Category Archives: Fintech Opinions

China Says It Remains Open to the World, but Wants to Dictate Terms

The New York Times | Steven Lee Myers and | Nov 24, 2020

xi jingping global politics - China Says It Remains Open to the World, but Wants to Dictate Terms

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, is pursuing a strategy to make the country’s economy more self-sufficient, while making other places more dependent on it than ever.

After Australia dared last spring to call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, China began quietly blocking one import after another from Australia — coal, wine, barley and cotton — in violation of free-trade norms. Then this month, with no clear explanation, China left $3 million worth of Australian rock lobsters dying in Shanghai customs.

Australia nonetheless joined 14 Asian nations and just signed a new regional free-trade deal brokered by China. The agreement covers nearly a third of the world’s population and output, reinforcing China’s position as the dominant economic and diplomatic power in Asia.

See:  What to expect from Biden-Harris on tech policy, platform regulation, and China

It’s globalization with Communist characteristics: The Chinese government promotes the country’s openness to the world, even as it adopts increasingly aggressive and at times punitive policies that force countries to play by its rules.

With the United States and others wary of its growing dominance in areas like technology, China wants to become less dependent on the world for its own needs, while making the world as dependent as possible on China.

“China wants what other great powers do.  It wants to follow international rules and norms when it is in its interest, and disregard rules and norms when the circumstances suit it.” said Yun Jiang, a researcher and editor of the China Story at the Australian National University.

China’s strategy is born out of strength. The coronavirus has practically disappeared within its borders. The country’s economy is growing strongly. And China’s manufacturing sector has become the world’s largest by a wide margin, leaving other nations heavily dependent on it for everything from medical gear to advanced electronics.

Beijing is also pushing back against President Trump and his administration, taking advantage of the political disarray that has followed his electoral defeat. Beijing’s confidence on the global stage now compounds the challenge China will pose for the incoming administration of Joseph R. Biden Jr.

See:  The new urgency of global tech governance

In a flurry of speeches over the last week, Xi Jinping, China’s ambitious, authoritarian leader, laid out his vision for this new world order, while making clear his terms for global engagement.

“Openness is a prerequisite for national progress, and closure will inevitably lead to backwardness,” Mr. Xi said in remarks that seemed to take a swipe at Mr. Trump’s America-first agenda.

“While making the Chinese economy more resilient and competitive, it also aims to build a new system of open economy with higher standards,” he said. “This will create more opportunities for the world to benefit from China’s high-quality development.”

Mr. Xi’s own economic and political policies this year have been the mirror opposite. China’s plan, Mr. Xi has said, is to lessen dependence on imports, insulating the country from rising external risks, including the threat of a long, pandemic-induced global economic downturn and the severing of Chinese access to American high-tech know-how.

“The world as it exists today cannot be reduced to the rivalry of superpowers” Laurent Bili, the French ambassador to China, said at a conference organized last week by the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing research group.

“The United States is still in electoral chaos, while China is forming the world’s largest trade agreement,” the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing wrote on its official website recently.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - China Says It Remains Open to the World, but Wants to Dictate Terms 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

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Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rally

Financial News  | Will Hadfield and Emily Nicolle | Nov 20, 2020

cryptocurrencies in 2020 - Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rallyThere is now 'a greater urgency by institutional investors to not miss out — to invest some of their assets in bitcoin, because this time looks different'

It may be hedge funds, rather than retail investors, that are driving this autumn’s rally in the price of bitcoin.

And this time round, the institutional investors are buying exchange-traded products as well as the underlying cryptocurrency. A bitcoin ETP managed by Swiss issuer 21Shares is receiving creations — the equivalent of inflows — of as much as $3 million a day. In November last year, it took all month to attract the same amount of new money.

See:  Canada’s first public Bitcoin fund hits $100M mark

Investors in bitcoin ETPs are overwhelmingly institutions, rather than individuals.

“This is purely us targeting institutional investors,” Laurent Kssis, managing director at 21Shares, told Financial News. “Our business is focused solely on institutional investors’ mandate to add crypto to their portfolio strategies and we have not really touched the retail market yet.”

Many institutional investors sat on the sidelines when bitcoin experienced its first dramatic rally in 2017 — the cryptocurrency surged to $19,783 before collapsing to as little as $3,248 in late 2018. Money managers lacked a mandate to invest in cryptocurrencies and nervous compliance departments blocked requests to trade on unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges.

This year’s rally is different. A group of companies have listed bitcoin-tracking ETPs, investment vehicles that mimic exchange-traded funds. ETPs are regulated, unlike bitcoin, so hedge funds with a mandate to get exposure to cryptocurrencies can invest in the products, which are listed on stock exchanges.

The situation is similar in the US, where analysts say family offices and institutional investors have been ploughing into investment vehicles for bitcoin in recent months.

See:  Bitcoin price hits record high for 2020 after PayPal finally adds cryptocurrency

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, a cross-asset research analyst at JPMorgan, said there is now “a greater urgency by institutional investors to not miss out — to invest some of their assets in bitcoin, because this time looks different”.

“The big difference to 2017 is that there is now greater conviction that bitcoin is a genuine asset class, that bitcoin will never go to zero,” he said. This has been prompted by a perception of bitcoin as a credible alternative asset to gold, backed by corporate sponsorship from the likes of PayPal, MicroStrategy and Square.

“What is happening this year is that gold’s monopoly as an alternative asset is now being questioned,” he said. Instead over the past month, inflows into US-listed vehicles such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust show that “the institutional demand is so strong that even if some hedge funds or other funds that play bitcoin as a momentum trade get out, it’s not enough to stop the [price] ascent”.

See:  CEX.IO’s Executive Director Predicts the Future of Crypto Exchanges

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s share price value on Wall Street at the start of October was $10.87, according to Nasdaq. As of 20 November, it has almost doubled to $19.94 — and is still climbing.

Bitcoin has become an attractive asset class for US funds that are known for investing in technology stocks, he added, saying that the bank has heard anecdotally that they’re all “familiar faces”.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rally 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

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Capitalism must be saved by capitalists, argue these pioneering ESG investors

Fortune |Katherine Dunn | Nov 15, 2020

Rise of citizen capital - Capitalism must be saved by capitalists, argue these pioneering ESG investorsWhen Michael O’Leary and Warren Valdmanis first met at Bain Capital’s offices in Asia, both were more or less conventional members of the finance profession. And yet, years later, they would become the coauthors of a book arguing that American-style capitalism—including a “meatheaded” obsession with short-term profits—is doing dire damage. Our economic system, they argue, urgently needs a reboot.

In their recent book, Accountable: The Rise of Citizen Capitalism, they argue that Adam Smith–style invisible hand capitalism is ineffective—and out of date—and that companies need to reorient themselves to serve more than just shareholders (which, by the way, they don’t think are being served particularly well, either).

See:  Fintech Fridays EP45: Mission-driven and Consumer-centric Financial Services

Both authors, who were on the founding team behind Bain’s first social impact investing fund under former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, spoke to Fortune about the rise of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing, the divestment moveme

nt (and whether it actually works), the Business Roundtable’s pledge to end shareholder primacy, and where companies—and investors—can be the most effective.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

You talk a lot in the book about the skepticism or the outright cynicism regular people—but especially people in the investment world—have toward ESG and socially responsible investing. Was that the place that you guys started from?

Valdmanis: I admit that I was skeptical. I was schooled in this Adam Smith invisible hand idea, that if you just go about your business of creating more valuable companies and creating shareholder value, that’s going to have knock-on effects that are positive for the world. So I didn’t feel this need to add a social adjective in front of it. But I swiftly realized a couple of things through the effort with Governor Patrick.

“You have an economy where the buck is passed around and around and around until, poof, it disappears.”  Michael o’Leary, coauthor of accountable

The first is that the invisible hand [idea] is a really attractive one, but it doesn’t always work that way. I think, frankly, even Adam Smith, if you read his work closely, you realize that he didn’t even intend the way it’s currently understood and used. But furthermore, I also realized, there is enormous potential at the intersection of the social and the commercial. I think that we have this meatheaded short-term-ism in our economy that prevents even businesses from realizing what’s in their long-term best interests sometimes.

See:  OECD Report Outlines Challenges Facing ESG Investing

O’Leary: I don’t think we recognized going in how that generational difference really shows up in a lot of people’s fundamental views around capitalism. You look at the portion of millennials and Gen Z who approve of capitalism or have a favorable view of capitalism, that’s fallen from two-thirds in 2010, to just about half today. And I think millennials just approach these questions with a different view. You ask folks, “Is sustainability or ESG important to investing?” And nine out of 10 millennials will say, “Yes, of course you should be thinking about environmental and social issues in your investment portfolio.” And 40% of baby boomers, maybe less, will agree. And so I think you approach the question from a slightly different angle—I think with less skepticism—when you’re of a younger generation.

“I think that we have this meatheaded short-term-ism in our economy that prevents even businesses from realizing what’s in their long-term best interests sometimes.”  warren valdmanis, coauthor of Accountable

I was struck in the book how you talk about what you call this “rational hypocrisy” that companies have to deal with.

O’Leary: If you’re a CEO today, you’ve got demands from shareholders to maximize profits; you’ve got demands from all of your stakeholders to do good things for people. And when you’re faced with these conflicting demands, it’s much easier to fake good works than it is to fake good returns. So as a result, they exhibit a sort of rational hypocrisy, where they say different things to different audiences. The best evidence of this would be all the companies out there that issue two different annual reports: a 10-K and then a corporate social responsibility report, or a sustainability report, for all their stakeholders. And oftentimes, there’s no relationship between the two.

Video:  Purpose-driven finance (Chris Skinner at FFCON20)

I look at the crisis of trust we have in our economy where three-quarters of people don’t trust Big Business; people don’t trust corporate executives. So you roll back the clock to last December, before the pandemic hit. And in some ways it’s so easy when you’re in the 11th year of an economic boom for CEOs to say, “No, we’re good for shareholders; we’re good for stakeholders; we’re good for workers; we’re good for everyone.” The opportunity that the pandemic gave business leaders is in times of crisis—that’s when they can actually show what they meant in their commitments. And they can show that when they said their workers are the most important thing about their business…Prove it.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Capitalism must be saved by capitalists, argue these pioneering ESG investors 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

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Should the U.S. Government Create a Token-Based Digital Dollar?

Alt-M | Larry White |

Digital US Dollar - Should the U.S. Government Create a Token-Based Digital Dollar?Proposals for "central bank digital currency" (CBDC) come in two basic types: account-based and token-based. I have been critical of proposals for an account-based system. Until recently, there didn't seem to be much active interest in a token-based system. But now comes a significant token-based proposal in a new white paper by the Digital Dollar Project. Would a token-based system be any better than an account-based system? It might, but it all depends on the design details. Let me explain.

An account-based CBDC would mean that households and businesses have retail checking accounts directly on the Federal Reserve System's balance sheet. A detailed proposal for such a "FedAccounts" system by three legal scholars (Morgan Ricks, John Crawford, and Lev Menand) is available here. (I recently exchanged views with Ricks in an online event hosted by the Cato Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives.) It is implausible that a FedAccounts system, run by a bureaucracy with no experience in retail payments, unguided by profit and loss, will provide better or more efficient service than systems offered by banks and other competitive private firms. But it isn't implausible that threats to privacy would arise from a system that gives a government agency real-time access to all deposit transfers.

See:  Why a digital dollar isn’t coming anytime soon (or so the Fed says)

A token-based CBDC would mean that households and businesses hold circulating digital Fed liabilities in digital wallets (think mobile phone apps), the way they hold Bitcoin or Tether[1], or the way they hold Federal Reserve Notes in analog wallets. This model has been labeled "FedCoin." The Federal Reserve System would know the dollar quantity of FedCoin in circulation, but in principle, as with physical notes and coins, it needn't know which users hold how many of these digital dollars. One prominent supporter of the FedCoin concept since 2015 has been Federal Reserve economist David Andolfatto. An early sketch of the concept was provided in 2014 by blogger J. P. Koning.

In May 2020 a group calling itself "The Digital Dollar Project" released a report entitled "Exploring a US CBDC." Although it deliberately leaves many important details to be determined later, the report deserves our scrutiny as an updated and prominent proposal for a token-based system. The report expands on an earlier WSJ op-ed by two of the Project's principals, J. Christopher Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine. Giancarlo once headed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission while Gorfine was the CFTC's chief innovation officer. The named authors of the report include Giancarlo and Gorfine, plus Charles H. Giancarlo (CEO, Pure Storage) and David B. Treat (Accenture) as additional Project directors, together with eight more contributors from Accenture.

From the user's point of view, the Digital Dollar Project's "champion model" is akin to a well-backed dollar stablecoin, that is, a transferable digital token pegged to $1.00 per unit by its issuing entity. (Tether is by far the leading US-dollar-linked stablecoin with more than $9 billion currently in circulation. Here is a list of the many other available stablecoins.) But there are some differences between the Project's model and the typical stablecoin: the model's coin issuer is not a private entity, the fix to the dollar is free of default risk, and the exchange-rate variation around the $1.00 peg is zero. The issuer is to be the same US government agency currently responsible for supplying fiat US dollars in paper and ledger-entry form: the Federal Reserve System.

See:  US Federal Reserve Actively Working on Digital Dollar

Rather than buy FedCoins on an exchange, a user would get them from banks the way she gets fresh Federal Reserve Notes, redeeming her deposit dollars for them. She would hold FedCoin balances in a digital wallet, perhaps an app on her cell phone, and spend them online or in person, or transfer them to her friend, using the phone app.

The Fed would stand ready to interchange FedCoins (which the report calls "Digital Dollars," but FedCoins is less ambiguous) 1:1 with existing types of base money, Federal Reserve Notes (which are not to be abolished), and commercial banks' reserve balances on the books of the Fed. In this way FedCoins are to be a form of fiat money, part of the US dollar monetary base. They are to have "the same legal status as physical bank notes," which I interpret to mean that they are to be legal tender like Federal Reserve Notes. That is, they cannot be refused in the discharge of any dollar-denominated debts. Commercial banks will be as happy to accept them on deposit, and to pay them back out, as they are to accept and pay out Federal Reserve Notes.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Should the U.S. Government Create a Token-Based Digital Dollar? 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

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Why banks don’t die

The Finanser | Chris Skinner | Nov 11, 2020

Banks dont die - Why banks don’t die

Have you noticed how people talk about disruption more and more, and note the collapse of companies like Blockbuster, Kodak, Nokia and Thomas Cook? In fact, there are more companies entering and leaving the stock market lists than ever before, with the average tenancy now under two decades compared to six decades or more in mid-1950s.

A 2015 McKinsey study found that the average corporate life span has been falling for more than half a century by analysing Standard & Poor’s data, which shows a company’s survival was 61 years in 1958, 25 years in 1980, and just 18 years in 2011.

Change is faster, the challenges bigger, the need to adapt greater and the environment far harder than ever before.

So sad, but companies are not built to last forever. They come and go with the flavours, tastes and the needs of society.

But this is not true for banks.

Banks last forever.

See: 

JP Morgan Veteran Daniel Masters Explains How Blockchain Will End Commercial Banks

Finance Canada Announces Second Phase of Open Banking Virtual Consultations Dates

This is well illustrated by a comment from challenger bank Varo, who are seeking a national bank charter in America.

Varo is betting that looking more like a traditional bank will pay off in the long term. “It’s really the only long-term sustainable route if you want to be around 50 to 100 years from now,” said Colin Walsh, chief executive of Varo.

Banks don’t die. They may be zombies, failed, broken, wrong, stupid, dumb or whatever other words you want to use, but you can’t kill them.

The main reason this is the case is because they are protected by governments. Left or right governments want strong and stable banks to ensure a strong and stable economy. Therefore, they protect these treasured assets like no other companies. For this reason, banks live forever.

They can be acquired …

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Why banks don’t die 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

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Why (and How) I Plan to Die With an Empty Bank Account

BNN Boomberg | Opinion - Farnoosh Torabi | Oct 3, 2020

bill perksin die with zero book - Why (and How) I Plan to Die With an Empty Bank Account(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that life is uncertain. Through this lens, I’ve started to abandon some conservative personal finance principles. This summer, for example, I went against the adage of “staying the course” with retirement and stuck my hand in my IRA to shed some stocks. I also bought a house in what can be considered a risky environment. To date, I have no regrets.

In my latest move away from what many financial experts preach, I’ve forgone the aspiration of leaving a financial legacy. The concept of bequeathing an inheritance just seems to make less sense today. Instead, I want to experience my legacy by spending most, if not all, of my money on meaningful experiences and investing in the people and causes I believe in — all before I leave Earth.

See:  More Businesses Should Follow the Jeff Bezos ‘Country Club’ Rule

This financial philosophy has grown increasingly popular with the ultra-wealthy. Laurene Powell Jobs, who inherited over $20 billion from her late husband, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, vows to give away all her assets during her living years, contributing to social and economic causes that need financial support. Before that, Sting, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett all pledged to not leave their children much, if any, inheritance.

“With each year that passes … our ability to convert dollars into positive life experiences declines over time,” Perkins tells me. The “optimal utility of money,” as he calls it, is using money to have the maximum greatest experiences you can in your living years. It’s important because experiences are what actually drive fulfillment and happiness. “I’m more about saving your life than saving your money,” he says.

Of course, the challenge with this approach is to not die with less than zero, leaving debt behind for someone else. The philosophy doesn’t give my husband and me permission to overspend. Instead, it forces us to practice restraint and deliberation as we choose how to allocate our money while we’re alive.

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Nail down “enough.” Yes, we still need to save for retirement, but primarily with only our personal needs (and the needs of any remaining dependents) in mind. Instead of accumulating for its own sake, we’re determined to have a specific monetary goal.

In his book, Perkins, who first made his fortune in finance, calls this your personal “survival number.” It’s the amount you need to support yourself with regards to health, shelter and food when you no longer have much income.

Survival Number, Optimize Spending

Your survival number is more bare-bones than the standard retirement savings recommendation of needing between eight and ten times your salary or living off of 80% of your pre-retirement income. Maybe that figure can be closer to 40% or 50%, especially if you downsize earlier or live in a more affordable place.

Optimize spending. After determining what’s “enough,” Perkins advises mapping out the expenses and experiences that are critical to your fulfillment and the impact you want to have on the world. For us, that’s putting money toward supporting our kids’ education and well-being, traveling and giving back.

Before aiming to die with zero, I wanted my family to be able to spend an entire month each summer living in a foreign country. Now, this dream looks all the more worthwhile as the type of enriching experience I value. And, depending on what happens with travel post-Covid, it can be more achievable, since I won’t be putting it off just to have a bit more saved for retirement.

See:  The Bitcoin Family: Still on the Road—After Three Years!

The idea of leaving non-profits money in our will also feels a bit detrimental to the causes we want to support. Why not give sooner if we can? To that end, I’ve automated some of my giving plans similar to how we contribute for retirement.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Why (and How) I Plan to Die With an Empty Bank Account 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

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A blog post by Coinbase’s CEO has raised a fury. Will it affect a potential IPO?

The Block | Frank Chaparro | Sep 29, 2020

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong - A blog post by Coinbase's CEO has raised a fury. Will it affect a potential IPO?Quick Take

  • Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong blog post sent shockwaves throughout the tech community

  • Here’s how it could impact its upcoming IPO

Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong's doctrine on corporate activism may have ruffled feathers but it likely won't impede the firm's public market debut, according to several professionals in the initial public offering market.

In a blog post released Sunday, Armstrong explained his view that activism and politics should be kept out of the halls of the San Francisco-based exchange operator. Armstrong expressed his desire for Coinbase to be "laser focused" on its mission to build an open financial system while focusing "minimally" on "broader societal issues" and political causes.

See:  Visa Grants Coinbase Power To Issue Bitcoin Debit Cards

Armstrong's message was met with a cacophony of both support and opposition from the crypto world and beyond. Some praised the former Airbnb executive for attempting to cultivate an ideologically inclusive environment. Others argued that the tone of the piece was cold and out of touch.

The reactions of two former employees illustrate the dichotomy. Dan Romero, an early employee and former lead of the exchange's institutional business, said it was "inspiring" to see the firm "resolutely" pursue its mission. Meanwhile, Reuben Bramanathan, a former product manager, said that a narrow company focus shouldn't preclude Coinbase from "acknowledging the injustice and inequality that affects many current and future Coinbase users."

In any event, several former employees and executives in the digital asset market questioned whether the controversial blog post would have an impact on the company's upcoming public offering.

"I think it depends a lot on whether it keeps blowing up or the dust settles and people move on," said Casper Johansen, founder of crypto advisory firm The Spartan Group. He added: "I don’t think it’s something a potential institutional investor would go out of their way to point out or not take the roadshow meeting."

See:  ESG Risk Comes Into Focus Companies focus on their ESG risks to build profitability for the long term.

Still, it could mean Coinbase might miss out on at least one big opportunity as a public company: the market for so-called Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments. This month ESG-tied funds, which are comprised of companies that take sustainability and social activism into account as well as profits, hit more than $250 billion as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to grip markets.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - A blog post by Coinbase's CEO has raised a fury. Will it affect a potential IPO? 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

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