Category Archives: Fintech Opinions

Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019

stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityStablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar).

As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool.

Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.”

 

The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision  

Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but of the system itself. It’s no surprise that Bitcoin’s innovators and early adopters were driven by a vision of an extraneous system that completely rejected the legacy framework, giving birth to decentralization, immutability and deflationary currency to name a few.

See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency

Early blockchain advocates argue this is the only acceptable implementation for this technology, with any deviation being a compromise. However, it is the same purist vision of “utility backed value” that makes bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies that follow similar design) incredibly susceptible to speculation and volatility.

Regardless of where you stand, it is important to clarify that this article is by no means meant to criticize the original blockchain. The questions we pose are not around bitcoin’s value, rather on its stability and ability effectively deliver the utility necessary for any currency.

 

Do stablecoins and “just” tokenizing fiat currencies deliver enough benefit?

The short answer is yes. Blockchain is an incredibly powerful architecture that provides significant benefits to the assets represented on it. There are many key benefits to blockchain based tokenized fiats, however speed, span and cost are worth a closer look.

A tokenized asset can be moved around the globe at an efficiency that user of current day systems could never dream of, let along compete with. A transaction between wallet holders on opposite sides of the globe would be settled in seconds (or minutes, depending on the network) not days or hours for an average fee totaling fractions of a dollar regardless if they are worth a few dollars or a few million dollars.

Blockchain architecture is vastly beneficial even when the assets it underpins aren’t “crypto-native.” Specifically, the transparency and immutability inherent to the architecture enable incredibly powerful new methods of bookkeeping and reporting such as Triple Entry Accounting (TEA) as well as Automated Audits. These pose a substantial improvement to current accounting tools, that eventually will change the risk profile inherent to every financial transaction.

See: Is This Behind The Latest $25 Billion Bitcoin And Crypto Price Rally?

Even the trivial action of checking on your assets involves logging-in or calling our bank and asking it to report back what and how much is owned – lacks a true, direct line of sight.

 

Let’s get really, boring.

Even the most adherent purist will admit that the power blockchain vastly increases with the growth of its userbase. So basically, it is in everyone’s

best interest, early adopter and newcomer alike, for the network to grow by appealing to the mainstream.

Thankfully, there is an army of people working to facilitate better, more palatable access to crypto for a wide array of audiences. Many of them have been educated by some of the most profound processes of digital transformation of recent decades, and are leaning on these insights to lean on applicable lessons for this particular opportunity.

For instance, let’s look at smartphone adoption. In just a decade the majority of the world’s population has been converted into devoted user of the technology. While there are multiple applicable takeaways and lessons to analyze, consider the name itself “Smart-Phone.” If you own one, it probably isn’t necessary to point out that most of the time the “phone” aspect of the device isn’t used at all. In fact, data shows that “calling people” isn’t even a top ten use for most users. Still, there is a very important reason that these pocket computers were named “phones”; to spur their adoption. Anchoring the terminology to something people widely understood, the phone, enabled it to be familiar and easily adoptable. It is much easier to have a meaningful conversation, when we have a common mental framework to base it on.

 

What’s next?

While they’re based on new and different technology, for stablecoins to go mainstream they must rely on an ideal, common framework that most people readily accept (or a simple formula such as one coin equals one dollar). If we can agree here, we can progress to having the more important conversation as to why the coin is actually a better dollar than a dollar, but we’ll be doing so standing on a solid and shared foundation.

See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets

Currently, we are in the process of an implementation that will inherit all the benefits covered above but will also comply with the applicable regulation/ legislation in place. In current markets dominated by USD based stablecoins, it is important to remember that we need to deliver efficiencies around foreign exchange for stablecoins to truly become strategic in importance.  This will be possible through a Canadian Dollar backed crypto asset such as Qcad, that will unlock the next adoption stage of blockchain and will generate direct benefits for Canada.

Stablecoins will continue to play a major role in broader crypto adoption, and for our part; a CAD-backed crypto asset will be an important step in the evolution to mainstream adoption of blockchain. We are very excited to be engaged in architecting the future of financial systems; good things are coming.

 

Fred Pye 200 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityFred Pye, President and CEO, 3iQ

Fred kick-started his career as a precious metal and foreign exchange trader at Guardian Trust. He later joined Fidelity Investments, where he was part of a team that saw its assets rise from 85 million to over 7.5 billion. Next, Fred started his own firm, which worked diligently with Canadian regulatory bodies to establish the first mutual fund in Canada that was allowed to take short positions. Finally, as founder and CEO of 3iQ, he and his team have worked cooperatively with the OSC for the last 2 and a half years to launch the first regulated Bitcoin fund in Canada. This fund will be the first major exchange-traded cryptocurrency fund in North America.

 

Kesem Frank 200 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityKesem Frank, Chief Maven, Mavennet

Kesem is a technology strategy expert specializing in blockchain powered enterprise architecture. Following a leadership position in Deloitte’s Blockchain practice, Kesem co-founded Nuco, one of the earliest enterprise blockchain platforms and a founding member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. In his capacity as COO, Kesem led multiple projects, positioning blockchain at the core of future business platforms for fortune-1000 companies.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability 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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QuadrigaCX Aftermath: The Bigger Picture

Magdalena Gronowska | June 4, 2019

quadrigacx - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityThis year’s biggest Canadian cryptocurrency story is the downfall of one of its largest and longest-lived crypto exchanges – QuadrigaCX – where an estimated $250million in funds is owed to 115,000 users.

Inadequate succession and business continuity planning lie at the heart of Quadrigas unraveling. The unexpected death its Founder and sole director, Gerald Cotten, was a crippling blow to the exchange’s ability to conduct normal day to day operations, forcing its closure as the company could not access cryptoasset wallets or company records.

Investigations conducted by Ernst & Yonge into its operations during the course of ongoing legal proceedings reveal more troubling business practices that make QuadrigaCX a perfect case study for regulators of ‘bad'-practices in custody and asset verification, market integrity, internal controls, recordkeeping, and business continuity:

  • Despite assurances user cryptoassets would be securely stored in cold wallets, the cold wallets were empty and unused since April 2018 – platform funds were transferred to other exchanges (not always under official accounts of the platform).
  • Corporate and personal boundaries were not maintained between the funds of the platform and the Founder and QuadrigaCX’s third party payment providers.
  • User funds may have been used to acquire assets held outside of Quadriga.
  • Fake accounts were created, funded with artificial deposits and significant trading and withdrawals of cryptoassets occurred on these accounts.

Tracking and recovering user funds has proven to be a difficult endeavour, requiring specialized technical expertise and multiple court orders due to improper records, the co-mingling of funds, banks unwilling to accept deposits (due to perceived high levels of risk), and questions around the identity and ownership of the accounts funds were transferred out to.

See:

Following the $250 million failure of our largest exchange, Canadian Securities Administrators and regulators proposed a regulatory framework for platforms that trade crypto-assets that are securities. This proposal considers rules for marketplaces, dealers and clearing agencies around custody and asset verification, market integrity, business continuity and risk mitigation, price discovery, surveillance, clearing and settlement, and conflicts of interest.

Regulators have turned their sights on implementing a framework that will mitigate the risk of another QuadrigaCX-like collapse – that’s a good step forward. Another positive step is that regulators are aligned across Canada in this proposal – harmonization is critical to reducing legal and compliance costs and regulatory burden for companies operating across Canada.

However, the regulation of platforms that trade securities is only a piece of the puzzle that’s necessary to build a supportive ecosystem for Canadian blockchain and crypto companies. A comprehensive regulatory framework enables companies to operate in a compliant, open and transparent manner, providing the certainty companies need to start-up, relocate, conduct long-term business planning and make capital investments. Companies value certainty over regulatory risk.   They want to operate in a environment that is unlikely to change the rules, either raising the costs of doing business or banning the sector or business activities outright.

Greater regulatory clarity is needed around cryptoasset types – definitions under what conditions they are security, utility, or payment tokens (or a hybrid). Canada would also benefit from harmonized and clear rules around token creation, issuance, and distribution mechanisms (ie, mining, ICOs, STOs, airdrops, and forks) – as well as a modernized tax act with clear guidance for companies and investors.

See:  Fidelity Will Offer Cryptocurrency Trading Within a Few Weeks

Access to banking services is a significant challenge facing crypto companies worldwide and banking challenges contributed to liquidity and solvency issues at QuadrigaCX. With banks refusing to operate or outright closing accounts of Canadian companies due to regulatory barriers and risk aversion, businesses are leaving for more favourable international jurisdictions, like Liechtenstein, Malta, Bermuda and France which have amended their laws to help crypto companies access banking services; they are also moving to Alberta where ATB Financial and DC Bank have been more open to Canadian crypto companies. Banking restrictions present a competitive disadvantage for jurisdictions and an impediment to economic growth – Canada can do more to support its SMEs.

Canadian regulators and policy makers should also look to their global counterparts like the US and EU where industry and government come together in roundtables, task forces and working groups. And it’s our responsibility as an industry to educate and participate. We have a rich pool of talent and expertise to draw from that can help government understand for which activities regulations, standards or guidelines can work best to protect investors and preserve market integrity, while remaining flexible enough to support the fast pace of innovation.

This is a critical time for Canada's blockchain and cryptoasset sector to mobilize and work collaboratively with industry peers and with regulators to build a regulatory framework that ensures Canada remains competitive globally.

magdalena - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityMagdalena Gronowska, Founder, Canadian Digital Asset Coalition

Magdalena advised Government for 10 years on economic and innovation policy and multi-$million tech deployment initiatives. She is active in the Canadian blockchain space – Magdalena founded the Canadian Digital Asset Coalition, consults with Metamesh Group, sits on Quadriga's Official Committee of Affected Users and advises the Blockchain for Climate Foundation.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability 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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Technology, Legitimacy & Social Justice: Fighting “the propaganda of inevitability”

Jericho Chambers | by Margaret Heffernan | March 2019

open - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilitySome years ago, I joined a conference hosted by one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists. It was the kind of event I knew well, when all the CEOs funded by the VC gather together to compare notes on what they’re seeing in the market place and are provided with (or subjected to) some pearls of wisdom from those with more experience.

Once upon a time, I was one of those CEOs, now I was supposed to dispense wisdom about willful blindness. I don’t remember much about the conference beyond its opening which went something along these lines:

There is nothing wrong with medicine that getting rid of doctors won’t fix.
There is nothing wrong with education that getting rid of teachers won’t fix.
There’s nothing wrong with the legal system that getting rid of lawyers won’t fix.

… our host stopped just short of saying there was nothing wrong with democracy that getting rid of voters won’t fix….

I sat up and paid attention. This was not the tech sector as I’d known it. All those years back in what I’ve come to think of as Internet 1.0 we had been full of curiosity, wondering what new wonders we could invent with this new tech and how we might develop it to enable, empower and even liberate everyone.

“We were idealists, we were naïve”

We hadn’t gone into it to make money – there wasn’t any in the beginning. And we hadn’t gone into it for power – there wasn’t much of that either. We were idealists, we were naïve.

See:  #FFCON19 talked about how to build trust in the 21st century

How things had changed. Now the full force of Big Tech was marshalling its overwhelming power against … teachers? Doctors? This was definitely different, a calculated attack on society as we know it.

Since the early days tech has become so much bigger, richer, more aggressive. It tricks kids into spending money, newly weds and parents into buying stuff they didn’t know they were buying, recruiting subjects for experiments no one knew they were part of, siphoning off data. Who knows what else can be laid against its door?

This is not the way to build trust. It is a way to build distrust.  And nowhere is that deeper than in discussions about artificial intelligence.

But first, what do I mean by trust? According to Veronica Hope-Hailey’s rich research, it is a mix of 4 ingredients

  • Benevolence: you wish the best for me, for all of us

  • Competency: you know what you’re doing

  • Consistency: you don’t change your mind or lie

  • Integrity: you act the same way when nobody’s looking

But even in its early phase, these four qualities are notably absent in corporate experiments with AI. Instead, there are a whole bunch of problems that, thanks to diligent investigators, keep being brought to light.

No consent

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Pearson, a major AI-education vendor, inserted “social-psychological interventions” into one of its commercial learning software programs to test how 9,000 students would respond. They did this without the consent or knowledge of students, parents, or teachers.115

This doesn’t appear to be consistent with Pearson’s values nor does it exude integrity.

Bias

96 percent of the world’s code has been written by men. And there’s an army of scientists (if you need them) who have demonstrated that WHAT is made/ written is a reflection of those who make it.  (In art, this is deemed a virtue.) So it means that we already start in a deeply troubled, profoundly unrepresentative place.

Using AI for hiring selection has been shown – by Amazon – to be ineradicably biased because, trained on historical data of overwhelmingly male employees, it selects…overwhelmingly male employees, and deselects women. After 2 years of trying to fix this, even Amazon has given up. But not all companies have. So when AI meets diversity policy, what you get is … at least NOT consistent.

See:  Canada’s financial upstarts are lining up behind open banking, but bigger players may need convincing

Inadequate data sets

Deducing mood, psychological state, sexual orientation, intelligence, likelihood of paedophilia or terrorism through “analyzing” facial expression keeps being shown to be inaccurate, outdated, biased, and based on inaccurate datasets. This is not benevolence.

Training AI to seek “criminal face” using data consisting of prisoners’ faces is not representative of crime, but rather, represents which criminals have been caught, jailed, and photographed. A high percentage of criminals are never caught or punished, so the dataset cannot adequately represent crime itself. We are back in the land of phrenology…or worse.

We all know there are some scientific research programs best not pursued—and this might be one of them.

Illegality

Hiring AI used by fast food companies has been shown by Cathy O’Neill to screen out those with any hint of history of mental illness – a move specifically prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act. But attempts to investigate this so far have been stalled by claims that the AI is a trade secret and cannot be disclosed. One law for humans – another for machines. This isn’t integrity in action.

Socially deaf definitions of success

Attempts to use AI to allocate school places more fairly in Boston backfired completely when it turned out that nobody programming the AI had the faintest idea – let alone experience – of the way that poor families live, the timetables that working 3 jobs imposes on them and their children. Not only were results worse – they came wrapped in insult. This isn’t benevolent and it was, frankly, incompetent.

These are real cases. There are more. Each one might be nit-picked apart but the key issue is this:

AI oversteps a fundamental boundary between objective analysis and moral judgment.

When such moral judgments are made, people deserve a chance to understand and to validate or to contest them. Claims of trade secrecy specifically militate against this.  Ethical issues are treated as legal and policy issues – a way of sidelining them that is completely synonymous with the way that hierarchies and bureaucracies facilitate, indeed drive, wilful blindness in organizations.

See:  [Report] A New North Star: Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy

AI simply amplifies both the risk and the lack of accountability to an unimaginable scale. You could say it delivers the status quo PLUS. So AI has the capacity to increase and sustain marginalization, corporate malfeasance and inequality.

All of the companies involved in developing it know this. That’s why there’s a whole roster of organizations all trying to figure out how to make AI the commercial goldrush it promises to be – while also hoping to silence fears that anything could possibly go wrong. But there are 2 difficulties with their approach:

  • Almost all of these organizations are set up, run and incorporate very large institutional interests. These are not the critics of the status quo but its beneficiaries. They start from a position that is inherently unrepresentative
    While these talking shops assuage nervous politicians, business as usual continues with a language of inevitability: AI is coming, AI is here, you have no choice but to stand back and take it. It’s too difficult for you bumpkins to understand – so just leave it to us. Or, to quote the CEO of Axon (the company that conveniently changed its name from Taser) speaking in defence of facial recognition cameras:

“It would be both naive and counterproductive to say law enforcement shouldn’t have these new technologies. They’re going to, and I think they’re going to need them. We can’t have police in the 2020s policing with technologies from the 1990s”[1]

“‘Sit down. Shut up. When I want something from you, I’ll ask’, is the tenor of so-called public consultation”

This is the language of propaganda: telling people that these new technologies are inevitable- when they aren’t – and that they’re unequivocally productive – when they aren’t – and therefore there is no need, no POINT in asking questions. ‘Sit down. Shut up. When I want something from you, I’ll ask’ is the tenor of so-called public consultation.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability 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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Yahoo Finance | VeChain Release | June 25, 2019 BEIJING, June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 25, in combination with Walmart China, China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain, the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform, built on the VeChainThor Blockchain, was announced at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar. This seminar was jointly organized by Walmart China and the CCFA in Beijing. The announcement of the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform came with the introduction to the first batch of 23 product lines that have been tested and launched on the Platform. The Platform is expected to scale by another 100 product lines by the end of the year covering more than 10 product categories including fresh meat product, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil, etc. It is expected that the Walmart China's  traceability system will see traceable fresh meat account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables will account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, traceable seafood will account for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020. See:  Q&A: Walmart’s Frank Yiannas on the use ...
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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
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Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
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Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
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CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
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3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
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CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
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Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

 

Canada’s Regulatory System for Fintech is Complex, Costly and Chaotic. It is Stifling Fintech Innovation

Crowdfund Insider | | Apr 4, 2019

michael king - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityCanada may be a smaller market but it has a robust, highly sophisticated economy and a vibrant Fintech sector. Toronto, the financial center of the country, is home to dozens of Fintechs including payment firms, online lending, AI, wealth management, blockchain and more. Yet while there are promising indications of financial innovation and a good number risk-taking Fintech entrepreneurs, a recent Canadian report noted a “need for a clear Fintech strategy by the federal and provincial governments with the intent of supporting innovation and growth for the Canadian financial services sector.”

Like most other industries, competition in financial services is intense. As it is a highly regulated sector of industry, participants must continuously manage compliance demands while interacting with diverse public officials and regulatory requirements. These same rules, if duplicative or misaligned, can act as a barrier to positive innovation and change that challenges established firms and entrenched orthodoxies.

The emergence of Fintech and the digitization of financial services, from banking and beyond, has seen multiple Fintech centers of prominence emerge. The UK has long been known for its Fintech friendly regulatory environment. Regulators frequently engage with emerging new business models as it is mandated for these officials to foster competition.

See:  Inside the power struggle between big banks and fintechs to modernize financial services

In Hong Kong, an important global financial center, public officials have not only talked about fostering Fintech innovation, but much money and resources have been dedicated to encouraging innovation. Fintech is viewed as strategically important to maintain a dominant position in the global financial industry.

So can Canada do more?

Crowdfund Insider recently reached out to Michael King for his perspective on the status of Fintech in Canada. King is co-Director of the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School and an advisor to the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada. He spent multiple years in the private sector working in the global banking industry so he has plenty of hands-on experience.

King recently created a helpful database of Fintechs operating in Canada which provides a good overview of these new firms. King believes Canadian officials, both regulatory and elected, must do more to catch up in the international race to remain relevant and competitive in the global financial sector.

So will Canadian policymakers listen? Our conversation is shared below.


Which international jurisdictions do you believe are doing the best in fostering Fintech innovation?

Michael King: The leading jurisdictions for Fintech are the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Each of these countries has outlined a national strategy to be a leader in Fintech and is coordinating both public sector and private sector bodies towards achieving this goal. These small open economies understand that financial services are a global industry that has been opened up to foreign competition by the internet, cloud computing, smartphones and other technologies.

Canada is lagging, with no coordination nationally and harmful competition between Fintech centres across Canada.

See:  NCFA Letter to Ontario Economic Development on Burden (Jan 2019)

The leading jurisdictions for #Fintech are the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Each of these countries has outlined a national strategy to be a leader in Fintech 

Which sectors of Fintech do you believe hold the most promise?

Michael King: The payments sector is the front line of the battle between Fintechs and incumbents. This trillion-dollar industry is complex, with many players collaborating and competing in overlapping networks. Consumers and businesses face many pain points, such as high costs, slow transfers, poor service and little to no transparency. Payments is where the largest and most successful Fintech companies have made their mark, led by PayPal, Square, Stripe and Adyen.

Canada’s Lightspeed POS is the leader in this space, although there are dozens of smaller start-ups targeting lucrative segments of this value chain.

Payments is also the space where global technology companies are able to compete most effectively by bundling payments with their other customer offerings: Alipay (Alibaba), Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and WePay (Tencent).

These “Techfins” have put technology first and financial services second when developing their ecosystems. But access to customer payments will bring data and insights to drive future financial product offerings.

On relative terms, how does Canada size up when it comes to Fintech innovation?

Michael King:  Canada remains in the top 10 for Fintech innovation with investment by both start-ups and incumbent banks, insurance companies and asset managers.

Canada has been gaining ground in key areas of Fintech, namely payments, cryptoassets and blockchain, online lending, and wealth management.

See:  Competition Bureau weighs in on fintech: urgent action required

On a public policy basis, what has been done so far?

Michael King:  Federal politicians in Canada are pursuing a policy of benign neglect towards the Fintech sector, preferring to leave policy to provincial governments and regulators while focusing on other innovation priorities. Canada has not published a national strategy on Fintech, none of the funding for superclusters was directed to Fintech, and no politicians are offering speeches to support this sector. The only recent indication of support is the public consultations on open banking, which has already been adopted in the European Union, United Kingdom and Australia.

Canada prefers to be a follower on open banking, balancing the need for more openness with the desire to maintain a sound and stable financial system.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability 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

Latest news - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityFF Logo 400 v3 - Stablecoins: Experience the Stabilitycommunity social impact - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
NCFA Summer Kickoff Event Jul 11 banner resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

Yahoo Finance | VeChain Release | June 25, 2019 BEIJING, June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 25, in combination with Walmart China, China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain, the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform, built on the VeChainThor Blockchain, was announced at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar. This seminar was jointly organized by Walmart China and the CCFA in Beijing. The announcement of the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform came with the introduction to the first batch of 23 product lines that have been tested and launched on the Platform. The Platform is expected to scale by another 100 product lines by the end of the year covering more than 10 product categories including fresh meat product, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil, etc. It is expected that the Walmart China's  traceability system will see traceable fresh meat account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables will account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, traceable seafood will account for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020. See:  Q&A: Walmart’s Frank Yiannas on the use ...
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walmart and vechain food safety - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
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RegCF SEC report - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
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Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
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luge capital - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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CDL libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
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facebook launches libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
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stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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Dara Khosrowshahi CEO uber tech - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
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global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

 

Canada’s financial upstarts are lining up behind open banking, but bigger players may need convincing

Financial Post | Geoff Zochodne | Feb 19, 2019

open banking consultation 1 - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityFintech welcomes competition, but big banks seem lukewarm on opening the financial system to third parties

Upstarts in the financial sector say the data-driven concept of “open banking” could inject a healthy dose of competition into Canada’s highly concentrated financial services industry — but it may take some convincing to get the bigger players to embrace the idea.

Last week marked the deadline for submissions to the federal government’s consultation on the framework, which if adopted could allow consumers and businesses to make their financial transaction data available to third parties.

That information is currently controlled by banks and other financial institutions used by the consumer. If that data was portable, however, other parties could potentially use it to better price or tailor products or services, such as an app that would let a customer keep tabs on all of their accounts at various banks through a single dashboard, without violating their bank’s terms and conditions. Open banking could make switching accounts easier as well.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance Canada said they had received more than 95 submissions for the consultation, the results of which will be made public in a form that is still being determined.

See:  Open Banking: What’s Really at Stake

Among the parties who made submissions in favour of some degree of open banking were Toronto-based alternative lender Equitable Bank and Portag3 Ventures, a venture capital fund backed by Power Corp. of Canada that has invested in fintech companies such as robo-advisor Wealthsimple.

Equitable, Canada’s ninth-largest independent lender, said a framework that supports the idea of customers owning the rights to their own financial data would increase “the competitive intensity” of the banking industry.

Andrew Moor, president and chief executive officer of the branchless bank, said Equitable’s view is people should shop for the best banking services they can get.

“We don’t really think that that’s necessarily provided by one institution,” he said in a recent interview with the Financial Post. “And open banking makes all of that much easier.”

Portag3 Ventures, meanwhile, predicted in their submission (published on its website) that open banking would “stimulate” competition in the sector.

“Facilitating improvement in competition has been a specific driver for Open Banking in the (United Kingdom), Australia and New Zealand,” the submission stated. “Canada lacks a specific focus on competition in regulating financial services, especially compared with the U.K. and Australia, countries with very similar banking sector market structures.”

The current consideration of open banking comes as technology is disrupting industries around the world.

Despite the sea change, Canada’s banking sector has remained under the control of a handful of financial institutions — Portag3 noted that, in Canada, the top-six banks hold 90 per cent of assets “and also dominate in all aspects of retail banking.”

While Canada’s major lenders have spent billions on technology and innovation, including partnerships with upstart financial technology players, they appear to be lukewarm on open banking — or anything that risks opening the financial system to third parties.

Sue Britton, chief executive officer of the FinTech Growth Syndicate, said the types of fintechs that financial institutions are currently partnering with are more business-to-business firms that complement a bank’s operations, rather than compete with it.

See:  Why Open Banking Represents a Seismic Shift for Fintech

“Those types of companies, they’re not partnering with financial institutions,” Britton said in a recent interview. “The primary focus of the Canadian financial institutions is to largely build things themselves and continue to more improve things like the customer experience than the price we pay.”

Nearly all of the big five banks did not respond to questions for this article. However, the Canadian Bankers Association’s submission to the open-banking consultation divided the industry group’s concerns, and potential remedies, into four areas highlighted in the government’s consultation paper: consumer protection, privacy and confidentiality, financial crime and financial stability.

As an example, the CBA said that when more parties are transmitting and storing financial-transaction data, the risk of identity theft increases too. Third parties that store log-in credentials, such as usernames and passwords, could also be more susceptible to cyber-attack if their controls are lacking.

“We believe open banking can enhance the financial services landscape for Canadians,” a CBA spokesperson said in an email. “Along with the benefits it could provide, key risks should also be addressed.”

Even if there are concerns around security, the banking sector is still preparing for whatever form of open banking may come.

A report published in January by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers included a section featuring Bank of Montreal CEO Darryl White, whom the study said saw open banking “as an exciting development for Canada.”

“If we can figure out how to solve for security, transparency and control, we can have an open banking system in this country that could work very well, in my view,” White is quoted as saying.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability 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

Latest news - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityFF Logo 400 v3 - Stablecoins: Experience the Stabilitycommunity social impact - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
NCFA Summer Kickoff Event Jul 11 banner resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

Yahoo Finance | VeChain Release | June 25, 2019 BEIJING, June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 25, in combination with Walmart China, China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain, the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform, built on the VeChainThor Blockchain, was announced at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar. This seminar was jointly organized by Walmart China and the CCFA in Beijing. The announcement of the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform came with the introduction to the first batch of 23 product lines that have been tested and launched on the Platform. The Platform is expected to scale by another 100 product lines by the end of the year covering more than 10 product categories including fresh meat product, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil, etc. It is expected that the Walmart China's  traceability system will see traceable fresh meat account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables will account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, traceable seafood will account for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020. See:  Q&A: Walmart’s Frank Yiannas on the use ...
Read More
walmart and vechain food safety - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
Read More
RegCF SEC report - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
Read More
hunter to prey - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
Read More
luge capital - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
Read More
CDL libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
Read More
facebook launches libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
Read More
stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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Dara Khosrowshahi CEO uber tech - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
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global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

 

Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.

Crowdfund Insider | | Feb 20, 2019

women and venture capital - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityThe world of business equity raising is still dominated by men. Melinda Gates wrote in ReCode back in 2017: 

“We like to think that venture capital is driven by the power of good ideas. But by the numbers, it’s men who have the keys.” 

Gates argued that this was “more to do with historical inequalities than it does with innate ability.”

At the time of Gates’ comments, a U.S. analysis found that just 2% of venture capital finance went to start-ups founded by women, and with women comprising just 9% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms, the lack of female VC representation seemed a compelling reason as to why. The situation a year on shows no sign of improving.

Recently, a UK VC & Female Founders report for the Treasury discovered that for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said it was “incredible” that in 2019 men had a “virtual monopoly on venture capital.”

See:  Meet the women who are making sure blockchain is inclusive

Even within the more disruptive, and arguably progressive, realms of crowdfunding, women are underrepresented – Crowdcube found that only 18% of their funded pitches are led by females or a joint team which includes a female.

As well as being hard to believe in this day and age, this status quo also makes terrible business sense.

Businesses largely led by women do better than male-dominated ones. And this isn’t a new discovery.

Multiple studies have shown this, and just recently, a report from US accelerator Mass Challenge found that for every dollar invested, a company founded by men generated 31 cents – compared to 78 cents produced by start-ups with women on the board.

Truss says she wants to see more women starting up businesses to “supercharge economic growth”. Whether our economy can be “supercharged” given the uncertain times we face, I’m certain that investing in female-founded or female-led businesses is one of the smartest things investors can do.

Endemic sexism

I understand the raising investment challenges start-ups face, particularly female-led start-ups, because I’ve experienced them first-hand – both in my identity as an entrepreneur in my past business, and now in my investment consultancy role – and I would say there are a few factors at play.

Firstly, investment is not really an industry many women tend to enter. It is viewed as a bit of an old boy’s club and has a reputation for not being female friendly. People don’t tend to want to go to a party that they’ve pointedly not been invited to or where they will be in the minority.

There is also an unhealthy dose of old-fashioned sexism still at play here.

See:  Slowly but surely, women are changing fintech

I’ve been to several board and investor meetings at investment and law firms across the city and on more than one occasion people assumed I was there as the PA or the stand-in receptionist. Not the person presenting in the boardroom to the partners of the firm. I’ve also recently been in an office filled with men whose artwork on the walls included paintings of naked women!

The gender bias of the industry is also causing a vicious circle which is contributing to locking female founders out of investment. There are very few female investors in the UK, and at the same time, investors tend to invest in sectors that they know or intrinsically “get” which makes good, solid sense. Yet if all the investors are male it makes it that much harder for female-led and female-focused businesses to secure investment.

Female-led brilliance

But in the two years of raising £18 million for businesses of all sizes, including those with female founders, I have seen flashes of brilliance from the female-led camp – both in terms of women getting behind investment propositions and in how women are turning the situation to their advantage.

We recently managed The Baukjen Group’s crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. The brand, built on its premium Isabella Oliver maternity range and its contemporary womenswear offer, is understood by women. Its wife and husband founding team also offers the gender mix which we have found works incredibly powerfully for investors. Their raise achieved the highest number of female investors ever to invest in a company via crowdfunding – 77% of investors were women, compared to an average of 31% (Crowdcube.) It showed that women are ready to invest, and with a more democratic crowdfunding platform, they are able to play a bigger role and respond to brands they believe in.

While a lack of confidence and reticence in their approach to equity raising is holding female founders back, it is also driving them to approach investors with a more thorough and robust style.

See:  Women & Minorities in Regulation Crowdfunding: High Success Rate Despite Low Representation & Lower Funding Levels

We have found in our experience with businesses that women tend to get down to the numbers, hard facts and proof-points much quicker than men when seeking investment. Female founders should play on this trait – especially when pitching a product that male investors wouldn’t intrinsically understand.

When Trinny Woodall pitched her beauty brand to investors, she knew that women would love her brand and would recognise the benefits of her make-up and the pain points it solved. However, looking around the room she recognised that she was pitching a female-focused product to a room full of men. So instead of pitching her product, she pitched purely the numbers, the margins, the market and the size of the opportunity.

In contrast, when we are dealing with an all-male founding team it can take us weeks to cut through the bravado, whereas women often take a more grounded approach – setting forth figures and projections plainly. The irony of this is that women are less likely to pursue investment in the first place, and when they do, are less likely to ask for what they need. This is a problem.

The solution? Education

One of the biggest solutions to the inequality of raising investment is around education. Female founders can be wary of investment because they view it as taking on debt but there are different forms of funding and it’s important to understand what funding actually means for your business. Equity funding is not debt and you won’t owe investors that money. You do have an obligation to do your best and use that funding wisely, with the aim to give a return but if it all goes wrong, investors lose their capital and know the risks involved.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability 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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Yahoo Finance | VeChain Release | June 25, 2019 BEIJING, June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 25, in combination with Walmart China, China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain, the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform, built on the VeChainThor Blockchain, was announced at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar. This seminar was jointly organized by Walmart China and the CCFA in Beijing. The announcement of the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform came with the introduction to the first batch of 23 product lines that have been tested and launched on the Platform. The Platform is expected to scale by another 100 product lines by the end of the year covering more than 10 product categories including fresh meat product, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil, etc. It is expected that the Walmart China's  traceability system will see traceable fresh meat account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables will account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, traceable seafood will account for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020. See:  Q&A: Walmart’s Frank Yiannas on the use ...
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walmart and vechain food safety - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
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RegCF SEC report - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
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hunter to prey - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
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luge capital - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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CDL libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
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facebook launches libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
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CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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Dara Khosrowshahi CEO uber tech - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
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global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

 

Open Banking: What’s Really at Stake

NCFA | Richard Remillard | January 28, 2019

open banking - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityA National Project

Open banking has many definitions and multiple characteristics. At its core though is the concept of empowerment – the empowerment of financial consumers, individuals and businesses alike, that comes from transferring control over financial information to clients away from established financial institutions.

Because of this potential which promises to democratize financial transactions, much has been said about open banking in recent years. And, insofar as Canada is concerned, all that talk misses the point.

Properly considered, open banking is the national project for the 21st century digital, mobile, connected economy.

The only real question is: can Canada build such a national project when it is having such difficulty getting national projects for the 20th century economy off the ground, out of the ground and out to market?

Think pipelines.

See:  Why Open Banking Represents a Seismic Shift for Fintech

Causes for Concern

Already, there are worrisome signs.

  1. First, we are behind other jurisdictions such as Great Britain and Australia and there are indications that other countries will soon follow suit. Just as the US has moved smartly to develop and sell its vast reserves of shale oil while Canada’s product remains landlocked so too we risk being leapfrogged by the likes of an Estonia on the open banking side.
  2. Second, governments are engaged in full consultation mode and the policy commentariat ranging from the CD Howe Institute to Canada 2020 have been cranking out papers and hosting events on open banking at a rapid rate. The federal government has set up an advisory council following the 2018 budget while other federal departments and agencies from the Bank of Canada to the Competition Bureau have already been pondering the issue. However, the general public remains outside the discourse which to-date has been confined to the chattering classes.
  3. Third, one key interest group is claiming territorial jurisdiction, namely established financial institutions. Just as First Nations have demanded that they be fully brought in to the pipeline approval process, so too have the chartered banks weighed in with admonitions to proceed with all due haste – but, slowly, very slowly.  Not wanting to be seen as anti-innovation and anti-consumer choice but also wanting to protect their fat margins that are derived from maintaining the status quo.
  4. Fourth, Canada’s record on financial innovation is not stellar. Capital has been flowing into fintech startups but there is nothing to suggest that Canada is at the global forefront of financial innovation adoption. These days, observers point to countries as diverse as Kenya and Singapore when looking to fintech leadership. And, then there’s China and the US each with a host of flagship firms and fintechs, often bundled together in novel ways.
  5. Fifth, part of the problem with pipelines as with open banking is the never ending federal-provincial jurisdictional turf battle. We can’t seem to get a national securities commission (another pipeline project that’s thoroughly gummed up) which does not appear to be a priority for anyone any more. For open banking to be truly comprehensive would likely require a level of federal-provincial cooperation that has not been much in evidence lately.

A 2019 fearless forecast: no open banking, any time soon and certainly not in 2019. For Canada to participate in this financial innovation bold leadership will be required from committed participants unafraid to shake up the established order to bring about the birth of a new way of doing things.

See:  Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed

Creating the Winning Conditions

Left to its own devices, the policy process today would likely grind out a classic Canadian compromise of the kind that we excel in producing, much like promoting both environmental protection and a resources-based economy. However, in the realm of open banking, allowing things to unfold as they usually do will probably lead to a middle-of-the-road that really doesn’t position Canada for leadership in financial services innovation.

The main challenge facing proponents of open banking today is to identify and then proceed to implement the winning conditions that will be necessary to overcome regulatory and bureaucratic inertia.

Some of those winning conditions would include:

  • Developing a public engagement strategy in order to build the necessary bodyguard of support in key segments of society, including interest groups, elected officials and the general population;
  • Focusing on a limited number of key communications messages that would address the tangible benefits of open banking, as well as the opportunity costs of not proceeding down this path, to individuals and businesses; these messages would likely centre on control, choice, trust and security;
  • Taking advantage of the plethora of media opportunities that exist today to keep broadcasting out easily communicable messages and to respond to the no go/go slow squadrons that are now mobilizing.

 

Richard Remillard,

President, Remillard Consulting Group

NCFA Board Member

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability 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

Latest news - Stablecoins: Experience the StabilityFF Logo 400 v3 - Stablecoins: Experience the Stabilitycommunity social impact - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
NCFA Summer Kickoff Event Jul 11 banner resize - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability

Yahoo Finance | VeChain Release | June 25, 2019 BEIJING, June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 25, in combination with Walmart China, China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain, the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform, built on the VeChainThor Blockchain, was announced at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar. This seminar was jointly organized by Walmart China and the CCFA in Beijing. The announcement of the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform came with the introduction to the first batch of 23 product lines that have been tested and launched on the Platform. The Platform is expected to scale by another 100 product lines by the end of the year covering more than 10 product categories including fresh meat product, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil, etc. It is expected that the Walmart China's  traceability system will see traceable fresh meat account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables will account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, traceable seafood will account for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020. See:  Q&A: Walmart’s Frank Yiannas on the use ...
Read More
walmart and vechain food safety - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | June 20, 2019 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a statutory report on Regulation Crowdfunding commonly referenced as Reg CF. The mandated report must be forwarded to Congress three years after Reg CF rules became effective (May 2016). Reg CF is the smallest of three federal “crowdfunding” exemptions allowing issuers to raise just $1.07 million from both accredited and non-accredited investors. According to the report authors: “the number of crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest.” The report tallies activity under Reg CF from May 2016 to December 31, 2018. At the end of the period, there were 45 active Portals and 9 Broker-Dealers which had participated in at least one Reg CF offering. See: $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Early-stage Investing – The Public gets a Seat at the Table Three platforms accounted for two-thirds of all initiated offerings and proceeds raised. SEC: the number of #RegCF #crowdfunding offerings, as well as the total amount of funding during the considered period, was relatively modest Click to Tweet According to the SEC: Between May 16, 2016, and December 31, ...
Read More
RegCF SEC report - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Chambers Pivot Industries | Greg Chambers | June 20, 2019 "All I need is an investor, and I’m ready to go," she says. I'm sitting in front of a passionate entrepreneur who knows I've successfully raised millions of dollars for various businesses. After hearing her story, what I'm about to say won't be what she wants to hear, but it's true. Funding isn't her problem. There's more money out looking for a home than there are good ideas to fund. The problem, I tell her, is she hasn't decided if she wants to build a company or master the growing seed and startup capital environment. Lessons from the past I was in her seat in the late 1990s shopping my big idea from investor to investor. Eventually unsuccessful, I was forced to abandon my startup and find a job. I took two big lessons from that experience. One is that if I wanted to get a company off the ground, I needed to get much better at selling a vision to investors. Second, based on the questions the investors were asking, I needed far more evidence from customers that my idea was the right one before they’d invest. Years later, ...
Read More
hunter to prey - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Luge Capital | Karim Gillani | June 2019 Intro:  NCFA Fintech Confidential spoke with some of Canada’s experienced fintech investors, on their background, how Canada has evolved, what we should be doing, advice to fintech founders and what keeps them awake at night.  This is part 1 of a 4 part series.   What is your background, and how did you come to co-found Luge Capital? Karim:  My background is in fintech, mobile tech, engineering, finance and strategy. Prior to Luge, I was at PayPal, leading M&A activities in Canada. I joined PayPal through its $890M acquisition of Xoom, a renowned cross-border remittance company, where I started the Corporate Development practice. I have an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Finance degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. Luge Capital was the byproduct of highly motivated LPs, and a recognition that fintech venture capital needed a kickstart at the early stages. David Nault and I co-founded Luge in early 2018 with a new model to seek out entrepreneurs in the US and Canada that not only had a drive to take over the world, but also built their ...
Read More
luge capital - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CDL Team | June 18, 2019 The Libra Association announces a new initiative with the goal of increasing access to financial services and fostering financial inclusion around the world TORONTO, CANADA – Today, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – a not-for-profit seed-stage startup program – announces that it will be a Founding Partner of the Libra Association. CDL is keen to contribute to the success of the Libra initiative as the sole Canadian organization and academic institution in the Libra Association at present. The Libra Association will create Libra, a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people. Libra will be built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; and it will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value. The Libra Association will govern the infrastructure and manage and evolve this new ecosystem. Libra will enable developers and businesses to build inclusive new financial service products for people around the world. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know At this time, CDL is the sole academic Founding Partner of the Libra Association. The initial group of organizations that will work together on finalizing the association’s charter include: Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU ...
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CDL libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
PC Mag | Rob Marvin | June 18, 2019 Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know Facebook's big blockchain play, consisting of the Libra coin, the nonprofit Libra Foundation, and Facebook's Calibra wallet, will create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and beyond. Facebook's long-rumored cryptocurrency finally got its big debut, and it's called Libra after all. Facebook today released a lengthy white paper, along with a post from Mark Zuckerberg and another from VP of blockchain David Marcus, announcing the ambitious crypto initiative and all that comes with it. The open-source Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain will be governed by the nonprofit Libra Association, while a new Facebook-owned subsidiary called Calibra will release a wallet for Libra tokens and ultimately other banking and finance products—a move that could turn Facebook into a financial services giant in addition to a social and advertising one. See:  Facebook’s Cryptocurrency: Great Idea, Wrong Company While the public launch of Libra won't happen until the first half of 2020, the developer testnet of the Libra blockchain is live today. There will also be a new programming language called Move for developers to build distributed applications atop the Libra blockchain, though Facebook said neither itself ...
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facebook launches libra - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
3iQ and Mavennet | Fred Pye and Kesem Frank | June 18, 2019 Stablecoins are now a necessary step to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, as proven by the way they’ve been used to hedge the massive volatility of the market over the past couple of years. Their simple premise enables the seamless pairing of crypto-to-fiat pegged cryptocurrency. It might sound overly simplistic, but this straightforward innovation has spurred the growth of a new crypto asset class that measures in billions of dollars in aggregate market cap (e.g. Tether, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Paxos and Gemini Dollar). As much as this asset class is still gaining momentum driven by the current and common use case, the potential of stablecoins goes well beyond the tactical value of a trading tool. Stablecoins are strategically important because they represent a bridge between legacy fiat-based systems and the new digital and decentralized currency underpinnings we collectively call “blockchain.” The dream isn’t necessarily a prediction or extension of the purist’s vision   Bitcoin - blockchain’s earliest network - was born from tumultuous years in the traditional financial system. These were years defined by mistrust; not just towards the people at the helm of the financial system, but ...
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stablecoins  - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
CNBC | Kate Rooney and Hugh Son | June 10, 2019 Mobility giant Uber is looking to accelerate the creation of financial products with a new fintech outpost in New York, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The ride-hailing company is aiming to hire several dozen engineers and product managers this year, and the New York team could eventually exceed 100 workers, said the people, who declined to be identified speaking about Uber’s plans. Uber, fresh from its IPO last month, is looking to tap New York’s talent pool, which is deeper when it comes to fintech and bank workers than its hometown of San Francisco. By building out its financial ecosystem, the company can increase its lead over rivals like Lyft. The efforts are likely to be focused on ways to increase engagement and loyalty to the Uber platform, according to people who attended a recruitment event earlier this year. Payments chief Peter Hazlehurst and top engineer Johnie Lee spoke at the event, held at Uber’s New York offices, the people said. There are many possible payment and lending innovations Uber could come up with: It has 93 million active users globally, most of whom use linked ...
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Dara Khosrowshahi CEO uber tech - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Schulte Research | Paul Schulte | June 17, 2019 Digital banking finally arrives in HK --all in one go! Be careful what you wish for — you might get it.  Hong Kong People have been kvetching for years about the poor quality of banking services. Now, they will have a deluge of ultra-efficient and essentially free new services. These services will offer strictly online banking services without branches and ALL of them have very deep pockets. The first batch below, which I will enumerate in a moment, have capital to burn of about USD 250 million. This can go a long way in eroding the highly profitable cartel of HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.  Hang Seng Bank has consistently had among the highest ROE globally north of 20-21%. And its revenue per customer has been among the world’s highest as well. HSBC owns more than 40% of HSB, so it has been a cash cow for the bank. Hong Kong is really the center of profitability for HSBC, since its ROE for commonwealth countries is the single digits and it has basically given up on the US financial market.  It’s European business, like all Euro banking franchises, is in the ...
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global network and points of presence maps - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability
Forbes | Enrique Dans | June 17, 2019 All the signs are that Facebook is about to launch its cryptocurrency on June 18, a project known internally as Libra, and that soon, apparently, we will all be using. So what are the implications of a company with 2.4 billion users launching its own currency? Strategically, the movement makes sense for Facebook: at a time when many question the its dominance of social networks and when a majority of its own shareholders say they want to see the back of Mark Zuckerberg, the company announces a very ambitious project of universal appeal giving it a central role in the world economy, in the wake of innumerable cryptocurrency projects of dubious legality, irresponsibly speculative and wasteful in terms of energy, aimed among others at people in countries with unstable currencies or limited banking penetration. As Jack Dorsey has said, this maybe the perfect moment to create a universal currency for the Internet era, reflecting the trend toward a universalization of the world. However, what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook. See:  FaceCoin: Here’s What Facebook Could Build In Blockchain And Cryptocurrency Technically, the project ...
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mark Z. facebook - Stablecoins: Experience the Stability