Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More

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Forbes | | Oct 18, 2018

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a portal for engaging with companies using blockchain, artificial intelligence and more.

Available today, the new fintech hub, or FinHub for short, is designed to bring the SEC’s existing services to a single access point and provide an easier way for companies to communicate with the public.

As startups building with blockchain increasingly come under the SEC’s attention, the new portal has the potential to streamline the process of building compliant platforms prior to launch.

The SEC’s FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.

“We’ve been doing these things for years,” Szczepanik told Forbes. “This is going to bring it all together.”

The FinHub will be staffed by representatives from the SEC’s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in fintech-related issues.

See:  Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens

In addition to asking questions of the SEC, those who use the site will be able to request meetings. To increase engagement, a binary code “Easter egg” message has been hidden on the page.

Over the past year the number of cases being publicly pursued by the SEC has increased. As a result the U.S securities regulator earlier this year published a webpage that spoofed scam websites as a way to educate potential investors and blockchain builders. The new portal appears to be an extension of that strategy.

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

BusinessWire release | Accenture | Oct 17, 2018 Digital-only banks, fintechs and big tech companies are quietly gaining customers, while incumbents struggle to make strategic investments in their digital future NEW YORK & LONDON & HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New entrants to the banking market — including challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies — are amassing up to one-third of new revenue, which is challenging the competitiveness of traditional banks, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN). “As the banking industry experiences radical change, driven by regulation, new entrants and demanding consumers, banks will need to reassess their assets, strengths and capabilities to determine if they are taking their business in the right direction” Accenture analyzed more than 20,000 banking and payments institutions across seven markets to quantify the level of change and disruption in the global banking industry. The study found that the number of banking and payments institutions decreased by nearly 20 percent over a 12-year period — from 24,000 in 2005 to less than 19,300 in 2017. However, nearly one in six (17 percent) current institutions are what Accenture considers new entrants — i.e., companies entering the market after 2005. While few of these new players ...
Read More
Banks’ Revenue Growth at Risk Due to Unprecedented Competitive Pressure Resulting from Digital Disruption, Accenture Study Finds
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Oct 18, 2018 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a portal for engaging with companies using blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Available today, the new fintech hub, or FinHub for short, is designed to bring the SEC’s existing services to a single access point and provide an easier way for companies to communicate with the public. As startups building with blockchain increasingly come under the SEC’s attention, the new portal has the potential to streamline the process of building compliant platforms prior to launch. The SEC’s FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. “We’ve been doing these things for years,” Szczepanik told Forbes. “This is going to bring it all together.” The FinHub will be staffed by representatives from the SEC’s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in fintech-related issues. See:  Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens In addition to asking questions of the SEC, those who use the site will be able to request meetings. To increase engagement, a binary code “Easter egg” ...
Read More
SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More
Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018 Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes". According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – ...
Read More
Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
International Monetary Fund | Release | Oct 11, 2018 The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group today launched the Bali Fintech Agenda, a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the provision of banking services, while at the same time managing the inherent risks. The Agenda proposes a framework of high-level issues that countries should consider in their own domestic policy discussions and aims to guide staff from the two institutions in their own work and dialogue with national authorities. The 12 elements (see table) were distilled from members’ own experiences and cover topics relating broadly to enabling fintech; ensuring financial sector resilience; addressing risks; and promoting international cooperation. “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not ...
Read More
The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities
Investment Executive | James Langton | Oct 12, 2018 Money laundering and tax evasion are key concerns Canadian policy-makers initially took a hands-off approach to cryptoassets. Now, in the wake of a bitcoin boom-and-bust and continuing growth in the cryptoassets market, policy-makers are taking a second look at the emerging phenomenon. In 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce issued one of Canada’s first reports examining the emerging cryptocurrency industry; that report recommends that policy-makers keep an eye on the space. Since then, the cryptoassets market has continued to grow. According to a report from the Bank of Canada (BoC), the global market capitalization for cryptoassets “grew rapidly” in 2017 and the daily transaction volume now is more than 75 times higher than it was in early 2017 – i.e., more than $25 billion a day. At this point, the BoC report states, traditional financial services institutions don’t have much, if any, direct exposure to cryptoassets, but the report cautions that these institutions could become exposed due to their clients’ trading in cryptoassets or through exchange trading in crypto-based derivatives. “Cryptoasset markets are evolving quickly and could have financial stability implications in the future if their size ...
Read More
Exploring cryptoasset regulation
NCFA Canada | Oct 13, 2018 Ep13-Oct 13:  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA show host Manseeb Khan sits down with Ali Pourdad the CEO of Progressa who recently closed out an $84 million dollar round. They talk about P2P loans, loan services operating within the blockchain and why being people first business matters. Enjoy! (see Transcript) Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALI POURDAD, Co-founder and CEO, Progressa (LinkedIn) Bio:  Ali Pourdad has been CEO of Progressa since its inception in 2013. Under his leadership the Company has raised over $40 million of investor capital and invested over $2.0 million dollars in its proprietary "Powered by Progressa" decision engine for Canadian Enterprise partners looking to enhance collections strategy in a positive way. The company has grown to over 110 employees in Vancouver and Toronto. Ali has decisively positioned Progressa for its next generation of growth by recently executing on several initiatives, including creating one of Canada's most popular Exempt Market Bond Offerings and securing an $11.4 million Series A financing . Prior to co-founding Progressa, Ali worked in both corporate restructuring and audit & assurance, ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.13-Oct 12):  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First with Ali Pourdad, Co-founder and CEO Progressa
Beam Platform | Alec Gordon | Aug 24, 2018 THE PROBLEM The tech industry has gotten a rude awakening this year. Following a few high profile instances of data misuse, European Union has struck down the law and put everyone who sells into Europe (or deals with anyone who does) on notice. Since introduction, GDPR was meant to show both corporations and their users that better clarity around data collection/preservation is the necessary step forward, one that will lead to a fairer digital society, and ultimately benefit all those involved. And in order to do that, the companies themselves must take matters into their own hands by building new tools to let data flow back to the user. The customers demand it, and equally deserve to have control over their digital footprint. In the end this is an EU bill with global ramifications, and we should all be paying attention. By now you most of you have gotten dozens of emails on “updates to privacy policy” and other notices of forthcoming compliance. This is a welcome reminder that it is you, the user, who’s the focal point GDPR. After decades of computer and telephone use, the companies with whom we ...
Read More
Data is a 2-way street in a post-GDPR world
Competition Bureau | Oct 10, 2018 Speech Remarks by Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell Global Series 2018 October 10, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Thank you. I’m pleased to be here to speak with you today. Thank you Makan, for your thoughts on these important issues. They are particularly relevant to businesses, the legal community, academia and governments around the world and to all of you who are gathered here today. Every day we see the world evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to innovation.  Development of new technologies, ways of doing business and the creation of new products have the potential to open up new areas of science, medicine and technology. Small steps lead to bigger steps.  And here in Canada, we have to be ready for both the challenges and opportunities that this is bringing to all of us. Let’s understand what we are up against. Every year, innovation in the top industrialized countries is tracked by leading authorities on the subject. And here’s what they report about Canada in 2018. On the plus side, Canada performs better than some others in four big areas: Human Capital and Research, Institutions, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication. See:  Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has ...
Read More
Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Oct 9, 2018 Vancouver-based cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has been defending itself in court for the release of $28 million dollars in customer funds frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) since January, the Globe and Mail reports. According to court documents filed by CIBC in the Canadian province of Ontario, the action to freeze the accounts was taken because the bank says, “it was unable to determine who owns the funds,” and would like the court to take possession of the money and distribute it to either QuadrigaCX, their payments processor Custodian Inc, or to the 388 affected Quadriga customers, the Globe and Mail writes. Entrepreneurs in the relatively new crypto sector industries complained for some time about bank non-cooperation. See:  International Anti-Money Laundering Standards for Crypto Expected in October The cryptocurrency press in South America has reported on numerous account closures by banks against crypto exchanges on the continent, some of which are now being contested in courts by, among others, exchanges like Walltime in Brazil. Sources within the Toronto crypto entrepreneur scene say they have suffered persistent problems with getting their businesses banked in the city- even at credit unions- and have ...
Read More
CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January
Crunchbase News | Alex Wilhelm | October 8, 2018 Meet Nubank, a fintech shop out of Brazil that just raised $180 million from Tencent at a valuation of $4 billion. Forget the fact that the round is half secondary. It’s an enormous transaction, and in more normal times, it would cause a big stir. However, the capital event highlights something notable about Tencent: the China-based company’s investment cadence is staggering. Tencent is disbursing cash at a far faster rate than Alibaba, another Chinese tech shop that isn’t famous for parsimony. Tencent’s Early Christmas Tencent has been on a check-cutting bing recently, getting through eight investing rounds in September. Those ranged from a $1.5 billion deal with Lianjia (real estate services), a $450 million round for MissFresh E-Commerce (mobile grocery sales), to the comparatively staid $90 million Series B for WeShare (fintech something or other). October is looking similarly hot. Tencent is at four deals so far, and the month isn’t even half done. Here’s the list: October 1. Miniso’s 1 billion rmb Series A. October 4. Voyager Innovation’s $175 million private equity round. October 5. Bilibili’s $317.6 million post-IPO equity event. October 8. Nubank’s $180 million Series F (half secondary). Regarding Nubank, TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber has the ...
Read More
Nubank Investment Underscores Tencent’s Quick Investing Pace

 

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Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?

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Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018

Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes".

According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21.

See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – Canada Crowdfunding Offer

Some Canadians' views on cannabis seem to be similar to the views on alcohol during the prohibition era in the United States. For example, in the prohibition era people used slang terminology to describe alcohol, similarly how the terms, "weed", "pot" and "dope" have been used to describe cannabis. Alcohol was attributed as a cause of moral decay and criminal activity. Academics have debated whether alcohol caused an increased criminal activity during that era, as well as whether there actually was an increase in crime or rather just a perception of an increase in crime. Some cannabis anti-legalization protestors believe that the cannabis industry is surrounded by crime since they view cannabis as a gateway drug that will lead to illegal drug use and illegal activities.

The question is, how can the cannabis industry gain more transparency and legitimacy? While legislation and regulation is turning an illegal industry into a legitimate one, blockchain technology may be able to help. Health Canada's tracking system is designed to track the plant from where it is grown to where it is sold to prevent legal cannabis from being diverted to the illegal market. While the tracking system is not based on blockchain technology, blockchain may be one technology that could help cannabis companies comply with the legislative reporting requirements.

Like cannabis, the blockchain industry has also suffered from a stigma, often arising from a fundamental misunderstanding of how the technology works, paired with a conflation of concepts and terminology such as blockchain, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies and anonymous buyers are often found in the same sentence as dark-web markets and illicit activity. Given this narrative, the natural inclination is to assume that partnerships between the cannabis and crypto worlds are a recipe for bad news in a domain that requires more transparency, not less. But there is a major flaw in this line of thinking, and here it is in simple terms: crypto ≠ blockchain ≠ Bitcoin. Just because some bad guys use cryptocurrency to do bad things, doesn't mean it is inherently evil. If that were case, we would have to conclude that money in general is inherently evil.

See:  U.S. pot industry: High tech, high finance, and high times

Blockchain, a general term for the distributed ledger technology upon which cryptocurrencies such as the popular Bitcoin (one type of cryptocurrency out of hundreds) are built, is completely legal, completely legitimate, and in fact, may be considered one of the most important technological innovations of the past decade. Blockchain offers a new way to store and record data in such a way that its accuracy is constantly confirmed by all stakeholders, and transactions are able to take place automatically and instantly. In theory, what makes blockchain so valuable is that its inherent design structure makes it an immutable, accurate record of transactions that is virtually tamper-proof.

What does this mean for the cannabis sector? Despite the legalization of recreational-use marijuana on the horizon in Canada, many major financial institutions still won't touch the cannabis industry, leaving players in that world to rely mostly on untraceable cash transactions. What better way to introduce security and transparency into the cannabis sector than by integrating payment platforms based on blockchain technology?

Continue to the full article --> here

 


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

BusinessWire release | Accenture | Oct 17, 2018 Digital-only banks, fintechs and big tech companies are quietly gaining customers, while incumbents struggle to make strategic investments in their digital future NEW YORK & LONDON & HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New entrants to the banking market — including challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies — are amassing up to one-third of new revenue, which is challenging the competitiveness of traditional banks, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN). “As the banking industry experiences radical change, driven by regulation, new entrants and demanding consumers, banks will need to reassess their assets, strengths and capabilities to determine if they are taking their business in the right direction” Accenture analyzed more than 20,000 banking and payments institutions across seven markets to quantify the level of change and disruption in the global banking industry. The study found that the number of banking and payments institutions decreased by nearly 20 percent over a 12-year period — from 24,000 in 2005 to less than 19,300 in 2017. However, nearly one in six (17 percent) current institutions are what Accenture considers new entrants — i.e., companies entering the market after 2005. While few of these new players ...
Read More
Banks’ Revenue Growth at Risk Due to Unprecedented Competitive Pressure Resulting from Digital Disruption, Accenture Study Finds
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Oct 18, 2018 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a portal for engaging with companies using blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Available today, the new fintech hub, or FinHub for short, is designed to bring the SEC’s existing services to a single access point and provide an easier way for companies to communicate with the public. As startups building with blockchain increasingly come under the SEC’s attention, the new portal has the potential to streamline the process of building compliant platforms prior to launch. The SEC’s FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. “We’ve been doing these things for years,” Szczepanik told Forbes. “This is going to bring it all together.” The FinHub will be staffed by representatives from the SEC’s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in fintech-related issues. See:  Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens In addition to asking questions of the SEC, those who use the site will be able to request meetings. To increase engagement, a binary code “Easter egg” ...
Read More
SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More
Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018 Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes". According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – ...
Read More
Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
International Monetary Fund | Release | Oct 11, 2018 The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group today launched the Bali Fintech Agenda, a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the provision of banking services, while at the same time managing the inherent risks. The Agenda proposes a framework of high-level issues that countries should consider in their own domestic policy discussions and aims to guide staff from the two institutions in their own work and dialogue with national authorities. The 12 elements (see table) were distilled from members’ own experiences and cover topics relating broadly to enabling fintech; ensuring financial sector resilience; addressing risks; and promoting international cooperation. “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not ...
Read More
The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities
Investment Executive | James Langton | Oct 12, 2018 Money laundering and tax evasion are key concerns Canadian policy-makers initially took a hands-off approach to cryptoassets. Now, in the wake of a bitcoin boom-and-bust and continuing growth in the cryptoassets market, policy-makers are taking a second look at the emerging phenomenon. In 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce issued one of Canada’s first reports examining the emerging cryptocurrency industry; that report recommends that policy-makers keep an eye on the space. Since then, the cryptoassets market has continued to grow. According to a report from the Bank of Canada (BoC), the global market capitalization for cryptoassets “grew rapidly” in 2017 and the daily transaction volume now is more than 75 times higher than it was in early 2017 – i.e., more than $25 billion a day. At this point, the BoC report states, traditional financial services institutions don’t have much, if any, direct exposure to cryptoassets, but the report cautions that these institutions could become exposed due to their clients’ trading in cryptoassets or through exchange trading in crypto-based derivatives. “Cryptoasset markets are evolving quickly and could have financial stability implications in the future if their size ...
Read More
Exploring cryptoasset regulation
NCFA Canada | Oct 13, 2018 Ep13-Oct 13:  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA show host Manseeb Khan sits down with Ali Pourdad the CEO of Progressa who recently closed out an $84 million dollar round. They talk about P2P loans, loan services operating within the blockchain and why being people first business matters. Enjoy! (see Transcript) Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALI POURDAD, Co-founder and CEO, Progressa (LinkedIn) Bio:  Ali Pourdad has been CEO of Progressa since its inception in 2013. Under his leadership the Company has raised over $40 million of investor capital and invested over $2.0 million dollars in its proprietary "Powered by Progressa" decision engine for Canadian Enterprise partners looking to enhance collections strategy in a positive way. The company has grown to over 110 employees in Vancouver and Toronto. Ali has decisively positioned Progressa for its next generation of growth by recently executing on several initiatives, including creating one of Canada's most popular Exempt Market Bond Offerings and securing an $11.4 million Series A financing . Prior to co-founding Progressa, Ali worked in both corporate restructuring and audit & assurance, ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.13-Oct 12):  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First with Ali Pourdad, Co-founder and CEO Progressa
Beam Platform | Alec Gordon | Aug 24, 2018 THE PROBLEM The tech industry has gotten a rude awakening this year. Following a few high profile instances of data misuse, European Union has struck down the law and put everyone who sells into Europe (or deals with anyone who does) on notice. Since introduction, GDPR was meant to show both corporations and their users that better clarity around data collection/preservation is the necessary step forward, one that will lead to a fairer digital society, and ultimately benefit all those involved. And in order to do that, the companies themselves must take matters into their own hands by building new tools to let data flow back to the user. The customers demand it, and equally deserve to have control over their digital footprint. In the end this is an EU bill with global ramifications, and we should all be paying attention. By now you most of you have gotten dozens of emails on “updates to privacy policy” and other notices of forthcoming compliance. This is a welcome reminder that it is you, the user, who’s the focal point GDPR. After decades of computer and telephone use, the companies with whom we ...
Read More
Data is a 2-way street in a post-GDPR world
Competition Bureau | Oct 10, 2018 Speech Remarks by Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell Global Series 2018 October 10, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Thank you. I’m pleased to be here to speak with you today. Thank you Makan, for your thoughts on these important issues. They are particularly relevant to businesses, the legal community, academia and governments around the world and to all of you who are gathered here today. Every day we see the world evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to innovation.  Development of new technologies, ways of doing business and the creation of new products have the potential to open up new areas of science, medicine and technology. Small steps lead to bigger steps.  And here in Canada, we have to be ready for both the challenges and opportunities that this is bringing to all of us. Let’s understand what we are up against. Every year, innovation in the top industrialized countries is tracked by leading authorities on the subject. And here’s what they report about Canada in 2018. On the plus side, Canada performs better than some others in four big areas: Human Capital and Research, Institutions, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication. See:  Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has ...
Read More
Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Oct 9, 2018 Vancouver-based cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has been defending itself in court for the release of $28 million dollars in customer funds frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) since January, the Globe and Mail reports. According to court documents filed by CIBC in the Canadian province of Ontario, the action to freeze the accounts was taken because the bank says, “it was unable to determine who owns the funds,” and would like the court to take possession of the money and distribute it to either QuadrigaCX, their payments processor Custodian Inc, or to the 388 affected Quadriga customers, the Globe and Mail writes. Entrepreneurs in the relatively new crypto sector industries complained for some time about bank non-cooperation. See:  International Anti-Money Laundering Standards for Crypto Expected in October The cryptocurrency press in South America has reported on numerous account closures by banks against crypto exchanges on the continent, some of which are now being contested in courts by, among others, exchanges like Walltime in Brazil. Sources within the Toronto crypto entrepreneur scene say they have suffered persistent problems with getting their businesses banked in the city- even at credit unions- and have ...
Read More
CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January
Crunchbase News | Alex Wilhelm | October 8, 2018 Meet Nubank, a fintech shop out of Brazil that just raised $180 million from Tencent at a valuation of $4 billion. Forget the fact that the round is half secondary. It’s an enormous transaction, and in more normal times, it would cause a big stir. However, the capital event highlights something notable about Tencent: the China-based company’s investment cadence is staggering. Tencent is disbursing cash at a far faster rate than Alibaba, another Chinese tech shop that isn’t famous for parsimony. Tencent’s Early Christmas Tencent has been on a check-cutting bing recently, getting through eight investing rounds in September. Those ranged from a $1.5 billion deal with Lianjia (real estate services), a $450 million round for MissFresh E-Commerce (mobile grocery sales), to the comparatively staid $90 million Series B for WeShare (fintech something or other). October is looking similarly hot. Tencent is at four deals so far, and the month isn’t even half done. Here’s the list: October 1. Miniso’s 1 billion rmb Series A. October 4. Voyager Innovation’s $175 million private equity round. October 5. Bilibili’s $317.6 million post-IPO equity event. October 8. Nubank’s $180 million Series F (half secondary). Regarding Nubank, TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber has the ...
Read More
Nubank Investment Underscores Tencent’s Quick Investing Pace

 

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

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Beam Platform | Alec Gordon | Aug 24, 2018

THE PROBLEM

The tech industry has gotten a rude awakening this year. Following a few high profile instances of data misuse, European Union has struck down the law and put everyone who sells into Europe (or deals with anyone who does) on notice. Since introduction, GDPR was meant to show both corporations and their users that better clarity around data collection/preservation is the necessary step forward, one that will lead to a fairer digital society, and ultimately benefit all those involved. And in order to do that, the companies themselves must take matters into their own hands by building new tools to let data flow back to the user. The customers demand it, and equally deserve to have control over their digital footprint. In the end this is an EU bill with global ramifications, and we should all be paying attention.

By now you most of you have gotten dozens of emails on “updates to privacy policy” and other notices of forthcoming compliance. This is a welcome reminder that it is you, the user, who’s the focal point GDPR. After decades of computer and telephone use, the companies with whom we trust our business have done plenty to introduce technologies preserving and indexing customer data, undoubtedly pleasing their shareholders, but little to no effort has gone to building interfaces and access points, through which the customers themselves can read that data. Therein lies the imbalance the GDPR stands to address, promoting a mutually beneficial exchange, and giving users a window into their own content.

See:  The world’s new oil and AI’s imminent impact on the future of Fintech

Consent and opt-in aside, the key tenet of GDPR is therefore granting citizens the ability to control and manage the data and content they produce, through normal everyday use of services. While everyone understands this in context of browsing the internet, few considerations have been given to data privacy in telecommunications, phone calls in particular.

Now think about all the times you called a bank or a mobile service provider, and heard the Nth rendition of “this call is being recorded for XYZ” line. Yet we never stop to think that “this is my data too”… Organizations utilize sophisticated technological machinery in order to process this intake, recording, storing, transcribing and ultimately distilling this conversational data into something usable, something that will help them improve. Yet you, the loyal customer, are stuck with nothing but the handwritten/typed up notes you took during the call. The data you automatically generate during your customer interaction is therefore lost, but only to you. Which got us thinking — there has got to be a better way.

THE SOLUTION

Given the ease with which those companies capture your conversation, the average user stands to derive significant benefit, should those records be as accessible on your phone as, say, long transcribed text conversation. Scrolling through it, they way you would, you can certainly pick out items worth remembering — date of next bill, authorization to transfer funds, a request to send over PDF — the list goes on. For all the notes you jot down, this surely will shave a few hours off your precious time. Having this data at your fingertips will make you a better customer, yet asking said company for it will get you nowhere. “Internal use only”, or so they say.

See:  Global Governance Insights on Emerging Risks

We at Beam are convinced Multiformat Communications technology like BeamCall is the way forward in giving people back the right to access their own conversations. Not through the Bank’s web portal, that will export a lengthy .txt file. But right on your device. In your hand — you can scroll through every recorded/transcribed call with your thumb, in real-time. With tools like BeamCall, your cognitive demands are subsidized with a persistent record of everything that happens. Accessible the moment you are.

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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.12-Oct 5): Building Blockchain Products & Decentralized Solutions for Enterprise and Startups with Mathieu Glaude, President and CEO of Northern Block

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NCFA Canada | Oct 5, 2018

Ep12-Oct 5:  Building Blockchain Products & Decentralized Solutions for Enterprise and Startups

About this episode:   On this week's episode of the Fintech Friday$ podcast our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Mathieu Glaude the CEO and president of Northern Block. They talk about having a sovereign digital identity, the excitement behind stable coins and why supply chain in blockchain shouldn't be overlooked. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guest:  MATHIEU GLAUDE, President and CEO, Northern Block (LinkedIn)

Bio:  Mr. Glaude is the President and CEO of Northern Block, a Toronto-based blockchain product development company building decentralized applications, enterprise solutions and developer tools for blockchain ecosystems.  Mr. Glaude brings extensive expertise to product development in the enterprise technology space. Prior to Northern Block, he worked for Capital One Bank where he led many large scale customer-facing software development initiatives.  Additionally, he owns a private equity fund focused on making early stage investments in the blockchain and emerging technology sectors.

 

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Transcription of Interview

Manseeb Khan: Hey this is Manseeb Khan and you are tuning into a brand-new episode of fintech Fridays.

Manseeb Khan: Today I have an amazing guest today. I got Matt Glaude from Northern Block. Matt thank you so much for sitting down me today. I know like every entrepreneur your days slammed packed. So, thank you for taking time out of your super hectic schedule to make it.

Mathieu Glaude: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Manseeb Khan: Absolutely. So, Matt could you just for the audience give us a little bit of who you are and a little bit of who and what Northern Block is?

Mathieu Glaude: Sure. So, my name is Mathieu Glaude. I'm a CEO, president of Northern Block, Northern Block is Toronto based Blockchain product development shop focused on building enterprise Blockchain solutions. So, we've been around for just over a year now. We're still a small team just under 25 employees but we're dabbling in all sorts of areas, so we're doing a bunch of interesting projects in the supply chain space and the identity space building tools and developer tools for writing smart contracts and doing a lot of cool stuff in the space working with many different clients in the business verticals.

Manseeb Khan: you have worked with some of the past bigger enterprises and now you guys are moving to smaller enterprises. Could you talk a little bit more of the challenges, trials, and tribulations you have had experience implementing blockchain technology into a bigger enterprise.

Mathieu Glaude: Yes sure. So just a bit of a background on when we first started Northern Blocks so my co-founder Sasha and myself have experience working both startups and larger enterprises. But prior to northern block we were both Capital One Bank building digital products for them. So, I personally was a product manager working on a bunch of different products. For example, the online banking space and payment infrastructure, some Agent desktop servicing and my co-founder Sasha was Agile coach grand master and we were partners the other they're executing on a lot of cool projects. so, when we first started getting into block chain technologies when we were still working on capital when we were looking in the enterprise space because that's where we were at the time that's what we were trying to investigate just specifically for the firm. We were out at the time if there was any applicability of these technologies so when we first started getting into it we were taking the lens of how you make this work within a larger enterprise right. So, once we finally decided that we saw enough of the market to go out there and there was room for a service shop because we really felt that there was a lack of execution in the enterprise block chain space. When we left Capital One we really took that approach of how we could build stuff internally and inside the larger enterprises. So, when we made that leap we got a few contracts with some larger firms, so some stock exchanges some consulting firm’s government agencies as well built a bunch of different projects. It wasn't us. There was some overlap and some of the stuff we're doing but they're very different verticals very different products. But I mean you were good at building products, so it doesn't really matter what industry we're in. I mean we work well with the clients that know their industry and know their  stuff and we're good on just building products and executing so doesn't matter. But anyways all that to say that's when we started we were doing larger enterprise work I guess pretty rapidly.  We found that it was difficult to get stuff beyond a certain point. We knew that right coming from larger enterprises. I don't know what drove us to go back there. But yeah there's a lot of barriers that we can get into those. But you know we really wanted to take stuff to production. We really saw the disruption that this technology could actually bring to the various industries and to the world itself and the benefits it has to the end user and returning the control of that ownership back to the end user. And we really didn't feel like this vision and these goals that we had to try to achieve this by taking stuff to production was the easiest to do within the larger enterprise. So that's when we kind of switched. switched  our route and focused more on building outside.

Manseeb Khan:  Blockchain all everything, that you hear in the news either positive or negative a little bit more positively skewed. Is that how incredible blocking technology is and like how incredible and beneficial it would be to I guess enterprises and just like big conglomerates. Do you see any disadvantages, enterprises be medium or big size integrating with block chain technology?

Mathieu Glaude:  Yes. Not necessarily a disadvantage. There's a lot of proven use cases. If you look at the most popular things that are being worked on. This was from a Deloitte survey. Either this or last year. It seems like most large enterprises are doing something in blockchain right whether it's just building a  proof concept or trying to do a pilot seems like over 80 percent of executives in these large companies I think are with over 500 companies surveyed are doing something so people are learning people are investigating. People are dabbling with it. I don't think there's a lack of use cases and I think there are tremendous advantages of building these solutions. I think the difficulty of getting past a certain barrier to implement is just the products that you build using blockchains are totally different than any existing product. If I'm if I'm a bank and I see that I could potentially leverage block sharing technologies for KYC for example to store customers data on there and there might be an advantage to share this customer data amongst a consortium of other banks. But it sounds like a good idea. But you know it's that there's a lack of economic incentive for them past a certain point to even want to do that. So, one thing is like the learning to get up to speed with this stuff and see what the advantages are. But these people know that you know they're smart people they know what advantages these things could bring but there's a lack of incentive to want to follow through with these programs. Often, we see that you know these large enterprises already have existing businesses that are doing very well and they're very profitable for them. So why would they want to build something totally new totally disruptive that would disrupt their existing moneymaking either. Exactly their current moneymaker. To do this new thing. Right so it's a big gamble and obviously seen as a gamble. There's a lack of success stories and stuff but it's definitely one of the big difficulties we're seeing is just like the incentive to go on to do with the economics.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, I mean that seems to make sense right because it's a very you see with a lot of the bigger corporations a lot of the bigger conglomerates the current way of doing things the best way to make the money. And it's very hard to say if it's going to be disruptive how things are currently happening and flowing why would we want to do that. I wouldn't invest millions if not billions of dollars into this new thing that's going to destroy what I currently have going on. This is amazing. I'm comfortable doing this.

Mathieu Glaude: And at the same time when these large enterprises the number one risk factor is cyber security. Yes. And like you're seeing repeatedly all these hacks happening there was just last week that massive Facebook when it's nonstop and like the ones we're seeing in the news are only the ones that are being broadcast. Exactly and to you most.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah there's so many of them that none of the companies that want any publicity behind right.

Mathieu Glaude: Right. So, it's a big factor as well. If I'm an executive driving blockchain technologies or driving innovation within my firm. I if I was going to say OK let's invest in this product. I think we're going to be able to create a competitive advantage by doing this and create a good business model on top of this. Well then watch right. I'm going to build this decentralized ledger technology or whatever I'm doing and then like every other piece of technology inside my company I'm going to need to wrap it up with a thousand layers to make sure.

Manseeb Khan: That it's all secure it's good to go. Yeah.

Mathieu Glaude: So, you know back to that incentive why would I spend. Call it a few millions on this one I'm going to have to spend ten on top just to secure its rights. Yeah exactly. So, a lot of these things really impact why you know what we're not seeing things progressed as fast as we would like. It's really not. It's really not a lack of technology it's really one of the big things. So, a couple of times there's is just incentive to one.

Manseeb Khan: Yes absolutely. Absolutely. So, you did mention on the top of the episode that one of the things that Northern Block does focus on is supply chain. I think one of the big parts that a lot of media coverage is not getting behind is how important supply chain is in the aspect of block chain. So, could you share a little bit on your opinion on why we think supply chain is very important. And I guess some use cases for it.

Mathieu Glaude: Sure. Yes, it was. We have a couple supply products that were building back by block chain technologies. A lot of the stuff we do is I mean we dabble with public block chains depending on the use case and the business requirements. You can make a distinction, right? between the public watching and permissions or consortium or even private auctions. A lot of the stuff that our partners and our clients want to build require consortium style. So that means identifying a bunch of parties that want to partner together to share data or share assets between themselves on an open ledger between themselves between the whole world just between them. So if you're saying I want to do a supply chain solution if you imagine McDonald's for example wanting to do a  block chain based supply chain solution to track the quality of their ground beef or their meats through the whole supply chain from time the cow was born to someone who consumes a hamburger you know you probably wouldn't put that on a public block chain like Ethereum or Bitcoin or you know whatever. I don't necessarily need the whole world to see how the access to even though you can encrypt stuff to have access to you know the patterns and data and what's happening so maybe in that case I have a let’s call it a hundred different parties. Probably more complicated than we think it interacts with you know from cow to hamburger. So as an end user it would be important for me to know that what I'm eating is actually what it is exactly. I've seen more and more of this stuff especially in the social conscious stuff like I want to know that what I'm getting is what it really is and so then that really comes down to how are you able to properly track the provenance of whatever good or whatever you're consuming. So back to that McDonalds example if I have 100 people in the supply chain then potentially there is all these touch points where people are interacting with the product or whatever the product is at that point. I might want to capture datapoints though might want to capture it you know, and it could be data points from an actual person that's touching it, or it could be data points from an IoT device or sensors or whatever for example that temperature controlling or whatever you know whatever success metrics we have for this product. So, get McDonald's I want to build the solution that every single person is going to use at the same time. It's hard to do.

Manseeb Khan: It's like No absolutely especially like we talked about McDonald's it's a huge franchise such a huge company it can be very hard to implement block supply chain solution for hamburgers or even French fries.

Mathieu Glaude: And then do they want it to do they want. At the same time if now I'm implementing this solution on creating a lot more audit ability and visibility into what's happening in the supply chain through all the different members want that's some of them are probably making a decent living there and maybe they're not bringing as much value to this whole thing but they're making money out of it so why would they want everyone else to see that exactly. So, there's an incentive there as well. But you can imagine if someone like McDonald's tried to implement all these people are most likely so dependent on that client they would have to buy into that. Yeah but so these are some of the types of things that we're doing is that we're building these consortium networks of parties for specific processes that we could go capture and we're very aware how hard it is to you know scale something that size that example we just gave. So what we do is with our partners in the industries that we're working in we really try to get a specific slice of that supply chain and we try to get everyone on their approved the concept do a pilot run it's successful with them once we've proven that there's enough value for the users and everyone involved and that's when we can start kind of expanding it in whatever direction we want to.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah absolutely. So, it's important to have a niche target  base. And speaking of all this McDonalds is getting a little a little hungry. So, you did also mention that northern block is doing some work in the digital identity space. Could you talk a little bit more about I guess in your terms what digital identity is and the advantages of implementing digital identity.

Mathieu Glaude: Yeah sure that's one of those big problems that a lot of different people are trying to solve. Back to the Facebook example it's like Facebook owns all their user’s data so their users are their product, or their site and they use that data to make money. So, the promise of digital identity is back to the fact that you can return data ownership to the user. So, you have this thing called sovereign identity as an individual I should own who I am. And so, what I interact with different people whether it's at the airport taking a flight and I need to show ID or I'm at the LCBO trying to buy a bottle of wine and then to verify my age or whatever it is that people need access to my personal information. I should be able to choose exactly what I shared with these people without them having access to all my information not just decentralizes the process right. Instead of all these different parties having their own databases that are vulnerable to attacks with my personal information on it which could harm me instead I have my identity and my personal information stored in a decentralized manner and then I could who's who I share it with. And, what you share essentially with who. Right exactly. And so, like I mentioned that there's a bunch of different people that are trying to do stuff in that space. I mean you hear about the Uport or civic and those are some of the leaders in the space right now. We haven't seen much adoption yet. Of course, this is  indicative of the whole space. So, what we're doing is, so we had worked on a couple of concepts. So, we got familiar with the topic how can we use the benefits of it since Northern Block builds decentralize applications, identity is a big factor for every single one. Identity is at the center of every single application. And so, if I want to for example in my supply chain solution if it's decentralized enough I want to make sure that the data that is being provided is coming from a certain person. I want to verify it's coming from that person. I want to know that it's that person driving the data. So, it's clean data. There's no applicability there. If I have trade financing tool or asset trading or whatever you need to know who the person is right based on whatever jurisdiction you're operating in they're making or rules or regulations whether you need to be accredited whether KYC has to be done to be able to transact. So all these things could potentially be decentralized so we could actually stop having hundreds and thousands millions of companies just hoarding everyone's personal data and you really return ownership of the owner which is the user which is yourself and then you could actually just control we share it with and who sees it and you know how it's being used and you could potentially imagine a future where you could actually make money out of sharing that stuff right if you want and share it.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah absolutely. A very interesting use case and everybody gets to be like their own influencer in the sense of like oh hey this Car company has tried to target me. Ok cool I'll share this information, so they know that I want a minivan or what have you. Right.

Mathieu Glaude: Yeah and then imagine like every time you go online now you're seeing all these websites that tell you that there are other browsing the cookies. And so, what if you had a decentralized browser and then your identity is attached to your usage right. So instead of all these websites taking cookies your taking the cookies and then if they want the cookies and they could ask you for it and then you could start creating markets like that. Right. So more. It's just that it's a win for the user for people.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah absolutely. And it goes back to like what we started with is like it comes down to reclaiming who you really are and your sovereign identity and just taking it from there right like you have ownership of who you are. Ideally you want to have the exact same ownership in a digital space.

Mathieu Glaude: And it removes friction like you don't have to do all the repetition everywhere. Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Every time you need to consume a product or service the same thing you're providing the same information. So, it removes friction for you and ultimately back to this whole incentive thing but ultimately it will be cost savings for all these companies as well having to manage and secure  your private data. They would own it

Manseeb Khan: Or even like personally like I know. I can count the number of times I forgot my ID and I go to bar, and they ask for my ID. Like just Google my name. I've pretty good SEO behind name, you can just Google me. I'm who I am.

Mathieu Glaude: If the data is as trust it's trustworthy enough that's what we're trying to get like authentic data that people trust is accurate then you could start getting in situations where I don't even need to share like a certain piece of information if they need it. If another trusted party let's call it a bank for saying a bank is trusted enough to make an attestation that I am who I am, I live at this address and whatever right. So potentially you could limit the amount of information that's being shared. If people are trusting what other people have said about you.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah exactly. That's a cool concept. Yeah that's like that's exactly what going to touch a little bit more next if there's more than enough opportunity of people becoming trusting parties like trusting party don't necessarily have to be institutions or an organization they can just they can't even be individuals of like yeah this is. That's him that's my little goofball boom.

Mathieu Glaude: And you know if you're storing all that data all these transactions on an immutable ledger one could think that there are projects in space as well and I think this is going to be huge. It's the whole status of reputation side of things that now it could actually create a standard for a status or reputation of someone that impacts what these people are allowed to do or potentially if these people are interacting with other people and impacts the quality of the data they're testing to something that I know there a reputable person and I know they're a reputable person because they've done all these things and it can start screening business logic around the stuff and you know really decentralized it no longer I can actually focus on the bank or exactly realty companies.

Manseeb Khan: And it's more power to the individual right. It goes down to back having sovereign identity and just having even more validation in I guess the blockchain ecosystem or what have you. Exactly. So other than supply chain and having a digital identity what else excites you about the blocking space?

Mathieu Glaude: There's a lot of cool things that have a lot of potential. Just starting in the public space taking a step out of the enterprise where like the enterprise you talk about supply chain stuff and IoT stuff, identity stuff we could get back to. But some of the some of the things that we're seeing that are really exciting in the public blockchain space. One is the decentralized exchanges. Once the hit once they get it right and you're able to do a true peer to peer exchange of assets and you're able to create a market that's going to be very powerful. So, we're excited about the decentralized exchanges. Stable coins have been a huge topic of discussion. Basically, a stable home just  a better asset to trade because it just holds its value. Whereas people aren't comfortable right now using a lot of the crypto assets as a leverage or to move around just because of the fluctuation in prices right.

Manseeb Khan: So, a stable coin be something like an asset that is like I guess tied down with gold or like a legit like physical commodity or?

Mathieu Glaude: Yeah there's a bunch of different ways to do it. It could be tied to a commodity it could be tied to the U.S. dollar right. Or it could be tied to a bucket of crypto assets. There's a bunch of difference approaches there and what we're seeing all these different things take a couple of weeks ago the exchange Gemini's and the U.S. exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins. Right. Right. Those two, the Facebook guys. So, they launched the stable coin pegged to the U.S. dollar. So you know if I think about a used case that I want to do cross-border remittances it might not be the greatest right now with the current market conditions tend to use ether or use lite coining or to use bitcoin just because if you know from the time I send it and then the time it gets to a place in this transaction someone else that value fluctuates so much and so people are looking to solve that problem of how could you use distributed ledgers for these transactions that are pegged to something more stable or if it's fiat or a bucket of crypto.

Manseeb Khan:  Right. Right. if I accidentally send somebody even more money than I should I get pissed. Like I couldn't imagine sending somebody the exact Ethereum that they requested like oh it's a skyrocket 15 percent, like god.

Mathieu Glaude: Yeah, it's just that it's not usable in the real world. Absolutely. Absolutely. You can scale that business. So yeah, it's an interesting space as well that there's a bunch of stuff that is super exciting that people are working on in the public space. I mean there was a personally in Northern Block  we're working on a lot of developer tools. so the technology is still very early on and depending of where you're building on what the block chain you're building you're not necessarily going to get the same help from tools and documentation and stuff like that which makes it easier to develop which in a lot of you know software development outside of outside of smart contracts and blocking technologies like it's more mature. So, you have that subsets of developer that there are less barriers to execute and implement stuff whereas if you're smart contract developer the time you'll have is probably developing on Ethereum just because they're the most mature platform and mature block chain and set of tools right. I mean even at a lot of the tools are very fragmented and need to go all over the place right. What we're doing and what we're trying to help the developers because you know that's been a big pain point for us trying to build this stuff. Yeah how can we bring everything together to make it super easy to rights to deploy smart contracts to test that trust us networks to the point nodes to deploy API is all the stuff that there's a lot of commonalities for any developer that's trying to do this or trying to build blockchain products. so, we're implicated in that space as well and we're happy a few team members of ours are going to San Francisco on Friday this week actually. To participate in San Francisco Ethereum hackathon so exciting to see just what the people are working on and trying to move forward.

Manseeb Khan: Yes. No absolutely. I mean I'm very excited to see you creating a I guess central hub with all the developer tools for everybody out there like that be. That's got to be more than more than valuable to everybody.

Mathieu Glaude: Ultimately, it's the developers that choose where things are being built. Exactly. It's not the business of the business as have other requirements and everything but at the end of the day it's a developer that pulls the trigger on it. Yeah. If you could give them proper toolkits to be able to execute better. Yeah, I think that that's it's a win for everyone right. And so, us being a first user of that it's really helpful building and because we're building it for ourselves and we're using it ourselves. And we're looking forward to growing that product into the market.

Manseeb Khan: So, Matt if people want to get in touch with you or Northern Block or even one of the amazing devs that you're sending are San Francisco will be the best way to contact you guys would it be to Twitter or Snapchat you. How do we. Well the best way to get touch with us.

Mathieu Glaude: We're not on snapchat but you could just Google US Northern block online. Northernblock.ca  or on most social channels. We're active on Twitter LinkedIn so you could find us pretty easily there and that but please reach out if you have any questions. We love talking to people about this stuff.

Manseeb Khan: Well Matt thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I learned way more about supply chain and blockchain than I ever would have even. I'm very excited about having a sovereign identity and I'm very excited to see what's more in store. Other than the developer tools and just the amazing work that you do in Northern Block. I can't wait to have you on the show again.

Mathieu Glaude: Thank you. I appreciate  you have a me. This was a fun conversation.

 

 

End of Podcast

 

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

BusinessWire release | Accenture | Oct 17, 2018 Digital-only banks, fintechs and big tech companies are quietly gaining customers, while incumbents struggle to make strategic investments in their digital future NEW YORK & LONDON & HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New entrants to the banking market — including challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies — are amassing up to one-third of new revenue, which is challenging the competitiveness of traditional banks, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN). “As the banking industry experiences radical change, driven by regulation, new entrants and demanding consumers, banks will need to reassess their assets, strengths and capabilities to determine if they are taking their business in the right direction” Accenture analyzed more than 20,000 banking and payments institutions across seven markets to quantify the level of change and disruption in the global banking industry. The study found that the number of banking and payments institutions decreased by nearly 20 percent over a 12-year period — from 24,000 in 2005 to less than 19,300 in 2017. However, nearly one in six (17 percent) current institutions are what Accenture considers new entrants — i.e., companies entering the market after 2005. While few of these new players ...
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Banks’ Revenue Growth at Risk Due to Unprecedented Competitive Pressure Resulting from Digital Disruption, Accenture Study Finds
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Oct 18, 2018 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a portal for engaging with companies using blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Available today, the new fintech hub, or FinHub for short, is designed to bring the SEC’s existing services to a single access point and provide an easier way for companies to communicate with the public. As startups building with blockchain increasingly come under the SEC’s attention, the new portal has the potential to streamline the process of building compliant platforms prior to launch. The SEC’s FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. “We’ve been doing these things for years,” Szczepanik told Forbes. “This is going to bring it all together.” The FinHub will be staffed by representatives from the SEC’s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in fintech-related issues. See:  Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens In addition to asking questions of the SEC, those who use the site will be able to request meetings. To increase engagement, a binary code “Easter egg” ...
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SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More
Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018 Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes". According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – ...
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Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
International Monetary Fund | Release | Oct 11, 2018 The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group today launched the Bali Fintech Agenda, a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the provision of banking services, while at the same time managing the inherent risks. The Agenda proposes a framework of high-level issues that countries should consider in their own domestic policy discussions and aims to guide staff from the two institutions in their own work and dialogue with national authorities. The 12 elements (see table) were distilled from members’ own experiences and cover topics relating broadly to enabling fintech; ensuring financial sector resilience; addressing risks; and promoting international cooperation. “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not ...
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The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities
Investment Executive | James Langton | Oct 12, 2018 Money laundering and tax evasion are key concerns Canadian policy-makers initially took a hands-off approach to cryptoassets. Now, in the wake of a bitcoin boom-and-bust and continuing growth in the cryptoassets market, policy-makers are taking a second look at the emerging phenomenon. In 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce issued one of Canada’s first reports examining the emerging cryptocurrency industry; that report recommends that policy-makers keep an eye on the space. Since then, the cryptoassets market has continued to grow. According to a report from the Bank of Canada (BoC), the global market capitalization for cryptoassets “grew rapidly” in 2017 and the daily transaction volume now is more than 75 times higher than it was in early 2017 – i.e., more than $25 billion a day. At this point, the BoC report states, traditional financial services institutions don’t have much, if any, direct exposure to cryptoassets, but the report cautions that these institutions could become exposed due to their clients’ trading in cryptoassets or through exchange trading in crypto-based derivatives. “Cryptoasset markets are evolving quickly and could have financial stability implications in the future if their size ...
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Exploring cryptoasset regulation
NCFA Canada | Oct 13, 2018 Ep13-Oct 13:  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA show host Manseeb Khan sits down with Ali Pourdad the CEO of Progressa who recently closed out an $84 million dollar round. They talk about P2P loans, loan services operating within the blockchain and why being people first business matters. Enjoy! (see Transcript) Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALI POURDAD, Co-founder and CEO, Progressa (LinkedIn) Bio:  Ali Pourdad has been CEO of Progressa since its inception in 2013. Under his leadership the Company has raised over $40 million of investor capital and invested over $2.0 million dollars in its proprietary "Powered by Progressa" decision engine for Canadian Enterprise partners looking to enhance collections strategy in a positive way. The company has grown to over 110 employees in Vancouver and Toronto. Ali has decisively positioned Progressa for its next generation of growth by recently executing on several initiatives, including creating one of Canada's most popular Exempt Market Bond Offerings and securing an $11.4 million Series A financing . Prior to co-founding Progressa, Ali worked in both corporate restructuring and audit & assurance, ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.13-Oct 12):  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First with Ali Pourdad, Co-founder and CEO Progressa
Beam Platform | Alec Gordon | Aug 24, 2018 THE PROBLEM The tech industry has gotten a rude awakening this year. Following a few high profile instances of data misuse, European Union has struck down the law and put everyone who sells into Europe (or deals with anyone who does) on notice. Since introduction, GDPR was meant to show both corporations and their users that better clarity around data collection/preservation is the necessary step forward, one that will lead to a fairer digital society, and ultimately benefit all those involved. And in order to do that, the companies themselves must take matters into their own hands by building new tools to let data flow back to the user. The customers demand it, and equally deserve to have control over their digital footprint. In the end this is an EU bill with global ramifications, and we should all be paying attention. By now you most of you have gotten dozens of emails on “updates to privacy policy” and other notices of forthcoming compliance. This is a welcome reminder that it is you, the user, who’s the focal point GDPR. After decades of computer and telephone use, the companies with whom we ...
Read More
Data is a 2-way street in a post-GDPR world
Competition Bureau | Oct 10, 2018 Speech Remarks by Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell Global Series 2018 October 10, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Thank you. I’m pleased to be here to speak with you today. Thank you Makan, for your thoughts on these important issues. They are particularly relevant to businesses, the legal community, academia and governments around the world and to all of you who are gathered here today. Every day we see the world evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to innovation.  Development of new technologies, ways of doing business and the creation of new products have the potential to open up new areas of science, medicine and technology. Small steps lead to bigger steps.  And here in Canada, we have to be ready for both the challenges and opportunities that this is bringing to all of us. Let’s understand what we are up against. Every year, innovation in the top industrialized countries is tracked by leading authorities on the subject. And here’s what they report about Canada in 2018. On the plus side, Canada performs better than some others in four big areas: Human Capital and Research, Institutions, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication. See:  Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has ...
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Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Oct 9, 2018 Vancouver-based cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has been defending itself in court for the release of $28 million dollars in customer funds frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) since January, the Globe and Mail reports. According to court documents filed by CIBC in the Canadian province of Ontario, the action to freeze the accounts was taken because the bank says, “it was unable to determine who owns the funds,” and would like the court to take possession of the money and distribute it to either QuadrigaCX, their payments processor Custodian Inc, or to the 388 affected Quadriga customers, the Globe and Mail writes. Entrepreneurs in the relatively new crypto sector industries complained for some time about bank non-cooperation. See:  International Anti-Money Laundering Standards for Crypto Expected in October The cryptocurrency press in South America has reported on numerous account closures by banks against crypto exchanges on the continent, some of which are now being contested in courts by, among others, exchanges like Walltime in Brazil. Sources within the Toronto crypto entrepreneur scene say they have suffered persistent problems with getting their businesses banked in the city- even at credit unions- and have ...
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CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January
Crunchbase News | Alex Wilhelm | October 8, 2018 Meet Nubank, a fintech shop out of Brazil that just raised $180 million from Tencent at a valuation of $4 billion. Forget the fact that the round is half secondary. It’s an enormous transaction, and in more normal times, it would cause a big stir. However, the capital event highlights something notable about Tencent: the China-based company’s investment cadence is staggering. Tencent is disbursing cash at a far faster rate than Alibaba, another Chinese tech shop that isn’t famous for parsimony. Tencent’s Early Christmas Tencent has been on a check-cutting bing recently, getting through eight investing rounds in September. Those ranged from a $1.5 billion deal with Lianjia (real estate services), a $450 million round for MissFresh E-Commerce (mobile grocery sales), to the comparatively staid $90 million Series B for WeShare (fintech something or other). October is looking similarly hot. Tencent is at four deals so far, and the month isn’t even half done. Here’s the list: October 1. Miniso’s 1 billion rmb Series A. October 4. Voyager Innovation’s $175 million private equity round. October 5. Bilibili’s $317.6 million post-IPO equity event. October 8. Nubank’s $180 million Series F (half secondary). Regarding Nubank, TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber has the ...
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Nubank Investment Underscores Tencent’s Quick Investing Pace

 

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JUST LAUNCHED: 4th VanFUNDING 2018 Vancouver Conference: CONVERGE – Building Bridges and Capital with Emerging Blockchain, Fintech and AI Innovations on November 29-30, 2018

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NCFA Canada | Team VF2018 | Oct 5, 2018

VANCOUVER, Canada - (Oct 5, 2018): The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada announces VanFUNDING 2018: CONVERGE, the leading 4th Annual financial technology and capital conference held in downtown Vancouver.

The expanded #VF2018 offers world-class education, funding and networking opportunities delivered via keynotes, TEDx-style presentations, panels, workshops, executive round tables, investor pitching, meeting exchanges and mentoring. #VF2018 will cover Fintech, Blockchain, Crypto, Artificial Intelligence, Crowd and Distributed Finance, Regtech, Payments, Digital banking, Identify and Security, International Trade, Alternative Investing and Innovation Finance and more, from a diverse range of perspectives.

This year’s theme, CONVERGE, immerses participants and builds bridges across the most disruptive emerging technologies, capital market innovations and key stakeholders that are powering new global markets, new decentralized models, new forms of computer intelligence, new IP, new infrastructure and new alternative investment opportunities toward the vision of a Web 3.0. 

#VF2018: CONVERGE will feature 1.5 days of immersive educational content, 50+ speakers, dragon’s den pitching program and a multitude of networking and partnership opportunities.  New to the program this year is a unique storytelling style that attendees will experience culminating into the co-creation of the first fintech digital pop-up magazine issue.

 “We are witnessing unprecedented change that is already affecting our daily lives - how we interact with financial services, generate digital wealth, invest, evaluate, consume, vote, and store, transfer and purchase anything of value.”  Craig Asano, Founding CEO, NCFA

If you are a fintech innovator, an investment professional or a company actively raising capital, or a key decision maker/stakeholder in technology and digital finance, #VF2018 is a must attend event bringing together fintech leaders, investors and emerging innovators from start-ups to scale-ups to government regulatory bodies and policy makers who have a vision for the future of finance.

PITCHING and SPEAKING APPLICATIONS now open.

 

Links:

VanFUNDING 2018

Speaking Applications Now open

Pitching Applications (Submit by Nov 4)

 

 


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

BusinessWire release | Accenture | Oct 17, 2018 Digital-only banks, fintechs and big tech companies are quietly gaining customers, while incumbents struggle to make strategic investments in their digital future NEW YORK & LONDON & HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New entrants to the banking market — including challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies — are amassing up to one-third of new revenue, which is challenging the competitiveness of traditional banks, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN). “As the banking industry experiences radical change, driven by regulation, new entrants and demanding consumers, banks will need to reassess their assets, strengths and capabilities to determine if they are taking their business in the right direction” Accenture analyzed more than 20,000 banking and payments institutions across seven markets to quantify the level of change and disruption in the global banking industry. The study found that the number of banking and payments institutions decreased by nearly 20 percent over a 12-year period — from 24,000 in 2005 to less than 19,300 in 2017. However, nearly one in six (17 percent) current institutions are what Accenture considers new entrants — i.e., companies entering the market after 2005. While few of these new players ...
Read More
Banks’ Revenue Growth at Risk Due to Unprecedented Competitive Pressure Resulting from Digital Disruption, Accenture Study Finds
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Oct 18, 2018 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a portal for engaging with companies using blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Available today, the new fintech hub, or FinHub for short, is designed to bring the SEC’s existing services to a single access point and provide an easier way for companies to communicate with the public. As startups building with blockchain increasingly come under the SEC’s attention, the new portal has the potential to streamline the process of building compliant platforms prior to launch. The SEC’s FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. “We’ve been doing these things for years,” Szczepanik told Forbes. “This is going to bring it all together.” The FinHub will be staffed by representatives from the SEC’s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in fintech-related issues. See:  Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens In addition to asking questions of the SEC, those who use the site will be able to request meetings. To increase engagement, a binary code “Easter egg” ...
Read More
SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More
Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018 Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes". According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – ...
Read More
Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
International Monetary Fund | Release | Oct 11, 2018 The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group today launched the Bali Fintech Agenda, a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the provision of banking services, while at the same time managing the inherent risks. The Agenda proposes a framework of high-level issues that countries should consider in their own domestic policy discussions and aims to guide staff from the two institutions in their own work and dialogue with national authorities. The 12 elements (see table) were distilled from members’ own experiences and cover topics relating broadly to enabling fintech; ensuring financial sector resilience; addressing risks; and promoting international cooperation. “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not ...
Read More
The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities
Investment Executive | James Langton | Oct 12, 2018 Money laundering and tax evasion are key concerns Canadian policy-makers initially took a hands-off approach to cryptoassets. Now, in the wake of a bitcoin boom-and-bust and continuing growth in the cryptoassets market, policy-makers are taking a second look at the emerging phenomenon. In 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce issued one of Canada’s first reports examining the emerging cryptocurrency industry; that report recommends that policy-makers keep an eye on the space. Since then, the cryptoassets market has continued to grow. According to a report from the Bank of Canada (BoC), the global market capitalization for cryptoassets “grew rapidly” in 2017 and the daily transaction volume now is more than 75 times higher than it was in early 2017 – i.e., more than $25 billion a day. At this point, the BoC report states, traditional financial services institutions don’t have much, if any, direct exposure to cryptoassets, but the report cautions that these institutions could become exposed due to their clients’ trading in cryptoassets or through exchange trading in crypto-based derivatives. “Cryptoasset markets are evolving quickly and could have financial stability implications in the future if their size ...
Read More
Exploring cryptoasset regulation
NCFA Canada | Oct 13, 2018 Ep13-Oct 13:  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA show host Manseeb Khan sits down with Ali Pourdad the CEO of Progressa who recently closed out an $84 million dollar round. They talk about P2P loans, loan services operating within the blockchain and why being people first business matters. Enjoy! (see Transcript) Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALI POURDAD, Co-founder and CEO, Progressa (LinkedIn) Bio:  Ali Pourdad has been CEO of Progressa since its inception in 2013. Under his leadership the Company has raised over $40 million of investor capital and invested over $2.0 million dollars in its proprietary "Powered by Progressa" decision engine for Canadian Enterprise partners looking to enhance collections strategy in a positive way. The company has grown to over 110 employees in Vancouver and Toronto. Ali has decisively positioned Progressa for its next generation of growth by recently executing on several initiatives, including creating one of Canada's most popular Exempt Market Bond Offerings and securing an $11.4 million Series A financing . Prior to co-founding Progressa, Ali worked in both corporate restructuring and audit & assurance, ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.13-Oct 12):  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First with Ali Pourdad, Co-founder and CEO Progressa
Beam Platform | Alec Gordon | Aug 24, 2018 THE PROBLEM The tech industry has gotten a rude awakening this year. Following a few high profile instances of data misuse, European Union has struck down the law and put everyone who sells into Europe (or deals with anyone who does) on notice. Since introduction, GDPR was meant to show both corporations and their users that better clarity around data collection/preservation is the necessary step forward, one that will lead to a fairer digital society, and ultimately benefit all those involved. And in order to do that, the companies themselves must take matters into their own hands by building new tools to let data flow back to the user. The customers demand it, and equally deserve to have control over their digital footprint. In the end this is an EU bill with global ramifications, and we should all be paying attention. By now you most of you have gotten dozens of emails on “updates to privacy policy” and other notices of forthcoming compliance. This is a welcome reminder that it is you, the user, who’s the focal point GDPR. After decades of computer and telephone use, the companies with whom we ...
Read More
Data is a 2-way street in a post-GDPR world
Competition Bureau | Oct 10, 2018 Speech Remarks by Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell Global Series 2018 October 10, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Thank you. I’m pleased to be here to speak with you today. Thank you Makan, for your thoughts on these important issues. They are particularly relevant to businesses, the legal community, academia and governments around the world and to all of you who are gathered here today. Every day we see the world evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to innovation.  Development of new technologies, ways of doing business and the creation of new products have the potential to open up new areas of science, medicine and technology. Small steps lead to bigger steps.  And here in Canada, we have to be ready for both the challenges and opportunities that this is bringing to all of us. Let’s understand what we are up against. Every year, innovation in the top industrialized countries is tracked by leading authorities on the subject. And here’s what they report about Canada in 2018. On the plus side, Canada performs better than some others in four big areas: Human Capital and Research, Institutions, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication. See:  Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has ...
Read More
Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Oct 9, 2018 Vancouver-based cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has been defending itself in court for the release of $28 million dollars in customer funds frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) since January, the Globe and Mail reports. According to court documents filed by CIBC in the Canadian province of Ontario, the action to freeze the accounts was taken because the bank says, “it was unable to determine who owns the funds,” and would like the court to take possession of the money and distribute it to either QuadrigaCX, their payments processor Custodian Inc, or to the 388 affected Quadriga customers, the Globe and Mail writes. Entrepreneurs in the relatively new crypto sector industries complained for some time about bank non-cooperation. See:  International Anti-Money Laundering Standards for Crypto Expected in October The cryptocurrency press in South America has reported on numerous account closures by banks against crypto exchanges on the continent, some of which are now being contested in courts by, among others, exchanges like Walltime in Brazil. Sources within the Toronto crypto entrepreneur scene say they have suffered persistent problems with getting their businesses banked in the city- even at credit unions- and have ...
Read More
CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January
Crunchbase News | Alex Wilhelm | October 8, 2018 Meet Nubank, a fintech shop out of Brazil that just raised $180 million from Tencent at a valuation of $4 billion. Forget the fact that the round is half secondary. It’s an enormous transaction, and in more normal times, it would cause a big stir. However, the capital event highlights something notable about Tencent: the China-based company’s investment cadence is staggering. Tencent is disbursing cash at a far faster rate than Alibaba, another Chinese tech shop that isn’t famous for parsimony. Tencent’s Early Christmas Tencent has been on a check-cutting bing recently, getting through eight investing rounds in September. Those ranged from a $1.5 billion deal with Lianjia (real estate services), a $450 million round for MissFresh E-Commerce (mobile grocery sales), to the comparatively staid $90 million Series B for WeShare (fintech something or other). October is looking similarly hot. Tencent is at four deals so far, and the month isn’t even half done. Here’s the list: October 1. Miniso’s 1 billion rmb Series A. October 4. Voyager Innovation’s $175 million private equity round. October 5. Bilibili’s $317.6 million post-IPO equity event. October 8. Nubank’s $180 million Series F (half secondary). Regarding Nubank, TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber has the ...
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Nubank Investment Underscores Tencent’s Quick Investing Pace

 

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Where to Find Startup Loans in 2018

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LendingArch | Lewis Mudrich | Oct 4, 2018

If you need some funding for your small business then you may be wondering where to start, as well as how to find, the best options and most competitive rates (especially when you’re browsing through small business loan options).

Indeed, getting funding for your startup can seem like a daunting task. At the same time, there are a variety of financing options available if you know where to look. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you.

Here is where you can find the best small business loans in 2018:

Startup financing loans

Canadian startups can apply for a startup financing loan through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). This loan is specifically designed for startups in the first 12 months of business and can be used to help launch and grow the business.

According to the bank’s website, the loan can be used for:

  • Working capital to supplement an existing line of credit
  • Fixed assets
  • Fund marketing and startup fees
  • A franchise purchase
  • Advisory services

In order to qualify for a BDC loan, you must have a business plan in place, have experience in your field, provide personal and credit references, and show market potential. You can apply for a BDC startup loan here.

Microloans

Does your business have a social enterprise slant and community focus? You may be able to get approved for microloans from Community Micro Lending. You can apply for the lender’s “Start-Up Loan” of up to $5,000 or, if you’ve been in business for more than a year, you may be eligible for an Expansion Loan of up to $10,000. In order to qualify for this microloan program, you must be an aspiring or current entrepreneur located in the Southwest BC area.

If you’re working on a green business or green technology startup, you can also check out Microloans for green business. For example, the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union offers startup loans of up to $35,000 and expansion loans of up to $70,000.

There’s also the ACCESS Community Capital Fund that can provide loans of up to $5,000. The ACCESS Community Capital Fund is a Canadian Registered Charity that helps business owners access microloans. Some other microloan programs include the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, The Alterna Savings Community Micro-Finance Program, and ACEM Microcrédit Montréal.

Keep in mind that microloan opportunities can vary based on province so be sure to look for programs in your area.

Government financing

If you want to get your startup off the ground, you’ll be happy to learn that there are many different government financing options available.

The Government of Canada, for example, offers several different types of small business loans. These vary depending on industry, demographics, and location. For example, loans range from the Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development financing to FACTOR funding for the sound recording industry - and lots of options in-between.

To find out what’s available, look at programs that you are eligible for - based on your region - as well as certain demographic groups that you may belong to. Be sure to do your research and make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before applying for a loan.

Credit cards

Now, here’s a lending option that you may already have access to: your credit card. While credit cards aren’t an ideal funding source, you can use them if you need to purchase products and equipment for your business - perhaps while applying for other small business loans. Just be aware: credit cards may have sky-high interest rates. With that said, there are special business credit cards  that may be a good fit for what you need.

Check out:  4th Annual VanFUNDING 2018:  CONVERGE Conference, Nov 29-30 in downtown Vancouver

Credit cards should be the last business funding option as you certainly don’t want to incur insurmountable debt at a high interest rate. Not only that but the repayment terms may not be that flexible. On the other card, a business credit card can help you manage short-term cash flow issues.

Crowdfunding

The internet isn’t just about cat memes and popular catch-phrases, it’s also a place to get money for your startup. Using the power of crowdfunding, you can utilize your network and the vastness of the internet to get your message and business out there and make some money.

Using sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and specialized platforms like iFund Women (you guessed it: for female founders!) you can share information about your project and garner support from friends, family, and colleagues. Usually these sites take a fee for posting your project page, but the money you can raise will hopefully offset those fees. For more comprehensive options, check out this crowdfunding directory.

Family and friends

If you’re lucky, you may have a family member or friend who is willing to provide funds to help you with your startup costs. On one hand, this can be great as there is less red tape and hassle to get you your much-needed cash. On the other hand, if things go awry, you may lose more than your investment.

If you go this route, be sure to treat it like a business relationship. Create a contract and have a payment schedule that works for both of you. It’s important that both parties feel comfortable in this situation - it’s not just about getting your hands on the cash.

Small business loans from online lenders

If you can’t get approved for a traditional bank loan and you don’t want to hit up your friends and family, you still have another great option for a small business loan. You can apply for a loan through an online lender.

For example, LendingArch helps startup founders and small business owners compare loan options effortlessly and easily. You can compare your options in a matter of seconds and the application process is simple. On top of that, LendingArch doesn’t require any collateral for your startup loan and offers flexible repayment schedules to accommodate your business.

Better yet: when applying for a small business loan online through LendingArch, you won’t find the same restrictions you typically encounter with other loans. So, if you need funding to start your company or expand your business, we’ve got you covered.

There are no hidden fees, rates are competitive rates, and you can create a company profile in mere minutes. From there, you can start an application to see which small business loans are available to you.

See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance

Bottom line

If you’re a startup founder looking for funding for your business, there are many options out there. Using this guide, you can check out the various resources that are available to you and find a small business loan that suits your needs. But remember: be sure to apply for a loan with reasonable interest rates and repayment terms. This way you can pay back the loan on terms that work for you while focusing on growing your business.

Interested in checking out your startup loan options? Compare small business loans at LendingArch!

 


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

BusinessWire release | Accenture | Oct 17, 2018 Digital-only banks, fintechs and big tech companies are quietly gaining customers, while incumbents struggle to make strategic investments in their digital future NEW YORK & LONDON & HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New entrants to the banking market — including challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies — are amassing up to one-third of new revenue, which is challenging the competitiveness of traditional banks, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN). “As the banking industry experiences radical change, driven by regulation, new entrants and demanding consumers, banks will need to reassess their assets, strengths and capabilities to determine if they are taking their business in the right direction” Accenture analyzed more than 20,000 banking and payments institutions across seven markets to quantify the level of change and disruption in the global banking industry. The study found that the number of banking and payments institutions decreased by nearly 20 percent over a 12-year period — from 24,000 in 2005 to less than 19,300 in 2017. However, nearly one in six (17 percent) current institutions are what Accenture considers new entrants — i.e., companies entering the market after 2005. While few of these new players ...
Read More
Banks’ Revenue Growth at Risk Due to Unprecedented Competitive Pressure Resulting from Digital Disruption, Accenture Study Finds
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Oct 18, 2018 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a portal for engaging with companies using blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Available today, the new fintech hub, or FinHub for short, is designed to bring the SEC’s existing services to a single access point and provide an easier way for companies to communicate with the public. As startups building with blockchain increasingly come under the SEC’s attention, the new portal has the potential to streamline the process of building compliant platforms prior to launch. The SEC’s FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. “We’ve been doing these things for years,” Szczepanik told Forbes. “This is going to bring it all together.” The FinHub will be staffed by representatives from the SEC’s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in fintech-related issues. See:  Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens In addition to asking questions of the SEC, those who use the site will be able to request meetings. To increase engagement, a binary code “Easter egg” ...
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SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More
Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018 Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes". According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – ...
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Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
International Monetary Fund | Release | Oct 11, 2018 The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group today launched the Bali Fintech Agenda, a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the provision of banking services, while at the same time managing the inherent risks. The Agenda proposes a framework of high-level issues that countries should consider in their own domestic policy discussions and aims to guide staff from the two institutions in their own work and dialogue with national authorities. The 12 elements (see table) were distilled from members’ own experiences and cover topics relating broadly to enabling fintech; ensuring financial sector resilience; addressing risks; and promoting international cooperation. “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not ...
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The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities
Investment Executive | James Langton | Oct 12, 2018 Money laundering and tax evasion are key concerns Canadian policy-makers initially took a hands-off approach to cryptoassets. Now, in the wake of a bitcoin boom-and-bust and continuing growth in the cryptoassets market, policy-makers are taking a second look at the emerging phenomenon. In 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce issued one of Canada’s first reports examining the emerging cryptocurrency industry; that report recommends that policy-makers keep an eye on the space. Since then, the cryptoassets market has continued to grow. According to a report from the Bank of Canada (BoC), the global market capitalization for cryptoassets “grew rapidly” in 2017 and the daily transaction volume now is more than 75 times higher than it was in early 2017 – i.e., more than $25 billion a day. At this point, the BoC report states, traditional financial services institutions don’t have much, if any, direct exposure to cryptoassets, but the report cautions that these institutions could become exposed due to their clients’ trading in cryptoassets or through exchange trading in crypto-based derivatives. “Cryptoasset markets are evolving quickly and could have financial stability implications in the future if their size ...
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Exploring cryptoasset regulation
NCFA Canada | Oct 13, 2018 Ep13-Oct 13:  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA show host Manseeb Khan sits down with Ali Pourdad the CEO of Progressa who recently closed out an $84 million dollar round. They talk about P2P loans, loan services operating within the blockchain and why being people first business matters. Enjoy! (see Transcript) Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALI POURDAD, Co-founder and CEO, Progressa (LinkedIn) Bio:  Ali Pourdad has been CEO of Progressa since its inception in 2013. Under his leadership the Company has raised over $40 million of investor capital and invested over $2.0 million dollars in its proprietary "Powered by Progressa" decision engine for Canadian Enterprise partners looking to enhance collections strategy in a positive way. The company has grown to over 110 employees in Vancouver and Toronto. Ali has decisively positioned Progressa for its next generation of growth by recently executing on several initiatives, including creating one of Canada's most popular Exempt Market Bond Offerings and securing an $11.4 million Series A financing . Prior to co-founding Progressa, Ali worked in both corporate restructuring and audit & assurance, ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.13-Oct 12):  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First with Ali Pourdad, Co-founder and CEO Progressa
Beam Platform | Alec Gordon | Aug 24, 2018 THE PROBLEM The tech industry has gotten a rude awakening this year. Following a few high profile instances of data misuse, European Union has struck down the law and put everyone who sells into Europe (or deals with anyone who does) on notice. Since introduction, GDPR was meant to show both corporations and their users that better clarity around data collection/preservation is the necessary step forward, one that will lead to a fairer digital society, and ultimately benefit all those involved. And in order to do that, the companies themselves must take matters into their own hands by building new tools to let data flow back to the user. The customers demand it, and equally deserve to have control over their digital footprint. In the end this is an EU bill with global ramifications, and we should all be paying attention. By now you most of you have gotten dozens of emails on “updates to privacy policy” and other notices of forthcoming compliance. This is a welcome reminder that it is you, the user, who’s the focal point GDPR. After decades of computer and telephone use, the companies with whom we ...
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Data is a 2-way street in a post-GDPR world
Competition Bureau | Oct 10, 2018 Speech Remarks by Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell Global Series 2018 October 10, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Thank you. I’m pleased to be here to speak with you today. Thank you Makan, for your thoughts on these important issues. They are particularly relevant to businesses, the legal community, academia and governments around the world and to all of you who are gathered here today. Every day we see the world evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to innovation.  Development of new technologies, ways of doing business and the creation of new products have the potential to open up new areas of science, medicine and technology. Small steps lead to bigger steps.  And here in Canada, we have to be ready for both the challenges and opportunities that this is bringing to all of us. Let’s understand what we are up against. Every year, innovation in the top industrialized countries is tracked by leading authorities on the subject. And here’s what they report about Canada in 2018. On the plus side, Canada performs better than some others in four big areas: Human Capital and Research, Institutions, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication. See:  Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has ...
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Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Oct 9, 2018 Vancouver-based cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has been defending itself in court for the release of $28 million dollars in customer funds frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) since January, the Globe and Mail reports. According to court documents filed by CIBC in the Canadian province of Ontario, the action to freeze the accounts was taken because the bank says, “it was unable to determine who owns the funds,” and would like the court to take possession of the money and distribute it to either QuadrigaCX, their payments processor Custodian Inc, or to the 388 affected Quadriga customers, the Globe and Mail writes. Entrepreneurs in the relatively new crypto sector industries complained for some time about bank non-cooperation. See:  International Anti-Money Laundering Standards for Crypto Expected in October The cryptocurrency press in South America has reported on numerous account closures by banks against crypto exchanges on the continent, some of which are now being contested in courts by, among others, exchanges like Walltime in Brazil. Sources within the Toronto crypto entrepreneur scene say they have suffered persistent problems with getting their businesses banked in the city- even at credit unions- and have ...
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CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January
Crunchbase News | Alex Wilhelm | October 8, 2018 Meet Nubank, a fintech shop out of Brazil that just raised $180 million from Tencent at a valuation of $4 billion. Forget the fact that the round is half secondary. It’s an enormous transaction, and in more normal times, it would cause a big stir. However, the capital event highlights something notable about Tencent: the China-based company’s investment cadence is staggering. Tencent is disbursing cash at a far faster rate than Alibaba, another Chinese tech shop that isn’t famous for parsimony. Tencent’s Early Christmas Tencent has been on a check-cutting bing recently, getting through eight investing rounds in September. Those ranged from a $1.5 billion deal with Lianjia (real estate services), a $450 million round for MissFresh E-Commerce (mobile grocery sales), to the comparatively staid $90 million Series B for WeShare (fintech something or other). October is looking similarly hot. Tencent is at four deals so far, and the month isn’t even half done. Here’s the list: October 1. Miniso’s 1 billion rmb Series A. October 4. Voyager Innovation’s $175 million private equity round. October 5. Bilibili’s $317.6 million post-IPO equity event. October 8. Nubank’s $180 million Series F (half secondary). Regarding Nubank, TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber has the ...
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Nubank Investment Underscores Tencent’s Quick Investing Pace

 

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Startup CEOs on how to keep the artificial intelligence ball rolling in Canada

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The Globe and Mail | | Sep 29, 2018

The next time you pull out your smartphone and ask Siri or Google for advice, or chat with a bot online, take pride in knowing that some of the theoretical foundation for that technology was brought to life here in Canada.

Indeed, as far back as the early 1980s, key organizations such as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research embarked on groundbreaking work in neural networks and machine learning.

Academic pioneers such as Geoffrey Hinton (now a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and an advisor to Google, among others), the University of Montreal’s Yoshua Bengio and the University of Alberta’s Rich Sutton produced critical research that helped fuel Canada’s rise to prominence as a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI).

Stephen Piron, co-CEO of Dessa, praises the federal government's efforts at cutting immigration processing timelines for highly skilled foreign workers.

Canada now houses three major AI clusters – in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton – that form the backbone of the country’s machine-learning ecosystem and support homegrown AI startups. In fact, Toronto boasts one of the highest concentration of AI startups in the world, while Montreal is leading the way in producing deep-learning research.

“More and more [Canadian AI] companies are gaining investment … the amount of money is increasing dramatically,” says Oshoma Momoh, chief technical advisor for Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District, incubator to a plethora of AI firms.

See:  Why startups are leaving Silicon Valley

Among the tech heavyweights that have made significant AI investments north of the border are Uber Technologies Inc., Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Adobe Systems Inc., LG Electronics Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Amazon.com Inc.

Federal and provincial governments have also been keen to support the sector, with the aim of building a sustainable countrywide AI ecosystem and buttress Canada’s position as a leader in the field.

The vexing question is how Canadian institutions and business leaders can work together to maintain momentum. We asked leaders of some of the country’s top AI firms for their take.

Andy Mauro, CEO, Automat Technologies Inc., Montreal, a maker of conversational marketing software

“I think the government did a great job of recognizing the research leadership out of the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal, including celebrating and funding it.

I think we should continue doing that. Supporting local, homegrown startups headquartered in Canada is debateably a better generator of economic prosperity for Canada than attracting Facebook, Google and Amazon, even though those are sexy names that look good in press releases.

"I believe the government should capital-match any startup that has raised venture funding – especially U.S. venture capital – and has decided to base their business in Canada. That would be a very bold strategy to help capitalize startups.”

Stephen Piron, co-founder, Dessa, Toronto, a business software firm

“There are fortuitous geopolitical things going on that make Canada extra-attractive. One thing the government can do is to encourage people to move here and not put up walls. They have a visa that we’ve used to get experienced, talented technical people from overseas in between two to four weeks.

See:  Technology is the ‘most profound force bearing down’ on big banks, ex-Barclays boss says

"I think they need to do more things like that to encourage the best and brightest to come here. We recruit from around the world, and the stars are aligning where global talent would consider moving to Toronto, where maybe they would not have made that decision before.”

“It’s all about continuing to invest in the things that are working. That’s probably where governments can think about incentives for locating AI or machine-learning labs here.

"It would not be a bad idea to see a larger venture fund dedicated just to machine learning and AI. A decade ago, when mobile was emerging, for example, there were funds dedicated to mobile. There’s momentum, so we need to keep that going by somehow having startups, the private sector, government and education coming together in the right way.”

Canadian universities need to keep turning out great tech talent, or sooner or later the supply will dry up, says Kerry Liu of Rubikloud Technologies.

Andrew Williamson /Rubikloud

Kerry Liu, CEO, Rubikloud Technologies Inc., Toronto, an enterprise retail software firm

“Canada has some incredibly strong university programs focused on AI. McGill University and the University of Waterloo are two examples that are generating a lot of really great talent in this industry.

"The threat here is that we have to make sure the education available to students continues to keep pace with advances in the industry. Schools need to keep turning out great tech talent, or sooner or later the supply will dry up. High school and university curriculums alike will fail if they don’t adapt to include the skills that have direct business impacts.

More:  For Canada’s tech to thrive, startups must grow up

"Also, although the AI industry focuses a lot on tech talent – developers, analysts, data scientists – selling AI is a whole other skill set – sales, marketing, finance. If the necessary step is to commercialize and sell an AI product, the talent needs to be cross-disciplined.”

Continue to the full article --> here


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

BusinessWire release | Accenture | Oct 17, 2018 Digital-only banks, fintechs and big tech companies are quietly gaining customers, while incumbents struggle to make strategic investments in their digital future NEW YORK & LONDON & HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New entrants to the banking market — including challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies — are amassing up to one-third of new revenue, which is challenging the competitiveness of traditional banks, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE:ACN). “As the banking industry experiences radical change, driven by regulation, new entrants and demanding consumers, banks will need to reassess their assets, strengths and capabilities to determine if they are taking their business in the right direction” Accenture analyzed more than 20,000 banking and payments institutions across seven markets to quantify the level of change and disruption in the global banking industry. The study found that the number of banking and payments institutions decreased by nearly 20 percent over a 12-year period — from 24,000 in 2005 to less than 19,300 in 2017. However, nearly one in six (17 percent) current institutions are what Accenture considers new entrants — i.e., companies entering the market after 2005. While few of these new players ...
Read More
Banks’ Revenue Growth at Risk Due to Unprecedented Competitive Pressure Resulting from Digital Disruption, Accenture Study Finds
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Oct 18, 2018 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is launching a portal for engaging with companies using blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Available today, the new fintech hub, or FinHub for short, is designed to bring the SEC’s existing services to a single access point and provide an easier way for companies to communicate with the public. As startups building with blockchain increasingly come under the SEC’s attention, the new portal has the potential to streamline the process of building compliant platforms prior to launch. The SEC’s FinHub will be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. “We’ve been doing these things for years,” Szczepanik told Forbes. “This is going to bring it all together.” The FinHub will be staffed by representatives from the SEC’s divisions and offices who have expertise and involvement in fintech-related issues. See:  Canadian securities regulators provide additional guidance on securities law implications for offerings of tokens In addition to asking questions of the SEC, those who use the site will be able to request meetings. To increase engagement, a binary code “Easter egg” ...
Read More
SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More
Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018 Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes". According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – ...
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Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
International Monetary Fund | Release | Oct 11, 2018 The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group today launched the Bali Fintech Agenda, a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness the benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the provision of banking services, while at the same time managing the inherent risks. The Agenda proposes a framework of high-level issues that countries should consider in their own domestic policy discussions and aims to guide staff from the two institutions in their own work and dialogue with national authorities. The 12 elements (see table) were distilled from members’ own experiences and cover topics relating broadly to enabling fintech; ensuring financial sector resilience; addressing risks; and promoting international cooperation. “There are an estimated 1.7 billion adults in the world without access to financial services,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks. We need greater international cooperation to achieve that, and to make sure the fintech revolution benefits the many and not ...
Read More
The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities
Investment Executive | James Langton | Oct 12, 2018 Money laundering and tax evasion are key concerns Canadian policy-makers initially took a hands-off approach to cryptoassets. Now, in the wake of a bitcoin boom-and-bust and continuing growth in the cryptoassets market, policy-makers are taking a second look at the emerging phenomenon. In 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce issued one of Canada’s first reports examining the emerging cryptocurrency industry; that report recommends that policy-makers keep an eye on the space. Since then, the cryptoassets market has continued to grow. According to a report from the Bank of Canada (BoC), the global market capitalization for cryptoassets “grew rapidly” in 2017 and the daily transaction volume now is more than 75 times higher than it was in early 2017 – i.e., more than $25 billion a day. At this point, the BoC report states, traditional financial services institutions don’t have much, if any, direct exposure to cryptoassets, but the report cautions that these institutions could become exposed due to their clients’ trading in cryptoassets or through exchange trading in crypto-based derivatives. “Cryptoasset markets are evolving quickly and could have financial stability implications in the future if their size ...
Read More
Exploring cryptoasset regulation
NCFA Canada | Oct 13, 2018 Ep13-Oct 13:  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA show host Manseeb Khan sits down with Ali Pourdad the CEO of Progressa who recently closed out an $84 million dollar round. They talk about P2P loans, loan services operating within the blockchain and why being people first business matters. Enjoy! (see Transcript) Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALI POURDAD, Co-founder and CEO, Progressa (LinkedIn) Bio:  Ali Pourdad has been CEO of Progressa since its inception in 2013. Under his leadership the Company has raised over $40 million of investor capital and invested over $2.0 million dollars in its proprietary "Powered by Progressa" decision engine for Canadian Enterprise partners looking to enhance collections strategy in a positive way. The company has grown to over 110 employees in Vancouver and Toronto. Ali has decisively positioned Progressa for its next generation of growth by recently executing on several initiatives, including creating one of Canada's most popular Exempt Market Bond Offerings and securing an $11.4 million Series A financing . Prior to co-founding Progressa, Ali worked in both corporate restructuring and audit & assurance, ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.13-Oct 12):  Road to Fintech IPO:  Capital Networks, Scalable Solutions, Putting People First with Ali Pourdad, Co-founder and CEO Progressa
Beam Platform | Alec Gordon | Aug 24, 2018 THE PROBLEM The tech industry has gotten a rude awakening this year. Following a few high profile instances of data misuse, European Union has struck down the law and put everyone who sells into Europe (or deals with anyone who does) on notice. Since introduction, GDPR was meant to show both corporations and their users that better clarity around data collection/preservation is the necessary step forward, one that will lead to a fairer digital society, and ultimately benefit all those involved. And in order to do that, the companies themselves must take matters into their own hands by building new tools to let data flow back to the user. The customers demand it, and equally deserve to have control over their digital footprint. In the end this is an EU bill with global ramifications, and we should all be paying attention. By now you most of you have gotten dozens of emails on “updates to privacy policy” and other notices of forthcoming compliance. This is a welcome reminder that it is you, the user, who’s the focal point GDPR. After decades of computer and telephone use, the companies with whom we ...
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Data is a 2-way street in a post-GDPR world
Competition Bureau | Oct 10, 2018 Speech Remarks by Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell Global Series 2018 October 10, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Thank you. I’m pleased to be here to speak with you today. Thank you Makan, for your thoughts on these important issues. They are particularly relevant to businesses, the legal community, academia and governments around the world and to all of you who are gathered here today. Every day we see the world evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to innovation.  Development of new technologies, ways of doing business and the creation of new products have the potential to open up new areas of science, medicine and technology. Small steps lead to bigger steps.  And here in Canada, we have to be ready for both the challenges and opportunities that this is bringing to all of us. Let’s understand what we are up against. Every year, innovation in the top industrialized countries is tracked by leading authorities on the subject. And here’s what they report about Canada in 2018. On the plus side, Canada performs better than some others in four big areas: Human Capital and Research, Institutions, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication. See:  Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has ...
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Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Oct 9, 2018 Vancouver-based cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX has been defending itself in court for the release of $28 million dollars in customer funds frozen by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) since January, the Globe and Mail reports. According to court documents filed by CIBC in the Canadian province of Ontario, the action to freeze the accounts was taken because the bank says, “it was unable to determine who owns the funds,” and would like the court to take possession of the money and distribute it to either QuadrigaCX, their payments processor Custodian Inc, or to the 388 affected Quadriga customers, the Globe and Mail writes. Entrepreneurs in the relatively new crypto sector industries complained for some time about bank non-cooperation. See:  International Anti-Money Laundering Standards for Crypto Expected in October The cryptocurrency press in South America has reported on numerous account closures by banks against crypto exchanges on the continent, some of which are now being contested in courts by, among others, exchanges like Walltime in Brazil. Sources within the Toronto crypto entrepreneur scene say they have suffered persistent problems with getting their businesses banked in the city- even at credit unions- and have ...
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CIBC Has Frozen $28 Million of Vancouver Crypto Exchange’s Funds Since January
Crunchbase News | Alex Wilhelm | October 8, 2018 Meet Nubank, a fintech shop out of Brazil that just raised $180 million from Tencent at a valuation of $4 billion. Forget the fact that the round is half secondary. It’s an enormous transaction, and in more normal times, it would cause a big stir. However, the capital event highlights something notable about Tencent: the China-based company’s investment cadence is staggering. Tencent is disbursing cash at a far faster rate than Alibaba, another Chinese tech shop that isn’t famous for parsimony. Tencent’s Early Christmas Tencent has been on a check-cutting bing recently, getting through eight investing rounds in September. Those ranged from a $1.5 billion deal with Lianjia (real estate services), a $450 million round for MissFresh E-Commerce (mobile grocery sales), to the comparatively staid $90 million Series B for WeShare (fintech something or other). October is looking similarly hot. Tencent is at four deals so far, and the month isn’t even half done. Here’s the list: October 1. Miniso’s 1 billion rmb Series A. October 4. Voyager Innovation’s $175 million private equity round. October 5. Bilibili’s $317.6 million post-IPO equity event. October 8. Nubank’s $180 million Series F (half secondary). Regarding Nubank, TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber has the ...
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Nubank Investment Underscores Tencent’s Quick Investing Pace

 

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