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Category Archives: Digital Identity

Liquid Avatar Technologies Digital Wallet Enables Consumer Use of Secure Verifiable Credentials

Liquid Avatar Technologies | Cara Buckspan | Sep 23, 2021

liquid avatar technologies verifying credentials - Liquid Avatar Technologies Digital Wallet Enables Consumer Use of Secure Verifiable CredentialsToronto, Canada - TheNewswire - September 23, 2021 -Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. (CNSX:LQID.CN)(OTC:LQAVF)(FRA:4T51) (“Liquid Avatar Technologies” or the “Company”), a global blockchain, digital identity and fintech solutions company today announces a significant update to the Liquid Avatar Verifiable Credential Ecosystem (“LAVCE”), which is theLiquid Avatar Wallet. This digital wallet will be part of the upcoming release of the Liquid Avatar Mobile App, available in the Apple App Store and on Google play, which is currently under review for release.

This downloadable digital walletenables consumers to use verifiable digital identity credentials anchored in blockchain technology that are resistant to fraud, highly secure, and privacy preserving.

Read:  UK Government: Next step in plans to govern use of digital identities revealed

The Liquid Avatar Wallet unlocks a new way of issuing, sharing, and verifying information, providing immediate benefits to businesses and organizations. Businesses of all sizes can now interact with customers in a way that provides the highest level of assurance that the information shared is valid, while also preserving privacy and preventing fraud. Use of the Liquid Avatar Wallet can mean that:

  • Identity and health verification can support social responsibility and the return to everyday activities.
  • Credit card fraud, which is an estimated $28 Billion dollar issue worldwide, can be mitigated significantly when purchases, both online and offline, are tied to an easy-to-verify proof of identity
  • Purchases that require proof of age can be authoritatively verified—and in a way where date of birth can be confirmed without disclosing personally identifiable information.
  • Travel, which under pandemic restrictions involves multiple documents and in-person verification, can be streamlined into a simple one-scan verification.
  • Passwords are no longer needed. All the old, cumbersome, and insecure ways of proving identity are unnecessary. Once a credential is issued by a trusted entity, it can be verified through a distributed blockchain network.

“One of the key benefits of the LAVCE and the Liquid Avatar Wallet that I feel very strongly about is that it increases value for all parties,” said David Lucatch, CEO—Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc.“

While we’ve all been keenly focused on health verifications, there is so much more that verifiable credentials and the Liquid Avatar Wallet can do.  Age verification is a critical issue for those that sell restricted products and failure to do so can lead to loss of opportunity to sell a variety of products and potentially loss of income and business. The potential risks of identity fraud are constant and can be costly. We’re making this kind of verification reliable, hassle free, and low cost. That’s step one. And if we then integrate verifiable credentials with point-of-sale systems, selling restricted items to underage customers could be effectively eliminated.”

See:  6 lessons on online privacy and digital authentication

Liquid Avatar’s Wallet and credential ecosystem was built with technical assistance from Indico.tech, a global leader in decentralized Trusted Data Ecosystem development, and with the same data privacy principles and technical standards as the Province of Ontario’s plan for Digital Identity and following a similar roadmap. This means that the Liquid Avatar Wallet will be interoperable with other identity credentials built using the same guidelines. The Company as a member of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) is also on a path following the guidelines set out by the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework for digital identity.

“The ingenious thing about this technology is that it is custom built for a world where there are exemptions to everything,” said Lucatch  “We can automate and rapidly update the most complex government or commercial requirements without placing any burden on the user. These are the keys to the future—flexibility and simplicity.

We are hopeful that the chaos of Covid will eventually dissipate, but we are moving to a world where a user’s data privacy and consent is part of everyday life. This technology delivers simple, flexible solutions on all fronts.”

To encourage future adoption, Liquid Avatar Technologies will offer a software development kit (SDK) for both iOS and Android that can be embedded in, and power different apps, for use with corporate and government portals, and other solutions to make it possible for all types of organizations to support digital wallets and verifiable credentials easily and effectively.

For more information, or to book a demonstration of the technology and how the LAVCE can assist your organization to support your reopening, health care objectives and other digital identity and verifiable credentials initiatives, please contact Liquid Avatar Technologies.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Liquid Avatar Technologies Digital Wallet Enables Consumer Use of Secure Verifiable Credentials 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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Snoop Dogg Reveals He’s An NFT Whale

Decrypt | Andrew Hayward | Sep 21, 2021

Snoop Dog - Snoop Dogg Reveals He's An NFT WhaleSnoop Dogg has already made waves in the NFT space, launching his own branded collectibles this spring, as well as a collaboration with the creator of the popular meme, Nyan Cat.

However, the rapper’s latest move is truly unexpected: he claims to be the real person behind a pseudonymous crypto Twitter personality—one that has spent millions of dollars acquiring a very valuable collection of blue chip Ethereum NFTs.

On Monday, Snoop Dogg tweeted to his 19 million followers that he is Cozomo de’ Medici, a pseudonymous NFT collector that joined Twitter in August. Cozomo has been tweeting steadily through his NFT journey in recent weeks, discussing the large sums of money spent on popular NFT collections while displaying an in-depth understanding of the culture.

See:  The Intersection of Ecommerce and NFTs: How NFT Technology is Changing DeFi

Snoop isn’t alone as a celebrity NFT collector: NBA athlete Stephen Curry, social media star Jake Paul, and comedian and TV host Steve Harvey are among the notable owners. And he isn’t even the first celebrity to create a separate crypto-centric “burner” account on Twitter: fellow rapper and YouTube personality KSI has one, for example, to keep his crypto musings off of main.

But Snoop didn’t create his NFT-centric Twitter personality in public, linked to his existing social media channels. Before he chose to reveal it to the world yesterday, it was a pseudonym first with no apparent ties to Snoop.

Also notable: Snoop appears to have a seriously valuable NFT collection. Cozomo de’ Medici’s wallet has more than $17 million worth of collectibles within, according to DappRadar’s portfolio estimate tool.

See:  GBBC: Overview of NFTs (as of Q2-2021)

An NFT acts like a receipt or a deed of ownership to a provably scarce digital item, and it can represent a still image, video file, video game item, and plenty more. Other valuable holdings in Cozomo’s wallet include an NFT from photographer Justin Aversano’s Twin Flames collection, as well as a couple of Moonshot Bots, which benefit the development of Ethereum tools. Earlier this month, Cozomo even tweeted about the value of supporting Ethereum developers.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Snoop Dogg Reveals He's An NFT Whale 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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Liquid Avatar Technologies Supports Ontario’s Approach to Technology and Standards for Digital Identity

Liquid Avatar Technologies | Cara Buckspan | Sep 13, 2021

Ontario announces covid verification initiative - Liquid Avatar Technologies Supports Ontario's Approach to Technology and Standards for Digital IdentitySelf-Sovereign Identity (SSI), Interoperability, Open Standards Central to Enabling Liquid Avatar Technologies and Others to Participate in Government’s Digital Credential Project

Toronto, Canada - TheNewswire - September 13, 2021 -Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. (CNSX:LQID.CN) (OTC:LQAVF) (FRA:4T51) (“Liquid Avatar Technologies” or the “Company”), a global blockchain, digital identity, and fintech solutions company, today congratulates the Province of Ontario on the recent release of its technology and standards for a Digital Identity ecosystem. This government guideline “encourages private-sector market innovation” and should enable companies like Liquid Avatar Technologies who have existing digital wallets and digital identity solutions to carry government issued credentials provided they meet certain standards and requirements. Among these are: solutions that adhere to the highest online technology and security standards, adhere to key principles that support user privacy, enable self-sovereign identity to empower and protect users, are interoperable, and which incorporate open standards.

“Ontario is one of the first jurisdictions in North America to announce that it will issue and enable digital credentials"

See:  Can Liquid Avatar end fake COVID vaccine cards?

– and it has been a great experience working with the government on this both directly and through our role in membership organizations like the Trust Over IP Foundation, the DIACC and the Covid Credential Initiative,” said David Lucatch, CEO and co- founder of Liquid Avatar Technologies. “This is a fast-moving, exciting space to be in, and with the direction the province has set with these guidelines we believe the government, the public, and Ontario’s growing tech sector will all benefit.”

Liquid Avatar Technologies has been a part of the ongoing consultations around the province’s plan to introduce a digital identification credential by the end of 2021 – Digital ID.  Earlier this year, Liquid Avatar Technologies began to test its Liquid Avatar Verifiable Credentials Ecosystem (“LAVCE”) and Liquid Avatar mobile application to drive the provision of a digital wallet and digital identity, management and control solution for individuals and entities. These incorporate a fully functioning, self-sovereign platform that adheres to current technology standards and supports many of the themes and requirements articulated as both current and under consideration in last week’s Digital ID announcement.

On September 9th, the Company participated in the Linux Foundation Public Health Cardea project’s “interop-athon” and successfully demonstrated the LAVCE’s ability to issue, exchange, and verify digital health data with credential systems from other companies in the Cardea community. This accomplishment means that LAVCE’s ability to create and manage credentials for digital health information, such as proof of a valid COVID-19 test, vaccination, and/or exemption, can be used across multiple systems and platforms, thereby helping people to resume school, work, and travel in a way that increases public safety while preserving privacy and preventing fraud.

See:  COVID-19: Making the case for robust digital financial infrastructure

LAVCE’s successful demonstration illustrated the power of interoperable verifiable credentials as a way that can transform how we share and trust digital health and other information. The LAVCE platform can be easily integrated into healthcare facilities, testing labs, government agencies, schools, sports arenas, transportation, trade shows, and workplaces to confirm health status in a privacy preserving way and assist in efforts to reduce new outbreaks.

Liquid Avatar Technologies is a steering committee and voting member of the Trust over IP foundation, founding and steering committee member of Cardea, Node Operator for the Indicio Network, member of the Linux Foundation, DIACC, the Covid Credential Initiative and other industry foundations, ecosystems, networks, and utilities.

“The province of Ontario has acknowledged that the private sector has a role to play in expediting their goal of issuing a secure digital credential by the end of the calendar year,” said Lucatch. “The LAVCE platform, which enables users to manage their digital wallet and digital identification solution has completed its industry and interoperability testing towards availability to individuals. We are excited and believe that we are ready to leverage our infrastructure to enable the success of industry, business and government digital identity and verifiable credential programs.”

As part of the Company’s efforts to support our communities, Liquid Avatar Technologies has become a partner in the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s We’re Ready Toronto initiative to support the ensure a safe and sustainable reopening and recovery in the region and will be conducting a member only workshop on September 23, 2021, from 11 am to 12 pm Eastern titled, Vaccine Passports and Future Digital Credentials – How to protect employees, customers, and businesses.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Liquid Avatar Technologies Supports Ontario's Approach to Technology and Standards for Digital Identity 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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If you care about privacy, Browser settings to change ASAP: Chrome, Firefox and more

c|net | Rae Hodge | Aug 28, 2021

Google and apple - If you care about privacy, Browser settings to change ASAP: Chrome, Firefox and more

James Martin/CNET

Five minutes gives you better internet privacy. Make these browser adjustments now.

Privacy is now a priority among browser-makers, but they may not go as far as you want in fighting pervasive ad industry trackers on the web. Here's a look at how you can crank up your privacy settings to outsmart that online tracking.

Problems like Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal have elevated privacy protection on Silicon Valley's priority list by showing how companies compile reams of data as you traverse the internet. Their goal? To build a richly detailed user profile so that you can become the target of more accurate, clickable and thus profitable advertisements.

Apple and Google are in a war for the web, with Google pushing aggressively for an interactive web to rival native apps and Apple moving more slowly -- in part out of concern those new features will worsen security and be annoying for users. Privacy adds another dimension to the competition and to your browser decision.

 

See:  Designing a Central Bank Digital Currency with Support for Cash-Like Privacy

Apple has made privacy a top priority in all its products, including Safari. For startup Brave, privacy is a core goal, and Mozilla and Microsoft have begun touting privacy as a way to differentiate their browsers from Google Chrome. It's later to the game, but Chrome engineers have begun building a "privacy sandbox" despite Google's reliance on ad revenue.

For all of the browsers listed here, you can give yourself a privacy boost by changing the default search engine. For instance, try DuckDuckGo. Although its search results may not be as useful or deep as Google's, DuckDuckGo is a longtime favorite among the privacy-minded for its refusal to track user searches.

Other universal options that boost privacy include disabling your browser's location tracking and search engine autocomplete features, turning off password autofills, and regularly deleting your browsing history. If you want to take your privacy to the next level, consider trying one of the virtual private networks CNET has reviewed that work with all browsers.

Chrome browser privacy settings to change

In the Chrome Web Store, click Extensions on the left and type the name of the extension you're looking for into the search bar. Once you find the correct extension in the search results, click Add to Chrome. A dialog will pop up explaining which permissions the extension will have for your browser. Click Add extension to bring the extension into your browser.

See:  How Verifiable Digital Identity Will Protect Your Post-Pandemic Privacy

If you change your mind, you can manage or remove your extensions by opening Chrome and clicking the three dot More menu on the right. Then select More Tools and then Extensions. From here, you'll also be able to see more about the extension by clicking Details.

Firefox browser privacy settings to change

Firefox's default privacy settings are more protective than those of Chrome and Edge, and the browser has more privacy options under the hood, too.

From inside Firefox's main menu -- or from inside the three lined menu on the right side of the toolbar -- select Preferences. Once the Preferences window opens, click Privacy & Security. From here, you'll be able to choose between three options: Standard, Strict and Custom. Standard, the default Firefox setting, blocks trackers in private windows, third party tracking cookies and cryptominers. The Strict setting may break a few websites, but it blocks everything blocked in Standard mode, plus fingerprints and trackers in all windows. Custom is worth exploring for those who want to fine tune how trackers are being blocked.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - If you care about privacy, Browser settings to change ASAP: Chrome, Firefox and more 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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Chelsea Manning Is Hacking Again, This Time For A Bitcoin-Based Privacy Startup

ComplianceX | Jack J. Kelly | Aug 25, 2021

Chealsea Manning - Chelsea Manning Is Hacking Again, This Time For A Bitcoin-Based Privacy StartupChelsea Manning’s long blonde hair catches in a cool summer breeze as she turns the corner into Brooklyn’s Starr Bar, a dimly lit counter-cultural haunt in the heart of the hipster enclave of Bushwick. The 33-year-old best known for leaking hundreds of thousands of top-secret government documents to Julian Assange in 2010.  While serving the longest sentence ever doled out to a whistleblower after she used the privacy protecting Tor Network to anonymously leak 700,000 government documents, she used her time in incarceration to devise a better way to hide the tracks of other online users.

By January 2017, she was seven-years into a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, home to the likes of former Army Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 14 fellow soldiers in 2009. As President Barack Obama prepared to leave office, he granted Manning an unconditional commutation of her sentence. Newly tasting freedom, she was contacted by Harry Halpin, the 41-year-old mathematician who worked for World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee at MIT from 2013 to 2016 helping standardize the use of cryptography across web browsers.

See:  ISED: Cyber Security and Policy Statements

Halpin asked Manning to look for security weaknesses in his new privacy project, which eventually became Nym, a Neuchâtel, Switzerland-based crypto startup. Halprin founded Nym in 2018 to send data anonymously around the Internet using the same blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin.

Halpin was impressed by Manning’s technical knowledge. More than just a famous leaker who happened to have access to secret documents, Manning struck Halpin as someone with a deep technological understanding of how governments and big business seek to spy on private messages.

“We’ve very rarely had access to people who really were inside the machine, who can explain what they believe the actual capabilities of these kinds of adversaries are, what kinds of attacks are more likely,” says Halpin. “She’ll help us fix holes in our design.”

In prison she studied carpentry, but she never stopped exploring her earlier vocation. “I’m a certified carpenter,” she says. “But when I wasn’t doing that, I would read a lot of cryptography papers.” In 2016, she was visited in prison by Yan Zhu, a physicist from MIT who would later go on to become chief security officer of Brave, a privacy-protecting internet browser that pays users in cryptocurrency in exchange for agreeing to see ads.

She and Zhu were concerned with vulnerabilities they saw in Tor, including its dependence on the good will of governments and academic institutions. In 2020 53% of its $5 million funding came from the US government and 27% came from other Western governments, tax-subsidized non-profits, foundations and companies. Worse, in their opinion, the technology to break privacy was being funded at a higher rate than the technology to protect it.

Fintech Fridays EP52: Technology Due Diligence Process and Cyber Security Risks

“As the dark web, or Tor, and VPN, and all these other services became more prolific, the tools to do traffic analysis had dramatically improved,” says Manning. “And there’s sort of been a cold war that’s been going on between the Tor project developers, and a number of state actors and large internet service providers.” In 2014 the FBI learned how to decipher Tor data. By 2020 a single user reportedly controlled enough Tor nodes to steal bitcoin transactions initiated over the network.

Using two lined pieces of composition paper from the prison commissary, Manning drew a schematic for Zhu of what she called, Tor Plus. Instead of just encrypting the data she proposed to inject the information equivalent of noise into network communications. In the margins of the document she even postulated that blockchain, the technology popularized by bitcoin, could play a role. In the notes below she wrote the words: “New Hope.”

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Chelsea Manning Is Hacking Again, This Time For A Bitcoin-Based Privacy Startup 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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Open data for finance as an emerging source of GDP growth

OECD The Forum Network | Olivia White  | Aug 10, 2021

Open data - Open data for finance as an emerging source of GDP growthEven before the COVID-19 crisis, policy makers in the OECD and beyond were identifying the potential for innovation and productivity growth that could be derived from building out digital financial infrastructure including greater sharing of financial data. This focus has helped give rise to the Open Banking Implementation Entity in the United Kingdom, the European Union’s second payment services directive, and broad discussion in the United States around a consumer-authorized data-sharing market, among other initiatives.

To what extent could open-data ecosystems for finance go beyond greater convenience and easier interactions between financial providers and their customers?

Our research suggests that the upside in terms of generating GDP growth is considerable. At the same time, we find that the size of that GDP lift, and how the economic value can be shared among the various market participants, depend in large part on the design and working of each ecosystem, and in particular the degree to which data are standardized and how broadly they are shared.

In our recently published study, we focused on four regions—the European Union, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and identified seven mechanisms for value creation from the adoption of open-data for finance.

See:  Open Finance data adoption varies by country (but one thing is certain)

For consumers, these ecosystems can increase access to financial services, including for individuals and small businesses who might otherwise be shut out for lack of credit history. They can also improve user convenience, including with potentially substantial time savings from less routine form-filling, among others, and provide a much larger range of financial product options.

For financial providers, the value-creating mechanisms we identified include increased operational efficiency arising from more efficient data management, along with stronger fraud prevention, improved workforce allocation, and reduced friction from data intermediation, given the reduced need to pull in data from third-party providers.

We sized 24 use cases across these seven mechanisms. Extrapolating to a country or regional level, our analysis suggests that the boost to the economy from broad adoption of open-data ecosystems could range from about 1 to 1.5 percent of GDP in 2030 in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to as much as 4 to 5 percent in India. All market participants benefit, be they institutions or consumers—either individuals or micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)—albeit to varying degrees.

Only a fraction of that potential value is being accessed currently

McKinsey and Company economies with financial data sharing - Open data for finance as an emerging source of GDP growth

  • We estimate the UK has accessed about 30 to 40 percent of the potential value
  • European Union and the United States are at about 10 percent of the potential
  • India, which has been building out its digital financial infrastructure on the back of its Aadhaar digital identification system, has managed to access about 60 percent of the value of open data for finance to date

See:  Minister Freeland releases final report with 34 recommendations on Open Banking from the Advisory committee

Capturing more of the potential value will require a greater degree of data standardization and broader data sharing. For now, both are quite varied across the four regions we examined.

Key takeways from our research include the critical importance of establishing trust in the system, along with the infrastructure to support it. Financial data are particularly sensitive, and users are more likely to want to share data if they know what they are sharing and why that sharing is valuable to them.

Digital infrastructure is also a must, and ecosystems with high-assurance digital ID have an advantage in being able to control use of data and reduce friction in managing online accounts.

Continue to the full article --> here

Download the full 36 page PDF report -- > here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Open data for finance as an emerging source of GDP growth 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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Are you a Pig, Gazelle or Bear? Beyond Unicorns, Zoology of startups

Sifted | Maija Palmer | Aug 18, 2021

Zoology of startups pig bear gazelle - Are you a Pig, Gazelle or Bear?  Beyond Unicorns, Zoology of startups

We all know about unicorns, the term for a startup company with a valuation of more than $1bn which was first popularised by VC Aileen Lee in 2013.

But these days the ranks of unicorns are filling out — there’s now a herd of 672 of them globally — thanks to a glut of investor money. We’ve had to invent the ‘decacorn’ — a startup valued at more than $10bn — and the ‘hectocorn’ — valued at $100bn — to distinguish the standout successes.

See:  Forget Unicorns. Zebras are (more sustainable) and the future!

But there are other paths to success than VC-backed rapid growth, and not every startup even wants to be a unicorn. It’s worth taking a moment to consider some of the other animals in the startup menagerie:

Zebra

Zebras, unlike unicorns, are focused more on generating profits than growth at all costs. They are also dual-purpose, both black and white, so they fuse social purpose with shareholder returns.

Rhino

The rhino is a lot like the unicorn — both animals have horns after all. But rhino startups aim to be both big and profitable. In this Tech in Asia article, Nick Nash, cofounder and managing partner of Asia Partners, defines rhinos as companies that have a valuation of $1bn on a price-to-earnings multiple, not on a revenue multiple. Rhinos are actually far rarer than unicorns.

Pigs

Pigs are startups that take advantage of the fact that it has become relatively cheap and easy to make a web product. You can get the development work done at a modest price and even raise some initial capital with a sexy kick-starter campaign.

See:  Canada attracts record $4.8 billion in fintech investment in H1’21: how high can it go by year end?

Pigs aren’t building the company for long-term world domination — they’re aiming to sell to a big corporate or a competitor at the right moment.

Bear

A bear is a solitary, awkward creature that values its independence and therefore doesn’t want to take VC money. The founders of these companies choose the bootstrapping route, which makes life harder for them. But if it pays off, they end up rich AND in control of their companies.

Camel

Recently, VCs have been talking more about camel startups. These are creatures that depend less on venture capital to survive. They may raise a few smaller rounds to get going, but can also survive for longer periods in the ‘desert’ of cash-strapped markets.

Cockroach

Cockroach companies aren’t glamorous, aspirational or exciting. But they are great at surviving. Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, is credited with coining the term in 2013 to describe resilient companies that optimise for sustainable, steady growth. Like its namesake, the term lived on to grow in the shadows, popped up here and there, and generally survived without making many headlines.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Are you a Pig, Gazelle or Bear?  Beyond Unicorns, Zoology of startups 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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