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Category Archives: Enterprise

Mastercard launches biometric checkout program as contactless, secure payments grow

eMarketer | Adriana Nunez  | May 18, 2022

biometric payment graphic - Mastercard launches biometric checkout program as contactless, secure payments growMastercard’s new Biometric Checkout Program brings facial and fingerprint recognition technology to the point-of-sale (POS).  By linking consumers’ biometrics with their payment cards Mastercard can grow card volume even if a physical card isn’t present during the transaction.

The program lets consumers link their facial and fingerprint biometrics to a payment card. Once enrolled in the system, customers can check out with their face or fingerprint, no cards or mobile phones necessary.  Mastercard is working with several biometric and tech firms, including Payface and Fujitsu, to roll out the program. It kicked off a pilot in Brazil, where it is trialing the tech with Payface across five St Marche supermarket locations. Mastercard plans to launch similar pilots in the Middle East and Asia.

See:  How to protect your digital identity?

Contactless payments have become more popular during the pandemic, as consumers opt for more touchless checkout experiences. The number of global proximity mobile payment users is expected to hit 1.345 billion in 2022, up from 1.182 billion in 2020, per Insider Intelligence forecasts. QR code-based transactions and tap-and-pay cards are also fueling contactless payment growth.  And growing fraud threats have made payment security a major focus for both businesses and consumers.

m?ca=nlsn329068&cr=crtve&ce=emarketer&pc=emarketer plc0007&ci=nlsnci3525&am=3&at=view&rt=banner&st=image&r=1652911980 - Mastercard launches biometric checkout program as contactless, secure payments growWhile biometric payments may be compelling for consumers who value security and frictionless commerce, it could be a hard sell for privacy-focused consumers who are reticent about sharing biometric information. Thirty-six percent of global respondents said they were at least somewhat uncomfortable with biometric payments—nearly split with those who said the opposite, per a Mastercard survey.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Mastercard launches biometric checkout program as contactless, secure payments growThe 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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UK Proposes Regulations That Would Recognize Stablecoins As A Form Of Payment

The Defiant | | May 16, 2022

UK global cryptoasset hub - UK Proposes Regulations That Would Recognize Stablecoins As A Form Of PaymentStablecoins haven’t looked so stable recently. The United Kingdom doesn’t seem to be too worried

Despite the recent collapse of Terra’s UST stablecoin, the U.K. government will move forward with proposed regulations that would facilitate stablecoins’ use  “as a recognised form of payment,” according to a report from The Telegraph.

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Treasury told the U.K.-based newspaper said:

Legislation to regulate stablecoins, where used as a means of payment, will be part of the Financial Services and Markets Bill which was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Apr 5:  UK government: Sets sights on being a global hub for cryptoasset technology with flexible future regulation

The UK government said in a report issued last month after more than 12 months of study:

[Fiat-backed stablecoins] have the capacity to potentially become a widespread means of payment.  An amended e-money framework can deliver a consistent framework to regulate stablecoin issuance and the provision of wallets and custody services.

‘Global Hub For Crypto Assets’

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK,” he continued, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - UK Proposes Regulations That Would Recognize Stablecoins As A Form Of PaymentThe 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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Underground bitcoin mining operations in China lead to resurgence

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance | May 17, 2022

CCAF Bitcoin mining map - Underground bitcoin mining operations in China lead to resurgence

New mining map data, spanning the period from September 2021 to January 2022, included shows that the US has remained at the forefront of Bitcoin mining and extended its leading position (37.84%) amidst the global hashrate recovery. Following a sudden uptick in covert mining operations after the June 2021 government-mandated ban on Bitcoin mining, China has re-emerged as a major mining hub (21.11%). Kazakhstan (13.22%), Canada (6.48%), and Russia (4.66%) have been relegated to more distant places.

See: 

When we released the last update of the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), mining map in October 2021 (covering data up to the end of August 2021), the Bitcoin network was grappling with the consequences of the Chinese ban on domestic mining activities. The government crackdown immediately resulted in a harsh decline of the total hashrate – the network’s aggregate computing power – which bottomed at 57.47 Exahashes per second (EH/s) on 27 June 2021.

A new global bitcoin mining landscape

  • Kazakhstan emerged as a popular destination for miners leaving China and quickly turned into a major Bitcoin mining centre, hosting about 18.10% of the network’s total hashrate in August 2021.
  • China: Recent research has suggested that the Chinese decision to ban Bitcoin mining has worsened (rather than improved) Bitcoin’s environmental footprint.
  • Russia on the other hand not only experienced a substantial drop in relative hashrate share from 11.23% in August 2021 to 4.66% in January 2022.  One deterring reason could be perceived political risk given the vocal opposition of the Russian central bank to Bitcoin mining, going as far as lobbying for outlawing this activity.
  • Canada experienced only a moderate increase in its hashrate from 11.54 EH/s in August 2021 to 12.15 EH/s in January 2022, which resulted in a loss in market share from 9.55% to 6.48% as total network hashrate was growing significantly faster.
  • Iran has seen a severe drop in reported hashrate from 3.75 EH/s (3.11%) to 0.23 EH/s (0.12%) in January 2022, making it join the long tail of other countries with sub-1% shares.

Continue to the full article --> here

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Underground bitcoin mining operations in China lead to resurgenceThe 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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a16z Releases 2022 State of Crypto Report: 5 Key Takeaways

a16z crypto | Daren Matsuoka, Eddy Lazzarin, Chris Dixon, and Robert Hackett | May 17, 2022

Total AUM by bank including defi - a16z Releases 2022 State of Crypto Report:  5 Key Takeaways

This report is the first of what will be an annual overview of trends in the crypto industry, shared through the a16z crypto vantage point of both tracking data and across the countless entrepreneurs and builders we meet. It’s for anyone who seeks to understand the evolution of the internet, and where we are on the journey towards a decentralized, community-owned-and-operated alternative to the centralized tech platforms of web2 – especially as it touches creators and other builders.

5 Key Takeaways

1. We’re in the middle of the fourth ‘price-innovation’ cycle

Although crypto can be volatile and its cycles seem chaotic, there is an underlying logic at work, as Chris and Eddy first pointed out in 2020. (See slides 9 through 12 in the deck.) Whereas prices are often a lagging indicator of performance in some industries, in crypto they are a leading indicator. Prices are a hook. The numbers drive interest, which drives ideas and activity, which in turn drives innovation. We call this feedback loop “the price-innovation cycle”, and it has been the engine that has propelled the industry through multiple distinct waves since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009.

See:  Crypto Payments Report 2022: How digital currencies are revolutionizing commerce, corporates and culture

Analysts at Andreessen Horowitz wrote in a blog post Tuesday announcing the firm’s inaugural “State of Crypto” research report:

Price are a Hook.  The numbers drive interest, which drives ideas and activity, which in turn drives innovation.

2.   web3 is much, much better for creators than web2

The take-rates of web2 giants are extortionate; web3 platforms offer fairer economic terms. (See slide 39 in the deck.) Compare Meta’s nearly 100% take-rates across Facebook and Instagram to NFT marketplace OpenSea’s 2.5%. As U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres noted in a recent op-ed:

“You know something is profoundly wrong with our economy when Big Tech has a higher take rate than the mafia.

NFTs are the start of what is next for the creator economy, Dixon said. NFT (non-fungible tokens) creators earned on average $174,000 per creator in 2021. Music platform Spotify, which hosts 11 million artists, earned on average $636 per artist in 2021, the research report noted.

3.  Crypto is having a real-world impact

Creator payouts are just one example of crypto’s benefits; there are many others.  Consider the financial system. The status quo has failed many people: More than 1.7 billion people don’t have bank accounts, per the World Bank.

See:  Giving block reports, Crypto philanthropy jumped nearly 16x in 2021

Demand for decentralized finance or DeFi, and digital dollars, has increased dramatically in the past few years, even after accounting for the recent downturn, as the accompanying slides show. (See slides 26, 28, and 33.) For underserved and unbanked populations – 1 billion of whom have mobile phones – crypto offers a shot at financial inclusion. Projects like Goldfinch are expanding access to capital that would otherwise be unavailable in emerging markets.

Continue to the full article --> here

Download the 56 page PDF report --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - a16z Releases 2022 State of Crypto Report:  5 Key TakeawaysThe 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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Terra’s crash shakes confidence leaving some other stablecoins on shaky ground

The Verge |

depegged coins - Terra’s crash shakes confidence leaving some other stablecoins on shaky groundIn the wake of the sudden collapse of TerraUSD, several other stablecoins’ values (whose values are supposedly pegged to the dollar) have started facing issues.

Deus Finance’s DEI coin is currently trading at around 66 cents and has been fluctuating since Sunday, reaching a low of around 52 cents early Monday morning.

Unlike other major stablecoins like USD Coin and Tether, which (allegedly) have actual dollars or assets backing them, DEI’s values are controlled by algorithms making trades. It’s not that there’s no collateral — as CoinTelegraph points out, there’s a DEUS token that you can use to get new DEI tokens and that you can receive if you redeemed DEI.

See:  Ottawa to review Crypto, Stablecoins and CBDCs; Budget promises more financial cops

The Terra coin lost its peg to the dollar, eventually leading to massive inflation in the accompanying Luna coin. Eventually, the Terra blockchain was frozen, and many major exchanges delisted it from sale.

The destabilization of DEI and other coins has also opened up a new attack on a decentralized finance protocol called Scream, which lets users borrow cryptocurrencies by posting other ones as collateral. According to The Block, Scream had the price of DEI hardcoded to $1 — so attackers were able to buy DEI coins for less than $1 and post them as a full dollar’s worth of collateral. The result has left many Scream users unable to withdraw their deposits, left holding the bag on the protocol’s bad debts.

Another coin called Fantom USD has also depegged from the dollar and is currently trading around 83 cents. Scream also had Fantom USD’s listed at $1 despite its depegging — though that’s changing — letting people play the same trick in a separate currency.

See:  PayPal is Exploring the Launch of its own Stablecoin

As for Deus, it seems like there is a plan on getting DEI back to its $1 value. In a Medium post on Sunday, a member of Deus’ controlling organization said that Deus will start selling treasury bonds. Yes, like the ones the US Treasury does — in fact, the post says that the idea is “inspired by the best stable coinproject [sic] in human history, the US dollar.”

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Terra’s crash shakes confidence leaving some other stablecoins on shaky groundThe 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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Luna Foundation Guard’s Reserves Down to 313 Bitcoins from 80K post-UST Crash | Vitalik and CZ Take to Twitter

CoinDesk | Sam Kessler, Shaurya Malwa | May 16, 2022

moon over water - Luna Foundation Guard's Reserves Down to 313 Bitcoins from 80K post-UST Crash | Vitalik and CZ Take to TwitterThe announcement comes after criticism of the Luna Foundation Guard's "lack of transparency."

The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), official stewards of Terra’s bitcoin (BTC) reserves, released a statement on Monday documenting how it disbursed millions of dollars' worth of crypto in its failed attempt to maintain the peg of stablecoin terraUSD (UST).

In the statement, LFG notes that it has almost entirely depleted its BTC reserves from around 80,000 bitcoins to 313. The remaining assets, which mostly comprise the crashed UST and LUNA tokens, will apparently be used to compensate investors.

In one of the most calamitous events in crypto memory, the $40 billion Terra ecosystem collapsed last week when the UST stablecoin, which is supposed to be worth $1, dropped to below 20 cents. The LUNA token, which is designed to serve as a sort of shock absorber for UST’s “algorithmic” dollar-pegging mechanism, crashed from $80 to below 2 cents.

See:  Terra is transitioning from a dollar-pegged stablecoin to a bitcoin-backed stablecoin

In a tweet on Monday, LFG said it sold off most of the BTC in its reserves for UST as Terra’s ecosystem was beginning to collapse early last week.

  • May 8:  LFG said it transferred more than 50,000 bitcoins “to trade with a counterparty”, as the UST price was originally starting to slump.  It said the funds were used for “directly executing on-chain swaps and transferring $BTC to a counterparty to enable them to enter trades with the Foundation in large size and on short notice.”
  • On May 12, LFG said another 30,000 BTC from its reserves were sold off by Terraform Labs, the original company behind Terra, “in a last ditch effort to defend the peg.”  That, however, failed to restore UST’s peg to the U.S. dollar as traders continued to sell the token for other stablecoins, leading to an exodus of capital away from UST and thus lower prices.
  • LFG confirmed the remainder of its reserves, which once totaled over $3 billion, have sunk almost completely as a result of the unsuccessful effort to defend UST.  Says these funds will be used “to compensate remaining users of UST, smallest holders first.”

Continue to the full article --> here


Decrypt | Sander Lutz | May 15, 2022

Vitalik and CZ took to Twitter this weekend to critique Terra—and the very premise of the UST token itself.

In the aftermath of last week's historic collapse of Terra’s stablecoin, UST, and native token, LUNA, crypto leaders have emerged to offer their perspectives.  UST isn’t backed by cash or assets like other leading stablecoins. Instead, an algorithm ties UST’s value to LUNA via a burning/minting mechanism designed to keep UST at $1. That mechanism collapsed last week, wiping out UST and LUNA, and with them some $40 billion in value.

Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum:

“We need to emphasize that the two,” Buterin said, referring to algorithmic stablecoins and asset-backed stablecoins, “are very different.  [The entire premise of UST] from inception [was] intentionally misleading and inherently flawed.

See:  Yellen Renews Call for Stablecoin Regulation After Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin tumbles

After days of uncharacteristic silence, Do Kwon reemerged on Friday with a new plan to resuscitate LUNA. The idea includes abandoning UST permanently and resetting LUNA to a 1 billion token circulation, with tokens to be distributed to both former holders wiped out by last week’s events, and to current holders.

ChengPeng Zhao, Binance CEO tweet:

  • “forking” LUNA, or splitting the blockchain to create a second version, “won’t work. [It] does not give the new fork any value.  That’s wishful thinking."
  • Zhao elaborated that the fatal flaw of such a strategy is Kwon’s failure to understand that “minting coins (printing money) does not create value, it just dilutes the existing coinholders.”
  • Zhao went further, openly questioning the transparency of Kwon and Terra’s handling of the crisis spurred by UST and LUNA’s collapse.  “Where is all the BTC that was supposed to be used as reserves?” Zhao wanted to know.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Luna Foundation Guard's Reserves Down to 313 Bitcoins from 80K post-UST Crash | Vitalik and CZ Take to TwitterThe 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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Yellen Renews Call for Stablecoin Regulation After Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin tumbles

TechCrunch | Jacquelyn Melinek | May 10, 2022

Janet Yellen US Treasury secretary - Yellen Renews Call for Stablecoin Regulation After Terra's algorithmic stablecoin tumblesStablecoins have been a hot topic both on and off Capitol Hill. Earlier today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed for regulation during an annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee, at a time where Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST struggles to retain its peg.

US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, said:

New products and technology may present opportunities to promote innovation and increase efficiencies. However, digital assets may present risks to the financial system and increased and coordinated regulatory attention is necessary.

A stablecoin known as TerraUSD experienced a run and declined in value, [which] illustrates that this is a rapidly growing product and there are rapidly growing risks.  It would be highly appropriate for stablecoin regulation to occur by the end of 2022 because there are “many risks associated with cryptocurrencies.”

See:  Terra Networks’ Stablecoin Loses Dollar Peg (again) Dives 45% (Update: to near zero) Adding More Pressure on Bitcoin

Stablecoins by definition are supposed to be stable and hold their value through a 1:1 ratio that is fixed to an external peg like the U.S. dollar or it can be tied to other assets like UST, which is backed by dollars, but also cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Avalanche.

“The stablecoin sector continued to grow rapidly and remains exposed to liquidity risks,” the U.S. Federal Reserve said in a report on May 9.

The U.S. Treasury plans to release a report on cryptocurrencies and stablecoins “shortly” and plans to create “highly appropriate” legislation for the pegged asset by the end of 2022, Yellen said.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Yellen Renews Call for Stablecoin Regulation After Terra's algorithmic stablecoin tumblesThe 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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