2019 Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo: FEARLESS, April 3-4, Toronto Canada

Category Archives: Research

[Report] A New North Star: Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy

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Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019

Rise of the intangibles

When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading.

Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to new thinking. Canada’s economy cannot afford complacency in this new economic era.

We need a new competitiveness consensus

In the world of policy and politics, short-termism and complacency are difficult to resist. They trump partisanship. They trump best intentions. Pressure mounts on any government or political party to respond to immediate issues and keep an eye fixed on the four-year election cycle. Both of us observed these demands in our respective positions as economic advisers to national governments.

See: 

Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace

Competition Bureau weighs in on fintech: urgent action required

Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation

NCFA Letter to Ontario Economic Development on Burden (Jan 2019)

The problem is that reactive governance is inconsistent with the mix of long-term policies required to promote broad economic participation and growth. For a competitiveness agenda to maintain and raise Canadians’ quality of life, it demands discipline, focus and a vision that extends beyond the election cycle. It thus requires a multi-partisan commitment. A change in government may naturally result in new preferences and priorities, but it should not cause us to lose collective sight of the common bases of competitiveness, productivity and jobs, and the greater opportunities and outcomes they produce for successive generations.

 


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

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
Read More
Is Apple Pay Safe?
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
Read More
NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
Read More
[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: 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 ...
Read More
Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
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Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   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 ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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Inside the power struggle between big banks and fintechs to modernize financial services

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Financial Post | Geoff Zochodne | March 27, 2019

Innovation Nation: Canada is lagging its global peers in adopting new financial technologies and more co-operation between established banks and startup fintechs would help

The federal government put the word out last July: it needed someone to study the landscape for financial technology companies, or fintechs, and figure out how they were getting along with the big banks and other financial institutions.

Sue Britton’s firm, Toronto-based Fintech Growth Syndicate Inc., won the contract for the study. In January, the group said it turned in a 240-page report, the first of its kind in Canada, that used only publicly available data sourced from more than 60 different websites.

What it found, among other things, was that there were approximately 1,000 fintechs across Canada offering services or products related to crowdfunding, insurance, wealth management, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, capital markets, lending and payments.

The majority of those companies were startups, founded in the years following 2012, and employed less than 99 people each, though combined they had more than 30,000 people. Perhaps more eye-catching was the estimated value of fintech startups in Canada: $30.5 billion.

What the study did not find, however, was 1,000 partnerships with financial institutions: Canada’s Big Five banks may have been increasing their engagement with fintechs, but “the majority of their efforts” were still on building their own products and digital experiences. They were also busy trying to update their “bowl of spaghetti” technologies and systems, some of which may be decades old.

See:  Competition Bureau weighs in on fintech: urgent action required

As a result, one of Canada’s biggest industries is innovating at a relatively tame pace, the country is lagging its peers in adopting new financial technologies and consumers of all types may be paying more for services than they should. The financial industry’s existing business models could eventually come under pressure as well.

“To the extent that we could find publicly available information, we were able to show that, yes, there are some fintechs that are partnering with financial institutions,” Britton said. “But certainly the majority of those partnerships are on the financial institutions’ terms. They’re not groundbreaking new business models … It’s not going to make the marketplace more competitive, because it’s going to, in fact, if anything, grow the business for the incumbent.”

Retaining the status quo may be all well and good for big banks and insurance companies for now. It may even be good for their customers — and most financial consumers have a connection to a big bank or insurer — who may be enjoying a smoother user experience or a new platform at their current institution of choice.

But legacy financial companies face a bit of a conflict of interest when it comes to innovation. After all, they have earnings targets to hit, shareholders to keep happy and thousands of employees and existing systems already in place to meet those goals. Why risk cannibalizing such profitable businesses or, moreover, give the vaunted stability of Canada’s financial industry a jolt?

Yet the incumbents could wake up one day to find their lunches being eaten by big-tech firms such as Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc., which are already offering a payments solution, some more aggressively than others.

“What our big banks aren’t doing is moving as quickly as other parts of the world, innovating their business models, extending financial services to more small businesses or reducing their fees,” Fintech Growth Syndicate said. “Perhaps, as Abraham Lincoln famously said, ‘give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe,’ they are still sharpening the axe.”

See:  Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace

It’s also possible that no one is even swinging an axe in the financial sector, despite the federal government’s efforts to push the innovation envelope in various industries.

Competition Bureau research “points to low levels of financial technology adoption in Canada relative to other countries, and limited consumer engagement driven, in part, by frictions associated with shopping around and switching,” according to a document published in February by the interim commissioner of competition. “These factors are symptoms of a market that is not functioning to its full potential.”

Britton believes the major banks and insurers face the innovator’s dilemma, first outlined in a 1997 book by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen: An incumbent with a big base of existing customers and shareholders demanding good returns is unlikely to welcome a company that could disrupt its own business.

On the other hand, “You don’t want to wake up one day and be Blockbuster,” she said.

Nobody, of course, wants to be compared to a bankrupt video-store chain, which is why the financial sector is certainly aware that the big-tech companies are making inroads into their business.

Royal Bank of Canada chief executive Dave McKay reportedly noted in mid-March that he was increasingly concerned with the prospect of Facebook Inc., Amazon.com, Apple, Netflix Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google (the FANG companies) getting into banking.

“They are getting between us and the moments of truth of our customers, and currently what they do with that is they sell that insight back to us in the form of search and advertising and other perspectives, and they earn a certain amount of economic rent,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

RBC and the other big financial institutions know they need to up their game, something that was noted by Luge Capital, a Canadian venture fund focused on fintech and artificial intelligence, when it did its own scan of the fintech landscape for a report published last October.

See:  Open Banking: What’s Really at Stake

Luge Capital, which has been backed by institutions such as the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Sun Life Financial Inc., found the climate for possible partnerships between startups and big banks or insurers had improved.

“Large incumbents have customers, well-established brands and vaults of financial resources,” the report said. “As a venture capital fund with large financial institutions backers, such as Sunlife, Desjardins, CDPQ and La Capital and Le Fonds FTQ, we see first hand their desire to partner with early stage innovators.”

The biggest banks may still have the “vast majority” of the market share in financial services, but there has been a shift recently, said Karim Gillani, general partner at Luge Capital.

“In the last three to five years, there’s been a widespread recognition amongst the FIs (financial institutions) that they need to work with the early stage or smaller fintech companies in order to enhance their service offering for their customers,” he said.

Gillani said there was value in financial institutions exploring new ways of “offering functionality,” such as robo-advisers as a form of wealth management, something several banks have already done.

“It’s a demonstration of how banks are shifting their view from the traditional wealth-management experience to something that’s more automated and driven by technology so that it becomes appealing to a different segment of the population,” he said.

The federal government might open another door for the fintechs to get to the market. Ottawa is currently considering the idea of open banking, which is supposed to give people more control of their data and make it more portable.

See:  Canada’s financial upstarts are lining up behind open banking, but bigger players may need convincing

The competition commissioner, in a submission made in response to a government consultation paper that outlined the benefits and concerns of open banking, said the framework could allow consumers to shop around and compare prices, potentially stirring up competition by lowering search costs.

“Banks would be forced to compete harder for consumers, and consumers would have access to a broader range of services, if the benefits of technology could be more fully exploited through open banking,” the submission stated.

Yet bringing third parties into Canada’s financial system — renowned for its stability — has raised some concern for at least one federal regulator, who pointed out that such decentralization “magnifies non-financial risks and diffuses accountability.”

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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

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
Read More
Is Apple Pay Safe?
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
Read More
NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
Read More
[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: 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 ...
Read More
Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
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NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   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 ...
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Six steps to achieve financial gender parity this #IWD

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FrontFundr | March 7,2019

On the 108th anniversary of International Women’s Day, FrontFundr, Canada’s number one investment crowdfunding site has commissioned a survey to understand gender parity in personal finance for women, and the results aren’t good.

Only 12% of Canadian women aged 25 - 65 feel that they, personally have Financial Equality, where wealth is distributed equally. 29% of women in the same survey felt they had Financial Independence. Financial independence is not only a source of confidence but also gives women the credibility to participate in important matters of decision making, for themselves and their families.

45% of women surveyed believed personally they had none of Financial Equality, Financial Independence, a plan for retirement or enough savings for retirement.

Women manage $2.2 trillion of financial assets in Canada

CIBC undertook their Women and Wealth study in November 2018, which highlighted the financial assets that women control. They found41% of women (single, divorced, widows, and women responsible for investment decisions) control no less than $2.2 trillion of financial assets. And that number is expected to rise quickly, as the cohort of women with stronger labour incomes and retirees grows. CIBC estimates that by 2028, women will control just under $3.8 trillion or more than one-third of total financial assets (in 2018$ terms)—and more than double that number if real-estate assets are included. That estimate could be amplified if returns on women’s portfolios rise to be closer to their male counterparts.

See:  Slowly but surely, women are changing fintech

Our research supports the findings of the CIBC survey, but takes it a step further, as to what else needs to be done to bridge that gap, so women feel financial independence and financial equality. The CIBC research recommends gender blind wealth advisors, but with women living longer and earning less, perhaps we need a different strategy.

Canadian women have less savings and greater needs

Canadian women outlive Canadian men by nearly four years[1]. This means they have to support themselves for longer. Women typically earn less than men; this is in part due to the types of jobs they do, a higher percentage of women are in part-time work, and also a disparity in earnings for the same role. Statistics Canada data suggests that women earn 95% of their male counterparts doing the same role with the same experience. This is changing but still exists. On top of that, women typically have a shorter work life, due to caring for children or parents. When they return to work, this can be a barrier for work advancement, and the ability to earn a higher salary. One could argue this means that women don’t need Financial Equality but Financial bias, to create greater wealth in a shorter period of time to sustain them for longer.

Women are very cautious savers

But women are turning to lower return investments. 52% of those surveyed said their savings are in cash, the highest percentage for all the assets in their retirement plan. While it is recommended to keep 2-6 months of cash on hand, this seems significantly higher. Current high-interest bank rates in Canada are around 1%[2]and with inflation hovering around 2% it means putting longer-term savings in the bank leads to a loss of money in real terms.

Women need to look to inflation beating investing, and for those that do, the outlook is rosier. In FrontFundr's survey, 69% of the women in the survey who invest, rarely or never change their investments. It’s been said that Warren Buffet trades like a woman, by taking a longer-term approach to investing, and this longer-term approach is, as he has proved, more successful for growing your savings. Investing is not get rich quick and there is always a degree of risk.

Why women need private companies in their diversified portfolios

For many years, Canadians have had the option of investing in public companies on the stock exchanges. The ability to buy and sell shares, especially online is great, but the greatest gains tend to be in the private markets that most Canadians have been locked out of. US data shows private equity has had an average annual return of 11.8% over the past 10 years vs. 6.9%/annum for S&P 500[3].
FrontFundr brings you curated deals that you wouldn’t even know about or even have access to, for a long-term investment, and to diversify your portfolio.

See:  Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.

Women need the time to invest

But the challenge is getting the time to invest. 32% acknowledged they should take time to look at investing, but simply don’t have time. In the survey, the women responded they liked online investing because of the convenience and ability to invest any time of day, not just office hours. This is where online investing, such as crowdfunding could help address time. It allows people to review on their own schedule, and to ask the questions they need to.

The greatest reason for not investing, expressed by 44% of respondents, is not feeling comfortable making the decision. The campaigns on FrontFundr include the offering, details on the company, the team behind the company and the deal terms giving investors the information to make an informed decision. If you have a question for the company or on the process there is a Q&A section, the online chat, or you can email or call FrontFundr. When it comes to whether to invest or not, knowledge is power. You can look for a blog that you like, hopefully, this one, talk with friends and family on how they invest and seek professional advice.

Our research showed that women like to understand the business, the market, and the opportunity, and this takes time, time some women only have after work, after housework and putting the children to bed. The ability to review offerings online, at a time that is convenient, and to be able to ask questions of the company via an investment crowdfunding platform is very appealing. And advisors need to be able to provide their input at a time and in a manner that women want.

See:  How To Blow Past Your Crowdfunding Goal Using Female Empowerment

Six steps to achieve financial gender parity this #IWD and make a positive difference for human rights and women’s equality.

  1. Be confident – typically women invest differently, with more research into the companies, and for the longer term – this is good.
  2. Financial advisors need to create a financial bias to achieve women’s greater savings needs
  3. Find ways to invest on your own schedule, when you have the time to review and ask the questions you need to.
  4. Seek your own financial advisor.
  5. Knowledge is power to increase financial independence, take every opportunity to gain it.
  6. Include shares in private companies as part of your long term diversified portfolio

Source release


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

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
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Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
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NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: 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 ...
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SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
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FCA reveals findings from first cryptoassets consumer research

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FCA | March 8, 2019

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published two pieces of research looking at UK consumer attitudes to cryptoassets, such as Bitcoin or Ether. The research includes qualitative interviews with UK consumers and a national survey.

The qualitative research indicated some potential harm, including that many consumers may not fully understand what they are purchasing. For example, several of those interviewed talked of wanting to buy a ‘whole’ coin, suggesting they did not realise they could buy part of a cryptoasset. Despite this lack of understanding, the cryptoasset owners interviewed were often looking for ways to ‘get rich quick’, citing friends, acquaintances and social media influencers as key motivations for buying cryptoassets.

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

Both the survey and qualitative research found that some cryptoasset owners made their purchases without completing any research beforehand.

However, despite the general poor understanding of cryptoassets amongst UK consumers, findings from the survey suggest that currently the overall scale of harm may not be as high as previously thought.

73% of UK consumers surveyed don’t know what a 'cryptocurrency' is or are unable to define it – those most aware of them are likely to be men aged between 20 and 44. We estimate only 3% of consumers we surveyed had ever bought cryptoassets. Of the small sub-sample of consumers who had bought cryptoassets, around half spent under £200 – a large majority of these said they had financed the purchases through their disposable income.

Bitcoin appears to be the favourite cryptoasset for consumers with more than 50% of the cryptoasset owner survey sub-sample reporting to have spent their money on this product, while one in three [34%] chose Ether.

Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Competition commented:

'This research gives us evidence we haven’t had before about how consumers interact with cryptoassets. This will help us ensure we are acting on evidence as we seek to protect consumers and market integrity. The results suggest that although cryptoassets may not be well understood by many consumers, the vast majority don’t buy or use them currently. Whilst the research suggests some harm to individual cryptoasset users, it does not suggest a large impact on wider society. Nevertheless, cryptoassets are complex, volatile products – consumers investing in them should be prepared to lose all of their money.'

The FCA has previously warned that cryptoassets, including Bitcoin for instance, are highly volatile and risky. Many tokens (including Bitcoin and ‘cryptocurrency’ equivalents) are not currently regulated in the UK. This means that the transfer, purchase and sale of such tokens currently fall outside our regulatory remit. This means it is unlikely that consumers will be entitled to make complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service or protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.

See:  Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to Issue World’s First Blockchain-Based Digital Currency

The FCA is working with the Government and Bank of England, as part of a UK Cryptoassets Taskforce, to understand and address the harms from cryptoassets and encourage innovation in the interests of consumers. The FCA is currently consulting on guidance to clarify the types of cryptoassets that fall within the existing regulatory perimeter. Later this year the FCA will consult on banning the sale of certain cryptoasset derivatives to retail investors. HM Treasury is also exploring legislative change to potentially broaden the FCA’s regulatory remit to bring in further types of cryptoassets.

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

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
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NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
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Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
Read More
[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: 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 ...
Read More
Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
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#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
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Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   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 ...
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Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs

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Forbes | | 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 some point we’ve all probably at least had a student loan, signed up for a mobile phone contract, had a credit card, or an auto loan or lease. Debt means you are borrowing. Often, you will have to repay in monthly installments, over a fixed period of time, at a predetermined rate. Though this can vary depending on whether you are raising debt from investors, are using lines of credit or working capital loans, or even new hybrid convertible notes.

See:  Where to Find Startup Loans in 2018

The Pros of Debt Financing

As described in my book, The Art of Startup Fundraising, the biggest and most obvious advantage of using debt versus equity is control and ownership. With traditional types of debt financing you are not giving up any controlling interests in your business. It’s all yours. You get to make all the decisions, and keep all the profits. No one is going to kick you out of your own company.

Another big pro is that once you’ve paid back the debt your liability is over. With a fluid line of credit you can repay and borrow just what you need at any time, and will never pay more interest than you need to. Looking at the big picture, using debt can ultimately be far cheaper.

One major benefit that is frequently overlooked is that business debt can also create more tax deductions. This may not have a big impact at the seed stage, but can make a huge difference in net profits as you grow and yield positive revenues.

The Cons of Debt Financing

The most significant danger and disadvantage of using debt is that it requires repayment, no matter how well you are doing, or not. You might be burning cash for the first couple of years, with little in the way of net profits, yet still have to make monthly debt service payments. That can be a huge burden on a startup.

If entrepreneurs have not separated their personal and business credit, they may also find their entire life’s work and accomplishments are on the line if they default on the debt. Your home, cars, washing machine, and kids’ college fund can all become collateral damage.

It is also vital that borrowers understand that financing terms can change over time. Variable interest rates can dramatically change repayment terms later on. In the case of maturing balloon debt, like commercial mortgages, there is no guarantee of future availability of capital or terms when you may need to refinance. In the case of revolving credit lines, banks have a history of cutting them off, right when you need them most.

See:  Saskatchewan and Alberta make cross-border financing easier

Too much debt can negatively impact profitability and valuation. Meaning, it can lead to inferior equity raising terms in the future, or prevent it altogether.

Structures used by early stage startups such are convertible notes, SAFEs, and KISS. These forms of debt eventually convert into equity on a subsequent financing round so it is a good way to bring onboard people that are likely to partner with you on the long run with the business.

For later stage companies, the route to follow is typically venture debt.

Convertible Notes

Convertible notes are a debt instrument that also gives the investor stock options. This flexibility gives them security from the downside, and more potential upside if the start-up performs as expected. Theoretically it can also be easier for some to justify making the loan, which has specific returns and maturity dates, versus the unknown.

Convertible notes are much faster than equity rounds. There are only two documents in place, which are the convertible note purchase agreement outlining the terms of the investment, and the promissory note explaining the conversion and the amount that the investor is investing.

See:  Report: State of Regulation Crowdfunding Says No Gold Rush But an Undeniable Job Creator

With convertible notes, there are only three main ingredients the entrepreneur needs to look after.

The first ingredient is the interest that the entrepreneur is giving to the investor. This is interest to be accrued on a yearly basis on the investment amount that the investor puts into the company. The interest will continue to be applied until the company does another equity round, when the debt will convert into equity with the amount plus the interest received.

The second ingredient is the discount on the valuation. This means that if your next qualified round is at X amount of pre-money valuation, the investor will be converting his or her debt at a discount from the valuation that has been established in the next round by the lead investor.

The third ingredient to watch is the valuation cap. This means that regardless of the amount that is established on the valuation in the next round, the investor will never convert north of whatever valuation cap is agreed. This is a safety measure in the event that the valuation goes through the roof. It is a good way to protect your early investors and to reward them for taking the risk of investing in you at a very early stage.

Convertible notes are, in my mind, the fastest and cheapest way to fundraise. While equity rounds can be north of $20,000, convertible notes should not cost you more than $7,000.

One thing to keep a very close eye on is the maturity date. This is the date by which you agree to repay unless you have not done a qualified round of financing in which the convertible notes are converted into equity. For this reason, make sure that the maturity date is a date that you feel confident about. You need to be convinced that you will be able to raise a qualified round of financing on or before that date in order to convert the notes into equity and avoid being in default. The last thing you want to happen is to be in default and to have to shut down your business because investors are demanding their money back.

Below is a good example of how convertible notes play out in real life.

Equity Financing

This type of funding exchanges incoming capital for ownership rights in your business. This may be in the form of close partnerships, or equity fundraising from angel investors, crowdfunding platforms, venture capital firms, and eventually the public in the form of an IPO.

There are no fixed repayments to be made. Instead, your equity investors receive a percentage of the profits, according to their stock. Though there can be hybrid agreements which incorporate royalties, and other benefits to early investors.

Typically the term sheet will be summarizing what are the terms of the equity round. You can read more on term sheets by reviewing my Forbes pieces Term Sheet Template: What Entrepreneurs Should Include and Term Sheet: Here Is Everything Entrepreneurs Must Know When Fundraising.

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

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
Read More
Is Apple Pay Safe?
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
Read More
NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
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Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
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[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: 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 ...
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Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
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Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
Read More
Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   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 ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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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

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
Read More
Is Apple Pay Safe?
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
Read More
NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
Read More
[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: 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 ...
Read More
Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
Read More
Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   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 ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

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Forbes | | 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) launched Stripe in 2011

See:  Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019

2. Coinbase, $8 billion

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Photo credit: Bloomberg Finance LPMichael Short/Bloomberg

Expanding beyond its roots as a bitcoin wallet and retail exchange, Coinbase now offers cryptocurrency custody and professional and institutional trading platforms. Last year bought Earn.com, a service where users pay in bitcoin to contact experts via email, for a reported $100 million.

Cofounder & CEO: Brian Armstrong, 36, whose Coinbase holdings make him a billionaire

3. Robinhood, $5.6 billion

Broker offers commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and options through a mobile app. Robinhood Gold subscription service, starting at $6 per month, gives investors access to margin trading. Later this year the firm will take on the checking and savings market with a new cash management program.

Cofounders and co-CEOs: Stanford grads Baiju Bhatt, 34, a second-generation American with Indian parents, and Bulgarian-born Vlad Tenev, 32

4. Ripple, $5 billion

Its blockchain-based global settlements network aims to replace SWIFT, the interbank messaging platform that has long connected nearly every bank in the world. Also has a service that lets companies make cross-border payments in XRP, the cryptocurrency created by Ripple’s founders.

Cofounders: Jed McCaleb, 43; Chris Larsen, 58; and Arthur Britto

CEO: Brad Garlinghouse, 48, former AOL president

See:  Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors

5. SoFi, $4.4 billion*

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto. Photo credit: Bloomberg Finance LPDavid Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Founded in 2011, SoFi started with online student loan refinancing and later branched into other services for affluent Millennials, including mortgages, robo-investing advice and life insurance.

CEO: Anthony Noto, 50, former Twitter COO

6. Credit Karma, $4 billion

Credit Karma cofounders (from left) Kenneth Lin, Nichole Mustard and Ryan Graciano. Photo credit: ForbesForbes

Offers its 85 million-plus “members” a growing suite of free services, including credit scores, tax-prep software, help fixing credit-report errors and alerts of new accounts opened in a user’s name. Credit Karma earns referral fees when users bite on the personalized offers for credit cards and loans it shows them.

Cofounders: CEO Kenneth Lin, 43; chief revenue officer Nichole Mustard, 45; CTO Ryan Graciano, 37

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

US News | By Ben Luthi | Apr 12, 2019 Apple Pay is secure and convenient, as long as you use it correctly. No payment method is entirely safe from fraud. But Apple Pay provides cardholders with several layers of security that can protect against some common forms of credit card theft. If you want to try Apple Pay, knowing how it works is important as well as how your credit card information is safeguarded and what you can do to stay protected while using it. What Is Apple Pay? Apple Pay is a mobile wallet for Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watches that allows you to make purchases in stores, in apps and online securely without handing over your credit card information every time. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity In a store, the mobile wallet uses near-field communication technology – it allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data – to transmit your card information. You just need to verify your identity with the Touch ID or Face ID feature, then tap your device to the store's card reader to process the payment. To keep your information private, Apple Pay ...
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Is Apple Pay Safe?
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | April 16, 2019 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto addressed challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators transforming the financial industry TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / April 16, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organization that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, closed its 5th annual flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON - which featured numerous fintech market leaders, as well as industry experts, government officials, and prominent tech investors. "FEARLESS" was the theme for this year's conference, celebrating the boldness and innovative nature of the FinTech industry, where entrepreneurs constantly challenge pre-existing financial systems with innovative new products and services. The conference brought together more than 500 attendees who experienced keynote speeches, immersive learning, workshops, startup pitch presentations and awards, an exhibitor floor, and networking receptions. Key themes explored at FFCON19: FEARLESS: RISK is a conscious choice and necessary to innovate; Digital trust and security are essential for mass adoption; The digital bank and future of fintech is already here; Collaboration and new social (decentralized) models can revitalize markets controlled by incumbents with too much power and no incentive to change; Private-public market ...
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NCFA 2019 Conference Closes with Renewed Focus on Fostering Innovation in Fintech
Business Insider | Dennis Green | March 25, 2019 Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's Go stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines and make life easier for card-carrying consumers. But a backlash has grown, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have already barred stores from rejecting cash as payment, and New York City and San Francisco are considering similar measures. This could affect the growth of Amazon's physical stores, which do not accept cash. Cashless stores are becoming controversial. See:  Under pressure Amazon plans to accept cash at cashless Go stores Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon Stores that do not accept cash are on the rise, from quick-service lunch spots to Amazon's physical stores. Not accepting cash can speed up lines or eliminate them altogether, making life easier for card-carrying consumers. Not everybody is on board with this cashless utopia, however. Backlash has started, as the cashless trend leaves out lower-income customers who may not have a bank account. As of last year, an estimated 15.6 million people in the US ...
Read More
Cities and states around the country are banning stores from refusing to accept cash, and it's a troubling trend for Amazon
Public Policy Forum | Robert Asselin and Sean Speer | April 4, 2019 Rise of the intangibles When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played in his first Super Bowl in 2002, there was no iTunes store, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Airbnb, no Gmail and no Skype. Today the companies who own these intangible assets are worth more than $4 trillion. The rise of the intangibles economy will have sweeping policy implications that will become clearer over time. Nobody knows for sure where this is heading. Our overriding objective in this paper is to help catalyze a bi-partisan policy discussion about a new “north star” for Canada’s economic competitiveness and the types of policy reforms needed to start us on this path. As part of this process, we set out a series of policy recommendations that cover the classic drivers of competitiveness such as taxation and regulation and drivers for the intangibles economy such as data governance, intellectual property retention, and the race for talent. But as important as these prescriptions are, the main takeaway for policymakers and the Canadian public is that the rise of the intangibles economy requires that we test old assumptions and are open to ...
Read More
[Report] A New North Star:  Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy
NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy! HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin) BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world. Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here: 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 ...
Read More
Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov
SEC | April 3, 2019 Bill Hinman, Director of Division of Corporation Finance Valerie Szczepanik, Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Blockchain and distributed ledger technology can catalyze a wide range of innovation.  We have seen these technologies used to create financial instruments, sometimes in the form of tokens or coins that can provide investment opportunities like those offered through more traditional forms of securities.  Depending on the nature of the digital asset, including what rights it purports to convey and how it is offered and sold, it may fall within the definition of a security under the U.S. federal securities laws. As part of a continuing effort to assist those seeking to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws, FinHub is publishing a framework for analyzing whether a digital asset is offered and sold as an investment contract, and, therefore, is a security.  The framework is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the law, but rather, an analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply to the offer, sale, or resale of a particular digital asset.  Also, the Division of Corporation Finance is issuing a response to a no-action request, indicating that ...
Read More
Statement on “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets”
TechDaily | Stefan Palios  | April 8, 2019 To be fearless, you have to set up the right conditions and environment. Taking this perspective to heart, #FFCON19, a conference put on by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association, pondered how to create the right conditions so entrepreneurs can be fearless in their work. From conversations about AI creating fake videos to open banking, the wide-ranging conference detailed that fearlessness comes from using the right tech at the right time, desiring a positive outcome more than wanting to avoid a negative outcome, and putting the right regulations in place. Deep fakes and identifying what’s real Kicking off the conference, entrepreneur Toufi Saliba brought the idea of ‘deep fake’ to the conversation, the premise that artificial intelligence technology can make videos appear to be of certain people. See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity “Deep fake enables everyone with a computer to download software to enable you to put someone speaking in a video, saying something they did not actually say,” Saliba explained. While innocently used in gag videos, the negative side is much more concerning. With this technology, said Saliba, hackers and other malicious actors can declare war, pretending to be a ...
Read More
#FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Apr 4, 2019 Canada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.” Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies. The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models ...
Read More
Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation
LAST CHANCE FOR TICKETSApril 3 SOLD OUTApril 4 last block of tickets >90%#FFCON19 “Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”  Clayton Christensen FFCON19 is here and officially kicks off tomorrow!  Congrats on the 9 pitching finalists announced Some more speakers added! Brady Fletcher, Managing Director and Head of TSX Venture Exchange Jon Medved, CEO, OurCrowd Fred Pye, CEO, 3iQ Corp Neha Khera, Partner, 500 Startups Alixe Cormick, President, Venture Law Corporation Sandi Gilbert, CEO, InterGen and Chair of NACO David Lucatch, Chairman, Pegasus RJ Reiser, Chief Growth Officer, Polymath Keren, Moynihan, Co-Founder, Boss Insights Check out all 50+ speakers here Please meet FFCON’s Incredible Master of Ceremonies April 3:  Chantel Costa    April 4:  Amy ter Haar Look who’s coming to #FFCON19?  JOIN US!   THANKS TO OUR AWESOME FFCON19 PARTNERS!   HOST: PLATINUM: GOLD PARTNERS: SILVER PARTNERS: ...
Read More
Look Who's Coming to FFCON19!  Last Chance to get Tickets
NCFA | Team FFCON19 | March 31, 2019Nine high-growth companies have been selected from inbound applications to pitch live at the 5th annual Fintech and Financing Conference: FEARLESS (#FFCON19).These companies will be pitching in three sessions on April 4, to be led by pitch session partner hosts McCarthy Tétrault,  Toronto Starts.and the PCMA.Congratulations to the 9 finalists!BalanceBooknBrunchConsilium CryptoFeedbackFintrosHedgieOwl LabsneedlsVacation FundOne winning company will be selected for the inaugural People's Choice Award, which celebrates an up and coming startup that is the most innovative and most impactful, as determined by the pitch session judges and the crowd.The Conference, to be held from April 3-4, 2019, attracts fintech, blockchain and AI innovators, investors, companies actively raising capital and key decision makers/stakeholders in technology and capital markets from all over Canada and around the world. Click here to view the full program.   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 ...
Read More
Live Pitching Finalists Announced for FFCON19: FEARLESS

 

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