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

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Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018

Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel.

Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus.

See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF

Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold.

The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical evidence. Further, this type of price co-integration “is evidence of a well-functioning capital market.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23): Future of Business Tokenization – How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder

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NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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

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

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

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

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

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

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

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

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here

 


Transcription of Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan Wunsche: Maybe a thousandth of that dream car.

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

Alan Wunsche: Very good.

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

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

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

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

 

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


NEXT WEEK! DON'T MISS IT SEE YOU IN VANCOUVER
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House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

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Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018

After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports.

The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years.

See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools

The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports.

In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned:

“(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.”

The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms:

  1. Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.”
  2. Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed as they are in New York (Bitlicense).
  3. Digital cryptocurrency wallets should also be regulated, “so suspicious purchases can be traced more easily and police can track hacking or financial crime.”

Crypto-to-fiat gateways have previously been identified by American law enforcement personnel as choke points because crypto is so far rarely accepted at the retail level and must be converted to real-world currencies at some point.

With regards to licensing, early crypto exchanges like Kraken have fiercely criticized the New York Bitlicense program, calling it so onerous as to be anti-competitive and protective of the state’s mainstream and established financial services sector.

Under the Bitlicense program, an exchange domiciled in the state of New York must obtain a specific individual license. This involves fees and procedures and time lags in each.

See:  SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More

Kraken and Coinbase both relocated to San Francisco, although the Winklevoss brothers, who own the Gemini exchange, opted to stay in New York and tough out the atmosphere in the hopes of one day becoming the institutional crypto-trading platform of choice in America’s financial capital.

Noteworthy crypto-wallet news in North America includes recent reports that Eric Voorhees, creator of the Shapeshift wallet, recently announced his formerly anonymous wallet service for crypto-to-crypto conversions (at a fee) would be requiring all users from now on to provide government ID.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

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NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy

About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin)

Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of Toronto, is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, and was an original founder of the Toronto ACAMS Chapter.  She has lectured as a Professor at Seneca College and currently teaches in the Global Leadership Development Program at the University of Toronto on the subject of anti-money laundering and sanction compliance.

 

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Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan : Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here and you are tuning into Fintech Friday's brought to you by the NCFA Canada's leading national fintech crowdfunding association. Today I have Charlene from Coinsquare. Charlene thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Charlene Cieslik: Sure, no problem.

Manseeb Khan : So, I guess just for the audience were the five or six people may not know who you are or essentially what your company could just give us a little bit of a rundown.

Charlene Cieslik: Sure, we'd like to refer to coin square as Canada's leading crypto currency trading platform where we have an offering of about seven or eight coins, I believe it is now, we’re adding more every day. We like to also think that we're Canada's safest platform with access to Fiat on ramps and off ramps - and we haven't lost a coin yet from our platform.

Manseeb Khan : Since you are the chief anti money laundering officer and chief privacy officer, I'd just like to get a little bit more in the nitty gritty of just regulation right regulatory uncertainty. Could you talk a little bit more of the uncertainty that's currently going on and much why it is there and what can companies like you or be it the government or people like me do to help clean up the uncertainty and just help better define when it comes to regulation?

Charlene Cieslik: Sure, not a problem. I think it's a big task that’s for sure. I mean I come from a long background of working with banking and typical financial institution, anti-money laundering regulations. And I think even in those environments there was still quite a bit of uncertainty as we go through every iteration of the changes in law. And it took a lot of years for Canada to even get on board with anti-money laundering regulation. They just released the Proceeds of Crime Act approximately less than 20 years ago. Oh, I hate saying that because I worked with a regulator up about that time when the new laws came into effect. Quite a growth period for Canadian financial institutions to really get into being able to comply or even start to begin to try to comply with anti-money laundering requirements. And I would argue that there are still a lot of struggle going on in traditional fields. So, I think that's just exacerbated by the fact that that crypto currency is so new, and that the concepts and the methods in which traditional finance are offered to people are, I would say, a little bit historical, a little bit stuck in the past. The laws were written basically from a - you have a relationship with your banker and maybe you see his kids play baseball on Sunday and he knows who you are, and you go into a branch to execute your transactions and that sort of physical relationship, face to face relationship building. And it was only later on in the regulations for, again, for traditional entities that the idea that finance could take place in a known face to face environment was added to the law because it wasn't something that was contemplated early on by the by the ACT and the regulations. So, when you add into the mix something, like this, where it's a little bit threatening a little bit uncertain and has a little bit of a negative history. Growth, history and trajectory behind it and it makes a lot of people nervous and uncomfortable because maybe they can't understand it, or they don't want to understand it. And then you try to apply some traditional concepts to it in a way that again traditional companies struggle with applying still to this day. And then you try to put it into this. It is truly a square peg in a round hole. You know we've all been kind of waiting for a while now for some clarity. But I always warn people that don't expect too much clarity. It's not really the job of the law or regulations to be wholyprescriptive about what needs to be done. Now if we want to be clear about what the Proceeds of Crime Act in various anti money laundering laws are trying to do, I think it really boils down to about three things.

  1. Know who you're dealing with whether it's humans I call it people or businesses. Like prove that they actually exist and that they're doing what they say they're doing, and they are who they say they are.
  2. That you’re monitoring activities to do your part for me or trade, your financial institution, or whatever you are, safe from exploitive criminal actors.
  3. You keep certain records and periodically you have to report specific things to the government.

And again, I'll just say that it's a lot of work and a lot of effort. Some people make the joke that banks nowadays are compliance departments with banks attached to them. And we don't want that happening in the crypto space, but we've got to find the right balance that strikes between keeping customers safe, keeping their money safe, knowing who you're dealing with in a digital environment, in a global environment, and that hasn't really been tackled so well, I think again, in the traditional space.

Manseeb Khan : So, I guess it's just like, it really is knowing your customer. It's a very KYC driven.

Charlene Cieslik: It is. And I mean I struggled to think, “I'm not that old” and  I don't recall there was ever a time that you could just walk into a bank and not tell them anything about you and they would give you access to financial services. So, if crypto currencies, again, whether it's trading on a platform like Coinsquare, certain digital assets, or even if it's a token offering or a sale, an STO, that you would get into a financial relationship with someone without some basic safeguards in place. So, you know it's funny that if you talk, to older people, there was a time when a handshake and a hello was good enough to secure yourself a few thousand dollars’ worth of loans. But I think you know the world has certainly evolved since then. The risks have gotten greater, and the banks, in the bigger financial institutions, have seen some negative impacts of not doing some of these things properly. So, there was a lot of lessons learned in that environment about it which drove some of these decisions to try to put some safety and security in the financial world.

Manseeb Khan : That totally makes sense right being a just such a up and coming and emerging market. And now that it's so hot and hyper right now it makes sense that like having some kind of clarity just like protecting investors it makes sense that the banks will be a little bit more hesitant. People are being a little bit more hesitant. And like where  you've mentioned the past and you mentioned some of the past episodes. Education is very much the key right. Understanding what a cryptocurrency, how does blockchain work and how do all these things fundamentally work. And how can you be a part of it, how can you help it.

Charlene Cieslik: Yeah. I mean don't get me wrong I don't want toever be seen to be advocating that cryptocurrency should behave exactly like a traditional financial institution. I think part of the beauty of this space is that it is a greater risk-taking kind of space. But I think with risk comes reward and responsibility you know there is a history of crypto where people -  even our founders met in a coffee shop to trade digital currency.  - oming from a background I come from,t's a little bit shocking to me, but even for me it's been quite a good education working in a space like this the last eight or nine months and just seeing that there is an alternative. There are differences and there's room in the world for this alternative finance sector to really take off, but it can't be stifled by continually trying to “stuff a square peg into a round hole”. I think there's safety and security measures that can be put in place, some basic things that nobody should really be arguing with and then the rest of it falls into business decision making and where banks and financial institutions have different requirements, that cryptocurrency can take a few more risks, and that's up to them to make that decision.

Manseeb Khan : I guess it's a balance between regulation and innovation right like that beam it's very hard to teeter because it's like we don't want to overregulate. Right. Yeah exactly like I mean  You know better than anybody.

Charlene Cieslik: Oh, I do. I do. I wish I didn't somedays, you know and the whole thing is, Regulations are regional,nd finance is global, so that things do not mesh well together. I mean even in Canada we have all the provincial securities regulators separately, battling it out as to what to do about this. We do have a federal anti-money laundering regulator but money, and especially cryptocurrency moves quite freely across borders. Maybe not so free anymore with traditional finance and I think that's probably helped for some of the breeding ground, for something like cryptocurrency to pop up, is the speed and the efficiency in which money can move across borders. Not all of it is terrorist financing or money laundering and painted all with that brush under the guise of “we have to stop it, make it safer” because it's all being used for negative, I think is a terribly unfair assessment of the industry.

Manseeb Khan : No I absolutely agree with you but again it's players like you and like just amazing stuff that you guys were doing to kind of show that like hey again it's not everything that we do is not funding terrorist or just like anarchy like this is actually no like we're helping actually build businesses, build ecosystems that are put in place to make the world better.

Charlene Cieslik: Yeah, I mean I don't think anybody who deals in cryptocurrency really wants to be involved in this kind of thing. But I think unwittingly, just like financial institutions ar, you can be a victim of this and it's their willingness for anybody purposefully trying to attack platforms. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's some bad actors out there that are happy about it. But you know I think that's what one thing where Coinsquare tries to set itself apart, really, is to try to play by a set of rules that takes the better practices for insisting safety and security measures but works them in a way that allows for a risky business model to flourish.

Manseeb Khan : So, I guess could you talk a little bit more of the regulatory arbitrage then?

Charlene Cieslik: Well I think it's just it's just a matter of the fact that you know we hear a lot about places like Malta  as“crypto island”, and Zug Switzerland there and places that are embracing crypto and it's all it's really great to hear, like it's really everyone's really happy about it. In the crypto space and so Coinsquare e too. But it's just y, it doesn't mean that you go there and it's free of obligation or it's free of requirements. But what it does mean, is that some jurisdictions have taken it upon themselves to put signs that they’re “out for business” saying hey we're into this, we want to work with you and support you. And if you have another authority that saying  it’s not like this, we don't trust it, e're just going to put a ban on it, or we're not going to allow it to happen or make it really hard on you. People are going to want to get up and move to those jurisdictions that make themselves friendly but simply relocating a business address to a different authority doesn't mean that you're free of regulation because it's not only physically where you are located where your operations are. It's also based on where your customers are that you're serving. So even if you do set up in a place that's friendly to crypto, you've got to really think long and hard about where you're targeting customers and what Regulation, what legal obligations come along with the jurisdictions in which they live. And I do love to hear about places that are open to this, but I think people maybe sometimes mistake it for a Holy Grail or a promised land where it's all free and easy. And it's not because those places also still have concerns about things like safety and security. They also have concerns about things like bringing jobs and  bringing money into their economy. And they can't do that while putting themselves at risk to become a haven for money laundering and terrorism by doing no due diligence or requiring you know no rules be followed. So, I think it's just a little bit of a misnomer to say oh we're just going to go set up in Malta and that's going to alleviate you from any regulatory obligation. But what I do like is that it that the government is open to the discussion and the governmenthas reached out and told people like “hey we're new at this too and we're trying to figure out what works best for us” and there is a process and we're walking through it. We'll hold your hand. Not all jurisdictions are like that. So, it does end up being sort of an arbitrage of those who have an open environment are going to benefit. Sure, they're going to take on some of the risk but they're also going to reap the rewards and those that don't are going to be the ones that are left behind. And I think this kind of thing happens traditionally as well too. It's just now we're seeing it (in crypto). I think a little bit on speed almost in the crypto space (has forced it to happen sooner).

Manseeb Khan : Traditionally Canada's been very conservative, and they haven't been first movers in many aspects. So, it’s kind of makes sense why you are seeing a lot of these smaller crypto islands pop up we're not seeing. And you’re not seeing bigger countries actually fully adopt it yet.

Charlene Cieslik: Yeah. And I think that all sort of remains to be seen. I think what a lot of people forget too is just how new this is. Like even though there was a lot of early adopters before any of us, probably, particularity people in my position, historically that heard of Bitcoin there were people already operating with it, enjoying it. Like it was an underground sort of cool thing that “the man” wasn't involved in, and that to get that sort of wider adoption and to get that the all the use cases that sounds so promising and into reality and into practice. You know that does come with some tradeoffs with that and some risks, right? So yeah, I think we got to remember that it's still in its infancy for that, and there's growing pains along the way and believe me - this  means some growing pains when it comes to this kind of thing. Yes. It's hard to identify someone they don't know and face to face environment in a regular bank let alone in a crypto trading company right.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah no absolutely. Because it's like it's tens of thousands of interactions within seconds. So, it's kind of hard. It's a lot harder to like shake everybody's hand and meet them and make sure your kid plays baseball together.

Charlene Cieslik: Exactly. And I think the good news of that is that also the traditional markets are having to play catch up with this digital world in a way that they didn't previously. And when you look at the surveys and things that come out of governments, we'll use millennials. Millennials and those after millennials. Nobody wants to go into a bank, and nobody even wants to answer a phone call anymore, let alone go into a bank and make an appointment to do something. The world is like this, and the slow will be left behind. And then you'll be like my mother when she got her first bank card and like needed to be walked to the machine, like, “what does it do and how does this work.” There's a little bit of an accelerated speed to technology, and involvement with technology, that wasn’t seen in the previous 20 years. So, laws have never been able to keep up. I don't expect them to start suddenly now keeping pace with the change of technology when it is moving so fast.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah no I absolutely agree with you. I mean the whole physically walking into a bank  that you said and then I got a little bit of anxiety over it.

Charlene Cieslik: I've got to renew my mortgage this month and I'm like - “you call me and have all the paperwork emailed over.” There there's no need for me to book an afternoon off work to go talk to someone, who is going to try to upset me on a million other products that I don't need. Just, like, redo what I already had down. Sadly, the higher rate it's coming, but I think it's a little bit of a struggle for those markets and I think that's part of where the fear and the demonization of cryptocurrency comes from -  it’s  like “don't look over here (at banking) look over there (at crypto)”. That's where all this scariness is, and I've done a lot of research since I've joined Coinsquare when we're looking at our risk assessments and things like that. And the  grand fear that all the bad stuff is happening here isn't hasn't really played out for me in the available research. So, it took a little while for me to come around to that myself. But now that I'm here I'm like,those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Manseeb Khan : No but you're absolutely right that's where open banking gets really exciting because it's the access of just like again you are going to be able to. You can do that on your lunch break or coffee, but you can just quickly. I just renewed my mortgage same terms same everything maybe means I'm a better rate because I've switched to XYZ.

Charlene Cieslik: So yeah. Yeah, I don't want to discount the people that are involved. I mean there's always going to need to be humans. Nothing's going to be able to be entirely digitized when it comes to this, and there's always going to be something you're going to need to go into a bank for. But I think that's where some of the promise to blockchain comes in as well. Like outside of just pure cryptocurrency, smart contracts, and things like that trying to get rid of some of this the onerous steps in the paperwork. I could see that can, I can see that can be seen as a threat to some industries.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah no absolutely because it's the more frictionless that more or less human interaction that I guess millennials like me just would be lost.  And less Human error. Well yeah exactly right like it just like hey like I don't need the small talk I just want to deposit this money  like I got all the stuff to the right, like I got a podcast. I mean like I'm doing a thousand other things.

Charlene Cieslik:  I've got to get on Instagram and get my followers!

Manseeb Khan : Well  I mean I get a pretty good Instagram wise so I'm not really worried. Good stuff. So, could you talk a little bit more of I guess there's a clear lack of guidance when it comes to just the interpretations of the rules and regulations right. Again, you know you know this better than anybody. Coinsquare being one of leading companies. What does guidance in Coinsquare look like. What is some of the be it the holes that you're seeing when it comes to interpretation. And could you just talk a little bit more about that.

Charlene Cieslik: I mean the basics are pretty simple and straightforward and maybe that's only cuz I've been in this field so long is that things like KYC are pretty straightforward to me. e have to be able to prove that you are who you say you are whether you're human or business. Those are things that don’t have  much interpretation involved in them. I think where the challenge comes in is the what is considered acceptable in a non-face to face environment. We know of her challenges especially in Canada but not only in Canada around the world. Let’s not will talk about “humans” for a minute we'll talk about businesses. There's a big transparency international report that came out a couple years ago in Canada and one of the holes in the Canadian regulatory environment, has nothing  specifically to do with the proceeds of crime act or KYC or AML. But what it has to do with specifically is how to set  up a company, it basically takes you about less than 30 minutes. You pay a small fee and boom you've got an incorporated company, numbered company no name, no numbers, or people behind it. Essentially just a shell on paper that may or may not do anything. The anti-money laundering laws are asking you to prove that something exists. But the very thing that you are required by law to reference, to make that assertion, is itself not reliable, not monitored. Then it makes it very difficult to make a case . I did what I could, to find out when I could, short of driving over and seen the physical location with my own eyes. So, whether your traditional finance or you’re in cryptocurrency you're trying hard to follow some basic KYC laws.

You're at a little bit at a loss as to what you can do.  I can refer you to where under the definition of what a money service businesses is, which to me is traditionally that guy on young street that will change dollar bills for you, or the the ethnic-based money transfer business that has a good remittance corridor back to the countries that a lot of big immigrant populations in Canada that do send money back home to. They've sort of thrown cryptocurrency dealing in cryptocurrency under that definition, and I'm not certain that's the most helpful definition of what cryptocurrency is, but it is a little bit. There's a precedent set for it. And even within Canada, we’re not really sure what the interplay is between say the financial regulator, k FINTRAC, as a regulator, calling us money services businesses from “dealing in cryptocurrency”. They're still not really being monitored  by the government and we are kind of. I would argue again that's really no different than any other entity that's listed in section 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act because,even this morning I was looking at the definition of “what is a Casino” under the Actwho qualifies as a casino under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and it has sort of a three bulleted definition. Then  you think “Well, what about a certain kind of business makes it  fit into the definition of casino?” It’s the same thing that's going to happen with cryptocurrency, under the proposed definition of“dealing in” cryptocurrency - what does that mean? I know we sent back a very lengthy 10-page commentary to the draft regulations asking for some clarity, but understanding again that you know they are they'll never be fully prescriptive, and I think that's where the industry has to take the lead. I think having talks like this, and the industry taking a leading role in holding the government accountable for interpretation, actually providing guidance that addresses these, very confusing sometimes, interpretations. If I argue with you that you are regulated but you argue with me that you're not because it's not clear and that leaves us in a bit of a precarious position.

Manseeb Khan : I mean like crypto casinos that's will be a pretty interesting, seeing that in a couple of years. But no, you're right it's it goes out the whole vagueness and we talk. like how we even started with this conversation with a lot on certainty. There's a lot of grey area when it comes to the space and it's like OK, we want government regulation to come in. OK. If we get government regulation and then we get OK, then we got the old system, but we don't really want the old system coming in.  It gets very just missed construed.

Charlene Cieslik: You know you have to do something like that exactly. You don't want the old system! Like I if I wanted to work at a bank, I'd still be working at a bank, right? But, we still do need a bank. Coinsquare does have the added bonus of being one of Canada's strongest fiat on ramp and off ramp/crypto trading platforms, and maintaining a bank relationship is as important for your business as selling crypto because, until crypto has an entire use case outside of Fiat (which we all pray for that day), we still need a bank. But this kind of back and forth and uncertainty…  the government,I think, has tried to capture it all by just putting “and cryptocurrency” into the draft law It's funny, if you read it all at once it's over a thousand pages so I recommend if you can't sleep at night have a look at the draft regulations and the edits they've made to it, because they've just they've captured “dealing in crypto”underneath the definition of a money service business. But back to my casino example they've also added that too, if you're any other kind of entity - so if you're a bank, if you're a credit union, if you're a casino, if you're a securities dealer, the list goes on, accountants, lawyers like there's a whole list in Section 5 that tells you who has to comply. And it's like they just added the words “dealing in cryptocurrency” next to any kind of transaction-based requirement under the law. So, it's really is trying to capture it anywhere it can. So, if you are an accountant that decides to take cryptocurrency as payment for your services you now are subject to coming next year in the year to implement the Proceeds of Crime Act requirements for cryptocurrency. It's very interesting to watch how and to see how this is going to play out. Just remember the banks have had 20 years at this and they still struggle with it. The biggest banks with the largest compliance departments with the biggest budgets and the most people have a hard time with this.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, Good luck to the 30 crypto guys trying to figure out what to do with all the like new regulations, the new laws that like. They have lawyers and accountants.

Charlene Cieslik: And ignoring it isn't going to help you, and if for no other reason that then you won't be able to get a bank account for your business. Now I hate to use that as the  a sort of threat. I don't really mean to use it as a threat,but like sometimes you need to pay money for things - you need to pay rent in fiat. You need to maybe pay some hydro bills in fiat. n Toronto we have this like we have a City Councilor Norm Kelly (Scarborough—Agincourt). I don't even know if he's still a city councilor, going to have to find out and edit it back into this podcast (NOTE: HE IS) Well he  has kind of been advocating in Toronto to be able to pay for parking tickets and your property taxes in cryptocurrency! Small situations like that and advocates like that I think bring it more into the mainstream and show you that we could get there someday.

Manseeb Khan : You mentioned that some foreign exchange places here and that are accepting crypto and they're just trying to like slam it together sees what works and what doesn't work. Yeah. You've been seeing like cute little convenience stores that accept Bitcoin and either have Bitcoin ATM or just accept cryptocurrencies which is the small steps.

Charlene Cieslik: It's amazing to see, right?. I was in Hong Kong last year. Oh god maybe two years ago. And you know you can't pay cash for anything there. And even up and down King Street,which is a little bit like our little fintech alley over here in Toronto,there is a lot of stores here like just food shops that also don't take cash. Now I don't know they're quite at the point of taking cryptocurrency yet. But you'll see things like WeChat payaccepted and I can't remember what the other (Alipay).  Alipay and like those are starting to get like you know it's not quite crypto but it's a payment adoption form that you never would have seen even a year or two ago here in Toronto. It's all kind of paves the way I think for just a new mindset.

Manseeb Khan : I mean absolutely agree with you like think about like the amount of people that are adopting Apple Pay and  Samsung Pay right like sooner or later. It's just again like you said we're on definitely the right track just doing it payments through crypto.

Charlene Cieslik: Sometimes I leave the house without my purse  and  without my wallet. But I never leave it without my phone. Like I don't think I go to the bathroom without my phone and I think most people are like that nowadays so if you can have it all sort of at your fingertips that way it makes it easier.

Manseeb Khan : Me and my buddies that we joked about like yeah if we ever get robbed,  I'm like hey dude take my wallet, take my cards. You can have it, don't take my phone though. Like I got a meeting next weekend like you know all that.

Charlene Cieslik: Did I back up? When was the last time I backed up?  Oh, I haven’t backed up in months. And I did I put on2FA does my two 2FA just go to my phone? And then he gets my phone, and that won't help me. We joke about it but it's you know like reality.

Manseeb Khan : You know it really the stark reality, right? The phones are going to become the one stop shop when it comes to anything and everything. And it slowly is. For sure.

Charlene Cieslik: And I think that's like a great fit for cryptocurrency right. I mean it's so high tech it's so hard for me to even explain to my parents what I do for a living at Coinsquare. The concepts are similar though and I think that sometimes when I'm able to sort of win back people into understanding what Coinsquare’s trying to do is that. Whether we're selling dogecoin or nickels you know there's safety and security and safeguards that we want in place and we want our customers to feel like they can come to us and not have to worry about losing their money or you know be able to freely access what they want to with a little bit less maybe intervention than a traditional financial institution. I think one of the bigger problems that a lot of people have are not just based in crypto is that financial institutions have become almost like a defacto police force. Enforcing rules not only of regulators on to businesses but of criminal code violations onto a customer's. Now I  always joke and I'm sure if anyone's heard me talked before you may have heard me say, so I apologize for repeating my shtick, but like I don't have a gun or a badge. I don't have access to police record databases. I don't know any more than you know if somebody is committing a crime. And I don't really think that it's fair on bankers or on cryptocurrency companies to say that we're expected to know every second that something is possibly breaking the law. If I had that power, I think I would go like be a superhero or something. You know wear a cape. Help people in trouble.

Manseeb Khan : Heck I would too.

Charlene Cieslik: I mean that sounds like It's way funner than sitting in a meeting saying I don't think we can take this because their risk is too high, and you try to quantify the risk. Or we could just go cape shopping?

Charlene Cieslik: Exactly. Exactly. Let's go  cape shopping.

Manseeb Khan : I'm super down to go cape shopping.

Charlene Cieslik: And I think that's where it goes to it - just try to get a decent sense of who you're dealing with. And like most people's activity is fairly normal like let's be honest here - I think there's a lot of people in the AML space and I think they do a disservice to compliance people overall when they try to put themselves out there like super-cops or something. I think, and I'm a pessimist by nature, but I do tend to believe the best in people. The whole idea of risk management is that you let people go about their daily business fairly unscathed and fairly untouched and you spend your time and resources on things that are truly significant and truly questionable. Like the cream that rises to the top maybe the rotten cream rises to the top. But  you're not questioning someone on every little dollar movement  they're doing, because not everything is a criminal hiding in the shadows. And if you operate from that mindset, I think a lot of regulators and a lot of banks operate from that mindset that everything,everything is bad. And I can see how you can get into that,being in the field as long as I have. I can't say I haven't been victim to behaving that way periodically in my lifetime, but I think being in this space and it does allow me the time to step back a little bit and be like OK what are we really looking at here, and where we can have a touch point with a customer that we're being respectful, and doing the “right thing” and  we do spend our time appropriately. Don't get me wrong - there's things to be found. But if everything is high risk then nothing is high risk.

Manseeb Khan : You're exactly right. If everything's high risk, then nothing is high risk and  it's again like it's understanding. Like everything we talked about, today right? It's KYC know your customer. Everything's not funding terrorist. Not everybody's a bad guy. Not everybody a criminal. I'm just trying to pay my phone bill.

Charlene Cieslik: I know, and you know what the thing is - we don't even actually know about terrorist financing until after it happens and then it's in the news and then maybe you can look back and be like “oh OK” but like nobody walks into a financial institution of any kind it announces themselves as a terrorist. Nobody on a sanction list opens an account in their own name anymore. They're even smart enough not to open shell companies to which they can be traced back in the beneficial ownership anymore. Like the cloak has been revealed (should have said LIFTED) but the criminals who have the time and energy know what it is that governments want us  to look for now, and they're finding new ways we haven't even figured out yet. And the pressure on someone in my position to try to be that “super cop” that can sense something before it occurs. I do find very unfair and I don't like to play into that kind of mindset. But I do like the idea of having a truly risk based compliance program that allows you some time and energy to focus on,w again, the real risks not the made-up ones. Not the ghosts that people think are in the machine. But I think the challenge being is that banks just have a lot more years of data to kind of look back on and go “oh we should have seen that.” Where as in crypto we're just we are still building it and there's a lot of good players in the industry working on software to help. Help, not solve, but help in for lack of a better word, “decrypt” the block chain and see sort of the flow of funds and where things are going.

Manseeb Khan : You've definitely coined the term of the old wine in new bottles. Right.

Charlene Cieslik: So, it's I can't take full credit for it. I know I learned this and when I was doing my Master's in Criminology and never have I used it more than working in this field. At the time it rang a bit hollow, I was young and ignorant probably arrogant too. Now that I'm a bit older and in a bit more humble, I'm like I really, really see what this expression means. And there's going to be, by the time I get older, and there's going to be something new and while the government is trying to regulate what is currently the cryptocurrency space right now, it's taken them about four years to get to a draft. It's taking another year to get it out in publication. They're going to give another year for implementation which is something they normally don't do. You know we're still so new and I hope that my work with Coinsquare can allow me to contribute to this conversation, not hinder it. I hope that none of the work I'm doing is ever something that's seen as a hindrance to business. AndI really don't want to ever be part of a grand money laundering case that was so obvious it should have smacked me in the face. And I think that's what I bring from working in theformer traditional spaces is that something should jump out at you whether it's crypto or Fiat other things. It's a lot of gray areas so determining where you're comfortable.

Manseeb Khan : I think the work that you guys are doing it's incredible. The work that you're doing personally just like advocating, speaking out on this and just  like shedding a little bit more light to this ride because like we need people like you in industry that have trained eyes no more or less what to look for in this new space and kind of like you can kind of call bullshit on a lot of things. Or not. Right.

Charlene Cieslik: I've had a humbling learning here too. I will never ever put myself up on a panel and call myself a cryptocurrency expert,I wouldn't even call myself an AML expert. I just happen to have a lot of years at it, and I every day I'm still surprised there's something new and I think just having that training and having that background if you apply it right and apply it for good. And I don't think I'm the kind of compliance officer, and I think some people here Coinsquare would agree - I don't try to run away from a challenge. Although some people require that we run away from a challenge in order to maintain our good name and standing. But you know let's dig into it if we have one. If we let the people do their regular transactions relatively unscathed and relatively untouched then it does give us the time to dig into some of the more challenging things and say “Is this something that should be reported to the government?”. I know not everybody is a fan of regulation in this space and some of the purists might not agree with it, but I'll say the same party line that a lot of other people in this space in my position might say is that  - there's got to be a bit of a tradeoff if we want mass adoption, if we want these use cases to come true. If we want to have those positive relationships with banks, we want to raise money in a in a somewhat hybrid type security-regulated-almost area that we have to do some of the things and some of them I think are good things to do.

Manseeb Khan : To wrap this up. I'm sure what will be some of the takeaways that you'd like to drive home because I know we definitely we talked about a lot today, so feel free to list them all.

Charlene Cieslik: Sure. I think one of the things I'd love for the listeners to hear is that when you're talking about KYC and AML there really are two different things entirely. And the onus remains on you to be sure that the KYC that you're doing, and then your overall AML program and the obligations of that program, are truly in as close compliance to the law, the existing law, the proposed law wherever you fall in that spectrum as is possible, that works for your business. You have to be able to clearly articulate that, if you've hired someone else to do this for you, there's lots of vendors that do these kinds of things that sell them out as vendor as “We can do this for you.” You still have to know exactly what they're doing and what you're getting from them. It is something I see a lot working at Coinsquare and even just at conferences I speak at when I talk to a lot of startups like they want to hire a third party to do something like that. Great. There's a lot of great third parties out there. But make sure that they're doing the right thing for you and you're holding them accountable and you're getting your value for money because you can pay someone to do something for you and then find out when you get audited that they didn't actually do everything that they promised. I hate to see someone fall into that kind of trap.

Secondly, I guess is just defining yourself as to what you are. Even if you don't have a lawyer, although, I do always recommend getting a lawyer. I know it's not always feasible for some startups to spend at he rates that are required, but there are some very affordable and reputable good guys working in crypto as lawyers doing advisory in some sandbox type of things with law firms. But  that are able to  articulate for yourself. On paper yes, the old-fashioned paper. You don't have to print it out, but put it down on some form of written format and define what you are and say “look, we since we do this (describe what  you do), we think that we are this” and have an articulated way to defend yourself around that definition. You don't want someone else coming in and telling you “you're this and you didn't think about that.” And I mean people, other financial institutions you might want to deal with. Even investors that might want to look into your business like they might not want to get caught up in something that is uncertain or unclear. You can call yourself a utility token, but you better have a good rationale for determining yourself to be that. We are a trading platform here at Coinsquare we have a very long and articulated backing to say how we are what we say we are. We are registered with several regulators here in Canada, and where we launched in Europe today it's a very exciting day here at Coinsquare as we launched our Europe offering n in the European Union. If have any listeners in that space, we'd be happy to have you!! Andif you know what you are, and you know what people are doing for you... I just want everybody to have the same opportunity to understand what we're doing here and how Coinsquare can maybe help them too. I love it. I love it. I love this support. Thank you so much.

Manseeb Khan : Absolutely. So, Charlene thank you so much for sitting down me today. This was an amazing whirlwind of information. I've learned a lot more of just regulatory arbitrage, and just  uncertainty and now I have more or less more fear but also a lot of optimism when it comes to a space that I don't even know of.

Charlene Cieslik: Awesome. You know what. I'll help you quell that fear. Oh, I can only bring my best.

Manseeb Khan :  I can't wait. So, Charlene thank you so much for sitting down today. I can't wait to have you on the show again.

Charlene Cieslik: Ok awesome. Thanks again.

Manseeb Khan :  No problem. All right. So, on the behalf of NCFA Canada's leading fintech and crowdfunding association. I wish you an amazing Fintech Friday.

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

 

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NEXT WEEK! DON'T MISS IT SEE YOU IN VANCOUVER
LAST CHANCE FOR TIX


Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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While Canada debates, others are commercializing our most valuable asset: data

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The Globe and Mail OpEd | | Nov 15, 2018

Bilal Khan is the new managing partner and head of Deloitte Data

At every moment of every day, data courses through our lives. It is the lifeblood of the new economy.

The world is rapidly transforming. Cities are becoming smarter with sensor technologies, industry is becoming more productive with artificial intelligence (AI), we’re developing medical breakthroughs in cancer therapies and medical genetics, and our world is more connected than ever.

But what many of us may not realize is that if we don’t find a way to enable our institutions to harness the enormous power of our collective and rapidly growing data assets, Canada risks being left behind in the world.

The recent uproar regarding Statistics Canada’s request for anonymized banking data shows that many of us are uncomfortable with and unaware of just how much of our data is already out there – and who has access to it. While the rights and protections of Canadian consumers are of paramount importance, in many ways we are having the wrong debate.

Responsible and ethical use of data is vital for our future.

The subject of debate should not be if we embrace and use the data our institutions and governments have collected – with our permission – but rather, how we will use data; how will we capitalize on the opportunity this information presents?

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

If we as Canadians want to be part of the new economy, if we want data to continue to shape our lives in positive ways, we need to solve the “how” – and fast.

Our ability to use data in the private and public sector is critical. We are in the earliest moments of this once-in-a-generation transformation and the reality is that first movers in the data economy will dominate the next century of economic growth. The gap between the leaders and laggards will continue to get wider with each passing year.

Early movers will set the rules, regulations and standards for the rest of us to follow – and likely to our detriment.

It is a crisis of epic proportions when foreign multinationals – the biggest technology companies, online retailers and social networking sites – have a more accurate depiction of Canadians, and the Canadian economy, than Canadian institutions have. Often, we reflexively give permission to these companies to collect information about us without any understanding of how our data will be used. The Statscan debate shows we are more critical and suspicious of our own national institutions than we are of foreign entities.

This is a problem.

Those with the deepest and most sophisticated data sets will have a major social and business competitive advantage over everyone else. The earlier an organization starts collecting data and using it for advanced purposes, the more powerful this asset becomes.

Canada has made significant investments in deep learning and has positioned itself as a leader in AI. But the benefits of these investments are predominantly realized outside of our country. And we are losing ground.

Every major U.S. technology company has now built an AI lab in Canada, benefiting from the immense pool of talent our country develops. The intellectual property and wealth generated from these ideas goes back to headquarters, and boosts prosperity south of our border.

See:  Data is a 2-way street in a post-GDPR world

The challenge is to reorient ourselves such that we are pro-active, rather than reactive. We must become rule-setters and not rule-takers. If we continue on the defensive, we will give away the single biggest economic opportunity of our generation.

We need to ensure data are used responsibly and we lead the world in the development of an ethical data framework. We must hold the private and public sector accountable should they go offside. That’s much easier to do with Canadian enterprises. When data sits beyond our borders, we have little transparency or recourse when there is abuse of our rules and regulations.

This is not a task for government or business alone. We need a collaborative strategy for prosperity. One that empowers both Canadian businesses and policy-makers to take action in pursuit of our common goals, and demonstrate global leadership in the face of the opportunities and challenges that the new economy presents.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


NEXT WEEK! DON'T MISS IT SEE YOU IN VANCOUVER
LAST CHANCE FOR TIX


Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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IMF: Nations Need to Consider a Central Bank Backed Cryptocurrency

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Fintech News Singapore | Nov 14, 2018

During her speech at Singapore Fintech Festival 2018, Christine Largarde, IMF’s Managing Director expressed the need for states to consider the possibility to issue digital currency, adding that there may be a role for the state to supply money to the digital economy.

Ms Lagarde is of the opinion that a central bank backed cryptocurrency could achieve the following goals financial inclusion, security and consumer protection; and to provide what the private sector cannot — privacy in payments.

How a central bank backed cryptocurrency could aid financial inclusion

She shared during her speech that cryptocurrencies offer great promise through its through its ability to reach people and businesses in remote and marginalized regions where banks are not exactly rushing to serve poor and rural populations.

Ms Largarde further added that it is critical because cash might no longer be an option, if the majority of people adopt digital forms of money, the infrastructure for cash would degrade, leaving those in the periphery behind.

See:  The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities

She emphasized of course, cryptocurrency is not necessarily the only answer. There may be scope for governments to encourage private sector solutions, by providing funding, or improving infrastructure.

The case for security, privacy and consumer protection

“Without cash, too much power could fall into the hands of a small number of outsized private payment providers. Payments, after all, naturally lean toward monopolies—the more people you serve, the cheaper and more useful the service.” said Ms. Lagarde

She also expressed concerns for private firms under-investing in security to the extent that it may cause some form of systemic failure that regulation not necessarily equipped to redress. She pointed out that a central bank backed cryptocurrency could offer advantages, as a backup means of payment and give its grandfather the old reliable paper note a run for its money.

An interesting thought that Ms. Largarde brought up during the speech for the need for privacy in the age where customer profiling is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

She quipped “Consider a simple example. Imagine that people purchasing beer and frozen pizza have higher mortgage defaults than citizens purchasing organic broccoli and spring water. What can you do if you have a craving for beer and pizza but do not want your credit score to drop? Today, you pull out cash. And tomorrow? Would a privately-owned payment system push you to the broccoli aisle?’

Using that as an example she stated that cryptocurrency could offer a real alternative to other forms of payments but she was quick to point out that it would be unwise for central banks to offer fully anonymous digital currency or they will risk creating a bonanza for criminals.

A win-win framework for privacy and financial system integrity?

Instead of fully disregarding the benefits of privacy for consumers on the account of bad actors, Ms. Largarde offered an alternative. She said central banks might design digital currency so that users’ identities would be authenticated through customer due diligence procedures and transactions recorded.

See:  Central banks should consider using digital currencies: China think tank

The identities would not be disclosed to third parties or governments unless required by law. So when someone purchases pizza and beer, the supermarket, its bank, and marketers would not know who they are. The state might not either, at least by default.

Anti-money laundering and terrorist financing controls would nevertheless run in the background. If a suspicion arose it would be possible to lift the veil of anonymity and investigate.

This setup would be good for users, bad for criminals, and better for the state, relative to cash.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


NEXT WEEK! DON'T MISS IT SEE YOU IN VANCOUVER
LAST CHANCE FOR TIX


Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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Quebec needs new innovation strategies to level the playing field for domestic tech

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The Globe and Mail | | Sep 19, 2018

There are more than 250,000 technology workers employed across all industries in Quebec. In Montreal and Quebec City, the tech sector is the third largest private-sector employer. Around the world, Quebec is known for being a hub of research and innovation, especially in fields of artificial intelligence and video-game technologies.

Despite the sizable contribution domestic technology companies make toward Quebec’s economic prosperity, government policies regarding innovation have featured incentivizing for the expansion of foreign branch plants in Quebec over the growth and success of homegrown companies locally and around the world. This has had a negative effect on Quebec’s ability to scale domestic companies into global giants.

Business incentives that governments have offered to foreign companies to expand their operations in Canada’s major tech cities, such as salary subsidies or Quebec’s multimedia tax credit, were initially designed to stimulate our economy. The most common rationale behind these incentives pertains to the job growth promised by foreign tech companies. Yet the evidence suggests otherwise. A recent study by the Munk School of Global Affairs finds that politicians make “jobs” announcements that often don’t materialize as advertised. In addition, foreign branch plants exacerbate existing labour market shortages by creating a government-funded competition for wages and make use of publicly funded intellectual property (IP) created at Canadian universities.

Canada is already facing a high-skills talent creation and retention problem, particularly in the digital industries. A recent study from the Information and Communications Technology Council states there will be nearly 220,000 unfilled tech jobs across Canada by 2020. In Quebec’s tech sector, we have been at full employment for a decade.

Despite this, government officials in Quebec and across Canada have been investing considerable amounts of time, energy and political capital into attracting multinational technology companies to Canada without any studies on the effect they have on the domestic tech ecosystem and our economy as a whole.

See: 

More concerning, these large companies pay little to no taxes to the governments underpinning their growth, as the profits they earn are realized at their foreign headquarters – not in Quebec. Local wealth creation is important because the taxes domestic companies pay on their revenues are reinvested by governments into the important social and infrastructure programs all businesses use and Quebeckers care about. The same goes for the capital gains reinvested by local investors and funds such as Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ and others.

Economic evidence shows that domestic high-growth companies provide the critical public and private wealth Quebec needs to remain an economically competitive and prosperous society. All innovation experts agree that companies that scale from $100-million to a $1-billion and beyond provide the most return to their domestic economies. We see this happening in countries such as the United States, Israel, Germany, South Korea and even China. It’s time for Quebec to have an economic strategy aimed at seeing more of its successful domestic companies compete and scale up globally.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


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


NEXT WEEK! DON'T MISS IT SEE YOU IN VANCOUVER
LAST CHANCE FOR TIX


Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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