Category Archives: Voices

Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019

stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityStablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar).

As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool.

Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.”

 

The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision  

Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but of the system itself. It’s no surprise that Bitcoin’s innovators and early adopters were driven by a vision of an extraneous system that completely rejected the legacy framework, giving birth to decentralization, immutability and deflationary currency to name a few.

See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

Early blockchain advocates argue this is the only acceptable implementation for this technology, with any deviation being a compromise. However, it is the same purist vision of “utility backed value” that makes bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies that follow similar design) incredibly susceptible to speculation and volatility.

Regardless of where you stand, it is important to clarify that this article is by no means meant to criticize the original blockchain. The questions we pose are not around bitcoin’s value, rather on its stability and ability effectively deliver the utility necessary for any currency.

 

Do stablecoins and “just” tokenizing fiat currencies deliver enough benefit?

The short answer is yes. Blockchain is an incredibly powerful architecture that provides significant benefits to the assets represented on it. There are many key benefits to blockchain based tokenized fiats, however speed, span and cost are worth a closer look.

A tokenized asset can be moved around the globe at an efficiency that user of current day systems could never dream of, let along compete with. A transaction between wallet holders on opposite sides of the globe would be settled in seconds (or minutes, depending on the network) not days or hours for an average fee totaling fractions of a dollar regardless if they are worth a few dollars or a few million dollars.

Blockchain architecture is vastly beneficial even when the assets it underpins aren’t “crypto-native.” Specifically, the transparency and immutability inherent to the architecture enable incredibly powerful new methods of bookkeeping and reporting such as Triple Entry Accounting (TEA) as well as Automated Audits. These pose a substantial improvement to current accounting tools, that eventually will change the risk profile inherent to every financial transaction.

See: Is This Behind The Latest $25 Billion Bitcoin And Crypto Price Rally?

Even the trivial action of checking on your assets involves logging-in or calling our bank and asking it to report back what and how much is owned – lacks a true, direct line of sight.

 

Let’s get really, boring.

Even the most adherent purist will admit that the power blockchain vastly increases with the growth of its userbase. So basically, it is in everyone’s

best interest, early adopter and newcomer alike, for the network to grow by appealing to the mainstream.

Thankfully, there is an army of people working to facilitate better, more palatable access to crypto for a wide array of audiences. Many of them have been educated by some of the most profound processes of digital transformation of recent decades, and are leaning on these insights to lean on applicable lessons for this particular opportunity.

For instance, let’s look at smartphone adoption. In just a decade the majority of the world’s population has been converted into devoted user of the technology. While there are multiple applicable takeaways and lessons to analyze, consider the name itself “Smart-Phone.” If you own one, it probably isn’t necessary to point out that most of the time the “phone” aspect of the device isn’t used at all. In fact, data shows that “calling people” isn’t even a top ten use for most users. Still, there is a very important reason that these pocket computers were named “phones”; to spur their adoption. Anchoring the terminology to something people widely understood, the phone, enabled it to be familiar and easily adoptable. It is much easier to have a meaningful conversation, when we have a common mental framework to base it on.

 

What’s next?

While they’re based on new and different technology, for stablecoins to go mainstream they must rely on an ideal, common framework that most people readily accept (or a simple formula such as one coin equals one dollar). If we can agree here, we can progress to having the more important conversation as to why the coin is actually a better dollar than a dollar, but we’ll be doing so standing on a solid and shared foundation.

See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

Currently, we are in the process of an implementation that will inherit all the benefits covered above but will also comply with the applicable regulation/ legislation in place. In current markets dominated by USD based stablecoins, it is important to remember that we need to deliver efficiencies around foreign exchange for stablecoins to truly become strategic in importance.  This will be possible through a Canadian Dollar backed crypto asset such as Qcad, that will unlock the next adoption stage of blockchain and will generate direct benefits for Canada.

Stablecoins will continue to play a major role in broader crypto adoption, and for our part; a CAD-backed crypto asset will be an important step in the evolution to mainstream adoption of blockchain. We are very excited to be engaged in architecting the future of financial systems; good things are coming.

 

Fred Pye 200 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityFred Pye, President and CEO, 3iQ

Fred kick-started his career as a precious metal and foreign exchange trader at Guardian Trust. He later joined Fidelity Investments, where he was part of a team that saw its assets rise from 85 million to over 7.5 billion. Next, Fred started his own firm, which worked diligently with Canadian regulatory bodies to establish the first mutual fund in Canada that was allowed to take short positions. Finally, as founder and CEO of 3iQ, he and his team have worked cooperatively with the OSC for the last 2 and a half years to launch the first regulated Bitcoin fund in Canada. This fund will be the first major exchange-traded cryptocurrency fund in North America.

 

Kesem Frank 200 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityKesem Frank, Chief Maven, Mavennet

Kesem is a technology strategy expert specializing in blockchain powered enterprise architecture. Following a leadership position in Deloitte’s Blockchain practice, Kesem co-founded Nuco, one of the earliest enterprise blockchain platforms and a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. In his capacity as COO, Kesem led multiple projects, positioning blockchain at the core of future business platforms for fortune-1000 companies.


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

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Hong Kong being pulled into the 21st Century — digital banking licenses finally arrive

Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019

global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityDigital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go!

Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million.

This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the doldrums.

See:  FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.11-Sep 28): How Amazon Bank is Dominating and Risks of a Digital Bifurcated World with Paul Schulte, Founder of Schulte Research

Before we delve into the new guys on the block, lets focus on two issues.  Hong Kong is desperately behind on all of this digital banking.  Let’s just say that the HKMA has been ultra-cautious to not rock the boat for incumbent banks. Hong Kong has been an example where the regulator has caused some degree of asphyxiation of the environment due to its cozy relationship with the status quo players. Banks like Goldman Sachs have had digital bank Marcus for many years. JP Morgan has had Finn for some time.  Others like BNP, ING, Santander all have had digital banks for many years.  And of course, China is a banking system which no longer has cash, credit cards or checks. Hong Kong still runs on checks and taxis only accept cash.  This Big Bang we saw in April and May will be very painful for the incumbents.

HK digital bank licenses April 2019 - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

The second issue is traditional telecom services have traditionally gone through telecom trunks. Hong Kong’s vital importance to the region has been little appreciated.  It is the nerve center for much of the undersea telecom services for Asia Pacific — as much as 90%. HSBC, for instance, has relied on this for many decades to connect its vast commonwealth system.  As China decides to go its own way and disconnect from the Western systems (like Google and WhatsApp) and create a self-sustaining systems based on Alibaba and Tencent. As Hong Kong slowly morphs into a Chinese city, it is quite certain that China will not wish to remain vulnerable to a cable system open to hacking by western intel services. In this way, HSBC is very much tied to the fate of the “Five Eyes” and can no longer say its future lies in being an Asian bank. The same goes for Standard Chartered.

Given that all eight of the new digital bank entrants are either pure Chinese or have important PRC anchor tenants, this sudden burst of highly adept and highly competitive entities will surely drive down margins for all banking services within 2–3 years. This reminds me of when the PRC investment banks came into Hong Kong. Many people said they could not compete outside of China.  They said they could not go up against polished investment banks with long histories.  (I worked inside CCB Intl and from the time I got there to time I left two years later, they had gained massive experience and it was lead manager on the highly successful CITIC Securities IPO.  Within a few years of the investment banks arriving, commissions fell 50% and banking fees fell more than 50%. I predict the same will happen for traditional banking services, but it is likely to happen faster.

See:  Singapore topples United States as world’s most competitive economy

Why will traditional banking fees fall faster with the NEW PRC digital banks than when PRC investment banks caused commissions and fees to collapse in 2010-2014? Because Alibaba and Tencent, among others, invented digital banking many years ago. They have mastered online asset gathering, online SME lending, online robo-advisory, online FX transfers, online everything. And it is glued onto a cell phone that is fully integrated into the lifestyle of 1.4 billion people in ways that Hong Kong people could hardly dream of.  Banks are essentially nowhere in understanding how financial choices are a mere subset of a person’s lifestyle choices.

HK digital bank licenses May 2019 - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

The first batch of online banking services below are a smattering of Hong Kong and western entities, but they are all basically Chinese entities.  The second group announced last week are all of the major players in Asia pacific lifestyle and financial services. Let’s not forget, for instance, that Alibaba is now connected to Pay TM, Lazada, Tokopedia. And Tencent can leverage WeChat in HK online activity. This can render much of the local banking services irrelevant. I was doing some consulting three years ago with some of these incumbents and was begging them to split off online banking services with a separate entity. I also wore out my welcome with the HKMA and told them to force a big bank in digital services for the good of the local incumbents. Nothing happened for years. Now, ALL of the most adept online banking powerhouses — hungry, entrepreneurial, savvy and well funded — have come into Hong Kong virtually on the same day. God help the incumbents.  They have no one but themselves to blame for not being prepared.

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paul schulte2 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityPaul Schulte, Schulte Research
Founder and Managing Editor
Hong Kong

https://linkedin.com/in/paul-schulte/

Paul Schulte's roles in banking & financial services in the past 30 years include equity & fixed income research (buy & sell sides) in emerging markets. In recent years, technology has evolved rapidly to challenge all facets of financial services his core belief is: Liquidity & credit are everything; get bank liquidity & solvency right and the rest follows. Aside from being the founder & editor of Schulte Research, he has taught for 18 years IN MBA programs: Tufts, HK UST, HKU, LMU Hilton School in LA & SUSS in Singapore. He has also worked for the Number 1 investment bank from Switzerland, US, UK, Japan, PRC & Holland starting in 1990. Paul has been a source for the WSJ, NYT, Bloomberg, Nikkei, FT, Economist, Barron’s & Forbes. His clients include some of the largest sovereign, pension, mutual and hedge funds globally. He served as an advisor to IOSCO, ASIC, HKMA, Malaysian SFC, PRC PBOC & CBRC, Thai SEC & Indonesian OJK and Bank Indonesia.


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

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Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

Exponential Ventures | James Wallace | June 4, 2019

democratizing the people - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityIf a tree falls in the forest does anyone care?

In a recent 20 year long study at Princeton University, it was determined that the opinions of 90% of US voters have essentially zero impact on government.

For the bottom 90% of income earners, the study found that the likelihood of anything they want becoming policy, from 0% support to 100% support, is 30%. That means that if 100% of people want a certain policy there is a 30% chance of it becoming policy, and if absolutely no one wants a certain policy, there is yet again a 30% chance. Think about that for a minute. No matter what level of support,  the likelihood of it becoming public policy is always 30%.

Now, let’s investigate investment banking. In the US, more than  97% of people in America are entirely excluded from making investments in pre-IPO companies, as only accredited investors are allowed access. This statistic is similar in most developed nations and much worse in developing countries.

Additionally, of the 3% that could qualify to invest,  only 300,000 individuals and 500 firms actually invest. That means that only 0.09% of people invest in early-stage companies. And of these people, only a tiny fraction - maybe several hundred, or 0.0002% - make the investment decisions.

 

The banks only bank what’s most profitable

Only 54% of those in developing countries have bank accounts, leaving a staggering  two billion adults unbanked.  66% of Indonesia’s 250 million people are unbanked.

An equal percentage of sub-Saharan Africans have no bank account, according to the World Bank. Only  4% of people without bank accounts said they didn’t want one.  Banks unfortunately have simply not provided these underserved markets with access and services and traditionally have been very poor at dealing with underbanked economies.

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

Wayne Caines, Bermuda’s Minister of National Security (who introduced himself to me as the “Minister of Blockchain”) is committed to seeing all of the world’s unbanked, find banking services. In his former role as CEO of Digicell, the Caribbean’s largest telecommunications provider, he saw people buy and sell cellular minutes as a store of value because they could not obtain bank accounts. In Kenya, Vodafone introduced M-Pesa, an easy way to send small amounts of money over the cellular network, adding thirty million unbanked people to a payment network.

The Premier of Bermuda stated unequivocally that he was prepared to introduce any new legislation required to support fintech and its positive impact on the world. And, when the four banks in Bermuda said they would not bank digital asset based startups, he tirelessly pursued international banks, resulting in  Signature Bank of New York promising to bank Bermuda’s fintech companies. He also introduced the ICO Act and the Digital Asset Business Act to helpblockchain-based digital asset companies find the services they need from regulators, government and professional service providers.

 

Democratizing resources and affecting change

In Canada, investment crowdfunding platforms such as  Front Fundr, enable “retail investors” (i.e. non-accredited investors) to purchase shares in early-stage companies they believe in. In the UK, one-quarter of all business funding comes from investment crowdfunding platforms like  Seedrs and  crowdcube. In the US, there are several platforms that utilize “Regulation Crowdfunding” in the JOBS Act to allow startups to raise capital from the crowd.

See:  Fearless: How Technology Helps Conquer our Fear of the Unknown

New and existing technologies and changing regulatory environments globally are creating a new paradigm that is opening up antiquated, siloed capital markets, making them substantially more inclusive and transparent.  Born out of the need for change and designed ‘by the people, for the people’ using blockchain technology and digital assets, the increasing ease and ability to tokenize value has already begun to architect the new digital system, allowing the average person to significantly influence our world.

 

James Wallace - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityAbout James Wallace, Co-founder, Exponential Ventures

James Wallace works and creates like he lives life: with purpose. James values people and places, not things, thoughts and ideas, not beliefs and opinions. His default mode: Innovate, bootstrap and stay agile. To learn more, visit  wallace.vc.  Exponential Ventures is a digital asset impact fund investing in visionary founders that alleviate suffering and expand human potential with their products/services. To learn more, visit wallace.vc and exv.ai.


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

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OurCrowd Double IPO Success Provides Crowdfunding Validation

Crowdfund Insider | Andrew Dix | May 30, 2019

Jon Medved headshot - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityEarly stage investing is a risky endeavor. Everyone understands this.

Backing a startup or scale up entails shouldering more risk than buying shares in company that went public many moons ago. But along with this additional risk comes additional opportunity in creating significant capital gains and wealth.  Today, most investing wealth is achieved by purchasing equity in a company before it goes public and not afterwards. This month, a global crowdfunding platform had not one, but two companies go from private to public in a resounding validation of the platforms service as investors saw the value of their shares rise dramatically. OurCrowd is all about democratizing access to opportunity. Smaller (accredited) investors gain access to many of the same deals that big name VCs or UHNW individuals invest in. In the crowdfunding space, OurCrowd is a unique and compelling opportunity for investors willing to shoulder some additional risk for the opportunity to capture significant gain. And it is working.

See:  World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding

Two weeks ago, OurCrowd portfolio company Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) went public at a share price of $25/share and a valution well over Unicorn status. As of this writing, Beyond Meat is trading at over $70/share representing a significant increase in value for early shareholders. On Friday, May 10, another OurCrowd portfolio company - Uber, the most anticipated tech IPO in years, will go public at price of [$44 to $50] per share giving the ride sharing company a whopping valuation of [$80.53 to $91.51 billion]. In aggregate, over one hundred OurCrowd investors benefited from these successful companies. This is the type of success crowdfunding platforms have always preached about and now we have empirical proof that, given the right approach, it really can work. Speaking with OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved, he explained that the best deals get to pick who they want to invest in their company.  OurCrowd has earned that type of access:

“The only way you can compete is not by paying more, it is how you explain your value to the company after the investment. We are not just smart investors we are value added investors.”

OurCrowd portfolio map 1024x576 - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability Once OurCrowd backs a company they help the company to become a success. As each listed company includes some of their own money, or skin in the game, OurCrowd’s interests are aligned with both outside investors and the founders. OurCrowd currently holds 5 unicorns in their portfolio. Rumors indicate that more IPOs from their portfolio are in the queue for this year.

See:  Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs

Medved says their deal flow is off the charts. OurCrowd is the largest crowdfunding platform in the world at over $1 billion in commitments. These two IPOs alone make OurCrowd one of the most successful. It is hard to argue with the results exemplified by Beyond Meat and Uber. According to Medved, OurCrowd investors are very happy. The only question is what’s next for the crowdfunding platform as these IPOs will be hard to top as they have set a very high bar.

 

writer Andrew Dix 150x150 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityAndrew Dix, Co-Founder and CEO, Crowdfund Insider, the leading news and information web site covering the emerging global industry of disruptive finance including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer / marketplace lending. Recognizing the overlapping aspects of the new forms of finance, Crowdfund Insider’s coverage includes both rewards and investment-based segments of crowdfunding. The site provides extensive coverage, and industry leading perspective, from a team of staff writers and leading industry expert contributors from around the world.      

Fintech Fridays Podcast:  Crowd raising with Peter-Paul Van Hoeken


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

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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
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Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
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Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
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CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
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3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
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CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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PATIO TIME! Join the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada, Spaces, Gowling WLG, LoanConnect, FrontFundr, Exponential Ventures, CoinChange, United Craft, Highlander Brew, partners and Canada's leading Fintech & Funding community in the heart of trendy Queen West for a celebratory night and prime networking mixer. Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative investing and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to connect with emerging fintech, blockchain, crypto, AI, stealth and marketplace startups and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem. ANNUAL SUMMER KICKOFF EVENT Date:  THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019 When:  Registration opens 5:30PM to 9PM+ Venue:  SPACES, 7th Floor Loft & Rooftop Patio Where:  180 John Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1X5 TICKETS - GET'M BEFORE THEY'RE GONE! $25 Early; $35 Standard; $50 Late All tickets include entrance to private event, drinks, food, lots of fun and prime networking Taxes and fees extra. No refunds after Jul 4. Ticket transfers ok. Want to pay in Crypto?  Email us for an address info@ncfacanada.org If it rains, we're covered literally inside. Checkout photos from last year's Summer networking event here and the year prior here This event is for ...
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Fintech Fridays Episode 32: Rallying behind Bitcoin with Frederick T. Pye

NCFA Canada | May 24, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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Ep32-May 24:  Rallying behind Bitcoin with Frederick T. Pye

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST:  FREDERICK T. PYEPresident & CEO3iQ Corp (Linkedin)

BIO:  Fred kick-started his career as a precious metal and foreign exchange trader at Guardian Trust. In 1986, they were the first to list gold, silver, and platinum certificates on the Montreal Stock Exchange. Fred later joined Fidelity Investments, where he was part of a team that saw its assets rise from 85 million to over 7.5 billion. Through the launch of creative and exotic investment products, Fred started his own firm, which worked diligently with Canadian regulatory bodies to establish the first mutual fund in Canada that was allowed to take short positions. Finally, as founder and CEO of 3iQ, he and his team have worked cooperatively with the OSC for the last 2 and a half years to launch the first regulated Bitcoin fund in Canada. This fund will be the first major exchange-traded cryptocurrency fund in North America.

About this episode:  On this week's episode of NCFA's Fintech Friday Podcast, our host sits down with Frederick T. Pye from 3iQ. The chat about bitcoin trusts, ETF's and rallying behind bitcoin.  Enjoy!

 

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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 Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan: Thank you so much for sitting down today.

Frederick T. Pye: Great. Thanks for having me Manseeb.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah for sure. So, Fred for I guess the five or six audience members that may not know essentially who you are and the amazing work that you do at three IQ. Could you just give us a real quick rundown?

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah well first of all I think I'm probably one of the oldest guys in crypto so that's why most people would know me from that and I guess my claim to fame was I was part of a team back in the late 80s that took Fidelity Investments from 80 million to 7.5 billion and really put them on the map in Canada with a lot of people don't know is before that I was actually the first one to list gold silver and platinum certificates on the Montreal Stock Exchange for a way to give investment advisors to buy gold and silver and platinum for their client portfolios. And it was really funny because back in the early 80s when we're trying to do that the Securities Commission as the regulator said well hang on a second gold is speculative it's volatile. It's used for illegal purposes. And you know why it’s would not in the public interest to have gold listed on an exchange. And funny enough flash forward 30 some odd years later I'm trying to do the same by listing Bitcoin ether in somebody other digital assets on the exchanges.

Manseeb Khan: Right. That's. It's funny how times have changed. Right now, it's gold and silver are probably the most secure investment that you probably are getting to. Exactly. For a lot of the audience members that may not know  3iQ actually works with the Ontario security regulation. Fred could you just talk about your dealings with that you guys also work with not only the Ontario securities commission, but you guys are also partnered up with the Canadian securities exchange. Could you just talk about just the relationship between that, how that happened and pretty much what can the audience expect when it comes to a timeline with both partnerships?|

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah well, I would say that we've been we have been working with the Ontario Securities Commission for a few years now to get this fund to the market and it's kind of come to a head and I'll explain that in just a bit. But to give 3iQ or a bit of a background we actually started in 2012. I was working with Landry investment management we were running a global multi asset portfolio. And when you're running these global multi asset portfolios you've noticed that everything just was becoming completely correlated. So as a hedge fund manager I was always looking for perfect non correlated asset class and sure enough I fell down the rabbit hole and stumbled on it on bitcoin at the beginning of 2015 and it was shortly after then that Chris Bronski and Adam White wrote a white paper saying ringing the bell on a new asset class. And Chris I knew from Arc invest quite well and I read this white paper and I said hey now we can create a product out of it. So, we were going to just do acquire a fund that was already listed on the  Toronto Stock Exchange and de facto do an RTO and end up with a Bitcoin Fund on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2016 circa three-hundred-and-fifty-dollar price of Bitcoin. We went to those securities regulators in November of 2016 and said you know we can go in the backdoor or we can go in the front door and we'll go in the front door if you want to be first then if you love the asset class and you should move ahead and the guy by the name of John Mountain said absolutely we want to be first. We can do this we can get through all the hurdles that we have to do. So, we filed in in April of 2017 the first Bitcoin Fund to be listed on a major exchange like the Toronto Stock Exchange. All of a sudden we went back and forth two or three times just getting the custodian right getting the insurance right getting the clearing right getting all of the pieces right and then all of a sudden it hit a brick wall the fund got to hit a brick wall because Ontario created something called the launch pad. The launch pad if you read their website it says they're there to facilitate and reduce the regulatory burden to get crypto funds to the market around exactly the opposite happened. And we got thrown into regulatory hell from April 2016. We then launched a hedge fund called a Global crypto Asset Fund which is an exempt market fund. They asked us to pull back. We said Well it's an exempt market and it's not under the regulatory purview of the OSC. They said no but we as money managers are. So, Canada went the route to try and regulate money managers instead of regulating the funds which is what they should have done. And unfortunately, when you take a look at the Price Waterhouse study that comes out there's 250 asset managers running 10 billion dollars in the United States of crypto assets. In Canada you have to know you know it's absolutely silly. There were three. There were four. ROSS SMITH From Calgary a close shop. And the third one. First block capital with their bitcoin trust. We just recently purchased the bitcoin trust from first block capital, and we bought their ETF from them and First Block made an investment in  3iQ. So, we're just kind of teaming up together. But having said that after two and a half years we finally got a firm rejection and we have applied to go to a public hearing on June 3rd. So, we encourage all your listeners to look that up and come and join us at the Ontario Securities Commission and see our center to get the first bitcoin fund listed in Canada.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I think many of the audience members would be very excited to join you. And it was June 3rd. You said right. `

Frederick T. Pye: June 3rd Yeah.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. Okay cool. We'll definitely. Well we circle back when the date comes closer just to give everybody  a little bit more of a rally call. So, I want to touch a little bit. So, I'm going to put a pin in the First Block and just essentially what a bitcoin trust is. Could you guys talk a little bit more of your current initiatives right now that you have now with the dealings of the Ontario Securities Commission with First Block. So, I guess could you talk a little bit of what the current initiatives at 3iQ are.

Frederick T. Pye: So, when one First Block launched the bitcoin trust it isn't again exempt market when we say exempt market it means it's for accredited investors and that's an absolutely ridiculous component because the people that understand bitcoin are 35 or 40 years and under. And you know they don't necessarily make two hundred and fifty thousand a year for the last three years. They don't necessarily have amassed five million dollars in assets. So, you know a completely misses the audience on crypto funds. However, it's the only option we have at this time. Clients are investors such as yourself can open up an account. It's a discretionary account at 3iQ and our company is portfolio managers can buy a free RSP or your TFSA. But because First Block had the bitcoin trust we didn't launch an exempt market Bitcoin trust because we're going for a public Bitcoin Fund. Yeah. So right now, in the exempt market in meaning in the accredited investor market we have the bitcoin trust. And we also have something called the  3iQ global crypto asset fund. The Global crypto asset is 50 percent Bitcoin, 35 percent ether and 10 percent lite coin. And this fund obviously is absolutely on fire. Now I think its up 100 percent year to date. So, we're hoping that the whole crypto market settles down for a bit because 100 percent good for a 12-month return. I don't need any more this year.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah you exceeded your targets and then some.

Frederick T. Pye: So, we've exceeded our targets at 100 percent this year. But you know it gives us a bit more of a broader post. It's very low for me. I'll turn it over on how Canadians can actually purchase that and just get that off our website it says. Click on the button buy here as accredited investor or they send us a note we'll walk them through the whole process. So that's really the two products we have. We do have an ETF which is the distributed ledger technology adopter’s ETF. They weren't allowed to use block chain in their ETF. So, they use distributed ledger technology adopters. This is more of a US large cap. So, this is this will hold the people such as IBM, Apple and the rest of Amazon the people that have blockchain initiative announced public block chain initiative that fund also does very very well. So, you know we're encouraged about that can be bought under the symbol f b c n on the Toronto Stock Exchange or sorry on the neo exchange from your advisors. Mm hmm.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, you guys are coming out with a stable coin with Mavennet. Could you talk about the I guess how the partnership started. Why you guys considered creating a stable coin and what can we expect from the stable coin partners?

Frederick T. Pye: Well the stable coin is called QCAD and everything 3iQ. Well we'll produce we'll have a Q on the front of it right for the for the just audio listeners. He's actually wearing the QCAD shirt . He just stood up and showed up. Yeah. So.

Frederick T. Pye: About six months ago I noticed Tether and a few of the other stable coins started to proliferate and I started pontificating and I said you know what. The forex markets about a five trillion dollar a day trading market the single largest business and trading market in the world. But you know there's a couple of thousand crypto traders. How do we get the tens of thousands of forex traders to trade crypto and all of a sudden people needed the US dollar stable coin? So, when they were on exchanges when Bitcoin starts to fall, they were somewhere they could hide, you know they could put their accounts into a stable coin, and they could hide and wait for the next rally. Yeah. And I was looking at this and I said Well if you've now got a digital US dollar meaning a digital US stable coin if you have now a digital Canadian Dollar or digital Hong Kong dollar or a digital Japanese Yen all of a sudden the forex traders know how to trade Canadian dollars and US dollars or Japanese Yen or Hong Kong dollars trading them digitally will be very, very easy. And the distance from trading Fiat forex into digital forex or paper forex and to digital forex is not that big a jump. And therefore, once these thousands of people are trading digital forex all of a sudden, the jump from QCAD to QBTC is not very big. They can now start trading Bitcoin or any of the other digital assets right. Kesam Frank and myself wrote a white paper that's on Medium that actually shows that if you take a look at the pyramid of this unstable crypto platform on top of a very stable on top of a very stable forex base it's missing two triangles to stabilize the pyramid to take care of the rest of crypto to the moon. So, though we think that the movement you know stable coins are three and a half billion today I expect them to be 30 billion in the next three years North of 300 billion in the next five years as well. We want to play in that space. So, we're under full development right now Mavennet out of Toronto is easily one of the best blockchain developers that we've had a chance to interview and talk with. And. having said that they're also part of the Eon network and are well versed on Aon is a or an interoperable platform for all block chains to make block chains talk together so it doesn't matter where people place their stable coin at some point in time that they'll be all. Portable between different block teams.

Manseeb Khan: Right. That's really exciting we're actually Mavennet is actually going to be on the show in the next coming up episodes so definitely stay tuned for that. I guess I'll throw it now to you. I mean now that we have not now that we can now, we talked about the Ontario security commission you guys initially starting your partnership with the Canadian securities exchange. Is there anything else that you'd like to at least I guess share with the audience is there's something that we should kind of keep in mind when it comes to crypto investment funds.

Frederick T. Pye: Well you know Canada has a bunch of big challenges in Canada right now. You know you hear that the Ontario government says oh the door is wide open for fintech you know you're pushing on an open door. you know where you want to encourage fintech to Toronto. And if your regulators can't even approve a closed end bitcoin fund it's really tough for us to take them seriously that they're trying to encourage if the Ontario Securities Commission is waiting for the S.E.C. to approve an ETF in the United States they will have lost another opportunity to be a leader and to attract business to Toronto. Yeah, the S.E.C. says it's not about bitcoin it has to do with more the mechanics of how an ETF works a closed end fund with our partners. Gemini and Coinbase and Xapo and Silver Gate Banks and you know we have by far we believe the safest opportunity for Canadian investors to invest in Bitcoin. And when we take a look at something like Quadriga CSX you know where they can trace 26 million of the two hundred some odd million that disappeared how they can say with a straight face that Canada doesn't need a regulated fund is beyond me. Yes, Canada needs a regulated fund. Their job is to protect investors and understand. Now it doesn't matter in the price of bitcoin goes up or down as long as the structure is safe. And isn't going to get hacked and isn't going to get stolen and isn't going to you know be perpetrated by fraud or anything along those lines. And that's why we have these regulated managers and these rules, and you know if you can put gold in a closed end fund you certainly can put Bitcoin in the closed end fund.

Manseeb Khan: I absolutely agree with you And it goes by the circles back to what we talked about a little bit before of This is one of the many things that's going to help kind of close the gap of having all those amazing day traders kind of switch over and also switch to crypto and then that's just going to help with the mainstream adoption that we've been pretty much foaming at the mouth for years now.

Frederick T. Pye: Well if you take a look at all the great development being done out of Toronto or Montreal or for that matter and Vancouver, I wouldn't want to leave them out and Calgary. Yeah you know there's you know there's great exchanges, there great wallet systems, there are great custody platforms these people are developing. They're developing an infrastructure which is an OTC trading desk. But where's the billion dollar an asset manager behind everything that's the customer. We haven't got one. Right now, we want to be the customer. We want to be running institutional money here in Canada. And you know those top 10 hedge funds in the US have gone through Canada to all our institutions they do roadshows and take all the money south of the border. It's absolutely absurd that we can't manage that money here in Canada. Yeah. You know if we had institutional support through an asset manager or Canadian custody solutions you know we'd be running three or four billion dollars of crypto in Canada and have assets to be able to move through the ecosystem in Canada. So, it all starts off in a very simple. you know a very simple place. You just start off with one fund it goes into two funds it goes into three managers all of a sudden will have an AGF and Templeton or Mackenzie or any of these great companies you know managing crypto. But let somebody like us our chairman is Howard Atkinson who was you know former head of Horizon ETF you know  he was really one of the pioneers of ETF's in Canada. And you know him, and I work very closely with these regulators to say look you allowed us to list gold you allowed us to do ETF is actually created the first long short mutual fund in Canada back in 2000. 2000. You know it's people like us and try to do something and move they move the line they you know we're now going past our third year almost our fourth year and four and half million dollars to try and make this thing work. And so, it's an absolute killer for our small cap companies or for startup companies to try and do this. There is no reduction a regulatory burden by any stretch of the imagination.

Manseeb Khan:  I mean unfortunately this has been a pretty big theme of the podcast. Canada has been very traditionally conservative and Canada is just kind of waiting like you said they're just waiting for our brethren in the States just saying what are they going to do? what are the regulations kind of doing and not really giving an actual shot because there's such amazing talent here in Canada. I like you fired off quite a few names and quite a few amazing companies that are doing great work here the fact that they if we kind of keep them if we keep going the way that we're going now they're not going to feel secure in their own country to create a company. They're just going to go off to god knows where they can go to Malta and just kind of create the whole thing, they just start scratch from that right. So, it's starting to get pretty concerning when it comes in the shoes of these companies.

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah, we would have more success if we had set up even in New York Obviously there's bitcoin products available over the counter in the United States with GBTC, so Canadians are already buying it in their brokerage accounts. You know there's a bunch of RTO's from Ether capital to the others that that are all out there but you know the reality is people want something that's come in the front door that's regulated that is plain and simple English you know what you're buying when you when you buy it and you know that the there is a trusted party behind it and it doesn't matter whether you're a you know a to the moon Bitcoin Bull it is completely an uncorrelated asset class the movement you know with the trade problems in the United States right now with China I believe it's definitely the Chinese that are you know if you're a 30 year old in China you're moving your R and B into bitcoin because you're down 10 percent and you're you know you don't want to hold the US dollars so you're definitely buying Bitcoin and what does that do. Puts 50 percent premium on Bitcoin right off the bat.

Manseeb Khan: So yeah exactly you did touch a little on the fact that you guys are right now you guys can only operate with accredited investors the entire pull when it comes to crypto is the. Anybody and everybody you can invest into it and hopefully when it comes later down the line that and that principle still stays the same. That pretty much accredited investors and just regular investors are on the same playing field. How do you see that happening? How do you how do you see that coming into fruition.

Frederick T. Pye: Well you know there's a lot of things that have to happen a closed end Bitcoin Fund is a proxy. Or like we would own let's say we do a 10 million dollar offering there's 10 million dollars a Bitcoin we buy it and then we list that pool on the Toronto Stock Exchange so we can now buy that pool as a security. So from your discount brokerage account you can buy it in your RSP and your TFSA and it will reflect Bitcoin one for one and basically you know if bitcoin trading at seven thousand dollars the price of our fund is going to be seventy dollars so it will be a one for one out of one hundred. So, people will know what they're buying. They're buying it for thirty-two hundred dollars with their money at ten thousand So yeah. It'll be quite clear for them what they're paying for their Bitcoin. We hope to do the same with ether or any of the top 10 assets. But one thing I didn't mention is Vaneck of New York a 50-billion-dollar asset management. They own a set of series of indexes called the MVIs index is MVIS Gabor Gurbacs runs a bunch of that operation. Vaneck owns 10 percent of 3iQ. They're so convinced that we're going to win here that they've put their money behind us to help us support us and help us fight this this battle. But certainly, the minute that ETF and indexes are crypto indexes are allowed we can go to the Investor Index and we can create a dozen indexes so top 10 top 5 top 10, top 10 out of 100 , top 10 small cap top 10 large cap. We can create and again also active portfolios so we can create a whole series of products. We just have to get that first product done and then the doors will open. You know it's just sad to see that Bitcoin's had to go from three thousand three hundred to an eight thousand. The general public gets access to it. And the reality is when see are our clients are going to be stockbrokers as financial advisors. It's the advisor that understands tech. It's the advisor that understands the Internet. You know it's I watch Kevin O'Leary on the TV yesterday. He clearly has no concept of what Bitcoin is or their future or are doing and you know what. We can let those people be you know have their opinions and we're happy to let them short us all the time as much as they want on it because we'll take all their money. But definitely you know there is a growing part of the population that wants easy access through a registered or licensed investment account and that's really what we're trying to do for everyone.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah like you said when you have the first product up and out of the door then it's about to be floodgates right. Yeah right. Awesome. So, Fred with that I mean is there any last-minute tidbits you want to give us before we wrap this up.

Frederick T. Pye: No I think as I said to keep if you can do two things and tell your investment advisors you'd like to buy our funds  or get them on the platforms because we now have to work with all the brokerage firms and the banks to allow our funds on their platforms but certainly keep an eye out for 3iQ work with the OSC. And when we win then you'll see us on TV you'll see us in all the newspapers. But right now, it's funny the journalists in Canada don't follow it like they do in the United States every time. Hester Peirce or one of the people in the US say something it's covered by all the press. You know we've kind of been under the radar but it's about to go very public and kudos to you for being one of the first to bring us on.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I'm super excited to have you on and I'm excited to keep having you guys on and just pretty much rallying behind bitcoin with you guys.

Frederick T. Pye: Good. Well happy to be here.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah for sure. Fred thank you so much for sitting down with me today. And we'll be the best way for audience members to connect with you and or some of the amazing team you have behind 3iQ.

Frederick T. Pye: You will definitely go to the 3IQ.CA. We actually run a weekly blog which is the five coolest things that happen in crypto in Canada. Nice you send us a link we'll have this show. There's so linked on our Sunday or Monday blog that comes out and this will clearly be one of the coolest things that happen in crypto this week.

Manseeb Khan: So awesome. I'm super excited to make it on your blog. So.

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah go to 3iq.ca and surf around and take a look at what we're doing.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome.

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

 

End of Podcast

 

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

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CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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CDL libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
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facebook launches libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
Read More
stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
Read More
Dara Khosrowshahi CEO uber tech - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
Read More
global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PATIO TIME! Join the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada, Spaces, Gowling WLG, LoanConnect, FrontFundr, Exponential Ventures, CoinChange, United Craft, Highlander Brew, partners and Canada's leading Fintech & Funding community in the heart of trendy Queen West for a celebratory night and prime networking mixer. Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative investing and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to connect with emerging fintech, blockchain, crypto, AI, stealth and marketplace startups and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem. ANNUAL SUMMER KICKOFF EVENT Date:  THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019 When:  Registration opens 5:30PM to 9PM+ Venue:  SPACES, 7th Floor Loft & Rooftop Patio Where:  180 John Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1X5 TICKETS - GET'M BEFORE THEY'RE GONE! $25 Early; $35 Standard; $50 Late All tickets include entrance to private event, drinks, food, lots of fun and prime networking Taxes and fees extra. No refunds after Jul 4. Ticket transfers ok. Want to pay in Crypto?  Email us for an address info@ncfacanada.org If it rains, we're covered literally inside. Checkout photos from last year's Summer networking event here and the year prior here This event is for ...
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To Support Disruptive Technologies, Take Bigness Seriously

Denise Hearn | Myth of Capitalism | May 24, 2019

future start - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityShivaun Moeran and her husband Adam Raff founded one of the most promising startups you’ve never heard of.  Adam managed Europe’s supercomputers used for weather forecasting and Shivaun managed software products for General Motors. While having a cigarette outside his office one day in 2006, Adam was struck with a brilliant idea. What if you could create an online search platform to find the best price for any product? It would aggregate specific information about category verticals, and nothing like it existed at the time.

They quit their jobs, hired a team, and began beta testing. Their site, Foundem.com ranked well on Google and they were receiving a steady flow of traffic. However, a few days after the official site launch, visitors to the site disappeared and never came back.

Upon investigation, they discovered that Google had updated their search ranking algorithm and had demoted the site, so it appeared on page 4 or even 170 of search results. Foundem had effectively disappeared from the internet – blacklisted. They suspected that they had been intentionally knocked out of the market and, after speaking with other entrepreneurs who had similar experiences, filed a complaint with the European Commission. Nearly 13 years later, Google was fined 2.4 billion euros for crushing competitors and steering users to its own product search sites. This was the first of 3 big antitrust fines leveled at the company, the third coming this past March.

The story of these two entrepreneurs is representative of the challenges facing many new entrepreneurs today – they are up against concentrated and centralized power not seen since the first Gilded Age, making it very difficult to compete.

See:  Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace

Across many industries in the US and Canada, (and indeed globally), industries have become increasingly concentrated via waves of mergers and acquisitions. Many Canadians are aware of the main oligopolies of telco companies and banking. Banking is controlled by the Big 5 (TD Bank, RBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, CIBC) which would have been the Big 3 had the Competition Bureau not blocked merger proposals in 1998. And The Wireless Telecom industry in Canada is heavily concentrated, with the big three capturing an estimated 88.7% of the market between Rogers, Bell, and Telus.

But fewer are aware of how industrial concentration has seeped into nearly all areas of the economy: eyeglasses, pharmacies, grocers, retail, and even funeral services. Park Lawn Corp, Canada’s largest publicly traded funeral service provider, went from owning 9 funeral facilities in 2013 to over 149 locations by the middle of 2018. Investment strategists praise the company’s consolidation efforts because death, though unsexy, is now becoming highly profitable for shareholders.

When companies merge, they announce the great savings from “synergies” that they will share with customers.  To give you a sense of how outlandish the estimates are, the accounting firm Deloitte calculated that the announced cost savings of the current mergers boom amounted to $1.9 trillion, which is more than the entirety of Canada’s GDP. Despite the purported ‘efficiency gains’ meant to come from merging, Canadians pay some of the highest rates globally for international travel, cell phone packages, and banking services.

Wall Street earned $21 billion in merger fees last year, so there is an incentive to keep this engine running.  And the US has its sights set on Canada: outbound deals into the U.S. increased by 40% from $80.56-billion in 2017 to $112.9-billion in 2018 (USD).

This matters for fintech firms for a variety of reasons. Most crucially, it should serve as a warning. The internet was invented to avoid single points of failure and protect from nuclear attack. Yet, in 2014, nearly 50% of all internet traffic moved through the Google and Facebook universe. Today, it is closer to 70%. What was meant to be the world’s decentralized, democratized exchange of information has become beholden to two choke point companies that extract the majority of revenue value from the internet.

See:  Technology is the ‘most profound force bearing down’ on big banks, ex-Barclays boss says

Denise Hearn ffcon19 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityBlockchain-backed cryptocurrencies were invented with a similar premise of decentralization and democratization. However, Bitmain, a Chinese bitcoin mining company, is estimated to have 70 to 80% market share in bitcoin miners, earning $2.8 billion in revenue in 2018. It is unclear, more than 10 years since inception, who has benefitted most from blockchain technology as it has yet failed to significantly deliver on its most lofty claims about equitable distribution.

This is why it is increasingly important to recognize the powerful forces with incentives to re-centralize power, and to set up appropriate checks and balances via regulation and citizen engagement to support the next wave of Canadian entrepreneurs – fintech or otherwise.

For regulators and government: Tax and transfer approaches treat symptoms, not the true disease of concentrated market power and capital ownership. We need to adopt economic policies that support distributed economies that more widely disseminate power. We also need to get serious about bigness. Antitrust and merger review need a return to the forefront of political discourse, as they increasingly are in the United States. Caring about innovation means taking concentrated power seriously and supporting disruptive industries like fintech, crowdfunding, and blockchain.

Funders should change success metrics away from chasing elusive unicorns with billion dollar valuations to fostering thousands of stronger locally grown and supported companies. Yes, we want national champions, but we also want a robust network of medium-sized businesses that are sustainable and adding value to the economy that do not get swallowed by foreign giants.

Lack of competition in markets hurts consumers, workers, innovators and entrepreneurs. It leads to a host of other symptomatic ills like income inequality and, by extension, populism. As the famous US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said,

“We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

See:

The time is now to admonish incumbent oligopolists and to support challenger entrepreneurs.

Disruptive technologies will play a key role, but it is incumbent upon regulators to foster markets where everyone has a chance to compete. We all have a responsibility to help create a more equitably distributed economic future.

 

Denise Hearn, Co-Author, Myth of Capitalism, mythofcapitalism.com

Denise Hearn 200 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityDenise writes, presents, and consults on economics, systems change, and human flourishing. She has presented to over 50,000 people at venues including:  The Oxford Union, Bloomberg, a Canadian Parliamentary Standing Committee, and group homes for foster children. Things she find fun: investigating complex social and economic problems and co-creating organizational growth strategies with entrepreneurs and founders. She has done this across diverse fields: impact investing, education, the sharing economy, and macroeconomics.


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

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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
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Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
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Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
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luge capital - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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CDL libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
Read More
facebook launches libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
Read More
stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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Dara Khosrowshahi CEO uber tech - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
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global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PATIO TIME! Join the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada, Spaces, Gowling WLG, LoanConnect, FrontFundr, Exponential Ventures, CoinChange, United Craft, Highlander Brew, partners and Canada's leading Fintech & Funding community in the heart of trendy Queen West for a celebratory night and prime networking mixer. Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative investing and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to connect with emerging fintech, blockchain, crypto, AI, stealth and marketplace startups and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem. ANNUAL SUMMER KICKOFF EVENT Date:  THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019 When:  Registration opens 5:30PM to 9PM+ Venue:  SPACES, 7th Floor Loft & Rooftop Patio Where:  180 John Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1X5 TICKETS - GET'M BEFORE THEY'RE GONE! $25 Early; $35 Standard; $50 Late All tickets include entrance to private event, drinks, food, lots of fun and prime networking Taxes and fees extra. No refunds after Jul 4. Ticket transfers ok. Want to pay in Crypto?  Email us for an address info@ncfacanada.org If it rains, we're covered literally inside. Checkout photos from last year's Summer networking event here and the year prior here This event is for ...
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The Roadblocks to European Fintech Expansion

The Next Web | Radek Zaleski | May 21, 2019

european fintech expansion - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityAre Europeans really coming?

“The US market is vast. There are a lot of consumers in the US that use outdated technologies, and from that perspective we see huge potential here [in the US],” announced Nicolas Kopp, US CEO of N26, during a panel at Netguru’s Disruption Forum.

Over the past few years, the fintech industry has started to prove that it can be a driving force to disrupt the financial services sector. Banks now have serious competition from tech-forward lending companies, transfer startups, personal finance and investment apps, and non-traditional banks. The majority of this activity has come from fintech companies in Europe. Why?

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

Europe has led the charge in bridging the gap between older banking practices and rapidly advancing consumer technology. Some even estimate that these new challenger companies have taken up to one third (33%) of new revenue across the industry in Europe alone. When compared to the US, the difference is vast – the same report estimates that US fintechs have only captured just over 3% of the new revenue entering the marketplace since 2005. The world of fintechs in the US, it appears, is still in a stage of infancy.

The Power of Progressive Government

So why is the European fintech market seeing a massive wave of success, while US fintechs struggle in comparison? And why are European-based fintechs slow to expand to the US, despite the massive opportunity seen by foreign fintechs for expansion? The answer may lie in that many European fintechs are stifled by the immense regulatory differences. Dealing with regulations across the financial services industry is much more difficult in the US, and makes the prospect of expansion an intriguing, but difficult endeavor.

European fintechs have benefited immensely from two very significant changes to European Union Regulations. The first is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which in short gives EU residents more control over their personal information through an opt-in format. Released alongside GDPR is the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which gives consumers and businesses the ability to use Third Party Providers (TPP) to manage their finances. Under PSD2, banks are now required to provide Third Party Providers access to their customers’ accounts – enabling third-parties (i.e. new fintechs) to build new financial services using readily available data from banks as a foundation.

These two changes have created a massive growth opportunity for fintechs in Europe, as banks are no longer only competing with each other, but now have to take on a massive wave of digital disruptors and entrepreneurs looking to disrupt the old ways of lending, transfering, and handling finances.

See:  Open banking data tapped to speed up laundering checks

The UK has a similar regulation with its Open Banking Initiative, which provides third parties access to data from big banks. Since opening the industry to healthy competition, 63% of newcomers have taken 14% of total banking and payment revenues in the UK – an indicator that the fintech industry has its finger on the pulse of what consumers want from their financial institutions of choice.

Charters are a band-aid, but what does the future hold?

US banks also have a lot of catching up to do in comparison to their European counterparts when working with new fintech companies and startups. It’s well known that US banks are protective of their data and often times reluctant to share it with Third Party Providers. Additionally, there is no mandatory open banking model currently regulated by the US government, so it’s really up to the banks themselves to decide whether they want to be involved with up-and-coming fintechs.

Although the outdated regulatory model in the US has made it difficult for European fintechs to expand across the Atlantic, it’s still possible through a charter, or in other terms, a partnership with a domestic bank. German bank startup (and unicorn) N26 is the latest to announce plans of a US expansion through a charter with a domestic bank, planned for early-to-mid 2019.

See:  FinTech Charter Hits Speed Bump

Even with the current outdated regulatory systems and a seemingly lack of openness to fintechs in the US in general, there are still signs of a bright future. There are many examples of US financial institutions implementing blockchain and advanced AI into their business model, showing that they are not shying away from technology. Furthermore, the concept of open banking is gaining steam across the world (APAC, Africa, etc.). It’s only a matter of time before the US follows suit to keep up with the speed of the global financial services industry.

As the US financial services industry becomes open to progressive banking regulations, expect to see more of a rise in competition from european fintech counterparts as they try to establish themselves in the States.

Continue to the full article --> here


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

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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
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RegCF SEC report - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
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hunter to prey - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
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luge capital - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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CDL libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
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facebook launches libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
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stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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Dara Khosrowshahi CEO uber tech - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
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global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PATIO TIME! Join the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada, Spaces, Gowling WLG, LoanConnect, FrontFundr, Exponential Ventures, CoinChange, United Craft, Highlander Brew, partners and Canada's leading Fintech & Funding community in the heart of trendy Queen West for a celebratory night and prime networking mixer. Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative investing and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to connect with emerging fintech, blockchain, crypto, AI, stealth and marketplace startups and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem. ANNUAL SUMMER KICKOFF EVENT Date:  THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019 When:  Registration opens 5:30PM to 9PM+ Venue:  SPACES, 7th Floor Loft & Rooftop Patio Where:  180 John Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1X5 TICKETS - GET'M BEFORE THEY'RE GONE! $25 Early; $35 Standard; $50 Late All tickets include entrance to private event, drinks, food, lots of fun and prime networking Taxes and fees extra. No refunds after Jul 4. Ticket transfers ok. Want to pay in Crypto?  Email us for an address info@ncfacanada.org If it rains, we're covered literally inside. Checkout photos from last year's Summer networking event here and the year prior here This event is for ...
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NCFA Summer Kickoff Event Jul 11 v3 - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability