Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies

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Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018

Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament.

The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas.

Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors.

See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies

Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards.

Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross assets or more, or 50 employees or more, have previously had to prepare such reports.

Those private companies accessing equity crowdfunding will also become subject to related party transaction rules and takeover rules, and will have to include details about the offer and the shareholders as part of their company register.

Some compliance relief has been provided to the unlisted public companies already eligible to use equity crowdfunding.

Now, all companies raising money via the crowd will only have to have their financial statements audited when they have raised $3 million or more, up from $1 million previously.

The cost and compliance of converting to an unlisted public company had previously deterred most businesses from considering equity crowdfunding, said Jonny Wilkinson, co-founder of one of the ASIC-licensed portals, Equitise.

 "Having a formalised structure and process for smaller proprietary companies to raise funds from the crowd - their customers, friends and family - will be a huge boost to small businesses and the economy, driving both growth and employment," he said.

"In turn, it also gives everyday investors the opportunity to invest in these companies and potentially make a return."

See:  Equity crowdfunding is eroding the best returns VC funds used to enjoy

The performance of equity crowdfunding has been mixed in its most established market, the UK, where it has been legal since 2011 . A 2016 study by licensed platform Seedrs of the 250 companies that had used it to raise money found they had produced an overall 14.4 per cent internal rate of return, but 41 per cent of the deals had lost money or collapsed altogether.

The quality of companies seeking funding on equity crowdfunding  platforms was questioned by 2018 research from Belgium's Ghent University and France's SKEMA School of Business, which compared data from 277 firms that sought financing on UK-based Crowdcube with two sets of similar firms that didn't list on crowdfunding platforms.

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

Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

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Why Life Insurance Policies Matter

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NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018

“You are such a worry-wart.”

This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO.

I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life.

What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared.

See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me?

I am a mother of two. My husband and I are both working. We’re your average family but we get by comfortably – maybe even a little extra from time to time. We are able to fend off our needs without having to sacrifice time and resources. We eat three meals a day – five, including snacks – and we even spend a little more on special Sundays. Family dinners, spontaneous vacations, movie nights, and whatnot, we do it all.

Mind you, I’m not here to brag but to tell a story. A story of how such a financially stable family as mine still choose to invest in life insurance despite our quality of living. We can afford things but we choose not to buy them. We can be first in line whenever Apple issues a new iPhone but we choose not to. We’re practically free to buy limited-edition albums of our favorite recording artists, but instead, we prefer to just download them on iTunes. Are we being cheapskates? Are we being tightwads?  Do we fail to make the most out of our limited time in this world?

NO.  We are being practical.

We know for a fact that money is temporary, having a job is not forever, and that good things will come to an end, one way or another. We know YOLO but we uphold a different version of it. You Only Live Once, they say. But it is exactly because you only live once that you should avoid making an embarrassment of your life. Live healthy, live fully, but live wisely. Don’t throw your hard-earned money down the drain because you don’t know how long it’s going to keep you. You don’t know how long your boss is going to keep you. This is the reality of life – one that you must definitely understand.

Getting life insurance doesn’t make you a worry-wart; it makes you a wise man (or woman, for that matter). It transforms you into someone bolder, braver, and more optimistic. Knowing that your future is secure allows you to live each day to the fullest. To spend on yourself and your family like you never have before because you know that there is much promise waiting for you in the years ahead.

This is the truth that people often fail to see. A truth that life insurance companies like Upside Insurance Greenville, Monumental, and Weatherly try very hard to introduce to people. But we’re just big dummies, aren’t we? Instead of welcoming wise words from people who are well-oriented about the harsh realities of life, we shun them and tell them to pack up their stuff because we “YOLO.”

See:  Tune into FINTECH FRIDAY$ - Insightful stories from the edge

It’s never too late or too early to start the change within yourself. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. And if you’re thinking “This lass is going to regret all the money she invested on her life insurance if it proves unnecessary someday.”

Life insurance will always and forever be necessary. There will always be a need for it. And if, in the future, I can manage even without the insurance, it still wouldn’t be a waste. It gives me the security I need to face life bravely – and that, alone, is fair merit.

To really get a better view of how life insurance can affect your life, read this: https://www.gatewayfinancial.biz/private-clients/advantages-disadvantages-of-life-insurance/

Source:  Sponsored guest post


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

Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
Read More
Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
Read More
$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
Read More
Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14): Curexe’s New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe

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NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018

Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments

About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe

Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile

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Transcription of Interview

Manseeb Khan: Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan here and you are tuning in to the NCFA's  newest podcast series Fintech Fridays. Today I have an absolutely incredible guest. I know I say this every week, but I truly, truly do have an incredible guest today. Today I'm Johnathan Holland the CEO and founder of Curexe and he's my boss. So, everybody please play nice.

Johnathan Holland: Johnathan how are you doing today man? I'm doing well Manny how's it going?

Manseeb Khan: I'm doing really well.

Manseeb Khan: So, for the audience who don't know who you really are could you just for a minute give us a little breakdown of who you are and essentially what Curexe does?

Johnathan Holland: So yes, basically I look at the world of banking like know technology hadn't really affected it in a meaningful way, it’s as one of the last industries to really be innovated. So about four years ago I decided to build this business basically out of necessity. I applied to all the banks. I wanted to be an investment banker. Nobody would give me an interview. So out of that I decided to build a foreign exchange business and out of that business. We essentially help small companies in need to send money to different countries and different currencies and then we launched another product which allows them to accept debit card payments online when I say debit card. I don't mean to Interac rails and definitely avoiding Visa, Mastercard rails and it allows any e-commerce business to integrate our one line of code. And you can accept debit card payments in 10 minutes. So, kind of built those two businesses and now we're starting to roll and feels good.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome, so the secondary product is under a whole different name which was originally. So, it's under SmartPay right. So initially started a SmartPay then you changed it to Curexe. Now back to SmartPay I guess. Why do you go back and forth like why don't you just kind of stick to one topic and is it? Are you building two different companies. Is it under a whole umbrella? How does it really work?

Johnathan Holland: Honestly Manny it’s a mess bro, so basically what I did is it started out as student currency exchange. So, I started the business it was to help international students pay for tuition around the world of course. From there I realized that it was hard enough to get banking relationships in our own country here in Canada let alone get relationships globally. Because I'd have to set up to accept money from India for someone in India to come to school in Canada and make those payments. So, it was student currency exchange and then it basically pivoted to what I called SmartPay. It ended being our legal name SmartPay incorporated and that was basically an online foreign exchange business for the small business owners that are out there. And then from there it essentially kind of changed. We kind of did it doing business under a name called Curexe C.U.R.E.X.E that ran for you know a number of years. And then when we launched this new debit card payment processing company which is still the same company is two different products now but because you know we still use that SmartPay name before, so that's what we brought back, we have a logo. You know we got the domain. So, it was easy to kind of jump into it. So, there's no real rhyme or reason it's just hop and the like name changes and pivots  and all that kind of good stuff for the start-up.

Manseeb Khan: So, could you talk a little bit more of the whole debit processing side because I'm pretty sure probably not many people know of the fees that entails. If you're using Visa MasterCard and or PayPal as an online merchant, as an online seller. could you talk a little bit more of why you decided to just build a whole different system and kind of why we're doing this whole David versus Goliath.

Johnathan Holland: Yes definitely. Yeah like it came out of necessity from our customer. so, all of them had a need to make payments to international suppliers in different currencies that was Curexe the after the first product and then they all kept complaining about accepting PayPal payments and it wasn't necessarily PayPal that was the problem. The system works fine. The problem is the fees for the business keep in mind this should be clear. If you're an online shopper out there you don't ever pay anything. You never pay anything to PayPal or credit cards. When you're online shopping and the business owners always charge this two-point nine percent of their revenue that never seems to go away. But if you're accepting money from different countries PayPal is going to force you to exchange those different currencies from say U.S. dollars accepting U.S. customer payments back to Canadian if your bank accounts are in Canada. But with that conversion there's an added cost of three and a half percent, two to three and a half depending on different credit cards and stuff as well. So, a six-point four percent of your topline revenue. And if you look at a business with a net profit margin of 10 percent you're eating into a profit. So, the businesses were complaining we realized that we had the technology to basically make it easy to collect the information we needed, and we had the bank accounts and the bank relationships to be able to pull funds from an online shoppers account. So that's what we've done. We've made it very simple putting in your credit cards easy. I'll be honest I have good credit. I don't even think I would ever use my product. I always use credit card. I'm not a points junkie like some people. some people care about their points other people there's a percentage of the population that don't like getting in debt because they're starting to learn more or they don't even own a credit card at all for that reason they just don't want to be in debt but there's no option that's not viable to buy a product online, outside of credit card or PayPal. So, what do you do have to sign up for a PayPal account or if they don't offer PayPal you have to get a credit card. So, some people just don't shop, or they drop off in check-outs.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I think it's I think it's a lack of education thing. right? I think it's like now kind of what you have mentioned of what you mentioned right. Like people are getting a lot more smarter and knowing a little bit more of how credit score works. What you should and shouldn't do when you get a credit card and just like what good credit really doesn't like how much it opens so much more doorways right. So, it's incredible. You guys are ,we are kind of providing a not only a great system to help business owners save a crap ton of money that can go right back into the business. Help them grow but you're also providing a very good education behind them and like teaching people. hey that's not the only way you can do it. There’re other ways you can do it and we're building a system to help you understand that.

Johnathan Holland: That's definitely right

Manseeb Khan: Could you talk a little bit  more of the regulations behind this and just regulations being a money service business in general?

Johnathan Holland: So, we have these special bank accounts that essentially that allow us to pull money from any Canadian or U.S. bank account. now because we have that capability there's a lot of responsibility that goes with that. So, we're registered what's called a money service business as a money service business. We're very highly regulated it's Fintrac in Canada, FinCEN in the U.S. They basically have very strict rules that apply when you're dealing with money launderers out there, terrorist financing. There's a lot of like global sanctions list that we scrape, screen names that we need to make sure that the bad guys aren't able to move money around with our system and the regulations make sure that we're reporting and at least giving them all the information that they need that if there was a deep investigation that they would be able to at least maybe track down those individuals the bad guys, the bad actors and then do something about it. So, what happens is Fintrac or FinCEN and we'll collaborate with law enforcement and they'll be able to essentially help stop terrorism or funding I guess of terrorism and money laundering. as well which is obviously a big issue with lots of criminal organizations and the bad stuff that can happen with that. So, we're very regulated. We have annual reviews there's like every two years we ever review from our federal regulator which is a very serious kind of event and we just always have to make sure we're on top of this stuff for moral issues and for the laws that we have to follow the law.

Manseeb Khan: So being a money service  business you're definitely going to deal with a lot of fraud or have you have a way higher potential risk of fraud. Could you talk a little bit more what fraud prevention you're putting in place and talk a little bit more of what you're seeing that's there. And like pretty much the loopholes or fraud prevention your kind of hoping that kind of gets filled in moving forward?

Johnathan Holland: Yeah, no absolute fraud happens. money service business is a broad term, so money service business could be that little kiosk in the mall. where you can go to exchange or Canadians in euros before you go to Europe. I mean you could wash money through that stuff, but fraud is probably less prevalent. Assuming they check the Bills under lighting and everything because there could be against counterfeit. But with online money transfer businesses there's always that risk right. I mean you can create a business fairly easily get it registered open up an online store start accepting payments with no intention of paying the people basically just ripping off shoppers never send in products out. So, us as a business we have to be able to combat against this stuff, so we have a really strict analysis on the business. How long have they been in business? Identify all the individuals in the business pull Corp reports from different sources who can make sure the business is legitimate. We'll even go as far as talking to their end customers making sure that things are smooth. So we do a lot of in-depth stuff that a fraudster pretty much can't avoid which is what really helps us kind of combat against these guys and then outside of that a lot of fancy technology stuff or we track IP address as we screen different computers we have different recording systems and being very vague here for a reason because the deeper I go, the more knowledge I'm giving out there and then these fraudsters because there's an entire industry around the stuff that there's conferences that I've been that, that explain to me there's conferences for hackers and how to rip off credit card lists like you know all this stuff that's happening so the conventions in Vegas to teach people how to rip people off with their credit cards right.

So, the credit cards are very easy to rip off. Luckily your credit card company reimburses you of course at no cost to them. And shoppers don't realize it. But if somebody steals your credit card but has a product from the store. Visa MasterCard or not out the money. That's why their stock charts a 45 degree angle up and to the right. Essentially the business owner loses that money. So, this could be a small business owner. You know you name it. That are now out funds and that's a loss of they have on their books. so, it's definitely a serious thing. That's why people should be very diligent about making very secure passwords my passwords are anywhere from 25 characters to 64 characters. Random numbers letters and symbols. It has to be that way. Use a password manager that makes it easy. You don't have to be typing anything off the piece of paper and type it in and it makes your life easier and safer and then you're helping business owners that are out there as well because the fraud that happens in this industry it's amazing what they've came up with to fraud systems and everything so that there's a lot of stuff that we do.  I just want to make sure I don't give away too much. Yeah nation's nerve. Can somewhat crack the code which they sill. We have endpoints that are manually can't but still helps.

Manseeb Khan:  Right .Canada has been on the up of A.I. so do you see I guess A.I playing a role in helping Curexe and other businesses like Curexe in the future

Johnathan Holland: No absolutely. I mean AI is going to touch every industry I think in a very meaningful way especially in the payment side now. The ones that have the most advantage are the ones with the most data. So, you have to work with banks, you have to work with organizations that are willing to share data.  Visa ,MasterCard have built some pretty good rules you'll notice now if you go on a trip oftentimes will say you don't have to call the credit card company. It's because you probably booked it through flight through a booking thing and they're sharing the data back and forth. There's such a good thing for the end customer. But yeah, I mean in general there's a lot of interesting things going on in the space from that angle and we're all just doing. We can I mean A.I will change a lot of this and I've haven't seen a lot of very developed A.I that really has helped us this besides maybe Visa MasterCard and what they do. Keep in mind online shopper it doesn't matter how you pay you never to charge anything. you never get frauded any money. You'll ultimately get your money back. I mean if there is a unique scenario where there was big complications that just make sure like I said Protect your passwords securely. What happens is we'll take a longer period of time for the resolution to happen if it was something bigger. So, if you're wealthy individual and you listen to this just be very secure with all your passwords and stuff. which you probably already are because you probably had an incident happened at some point. For anybody that's just using typical credit card .they just give your money back off the work. So, there's no stress about buying something online and that's why the market's growing 15 percent year over year with online shoppers everybody is going online. It's easy. You know people are starting to order groceries online. It's becoming a more convenient world. And I think that there'll be more shopping online.

Manseeb Khan: Yes, speaking of online shoppers you are seeing a growth maybe not. Nothing too crazy. We were seeing a growth of people buying items through crypto. Right. So, do you see how do you see crypto playing a role in this do you. Do you guys see that. Later on, accepting crypto. Do you guys see maybe launching an ICO like what's your take on servicing cryptos.

Johnathan Holland: So, the reason I love cryptocurrency is because I started studying it in 2014. I looked at crypto like this is going to be the next thing that could rip away my business. Now a lot of interesting things have happened with Bitcoin the way it took off it is honestly like magical is the best word to describe it because for the network effects and everyone to get that on board with you know really what it is. Now finally someone can compete with money transfer businesses and banks and stuff like that. So, it was very exciting to see the way it took off. It still hasn't proven itself to be viable in the market. And what I mean by that is the volatility. And I'll explain if a lot of viewers aren't very finance savvy but the volatility. so, Bitcoin can move 5 percent in a day. If you're a business owner accepting 100 bucks with crypto and within that day it drops to 95 that literally with the PayPal fees as well could cripple a good or 10 percent net profit margin like we discussed before. So, the volatility in the movement of it can go in your favor and you make 105 bucks. But it could also go against you. the business orders aren't typically comfortable with our kind of risk. So what needs to happen and any bankers listening please push for this within your banks, become a market maker for crypto and market makers. Basically, you provide a lot of liquidity a lot of dollars like billions of dollars and buy and sell and take both sides of the trade. So, you sell side buy side in any given market and that's why you have a very liquid market get in and out in seconds.

So, for example you could buy a Wal-Mart stock your order executes instantly, if you buy a small cap company meaning they're you know a smaller size company who might only trade three times throughout the day. so, you can only have three times where a buyer and seller are willing to agree on a price. And then and then a change happens. So, a crypto more liquidity spreads are still crazy like the volatilities moving about 5 percent a day. So, if you have market makers come in it basically reduced that volatility not 5 percent but smooths it out. And if it's more smooth then at least the business can accept the crypto and then you know convert back to fiat and not have to worry, ideally in a perfect world for like I'm talking to consumers, business owners everybody adopts crypto and everybody just uses that as a currency because the fees are much lower. The system is very secure. It's a secure network of nodes and all those nodes literally have to agree on all the transactions that happen, or it doesn't go through. There's no duplicate of money. There's oftentimes the SWIFT network our international payment network gets hacked and money gets lost. You hear about it, but they keep it very quiet as the like. What's actually happening around the world. crypto and bitcoin has risks like this as well because it's early, but it does have the potential to become something that would be very viable. I personally didn't invest in crypto because it's a it's a buy sell thing. It's like Warren Buffet says why would you buy a piece of gold. And the reason he says have a bar of gold and you have to buy things so what you do is you clip off a little piece of gold. And you paid for your groceries at a clip of a piece of gold and he buys clothes for the day of your family whatever it is that you clip off in a little piece of that bar. You don't even have a gold bar at the end of it. Warren Buffet would rather do is buy a piece of land that has a store value  you which is what crypto kind of has. I mean bitcoin with the scarcity of the coins gives us somewhat of a perceived value like the scarcity of diamonds and gold. Right. So, if you have a piece of land and that produces you crops every year you can mine those crops then buy your food and beverage and you still have a piece of land you still have that store value. with Bitcoin. You're saying it's worth 10000 but you're only saying we're 10000. Everybody's agreed it's 10000. If everybody agreed that tomorrow that it's worth hundred it'll go to a hundred or go to 100k some people are predicting. So, I'm unsure where the price of crypto will go. But I love the fact that it could actually come in and start to transact the businesses have to accept that widely. And individuals have to start paying with it and then hopefully we see the network effects take off and maybe commerce will begin.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mentioned in a couple of episodes past you're seeing a lot of institutions and banks started to get on the crypto market like trying to in a sense bring both worlds together where you have like the regulations unlike the traditional marketplace into the new marketplace the whole decentralization everything. So, you're seeing like a bridge if not a maybe arranged marriage being built around it. So yeah it should be very interesting to see how it goes the next 18 to 24 months to wrap this up. What would be other than make sure you secure your passwords make sure you're paying attention to where your money is going. What would be your advice to either online merchant’s small business owners and anybody else that's in the industry.

Johnathan Holland: I mean it depends it's a very broad questions of we can go in a number of different ways but online merchants there are other services available like now because we've launched this debit card solution. I know there's going to be several other players that are coming in and they're going to build there a new type of credit card or different type of payment systems using crypto to make online payments. That's some exciting areas that can move into. So, I would say the online merchants especially if you're doing big volume that 2.5 percent and then FX stuff as well that you're getting dinged that matters to your business so look for other solutions it doesn't necessarily have to be lower cost and sacrifice quality. Right because there's products out there that can still have the same quality, but you also get to save a bit of money while you're doing it. So, the merchant should do that, online shoppers I mean ultimately you know your personal finances are important. Do what you can to save your money and getting into debt is obviously not that smart. Interac in Canada a lot of ads but this like back in the black meaning you know back in the positive. I don't think the general population you know is that black is positive and red is negative. But you know maybe this is where that degree maybe I'm given them you know some food for thought there but, so you know it's good I think as a consumer to make sure that you're saving your money. so be mindful of what you're spending on. And when you do spend it I would say use debt but I'm biased. I think it's better to not get in debt.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, Johnathan thank you so much for sitting down with me today. This has been very educational for me even though I'm in the company but I'm pretty sure a lot of people might have learned a thing or two and hopefully it will change the passwords like I'm going to in the next 30 seconds and I can't we talking on the show going man.

Johnathan Holland: Happy to be here Manny. Cheers.

 

End of Podcast

 

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

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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue to the full article --> here


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

Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
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Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development
Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
Read More
Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
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$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
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Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

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Indiegogo quietly canceled its first ICO after raising $5.2 million

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The Next Web - Hard Fork | Aug 24, 2018

Indiegogo’s first foray into the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency has gone awry – but the good thing is that it appears investors will at least get their money back.

In an email sent out in July, Indiegogo’s token brokerage partner, MicroVentures, informed investors they will not be receiving tokens – but refunds instead. From the looks of it, the reason for issuing refunds are recent changes in regulation.

Hard Fork has since obtained a copy of the message, which you can read below:

Thank you for participating in the FCFL pre-sale. If you have been following the crypto and ICO markets for the last 6 months you already know that the regulatory environment has been rapidly changing. The SEC has provided multiple comments regarding security and utility tokens, but has not provided formal guidance or a compliant framework on how to conduct these offerings.

During this time, your investment was not distributed to the company. This was done to ensure that MicroVentures navigated through the regulatory climate prior to finalizing the offering. While we believe the initial path taken was compliant, we have decided the best way to ensure compliance is to unwind the investment opportunity and return investor capital.

We are beginning the return process today.You may hear from someone on our team if we need to verify return instructions on how to return your investment capital to you.

See:  What’s the Difference Between a Regulated ICO and an STO?

Not to be mistaken with yesterday’s security token offering for the rich, Indiegogo announced plans to branch out into initial coin offerings (ICOs) in a statement last December. Given its success (and some failures) in the crowdraising sector, the expansion into token offerings seemed like a good fit.

The guinea pig was the Fan Controlled Football League (FCPL), an Indiegogo alum seeking to raise up to $5 million to build a community-run football league. In return, the company promised to distribute tokens to their investors. The token distribution was to be overseen by Indiegogo’s partner, MicroVentures.

The announcement gathered tons of attention from media outlets, securing coverage from Fortune, CNBC, CoinDesk, TechCrunch, and even The New York Times.

“We want to bring a brand of trust to the entire industry, which we think will bring [ICOs] to the mainstream,” Indiegogo co-founder Slava Rubin told The New York Times in 2017. “Now, we’re ready to become the go-to platform for selling and investing in digital tokens and blockchain-based assets, and we can’t wait for you to join us,” Indiegogo’s announcement added.

Indeed, FCFL boasted about exceeding its crowdfunding goals, raising the equivalent of $5.2 million “in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and classic fiat currency.” Unfortunately, the tokens were never distributed to investors. In fact, it appears MicroVentures did not even consult with FCFL prior to informing investors about the botched token sale.

According to FCFL CEO Sohrob Farudi, MicroVentures initiated the refunding process without FCFL’s approval. (We contacted MicroVentures for a clarification, but representatives were not available for comment as of time of publishing.)

“We would like to address the recent email that we understand some of you received from MicroVentures,” Farudi said in a July statement, referring to the refund message shared above. “We did not consent to that email being sent out. We have no way to communicate directly with the purchasers who participated in our presale [sic] on MicroVentures platform as MicroVentures has refused to give us any information about who the purchasers are in order for us to communicate with them.”

“If you were a purchaser in the MicroVentures platform offering, FCFL would be happy to hear from you directly,” Farudi added. “We want to ensure that MicroVentures is handling this unwinding that it initiated properly and treating any purchasers in the MicroVentures platform offering fairly.”

For the record, other than the St Regis Aspen Resort security token offering from yesterday, FCFL is Indiegogo’s first and only experience in the blockchain funding space. Speaking to The Verge in August, Rubin said the FCFL token sale “went well” – despite MicroVenture’s intention to issue refunds.

See:  Too big to flop: Inside Indiegogo’s plan to circumvent crowdfunding failures

Asked about what went wrong with the FCFL ICO, Rubin told Hard Fork “the [MicroVentures] email issued to investors provides all the context for the refund.”

“For clarification, Indiegogo partnered with MicroVentures in 2016, an SEC-registered [broker-dealer], to help market and amplify offerings on their platform to our global audience,” he further clarified in an email to Hard Fork. “Indiegogo itself is not a registered broker-dealer, and in the case of FCFL, or any other investment offering, does not participate in investment related activities.”

Continue to the full article --> here


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

Blockchain is here – so what next? The Blockchain Developer Opportunity If you are a software engineer interested in emerging high growth project opportunities, you’ll want to ensure your technical skills are polished and you have access to proper training and resources. There is a significant shortage of skilled Blockchain developers unable to meet the demand of emerging projects! NCFA is pleased to announce an inaugural educational partnership with the Blockchain Learning Group offering a special introductory rate to attend an immersive, 2-day Blockchain developer training course on decentralized application development to help fill the gap of skilled engineers while connecting graduates to project opportunities. According to a recent 2018 PwC survey, 84% of 600 executive responders confirmed some involvement with Blockchain technology from proof of concepts to well capitalized international scale-ups and incumbents looking to modernize legacy systems. Distributed and immutable ledger applications are evolving rapidly with uses cases that improve trust and transparency for many business processes while distributing transactions to a decentralized network in a way that reduces costs and eliminates intermediaries. While crypto markets have exceeded $200 billion in just the last 2 years alone, the underlying technology is forecasted to disrupt almost every vertical with ...
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Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
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Whitepaper Provides Information About Cryptocommodities As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
Read More
The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town
Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
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$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
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Why Life Insurance Policies Matter
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
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Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

Share

FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.7-Aug 31): How to Structure an ICO and the Mind of a Fintech-preneur with Gary Schwartz of Pegasus Fintech Inc.

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NCFA Canada | Aug 31, 2018

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

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

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

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

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

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

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

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here


Transcription of Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

End of Podcast

 

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

 


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

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Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018 Businesses wishing to raise money from retail investors will no longer have to convert to an unlisted public company structure, after an amendment to 2017's equity crowdfunding legislation passed federal Parliament. The legislation, which takes effect in 28 days from Wednesday, allows proprietary companies or unlisted public companies with annual turnover or gross assets of up to $25 million to advertise their business plans on ASIC-licensed crowdfunding portals, and raise up to $5 million a year to carry them out. Investors can put up to $10,000 a year each into an unlimited number of ideas. Australian private companies are typically limited to a maximum of 50 non-employee shareholders. However, under these reforms, investors acquiring shares through a crowdfunding portal are excluded from this cap, allowing private companies to raise funds from potentially hundreds or thousands of investors. See:  Australia and UK set up FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies Proprietary companies with crowdfunded shareholders will have to prepare annual financial and directors' reports in accordance with accounting standards. Only large proprietary companies, defined as those with any two of either $25 million turnover or above, $12.5 million of gross ...
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$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies
NCFA Sponsored guest post | Sep 18, 2018 “You are such a worry-wart.” This is the common reaction I get whenever I tell people about how I like to plan ahead. They tell me that I’m too overreacting, that I live too much for the future and not for the present, and that I really don’t get the concept of YOLO. I really don’t give a darn about what these people say. They’re impractically wasting their time, breath, and energy trying to change how I live my life. What if I’m so gung-ho about planning for the future? What if I’m too overly prepared even my future dogs and cats will be feasting every single day? It’s still better than having no insurance. It’s still better than having my children carry my weight. Lastly, it’s still better than being ill-prepared. See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech? If I were to choose between too much and too little, I’d choose too much any day. After all, what’s wrong with having so much you could spare a ton? It’s a thousand times better than having to ask for financial aid because you have so little. Do you get me? I ...
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Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Sep 17, 2018 People keep asking me, what’s the deal with stablecoins? With two prominent regulatory approvals to issue the blockchain-based tokens, many have heralded them as the next evolution of cryptocurrency, while others say they’re perfect evidence of why no one ever needed cryptocurrency in the first place. On a basic level, a stablecoin is a token that has a mechanism in place to minimize its price fluctuations. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, which are directly tied to their wildly fluctuating demand, a stablecoin can rely on four methods to constrain its fluctuations. See:  One SEC commissioner is establishing herself as the voice of innovation for the crypto market The first and by far most popular way to achieve this stability is to peg the price of the token to a more stable asset like the U.S. dollar. This is what both the Gemini and Paxos cryptocurrency exchanges received permission to do from the New York Department of Financial Services last week. Unlike bitcoin and ethereum, which are created through a mining process that also ensures the blockchain’s accuracy, these stablecoins are only created when someone buys them with U.S. dollars. Gemini and Paxos ...
Read More
3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith
NCFA Canada | Sep 14, 2018 Ep9-Sep 14: Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments About this episode:  On this episode our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO And founder of Curexe, so chat about their new product called SmartPay! They also talked about how A.I is going to touch the payments and every other industry, regulations that could be in place when accepting crypto and many more. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: Johnathan Holland, Founder and CEO, Curexe Bio:  Johnathan Holland's experience comes from a decade of learning about capital markets and a relentless pursuit of providing better customer experiences in the payments and currency exchange industry. Johnathan’s advantage has been to look at the currency exchange industry in a new light, which enabled him to create a new, better way to empower the businesses that are underserved by their current solutions.  Johnathan graduated from the 2016 cohort of the Next 36 accelerator program that helps young entrepreneurs build high impact businesses and is currently running the company out of the DMZ.  LinkedIn profile Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.9-Sep 14):  Curexe's New SmartPay Product & Front-line of Global Digital Payments with Johnathan Holland, Founder of Curexe
Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018 A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money. Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets. Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price. “I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.” The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as ...
Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

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Why startups are leaving Silicon Valley

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The Economist | Aug 30, 2018

Its primacy as a technology hub is on the wane. That is cause for concern

“LIKE Florence in the Renaissance.” That is a common description of what it is like to live in Silicon Valley. America’s technology capital has an outsize influence on the world’s economy, stockmarkets and culture. This small portion of land running from San Jose to San Francisco is home to three of the world’s five most valuable companies. Giants such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Netflix all claim Silicon Valley as their birthplace and home, as do trailblazers such as Airbnb, Tesla and Uber. The Bay Area has the 19th-largest economy in the world, ranking above Switzerland and Saudi Arabia.

See:  Silicon Valley Bank Is Coming for Canada’s Burgeoning Tech Scene

The Valley is not just a place. It is also an idea. Ever since Bill Hewlett and David Packard set up in a garage nearly 80 years ago, it has been a byword for innovation and ingenuity. It has been at the centre of several cycles of Schumpeterian destruction and regeneration, in silicon chips, personal computers, software and internet services. Some of its inventions have been ludicrous: internet-connected teapots, or an app that sold people coins to use at laundromats. But others are world-beaters: microprocessor chips, databases and smartphones all trace their lineage to the Valley.

Its combination of engineering expertise, thriving business networks, deep pools of capital, strong universities and a risk-taking culture have made the Valley impossible to clone, despite many attempts to do so. There is no credible rival for its position as the world’s pre-eminent innovation hub. But there are signs that the Valley’s influence is peaking (see Briefing). If that were simply a symptom of much greater innovation elsewhere, it would be cause for cheer. The truth is unhappier.

Silicon Plateau

First, the evidence that something is changing. Last year more Americans left the county of San Francisco than arrived. According to a recent survey, 46% of respondents say they plan to leave the Bay Area in the next few years, up from 34% in 2016. So many startups are branching out into new places that the trend has a name, “Off Silicon Valleying”. Peter Thiel, perhaps the Valley’s most high-profile venture capitalist, is among those upping sticks. Those who stay have broader horizons: in 2013 Silicon Valley investors put half their money into startups outside the Bay Area; now it is closer to two-thirds.

See:  How to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem

The reasons for this shift are manifold, but chief among them is the sheer expense of the Valley. The cost of living is among the highest in the world. One founder reckons young startups pay at least four times more to operate in the Bay Area than in most other American cities. New technologies, from quantum computing to synthetic biology, offer lower margins than internet services, making it more important for startups in these emerging fields to husband their cash. All this is before taking into account the nastier features of Bay Area life: clogged traffic, discarded syringes and shocking inequality.

Other cities are rising in relative importance as a result. The Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit group that tracks entrepreneurship, now ranks the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area first for startup activity in America, based on the density of startups and new entrepreneurs. Mr Thiel is moving to Los Angeles, which has a vibrant tech scene. Phoenix and Pittsburgh have become hubs for autonomous vehicles; New York for media startups; London for fintech; Shenzhen for hardware. None of these places can match the Valley on its own; between them, they point to a world in which innovation is more distributed.

If great ideas can bubble up in more places, that has to be welcome. There are some reasons to think the playing-field for innovation is indeed being levelled up. Capital is becoming more widely available to bright sparks everywhere: tech investors increasingly trawl the world, not just California, for hot ideas. There is less reason than ever for a single region to be the epicentre of technology. Thanks to the tools that the Valley’s own firms have produced, from smartphones to video calls to messaging apps, teams can work effectively from different offices and places. A more even distribution of wealth may be one result, greater diversity of thought another. The Valley does many things remarkably well, but it comes dangerously close to being a monoculture of white male nerds. Companies founded by women received just 2% of the funding doled out by venture capitalists last year.

See:  Indiegogo’s New Hub for Entrepreneurs Is an Important Reminder to Us All

Shadows of the colossi

The problem is that the wider playing-field for innovation is also being levelled down. One issue is the dominance of the tech giants. Startups, particularly those in the consumer-internet business, increasingly struggle to attract capital in the shadow of Alphabet, Apple, Facebook et al. In 2017 the number of first financing rounds in America was down by around 22% from 2012. Alphabet and Facebook pay their employees so generously that startups can struggle to attract talent (the median salary at Facebook is $240,000). When the chances of startup success are even less certain and the payoffs not so very different from a steady job at one of the giants, dynamism suffers—and not just in the Valley. It is a similar story in China, where Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent are responsible for close to half of all domestic venture-capital investment, giving the giants a big say in the future of potential rivals.

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

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Incipient Industries | Steven Dryall | Sep 19, 2018 Incipient Industries Releases Whitepaper Describing How Cryptocommodities  Are Created and Used As The Basis For A Stable Cryptocurrency Toronto, ON, Canada, September 17, 2018 - Incipient Industries Inc. announces the release of the definitive whitepaper on the subject of cryptocommodities. Following years of development combined with the dissemination of information related to cryptocurrency viability and asset- based cryptocurrencies, an actual description of how to deploy a cryptocommodity  is now available. This is a first in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry and represents a significant step towards a stabilized digital economy. The cryptocurrency industry is still developing and discovering ways to integrate with traditional financial systems or to replace them altogether. The introduction of cryptocoomodities into the cryptosphere creates a new category of opportunities for pioneers in the space. For those seeking a solution to a stable cryptocurrency, this is the best path to success. See:  3 Clever Ways To Reach Crypto Price Stability, And One Giant Leap Of Faith “This is a perfect use case for cryptocurrency and also follows the Three Pillars of a Viable Cryptocurrency framework.” says Steven Dryall, CEO of Incipient Industries, who has pioneered several key concepts of ...
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Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018 With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts. In 1971, an 11th grader named Greg Strebel wrote the introduction to a book about Ocean Falls, the tiny town in the British Columbian hinterlands where he lived. Strebel mentioned the odd fact that many of the town’s roads were made of wood, said the weather wasn’t as bad as some people made it out to be and noted that it had just gotten a new school building. But the one thing that mattered above all, according to Strebel, was the paper mill. “To most, 'the mill’ imparts a sense of security by its presence,” he wrote. “A low throb of power is audible throughout most of the town as long as the mill runs, accompanied by voluminous exhalations of steam.” The security provided by the mill turned out to be fleeting. It went silent when Strebel was in his 20s. Most of the buildings in Ocean Falls that haven’t been demolished over the decades are crumbling in place, and Strebel, along with most everyone who once lived there, is long gone. A ...
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Read More
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Read More
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Read More
Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Computer Weekly | Karl Flinders | Sep 13, 2018 A Tech Nation programme to support the UK's financial technology startups demonstrates the increasingly diverse range of business-to-business products and services available through the country's fintech community Financial technology (fintech) is providing a market where IT professionals in the finance sector and beyond can find answers to their business challenges through specialist tech startups. UK-based CIOs have the benefit of having these fintech startups on their doorstep. UK government-backed startup network Tech Nation has selected 20 such fintech startups to take part in a five-month programme that aims to scale up early-stage companies. The programme’s business-to-business (B2B) focus demonstrates that beyond the high-profile digital challenger banks and payments companies targeting consumers with funky apps, there is a deep source of niche financial services IT innovation in the UK. Fintech solutions begin life as an idea about how to use technology to solve a particular financial services problem. The speed of software development today means products can quickly follow. See:  UK Government Ups Crowdfunding without Prospectus to €8 Million – Matching Germany But the challenges really begin when it comes to turning a great idea into a commercial success. This is where the likes ...
Read More
Tech Nation startup programme demonstrates richness of UK fintech
Forbes | Enrique Dans | Sep 5, 2018 The growing popularity of fintech and the emergence of competitors in different phases of the cycle, from new banks such as Germany’s N26 to partial service providers such as Revolut and others, or niche competitors such as Shine, highlights not just the inability of traditional banking to compete with them, but even to understand the most basic implications of the phenomenon. The banks’ problem is not competing with these types of companies, or at least, not for now. We talking here about vastly different magnitudes, of scale: a service with strong growth like Revolut, for example, expects to reach three million customers by next month, which is nothing to Santander’s more than 113 million customers in more than ten countries worldwide. The idea that fintech companies represent some kind of threat seems absurd, seen in the context of size. Obviously, this does not mean that the traditional banks should ignore the phenomenon — and they aren’t. Ignoring change and hoping that size will continue to matter is risky. The big banks are aware that the growth of the fintech phenomenon is mainly due to their own shortcomings, to the strong tendency towards industry isomorphism, ...
Read More
What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

 

Share