Category Archives: Equity Crowdfunding

VanFUNDING Brings Leading Blockchain, FinTech, RegTech, and Capital Innovation Experts to Vancouver #VF2018

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VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / November 15, 2018 / VanFUNDING 2018: CONVERGE, an annual innovation, technology and capital event organized by the National Crowdfunding and FinTech Association (NCFA), will take place in Vancouver on November 29-30 at Parq Vancouver.

The event showcases leading technologies and experts in blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence and alternative finance that are making an impact on Canada, the capital markets and the world.

The event will feature over 50 speakers including Monique Morden, CEO of Judi.ai; Brady Fletcher, Managing Director, TSX Venture Exchange at TMX Group; Toufi Saliba, CEO of Toda.Network; Mark Wang, Director of Capital Market Regulation, BC Securities Commission; Paul Schulte, Managing Editor, Schulte Research; Rojin Nair, General Manager Fintech Solutions for Celero and more.

The event will also feature its annual pitching program that will award three "Front of the Line"Dragon's Den Golden Tickets and other prizes to the winning startups. Startups selected to pitch include Flux Network, Capiche Capital Technologies, Very Good Butcher, Squamish Canyon, Drive Hockey, Veme, Moca Estimator, Symend and HeyBryan.

As NCFA Canada CEO, Craig Asano states, ''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, store, transfer, and purchase anything of value.''

The past year has been saturated with news about blockchain's capabilities and its potential to vastly alter traditional financial ecosystems. However, as Toufi Saliba, CEO of TODA Network, notes, ''The global penetration of [this technology] is less than 0.2 per cent, of which, the vast majority of blockchains are scams.'' While individuals should remain cautious about fraudulent businesses that have arisen from people looking to cash in on the hype, Saliba explains that the next wave of blockchain adoption and utilization will be ''like a tsunami, [where] you can partake in what's yet to be the most disruptive technology in human history, or ignore it and get disrupted."

This year's theme, CONVERGE, immerses participants in content covering new capital market innovation, decentralized models, computer intelligence, infrastructure, alternative investment opportunities and the evolution of the ICO and security token offering (STO).

''The ICO market has shifted towards securitized token offerings and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this change and enabling a true security token standard with Etherparty, which offers AML KYC controls on assets that are issued from financial institutions or companies looking to raise funds through equity financing,'' said Lisa Cheng, Founder and Head of R&D for Vanbex Group.

Save your spot: http://vanfunding.com/

Link to video: watch here

VanFUNDING wouldn't be possible without the generous support of The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA), Toda.Network, Judi.ai, Vanbex Group, Northern Block, FrontFundr, REITIUM, FintruX, Holt Accelerator, TIMIA Capital, JJ Human Capital, Schulte Research and more.

About the NCFA:

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA) 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. Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Media Contact:

Brittany Whitmore
Exvera Communications Inc.
Brittany@exvera.com

SOURCE: National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

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Latest West Coast Tourism Location, Squamish Canyon, Opens Up Investment to the Community by Equity Crowdfunding to Create an All Ages All Weather Experience through Amazing Canyons and Waterfalls

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FrontFundr Release | Victoria Bennett | Oct 31, 2018

As Squamish, on B.C.'s busy west coast, cements its reputation as the Outdoor Capital of Canada, it opens up a challenge, what do you do if you can't or don't want to do extreme sports?

SQUAMISH, BC, October 31, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Squamish sits between two of the biggest tourist destinations in Canada – Vancouver, B.C. and Whistler, B.C. and is quickly becoming a destination itself. The Squamish tourism market has been growing at an amazing rate, even faster than B.C.'s tourism market as a whole. In 2017, there was a total of 5,713,926 overnight international visitor arrivals to the province, including 3,691,074 visitors from the US, 1,277,878 from Asia Pacific. The government has been putting more and more resources into attracting tourists to this amazing part of the world and the investment is paying off – in B.C., the tourism gross domestic product grew more rapidly in 2016 than all other industries combined.

Many of the activities in and around Squamish are designed specifically for the extreme sports enthusiast and very able outdoors people, even the hiking is difficult. The Sea to Sky Gondola (constructed in 2014) is one of the only attractions in the Squamish area that caters to visitors of all abilities. Additional attractions and activities that all levels and abilities can enjoy are needed in this area, to address the surge in visits by local and international tourists. Robin Sherry, founder and project lead of Squamish Canyon has met with the different levels of government from the city to roads to parks and first responders and they are all struggling to keep up with the rate of tourism growth in the region. There is still a need for investment and support by the government to the Parks, but there is also a need for private industry to play its role.

See:  Join us Nov 29-30 at the 4th annual VanFUNDING 2018: CONVERGE conference!

As the area has grown through tourism the community has grown too and having alternative activities for both tourists and the community that are safe, all weather and all ages has become paramount.

Working closely with the logging community and industry in the area, Squamish Canyon is preserving 26 acres of forest and creating low impact activities including interpretive forest and canyon walks, playground and entertainment area. Five years in the planning, Sherry is working with local businesses and contractors with international and local experience to have Squamish Canyon ready to open in Summer, 2019.

Robin Sherry commented, "I've lived in Squamish for over ten years and seen the huge growth in tourism but also the growth in the town. I am very involved in the outdoor community, but I also want everyone to be able to participate in this stunning location. Participation means a number of things; to be able to walk safely through temperate rainforest and understand the history ,culture and ecology, to bring local businesses in as suppliers, to create meaningful jobs that enable people to live in Squamish and to open up the investment to the community, so people can benefit from revenues made by Squamish Canyon."

Squamish Canyon launched their equity crowdfunding campaign on Canada's largest investment crowdfunding platform, FrontFundr on Tuesday, October 30th. Canadians can invest from $250 on the platform. Prior to launch, nearly $300,000 has already been reserved by investors.

Key Data
- Approximately 7.6 million people drive the Sea to Sky Highway per annum; 60 – 70% of those are estimated to be visitors to the area.
- Squamish Canyon is located 65 km from Whistler BC, which sees approximately 2.7 million visitors annually.
- Squamish Canyon is nestled in the Coastal Mountains at the end of the Howe Sound surrounded by fjords and waterfalls in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. The canyon is a few minutes off the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway, close to the world famous Stawamus Chief (340,000 visitors annually), Shannon Falls Provincial Park (475,000 visitors annually) and the Sea to Sky Gondola (400,000 visitors annually).
- The Sea to Sky Gondola sees approximately 400,000 visitors annually and far exceeded its highest visitor projections in the first year of operations. An estimated 80% of gondola visitors were specifically coming to the area to ride the gondola and not just passing through on the way to Whistler (Kirby Brown, General Manager, Sea to Sky Gondola).
Squamish Canyon will be located 62 km from Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver, BC – over 800,000 visitors annually
- The focus for Tourism Squamish is currently on attracting multi-generational tourists from the Lower Mainland (Lesley Weeks, Executive Director of Tourism Squamish)

See:  Fans donate over $500K to Vancouver’s independent Rio Theatre so it can buy its own space

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Victoria Bennett victoria@bmwconsults.com (403) 589 7992

Full details of the offering can be found in the Offering Memorandum. This document is for information purposes only. Please consult your finance professional before making an investment.

Squamish Canyon is a proposed destination addressing the Sea to Sky Corridor's critical lack of engaging, safe, and fun experiences for visitors of all ages. British Columbia's Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Lillooet (known as the Sea to Sky Highway) links Metro Vancouver with Whistler and Squamish, BC. It is one of the busiest tourist highways in Canada, with day parks along the route seeing up to 900,000 visitors per year. And for those without advanced abilities, it's a destination they cannot fully experience.

Mamquam Adventures Inc, a local company with world-class partners, is changing that, designing a year-round, all-weather experience; one that can be enjoyed by the local 'big kids', parents with toddlers, grandma and grandpa, and almost anyone in between on the Vancouver - Squamish - Whistler highway.

At Squamish Canyon, you will be immersed in the natural beauty of the place named "Mother of Wind", walking over waterfalls, along the edge of canyon walls, and through a majestic rainforest on boardwalks, bridges, and suspended walkways, an experience only a whitewater kayaker or climber could previously enjoy. Along the journey, visitors will learn about local ecosystems, glacial water systems, outdoor safety, the history of the land and the First Nations of the area, as well as safety and conservation.

Mamquam Adventures Inc. values environmental and social sustainability, public transparency, and accountability. The company intends to balance growth and purpose in creating Squamish Canyon. The project brings together industry and tourism, diversifying the economy of the area, and creating a place for the local community and visitors to revel in the natural, rustic beauty of Canada's outdoor recreation capital.

Squamish Canyon. A destination waiting.

Source:  view release


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS and SIZZLE REEL!


Day 1 Photos: Leadership & Meeting Exchange
Day 2 Photos: VanFUNDING 2018 Converge conference


Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
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What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
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The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
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Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
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OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
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Not yet a done deal

 

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World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding

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Crowdfund Insider | | Sep 18, 2018

In many ways, OurCrowd epitomizes the aspirations of what investment crowdfunding has the potential to deliver for both issuers and investors. By providing access to quality deals to smaller (accredited) investors, OurCrowd has opened up an asset class previously closed off to all but the very fortunate. On OurCrowd, you can find yourself investing alongside some of the biggest names in venture capital – at the exact same terms – an important distinction. It is also important to note that OurCrowd has skin in the game for each offering it lists on the platform – thus interests are aligned: OurCrowd wants the company to succeed and it also very much wants to see a return on its own investment. These qualities make OurCrowd a compelling option for investors that are willing to shoulder an element of portfolio risk that can also drive some outsized returns.

OurCrowd is based in Israel – where many of its investments are made – but its vision is to empower investors globally and fund companies regardless of geographic borders. This is what you want to see in the digitized, internet fueled Fintech age.

CI recently caught up with Jon Medved, the ubiquitous founder and CEO of OurCrowd, for an update on platform progress as they execute on their mission to democratize access to opportunity.


Earlier this year, you indicated OurCrowd would top USD $1 billion of investment at some point this year. Is this still on track?

Jon Medved: Yes, our growth in both active new investors and average investment sizes are scaling according to plan through the first half and we believe we will have an even stronger second half result.

Recently OurCrowd was recognized as the top VC in Israel, do you think you can replicate this accomplishment in other countries over time?

Jon Medved: Our focus is on becoming not only the “most active VC investor” but becoming one of the “most successful VC investors.”

When we started, I don’t think many believed that our model could scale this effectively, yet here we are.

Since this asset class has a long growth curve of 7-10 years or beyond to bear the greatest fruits, we know we need to be persistent but patient.

We now have 20 different portfolio companies whose value is $100 million or more, so many of our investments are starting to mature and we are encouraged by their progress. The next phase will clearly be to replicate our level of activity in Israel to other regions of the world. While we are already sourcing about 30% of our deals outside of Israel, we would like to grow this percentage. The key to doing this will be to open up more offices (we already have 11 worldwide offices), sign more global strategic partners, and to engage more active investors who will help us source and diligence quality deal flow in their regions and their areas of expertise.

See:

This month, OurCrowd announced its second investment in unicorn Klook which was your first China investment. How is deal flow for China based firms?

Jon Medved: Our growing network in Asia is a credit to the strong partnerships we have enjoyed in the region. As with everything in our industry, the winning formula always starts with the right people. Not only the people within our organization and across our strategic alliances, but the people we choose to invest in.

In Asia, more than anywhere, access to deals comes from a position of trust. As we grow our investment community in Asia, we hope to find more deals like Klook. Asia has so much promise and upside and spectacular entrepreneurs—but the key will be to deliver added value to these companies and provide them with important access to the rest of our global network.

OurCrowd has a growing portfolio of sector funds for investors. How are these progressing? Will you always offer single firm investments?

Jon Medved: Absolutely we will continue to offer single firm investments; this has been and will continue to be the bedrock of our investment platform.

Our unique ability to deliver deal-by-deal discretion and the “freedom of choice” continues to be a really exciting core of our business. This is especially true as we offer companies at different stages (from Series A to Series E), in different sectors, and with the ability to invest in multiple rounds (we have some companies where we have already participated in 5 rounds of funding!)

The fact that someone can access great globally recognized venture capital funds with a minimum investment of only $50,000 is a game changer.

However, that said, we are also excited by the growing fund opportunities that we are providing on the platform. We now offer 13 different funds, which fulfill a real need for our investors who want managed portfolios and diversification.  The fact that someone can access great globally recognized venture capital funds with a minimum investment of only $50,000 is a game changer. While maintaining our single company investments we also plan to also expand our fund model to many other sectors and strategies, because there is a real synergy between our funds and the single companies on our platform.

More:

 

What about institutional growth. Last time we spoke much of the platform growth was being fueled by institutional money. Is this continuing? What type of institutional interest are you seeing?

Jon Medved: We have indeed signed several agreements recently with institutional investors who have become our largest and most active investors and partners to date.

What is really exciting about this institutional growth is that it has not come at the expense of our 25,000 accredited investor base. We continue to grow this accredited investor base, and we are proud that we continue to offer deal access to both the individual accredited investor and the huge institution on the same terms. This is a fulfillment of our goal to democratize access to quality venture capital. We are seeing growing institutional interest in our individual company investments especially as many of our deals start to raise $10 million and up on our platform, where there is room for institutions to take a real swing and get the size they want.

Also, the institutions like the fact that they can build their own personalized fund of funds on our platform where they can get a basket of funds without paying the additional fees and carry normally associated with fund of funds.

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

Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

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$5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies

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Australian Financial Review | Michael Bailey | Sep 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue to the full article --> here

 


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

Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

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European Parliament Draft Legislation Shows Intent to Enable Crowdfunding Platforms to Host Initial Coin Offerings

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Crowdfund Insider | | Sep 5, 2018

A recent draft of legislation by the European Parliament pertaining to European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) indicates an interest in rolling in initial coin offerings (ICOs) along with more traditional securities. While still just a draft, the document shows a clear interest in empowering online investment platforms to list ICOs with a proposed amendment stating;

“In order to allow for a competitive Union framework, crowdfunding service providers should be permitted to raise capital through their platforms using certain cryptocurrencies. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) offer new and innovative ways of funding but can also generate substantial market fraud and cyber security risks to investors. Therefore, crowdfunding service providers that wish to offer an ICO through their platform, should comply with specific additional requirements under this Regulation.”

The proposed regulation is viewed as an opportunity to regulate ICOs. The EP draft states that issuers can prove their legitimacy by complying with the proposed regulations. While accepting the fact the proposed rules may fall short, the draft calls it a “much needed step towards imposing standards and protections in place for what is an excellent funding stream for startups.”

See:  Gibraltar: Where Is The Best Country To Launch An ICO – Switzerland Or Gibraltar?

On Tuesday this week, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) held a meeting to discuss ICOs as part of a subset of crowdfunding. According to Hogan Lovells, a law firm that is assisting in the draft legislation, the proposal is a “step in the right direction” that should legitimize and clarify rules for ICOs. The draft legislation was entered by UK MEP Ashley Fox. In discussing ICOs, at least one MEP sees merit in creating a third category beyond securities and commodities (find new definitions).

John Salmon, Hogan Lovells Technology Partner, stated;

“Having the certainty, but also having that legitimisation, I very much welcome having a European-wide proposal. I think it would be incredibly helpful to see that: it gives people the certainty to know … but we need to be clear whether this is a utility token or a transferable security, or how the regulatory regime comes within that. But I think it makes perfect sense because an ICO is another form of crowdfunding. It is different, but it is a form of crowdfunding.”

Continue to the full article --> here


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

Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
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Prominent Group of Fintech Leaders Send Letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton Demanding an Increase in Regulation Crowdfunding to $20 Million

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Crowdfund Insider | | Jul 23, 2018

In a letter forwarded to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton, a group of Fintech leaders demanded the Commission to increase Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) from the current $1.07 million max amount to $20 million – a substantial increase to current rules. The demand to increase Reg CF, an iteration of securities crowdfunding that was created by the JOBS Act of 2012, comes at a time when there is pressure for the US to maintain is position as a leader in investment crowdfunding the space. As pointed out by the signatories, both Germany and the UK have increased their crowdfunding threshold to €8 million (USD $9.4 million). The European Commission may move to make this a pan-European threshold with some EU insiders pushing for a higher amount.

The letter was sent under the letterhead of Crowdfund Capital Advisors (CCA), co-founded by Sherwood “Woodie” Neiss and Jason Best. The two founders were vital to the passage of the JOBS Act when President Obama signed the bill into law.

Neiss told Crowdfund Insider;

“Each of the parts of the JOBS Act served a niche well except for those companies that liked the idea of crowdfunding from Main Street investors without the costs of a Title IV (Regulation A+ offering). By increasing the maximum an issuer can raise to $20 million under Regulation Crowdfunding, we can now fill this void and allow a broader spectrum of small issuers into the marketplace. With 2 years of history and data under our belt, we can see that the system is working, capital is flowing, jobs are being created and money is being pumped into our economy. Rather than ask for another de minimus increase in the cap, let’s raise it to an amount that will really allow the industry to take off but in the same systematic and transparent way that benefits issuers, investors, and regulators.”

Neiss, in an email to Chair Clayton, said “the United States should not be left behind, but should make the bold move to increase the cap to $20 million.”

The SEC has the ability to act and such a move would most likely have the support of much of Congress and most likely the Executive branch. The question is whether, or not, Chair Clayton will be willing to take such a bold move that will clearly support small business and capital formation – a policy area Clayton has consistently said is one of his top leadership priorities.

See:  10 reasons the $1 million crowdfunding cap should be $20 million

The letter to Chair Clayton was signed by the following crowdfunding industry leaders:

  • Sherwood Neiss – CCA
  • Doug Ellenoff – Ellenoff, Grossman & Schole
  • Youngro Lee – CEO of NextSeed
  • Tyler Gray – COO of Microventures
  • James Dowd – Managing Director North Capital
  • Kendrick Nguyen, CEO of Republic
  • Ryan Feit – CEO of SeedInvest
  • Karen Kerrigan – Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council)
  • Ron Miller – co-founder of StartEngine
  • Nick Tommarello – CEO of Wefunder

Since the launch of Regulation Crowdfunding:

  • Over 1,000 companies have filed with the SEC to raise money on online platforms that are registered with FINRA to facilitate capital formation.
  • Over $137M has been committed to these issuers. 95% ($130.4M) of that capital was funded and invested into 715 companies (68.5% success rate).
  • These 715 companies are supporting 4,172 jobs and producing over $249M in revenue.
  • Issuers have filed in almost every state in the Union.
  • Issuers have been funded in 80 industries (according to Morningstar’s Global Equity Classification Structure).

The cap should be adjusted because:

  • There has been zero fraud, competent issuers have been able to raise serious capital from investors that believe in their products or services, and retail investors (for the first time in recent history) have a transparent, systematic way to back companies they believe in.
  • Successfully funded companies are supporting and creating valuable jobs and providing substantial economic activity in a broad range of locally important industries all around the United States.
  • The initial cap of US$1M was meant to be adjusted. Only once since the launch of Regulation Crowdfunding has this been adjusted and at the time only by $70,000. Such de minimus adjustments do not fully allow meritorious issuers to fully benefit from this new form of online finance nor expand the opportunity for issuers seeking to raise in excess of $1M.
  • The current $1M level is now far below what startups and SMEs need for seed stage capital. May 2018 data indicates that the median sized funding round for Angel or Seed stage companies in the US is $2M. This means that even for the smallest funding round the current limits do not allow an issuer to raise their entire round via Regulation Crowdfunding. This dramatically increases costs and time spent on raising capital by US businesses. This reduces the number of American innovators and job creators in the United States.
  • While the “funding gap” that Regulation Crowdfunding was meant to address is filling the void. The funding “opportunity” really comes from those small/medium firms that are seeking to raise up to $20M. Raising funds under $20M has become increasingly challenging as Venture Capital/Private Equity has moved upstream over the past decade. Raising the cap will allow issuers that wish to utilize this form of online finance the ability to raise in excess of $1M and tap their local investors without having to deal with the costly, time consuming process of either filing a full prospectus with the SEC or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a private offering.
  • Many companies forego Regulation Crowdfunding in favor of Reg D, 506(c), because of the low Reg CF limit. This has the effect of reduced disclosure to investors, since Form D provides less information even than Form C. In addition, ordinary investors are cut out of some of the most attractive deals that have already attracted institutional funding, which seems unfair and counter to one of the goals of Reg CF.
  • Both the United Kingdom and Germany have adjusted their caps to 8M EUR (US$9.4M). The United States should not be a follower but a leader

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
Read More
The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal

 

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‘This Is Not a Passing Fad’: CFA Exam Adds Crypto, Blockchain Topics

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Bloomberg | By and | Jul 16, 2018

It might be the definitive sign that cryptocurrencies have arrived on Wall Street.

CFA Institute, whose grueling three-level program has helped train more than 150,000 financial professionals, is adding topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain to its Level I and II curriculums for the first time next year. Material for the 2019 exams will be released in August, giving candidates their first opportunity to start logging a recommended 300 hours of study time.

CFA added the topics, part of a new reading called Fintech in Investment Management, after industry participants showed surging interest in surveys and focus groups. The worlds of finance and crypto have become increasingly intertwined after last year’s Bitcoin boom, with regulated futures now trading in Chicago, blue-chip firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dabbling in digital assets, and scores of Wall Streeters joining crypto-related startups.

More:  Traders With Pockets Full of Crypto Quit Wall Street

While digital coins have tumbled in 2018 and the real-world impact of blockchain ventures has thus far been limited, some observers say the technology could ultimately transform swathes of the global financial system.

“We saw the field advancing more quickly than other fields and we also saw it as more durable,” said Stephen Horan, managing director for general education and curriculum at CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. “This is not a passing fad.”

The CFA material on crypto and blockchain will appear alongside other fintech subjects including artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and automated trading. More crypto topics, such as the intersection of virtual currencies and economics, may eventually be added to the curriculum, Horan said.

“It will be beneficial for us, since there’s been a huge expansion and adoption of crypto in our investment universe,” said Kayden Lee, 27, a financial economics student at Columbia University who took the CFA Level I exam in June and is interning as a fund analyst in Singapore during his summer break.

“But more importantly the focus is on fintech and blockchain,” Lee said. “How it works to improve, unravel or even disrupt certain sectors.”

See:  Could Cryptocurrency Be the Investment Opportunity of a Lifetime?

The new topics will also make an appearance in the CFA readings on professional ethics, an area that some say is lacking in the crypto world. Many virtual currency projects operate in a legal gray zone, while digital-asset trading venues and initial coin offerings are rife with examples of fraud, market manipulation, money laundering and theft.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Click for News:

 

Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018 Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms. Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth. “We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.” Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts. Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based ...
Read More
Dragons' Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing
Million Mile Secrets | August 21, 2018 When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users. The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment. We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you! Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases? Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at ...
Read More
Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?
Coindesk | Santiago Siri | Dec 18, 2018 As governance becomes more and more prevalent in discussions around consensus protocols, it is clear that Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision of “one-CPU-one-vote” shaped the entire crypto industry into thinking governance centered around machines, not people. But if artificial intelligence (AI) is indeed a threat to humanity as Elon Musk and Sam Altman frequently warn, why are we risking giving AI the political power of distributed networks? Guaranteeing a fundamental right to privacy bent early blockchain design toward anonymity. While that approach helps fight financial corruption (political corruption is exploiting the internet in ways that can also be fought back with decentralized computation), the menace of AI is less abstract than it seems. The fact that social algorithms thrive on memes helps explain today’s political reality. See:  Lifehacks for When a Robot Wants Your Job However, AI is leading us to even deeper questions and challenges. The most salient fact from contemporaneous politics is the growing shadow of doubt cast over the democratic process in the U.S.: did foreign influence win the most expensive election on the planet? Since the Peace of Westphalia in the 17th Century, nation-states have been a political construction ...
Read More
Humans on the Blockchain: Why Crypto Is the Best Defense Against AI Overlords
CNBC | Kate Rooney | Dec 17, 2018 Robinhood's attempt to launch a disruptive, first-of-its-kind product offers some lessons for fintech companies trying to break the mold in a highly regulated industry. The start-up announced it would launch checking and savings accounts with an eye-popping, industry leading interest rate. Just a day later, they said they were re-naming and re-launching after regulators and Wall Street sounded the alarm. Robinhood did not contact a key industry watchdog ahead of its launch, a move that wasn’t legally required but could have saved them from "an epic fail" and “getting egg on their face,” according to UBS analyst Brennan Hawken. “Next time they’ll aim before they shoot,” SIPC president Stephen Harbeck said. On Thursday, the popular stock-trading start-up rolled out what executives said was the biggest announcement in the company's history: Checking and savings products with a 3 percent interest rate, and zero fees. But just a day later, the start-up un-winded its ambitious plan. There were a number of questions about the product — but mostly on the regulatory side. The accounts being offered by Robinhood were insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Those protections are a far cry ...
Read More
What fintech can learn from Robinhood's 'epic fail' of launching checking accounts
Forbes | Gerald Fenech | Dec 12, 2018 The crypto space, though promising in a myriad of different ways still has many obstacles to overcome. Bad actors are slowly being weeded out but at an excruciating pace. Ideally, the crypto space would have so much competition, innovation and use cases that the best ideas and best innovators would naturally stand tall. Though 2018 has been a trying year for everyone in the space, 2019 is looking positive as many promising projects are rearing to go. These neophytes, though not experienced are seeking to close the gaps within the crypto space that have lingered since the beginning, namely; security, accountability and transparency and above all, practical implications for the technology. Countries like Gibraltar, Malta, and Switzerland seeking to build legislative frameworks for these new businesses to operate and thrive in, and give them a home. However, it is a difficult balance; on the one hand to regulate, securitize and make everything compliant, whilst also not stifling budding, inherent innovation. Although everyone recognizes that DLT has huge potential, the time has now come for the space to mature, become regulated and for things be done right. Now is the time to forget the ...
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The Security Token Field - The Next Step After the ICO Annihilation?
Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
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Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
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Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
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OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
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Not yet a done deal

 

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