Category Archives: Fintech and Real Estate

Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

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

Diiiorio new condo penthouse - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump TowerA cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump TowerThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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Cointelegraph | Justin O’Connell | Apr 9, 2019 The promise is great for so-called smart cities, which will deploy a network of interactive sensors to achieve efficiency and innovation. The smart city vision includes driverless cars, renewable energy to aid a city’s power consumption, energy-efficient buildings, and communications systems that work with the location’s infrastructure to avoid waste, among other features. A report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates that spending on smart city technology is expected to grow to $135 billion by 2021. That may be changing. Google is creating a smart city in Toronto, and, with the vast resources of the technology giant, the first widespread implementation of the promises of smart cities may be at hand. But there are still concerns over certain aspects of implementing the smart cities program. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared at the October 2017 kickoff for the smart city being designed by Google for Toronto. “We know the world is changing,” said Trudeau, as he stood alongside senior Google executive Eric Schmidt. “The choice we have is to either resist it and be frightened by it, or to say we can step up and shape it.” Are we being over-promised? One ...
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Toronto smart city - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Reuters | Nov 20, 2019 HONG KONG (Reuters) - Singapore’s central bank plans to bring bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrency futures traded on approved exchanges under its regulation in response to interest from international institutional investors, it said on Wednesday. Market watchdogs worldwide have been debating whether and how they should regulate the cryptocurrency industry. Many have focused their attention initially on investor protection issues given concerns about market manipulation and cryptocurrencies’ volatility. See: Singapore Fintech Week: Data, technology and policy coordination – BIS Speech Singapore overtakes the US to become world’s most competitive country, WEF says In a consultation document, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it had seen interest from institutional investors in trading “payment tokens” like bitcoin and ether, who “have a need for a regulated product to gain and hedge their exposure to the payment tokens.” The consultation will close on Dec. 20. MAS only proposes to regulate futures traded on exchanges it already regulates. It warned investors it did not regulate token derivatives not traded on approved exchanges. “The inclusion of these products in the approved exchanges will certainly provide new opportunities for all regulated exchanges. This may create liquidity for these products,” ...
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Monetary authority of Singapore - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Nov 18, 2019 Periodically, Crowdfund Insider revisits the Reg CF sector of online capital formation. Reg CF or “Regulation Crowdfunding” may have garnered most of the attention from popular media but really there are three individual crowdfunding exemptions including Reg A+ and Reg D 506c. Under Reg A+ you must file an extensive offering circular with the entire offering process costing around $300,000, according to one estimate. But Reg A+ enables an issuer to raise up to $50 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. Under Reg D 506c, you may raise an unlimited amount of money but only from accredited investors. This is the most popular crowdfunding exemption and Reg D (5o6c and 5o06b) is a trillion-dollar market. Issuers using Reg CF may only raise $1.07 million and must utilize a FINRA regulated Funding Portal or a broker-dealer. Due to the low cap on funding, frequently issuers will do a side-by-side Reg D 506c offering to circumvent the extremely low amount you may raise. Last time CI revisited the number of approved Funding Portals was in July. Since that time, several new funding portals have joined the approved list and several have exited ...
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US funding - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Highline Beta | Nov 19 ,2019 With RBC as the lead private investor, Highline Beta’s inaugural fund forms part of the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative. TORONTO, November 19, 2019 - Highline Beta, a leading new venture development and venture capital firm known for its unique corporate innovation model, today announced the first close of its inaugural investment fund, Highline Beta Fund 2019 (“The Fund”). This predominantly Pan-Canadian fund will make up to 30 investments in startups co-created or partnered alongside corporations, and is one of only seven funds selected by the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as the lead private investor. Highline Beta believes it can improve upon the features of traditional startup accelerators and corporate-startup engagement programs to achieve more meaningful win-win relationships. Highline Beta has spent years collaborating with a roster of global corporations such as RBC, Anheuser Busch InBev, Aviva Canada and American Family on growth mandates beyond their core businesses to reimagine the industries we live in through startup innovation. See:  Why venture capital firms need more women partners and entrepreneurs “Almost four years ago, we pioneered a hybrid corporate venture studio and venture capital model ...
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highline beta closes first fund - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
OSC | Release | Nov 19, 2019 TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is moving forward with more than 100 specific actions to reduce burden for market participants doing business in Ontario's capital markets. As these changes are made, individuals and businesses regulated by the OSC can expect to see enhanced service levels, less duplication and a more tailored regulatory approach. "The OSC has made major progress in reducing the burden for Ontario's market participants," says the Honourable Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of Finance. "I want to commend Chair Maureen Jensen and her entire team for moving in short order to streamline regulations without compromising investor protection." The changes will make it easier to start, fund and grow a business in Ontario, and make Ontario's markets more competitive. While these initiatives will benefit businesses of all sizes, the OSC has carefully considered opportunities to benefit small and medium-sized companies, which make up nearly 70 per cent of those regulated by the OSC, and smaller registrant firms, which make up nearly a third of Ontario registrants. NCFA Advocacy on Burden Reduction: March 1, 2019: NCFA Submission to the Ontario Securities Commission on Regulatory Burden NCFA Letter to ...
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OSC burden reduction Nov 2019 - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Bitcoinist | Christina Comben | Nov 13, 2019 Top 10 Crypto Trends This Year As CoinShares states at the start of the report, “knowledge is best when shared.” In order for the crypto industry to grow, “participants and outside analysts have to be able to identify, gather, and analyze data to tell the story of why this industry matters.” So, here’s what’s going on right now. 1. Macro Trends Are Setting the Stage for Bitcoin The report starts out by taking a look at the background of how we got to where we are today. It seems that a whole host of macro trends are combining to create the perfect storm for Bitcoin. In 2019, there is a growing disparity between rich and poor. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos own more than the bottom half of Americans. At the same time, there is increased automation in the workplace, rising political tensions and unrest in countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Hong Kong, and increasing social backlash against capitalism and big tech companies. See:  Lock BTC, Get DAI: Lending Firm Bridges Bitcoin-DeFi Divide in Latin America This is accompanied by diminishing trust in banks and governments. More than 90% of people ...
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MELTEM DEMIRORS - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Coindesk |Nathan DiCamillo | Nov 18, 2019 The Takeaway The research arm of payment card giant Visa has published a paper describing the development of LucidiTEE, a blockchain system for orchestrating sensitive data among multiple parties. For example, the paper outlines a system that would allow banks and fintech applications to share data without relying on intermediary data aggregators. While Europe has relied on legislation like GDPR to set standards for securely sharing customer data, US banks had to develop agreements with data aggregators. Visa, the world’s largest card payment network, has been quietly developing a blockchain system that could upend how banks transfer customer transaction data to consumer financial applications like Mint and Credit Karma. In a paper published by Visa’s research and development arm, researchers describe a system called LucidiTEE. It outlines a system for sharing sensitive personal data on a blockchain, crunching that data within a trusted execution environment (TEE) and using history-based policies to ensure that each of the parties receive an output of the computation. (The system’s name is a combination of TEE and the word lucidity). See:  Visa Makes Its Second Investment Into a Crypto Startup The first application of LucidiTEE is sharing data ...
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Visa blockchain R and D - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Investment Executive | James Langton | November 7, 2019 Vancity Community Investment Bank to acquire CoPower investment platform Toronto-based Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB),  a subsidiary of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, will bolster the bank’s impact investing capabilities by buying Montreal-based green investment platform CoPower Inc., VCIB announced Thursday. The transaction brings together a bank devoted to financing affordable housing with a platform that finances environmentally friendly projects through green bonds that are available to retail investors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. VCIB says that the deal will enable it to expand its loan offerings to include clean energy and green building initiatives. At the same time, CoPower’s focus on creating impact investment products for retail investors will enable new funding sources for the bank. “Our mission has always been to move money for the clean energy transition. As a subsidiary of VCIB, we’ll be able to better serve the needs of clean energy developers while delivering a powerful range of investment products for investors looking to earn a strong return, and supporting projects that are green, inclusive and affordable,” said David Berliner, founder of CoPower, in a statement. See: Unlocking the Potential of Frontier Finance The deal, which has been approved ...
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clean energy - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Green Biz | Joel Makower | Nov 18, 2019 "Smart beta." It’s a term of art on Wall Street, a blend of active and passive investing strategies that typically combine an underlying stock index with an investment manager’s savvy about a potential stock’s liquidity, volatility, momentum and other factors. The strategy is said to provide a risk/return profile that is more attractive than a singularly active or passive investment product. That nerdy financial term will be among those increasingly relevant to corporate sustainability execs — CSOs, for short — as the astonishing rise of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, factors takes hold in the mainstream investing world. ESG assets under management have grown the fastest among smart beta strategies — a compound annual growth rate of more than 70 percent over the past five years, according to a recent report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "The opportunity is also too big to ignore," the report's authors wrote. "Bank of America estimates that over the next few decades, equity investments aligned with ESG criteria could attract assets equal to the size of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index today." The S&P 500 in October had a market capitalization of ...
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ESG meets wallstreet - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Betakit | Isabelle Kirkwood | Nov 18, 2019 Canada’s FinTech sector has seen steady growth in recent years, and there seems to be more on the horizon with increased collaboration between startups and incumbents, as well as the skyrocketing demand for emerging technologies. The latest findings from a Ernst and Young (EY) report suggest FinTech adoption in Canada has increased from 18 percent to 50 percent since 2017. “FinTechs are no longer seen as just disruptors to the traditional financial services industry, they’re sophisticated competitors.” “FinTech adoption has evolved significantly in Canada over the past two years alongside the evolution of customer priorities and the rise of money transfers and payments,” said Ron Stokes, EY Canada FinTech Leader. “FinTechs are no longer seen as just disruptors to the traditional financial services industry, they’re sophisticated competitors, ready to meet the changing expectations and needs of customers.” Despite this apparent growth, FinTech adoption in Canada still lags behind the global average. That same EY report found that only 50 percent of respondents in Canada were FinTech consumers, as opposed to 64 percent globally. See:  Fintech Reports and Research To explore how Canada can start stepping up its game in FinTech, BetaKit spoke ...
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When banks balk, ordinary investors can become city builders with ‘small change’

The Globe and Mail | | June 22, 2018

Eve picker small change - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

In today’s new model of real estate investment, a prospective investor can search for projects of interest on a laptop and, several mouse clicks later, send funds along. With no middlemen and no banks to decide which projects are worthy of financing, investment opportunities are no longer restricted to the very wealthy or the tried-and-true.

“This is investing democratized, and this is how capital will be formed going forward,” said Eve Picker, a Pittsburgh-based architect, city planner and founder of a real estate equity crowdfunding platform called Small Change.

Ms. Picker was a keynote speaker at the recent Building a Better City forum at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, co-hosted by The Globe and Mail and Dream REIT. She was among a diverse group of panellists who discussed the challenges of progressive development as urban populations continue to grow around the world.

According to Statistics Canada, more than 80 per cent of Canadians live in cities, which is one of the highest rates of urbanization in the G7. And as municipalities across the country tackle challenges that range from protecting heritage to improving road safety, finding capital to create more liveable cities is an ongoing challenge.

Ms. Picker believes crowdfunding is the answer, citing figures from the World Bank that estimate a global crowdfunding market potential of up to $96-billion by 2025.

“In 2010, that figure was under $1-billion. In 2016, crowdfunding surpassed all investments made by venture capital,” she said.

See:  Real estate crowdfunding in Canada: portal insights for 2017/18

At Small Change, Ms. Picker uses crowdfunding to fill the financing gap by matching investors with developers, raising funds for transformative real estate projects with the goal of making cities more vibrant and liveable.

When she first arrived in Pittsburgh to work as an urban designer for its planning department, the city had lost half of its population due to the relocation of the steel mill industry. She began purchasing and remaking buildings in abandoned neighbourhoods in which no one else was ready to invest.

What she found was that making abandoned buildings functional and attractive again was the easy part. Despite the success of ground-breaking and innovative improvements that paved the way for the city’s revitalization, she struggled to find enough capital.

As banks became more skittish and federal community-building funds dried up, it became increasingly impossible to continue. Her financial partners evaporated, leading her to create Small Change.

“Innovation makes banks really nervous. They want to finance tried-and-true solutions, not new ones. But we need innovation – lots and lots of it – to build better cities,” she said.

“So how do we break the cycle? How can we finance change?”

Cue the arrival of fintech – the merger of finance with technology that has made possible now-ubiquitous products and services such as shopping on Amazon, online bank transfers and the ability to purchase bitcoin. As one of the fastest growing areas for venture capital, fintech is all about innovation.

“Banks won’t lend to tiny houses, your village on a barge, or your condos on a cruise ship, but the crowd just might,” she said.

“This rapidly growing tiny industry is the future of capital formation.”

So how does crowdfunding build better cities? Ms. Picker cited several of her own success stories when banks refused credit, which include funding a construction loan to build Pittsburgh’s first tiny house in an underserved neighbourhood.

With the use of crowdfunding, Small Change helped to convert a historic building to a premier co-working space, build affordable starter homes in New Orleans, and bring to fruition an artist co-op bed and breakfast that will provide affordable housing to artists.

Along with the need to provide more affordable housing and reimagine public spaces, other panellists at the forum spoke of the need to be more intentional in reflecting diverse cultures and meeting the needs of local populations.

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Cointelegraph | Justin O’Connell | Apr 9, 2019 The promise is great for so-called smart cities, which will deploy a network of interactive sensors to achieve efficiency and innovation. The smart city vision includes driverless cars, renewable energy to aid a city’s power consumption, energy-efficient buildings, and communications systems that work with the location’s infrastructure to avoid waste, among other features. A report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates that spending on smart city technology is expected to grow to $135 billion by 2021. That may be changing. Google is creating a smart city in Toronto, and, with the vast resources of the technology giant, the first widespread implementation of the promises of smart cities may be at hand. But there are still concerns over certain aspects of implementing the smart cities program. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared at the October 2017 kickoff for the smart city being designed by Google for Toronto. “We know the world is changing,” said Trudeau, as he stood alongside senior Google executive Eric Schmidt. “The choice we have is to either resist it and be frightened by it, or to say we can step up and shape it.” Are we being over-promised? One ...
Read More
Toronto smart city - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Reuters | Nov 20, 2019 HONG KONG (Reuters) - Singapore’s central bank plans to bring bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrency futures traded on approved exchanges under its regulation in response to interest from international institutional investors, it said on Wednesday. Market watchdogs worldwide have been debating whether and how they should regulate the cryptocurrency industry. Many have focused their attention initially on investor protection issues given concerns about market manipulation and cryptocurrencies’ volatility. See: Singapore Fintech Week: Data, technology and policy coordination – BIS Speech Singapore overtakes the US to become world’s most competitive country, WEF says In a consultation document, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that it had seen interest from institutional investors in trading “payment tokens” like bitcoin and ether, who “have a need for a regulated product to gain and hedge their exposure to the payment tokens.” The consultation will close on Dec. 20. MAS only proposes to regulate futures traded on exchanges it already regulates. It warned investors it did not regulate token derivatives not traded on approved exchanges. “The inclusion of these products in the approved exchanges will certainly provide new opportunities for all regulated exchanges. This may create liquidity for these products,” ...
Read More
Monetary authority of Singapore - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Nov 18, 2019 Periodically, Crowdfund Insider revisits the Reg CF sector of online capital formation. Reg CF or “Regulation Crowdfunding” may have garnered most of the attention from popular media but really there are three individual crowdfunding exemptions including Reg A+ and Reg D 506c. Under Reg A+ you must file an extensive offering circular with the entire offering process costing around $300,000, according to one estimate. But Reg A+ enables an issuer to raise up to $50 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. Under Reg D 506c, you may raise an unlimited amount of money but only from accredited investors. This is the most popular crowdfunding exemption and Reg D (5o6c and 5o06b) is a trillion-dollar market. Issuers using Reg CF may only raise $1.07 million and must utilize a FINRA regulated Funding Portal or a broker-dealer. Due to the low cap on funding, frequently issuers will do a side-by-side Reg D 506c offering to circumvent the extremely low amount you may raise. Last time CI revisited the number of approved Funding Portals was in July. Since that time, several new funding portals have joined the approved list and several have exited ...
Read More
US funding - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Highline Beta | Nov 19 ,2019 With RBC as the lead private investor, Highline Beta’s inaugural fund forms part of the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative. TORONTO, November 19, 2019 - Highline Beta, a leading new venture development and venture capital firm known for its unique corporate innovation model, today announced the first close of its inaugural investment fund, Highline Beta Fund 2019 (“The Fund”). This predominantly Pan-Canadian fund will make up to 30 investments in startups co-created or partnered alongside corporations, and is one of only seven funds selected by the Government of Canada’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as the lead private investor. Highline Beta believes it can improve upon the features of traditional startup accelerators and corporate-startup engagement programs to achieve more meaningful win-win relationships. Highline Beta has spent years collaborating with a roster of global corporations such as RBC, Anheuser Busch InBev, Aviva Canada and American Family on growth mandates beyond their core businesses to reimagine the industries we live in through startup innovation. See:  Why venture capital firms need more women partners and entrepreneurs “Almost four years ago, we pioneered a hybrid corporate venture studio and venture capital model ...
Read More
highline beta closes first fund - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
OSC | Release | Nov 19, 2019 TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is moving forward with more than 100 specific actions to reduce burden for market participants doing business in Ontario's capital markets. As these changes are made, individuals and businesses regulated by the OSC can expect to see enhanced service levels, less duplication and a more tailored regulatory approach. "The OSC has made major progress in reducing the burden for Ontario's market participants," says the Honourable Rod Phillips, Ontario Minister of Finance. "I want to commend Chair Maureen Jensen and her entire team for moving in short order to streamline regulations without compromising investor protection." The changes will make it easier to start, fund and grow a business in Ontario, and make Ontario's markets more competitive. While these initiatives will benefit businesses of all sizes, the OSC has carefully considered opportunities to benefit small and medium-sized companies, which make up nearly 70 per cent of those regulated by the OSC, and smaller registrant firms, which make up nearly a third of Ontario registrants. NCFA Advocacy on Burden Reduction: March 1, 2019: NCFA Submission to the Ontario Securities Commission on Regulatory Burden NCFA Letter to ...
Read More
OSC burden reduction Nov 2019 - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Bitcoinist | Christina Comben | Nov 13, 2019 Top 10 Crypto Trends This Year As CoinShares states at the start of the report, “knowledge is best when shared.” In order for the crypto industry to grow, “participants and outside analysts have to be able to identify, gather, and analyze data to tell the story of why this industry matters.” So, here’s what’s going on right now. 1. Macro Trends Are Setting the Stage for Bitcoin The report starts out by taking a look at the background of how we got to where we are today. It seems that a whole host of macro trends are combining to create the perfect storm for Bitcoin. In 2019, there is a growing disparity between rich and poor. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos own more than the bottom half of Americans. At the same time, there is increased automation in the workplace, rising political tensions and unrest in countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Hong Kong, and increasing social backlash against capitalism and big tech companies. See:  Lock BTC, Get DAI: Lending Firm Bridges Bitcoin-DeFi Divide in Latin America This is accompanied by diminishing trust in banks and governments. More than 90% of people ...
Read More
MELTEM DEMIRORS - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Coindesk |Nathan DiCamillo | Nov 18, 2019 The Takeaway The research arm of payment card giant Visa has published a paper describing the development of LucidiTEE, a blockchain system for orchestrating sensitive data among multiple parties. For example, the paper outlines a system that would allow banks and fintech applications to share data without relying on intermediary data aggregators. While Europe has relied on legislation like GDPR to set standards for securely sharing customer data, US banks had to develop agreements with data aggregators. Visa, the world’s largest card payment network, has been quietly developing a blockchain system that could upend how banks transfer customer transaction data to consumer financial applications like Mint and Credit Karma. In a paper published by Visa’s research and development arm, researchers describe a system called LucidiTEE. It outlines a system for sharing sensitive personal data on a blockchain, crunching that data within a trusted execution environment (TEE) and using history-based policies to ensure that each of the parties receive an output of the computation. (The system’s name is a combination of TEE and the word lucidity). See:  Visa Makes Its Second Investment Into a Crypto Startup The first application of LucidiTEE is sharing data ...
Read More
Visa blockchain R and D - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Investment Executive | James Langton | November 7, 2019 Vancity Community Investment Bank to acquire CoPower investment platform Toronto-based Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB),  a subsidiary of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, will bolster the bank’s impact investing capabilities by buying Montreal-based green investment platform CoPower Inc., VCIB announced Thursday. The transaction brings together a bank devoted to financing affordable housing with a platform that finances environmentally friendly projects through green bonds that are available to retail investors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. VCIB says that the deal will enable it to expand its loan offerings to include clean energy and green building initiatives. At the same time, CoPower’s focus on creating impact investment products for retail investors will enable new funding sources for the bank. “Our mission has always been to move money for the clean energy transition. As a subsidiary of VCIB, we’ll be able to better serve the needs of clean energy developers while delivering a powerful range of investment products for investors looking to earn a strong return, and supporting projects that are green, inclusive and affordable,” said David Berliner, founder of CoPower, in a statement. See: Unlocking the Potential of Frontier Finance The deal, which has been approved ...
Read More
clean energy - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Green Biz | Joel Makower | Nov 18, 2019 "Smart beta." It’s a term of art on Wall Street, a blend of active and passive investing strategies that typically combine an underlying stock index with an investment manager’s savvy about a potential stock’s liquidity, volatility, momentum and other factors. The strategy is said to provide a risk/return profile that is more attractive than a singularly active or passive investment product. That nerdy financial term will be among those increasingly relevant to corporate sustainability execs — CSOs, for short — as the astonishing rise of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, factors takes hold in the mainstream investing world. ESG assets under management have grown the fastest among smart beta strategies — a compound annual growth rate of more than 70 percent over the past five years, according to a recent report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "The opportunity is also too big to ignore," the report's authors wrote. "Bank of America estimates that over the next few decades, equity investments aligned with ESG criteria could attract assets equal to the size of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index today." The S&P 500 in October had a market capitalization of ...
Read More
ESG meets wallstreet - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower
Betakit | Isabelle Kirkwood | Nov 18, 2019 Canada’s FinTech sector has seen steady growth in recent years, and there seems to be more on the horizon with increased collaboration between startups and incumbents, as well as the skyrocketing demand for emerging technologies. The latest findings from a Ernst and Young (EY) report suggest FinTech adoption in Canada has increased from 18 percent to 50 percent since 2017. “FinTechs are no longer seen as just disruptors to the traditional financial services industry, they’re sophisticated competitors.” “FinTech adoption has evolved significantly in Canada over the past two years alongside the evolution of customer priorities and the rise of money transfers and payments,” said Ron Stokes, EY Canada FinTech Leader. “FinTechs are no longer seen as just disruptors to the traditional financial services industry, they’re sophisticated competitors, ready to meet the changing expectations and needs of customers.” Despite this apparent growth, FinTech adoption in Canada still lags behind the global average. That same EY report found that only 50 percent of respondents in Canada were FinTech consumers, as opposed to 64 percent globally. See:  Fintech Reports and Research To explore how Canada can start stepping up its game in FinTech, BetaKit spoke ...
Read More
fintech regulation lagging - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump TowerThe 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

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For

Equities.com | By Equity Multiple Team | August 8, 2017

Equity Platform 300x147 - Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For

Since the JOBS Act of 2012 opened the door for equity crowdfunding, dozens of startups have taken up the mantle of “real estate crowdfunding” – depending on your definition, there are now dozens to well over 100 platforms offering some form of real estate micro-investing, affording retail investors unprecedented access to real estate investments. For individual investors managing their own portfolios, the vast array of options can be overwhelming. Discerning investors are right to evaluate the landscape critically, and only pursue those investments and investing platforms that align with their strategy.

While each offers a unique focus and value proposition to investors, platforms have now consolidated into several main categories of the business model:

eREITs: Fundrise and RealtyMogul, two of the original players the real estate crowdfunding space, have pivoted to offering semi-blind funds that aggregate properties throughout the country. These investments offer built-in diversity and very low minimums, making them appropriate for less experienced investors.

Commercial equity investing: probably the closest to the original idea of real estate crowdfunding, these platforms offer CRE equity opportunities to accredited investors, allowing them to participate in high-upside, larger commercial projects. While the return potential is often great, these tend to be the long term and riskier than other RECF investments. Thus, these kinds of investments are most appropriate for investors who have time to really understand the risk factors in play, and who have at least a working knowledge of real estate equity investing

Debt investing: Some platforms take some or all of an existing real estate loan, secured by a deed on the underlying property, and syndicate it out to a network of individual investors at a fixed rate of return. Other platforms act as the lender, issuing a loan to a real estate developer or flipper. In either case, the platform’s network of investors are offered a flat annual rate of return - typically between 7% and 12% - over a relatively short term - generally 6 to 18 months. Since these investments are secured by the property and short in a term, they tend to be a good fit for more risk-averse investors.

See:

Understanding the spectrum of models can help investors prioritize those offerings that best fit their portfolio objectives, whether that be stable cash flow, preserving wealth for retirement, or opportunistic pursuit of high upside. Given the relatively low minimums, many platforms offer, there may be room in an individual’s portfolio to invest through several platforms and achieve further diversification.

Regardless of what model a platform operates under, investors are advised to take a close look at the track record and experience of the people behind the platform. Attentive customer service is a must – platforms should practice transparency and be willing and able to answer any questions investors have.

Individual Deals - What to Look For

Some platforms perform their own diligence on investments, which should give you some comfort as an investor. Even so, you’ll want to understand some key components of any deal you consider and be sure it aligns with your investing objectives before pulling the trigger. Here are some of the main things to consider:

Risk Factors - No investment is without risk, even fixed-rate, short-term debt investments. Examples of risk factors are tight construction timelines, a precarious labour market in the area, an unsubstantial track record or aggressive leverage on the part of the Sponsor who originated the deal. Again, if risk factors aren’t presented transparently, or the platform is unable or unwilling to field questions about risk factors, this should raise a red flag.

Payout Structure - While debt deals are mostly straightforward, equity investments can be much more complex. Be sure to understand where your investments fit in the capital stack, and what order you will be repaid principal and profits relative to the Sponsor and other LP investors.

Cash Flow and Liquidity - Simply looking at how many dollars you’re expected to receive over the lifetime of a deal (the simple return) or even a time-weighted return (IRR - internal rate of return), won’t give a complete picture of the timing and magnitude of returns. Depending on the business plan for the project and how the platform has negotiated and deal, you may receive distributions monthly or quarterly, and you may begin receiving cash flow from rent immediately, at some point partway through the term, or not at all in the case of a ground-up development or rehab. Similarly, repayment of principal may be projected for the end of the term, partway through the term, or piecemeal in the case of partial sales or a refinance. Be sure that the schedule of distributions and principal repayment is palatable to you given your liquidity needs.

Once again, if any aspect of the deal is unclear or doesn’t pass the sniff test, don’t hesitate to ask questions of the platform offering it.

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ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms: What to Look For

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

How Real Estate Investing Is Spurring Millennial Home Ownership

Forbes | By Christine Michel Carter | July 25, 2017

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Millennials are the largest group of home buyers for the fourth consecutive year, according to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. Nearly 40% of home buyers were under 36 years old.

So what’s driving the change in Millennial home ownership?

Forty-nine percent of Millennial buyers had at least one child, also according to the report. That is up six percentage points from two years ago. Also, while Millennials are not racing down the aisle, they are purchasing homes with their partners. Though marriage rates declined, the number of U.S. adults in cohabiting relationships reached nearly 18 million last year, up 29% since 2007. About half of those cohabiters (those living with an unmarried partner) are younger than 35. But most importantly, in a joint Real Estate Investment Survey with Harris Interactive, RealtyShares found that 55% of Millennials are enthusiastic about home ownership as an investment, and over half would invest in property other than their primary residence.

With all the enthusiasm Millennials have towards real estate investment, for them, it is still a foreign and confusing concept with many barriers. In fact, 70% of all Americans think investing in real estate is more difficult than investing in other asset classes. Few are aware of the options towards home ownership, such as borrowing from retirement, real estate crowdfunding or house hacking.

See: Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

Not surprisingly, Millennials believe technology makes the real estate investment process easier. That’s why Kendra Barnes, millennial and real estate investment coach, started The Key Resource, a digital resource educating and empowering fellow Millennials to invest in real estate. Barnes herself owns a 4-plex, duplex and single family home in Washington, D.C.- a city with a strong housing market. Today Barnes makes nearly $200,000 in annual rental income and plans to buy at least two more properties before the end of 2017 in other states. Barnes relates to other Millennials with regards to the order in which they’re making big decisions- she bought a house, got married and then invested in real estate:

We had no plans of ever buying rental property- not because we didn’t think it was possible, we just never even considered it. One day we played Rich Dad’s board game Cash Flow and it changed our lives. We realized that we were doing absolutely nothing to build wealth and at the rate we were going we’d have to work until we were old and gray. We decided to get into real estate investing and started making sacrifices that most people wouldn’t in order to reach our goals. We downsized to a one car household, saved more, and borrowed from our retirement account to buy our first property.

See also: Fintech Lures Millennial Investors Away From Asset Managers

Continue to the full article --> here

ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - How Real Estate Investing Is Spurring Millennial Home Ownership

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

CrowdfundInsider | By  | June 21, 2017

Photo by Christoph Mahlstedt Hamburg Germany 600x422 - German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

The German real estate crowdfunding market is set to more than triple in size this year. Real estate developers, asset managers, and, most recently, real estate agents are joining the fray of real estate crowdfunding platforms, trying to unseat the handful of leaders who have already established a strong leadership position in this very young market.

The road ahead for the German real estate crowdfunding market has been cleared. The threat of being excluded from the scope of application of the crowdfunding regulation, the Kleinanlegerschutzgesetzt (KASG), was taken off the table last month. The crowdfunding market can move ahead on its exponential growth path.

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Exponential Growth

The German real estate crowdfunding market is very young. Although a few projects appeared as early as 2012, the market has only taken off after the entry into force of the KASG in July 2015. Most real estate projects raise funds in form of subordinated loans regulated by the KASG.

Michel Harms 300x200 - German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market BoomsMichel Harms tracks the overall crowdinvesting industry through his crowdfunding barometer and his aggregation site crowdinvest.de which lists all crowdinvesting projects available in Germany. According to his reports, real estate accounts for 80% of the crowdinvesting market. In 2016, the market doubled in size to reach €40 million. In the first five months of 2017 alone, 51 real estate projects raised €52 million. One can reasonably expect the market to triple in size by the end of 2017.

In 2016, more than 80% of the 48 projects were residential development projects (construction, renovation, rehabilitation), half of which were located in big German cities, with Berlin being the top location. As mentioned, most platforms use the regulated subordinated loans, ahead of bank loans and bonds. The average loan duration is 21 months, the median interest rate 6%.

See: Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

Three leaders emerge

In the short time since 2015, three leaders have already emerged: Exporo, Zinsland and Bergfuerst, three platforms dedicated real estate crowdfunding. Together, they make up for more than three-quarters of the real estate crowdfinancing.

Exporo was incorporated in 2013 by Simon Brunke, CEO, Björn Maronde, Julian Oertzen and Tim Bütecke. The company launched its first project as Exporo GmbH at the end of 2014. Since then, the platform has broken away from the pack by raising more than €64 million cumulatively, which amounts to a market share of over 40%. The platform has financed more 52 projects, including 21 in 2017 alone. Many of these are large projects, at the upper limit of the German prospectus-exemption of €2,5 million. To fuel its expansion, Exporo recently raised €8 million from e.ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Sunstone and BPO Capital.

Zinsland was founded in 2014 by Carl-Friedrich von Stechow, CEO, Dr. Stefan Wiskemann and Moritz Eversmann. The platform launched its first project in 2015. Since then, it has financed 25 projects, including 10 in 2017, for a total of €18 million. It claims 2,600 members.  To meet its aggressive growth plans the company expect to double its number of employees by year end.

Bergfürst was started much earlier than its competitors, in 2011, as an equity crowdfunding platform launched by Dr. Guido Sandler, CEO, and Dennis Bemmann. The platform launched its first real estate project in 2014 and pivoted shortly after to dedicate itself exclusively to real estate projects. To date, the platform has raised nearly 13 million to finance 20 real estate projects. Whereas most competitors require a minimum investment of €500, Bergfürst lets retail investors participate with €10.

Bergfürst transition to real estate crowdfunding is an exception. Other equity crowdfunding platforms who fund SMEs and startups, such as Seedmatch (through Mezzany), Companisto or FunderNation, have tried their hand in real estate crowdfunding with a few projects. But they seem to have given up competing with the more specialized platforms.

 

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ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

Mississauga.com | by Louie Rosella | June 7, 2017

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NexusCrowd, a Canadian real estate crowdfunding platform, has a number of projects on the go through crowdfunding, including a $12 million real estate redevelopment project announced in 2015 boasting three properties — one in Mississauga.

Real estate crowdfunding is experiencing explosive levels of growth, particularly in Mississauga and across the GTA.

NexusCrowd, a Canadian real estate crowdfunding platform, has a number of projects on the go through crowdfunding, including a $12 million real estate redevelopment project announced in 2015 boasting three properties — one in Mississauga.

NexusCrowd bills itself as the first investment platform in Canada that provides investors with exclusive access to co-invest with established real estate developers and investors in real estate deals that have reached at least 50 per cent of the funding target.

See:  Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

Just last fall, NexusCrowd announced it has closed its fourth real estate investment offering, raising $517,000. By partnering with Downing Street Realty Partners, NexusCrowd allowed accredited investors to participate in the development of a mixed-use commercial real estate project located in downtown Toronto.

“We have now raised over $2 million for four private real estate investments using our innovative investment platform,” said Hitesh Rathod, CEO of NexusCrowd. “Offering high-quality exclusive investment opportunities to our investors is our top priority and we are excited to announce that we are working on additional partnerships to further expand our product offering.”

NexusCrowd was part of what was hailed Canada’s first crowdfunded real estate project in fall 2015 and featured another Mississauga location.

“This type of deal is extremely exclusive,” said Rathod in a 2015 interview with The Mississauga News. “I think crowdfunding has huge potential. It just needs to be done the right way. You need to do due diligence. It can be a risky proposition and I work to mitigate risk.”

One of the three assets in the $12 million project is a 25,000-square-foot former pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at 951 Verbena Rd., in the area of Tomken and Britannia roads. The other two properties are industrial facilities in Etobicoke.

Continue to the full article --> here

ncfa logo 100.gif?zoom=1 - GAME-CHANGERS: Crowdfunding real estate projects in the GTA

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

 

Fintech Platform futureshare Launches to Help Canadian Homeowners Unlock Their Real Estate Wealth

Market Wired | May 18, 2017

Alternative to HELOCs and reverse mortgages means homeowners don't have to sell to tap into their home equity

futureshare logo f73b1f120530895f8a4210b62726c115 - Fintech Platform futureshare Launches to Help Canadian Homeowners Unlock Their Real Estate WealthTORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 18, 2017) - There is more than $2.9 trillion in unmortgaged real estate equity in Canada (CREA), and today fintech platform futureshare launches to help Canadians unlock that real estate wealth without taking on new debt. The company was founded in 2016 as an alternative to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and reverse mortgages and gives homeowners a lump sum free of ongoing payments and interest rates in exchange for a percentage of the home's appreciation, which can be paid out without penalty at any time or once the property is sold. futureshare's online platform is the first of its kind in Canada and is now live in beta and accepting online applications for homes within Ontario with plans to launch in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia by the end of 2017.

"Canada's housing market has billions in untapped equity and futureshare is giving that wealth back to Canadians to help them reduce financial stress and live happier lives. We're revolutionizing the process by giving Canadians an alternative to home equity loans or HELOCs that's interest rate and payment free, allowing them to unlock their real estate wealth and increase their cash flow," said Michael Orrbrooke, CEO and founder of futureshare. "Whether it is, for example, for home improvements, debt consolidation, for funding retirement or investing in a small business, futureshare wants to help Canadians achieve their financial goals without adding new debt."

See: Real Estate Crowdfunding - An Emerging New Asset Class

The average Canadian owes $1.67 for every dollar in income (StatsCan), and futureshare is designed to help homeowners access the equity tied up in their home without adding to their ongoing debt burden. Unlike a reverse mortgage or HELOC, futureshare doesn't require homeowners to have perfect credit scores or to fall within a specific income bracket, and it doesn't increase monthly payments. A homeowner's eligibility is based primarily on their home value and whether they have at least 25 per cent equity ownership in their home. Homeowners will be able to access on average up to 10-20 per cent of their home equity using futureshare's platform, and unlike a loan, there's no ongoing payments or interest rates.

Canada has become a hub for fintech innovation, with venture capital financing for fintech companies increasing by 74% from 2015 to 2016 (Thomson Reuters). Like other fintech platforms, futureshare's process is simple and easy to complete online. Homeowners can use the online equity release calculator to see how much of their wealth they can unlock, and once they complete the 90-second pre-qualification questions, the homeowner receives a real-time conditional offer outlining the details of the equity release amount and terms they could receive. The home is then appraised and a final offer is sent via email by futureshare to the homeowner, with the credit application and underwriting process continuing online. Homeowners receive their funds, via electronic transfer, on average within 10-15 business days of signing the final offer.

About futureshare

futureshare provides an alternative to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and reverse mortgages, helping homeowners unlock their real estate wealth without having to sell their home. The online platform provides consumers with the opportunity to receive funds based on an appraisal on their home in exchange for a portion of their homes future appreciation, meaning that homeowners have zero ongoing payments, and incur zero interest. futureshare is currently available in beta in Ontario with plans to launch in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia by the end of 2017. futureshare is based in Toronto, and the platform launched in May 2017.

To learn more about futureshare, visit futureshare.ca.

Social media links:

Facebook: facebook.com/futuresharedf
Twitter: twitter.com/futuresharedf

For additional information, contact:

Jamie Gillingham
Eighty-Eight
Account Manager
jamie@eightyeightagency.com
416-944-2722

SOURCE: futureshare (view release)