of land that you're going to build on the one in Dubai is a guaranteed average 8 percent return for a guaranteed 12 years and it's unheard of. I only Dubai could do that. But that's exactly to your point. Someone your age right now could for a pretty low amount become a part owner in a project like that and then just go let it sit just let it  work for you over the next 10 to 20 years. It's an amazing opportunity.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Let us know for sure. I mean I'm just going to switch gears here so if you go on the actual travel coin Web site there is a timeline of all the amazing projects that you've completed and a list of future projects that you have to look forward to. So, I mean you guys on some pretty big ones ahead of you, so I guess what some of the challenges are when it comes to you know like opening up free Wi-Fi and you know like opening up real estate opportunities for everyone.

Kate Guimbellot: Well you know I always like to say that you know how you eat an elephant right. One bite at a time. So yeah, we have some big elephants on there. I mean that loyalty point swap system I talked about that's massive. That's and that's not something we're going to achieve in the next year but it's something we just keep chipping away at. the Dow you know to have a voting opportunity for all of our subscribers is very important to us. Jason's made amazing strides on that with his team because we want travel coin holders to have a voice about where we go in the future and what we focus on next. So, what we're doing. You know we slow and steady wins the race we are funding already funding for free Wi-Fi. We have built out that secondary market. The Dow is almost done. We've taken the smallest baby steps in that loyalty point system. We've also introduced something called future travel program with that core partner. I mentioned my travel biz where we're going to begin to identify things like the Hyperloop. You know there are several countries in the world that are looking at how we change travel in the future and make it easier for people. We're going to continue to look for those sorts of programs that we can fund. So, it's yes there are things we're building ourselves internally. Like that loyalty points system and the Dow and things like that but our focus for the long term are our five-year 10-year 20-year plan which we've Already drafted out even before we began includes really finding those people that we can support right. We're not going to create a satellite system to bring free Wi-Fi to the world, but we can find the best of the best out there who are doing it and we can become a strategic partner for them and help achieve that thus feeding back into our main goal of making travel easier. So yeah we have a lot on that timeline and we have a lot that we have put on that timeline because I think I said so someone recently if I told you a year ago that one of the dreams of the foundation is to find companies that are going to revolutionize auto travel with flying cars people would have thought I was nuts. They will still think you're nuts. They do. But today it's a little less nut because I get a lot of articles about a lot of companies. Yeah but that's how far forward we're focused. You know we are going to help change travel we're going to open the world up to itself.

Manseeb Khan : I love that. So, I'm going to throw a question out to you guys. So aside from the incredible work that you guys are doing at the travel coin foundation what are you guys most excited about being in the cryptocurrency space or being in other areas.

Kate Guimbellot: Well I'm sure Jason's going to have some really cool stuff. I'll just say quickly the one of the things I look at week to week I love tapping into where block chain is being embraced where you see new digital currency being embraced. I'm really excited about the growth potential in my team for that and as evidenced by this week I got really jazzed because JP Morgan is the first US based bank that is actually going to launch a cryptocurrency to deal with a need within their system. I think that as we see legislation start to move especially in the U.S. and China where there so anti it, I'm getting really excited about the strides that the block chain and crypto are making in 2019 and just overall for the world. I think that's amazing the fact that Dubai is such a great example of block chain and how they're incorporating it into every aspect of their government I'm really jazzed about it. I think 2020 we're going to have a look back and see 2019 as a real pivotal time in both those industries. Jason how about you?

Jason Sosnowski: I agree 100 percent I think with You know as if it's been a really interesting few years in a crypto space with you know whether it's that situation that you mentioned with JP Morgan and Jim Diamond introducing their own crypto currency this is going to really shake up this space in terms of decentralized crypto currencies and what was interesting is even though they announced it the entire market there was almost no change in the entire market. And that says a lot about where crypto is today I think versus a year ago and where watching technology and cryptocurrency technology is going to be in another year or two years or five years because if a big bank know when the largest banks in the world JP Morgan can say hey we're launching our own crypto currency and the unregulated market who is known for being very skittish and reacting to everything literally doesn't react at all to it. I think that shows the strength and stability of that and then also shows that the world is now realizing hey this technology is here to change and that's transformative. And we're going to actually embrace it as opposed to fighting against it. I think that you know all the projects that we're working on as well. Next year we're going to see lots of other things and like you said there's so many things that aren't on that list that we have going on. It's a super exciting time.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah. You said you said a lot of your listeners are or all of your listeners are in the space some are younger folks who are just coming into it. Others are already in and looking for the next new thing is that. Did I say that right?

Manseeb Khan : Yes, you did.

Kate Guimbellot: So, I love this one Jason. Jason what do your geek out about Most right now in what's happening in the industry what's the what's the next new thing that that you're hearing about.

Jason Sosnowski: You know I really think that at the mainstream adoption there's this there's so many benefits of mainstream adoption whether it's you know whether it's actually making the actual business use case for it or the broader effects that it has on or the potential it has on products whether the strength it has for data and how we can have privacy and we can share our data in a secure way. You know one of the things that that I hear a lot about lately is block chain in say the medical space where here in Canada actually there's a number of projects going on in the healthcare space where you know records are being stored in a secure way on secure block change and you can share that data using your private token with only the people you want to. So even the nurse at that doctor's office that you're at can't see your file only that you're treating physician and they have to authorize access because they have that key shared with them. So, there's lots of you know this is the next step evolution. You know we have a we started this with bitcoin about 10 years ago just over 10 years ago now and it started it was really inefficient and we're seeing lots of benefit. We're seeing lots of efficiencies being made and now we're seeing mainstream adoption. This is like you can because it's the advancement of technology. You know this is what I love, I love pushing the boundaries and making it better and making it easier for people to use.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. You know that's actually one of the first times I've understood every single thing you've said when you talk about the stuff you're about. I have to say like whoa Jason I understand what that is. What do you mean?

Manseeb Khan : Oh yeah, I tried I tried to explain to a girl at a bar with security tokens or I was like oh the looks I got from my friends Oh man. The probably listening to this right now in the future belonged there. OK just give me that look like come on.

Jason Sosnowski: But what's really interesting about that is explaining a security token relatively easy compared to explaining maybe a utility token and then explaining the divide between the two of them.

Manseeb Khan : Oh yeah. And essentially how and like security token Okay. And then like a stable token it just oh my god you can just rabbit hole for hours the person you talk to kind of go look like you lost me three minutes like encrypt the what now. What computer do I need? What. I don't know what you’re talking about! So, I'll wrap this up so we'll be the best way for the audience that girl at the bar to contact you guys would it be through email would we through Snapchat, smoke signal. I mean what would be the best way?

Kate Guimbellot: You know the best thing really is to hop online and go to travel point Board and check us out there's a way to contact us there. We're a big presence in social media in particular on Facebook and you can find all of our contact information there as well. So yeah you just hop on and see what we’re doing and see if it aligns. The great thing is people can become subscribers without investing a thing you don't have to invest in travel coin. You can just sign up and stay in tune with what's going on over it travel coin foundation when we're doing something that really sparks a fire and you then join us, join us on this journey because it's for ordinary what I call ordinary extraordinary human beings we want we want to build this global community. And that's what we're doing. So yeah. Travelcoin.org

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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

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business

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CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019

The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase.

  • Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business.
  • Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank.
  • While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise.

The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients.

See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain?

J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, move to the blockchain. That's the database technology made famous by its first application, bitcoin. But in order for that future to happen, the bank needed a way to transfer money at the dizzying speed that those smart contracts closed, rather than relying on old technology like wire transfers.

"So anything that currently exists in the world, as that moves onto the blockchain, this would be the payment leg for that transaction," said Umar Farooq, head of J.P. Morgan's blockchain projects. "The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this."

For some, J.P. Morgan's new currency may come as an unexpected development for a technology that rose from the wreckage of the financial crisis and was supposed to disrupt the established banking world.

When the international payments are tested, it will be one of the first real-world applications for a cryptocurrency in banking. The industry has mostly shunned the asset class as too risky. Last year, J.P. Morgan and two other lenders banned the purchase of bitcoins by credit card customers. And Goldman Sachs reportedly shelved plans to create a bitcoin trading desk after exploring the idea.

Dimon bashed bitcoin

Though holders of digital currencies may seize on the news that a major financial institution is issuing its own crypto as bullish for the asset class, retail investors will probably never get to own a JPM Coin. Unlike bitcoin, only big institutional clients of J.P. Morgan that have undergone regulatory checks, like corporations, banks and broker-dealers can use the tokens.

See:  Bitcoin price LIVE: BTC to SOAR as survey finds one in five banks warming to crypto

There are other key differences between the bank's crypto and bitcoin, which J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has bashed as a fraud that won't end well for its investors. (To be clear, he and his managers have consistently said that blockchain, as well as digital currencies that were regulated, hold promise.)

Each JPM Coin is redeemable for a single U.S. dollar, so its value shouldn't fluctuate, similar in concept to so-called stablecoins. Clients will be issued the coins after depositing dollars at the bank; after using the tokens for a payment or security purchase on the blockchain, the bank destroys the coins and gives clients back a commensurate number of dollars.

Real-time settlement

There are three early applications for the JPM Coin, according to Farooq.

The first is for international payments for large corporate clients, which now typically happens using wire transfers between financial institutions on decades-old networks like Swift. Instead of sometimes taking more than a day to settle because institutions have cut-off times for transactions and countries operate on different systems, the payments will settle in real time, and at any time of day, he said.

The second is for securities transactions. In April, J.P. Morgan tested a debt issuance on the blockchain, creating a virtual simulation of a $150 million certificate of deposit for a Canadian bank. Rather than relying on wires to buy the issuance — resulting in a time gap between settling the transaction and being paid for it — institutional investors can use the J.P. Morgan token, resulting in instant settlements.

The final use would be for huge corporations that use J.P Morgan's treasury services business to replace the dollars they hold in subsidiaries across the world. Unseen by retail customers, the business handles a significant chunk of the world's regulated money flows for companies from Honeywell International to Facebook, moving dollars for activities like employee and supplier payments. It generated $9 billion in revenue last year for the bank.

"Money sloshes back and forth all over the world in a large enterprise," Farooq said. "Is there a way to ensure that a subsidiary can represent cash on the balance sheet without having to actually wire it to the unit? That way, they can consolidate their money and probably get better rates for it."

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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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5 years of Token Sales Visualized in One Graphic

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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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance

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Modern Consensus | ,

Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists.

The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31

What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.”

The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and complete.

See:  Designing a data transformation that delivers value right from the start

The request is the latest in a series of recent moves that underline the agency’s commitment to bringing order, clarity, and oversight to the regulation of the cryptocurrency and digital asset market, as well as moving away from the confrontational approach that have characterized its actions in recent years. The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) identified digital assets as one of its priorities for 2019, including firms’ portfolio management, internal controls, and asset security among its focuses.

The SEC recently promised “plain English” guidance for developers and investors that will make clear if their cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO) qualify as securities under the law, according to “The Distributed Ledger: Blockchain, Digital Assets and Smart Contracts,”

a report issued in November 2018 by the white shoe law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom.

That recent promise by William Hinman, director of corporation finance at the SEC, highlights what Skadden calls the agency’s “recent efforts to encourage engagement and collaboration with developers regarding their blockchain-related projects rather than emphasizing enforcement actions.”

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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable

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Forbes | | Feb 4, 2019

It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum.

Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018.

Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.”

While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price.

“It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.”

Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product even exists, and he thinks making the blockchain more accessible is the next big thing. Just as Google enabled (and ultimately profited) from making the internet more usable 20 years ago, its next billions may come from shining a bright light on blockchains. If Day is successful, the world will know whether blockchain’s real usage is living up to its hype.

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

Last year Day and a small team of open-source developers quietly began loading data for the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains into Google’s big-data analytics platform, BigQuery. Then, with the help of lead developer Evgeny Medvedev, he created a suite of sophisticated software to search the data.

In spite of a total lack of publicity, word of the project spread quickly among crypto-minded coders. In the past year, more than 500 projects were created using the new tools, trying to do everything from predicting the price of bitcoin to analyzing wealth disparity among ether holders.

When it comes to cloud computing, Google is far behind Amazon and Microsoft. Last year Google pocketed an estimated $3 billion in revenue from cloud ser­vices. Amazon and Microsoft, meanwhile, generated about $27 billion and $10 billion, respectively.

Day is hoping that his project, known as Blockchain ETL (extract, transform, load), will help even the playing field. But even here Google is trying to catch up. Amazon entered blockchain in a big way in 2018 with a suite of tools for building and managing distributed ledgers. Microsoft got into the space in 2015, when it released tools for Ethereum’s blockchain. It now hosts a range of services as part of its Azure Blockchain Workbench. But while Amazon and Microsoft are focusing on making it easier to build blockchain apps, Day is focusing on exposing how blockchains are actually being used, and by whom.

“In the future, moving more economic activity on chain won’t just require a consensus level of trust,” says Day, referring to the core validating mechanism of blockchain technology. “It will require having some trust in knowing about who it is you’re actually interacting with.” In other words, if blockchain is to go mainstream, some of its beloved anonymity features will have to be abandoned.

A native of Placer County, California, Day got his first computer at the age of 5 and a few years later started writing simple programs. A fascination with volcanoes and dinosaurs turned his interest to life sciences, and he ultimately graduated from the University of Oregon with a dual degree in biology and Mandarin in 2000. From there he headed to UCLA to pursue a doctorate in human genetics and helped build a computer program to browse the genome.

Visualizing The XRP Blockchain

It was at UCLA where Day began relying on distributed computing, a concept that is core to blockchains, which store their data on a large network of individual computers. In the early 2000s Day needed to analyze the massive amounts of data that make up the human genome. To solve this problem he hooked many small computers together, vastly increasing their power.

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

“Distributed-systems technology has been in my tool kit for a while,” Day says. “I could see there were interesting characteristics of blockchains that could run a global supercomputer.”

Hired in 2016 to work in the health and bio­informatics areas of Google, Day segued to blockchains, the hottest distributed-computing effort on the planet. But the talents he had honed—sequencing genomes for infectious diseases in real time and using AI to increase rice yields—were not easily applied to decoding blockchain.

Before Day and Medvedev released their tools, just searching a blockchain required specialized software called “block explorers,” which let users hunt only for specific transactions, each labeled with a unique tangle of 26-plus alphanumeric characters. Google’s Blockchain ETL, by contrast, lets users make more generalized searches of entire ecosystems of transactions.

To demonstrate how customers could use Blockchain ETL to make improvements to the crypto economy, Day has used his tools to examine the so-called hard fork, or an irrevocable split in a blockchain database, that created a new cryptocurrency—bitcoin cash—from bitcoin in the summer of 2017.

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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins

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Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019

  • Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds

  • Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection

Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies.

The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed.

Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30.

Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, to avoid being hacked, moved the "majority" of digital coins into cold storage.

See:  CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January

His security measures are understandable. Virtual currency exchanges suffered at least five major attacks last year. Japan, home to some of the world’s most active digital-asset exchanges, has also hosted two of the biggest known crypto hacks: the Mt. Gox debacle of 2014 and the theft of nearly $500 million in digital tokens from Coincheck Inc. last January.

The problem is, Robertson said she can’t find his passwords or any business records for the company. Experts brought in to try to hack into Cotten’s other computers and mobile phone met with only "limited success" and attempts to circumvent an encrypted USB key have been foiled, his widow, who lives in a suburb of Halifax, said in the court filing.

"After Gerry’s death, Quadriga’s inventory of cryptocurrency has become unavailable and some of it may be lost," Robertson said, adding that the company’s access to currency has been "severely compromised" and the firm has been unable to negotiate bank drafts provided by different payment processors.

Quadriga CX’s directors posted a notice on the firm’s website on Jan. 31 that it was asking the Nova Scotia court for creditor protection while they address “significant financial issues" affecting their ability to serve customers. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, and Ernst & Young has been chosen as a proposed monitor.

See:  Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us," the firm said. “Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful."

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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017:  “We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.”  Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.” At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving. Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.” See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
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JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
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Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
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The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
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NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP23-Feb 1): Getting Smart About Crypto and Insurtech Snapchat Models – Interview with Justin Hartzman, Co-founder and CEO of Coinsmart Crypto Exchange

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NCFA Canada | Feb 1, 2019

Ep23-Feb 1:  Getting Smart About Crypto and Insurtech Snapchat Models

About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Justin Hartzman the CEO of Coinsmart. They chat about education the average Canadian on crypto, the future of digital wallets and the new wave of insure-tech. Enjoy!
  • Move over bear, OTC markets are biting at the bit
  • Supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and awesome tech
  • The latest in insurtech snapchat models

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: JUSTIN HARTZMAN, Co-founder and CEO, Coinsmart

JUSTIN HARTZMAN BIOCoinSmart is headed by Justin Hartzman, Co-Founder and CEO. A seasoned business leader and entrepreneur, Justin’s passion for innovation has seen him lead numerous companies from start-up to successful exit. His proven track record of entrepreneurial success includes founding the first website brokerage exclusively serving online businesses, pioneering the industry and achieving over $100M in transactions to Fortune 1000 companies, PE firms, family offices and venture funds. He has also led multiple fundraising rounds working with Canadian and U.S. Angel Investors and VCs.   In addition to leading CoinSmart, Justin is also co-founder of​ ​ Needls​ , an Ontario-based company that uses Data Science to automate social media advertising processes for small to medium enterprises worldwide.

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

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


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 Manseeb Khan here and thank you for tuning into another episode of Fintech Fridays. Just before we get started in this episode, I just want to do a little bit of housekeeping here. I just want to announce that we're super excited here at the NCFA to be launching the 5th Annual 2019 fintech financing Conference and Expo better known as FFCON19 which is going to be happening on April 3rd to 4th in Toronto Canada. FFCON19 is an immersive two-day conference and expo featuring high growth startups, emerging technologies, regulation, game changing projects, the latest trends, deal flow and investment opportunities. This year's theme is fearless with so much global risk in the air U.S. vs. China, Canada and China, Brexit, fintech industry adoption challenges, startup funding challenges, scaling issues FFCON19 is empowering companies with everything they need to build an amazing next generation business right here in Canada taking them global to show off to the world. We're launching it this week and registration and partnership opportunity will be opening up soon so stay tuned and get involved

without any further ado here's Episode 23 of the FinTech FRIDAY podcast with Justin Hartzman the Co-founder and CEO of Coinsmart. Justin thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I'm super excited to jump right into today's conversation.

Justin Hartzman : Absolutely me too. Thanks for having me. Hopefully  I can give some good information be useful everyone. So, Shoot away.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I know for sure. So just for the audience for the five or six people that may not know essentially who you are and essentially what your company does could just give us a quick rundown of who you are and what Coinsmart is?

Justin Hartzman : Coinsmart is one of the largest Canadian exchanges out there for purchasing cryptocurrency. We have a vision our company to make cryptocurrency accessible not only to those who are currently in the market but people who are looking to come to the market. So, for the people who are there ensuring that we have the best tools, the best support wide coin selection we're actually getting some new coins in the next few weeks. So, they can come and have a really good experience on ramping/ off ramping and actually trading here in Canada. We also run a very large OTC desk. But on the other side of things is to make it accessible to those who want to know more about it. But really have a hard time understanding because a lot of technicalities that go into purchasing, holding, storing, cryptocurrency and we really want to make it as easy as possible for you guys out there. So, you know live 24hr  for support for people. We have a great get smart section we call it that's not just a blog guide on how-to’s. We're always there to help anyone any way we possibly can.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible I mean like one thing. I mean doing the show and just reading all the blogs and articles is the education is definitely going to be the key when it comes to this whole new crypto wave because I mean you know Joe Six pack definitely wants to get into crypto and to understand a little bit more but there's a lot of technical jargon out there. A lot of just words and terms that may go a lot over their heads and just not know.

Justin Hartzman : Well that's the case and we noticed that really early on even when I got into this years ago. I come from the tech side of things if it takes me reading an article two or three times or like the white paper from Satoshi  myself how do we expect anybody other regular Canadian how may have some level of technology background but it's more just an everyday Joe that you're saying. How can we expect them to? So, what we've done knowing that is you know get smart section, so I'll bring that up again here probably a few other times we break down these heavier articles or terms into three levels smart, savvy and expert. I believe are smart savvy and something where you can read it at your level. So, if you're getting into the game, we'll break it down to his easiest, limited form. If you want to keep up in your game go to the next level and the third level you're filing where you're getting really technical into the pieces so we're allowing anyone from know nothing to know everything come in here and really understand it at their speed, at their time hopefully getting all the resources they need to keep up.

Manseeb Khan : That's awesome. I mean I love that getting into the game and leveling up a game I love that. So, I mean you probably got this question more times than you count. So, what makes you guys so much more different to say like the Coinsquare's out there?

Justin Hartzman : Well we love the guys at Coinsquare but realistically where we stand out above all is our user experience and our customer service our clients  service. Are smart grantee  we ensure that the same day we receive your funds the same day that we get your best to having you we have them done for you at that time we have actually live chats where you can actually speak with someone. These are all things that the other Canadian exchanges just don't offer. We know to bring this to the masses, which is what we all need as anyone as an investor in the person space is to bring the masses the market. So, we are really making and again back to our vision accessible. I think that is the key difference. Not only that we've simplified the rationale for not having to understand pairings. You can go from Fiat to any coin that we offer on our system. You don't have to pair it with natural pairing. We do all the background legwork for you. And we just believe that our interface our tools are simply easier and better provide more insight for our users.

Manseeb Khan : I love that. Like the fact that you guys are taking a lot of the heavy lifting a lot of the heavy burden when it comes to just getting into it because it's overwhelming in and of itself trying to get it to crypto exchange but it's an it's a headache if anything.

Justin Hartzman : Like we have instant verification. Who wants to go online and do a one level then get a follow up email then send in some pictures that have someone look at it and then maybe that day the next day, three days later, two weeks later and the hype of things? That actually get approved for in account. How's that very efficient? How is that fun? So instant verification you can actually go on net new client to us E-Verify, email transfer money, and make a trade literally within under 10 minutes. And we really want to make that accessible for everyone.

Manseeb Khan : That's yeah. That's incredible. So, I mean when it comes to crypto exchanges there's definitely going to be security risks. I mean recently in the news you're seeing all these crypto exchanges either just going under maintenance because of security risk or there's got hacked or whatever. What are companies like yourself doing to help mitigate security concerns when it comes to especially to newer customers?

Justin Hartzman : Well I'll give you some stats. Only 30 percent of our clients actually keep coin with us. The rest of them take them off into cold storage. So, we don't go first while 70 percent of the coins that our users or clients have.  Which is great. We love that we encourage that. We help people understand how to do that and coins are kept on our platform. We don't go into specifics like we don't expect anyone else to and what we are doing for our security measures because that obviously  gives it away a little bit. We have a secure in what we do on that side. Just the basic is not over 90 percent of our coins that users leave with us go into cold storage and that's just take off. Location not controlled by us. We use  A third party custodial services who holds them. So that there's no chance of anything happening. This is the same custodial services. The other biggest exchanges in the world use as well. That's what they're good at. So, we give them the ability and  it's very secure for us. We appreciate them as a partner.

Manseeb Khan : Wow that's just crazy 70 percent of coins on hold That's a very interesting stat right there. Yeah.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah. So, we thought to be completely different, we thought that maybe 20 percent of people would take it off because it's somewhat hard to set up a treasurer or ledger or a paper wall or a phone wallet. And then we expected the complete the opposite. But it turns out that 70 percent of our users almost instantly or within 24 hours. Take that off and move it to their own storage.

Manseeb Khan : That say that's crazy. I feel like I just recently read  how digital wallets are becoming the new modern-day brokerage accounts because they're having millennials like me. They're trying to go as cashless as possible right. They don't want to be like walking around with like the dad wallet where it's all bulky, full of cards and cash and change and everything. So, it's that's crazy.

Justin Hartzman : And it makes sense . Listen I have I  don't know how long it's been  maybe 15 years I never had a wallet so I can still understand that. I don't like the bulkiness of it. Anything that I can do on my phone or you know with one card or multi cards is something I certainly look at doing all the time so I can appreciate that right.

Manseeb Khan : I mean like so like where do you where do you kind of see digital wallets evolving then. Because like it's definitely a very new trend. Hopefully I'll be here to stay. Where do you see it kind of going from here?

Justin Hartzman : Well I think if you look at it from a couple angles just adoption from the from individuals which we see happening based on what you just said more than that the mainstream adoption of the ability to use that in everyday use can I go buy at Starbucks? Starbucks did announce that they're going to be accepting cryptocurrency in sometime in 2019. Can you go and you know pay for your TTC fare here in Toronto, your subway fare with that? So, if you can start to do so most things you make available to you. They'll have more adoption, more use for. I think the other piece of that which a lot of people don't talk about or extend the conversation into is for that to also happen we have to think about some sort of currency which may or may not exist on the market in crypto space right now. That is a lot more stable, so you hear a lot more talking of the stable point over 2019/2020 because at the end of day I don't want to know I have let's say this for say numbers sake say I have 50 bitcoin and it costs me a quarter of a bitcoin to buy Coca-Cola. I don't want to go the next day. It cost me entire bitcoin when I know it was worth to me because so when you have  something that's more stable. We always know that one to one is what it looks like. We can have a lot more interest in wanting to spend that because it's that gambling mentality that all of us have somewhere in us. If it's a dollar today but it could be worth three dollars tomorrow. why am I spending it today sort of thing? So, we have to have that stable coin which is what it's going to drive the you know the digital wallet and then the mass adoption has to be there. If there's actually a place they can spend it in the real world. So those are my 3 pillars.

Manseeb Khan : I mean just kind of furthering trying to hash out the full stable coin thing. What are the challenges and  what's kind of uphill battle looking like when it comes to like a stable coin? Like the whole draw towards crypto currency and the whole draw towards. I mean I'm even tied up over the blockchain is the fact that it's not tied to anything, it's free like it's just in the ether right.

Justin Hartzman : That that's exactly the point. I don't have the answer. I don't know if anyone does that or I'm sure that their tons of people working on it. We don't know what that's going to look like, and we don't know where it's going to come from, and I think that's the whole rationale of why we're not. You know you look at the you know the S curve of adoption where before the curve even starts going up it gets into its inflection point because I think we're still very early and we haven't figured out all these pieces. But I think we'll see over the next year or two years some of these come to fruition and I guess at the end of the day what that has to be backed by. What's your question? Maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's just something that we know as one to one because the block chain says it's one to one that we can take in and out. So, it's not tethered to something specific, but it is stable. So, I don't have a really good answer for you. I think it's something that we're going to spend time thinking about. But I think there's someone out there trying to solve that right now.

Manseeb Khan : No that's totally fair. I mean who knows when the next year or two we might find something even better than maybe tying actual fiat or even just gold. We  might figure out a way to make it truly one to one and we don't really worry about it. It could still be what we'll set up to be right. I mean switching gears. Like where do you see the evolution of cryptocurrency exchanges looking like?

Justin Hartzman : Well listen it's been a tough almost more than a year right now in this bear market. We saw a lot of fever December 2017 November, December 2017 to January 2018. We need to see prices start stabilizing up over that five six seven eight-thousand-dollar mark and at that point. I think you will realize this is here to stay. And when I say that with Bitcoin because Bitcoin is essentially the forerunner in this, everything is pinned to that essentially at this point. So, I don't make any predictions on pricing because I think that would be wrong. It's not really a position for me to be in that I do see brighter days ahead. Can everyone hold out for that and believe it until that time. That's something we'll have to wait and see. Right now, it's a topic that a lot of people ask me about. But what's going on about the Canadian exchange we see a lot of the exchanges here in Canada shut down, close doors, disappear even as recently as a couple of days ago. One of our friends out west went down for maintenance. Never came out of maintenance. It's not good for the sentiment of the market for our market to grow and continue to go where we hope it is. I really believe that cryptocurrency should be part of anyone's well balanced investment portfolio out there and we'll be as a new asset class looking for things like you know that company shutting down. I don't want to mention their names not nice I hope everything's OK with them it doesn't add any positive sentiment or trust to the market for us to go we need to have trust. So, we think that we need to see what I hope to see over this next 12 to 18 months is regulation common. People get scared about that, but I don't you know we fall as well as we possibly can. What does or does not exist out there today. And if we have a body covering over this regulation on it, we get. Yeah. People can feel more confident that they're going to have the issue like we've seen in the past. I think that's a positive thing for our marketplace.

Manseeb Khan : When it comes to regulation and regulations definitely term that gets thrown around a lot. I mean I like an ideal world. Let's talk hypotheticals theory in an ideal world what are these regulations looking like to you to give Canadian crypto currencies a fighting chance at least.

Justin Hartzman :  Well I think Canada is so far is a pretty crypto friendly country and I hope it stays that way. You know we do it very legitimately, we have proper banking partners. We don't hide anything that we do out there. We get asked questions by the powers to be that exist out there at the OSC and we answer them, we provide all detail. We know we're a Fintrac company on our side. So, we report to Fintrac where need to be if there's any suspicious activities. We more of that out there. We need someone who's the governing body to watch over those not nefarious or shady characters opening up exchanges and taking people's money or not custodial servicing properly or you know being part of transactions that shouldn't be occurring cross-border. So those things if there's people in place with those rules or whatever the government body looks like which probably is the OSC here. Well it is right now it should be the OSC here in Ontario. It's a wait and see game right. We're going to follow a lot of rules what happens in the US and I think the US will be sort of the dictate what we see next.

Manseeb Khan : I'm glad Canada's actually as crypto friendly as it is. I mean a lot of people might not think about it actually like when you start reading into it and  actually getting to know some of the key players. Thankfully Canada has a lot more crypto friendly than it usually is being how conservative Canada has been in its traditional past.

Justin Hartzman : Absolutely. We need we need that. Say we have an opportunity to be at the forefront. You're doing another space in technology like A.I. where we're a hotbed for A.I. right now. I love about space as well. I play in it. And as Canada you know we're a great country with smart people. We've a lot of people who want to do great things. But what we don't are the billion-dollar businesses because our market is really small here in Canada. So, we need to support those businesses and these cryptocurrency and new technologies and AI the best that we can to start creating these billion-dollar enterprises are from Canada into the US and Europe and Asia and really take the next level and put us ourselves on the map. So, it's something that anyone in the technology community which I happen for 20 plus years. You know something. I've sold three other technology companies prior to running this. I love it. And we need to support it. And you know everyone has to do their part in that space.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No. I mean I can agree with you. Yeah, we really don't have a billion-dollar company in Canada and  it's kind of a shame because like the space and just like even just the fintech space and the crypto space and just like these new emerging spaces in Canada we have a lot of very bright, very talented people here. But sadly, we don't have the infrastructure as of yet to really keep them. And have like the next Google the next Facebook just out of Toronto or Waterloo yet.

Justin Hartzman : Well yeah to that point we see all those companies coming up to Canada for our talent but to be frank with you we are a technology company at the heart of things. You know. Fintech or not it's technology that runs this. It is a super competitive market. There is a war on talent. And what we're lucky is we don't see as many people running to the US to those jobs at Google anymore because a lot of them that do exist here and a really big startup community where people get their feet wet into these awesome companies and get their equity and all those pieces. We actually need to start bringing and I've seen this a lot we a lot of people from Brazil and other places around the world coming to Canada bringing their expertise here. So, if we could have people migrate to where we are where all this action is happening and bring other smart folks here you seem to be keeping good ones, but we need more. We don't have enough at this point. So, we need our supply to go up for sure.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No that's just totally fair. I mean I think it's like once we have an ecosystem once we have, I guess better foundations to support multi-million/ billion-dollar companies then I think talent's just going to pool in. Like you're going to have people from Brazil people from overseas saying hey wow Canada is an actual player and a force to be reckoned with. Why  the heck not work for Coinsmart I mean they're killing it, they're doing X Y and Z in the market. I love to be a part of that. That's something I could definitely  myself being a part of.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah. Breaking news Quadriga just put out a brand-new message 12 seconds ago of a file for creditor protection in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. So that's big bad news here in Canada. That's not what I want to hear. I'm sad to be reading that. Well they are a competitor. So, I want to see this success of the market and this is definitely not helpful for that. You know we just talked about that earlier.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Oh, that's wild. That's crazy timing. I mean what you said about in 2019. I mean like it's a brand-new year.

Justin Hartzman : I'm super excited by the OTC space and the large financial institutions getting into it. We see some great stuff happen at the end of this year. It's coming out now on the custodial services for institutions and as institutions come to this market, they'll be investing in it. People will know about it more because traditional investors will see it as part of their portfolios and have an  option to buy through those which I think is going to drive more positive sentiment more trust the markets. I think that's a really big piece having them come in here. OTC there's a lot of opportunity for large desks around the world to move heavy amounts of coins. So, I think that's exciting for us, we're playing a role in that right now, connecting great deals and AI obviously playing a big role. And you know we deal with some partners where we can look at how we hedge coins coming in or not much more if we're not matching them or catching them. So, we look at those pieces, can we in Canada as regulation comes offer things like automated financial products much like a Wealth simple can we do that in the crypto space. Understanding based on artificial intelligence. What your risk tolerance is knowing that your risk tolerance can get you to a bucket of crypto currencies that's managed by  AI to give some great results for you in the long run. So, a self-managed driven bucketed goods of ETF funds that I think is something that's really exciting for us as we move forward. Wealth simple you know very respectful company. I went to school with Mike the CEO there I think he's a great guy. Good buddy. They've done something great and they've helped bring a lot of millennials to the market by going Hey you know housing is a little too expensive for us until we can afford that or if we decide not to afford that. We want to be investing. But traditional investment house you're going to your bank or some things that you're doing doesn't really know anything. It's not our way of doing it. If I could go on my phone and answer a couple of questions and know that my money is being managed the appropriate way using, you know proper managers as well as artificial intelligence. That's so cool and that's everything that we're looking for. Can we bring the crypto space?

Manseeb Khan : I mean like just think of it as more of like a lazy perspective of the fact that you have to actually go to a bank, book a meeting wait for your broker to actually sit down with you and then kind of go over it  with you. Like just that just so much like hey if I can do this in my underwear while  making coffee. Why the heck. What an odd design.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah, it's not even that like you know you go in to. Yeah. I don't know people realize this. This is the same thing you talk about social media marketing. I'll talk about that afterwards, but you go into your bank and you set up an appointment with a quote unquote investment professional. What made that person an investment professional? That's someone who's a year out of school. They're trying to do something they're offering products at just the bank has available to you which are clearly well I don't see clearly not but not the best investments that I'm sure you could find better if you find some to help you with that. That's not really what you should be doing. And then the alternative is going to a professional who's been doing this for a long time and manages huge amounts of money but there's a significant cost to that. At the same time which you don't want to bear. So, this technology is the longest offers you got from going from someone who knows nothing to the people who know a lot. You know not clairvoyant but know a lot and bring it to everyone. I think that's really key.

Manseeb Khan : I mean you briefly touched on the social media aspect, but could you expand on that.

Justin Hartzman : Well it's just a social media side of things when I mentioned the same thing. You can go to a social media management company but if unless you have the biggest budgets or you're the biggest brand out there again they're putting on you they're fresh out of university student who's come on to manage your account to answer the phone call for you but they don't manage billions of dollars in ad spend millions of dollars not spend it on all the levers to pull or what's going on. They're just they're doing a job. It takes time to get there. That's the whole point. When you're getting into a market anywhere where it's financial side or social media marketing you want the people who are taking all that amazing top level knowledge and distilling it down into an automated way for you somebody who didn't have access to that previously. So, I just see this as a very big parallel between those two industries.

Manseeb Khan : I love it. I mean look that's kind of where you're seeing challenger banks winning that battle right where you're having when you go to a bank. You definitely have a limited deck of cards that you're playing with comparatively if you go to a challenger bank and even taking it one step further going to open banking and start giving people more options. That's where banking gets really exciting. I mean it's an it's a very weird statement to say a banker getting excited but nonetheless that's  open banking is definitely where banking is going to get really exciting because customers are going to have that much more options to switch mortgage plans, to savings accounts may have.

Justin Hartzman : Yes, it's happening a lot right now in the insurance space like just going to your phone buying insurance plan. They want to see your car your car first you can take a picture of it. If something happens to your car you take a picture of it and show it off and you don't have to wait for the adjuster to come in. And they use A.I. to analyze how bad that was versus the same car that had a similar picture last time what it cost to fit all those technologies are really simple things. Well seeking the personal aspect of it well these don't need to be personal. I don't need to wait for 9:00 at night because adjuster in Toronto is busy after a small fender bender  for him to come to my house. Why wasn't that picture just sufficient? So, I'm totally with it. I am a big proponent of having technology make things easier across the board.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Insurance tech is definitely something  that not a lot of people talk about. I mean there's definitely starting to be a little bit more of a buzz like insurance tech. Yes definitely. I mean it's a rabbit hole that I would definitely want to discover more on the show.

Justin Hartzman : I love that space. I think is super interesting I listen to a lot of podcasts not specifically about insure-tech but startups and insure-tech and banking tech and fintech and AI obviously big things and Block chain right now. You know like you I was just listening to a great podcast with the CEO of Cover in the U.S. Only right now. But you know simple things like the fact that you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance you know you're renting somewhere you can pay your 20 bucks a month in case something happens. The fact that you can now take your phone buy it on there. Walk around your house just with a video camera on your phone show the TV that's on your wall, the kind of couch that you have. You know if you have any jewelry  or keepsakes show it on there. It's not a he said she said sort of game when the insurance companies are in business not to pay you. They don't want to you know if you have that 4k sixty-five-inch TV on the wall that you love that cost you four thousand dollars and you don't have a receipt for the can say no you don't have it. If you bought insurance this where you took that video and it's uploaded to your file right there in that app it just stops those problems. You know what it makes it harder for people who are doing nefarious activities like going like I had a 4k TV when they had a little 21-inch tube TV in their house who are scamming. Well good for him. We don't want those people scamming. They mess up everyone else's rates out there. Let's see what you have. Let's replace it with exactly what you had or better and let's all be on the same page. That's what helps everybody. Well it might screw people who are trying to look do things are off center. It helps the rest of us as the masses and I think that's a super important piece.

Manseeb Khan : Right. So, it was the name of the company that you just mentioned.

Justin Hartzman : It's called Cover.

Manseeb Khan : OK cool. I mean. Yeah. Take it take pictures at ensuring like you mention a bunch of jewelries. Instagram's definitely going to have a field day when it comes to knowing what the favorite rapper or artist through it you may have fake chains to try to do that.

Justin Hartzman :  I assume like hip hop. And we came on this call I heard you. This is some good tunes in the back.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Yeah. Just like I was like I put some a little bit of elevator music before I wait for you to jump on.

Justin Hartzman : I liked it. I appreciate that.

Manseeb Khan : What's the future of Coinsmart looking like in 2019? What's some of the challenges? What's that you guys are going to embark on that I guess some of the listeners and some of the people using Coinsmart to get really excited.

Justin Hartzman : Yeah, I think the future for us is to continue to make it accessible for everyone. Offer more ways to get your money on and off of our network or just super simple. Increased ability just like boots on the ground where they'll be in contact with us or see possibly store front locations. We're looking at expanding into other territories outside of Canada. So, whether that be Europe and Asia or wherever it may be right now. So, a lot of expansion across the board. We really want to make the easiest to use, most accessible, most robust platform out there without over complicating everything. So, there's a huge coin selection like which as I said we're adding six and seven more coins in the next five or six weeks. And then again just simplifying, simplifying simplifying while increasing the security in the background. That's what you'll see out of us over the next six to eight months.

Manseeb Khan : And you can't tell us what coins you guys are adding right?

Justin Hartzman : We can't yet. We have a long list than that were you. So, we have to look at a lot of stuff, it's not easy list. That's just put anything on. We have to understand as truly utility coin in all our security and if to run it through.  We have one-hundred-and-eighty-page guideline of how we determine if it goes on or not. But we have narrowed it down to six and we'll be spreading it out come online shortly and everyone wants to know but to stay tuned we're happy. We'll start out see shortly.

Manseeb Khan : Also, to wrap this up what would be the best way to either contact you or Coinsmart. Why do we e-mail you? Do we Snapchat? Do we tweet you?

Justin Hartzman : Yes. Also, I'm always available and my team is you know just go to coin smart dot com click on the live chat. You can chat there just do a support ticket or if you want to ask me a question or have anything you want to know. I put my email address for everyone. You can email me at me at J H so it’s my two initials Justin Hartzman.  So, JH at coin smart dot com also.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome So Justin thank you so much for sitting down today. We had I mean  I loved the conversation that we had today.

Justin Hartzman :  My pleasure thanks for having me. And it was useful to some people and gave some good info if you guys have any questions please feel to reach out to me guys. J H at Coinsmart dot com.

Manseeb Khan : I really hope they do because this is a very smart individual.

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Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
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Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
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The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
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SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
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Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
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Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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