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Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive

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FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018

When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry.

Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company.

The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored.

Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide. These applications are so new, in fact, that at another event, Rozencwajg spotted an error on a fellow presenter’s slide deck about smart contracts and was able to help him correct it before he delivered it to the group.

Although Rozencwajg admits she’s not afraid to speak up, even when she’s the only woman in the group, she’s gotten plenty of pushback over the years that she’s worked in technology. Not this time.

“There’s an acceptance that women know their stuff,” she asserts. The newness, she explains, “puts all of us on the same level.”

The related world of cryptocurrency roils with tales of “blockchain bros.” A recent Bitcoin Conference featured just three women out of 88 speakers. Another held official conference parties at strip clubs. Yet despite the overall lopsided gender balance in crypto, according to some measures, blockchain itself–while it also tilts toward being dominated by men– events like those at SXSW this year show that it’s emerging as a space where women can get in early and change the ratio.

Not as risky as it seems

The barriers to entry are mostly about perception, according to Emilie Choi. The former vice president and head of corporate development at LinkedIn joined Coinbase in March 2018, moving from the professional networking platform’s staff of over 13,000 to a startup with less than 500. “It is intimidating for outsiders to think about the crypto world,” she says. Not only that it’s a man’s world, Choi explains, but that media coverage around price volatility of virtual currency, “and the antics of certain personalities,” reinforce the crypto/blockchain bro myth versus reality. This Choi states, is “erroneous.”

See:  Slowly but surely, women are changing fintech

At Coinbase, she says there’s a more inclusive culture than other places she’s worked. Although Choi admits the learning curve was steep early on, there was no shortage of experienced people on staff to help her get up to speed. Additionally, she notes, the executive team at Coinbase is 1/3 female. On making the leap from the more established LinkedIn, Choi maintains, “I wanted another once-in-a-lifetime experience at a tech company.” That said, she admits, “The whole goal is to serve a diverse base. If I’d known [how inclusive Coinbase was inside and out], I would have jumped in faster.”

Potential in democratization

That’s precisely what drew attorney Paroma Indilo to work with blockchain companies. A lawyer specializing in advising companies on initial coin offerings (ICO), she started getting involved two years ago after attending a conference and dipping a toe into investing in bitcoin and ethereum. “As a lawyer, I am a bit risk-averse,” she admits. But she said she spent a lot of time reading about it and learned that the blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies “had the potential to change the world economy for the better.”

The way Indilo sees it, it’s similar to the promise of the internet where everyone with access had the chance to be a participant. However, that democratization wasn’t totally realized as areas with limited access prohibited participation and the growth of large tech companies. The data created on the internet is a “huge asset essentially owned by few companies use for their own benefit,” she says. “We don’t even understand why they are doing certain things, and in many cases they hugely undermine privacy.”

But blockchain can deliver on that promise. Simply being able to send and receive money in a secure, transparent way has huge implications for both the banked and unbanked populations of the world. And it’s not just about money, Indilo contends. Opu Labs is a skincare web application built on the blockchain. It allows users to scan their faces and get analysis on skin conditions. Not only is this very personal information secure and unable to be tampered with, Indilo points out that people are getting paid to get something valuable. The platform pays you if they are sending your data to a dermatologist, but the choice is yours to share your data.

How to bring in more women?

Coming from a career culture steeped in the traditional bureaucracy and hierarchy, this approach was refreshing to Indilo. “For too long I felt like I wasn’t doing anything meaningful,” she confesses. Now, she says, she’s a passionate advocate to get more women into the mix. She’s tried to educate friends and family as well as her professional networks on the opportunities in blockchain, but Indilo says that sometimes all it takes is pointing out that she’s often the only woman in a group of men at startups. “Their consideration was on more important things like funding and skills, they aren’t thinking about gender discrepancy,” Indilo says. “But it just needs to go hand and in hand with educating the industry.”

See:  FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.3-Aug 3): Investing in Canadian Diversity with Peggy Van De Plassche, Founding Partner at Roar Ventures

Education is the primary challenge according to Susan Joseph, a cofounder and the executive director of Diversity in Blockchain. She believes the blockchain space is a reflection of the larger tech industry when it comes to gender imbalance, and that is because of lack of knowledge.

“People think they can’t do it,” Joseph contends, because it is considered a “tech” job. “You don’t need a university program in computer science,” she says. “What you need is curiosity and the ability to sift through public information.” There is plenty to do beyond coding, says Joseph, who is an attorney by trade.

She says those currently in the industry are willing to educate others and share their knowledge as long as someone asks. To encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to hop aboard the blockchain wagon, the organization is also hosting events like the one in which they partnered with the U.N.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain and 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

The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
Read More
Coinsquare moves into ETF business with two new funds
FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018 When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry. Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company. The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored. Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide ...
Read More
Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive
Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
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Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
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$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
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Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
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Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

 

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Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency

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Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018

Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency

Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy.

The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success.

See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith

“This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of the emerging digital economy.  According to the whitepaper, cryptocommodities are an essential part of a complete digital economy;

"The functional decentralized equivalent of all financial tools do not exist. Lack of these instruments is a significant contributor to the overall volatility of cryptocurrency markets. Solutions to fill these gaps are needed to forge a viable, global digital economy.”

The next stages for Incipient Industries, after the publication of the whitepaper, include the deployment of cryptocommodities and proving use cases for a carefully selected cluster of digital assets. These deployments will follow methods that are both compliant and viable. A significant influx of cryptocommodities projects that are not initiated by Incipient Industries are also expected to enter the market following the publication of the whitepaper.

The whitepaper is available for download at the Incipient Industries website as well as other platforms where Incipient Industries has a presence.

White paper intro:

The purpose of this document is to explain the implementation and purpose of a cryptocommodity.  This document will explain what a cryptocommodity  is and outline the necessary considerations for a functional ecosystem. The ecosystem is intended to support a single type of cryptocommodity  using a predefined underlying resource. This ecosystem is designed to be replicable to enable expansion and reusability for other underlying resource quantities and types.  Regulatory or legal structure is beyond the scope of this document. Elements of a cryptocommodity  implementation will likely reach beyond a single territory so regulatory and legal structures are based on the jurisdiction of the deployment logistics.  This document is intended to be “resource-neutral”, meaning that knowing the nature of the underlying resource used in the creation of the cryptocommodity  is not required for understanding the information presented.  This document is “platform-neutral”  with regard to technology solutions. The technology platform options are specific to deployment logistics and are not necessary for understanding the information presented.  The examples provided contain elements that are interchangeable. Parts that are specific to cryptocurrency deployment are also replicable and potentially interchangeable.

Download the 12pg whitepaper (PDF) --> here

###

About Incipient Industries Inc.:

Incipient Industries is a company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Incipient Industries has been involved with many pioneering cryptocurrency initiatives and continues to create innovative solutions for the cryptocurrency industry. The company website is http://incipient.ca.  Steven Dryall is the CEO of Incipient Industries and Co-founder of Nikola Tesla Unite Ltd. He is also co-author of The WealthTECH Book, published by Wiley, and a lecturer for The FinTECH Circle Institute. He can be followed on Twitter at @SDryall

 

 


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 and 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

The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
Read More
Coinsquare moves into ETF business with two new funds
FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018 When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry. Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company. The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored. Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide ...
Read More
Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive
Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
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Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

 

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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

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Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018

A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money.

Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets.

Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price.

“I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.”

The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as the Adelaide Hotel Toronto, and will be rebranded the St. Regis once a renovation is complete. Residences in the building are owned by JCF Capital ULC.

See:  $57.9B deployed into fintech so far this year, Canada one to watch

Di Iorio got into the cryptocurrency craze on the ground floor as a co-founder of Ethereum. He was active in Toronto’s early blockchain community and was on the initial team that put together Ethereum, now the leading alternative to the Bitcoin platform. Ether, the currency that runs on Ethereum, now has a market value of around $50 billion compared with Bitcoin’s $115 billion. Di Iorio now runs Decentral, an “innovation hub’ in Toronto focused on blockchain projects. It’s the creator of the popular cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
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Q&A with New Industry Partner Mathieu Glaude, CEO and Co-founder of Northern Block

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NCFA Canada | Sep 11, 2018

Industry partners are the cornerstone of all NCFA industry building initiatives and programs.  As such, we're thrilled to announce NCFAs newest industry partner, Northern Block, a leading blockchain technology development firm based in Toronto who is building next generation blockchain ventures.  Below is the transcript of an interview that NCFA Founding CEO, Craig Asano, recently held with the CEO and Co-founder of Northern Block, Mathieu Glaude:

NCFA: Can you tell me about yourself and about Northern Block?

Mathieu Glaude, CEO, Co-founder, Northern Block

Mathieu:  Hi, my name is Mathieu Glaude. I’m the CEO of Northern Block, a blockchain product development firm. I’ve always had a curiosity for emerging technologies and would definitely consider myself an early adopter. While working at Capital One Bank, I had the opportunity to be involved in many large projects that involved building scalable solutions leveraging microservice architectures, which in turn allowed me to dabble with big data and AI components in order to tailor servicing experiences to the customer. I had had some coding experiences but found myself really enjoying product management.  Being able to see a product go from ideation phase to being complete and used by actual customers felt very rewarding, and I enjoyed working horizontally across the business with various teams to execute on projects. While still at Capital One, I found out about blockchain technologies. It started with reading about it, then going out to networking events almost every day to learn more; you know, the common blockchain/crypto rabbit hole story.

 

I had never been more excited about a technological innovation and felt a calling to dedicate myself to it and help move the needle. Knowing I could use my product development background to build software in the blockchain space, I quit my job and founded Northern Block.

 

NCFA: Can you provide an overview of Northern Block’s growth to date and future roadmap?

Mathieu:  When my co-founder Sasha and myself founded the company, our goal was to build a blockchain-focused service company. We both noticed a high demand for projects, but a lack of firms in the space that were capable of executing. Although we had some visions for products at the time, we decided the service model would be ideal to gain an insightful perspective on the landscape, while continuing to learn and ramp up on the technology itself. It also of course allowed us to generate sustainable cash flow to grow our business! We got into the space in the middle of a hype cycle so we saw lots of investments being made and companies growing at rapid paces. We stuck to our plan and built a solid foundation. We’ve been tremendously lucky with the team that’s joined Northern Block. Every individual brings a passion and knowledge about blockchain that helps set us apart from other development firms.

 

NCFA: What type of clients do you work with?  What industries are ripe for disruption and the leading use cases out there today?

Mathieu:  The most important thing for us when choosing a client is their openness to learn and think outside of the box. With blockchain technologies, we’re not really changing processes by creating efficiencies, we’re radically flipping business models upside down. Being able to take a step back and accepting that the way things are done today are not the only way they can be done are a great first step. We’re in the game of building decentralized products that return data ownership rights to the users.

When we first started out, we built many proof-of-concept applications for larger enterprise clients. They often have innovation budgets to toy around with new technologies and they definitely understand the impact that blockchain can have in their industries. They definitely have an appetite to build proof-of-concepts. However, coming from a large enterprise, we realize how difficult it is to aggressively move innovative projects out of a sandbox environment and test with some of their real users. There’s lots of barriers in these companies for various reasons, maybe a topic for another discussion.

We began to believe that the true innovation would happen outside of the larger companies, similar to what you saw and are seeing in the fintech space. It starts outside and eventually there is market consolidation.

"We switched our focus at small to medium sized businesses who already have a successful business model with a client base. These businesses realize that their industries are ripe for disruption and they want to be at the forefront of it."

We don’t target specific industries, although our track record shows we’ve done lots of work in the financial space. We enjoy working across diverse industries because it allows us to come up with innovations we never would have thought about if we hadn’t had those experiences. As long as we know we’re ultimately going to create value for the end user and the client sees that as well, we’re willing to dip our toes in a new space. We’ve worked with all sorts of clients. Their businesses range from payment remittances, to supply chain tracking, to digital identity, to tracking the provenance of firearms. All over the place!

Tune in:  FINTECH FRIDAY$ immerse yourself in a Storytelling journey every Friday - Join the conversation!

NCFA: What excites you when you arrive at work each day (and what’s the most challenging part of the job)?

Mathieu:  Definitely the drive and passion of the twenty or so people on our team. Everyone continuously pushes themselves to learn new things so we can gain an edge in how we architect our solutions. I learn from them every day. The teams are self-organizing and are able to create value to our clients directly. Everyone has so much potential, and all we want to do is help them achieve their career goals.

As for the most challenging aspect of the job, it definitely has to do with learning as well. Running a business has its own challenges and ensuring that the products we’re building are built in a way that allows for scale is challenging on its own. At the same time, it’s important for us to still find time to read, explore, and learn new things. The space that we’re in is evolving so fast and to stay ahead of the curb, we need to ensure we’re continually learning.

NCFA:  Do you think the market is overhyped and if so why or why not?  Let’s talk about in production versus smoke and mirrors.

Mathieu:  We’re in an interesting phase in the market right now. Last year we saw tremendous growth in the overall crypto market as everyone and their mother was hopping into an ICO to raise money for their project that promised to ‘revolutionize’ a certain industry. We’re now seeing that most of these projects aren’t meeting their goals and falling apart. It has caused the whole market to turn bear over the past nine months, and we’re seeing less noise. We actually like this because it takes people’s minds away from thinking about making a quick buck off of crypto trading, and more about truly building products that solve real-world problems. I personally still think the market is still a bit over valued at the moment, even with the prices falling this year. The other day I had a look at CoinMarketCap, and noticed that there are still more than fifty projects valued over a hundred million US dollars. Those numbers are over inflated if you examine how much value they’re actually creating. Mind you, there are some very interesting projects that we’re excited about, but in full honesty, no one has delivered near enough value to the ecosystem to justify those valuations.

 

NCFA: What’s your crystal ball on the future of blockchain technology?

Mathieu:  We’re obviously very bullish on the whole space, which is why we’re here. We think that we’re going to see a random industry that no one is thinking about get completely disrupted by blockchain technologies, and this will tip the domino. We think that many use cases have not yet been identified because we haven’t learned enough from experiments to see what is possible.

"We think that interoperability between blockchains is going to play a big part in scaling solutions. When you look at it, you realize that not every computation in a solution needs to be run on a specific blockchain, or a blockchain at all. When you break down the problems you’re trying to solve for, you realize that maybe one blockchain is suitable for running smart contracts, but another one is better for holding value, or privacy of data, etc. We think that we’ll start seeing more hybrid blockchain implementations of solutions."

Everything is still a huge experiment.

 

NCFA: Last question, if you could choose anything else to do, what would it be?

Mathieu:  I would have loved to be a professional hockey player but that ship has sailed. Maybe I could still be a fighter? Actually, there’s almost no more fighting in hockey so maybe I’m better off here.

 

NCFA:  thanks so much for your time and support Mathieu, we look forward to working together.

Mathieu:  ditto!


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
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Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.7-Aug 31): How to Structure an ICO and the Mind of a Fintech-preneur with Gary Schwartz of Pegasus Fintech Inc.

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NCFA Canada | Aug 31, 2018

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP7-Aug 31):  How to Structure an ICO and the Mind of a Fintech-preneur

About this episode: This week our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Gary Schwartz the Managing Director of Pegasus Fintech Inc.. They covered how to structure an ICO, to surgary donuts , and impacting investing. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Gary Schwartz, Managing Director, Pegasus Fintech Inc.

Over the past 20 years, Gary has played a leadership role in the high-tech industry founding, investing and managing a number of companies in the health, marketing, social media, automotive and financial sectors.  He is a six-time recipient of the Deloitte Fast 50 Award and was recognized as the "2013 Mobile Commerce Evangelist of the Year" and "2014 US Retail Innovator of the Year."  Gary is a Simon & Schuster NYC author with titles that include "THE IMPULSE ECONOMY," "FAST SHOPPER, SLOW STORE" and is presently writing a book on the AI called "IF THINGS COULD SPEAK."  He is president of the Canadian Lenders Association and Managing Director of Pegasus Fintech. Gary is alumnus of Columbia University in New York and the Stanford University Center in Yokohama, where he was the recipient of the Asia and Japan Foundation Fellowships.

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges!

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

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here


Transcription of Interview

Manseeb Khan: Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here and you are tuning into the Fintech FRIDAY podcast today I have an incredible guest. You may have heard of them before I got from Pegasus fintech. If you haven't seen any news blog post on Medium or if you haven't seen any of his stuff on LinkedIn, you are truly missing out It's an absolute goldmine of information.  Gary thank you so much for making it here.

Gary Schwartz: Thanks for having me I appreciate you inviting me on.

Manseeb Khan: No absolutely. So, I guess for the audience could you just give a minute of who you are, and a little bit of what Pegasus is?

Gary Schwartz: Sure. So, I'm you know I'm a fin-tech guy. I've been in space for 25 years as an entrepreneur. Right. So, I've started a number of companies in the space everything from obviously fin-tech through to health-tech, Mar-tech, ad-tech, social-tech etc. You know starting them as baby upstarts in the garage and taking them through to exit.  So that's what I do. And its sort of a natural progression that the block chain space is hugely attractive for an entrepreneur because it facilitates the growth of the business in a very aggressive fashion. And a Pegasus was conceived of about a year back with a bunch of folks with different skill sets that go together to accelerate incredible use cases on a block chain. And we will bring different skill sets the table our CEO headed up blockchain for Accenture in the valley. She did all the due diligence on Ripple, she comes with a wealth of information and insights into you know framework and governance and other team members you know focus on structure and compliance. And you know I'm the soapbox guy works on strategy and positioning and we've got amazing team and we work with companies all around the world in accelerating the use case and driving their capital formation goals.

Manseeb Khan: That's incredible. Could you. So, speaking of Ripple could you I guess deep dive a little bit and talk about the difference between a crypto investor compared to the regular traditional street investor?

Gary Schwartz: I think that's what really, we're all grappling with right now is you know the crypto community is evangelist community they're very different from what we would treat up as the incumbent investor. They serve the anti-investor right. So, you look at them as sort of a little bit libertarian you know wild west posse guys that at least out of the gates in the 90s that that was birthing ground up of you know what we now know as a block chain. It was very much of zip drive and shotgun under the pillow. You know very anti-establishment which is fantastic right, because that's the root of what we know as a block chain and that the first currencies that came out like Bitcoin,

Gary Schwartz: right? But when you're an incumbent investor you look at and it is incredibly scary right. There’s not the structure that you expect of as a traditional mainstream investor. At Pegasus look at this. You know we talk about you know we have this analogy where we talk about there's a mountain right in it and it's sitting right smack in the middle of this marketplace. On one side of the marketplace you get these crypto bugs on the other side the marketplace you get your incumbent investors in street and they really can't see each other and they just they look across and on one side they think of you know incumbent investors look across and go. Oh, it's a wild west I don't want to touch it. And then the crypto investors look across the street and think of them you know think of the street as dinosaurs. Right our job is to tunnel a hole between these two sides. Really when you think about it the crypto community know that they need more structure. They know that they need things that the Street has nailed the street wants to you know take advantage of this new marketplace with this fluidity the opportunities that are obviously in this new more fluid marketplace.

Gary Schwartz: So, the whole goal is to really get the vernacular consistent across both sides and get the things in place. So that you know what the crypto community self-policed now becomes more what the street sees as compliance and so that whole structure and nomenclature around compliance you know for the street to know that there is they are investing in something that's the security that they're holding provisions. that that people aren't taking their, you know cash out early and leaving the other investors you know holding the bag. The early days of folk taking their money and buying Lambo's I think is gone. The two sides are meeting. What I find so interesting about community is libertarian the crypto community is very much what I refer to as a ME and WE marketplace. So, they like the street they care about making profit. They care about you know doing well with their investments. And so that's the ME. You know what's in it for me. But isn't there it much. I think a huge group of individuals that care about the we. What does this mean to the global economy? What does this mean to the future of the marketplaces?

What does this mean to the environment? What is this an impact investment, or do you think of this as my analogy is sort of like you know it's a sugary doughnut right. So, you have sugar on one side you know the me, you want the sugar on the other side. But there's a big hole in middle and the hole in the middle is great because these guys don't want the middle. They don't want government banks, multinationals. they want that minimize. Now that that story is great and if it's optimized it creates huge opportunities for incumbent investors to come in and appeal to me. create a me scenarios that they know how to do. You know how to take advantage? How to drive liquidity and a website? What are the models for the new economy? models that will really not just make the middle fatter but actually get to the end constituents the people that really need their cash to drive their businesses, to drive their services. So, it's huge. Advantages to this new economy and we just have to make sure that the incumbents street you know sees how they can play safely.

Manseeb Khan: I absolutely agree with you. I think it should be interesting to see how regulation and institutions come in and build that bridge between crypto investors and Street investors.

Gary Schwartz: the boat slipped the harbor it's not just S.E.C. throwing out subpoenas. it's guys proactively understanding that they need to work within the structures that are out there. so, you know security is a security is a security. Yes, a utility token is not a security, but it still needs to be on a compliant exchange. It needs to drive liquidity and therefore needs to be on the exchange which can manage that to the highest possible standards the marketplace.

Manseeb Khan: I know that you focus on market use cases right. So, what is a key use case for most ICOs that you're seeing?

Gary Schwartz: Yes, you know there's such exciting stories out there of companies that are trying to solve. Using the blocking and we read about them every day. for me I want to get back to you know fundamentals. One of my partners says there's no fun in fundamentals but I personally think that fundamentals are the most fun because people understand them. They will invest in them. So, for me the block chain the biggest use case the block chain is capital formation and as you guys you know as national crowdfunding and FinTech association, you understand the need you know how hard, it is to drive you know capital engagement marketplace. how to create that market that you can get investors to come in and support your ideas like go back to Bill Clinton's campaign. You know I remember James Carville you know who his campaign strategist was.  He coined the expression which was “the economy stupid”. that was getting back to fundamentals. Dude it's about the economy. I like to sometimes just turn off the hype on the block chain and say what the block chain does fundamentally is allows for crowd sales structure globally sort of structure allows for capital formation. That is the underpinning of most businesses that are out there and that's what they need to establish as a bulkhead no matter what. There is no specific dynamic you use cases on the block chain an ICO is about driving engagement around the investor community and around participants.

And why is that so exciting. You guys get this at the NCFA is that a crowd sale or you know reaching what we call a democratized audience has two goals right. One is you're going out to a global community and say invest in me. Right. Here's the value proposition. Here's my white paper. Here's my OM. Here's my you know almost prospectus style document and I want you to invest in me. At the same time because you not going to 100 people to give you a million bucks. You're going to a million people to give you a hundred bucks. You're building a loyalty network of folks that believe in your solution and will use your solutions. The whole crowd sale process and the capital formation process is also a way of evangelizing your solution to the marketplace and creating a network effect and ultimately the investor piece. And you know loyalty to your specific solution and new technology is like the Met cafe network effect right. The more people you get in the more successful you're going to be. And that's why we at Pegasus we like B2B to B2C models because it's exponential growth right you're going from a business to another business that has a community of interest and they are amplifying your use case. So, we love that network effect because it drives investment and it drives and loyal supporters of your solution.

Manseeb Khan: The fundamentals are really like that because there is a lot of hype behind Crypto and there's a lot of hype behind any ICO that you're seeing that up and coming and it's like OK well what does it actually do. how is this going to be an integral part of the block chain.

Gary Schwartz: more fundamentally how is this make money. Exactly. Absolutely right. Explain to me how I am going to get a security token a return and a utility token how is it going to drive scarcity and value in the market explain to me from a fundamentals perspective what is the team? What is the solution? How are you going to make money? who are the initial investors and how is this going to drive democratized flood of investors to the table? What's your long-term strategy? At the end of the day a company that is not going to make it raising capital through traditional means is probably not going to make it on the block chain. block chain not a place you can hide. It's just a way of accelerating a good business use case and that's exciting.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. No, I absolutely agree with you I think because of block chain and everybody's kind of getting exposed is a lot of light being shed and there's slim to none that you can really hide when it comes to starting a crypto, starting a block chain company. Could you talk about regulation and could this be the answer for instability and unpredictability?

Gary Schwartz: When we started Pegasus think a lot of people sort of looked at us the cross-eyed and said What the hell are you doing. I mean the whole beauty of the block chain is there's no regulation. What are you doing talking about regulation? what are you talking doing talking about compliance? And we stayed the course and really 2018, 2019 what we evangelize is become common practice you know an ICO is a new asset class in the marketplace. it's different as it is not unlike a stock you don't have an equity position. It's more like an investment in future success of the company right. But we know whether it be a security token. Looking at the value of that token it's a utility token you're looking for potentially scarcity as a play and demand that utility that will drive up the value. but ultimately the asset cost must be treated. in a way that will drive confidence in the marketplace. If it's a security or treated a security if it's an it's utility you still must treat it as a compliant play. And so, regulation is not only a good idea. It's a central component to the ecosystem. that oversight is there to protect all players. Right. And regulation. Yes, it does potentially slow down certain components of the process, but it also speeds up liquidity and it allows you know feel confident in what they do because there have been bad actors right there. There's no doubt. And so how do you navigate this marketplace?

Gary Schwartz: How do you know that you're swimming in a pond that is that you can feel confident? that the company and the stakeholders are a you know a kosher and that you're not going to get screwed. That's the regulation is important and it's one of our pillars, right? The key is balance because that's So to foster the libertarian values, the block chain you want to drive that fluidity. But you know a little bit of KYC upfront. a little AML making sure that you're on the right exchange. Make sure that you've done the right due diligence on the team that they passed they perps. All these things are fundamentals. These are fundamentals and running a company and the block chain doesn't change that.

Manseeb Khan: I absolutely agree with you the touch a little bit on liquidity right is it crucial for crypto investors to consider liquidity?

Gary Schwartz: Oh yes, I mean you know at the end of the day especially if you're holding a security look how do you make money right. You buy something, you hope that it has increased the value. you hope you get some yield on it some dividend. You hope that whatever you buy grows in value. you believe the business you believe in the marketplace but that value you know even if you have a hard luck mentality and you want to hold that as a crypto gold at some point you've got to pay your bills. at some point.

You want to cash out at some point you want to say look I made you know 200 percent, maybe 300 percent or a thousand percent on my investment. I want to cash out so liquidity with the structure that facilitates. liquidity is essential to consider and essential to offer your community. And so, when you run a nice ICO, you have to put it on an exchange which allows for that liquidity and so there are tons of compliant exchanges that are coming on line. that we work with very closely is the GBX the Gibraltar block chain exchange. which is a utility exchange it's a peer to peer exchange. which is a compliant exchange and we one of the sponsors to that exchange. So, we use that exchange as a marketplace for a number of our ICOs. We do the due diligence, we position them and we on board them onto the exchange because that exchange now allows for that token to trade, to grow in value for the investor or the participant in the situation. to have some sort of approach to value and to exit that value. into other investments or interfere. The World Goes Around everybody's happy right.

Manseeb Khan: No, I totally agree with it. How can I make money right? If I'm going to invest in a coin and I can pull out.

Gary Schwartz: Yeah, I mean to ultimately again as Bill Clinton quote it's about the economy stupid right. It's about how do I get my money right. My money's valuable.

Manseeb Khan: Exactly right. Tell me a little about, some of the ICO's that you're watching and some of the technologies that you are kind of keeping your eye on.

Gary Schwartz: I'm sure you stay all day and talk about all the different ones that I find interesting, but I'll tell mention maybe a few that are from different verticals that I'm excited about with we are participating in as an accelerator. is one technological cabin network cabin spelled K A B N, KABN.network a very exciting play.  For me sometimes you know the gold rush you have to look at the picks and shovels and the KABN is a great play because it is again a fundamental technology .it allows in a very innovative way in the market to grow to accelerate compliance by facilitating KYC AML. So what it does is it allows participants token sale to come in to go through the compliance checks to verify their documentation in an active way , in a bank grade way.  Not only do that only do what's so they hold the registry on the block chain which allows hundreds of thousands if not millions of Accredited Investors to come in do a check and then all ICO has to do is go in and ping the registry and they are either compliant or not. So instead of a lot of the solutions out there focus on doing a sovereign identity check of the consumer. We do it once and put it in a registry so that again you can come back time and time again. And it allows for and facilitates the speed that we need in this marketplace. So that’s a great technology because it's facilitating business as usual in the block chain space. There's another company that is Europe that other working on which is called GEON, geon.network which is a location-based marketing solution. Basically, it allows brands and retailers to mint and mined coins to drive their brand objectives. so, to drive people into their store, to reward people based on being in a certain place and for that again business as usual. we've been using location as a way of driving value for brands for a long time. But there's no way of doing it with a block chain layer. So, these guys allow brands to participate in a block chain to mint and mine their own coins and to reward their customers using a blockchain currency.

There is another company called mortgage blox, B l o x which is again this is such a fundamental business. hey, we will raise capital to invest in real estate. Well here's a 200-million-dollar pool, that is has me tokenize. so instead of going to one or two or 100 investors. you can go to thousands of Accredited Investors and pool those funds. So again, a fantastic use of capital formation. a company which is a spinoff from a hard fork of a ripple called Yaka labs and we're doing a lot of consulting with them in the valley. Another great use case because what they are trying to do is use the ripple backend to create a new coin and you transactional economy for certain global marketplaces. I mean there's so many fun and powerful use cases again you know as an investor and as an accelerator. we look for great teams we look for are really good business plans that we can see how they can generate revenue. how they can scale? how they're going to use network to scale and we know that with those fundamentals and with the compliance that we throw into these deals. we can help them reach the marketplace and hit their capital formation goals. So you know maybe one thing I'll mention because it's come up recently is people think that a lot of use cases out there are frivolous and some of them have had a lot of attention over the last few months sort of waned in participation and a lot of people are sort of nay saying the block chain and I refer to one because it was just put up this week which is crypto kitties basically this collectible game where people collected literally Kitty's.  They used ERC 721 which is basically an Ethereum coin which has certain attributes to allow it to be a collectible, but you know maybe people lost interest in collecting kitties. But the whole idea of digital collectibles is a phenomenal use case. Oh my gosh. You know the Pokémon and on steroids. the opportunity for sports and for music to use this as a new currency to engage with the fans is phenomenal. When you look at something like crypto kitties you don't want to look myopically these things in the actual content use case may have failed but the underpinnings of the technology. the underpinnings of what it can do globally to drive engagement and to make money for Marketplaces that had a hard time raising money on their base. like music, sports need to accelerate the way that it drives mech because cannibalized by fraudulent merchant you can't control that. suddenly these immutable structures like ERC 721 there going to change the way business works substantially. so, I'm hugely excited and so many use cases are out there right now.

Manseeb Khan: I love it. I think the GEON one's very interesting the location-based marketing is very interesting it’s that in Toronto probably is not going to work in San Francisco because San Francisco has a sort of culture of what have you compared to Toronto so that I like that one.

Gary Schwartz People don't change the way run businesses, the way we see value doesn't change the mechanisms for allowing us to make money on that. The structures change my background is more about technology, so I made a lot of money on SMS estimates gave birth to ringtones as a content phenomenon ringtone if you remember them were just a little smidgen of a song.  I mean it was it was ridiculous. Songs were to be downloaded for free on Napster, but you had a pay 5 bucks for a few seconds of a cannibalized version of a course Why. Because they were a business model, around the a closed network which was telecom provider and the OEM the handset will because their business model.  There were billions of dollars of wealth created around the world. well the blockades the same, block chain is another mechanism to create value and create a new distribution mechanism around that. So, if you can create a mutable asset, asset class like ERC 721 you can really exploit that and make you know copious amounts .value in that new model but it's the same business it's the same. at the end of the day we're still humans. we have the same motivations.

Manseeb Khan: I absolutely agree with you. It's like Pokémon way back when and then when Pokémon go came back the exact same thing Could you tell the audience a little bit more about block chain what should we focus on?

Gary Schwartz: One of the big things that people chat about is that the technology will not scale that sort of like you know a one to one panel that every single blocking conference that I go onto. You know it's not scalable.

Gary Schwartz: You know look at Ethereum and look at Bitcoin. Bitcoin 10 transactions a second, Ethereum 25 transactions a second and then everybody turns around and looks at VISA these and says oh well they have a peak transaction rate of 65000 transactions per second. You know we'll never get it. And I've always said you know this is the Internet back in the late 90's your dial up modems and you have these primitive browsers and you have to try and explain it to your mother and she didn't know what the hell you were talking about Nothing new. This is just another wave of technology, which we all know is accelerating much faster than internet.

You know I like to look at you know the advances that we've made even in the last year like your proof of work networks like block chain like Ethereum through there hashing process. It's how they achieve the desired difficulty, through the random number hashing it is a very slow process. And we know that’s not optimal, you know sustainable in network model, but you have new chains like Solana that work fundamentally differently they work by starting with a random hash value and then hashing from the prior hash value which basically makes it much faster to get to consensus right. Guys like that say at least that they can you know do upwards of you know 700,000 transactions per second. You know that's phenomenal. And if they can do that and then they put Visa and MasterCard networks to shame. Right. So, the technology will scale.  And because we have so many smart people that are focused on making this work. because it's a trust-less economy because it's open and it's an open source economy. You have so many people incentivized to make it better and work to make it better. I think that's a crucial piece. You know to throw out there to the audience.  I mean what else to say. I mean we all know that that a lot of people think bitcoin is block chain, but we know that that not the case that block chain is powering bitcoin and fundamentally block chain is an enabler for so many other technologies  But you know ultimately a distributed ledger technology has so much power in solutioning and we've talked about some of the solutions earlier. Scales for me I think is the big one to nail because those are where all the naysayers go whenever they talk about the block chain.

Manseeb Khan: A lot of people may have heard of it in the news. I know I've seen a couple articles here and there Could you talk a little bit more of what impact investors are. And I guess a little bit why it's important to you?

Gary Schwartz: impact investment that's a little bit like me and we thing. it's more the we like. What are we doing here? What are the businesses we're creating?

Gary Schwartz: How is it having impact on our world. How is it having impact on to better our economy to drive sustainability to drive. You know empowerment for women and all those things. Those are crucial, and I think very passionate goals of a lot of people in the block chain give me some examples of how this is going down, but I was born in Africa. I was born in a small country called Zambia. And if you look at those economies and you look at Africa I mean they there is so much graft, there is so much corruption. Money doesn't get where it needs to go and even if it gets there the process is also cumbersome. And there's no transparency, there is no efficiency in a lot of the solution in the block chain really can make a difference it can it can help. And this is not just Africa, but it can help with you know security and transparency and voting. You know which a big thing is obviously globally. Voting fraud and optimizing that process Accessing ownership of data, medical data. how do you in a lot of these places. There's no I.D. So how do you identify somebody. How do you create some sovereign wallet which with? which can hold their personal information, so that they can get information, can be connected to them in a more efficient way. Obviously, land is a big thing in Africa. So, the reliability, reliable secure you know a land registry are essential. And then you know the whole idea of managing money.

Your audience knows about M-Pesa and other payments. But in Africa you can use your phone to transfer money through SMS is called M-Pesa. And again, a primitive solution that is solved so many problems for the continent. Well those a digital wallet using and M-Pesa. Now can it can be a distributed ledger. So that not only are you using your phone to move money, but you're moving money which is tokenized. which can be controlled in such a way that it doesn't end up as graft it gets directly to a farmer. The farmer uses that. that it doesn't get affected by the vicissitudes of the local currency. This is exciting stuff and it empowers women because it gets to farmers which are much part of you know women in market place that's just an example from Africa. But this is happening all over the world. We're optimizing urban cities, we're creating solutioning around and micro loans. A guy I know in Berkeley in the U.S. is trying to put together a solution to solve for solutioning around a municipalities in Berkeley. looking at bonds optimizing process you see taking out the guns the existing solution and getting more money to the end recipient. So, to all these that this stuff is part of this new economy. The distributed ledgers allow for optimization of certain business processes and transparency. And so, it's a brave new world it's very exciting.

So, imagine using remittance services to send money from one country to another. you have to go to a money market. You have to pay a service fee. first, you must take a time of your day to go somewhere. Physically you must send money with the fee. It takes a long time to get to the end. The other person must go to the next town potentially to pick it up. They pay there's their exchange rates. It's an it's a mess.so this time and there's capital impact. well if you using the you know the block chain as a remittance service. That huge efficiencies because It's instantaneous. There are fewer hands in between two to take fees and you don't have the same issues with the arbitrage on currencies and so you don't get dinged on the FX. So those exciting things that we all know need to change and are changing as we speak.

Manseeb Khan: I absolutely agree with it. So, to wrap this up Gary could you give us some tips on an ICO structure.

Gary Schwartz: No absolutely. I mean that's sort of I guess that's a really good way of summing up because really you know all of this comes down to running a good initial coin offering. We talked about a lot of those elements compliance make sure the team your team, it's a good business model. It's a good block chain use case. There's a market for that use case that that you put it you structured in such a way that there's liquidity for investors. All those things are key. But we maybe one of the things I'll leave you with then is to talk about. difference maybe between what I would run as a startup and how the block chain and for me. When I run startups the last 20 years I never really care too much about the advisor. A quick cohort around me it was all about my core team. But with a block chain thing are different and this is one thing that strikes me is when somebody at least when you're a Crypto investor and investing in an ICO. You know they may read the white paper they'll probably actually just read summary, but they look for certain shorthand due diligence when they when they are looking at an ICO.

And one of the things that they look at and they there's a lot of scrutiny on is the advisers that you have in your ICO. And it's interesting for me because yes, it's important to have advisers is no doubt and to have you know good people around you in any business no doubt. But for some reason in the ICO world because this is a global economy. People are moving very fast on decisioning they are looking at who's in it now. who is advancing things initially you would look at early investors in ICO that would be then advisers to the ICO as a shorthand way of seeing a credible and investing with them. But now you know I think there's a bit of maturity now. You're looking for advisers who explain your business that they come from the vertical that you pushing into. and that that's all good. But it is important to build, narrative around those advisers. so that when somebody comes to your ICO and they and they are paging down and they see the description of the business and they see that is they read.

Again, the probably the summary the white paper and they go through things and they get to the advisers. It needs to tell a story and it needs to tell a story that it really screams credibility. It shows that that you have stakeholders in there that not just stakeholders that have invested in you but that are known in the investor community it can be which is obviously very important. But also, people who understand your business and having them attached to your business really speaks to the credibility of your business. So, for example if you have a location-based marketing know arena. you'd want to have people in there that really can talk to and brand engagement. If you're in the payments base in the identity space like KABN you want to make sure that you have people in there have a background in identity in record management, in payments from the incumbent world that speak to the fact that that you nailed this. that's probably one thing that I think we all know it's important. But I think it's probably one of the most important things in fashioning your narrative to the marketplace.

Gary Schwartz: we could speak for hours but this kind of cool and we touched on some fun things and hopefully you'll invite me back and we can take a deep dive into some other areas.

Manseeb Khan: Oh no I can't wait. I'm so excited for that they are a sponge. I want to learn as much as I can. ` from amazing people like an industry. So, Gary thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Manseeb Khan: This has been an amazing time. I learn tons I'm pretty sure the audience has learned a lot. And thank you so much for dropping by. And I can't wait to have you again.

Gary Schwartz:  Yeah. If I could just end up just if anybody wants to reach us and find out more information just go to Pegasusfintech.com. So that's one-word Pegasus as in the flying horse and fin tech dot com. look forward to being heard from anybody if you want to directly reach me it's gary.schwartz@pegasusfintech.com

Manseeb Khan: So, on the behalf of the NCFA Canada's leading crowdfunding fintech association we wish you an amazing fintech Friday and weekend.

 

End of Podcast

 

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
Read More
Coinsquare moves into ETF business with two new funds
FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018 When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry. Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company. The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored. Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide ...
Read More
Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive
Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
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Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
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Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
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The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
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$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

 

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One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market

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MarketWatch | Aaron Hankin | Aug 27, 2018

SEC’s Hester Peirce, who dissented on Winklevoss denial, shares her thoughts on regulating the evolving cryptocurrency industry

In her seven months in office, Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce has established herself as the voice of innovation for the cryptocurrency market.

In July, Peirce surprisingly dissented from the SEC’s decision to deny Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss an application for a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund.

Citing a risk of being left behind, Peirce said the decision sends a “strong signal that innovation is unwelcome in our markets.”

A lawyer by trade, Peirce earned her J.D. from Yale University, graduating in 1997. Prior to assuming her position at the SEC, Peirce was a research fellow and the director of the Financial Markets Working Group at George Mason University.

In an edited interview with MarketWatch, Peirce spoke on her time to date at the SEC. She shed some light on where the cryptocurrency industry might be headed and the tough job regulators have in presiding over the ever-changing industry.

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

On her dissent in the Winklevoss ETF decision

The issue I had in the dissent was that I think we applied our standard of review incorrectly to look below the market that’s actually trading the product... as opposed to the plan that the market that actually wants to lift the product has, or trading the product.

The concern that I have is that we need to make sure that we’re not taking the position that a market—whatever the underlying asset is—that the market has to be perfectly mature and perfectly regulated and perfectly within our control before we’re willing to sign off on an exchange-traded product that’s based on that asset.

On balancing innovation with regulation

The concern that I came to the Commission with ...is that generally, we’re not great with respect to innovation as an agency.

It’s not surprising to me because regulators tend to get blamed when something goes wrong, say if we approve something and it goes wrong, people come back and say well, you shouldn’t have approved it. If things go great, no one comes to us and pats us on the back and says, oh great job, glad you approved that.

‘And you can never measure the loss to investors and to the economy of us not approving things, so it’s really a lot easier for regulators to say no, no, no. And so when I came to the commission that was one of the concerns that I had’

Hester Peirce, SEC Commissioner

See:  Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding to $20 Million

When asked if the SEC behind the curve

I mean I do think we’re behind the curve, but I think almost everyone is behind the curve... things change so fast. So I think that we have work to do. But I think we have some really good people here as well.

But yeah, I mean I’m certainly worried. I’m certainly worried every time I hear someone say the U.S. is too slow and I’m going to go overseas to do my innovation, that’s always a bad thing to hear... I think investors are losing out, and I think the economy as a whole is losing out when we lose innovative efforts to other places solely because of our regulatory environment, that’s never a thing I want to hear.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

The Globe and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Sep 20, 2018 Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare is moving into the exchange-traded fund business as its investment management division launches two new technology funds. Coin Capital Investment Management Inc., a portfolio management subsidiary established in July, has become the 30th ETF provider in Canada with the launch of two new ETFs focused on global emerging technologies. With a management fee of 0.64 per cent, the Coincapital STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR) and the Coincapital STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK) began trading Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “Canadians know technologies like AI and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high-quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” said Coin Capital CEO Lewis Bateman. Blockchain is an online digital ledger. Once a transaction is completed, it goes into a blockchain database and is kept as a permanent, secure record. It is most commonly known as the technology behind the booming cryptocurrency bitcoin, which soared above US$18,000 last December. See:  Coinsquare launches Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. to help Canadians invest in emerging technology LDGR will aim ...
Read More
Coinsquare moves into ETF business with two new funds
FastCompany | By Lydia Dishman | Sep 20, 2018 When you have a technology that’s only 10 years old, women and underrepresented minorities have the chance to change this corner of the tech industry. Yael Rozencwajg recently had an experience that was unusual for a woman in tech. Speaking at a conference for executives in the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) space, Rozencwajg found herself explaining the digital ledger system that forms the basis of blockchain technology to about 200 people, most of whom were white, male CEOs. “There was a lot they didn’t know,” the founder of startup Blockchain Israel tells Fast Company. The difference was that the audience was respectful and deferential, despite the prevailing reality that when women are outnumbered in a work setting like this, several studies show that they are talked over, interrupted, or simply ignored. Rozencwajg chalks it up to the relative newness of the blockchain space. The technology is only 10 years old and was initially used to record bitcoin transactions. But its applications have since moved from solely recording bitcoin and other digital currency transfers to smart contracts and other transactions that need the security that an immutable record can provide ...
Read More
Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive
Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.6-Aug 24): Asian Crypto Markets Meet Canadian Talent with Henri Arslanian, Chairman of FinTech Association of HK

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 24, 2018

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP6-Aug 24):  Asian Crypto Markets Meet Canadian Talent

About this episode: On this episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Henri Arslanian, PwC FinTech & Crypto Leader for Asia and Chairman of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong. They talk about future institutions in crypto, Why Hong Kong is a home away from home to him and to other fellows Canadians and his best practices. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Henri Arslanian, Chairman, Hong Kong FinTech Association and FinTech & Crypto Leader for Asia, PwC

Bio: Henri Arslanian is the PwC FinTech & Crypto Leader for Asia, the Chairman of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong where he teaches the first FinTech university course in Asia.  With over 400,000 LinkedIn followers, Henri has been awarded many industry and academic awards over the years from being regularly named one of the Most Influential Individuals in FinTech in Asia to being awarded the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal for Academic Excellence.  Henri was also recognized as one of the Global 2017 LinkedIn Top Voices in Economy & Finance and is regularly featured in global media including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.  Henri is also a TEDx speaker, a published author, and currently sits on several finance, academic, government, civil society, and FinTech related boards and advisory boards globally.  Henri speaks five languages including English, French, Armenian, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

 

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Transcription of Interview

Manseeb Khan: [00:00:00] Hey everybody Manseeb Khan and you are tuning into the NCFA newest podcast series called Fintech Fridays. Today I have an  absolutely incredible guest today. I have Henri Arslanian. He is the fintech and crypto head for Price Waterhouse Cooper for Asia and the chairman of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong. Henri thank you so much for making it like I am beyond beyond grateful.

Henri Arslanian: [00:00:26] Always a pleasure Manseeb. Thanks for having me.

Manseeb Khan: [00:00:28] No for sure so I guess for those audiences I don't know who you are. Could you for a quick minute give us a quick rundown of who you really are?

Henri Arslanian: [00:00:37] Absolutely Manseeb, very happy to do so. So as you mentioned my name is Henri Arslanian and really my passion is my focus and life is the future of the financial services industry. I tell people I'm just very lucky that I get paid by `PWC to be a fintech and crypto leader for Asia. So very active in the fintech and crypto scene as you mentioned Manseeb. I'm the chairman of the fintech association in Hong Kong but also many things there including, I'm a university professor I'm an adjunct associate professor at the University of Hong Kong. Each the first fintech university course in Asia. So very active in the broader scene there in the market by backround I'm actually I'm actually from Montreal, Canada not far from Toronto where you are and really started my career as a lawyer and then moved on to move to Asia and became more spend more time in investment banking before joining of the tech start up and then moving into consulting. So really really really excited about about being on the show in that great look forward to our conversation.

Manseeb Khan: [00:01:35] Yeah no I'm very excited so I guess could you talk about what made you move to Hong Kong right like you said you were based out in Montreal Canada is starting to have a very thriving financial tech and crypto community right and AI community as well what what was the poll or was one of the major polls.

Henri Arslanian: [00:01:55] Absolutely. No absolutely. I mean as I mentioned you know I had a very normal upbringing. I was a typical Armenian Canadian upbringing in Montreal and after I started working as a lawyer and you know when I was young I had to travel a lot. Now I still travel and really I was finishing my internship at my Quebec bar in the New York bar. Had I had a chance I was thinking about going back to Europe. I had the chance of studying in Paris during my university years and I was actually planning on going back to Europe to do some further graduate studies. But one day literally see I was with my dad watching the TV show on Radio Canada the French version of CBC called The Rise of a Chinese dragon. And we talked about all of you put's that is going on in China and Asia and I swear I put my application for for Europe for LSC at a time where I was I was going literally and I went instead to China. I literally googled programs in law and business in China. Bought a book next they called Chinese for Dummies and about a couple of months later I was in Beijing where I started started studying Chinese at Beijing University and it all went on to do a masters in Chinese law at the Tsinghua university and really that was the point of no return if you are for Asia you know after spending some time here I asked her after my graduate studies I'm down to Hong Kong and really Hong Kong is if you want to mix of a city where you have not only finance but also entrepreneurship and the overall energy it was it was a great mix.  And frankly I've been there for 10 years now in Hong Kong and what I love about Asia is literally the fact that things move very fast. But you also have this energy and the type of people that generally end up in Asia especially in a city like Hong Kong tend to have this really alpha, go getter, entrapreneurship a hustler mentality which I really love. And that's definitely something we're seeing today when it comes to fintech and specially crypto in the region.

Manseeb Khan: [00:03:55] So essentially Asia is going to be a crypto powerhouse that many might be overlooking. Right?

Henri Arslanian: [00:04:02] Well you know it's very difficult to judge a powerhouse's but that is definitely a big edge in Asia. I'll get a couple of examples when you look at cities like Hong Kong or China. There are already financial centers. And when it comes to your cities were doing business is very easy. Not only have the existing infrastructure. These cities are voted every year as one of the easiest cities to the business from setting up companies to actually dealing with tax authorites  but also there's a lot of advantages tax wise. You know the you know the personal tax rate in Hong Kong for example is 15 percent, 1 5 which plays a big role when it comes to attract business. So when you look at the broader region I mean when you look at China obviously used to be a big crypto powerhouse until the ban can talk about later if you want. But also if you look at today in markets like Japan or Korea where you still have large volumes of crypto trading taking place on a daily basis. So there's a lot of these ecosystems that are actually quite vibrant when it comes to crypto. For example what's really interesting is a lot of these cities you have a lot of these best practices are being developed where you know the community is coming together and really coming up with frameworks said they want to abide it because they know that regulations can catch up in time for example the fintech Association of Hong Kong which I chair released last December a best practice document for ICO's basically 20 page document that anybody that wants to do an ICO can read ,we will give examples of what some of the best practices are.

Henri Arslanian: [00:05:28] Another example are for crypto exchanges. SIFMA which is if you want the association of the banks and the brokers in the region has a crypto committee. which I also sit on and we published a couple of weeks ago a best practice document for crypto exchanges especially centralised exchanges on really what are some of the measures they need to focus on not only on topics like KYC AML and know your client and anti money laundering but also other topics like custody and how to actually safeguard your assets to prevent events of hacks or cyber attacks. So overall a very exciting place and a very vibrant ecosystem.

Manseeb Khan: [00:06:00] Could you share a little bit more of the global trends that you are seeing in the crypto space? right. Like you mentioned that there is going to be increasing regulatory enforement and how regulation can't really catch up and how and institutions are trying to come to the space.And could you I guess speak on out a little bit more.

Henri Arslanian: [00:06:17] Absolutely. Absolutely Manseeb. I mean when you look we look at the crypto universe at a global level. There's obviously a lot of regional particularities but at the global level there are some big macro trends are we are observing and these are relevant for people around the world including in Canada for example one of them is really the increase in regulatory enforcement case. I really expect over the next coming months to see an increasing number of enforcement cases by the regulators frankly there's so many low hanging fruit. When you look at the broader space for example a lot of the ICOs have large over the last couple of months really. I mean we're launching with complete disregard to the broader securities laws and broader regulatory frameworks. So I expect a lot of enforcement in this case. And already we've seen regulators not only in the U.S. with SEC but also in Canada and other countries around the world start enforcing on certain crypto matters. To be fair to some of the low hanging fruit that it's easy for them to actually go and instead make make some of these cases as examples. But also I think when we look at broader trends for example one of them is the arrival of institutional investors you know about a year or two years ago. Many were wondering Are banks going to get it to the space? Are traditional institutional investors going to start looking into the crypto space and actually that's been very interesting very interesting Manseeb because now we can actually see a lot of the large investors not only the VCs but also the family officers and many of the other large investor groups is term looking at investing or participating in the broader crypto ecosystem. I think we're so far away from seeing let's say a pension fund invest in ICO but I wouldn't be surprised we see more and more of them over the next coming months and invest in crypto funds for example but also then we'll look holistically as well banks. For example if we look at a lot of the financial situations there's been numerous announcements from banks from Goldman Sachs to Nomura to Fidelity over the last couple months announcing their plans in the crypto space and this is very very important because in order for the industry to be more institutionalized and for some of the institutional players to come in which will not only add to the liquidity but also make the industry more professional. You need to of these traditional players to enter the space which is very good to see from from that perspective. However that being said Manseeb there's also a lot of challenges. I think we have to be very cautious of some of the challenges that exist in the broader global crypto ecosystem for example the probably the biggest challenge right now my clients are facing in the crypto space is something very simple. It's opening a bank account. I can guarantee you can go right now to any crypto company around the world from ICO to exchanges to funds that they will probably tell you their biggest challenge is opening a boring bank account in order to be able to pay rent, do payroll and other activities that we take for granted. But that's what I mean. So that's one of the practical challenges we have. there's other practical challenges for example while regulations are slowly shaping up and we're starting to see some some regulatory clarity in certain jurisdictions. There's a lot of the basic fundamentals are not decided yet. For example accounting rules or. Right now it's a big it's a very big difficulty for a company for all its ribs for example to audit crypto companies. Why because a lot of the standards are not finalised yet and the processes and controls that we need to put in place are not there yet. We will get there. But in the interim this is why we're seeing a lot of the industry come together and actually come up with best practices that the like I just mentioned previously to regulate if you want quote unquote the industry.

Manseeb Khan: [00:09:57] Yeah which is incredible like it should be interesting see I guess the bridge being built between just traditional institutionalized money and this whole new brand new crypto world. It should be interesting to see. I guess what the new regulations are and who the new players are going to be.

Henri Arslanian: [00:10:15] Absolutely Manseeb, but you know this is a question that comes up around you know especially when I get keynotes from the world or discuss with clients or industry disciplines. If we look at let's say Bitcoin let's focus on the first main cryptocurrency. I mean it was really the whole idea of blockchain and cryptocurrency like Bitcoin was really to build this trustless environment where you didn't need intermediaries where people could actually transact with each other. There was a consensus mechanism in place and people can actually. You don't need these banks, intermediaries that does not only make the system slower but also frankly definitely more costly. And it's ironic that actually we actually not know what industry probably needs the most is some of these old solutions for example custody. You know one of the main reasons a lot of the institutional investors would tell you they are not investing right now in crypto funds is because custody solutions are not there yet for Crypto. There's number solutions coming up and we'll solve this problem over the coming months. But that's one of the issues for example that we are seeing. And you know it's so great that we can frankly operate in the crypto space. But for the ecosystem to move to the next level to become more mainstream and to become more institutionalized we need some kind of regulatory framework around that is appropriate. We shouldn't overkill but really I think that's appropriate for even simple stuff like to avoid people using crypto currencies for money laundering for example or for terrorist financing which are things that I guess nobody wants from the crypto ecosystem but also more broadly as well.

Manseeb Khan: [00:11:45] Yeah I totally agree I guess to a lot of people in the mainstream community it's the funding that like oh yeah you know like criminals are going to use bitcoin and or Ethereum and all these other alt-coins. I can see why that's a fear and I guess I can see why there's such a fast and big push for regulation. So like OK let's figure out what we can and can't do as fast as possible. so we can kind of just thrive in this amazing market.

Henri Arslanian: [00:12:15] Absolutely Manseeb. But you know the thing with be careful. I think you think a crypto currencies I mean criminals are were using crypto currency as they are and you will always be using crypto currencies for any bad things they want to do the same way they actually cash is probably still the best the best tool that is used today for anybody who wants to launder money or buy drugs or whatever. I think that's that's one of the areas in there. But what's really really interesting is that the industry kind of became more mature in dealing with these issues. I'll give you a very simple example Manseeb ICO initial coin offers. If you look at ICO's that took place more than a year ago the concept of doing KYC, know your client which is asking for a basic I.D. identification on whoever is actually giving you money or buying your tokens was really unheard of and really since I would say the last 12 months pretty much any semi decent I'm sure right now is doing a KYC and doing a email checks. And actually the tools are able to use to do KYC and moderate checks are probably better than what a lot of the banks are using because these new these new startups are able to use the latest Regtech, regulatory tech solutions the market in many ways that are in many ways more efficient better than what a lot of legacy tools a lot of banks are using. So they were definitely the industry mature topics like you mentioned which are very very important to tackle as an ecosystem.

Manseeb Khan: [00:13:38] So you did mention a couple of times best practices that you've come up with on both the boards that you're chairman of. Could you talk about your best practices and what you look into with all these new ICOs all these new crypto companies popping up. I guess what would be your best practices to keep in mind for these companies.

Henri Arslanian: [00:13:59] It's very good question Manseeb. I think definitely we need best practices because regulations cannot catch up time you know frankly regulators have done a great job and I think this is what the regulators don't get the respect and the credit they deserve frankly for how on top of the crypto ecosystem they are. I would say personally that when I have the average regulator I speak with is way more way more knowledgeable crypto that the average banker and I think this is something that a lot of people don't don't realize when it comes to the broader ecosystem. That being said coming out regulations it takes very time consuming. There's a lot of stakeholders involved. This is why a lot of best practices and really best practices depends of which vertical you're talking about. For example you mentioned ICOs in ICOs right now. You need to do KYC and for any any token sale you're doing. I think that's become quite standard right now. But there are other items for example governance right. We're seeing increasingly in number of of the ICO's actually put in place very proper governance frameworks not only for example how the board is manage how the are made but also at the very practical levels for example what kind of reporting will be given to token holders what kind of transparency will be given how trends or how much disclosures will take place on the use of proceeds. And we're seeing actually, one part of my job is I work with companies and I see also based on drafting these governments governance frameworks in order to actually make them soft know more lies. But there also a lot of other kinds of other matters we're seeing the best practices in other verticals crypto funds for example.

Henri Arslanian: [00:15:29] You know I spent many years in my banking career in the hedge fund world and it's really incredible how much there's not a focus yet on independent directors or on transparency when it comes to the board of the crypto for a lot of people are still managing crypto funds. The same people are managing the portfolio also sit on the board of the fund really so there's no checks and balances from that perspective mean these are things we expect to see over the coming months. But also there are best practices when it comes to exchanges for example how the kids is private keys are stored or you know how there's a how how cold storage is being done how hot storage has been taking place. So there's a lot of actually best practices that we are seeing across different verticals and I have to say it's very good to see some of the service providers that are entering the space as well. Often people are people you see when I tell people that I run a crypto team in Asia people are actually quite surprised. I mean only in Hong Kong. How about we have about 30 people in our crypto team that are focused solely on helping the companies literally ICOs but also crypto funds exchanges but helping banks enter the crypto space as well. And we're seeing a lot of the best practices that we use in the normal world the traditional world and now we're bringing those best practices over to the crypto space which I think is great for the long term sustainability of the ecosystem.

Manseeb Khan: [00:16:40] Yeah absolute agree with you . I think those are amazing best practices to have in mind. And it depends on what vertical. I guess companies and people decide to take too I guess closes off being fellow Canadians. What would be your advice to Canadian Crypto companies to help skyrocket our progress in this space.

Henri Arslanian: [00:17:09] Oh I think anybody that knows a bit of the crypto space you know the first thing I thought everybody is whoever tells you there are crypto experts you've got to run away and you got to run it right away very fast. So I'm never in a position to give advice. All I can do however is as a fellow Canadian and somebody that actually really cares about the ecosystem Canada at the same very proud you know over the last you know a couple of months I met a lot of Canadians are in the crypto space and actually Canada's is doing very amazing stuff like for example some of the innovation we're seeing in the startup scene in Toronto where you're based or even some of the innovations we're seeing the AI space in Montreal for example had pressed not to say the branding and image that Canada has is actually excellent when it comes to the brother in entrepreneurship innovation at the global level. The one thing I have to say that with the Canadian company generally I found is that we don't take big enough and this is one big if there's one complete I would say you know self-criticism of us Canadians is actually we don't think big enough and we actually often just focus on the Canadian market or we compare ourselves to the US market.

[00:18:12] But really we have we have to have a bigger vision of this and I should say this for many years I used to sit on the board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong And this was actually something we see a lot of Canadian companies would come over. Is this is the first time they would think about Asia for example and because the US market is so big it's next door, it's convenient , same time zone. I think that there's one piece of advice is really think big and really look at think more internationally than just the Canadian market. And we really are better than we think. You know from our universities that we have in Canada the reputation we have our ethics our culture. And really I think the way we operate not only in business circles but also in other social circles is really remarkable and we don't give them enough credit to us as Canadians which is something I think we should do more of.

Manseeb Khan: [00:18:59] But at the same time we have amazing creative leaders like yourself out there kind of showing like hey guys we can go global we can do amazing things. Look see what I'm doing. Right. So that having people like you in the space I think that helps tremendously to inspire Canadians to think a little bit more globally and to have that little bit more quote unquote world dominating mindset.

Henri Arslanian: [00:19:24] Yeah we have friends all around the world you know I remember for many years my first couple of years of when I was in Asia I actually had to fly back for a weekend and the actual teacher in Quebec in that University of Sherbrooke courses on how to do business in China and Asia for example. And there's a lot of goodwill. I mean it happens to me a lot of these are Crypto meetings or when I'm clients or in the broader fintech space that I mean other folks around the world and it just turns out there are Canadian as well. And what I find it's actually we have this kind of network around the world of Canadians are generally very eager to help. Now I'll give you a very simple example. Manseeb Hong Kong I mean you know I'm always coming back to Hong Kong because I think it's a great example but only in Hong Kong. There is more than three hundred thousand Canadian passport holders.

Henri Arslanian: [00:20:10] Let me repeat that 300000 Canadian passport holders. Hong Kong is probably one of the biggest Kinney's cities we have actually in the world. And this is great Alumi network if you want is something like I think 50 or 60 Canadian University alumni like networks all in Hong Kong.

Henri Arslanian: [00:20:26] You also there's this network that we have around the world that people don't talk a lot of Canadian companies I think don't happen. The other thing is by the way are great forward service and really had the privilege of the last couple of years to go with a lot of our embassies and consulates and trade trade missions around the world. And we really have exceptional people in these roles are their to help Canadian companies so really I think we can. That's what I'm saying. There's a lot we can do and we have to be a bit more self-confident to achieve that.

Manseeb Khan: [00:20:53] No I absolutely agree. I didn't and I don't know. There's so many Canadians in Hong Kong that's that's incredible news. Here we go.

Henri Arslanian: [00:21:00] You can even find poutine now in Hong Kong. We're in Shanghai for example.

Manseeb Khan: [00:21:04] OK.I think we're probably going to bump those numbers up, now that you said that! Oh goodness me , there are going to be so many Canadians flooding to Hong Kong just for the poutine.

Henri Arslanian: [00:21:16] I mean there's know often tell people you know I play hockey on Saturday morning still in Hong Kong. We often it's incredible the whole network of people waking up at 7:00 in the morning on Sunday mornings just to watch the Habs or the Leafs or whoever any the Jets are playing on the evening before in Canada. So yeah there's definitely a big network if you want. I always thought the Canadian never the biggest private club in the world. So it's all it's all there.

Manseeb Khan: [00:21:42] I love that. I love the biggest private club in the world. That's amazing. Henri thank you so much for sitting down with me today. This has been amazing. I think you've changed a lot of Canadians minds about Hong Kong and you're going to have a lot more Canadian neighbors for sure.

Henri Arslanian: [00:21:57] Looking forward Manseeb, always a pleasure and thanks for having me on again thank you for focusing on the broader fintech and crypto scene. I think is great to create more awareness on these topics and the exciting space that we have for your audience and the people and not only Canada but actually globally as well. So thank you very much for having me. And I look forward to staying in touch.

 

End of Podcast

 

Interested in getting involved as a partner or participant? info@ncfacanada.org

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

 

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