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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15): Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation

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NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019

EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski

About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy!

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

Guests:

  • KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn)
  • JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view)

BIOGRAPHIES:

Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The success of TCF has led to Kate being asked to join the Chamber of Digital Commerce Token Alliance, seen her featured on the international podcast Creating Wealth with Jason Hartman, been included in multiple industry articles, and served as a guest speaker at events around the world.

Jason Sosnowski is a full-stack developer with experience across a range of technologies. He leverages his deep knowledge of leading-edge technologies to bring robust, scalable, lasting solutions to complex and evolving business solutions. His expertise includes blockchain (Bitcore, Ethreum, Hyperledger), serverless (AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions), machine learning (TensorFlow), artificial intelligence (TensorFlow), and cloud services like AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud and Google Cloud Platform. Jason’s solutions are grounded in best practices for security and compliance and he works with a variety of languages that include Javascript, Python, Ruby and Node on the server side as well as React, Vue, and WordPress for front end.

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Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts: Season 1 | Season 2


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan : Jason and Kate thank you so much for joining me today.

Kate Guimbellot: Absolutely. Thanks for having us

Jason Sosnowski:   Our pleasure.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. So, I'm going to make this a free ball question so for the fans could just give us a rundown of essentially who you guys are and what the travel coin foundation is?

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. So, you know the Travel Coin Foundation, we're a not for profit we're based out of London, England but because we're a global foundation our team members are all over the place. Jason is in Toronto where I know you are. I'm actually in Kansas in the U.S. So, we travel the world and this whole foundation came out of the belief system knowledge system that. You know why we are here. Why is any one of us here. And for us it's about leaving a deposit not taking a withdrawal so that when we pass, we will have left something behind we will have made a difference and we do that because we believe that travel is the one of the biggest things that can solve the division that we see in the world. If you travel at all in particular if you travel out of your own country. You very quickly realize how much more alike we are than different. And so, with that mindset the question was Well what keeps people from traveling. You know some of those things that you get fluctuating exchange rates, or you land in an airport and there's no Wi-Fi or you have loyalty points at the Radisson, fifty thousand points at Radisson but it doesn't help you a bit if you're trying to put something on Delta or. You know. All of those sorts of things and that's really what the foundation was born out of is a desire to help solve the issues that travelers face so that we can allow travel to be an easier experience to get people out of their comfort zones and around the world. And it comes from Jason and I are partnered with Lisa who is our chief operations officer and all three of us have spent decades on our own both personally and professionally traveling the world. So, all three of us love it. Jason's been to I've been to every all but six countries that I can ever find. Jason how many of you been to?

Jason Sosnowski: I am now one hundred and thirty-one.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah. So that's really what it comes out of.

Manseeb Khan : Wow. I've only been to L.A. That's it. I don't travel much.

Kate Guimbellot: We're going we're going to open the world to you. So yeah really what it's about is when we travel around even now, I go to a country that I haven't been to in a decade or I go somewhere that I've never been before. And you know people who don't travel think Oh my God I don't know what I would do I don't speak the language I don't understand the culture. It doesn't matter. You get there and you realize that everyone just wants to be happy. They want to have a good job they want to have fun with their friends their family. They want to raise their children and they want to leave the world better. And that's what that's what the foundation's focuses is to help make that happen.

Manseeb Khan : I love the idea that you guys are kind of like I'll stick with the Radisson and Delta example. I mean you're having all these like airlines and like hotels like team up and like have their own little groups of like be it benefits like hey look if you travel us you get this this and this the fact that you guys are kind of like combining everything and kind of like hey like this is what might give us a bit more of a conjoined experience was it the point of traveling is to like have more or less like a sense of purpose. See  the world and understand the world a little better get a little bit more worldly get a little bit more culture and see like how you started off the show hey you know we're all the exact same. You know like if it's like for like me and Jason here in Toronto you're in Kansas with the exact same people were very similar, similar experiences, similar pains what may have you and the fact that just bringing that together and making that much more accessible for everybody that's in and of itself is pretty freaking incredible.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah, we're very one we're very proud of what we're doing we're very excited about it and it has taken a level of bravery I've got to be honest from the beginning. We've had a lot of naysayers and we've been around over a year but that first six months was pretty painful. Wouldn't you say Jason?

Jason Sosnowski:  it was challenging for sure.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah because you have to stand in your own truth you know and when you say to someone Look our foundation is going to raise funds and we're going to help bring Wi-Fi free Wi-Fi to the entire globe because we believe that Wi-Fi is a right not a luxury. And people kind of go Oh yeah right. OK. So, like no we are doing it. I mean we're having conversations right now with a company in Africa that gets Wi-Fi to place in Africa that have been up till now unreachable. And we're also working with some of the biggest names out there who are working on the satellite systems that will do that that will canvas the earth with Wi-Fi signal. So, we've had big dreams that we know we're going to continue to focus on and things like that loyalty point system you know in the US and Canada. I know the average is 21 to 23 loyalty point programs people belong to any one individual. And we just feel that there has to be a way to give people an exchange area where they can go in and put in those fifty thousand Radisson points to be able to turn them into Delta points. So big things are that we plan on solving that can that list continues to grow. And it's just really nice to kind of get to this point and be able to say you know look we're achieving what we set out to do because that first six months we didn't have a lot of people standing beside us in belief right.

Manseeb Khan : So I mean before I jump in to a little bit because you guys do have a ICO I think Jason might be a little bit better to go and a little bit of nitty gritty to that would mean you talked on the phone like you mentioned how like you haven't done podcasts like six months and how much you've grown I like how you guys the route you guys took is  so much more unconventional than the rest. Could you just like talk on that a little bit more and just give the audience and me because like I'm obviously very intrigued of like how you've too much deviated from  everybody else and kind of like built allow building this amazing company.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. I'll give you the highlight and then yeah Jason is just absolutely brilliant when most brilliant minds I've ever known. And he can he can tell you kind of the revolutionary tech side of it but in essence you know ICO is I know you're  surely aware of is you know raised the most amount of money and the least amount of time. Right that's the whole point. And so those ICOs tend to come in and go out within hours or days or weeks that no more than a couple months. But from the very beginning we decided that we were going to utilize that ICO and bring it to real people not a handful of millionaires or you know. A. Slightly larger group of people who do this all the time. We want a global community of real people like you and me who can put in up to five hundred dollars, a five-hundred-dollar cap on becoming a subscriber that you can get up to five hundred dollars invested, and it's become part of that ICO. And so, we know we need a time and what we did is we built our ICO out over a 26-trench schedule and each tranche which happens about every four weeks or when that tranche runs out a coin, we release the next tranche of coin and we are bringing. It up from a deeply discounted value that started at a penny. And at the end of twenty-six tranches when it goes public it will have reached a dollar. So. This has not been about getting as much money in the door as we can. This is about enlisting people in our belief of what we want to achieve and doing it globally. And we would love to reach up to a million global community people around the world by the end of that 26 tranche and that global community is. Is the success of travel coin. It's why we sit here now. In tranche 19 headed to tranche 20. So just six months away from the end of this ICO process and we have. Tens of thousands of people around the world who each hold a travel coin because they see the vision, they want to be a part of it. And it's been built so beautifully. So that's what I was referring to in the very beginning people just kind of shook their heads and said that's not how you do it. That's not how it works. And we were like Yeah, we know but. You know one of the issues in the world with digital currency and the countries that are pushing back against it is this fear of people losing everything they own. You know in a pump and dump or something like that and we wanted to do this with complete integrity and transparency and safety. No one's going to lose their hats at five hundred dollars per person. So that's really been the revolutionary approach and it's been really great after a year being able to say to people see it's working, and Jason saw you chime in because you built the system. I mean you're the brains behind it.

Jason Sosnowski: Yeah absolutely. When we started people were calling us crazy. They were saying how can you do this this is what an ICO is about. You know this isn't how it's supposed to happen, and we just like to reiterate what you said there Kate we just decided we're going to do things differently and be open and show everyone how they can be a part of it and that's that was the other point that you made. Kate that was really important to us where it's not about a few millionaires or a few whales getting in and doing a pump and dump or something like that and snapping up all of the assets or funding a specific project because they were big investors or something like that. It was about actually bringing others into the tank as well as into the community that we were building so and making it accessible. We've done that both by the ICO and through our corporate or corporate partners as well.

Kate Guimbellot: And that's been a big part of it. You know we very early on we connected with a company who became our first and is still our biggest and most supportive corporate sponsor someone who saw what we wanted to do. They were starting off themselves. There is a company called my travel biz. They're a global company. They're dedicated to travel. They are opening up the world through a travel product that they have, and they support us. They acquire travel coin and it gets awarded to their reps around the world and so that has helped to build that community as well. What it's done is one we've been able to take market share and get a name recognition literally around the world. So, we have subscribers in over 50 countries in the last year, but it's allowed us to go from that proof of concept and for a long time I talked about as being in proof of life you know as we existed through those first 12 months but now, we're able to talk about proof of success. So even before travel coin goes public the success and the adoption of it have allowed two really huge things for us and one it was a surprise. I'll get to that in a second, but the first thing is we've been able to develop out a merchant program because so imagine if you had been one of those people a year ago who got travel coin. Well great but now it's just sitting there you can't do anything with it. And that takes a lot of patience to wait twenty-six months before you can actually utilize something that you've invested in. And so, Jason built really a revolutionary secondary market where within our close community they were able to buy and sell trade basically their coin. So that was massive. So, it gave them a use if they wanted to trade some they could. The other thing that we that we've done though is we've built out a merchant program. So, I mentioned our corporate sponsor. We now have in excess of 30 companies that want to be involved in travel coin. And so as a merchant they subscribe which means they just sign up they get their electronic wallet and they're now selling their wares and their services in countries all over the world where if you're a travel coin holder you can go in and through our electronic wallet which Jason beautifully built he and his team you can not only get a discount on their product but they will accept a certain percentage of your payment in travel point. So, it's still a close community. It's not a public coin but that whole approach has been crazy. And that's something that is really only doable because of the way in which Jason built the system. And then secondary to that what it's allowed us to do is we've actually just recently launched our first public coin that did not go through an ICO process. It's called Travel coin plus and it's an open exchange right now. That was really that, I'm so jazzed about that I'm not going to steal Jason's thunder because he's got to tell you what makes this so different, but we could not have done travel coin plus had we not taken this slow and steady wins the race approach to travel coin. So, Jason you share what travel point plus looks like. That's I'm very proud of that.

Jason Sosnowski: You know everything you said is spot on travel coin plus is sort of the it's a different asset from travel coin and travel and plus is a publicly available sort of a traditional cryptocurrency where it's in the open market it's not through a. ICO it's available to anybody who wants to acquire it  we're on 2 exchanges at the moment and we're working with a number of others to be on the additional exchanges. But travel coin plus is a sort of a hybrid between a public and a private digital asset in that travel coin. We've launched a private block chain that solves a lot of the problems that are faced by traditional public walk chains, but we provide public access to it. And that's really a step in a really different direction because a purist maybe in the cryptocurrency space would say well that's not really a crypto currency because it's controlled in a secure environment and it's not fully decentralized in the traditional, the way we might traditionally think about it from a technical perspective where it's fully decentralized but the way that we govern travel coin Foundation. First off, we only trade if we have travel point plus which we do we only trade our travel point plus in a very transparent manner. So, we have an announcement. And if we're going to be selling travel coin plus. But we have a what is called a proof of authority network as opposed to a proof of work network. And if you've ever done a cryptocurrency transaction when there is a lot of transactions on the network say last year when I don't if you've ever heard of crypto kitties.

Manseeb Khan :  I know Crypto kitties very well.

Jason Sosnowski: Crypto kitties it virtually ground the ethereal network to a halt and that really exposed a massive issue with it's not just the Ethereum network but with all cryptocurrency with a lot of crypto currencies whereby especially powerful work ones where if that work happens and there's a lot of transactions and there's not a fast mechanism to verify those transactions. Then the cost goes up and you know at one point you know transactions were costing fifty dollars on  bitcoin at one point. And the sort of antithesis of the value of crypto currency if you think about it where I can move tens of thousands of dollars or you know virtually unlimited amount to value cross-border. Person to person anywhere in the world. Normally I can do it for pennies but all of a sudden bitcoin was costing 55 60 65 70 dollars to run a transaction. And that was that sort of defeats the purpose. So, travel coin plus we saw all of these issues’ transactions are slow. The number of transactions that can be processed per second and the cost of transaction and we launch the travel coin plus network it's a fully. Ethereum compatible network it actually runs on pure vanilla Ethereum. And the beauty of it is that it's proof of authority not proof of work. So, we have 10 sealer nodes and only those nodes can approve transactions and travel coin Foundation. We have those kinds of nodes and they're operating all over the world. And so far, I think we're almost out a million blocks actually that we that we've mined. Wow. Actually, sorry let me rephrase that it's not it's not mined its minted because we don't actually mine. Sorry it's seven hundred and seventeen thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight blocks right now but we don't mine blocks in a proof of authority network we mint them. So, we actually just produce those blocks and the sealer nodes that have authority they can verify a transaction and it's a random amongst those ten each time. So, it's super cool.

Kate Guimbellot: And it's green which is very important to us. The green technology side of it being a foundation in particular the idea of utilizing the amount of power it takes to power nodes when people are mining them. It's one of the reasons one of the other main reasons we went the way that we did with cloud minting.

Manseeb Khan : Cloud minting could you talk a little bit more about that because like this is this is a very interesting concept because you guys are going from minting for mining or you guys are sort of like proof its authority. I think like this is something like a concept that I think many people may want to look into it if not adapt so can you talk a little bit more on Cloud Minting.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah, I mean I'll give you sort of the marketing angle because I get the opportunity to travel around the world and tell people who don't understand any of its kind of what it is and then Jason can give you the teeth to it. But in essence you know for those you who haven't experienced it you know if you want to mind bitcoin for instance you've got to have the nodes you've got to. It takes an enormous amount of energy, I think. What is it in the US Jason's like six thousand dollars to mine one Bitcoin I think and in other countries it's up to twenty-seven thousand dollars’ worth of energy consumption to do that work in addition to the equipment and the fans because of the heat and all of that? So, we the people who come to us to become mentors don't have any about it's all through the cloud, so they don't have to have the equipment. They simply buy into it and then the coin every 10 seconds a percentage of coin is minted for them. Jason you want to fill in the blanks with the cool tech stuff?

Jason Sosnowski: That's about it. We've got our sealer nodes and we've got lots of other nodes and those sealer nodes they funnel transactions that are sealer nodes  seal them. The beauty of the system is that you don't need specialized equipment you don't need. You don't need a server farm, a room full of servers and specialized computers that asic miners that are  `running 24/7 competing for the authority to produce a transaction. You're on our network and your producing transactions those sealers will seal  those transactions for you, and they'll be added to our permanent block chain. The idea that you don't need all of that stuff also makes it more accessible to everyone around the world. You know  a normal person without a huge amount of technical knowledge can join our network and benefits of having a cryptocurrency and participate in using that new technology.

Kate Guimbellot: The important thing for us is you know see a need fill the need and then find partners. I've always said I want I don't want to be the smartest person in the room right. I want to have smart people around me all the time because they pull out the best and all of us. We feel the same way with our company. So even with that let's take travel coin plus. Right. Because I talked about travel coin. We have a merchant program and all of that travel coin plus we wanted to not only have to have it as a digital currency that goes out there goes on the open markets. But we wanted to give people a purpose for it. Like let me give you something that could really change your life. With this travel coin plus. So, we've actually partnered with a company called Crowd share club. And so, if you if you become a mentor of travel coin plus you get your node. You can take those travel coins and you can put them towards property ownership real estate which as you know is the number one best investment that you can make. But no one has the money to go to. Well for instance they have a project in Dubai. You can't go to Dubai and spend five hundred thousand dollars on this property you're selling. I mean I know I certainly can't. But what crowd share club is done, and they have now partnered with us to achieve. Are there crowd funding real estate projects? So now if you are someone who has travel coin plus we can give you a real-world application right now that will benefit you over the coming years over the coming decades and help build your portfolio where you can own a percentage of this. Amazing. It's called the world's Dubai. I don't know if you know about it, but they've reclaimed sea. You know they put land out there. They've made all these islands and they're getting ready to get things open for 2020. When they're celebrating their big celebration in Dubai. So, and there are other properties that they offer around the world. So that's you know our point is not just to give somebody a resource like a digital currency or whatever. We want actionable items. We want to help shift people's lives. Ordinary people who would have never been able to do that. Some guy who's working his tail off in Pakistan could never dream to be able to be a part owner in a in a hotel room in a suite in Dubai. But that's what as the foundation. That's what we want to do. And that's why the companies with whom we've connected ourselves as sponsors and as partners are all also revolutionary. I mean my travel biz and crowds share club and you can go onto our Web site and see all these opportunities and that's what we're going to continue to do is not just provide someone anyone can give you a digital currency. God knows there's plenty of them out there. we are doing this to allow people to change their lives in ways that they could never have conceived.

Manseeb Khan : Crowd sharing in the real estate space that's a topic that we've definitely covered on the show. I mean just the fact that people can be part owners or partial owners of property investments. I mean look we have like R2 investments a couple episodes back we're like they're helping people get in getting to commercial real estate which is even tougher right. Like owning a house is great but I try owning an office building or an entire plaza. Oh, and let and you're my age. Like I'm just a kid out of college I could never build a lot of wealth right.

Kate Guimbellot: Well I mean like just this property in Dubai for instance because everything that crowd share putting out there are really good solid. They already have yields right there we have rental yield numbers so they're able to say this is an established property not buying a slack of land that you're going to build on the one in Dubai is a guaranteed average 8 percent return for a guaranteed 12 years and it's unheard of. I only Dubai could do that. But that's exactly to your point. Someone your age right now could for a pretty low amount become a part owner in a project like that and then just go let it sit just let it  work for you over the next 10 to 20 years. It's an amazing opportunity.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. Let us know for sure. I mean I'm just going to switch gears here so if you go on the actual travel coin Web site there is a timeline of all the amazing projects that you've completed and a list of future projects that you have to look forward to. So, I mean you guys on some pretty big ones ahead of you, so I guess what some of the challenges are when it comes to you know like opening up free Wi-Fi and you know like opening up real estate opportunities for everyone.

Kate Guimbellot: Well you know I always like to say that you know how you eat an elephant right. One bite at a time. So yeah, we have some big elephants on there. I mean that loyalty point swap system I talked about that's massive. That's and that's not something we're going to achieve in the next year but it's something we just keep chipping away at. the Dow you know to have a voting opportunity for all of our subscribers is very important to us. Jason's made amazing strides on that with his team because we want travel coin holders to have a voice about where we go in the future and what we focus on next. So, what we're doing. You know we slow and steady wins the race we are funding already funding for free Wi-Fi. We have built out that secondary market. The Dow is almost done. We've taken the smallest baby steps in that loyalty point system. We've also introduced something called future travel program with that core partner. I mentioned my travel biz where we're going to begin to identify things like the Hyperloop. You know there are several countries in the world that are looking at how we change travel in the future and make it easier for people. We're going to continue to look for those sorts of programs that we can fund. So, it's yes there are things we're building ourselves internally. Like that loyalty points system and the Dow and things like that but our focus for the long term are our five-year 10-year 20-year plan which we've Already drafted out even before we began includes really finding those people that we can support right. We're not going to create a satellite system to bring free Wi-Fi to the world, but we can find the best of the best out there who are doing it and we can become a strategic partner for them and help achieve that thus feeding back into our main goal of making travel easier. So yeah we have a lot on that timeline and we have a lot that we have put on that timeline because I think I said so someone recently if I told you a year ago that one of the dreams of the foundation is to find companies that are going to revolutionize auto travel with flying cars people would have thought I was nuts. They will still think you're nuts. They do. But today it's a little less nut because I get a lot of articles about a lot of companies. Yeah but that's how far forward we're focused. You know we are going to help change travel we're going to open the world up to itself.

Manseeb Khan : I love that. So, I'm going to throw a question out to you guys. So aside from the incredible work that you guys are doing at the travel coin foundation what are you guys most excited about being in the cryptocurrency space or being in other areas.

Kate Guimbellot: Well I'm sure Jason's going to have some really cool stuff. I'll just say quickly the one of the things I look at week to week I love tapping into where block chain is being embraced where you see new digital currency being embraced. I'm really excited about the growth potential in my team for that and as evidenced by this week I got really jazzed because JP Morgan is the first US based bank that is actually going to launch a cryptocurrency to deal with a need within their system. I think that as we see legislation start to move especially in the U.S. and China where there so anti it, I'm getting really excited about the strides that the block chain and crypto are making in 2019 and just overall for the world. I think that's amazing the fact that Dubai is such a great example of block chain and how they're incorporating it into every aspect of their government I'm really jazzed about it. I think 2020 we're going to have a look back and see 2019 as a real pivotal time in both those industries. Jason how about you?

Jason Sosnowski: I agree 100 percent I think with You know as if it's been a really interesting few years in a crypto space with you know whether it's that situation that you mentioned with JP Morgan and Jim Diamond introducing their own crypto currency this is going to really shake up this space in terms of decentralized crypto currencies and what was interesting is even though they announced it the entire market there was almost no change in the entire market. And that says a lot about where crypto is today I think versus a year ago and where watching technology and cryptocurrency technology is going to be in another year or two years or five years because if a big bank know when the largest banks in the world JP Morgan can say hey we're launching our own crypto currency and the unregulated market who is known for being very skittish and reacting to everything literally doesn't react at all to it. I think that shows the strength and stability of that and then also shows that the world is now realizing hey this technology is here to change and that's transformative. And we're going to actually embrace it as opposed to fighting against it. I think that you know all the projects that we're working on as well. Next year we're going to see lots of other things and like you said there's so many things that aren't on that list that we have going on. It's a super exciting time.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah. You said you said a lot of your listeners are or all of your listeners are in the space some are younger folks who are just coming into it. Others are already in and looking for the next new thing is that. Did I say that right?

Manseeb Khan : Yes, you did.

Kate Guimbellot: So, I love this one Jason. Jason what do your geek out about Most right now in what's happening in the industry what's the what's the next new thing that that you're hearing about.

Jason Sosnowski: You know I really think that at the mainstream adoption there's this there's so many benefits of mainstream adoption whether it's you know whether it's actually making the actual business use case for it or the broader effects that it has on or the potential it has on products whether the strength it has for data and how we can have privacy and we can share our data in a secure way. You know one of the things that that I hear a lot about lately is block chain in say the medical space where here in Canada actually there's a number of projects going on in the healthcare space where you know records are being stored in a secure way on secure block change and you can share that data using your private token with only the people you want to. So even the nurse at that doctor's office that you're at can't see your file only that you're treating physician and they have to authorize access because they have that key shared with them. So, there's lots of you know this is the next step evolution. You know we have a we started this with bitcoin about 10 years ago just over 10 years ago now and it started it was really inefficient and we're seeing lots of benefit. We're seeing lots of efficiencies being made and now we're seeing mainstream adoption. This is like you can because it's the advancement of technology. You know this is what I love, I love pushing the boundaries and making it better and making it easier for people to use.

Kate Guimbellot: Yeah absolutely. You know that's actually one of the first times I've understood every single thing you've said when you talk about the stuff you're about. I have to say like whoa Jason I understand what that is. What do you mean?

Manseeb Khan : Oh yeah, I tried I tried to explain to a girl at a bar with security tokens or I was like oh the looks I got from my friends Oh man. The probably listening to this right now in the future belonged there. OK just give me that look like come on.

Jason Sosnowski: But what's really interesting about that is explaining a security token relatively easy compared to explaining maybe a utility token and then explaining the divide between the two of them.

Manseeb Khan : Oh yeah. And essentially how and like security token Okay. And then like a stable token it just oh my god you can just rabbit hole for hours the person you talk to kind of go look like you lost me three minutes like encrypt the what now. What computer do I need? What. I don't know what you’re talking about! So, I'll wrap this up so we'll be the best way for the audience that girl at the bar to contact you guys would it be through email would we through Snapchat, smoke signal. I mean what would be the best way?

Kate Guimbellot: You know the best thing really is to hop online and go to travel point Board and check us out there's a way to contact us there. We're a big presence in social media in particular on Facebook and you can find all of our contact information there as well. So yeah you just hop on and see what we’re doing and see if it aligns. The great thing is people can become subscribers without investing a thing you don't have to invest in travel coin. You can just sign up and stay in tune with what's going on over it travel coin foundation when we're doing something that really sparks a fire and you then join us, join us on this journey because it's for ordinary what I call ordinary extraordinary human beings we want we want to build this global community. And that's what we're doing. So yeah. Travelcoin.org

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

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The 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 ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

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Forbes | | Feb 4, 2019

This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S. 

Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S.

U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles.

Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.:

1. Stripe, $22.5 billion

Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses.

Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) launched Stripe in 2011

See:  Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019

2. Coinbase, $8 billion

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Photo credit: Bloomberg Finance LPMichael Short/Bloomberg

Expanding beyond its roots as a bitcoin wallet and retail exchange, Coinbase now offers cryptocurrency custody and professional and institutional trading platforms. Last year bought Earn.com, a service where users pay in bitcoin to contact experts via email, for a reported $100 million.

Cofounder & CEO: Brian Armstrong, 36, whose Coinbase holdings make him a billionaire

3. Robinhood, $5.6 billion

Broker offers commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and options through a mobile app. Robinhood Gold subscription service, starting at $6 per month, gives investors access to margin trading. Later this year the firm will take on the checking and savings market with a new cash management program.

Cofounders and co-CEOs: Stanford grads Baiju Bhatt, 34, a second-generation American with Indian parents, and Bulgarian-born Vlad Tenev, 32

4. Ripple, $5 billion

Its blockchain-based global settlements network aims to replace SWIFT, the interbank messaging platform that has long connected nearly every bank in the world. Also has a service that lets companies make cross-border payments in XRP, the cryptocurrency created by Ripple’s founders.

Cofounders: Jed McCaleb, 43; Chris Larsen, 58; and Arthur Britto

CEO: Brad Garlinghouse, 48, former AOL president

See:  Fintech Frenzy: Hype or Reality? A Closer Look at 6 Key Sectors

5. SoFi, $4.4 billion*

SoFi CEO Anthony Noto. Photo credit: Bloomberg Finance LPDavid Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Founded in 2011, SoFi started with online student loan refinancing and later branched into other services for affluent Millennials, including mortgages, robo-investing advice and life insurance.

CEO: Anthony Noto, 50, former Twitter COO

6. Credit Karma, $4 billion

Credit Karma cofounders (from left) Kenneth Lin, Nichole Mustard and Ryan Graciano. Photo credit: ForbesForbes

Offers its 85 million-plus “members” a growing suite of free services, including credit scores, tax-prep software, help fixing credit-report errors and alerts of new accounts opened in a user’s name. Credit Karma earns referral fees when users bite on the personalized offers for credit cards and loans it shows them.

Cofounders: CEO Kenneth Lin, 43; chief revenue officer Nichole Mustard, 45; CTO Ryan Graciano, 37

Continue to the full article --> here


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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The 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 ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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Using AI to Enrich the Customer Experience

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Grow Technologies | Jesse Penner | Jan 23, 2019

“Is AI going to replace us?”

This is a concern we hear most often – that service providers, like the financial institutions we work with, will end up being replaced by algorithms.

As I noted in the discussion “Pioneering Markets: Game Changing Tech Innovations Impacting Finance and Society” AI isn’t seeking to replace financial advisors whose guidance customers value. Rather, AI will augment and improve the overall value that the financial service provider is able to present.

The threat of tech giants like Amazon and Google and consumer focussed fintechs that are seeking to cut out financial institutions altogether means traditional banks will need to do more than offer marginal savings on fees to win the long-game.

See:  Designing a data transformation that delivers value right from the start

Their key differentiator will be a brand that people trust, and customer experience.

The benefits of AI applied to the banking experience don’t just apply to those customers on their mobile phones, but can provide greater insight to advisors in branch for a more effective banking relationship. AI is improving the customer experience by providing an overall more consistent, hyper-personalized omnichannel experience for every customer.

The Challenge

Financial institutions are well aware that different customer segments prefer different types of access and service – self-serve, in branch, on mobile, at home, one-to-one.

Irregardless of how they prefer to consume service whether it’s on mobile or on their laptop at home, 87% of banking customers still want advice and guidance from their bank.

Unfortunately, the industry is currently falling short of meeting those expectations. As digital adoption increases, customer satisfaction is dropping, and customer satisfaction is lowest among digital only segments. Today’s consumers want it all: digital self-service convenience and personal relationships.

Why it matters

In a recent report released by Kantar, customer experience leaders earned 1.9x greater wallet share than others and 1.9x greater level of recommendation. Additionally, customer experience leaders’ customers are 2.1x more willing to take up new products.

Improving customer experience isn’t just strategic lip service - it’s imperative for traditional banks to remain competitive. So how do financial institutions meet the challenge of human personalization in increasingly device and digital-driven services?

See:  Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters

Enter big data

The intersection of AI and financial technology is inevitable because it’s one of the areas AI can add the most value. Financial data, with everyone in Canada utilizing banking services in some way, presents a hugely detailed data set for learning. After all, without data sets and application that solves tangible problems, AI isn’t really doing much for anyone.

The opportunity we have here to make a material impact on people’s lives is significant.

Analysis and the AI insights driven by financial data can help answer questions like “Should I go back to school?” or “Would I be better off if I moved to Calgary?”

 

These are huge life decisions where the information that supports different choices are from disparate or unreliable, anecdotal sources.

Aggregating and analyzing financial data means a service provider could give informed, real-time advice based off more information gleaned in 5 seconds than they could learn in a decade of face to face meetings. That advice could be delivered in person or through a mobile phone depending on the customer’s preference.

Ultimately it’ll be the technology whose incentives aligns with the end user that will win out. By aligning with end users desire for success and need for guidance, banks and credit unions will retain the service-driven edge that many consumers expect and actually far exceed these expectations as their insights become smarter and more valuable. Banking customers will get the most out of their financial service providers, as opposed to more products.

See:

Enter open banking?

Given how quickly tech giants and consumer fintechs are moving in an effort to eat up market share, open banking could help level the playing field by enabling financial institutions to take advantage of product-focused fintechs who can offer immediate solutions and improve customer experience faster than they could do themselves. While banks and credit unions have the benefits of deep industry knowledge, trust and customer-centric services, taking advantage of the agility and niche skills of fintechs building AI applications will do more to ensure they not only survive, but flourish, as the financial landscape continues to evolve.

Jesse Penner is VP Product at Grow Technologies


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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The 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 ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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Dragons’ Den star’s startup secures another US$50-million in financing

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Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | Dec 18, 2018

Dragons' Den star Michele Romanow and her partner Andrew D’Souza have secured another US$50-million to grow their latest startup, Clearbanc, just weeks after announcing they had raised US$70-million to bankroll the financing provider for e-commerce firms.

Now, they are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars more to meet a surge in demand from online sellers looking for cheap alternatives to finance their growth.

“We see this as a pretty exciting next step,” said Ms. Romanow, president and co-founder of Clear Finance Technology Corp., which operates as Clearbanc. “I don’t think we expected this to come this quickly.”

Clearbanc fronts e-commerce entrepreneurs with money to pay for their online advertising in exchange for a small percentage of revenues that spending generates, until they repay the amount in full, plus a 6-per-cent premium. Customers do not have to provide personal guarantees, give up equity or submit to credit checks. Instead, they provide Clearbanc with access to business data from their online payment processors, their online advertising accounts and bank accounts.

Clearbanc’s software then crunches the data and assesses their unit economics in minutes, spitting out an automated financing offer based on the customer’s ability to repay. There are no fixed payment schedules, maturity dates, late penalties or collateral, and companies typically repay their obligations within six months. They also don’t have to give up a chunk of equity in their company to venture capital firms to fund their marketing spend. “I really believe if they do this right it will disrupt traditional venture capital,” said Rajen Ruparell, founder of online mattress company Endy Canada Inc. and a new member of Clearbanc’s board of directors.

On Nov. 12 the couple revealed their company had raised US$70-million from 12 U.S. and Canadian venture capital firms and had done 500 deals with e-commerce firms to date, providing US$100-million in total funding – partially drawn from the money it had raised. After that news broke, Clearbanc was inundated with applications from 1,000 more companies seeking US$1-billion in total capital. “We used up the initial allocation much faster than we expected and realized we needed additional capital,” said Mr. D’Souza, co-founder and chief executive.

See:  Canadian tech leaders form coalition advocating for new blockchain regulation

The couple told their investors they needed more capital, and fast. A principal at one of Clearbanc’s investors, New-York venture capital firm CoVenture, introduced them to Jason Finger, chairman of Upper90, a private equity firm and one of CoVenture’s backers. That was on Nov. 16. Seventeen days later, Upper90 closed on a deal to provide Clearbanc with the US$50-million.

Mr. Finger said New York-based Upper90, which is backed by individuals who have built businesses, was set up to provide “alternative capital” to tech firms that have struggled to raise money because conventional financiers “misunderstood” their opportunity.

“When we met with [Clearbanc] we felt the stars were aligned and we were ready to deploy quickly ... we saw that the revenue growth [Clearbanc’s financing business] was able to drive was extremely compelling. It made us confident we would be helping businesses in a positive way."

Mr. D’Souza said Upper90’s money will be used to create a US$50-million, two-year fund that will be separate from Clearbanc’s capital structure but which it will draw from to finance its e-commerce customers. Clearbanc will manage the fund, taking an upfront management fee plus a share of the returns the fund earns from financing Clearbanc’s customers. Mr. D’Souza says he expects to be able to deploy the money four times over the fund’s two-year life, meaning it will be used to provide about US$200-million worth of financing in total. He said another new Clearbanc director, Keri Findley, a former partner with Third Point Hedge Fund, helped develop the fund structure.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The 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 ...
Read More
Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
Read More
JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
Read More
Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
Read More
The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
Read More
SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
Read More
Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
Read More
Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
Read More
The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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Can You Use Bitcoin to Pay for Travel?

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When most people think of buying tickets for a flight, or making other travel-related purchases, they might reach into their wallet for their credit card. But did you know you might be able to pay with a form of digital cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital cryptocurrency that serves the same function as traditional currency, like US dollars. The main difference is that Bitcoin is not tied to any central bank, and is not regulated by a government body, thus offering a degree of anonymity to users.

The process for paying with Bitcoin is very similar to paying with a credit or debit card. If you’re purchasing online, you’ll simply select Bitcoin as your method of payment. You’ll then be redirected to a site like Coinbase, where you’ll follow the instructions to complete payment.

We’ll go through which travel sites accept Bitcoin, best practices when dealing with cryptocurrency, and some pros and cons of using digital currency to help you decide if it’s the right method of payment for you!

Where Can You Use Bitcoin for Travel Purchases?

Although Bitcoin has not yet gone back to its 2017 levels (at one point it had increased over 1,800% in value during the year), it has recently been back on the rise.  It’s still not as widely accepted at many retailers though, and it had a minor setback recently, with Expedia removing the ability to pay with Bitcoin from its website.

But there are still a number of other places that accept Bitcoin as a form of payment!

See:  TravelCoin Foundation - Unlock a World of Possibilities

Travel Agencies

If you’re looking for alternative travel agencies to book flights, hotels, or car rentals, there are several options you’ll have:

Airlines

You can book tickets directly with a few airlines that accept Bitcoin as payment:

  • Bitcoin.Travel – probably one of the more well-known travel sites, you can use your Bitcoin currency to book flights and hotels!  It was established in 2011 with the goal of creating the world’s largest and most trusted bitcoin travel site
  • eGifter.com – eGifter is an online gift card shop where you can use your bitcoins to purchase gift cards at over 250+ different retailers.  This includes gift cards for airlines like Southwest and American Airlines, which you can then redeem for airfare!
  • Gyft.com – Gyft is another website that allows you to purchase gift cards with bitcoin. The available options currently include over 200 retailers, including American Airlines, Delta, Hotels.com, and Southwest Airlines!
  • Far Eastern Air – This airline used to be the most used airline in Taiwan, and recently confirmed they will now accept Bitcoin as payment for over 20,000 of its flights
  • airBaltic – Considered by many to be one of the most innovative airlines, it’s no surprise that they were one of the first airlines to accept Bitcoin as payment for tickets to over 60 destinations in Europe, Russia, and the Middle East
  • FlyPeach – This is Japan’s first airline to accept payment in Bitcoin.  The airline is based out of Kansai International Airport in Osaka, and offers many flights in the North Asia region

Buses

  • eTravelSmart – If you’re looking to buy bus tickets for travel in India, this could be your ticket (no pun intended)!  With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to purchase tickets using this online bus ticket booking portal for over 80,000+ bus routes.  eTravelBus takes bitcoin payment using the Unocoin payment gateway, which is the equivalent of Coinbase in the US

Hotels

  • 9flats – This is a great option for those looking to book vacation rentals, apartments, or guest houses, and want to stick with Bitcoin

Airports

  • Denver International – If you’re in the Denver area and need to pay for parking at Top Airport Parking, you’ll be happy to know they also accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, in addition to other types of payment like cash and credit cards
  • Brisbane International – The world’s first crypto-friendly airport!  Travelers to this airport are able to use Bitcoin at various merchants

Tourism Spots

  • Caribbean Tourism Organization – There are plans to introduce cryptocurrency payments for tourism services in this region.  The organization is partnering with a local company to implement crypto-based merchant application in this industry

What Are Some Best Practices for Paying With Bitcoin?

With the run that Bitcoin had in increase in value last year, reaching a value of as much as over $17,000+ for 1 Bitcoin, you might have a lot of questions about how you can invest and pay using this cryptocurrency!  So here are a few tips to keep in mind!

Many major banks no longer allow you to purchase cryptocurrencies with their credit cards, but fortunately there are still plenty of other options.  You can still use debit cards, regular ACH transfers, and peer to peer platforms such as PayPal to purchase Bitcoin.  Each has their own pros and cons in terms of how quickly the transfer can be made, size of the transfer/purchase, and any applicable fees.

You’ll also want to ask yourself what your investment goals are.  For instance, are you looking to hold Bitcoin as a long-term investment, or are you looking for short-term gains?

See:  Global payments: Expansive growth, targeted opportunities

With something as volatile as Bitcoin, which could fluctuate wildly in value, you won’t want to invest anything you can’t afford to lose.  Regardless of the amount of hype, there’s never any guarantee of a positive return on this, or any investment.  Along these same lines, borrowing money to invest in Bitcoin could spell disaster for you, because not only is there no guaranteed return, you could actually end up losing money this way and still have to pay back the monies you originally borrowed.

You’ll also need to do your research and choose trusted wallets to store your cryptocurrency.  These wallets come in different hardware and software forms, such as apps on your phone, software on your computer, online storage, and physical hardware devices, similar to a USB thumb drive.  Make sure the company you’ll be storing your valuable Bitcoin with is reputable, and not something that will disappear overnight.

The same advice applies for when you are paying with Bitcoin and paying through a travel portal, for instance.  Doing a quick online search to see if a website is legitimate may save you a lot of headache in the future.  If you’re able to find a good number of positive reviews from others, then chances are it’s legitimate.  But if you’re not able to find any information on the website, then you should proceed with caution!

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


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

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NCFA Canada | Oct 5, 2018

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

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

Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host

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

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

 

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Transcription of Interview

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

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

Mathieu Glaude: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

End of Podcast

 

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


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Where to Find Startup Loans in 2018

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LendingArch | Lewis Mudrich | Oct 4, 2018

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

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

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

Startup financing loans

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

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

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

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

Microloans

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

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

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

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

Government financing

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

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

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

Credit cards

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

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

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

Crowdfunding

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

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

Family and friends

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

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

Small business loans from online lenders

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

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

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

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

See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance

Bottom line

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

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

 


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

Crowdfund Insider | Helena Murphy | Feb 20, 2019 The 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 ...
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Gender Bias Contributes to Blocking Female Founders Out of Investment & Venture Capital. We Need to Fix This.
NCFA Canada | Feb 15, 2019 EP25-Feb 15:  Unlock the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski About this episode:   On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host, Manseeb Khan sits down with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski from the TravelCoin Foundation. They chat about bringing Free Wi-Fi to the world, blockchain in medicine and how their ICO is different from the rest. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guests: KATE GUIMBELLOT, Executive Director, TravelCoin Foundation (LinkedIn) JASON SOSNOWSKI, CTO, TravelCoin Foundation (view) BIOGRAPHIES: Kate Guimbellot has enjoyed 20+ years as a successful top executive by blending her business acumen, vision and passion to build inspired teams and deliver exceptional results. Having served as an Executive Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in a variety of industries, she possesses the skills to inspire continued growth in fundraising, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness. As an organizer, speaker and lifelong philanthropist, Kate believes that our purpose in life is to leave behind a deposit, not a withdrawal. Building TravelCoin Foundation since the Spring of 2017 has led to the phenomenal success of TravelCoin, a revolutionary ICO offering that goes public at the end of 2019. The ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP25-Feb 15):  Unlocking the World with Kate Guimbellot and Jason Sosnowski of TravelCoin Foundation
CNBC | Hugh Son | Feb 14, 2019 The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here — and it's from J.P. Morgan Chase. Engineers at the lender have created the "JPM Coin," a digital token that will be used to instantly settle transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business. Only a tiny fraction of payments will initially be transmitted using the cryptocurrency, but the trial represents the first real-world use of a digital coin by a major U.S. bank. While J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon has bashed bitcoin as a "fraud," the bank chief and his managers have consistently said blockchain and regulated digital currencies held promise. The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called "JPM Coin," the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. See:  Do Banks Even Want to Go Blockchain? J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in which parts of the essential underpinning of global capitalism, from cross-border payments to corporate debt issuance, ...
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JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business
Forbes | Alejandro Cremades | Aug 2018 Is debt or equity fundraising smarter for startups? There is more than one way to fund a new business venture and fuel its growth. For almost all, it is going to require bringing in outside money at some point. Even if that is only to multiply what is working or to create a source of emergency capital. The two primary options are to either leverage business debt financing or fundraise for equity investors. Each method can carry its own pros and cons. It is vital for entrepreneurs not to blindly follow the herd just “because everyone else is doing it.” Discover which is best for you, at your stage in business, and stack the most advantages in your corner. Once you have decided the course of action and have a lead investor covering at least 20% of your financing round you would typically also include in the pitch deck the form of financing in which you are raising the capital. I recently covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted. Debt Financing We’re all familiar with debt. At ...
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Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs
Financial Post | James McLeod | Feb 9, 2019 The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister gives the Financial Post an early look at Ottawa’s report card on innovation that will be released next week Navdeep Bains wants Canadians to know that things are happening. Lots of things. The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister has a big job on his hands, hauling Canada’s economy into the 21st century by embracing artificial intelligence and a panoply of digital technologies to boost productivity and keep us globally competitive. But the federal government’s innovation agenda is still very much a work in progress. One of its pillars, the five marquee superclusters spaced evenly across the country, is mostly just an idea at this point, although $950 million in funding is beginning to flow. Does Canada feel more innovative than it did four years ago? Are we future-proofing our economy and seizing the jobs of tomorrow? Bains certainly thinks so and that belief will probably be part of the Liberal’s pitch to voters when the country goes to the polls later this year. Next week, he will release a 100-page government report called Building a Nation of Innovators that mostly serves as a ...
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The race to future-proof the economy: Navdeep Bains on the state of innovation in Canada
Modern Consensus | Leo Jakobson, February 4, 2019 Move is latest series of steps by regulator to bring clarity and less confrontational approach to regulations enforcement The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know if the technology to help it monitor major cryptocurrency blockchains for risk and regulatory compliance issues exists. The SEC is not looking to buy big data analytics tools at this time, but characterizes its interest as “conducting market research to determine the availability and technical capability,” of the tools presently available on the market, it announced in a notice on Jan. 31 What the SEC wants to know about is the “ability to provide the requested data but also an overview of the processes used to extract the data, convert the data into a reviewable format, and the verification steps to ensure there is no loss in data completeness and accuracy due to the data transformation tools and processes applied.” The software it wants would also make the data easy for SEC staff to read and understand on an ongoing basis, and would provide insights about that data—notably identifying who the data belongs to—as well as a way of ensuring the data is accurate and ...
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SEC wants big data tools for monitoring and enforcing cryptocurrency market compliance
NCFA Canada | Feb 8, 2019 Ep24-Feb 8:  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton About this episode:  On this Episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Daryl Hatton the CEO of Connection Point. They chatted about microprojects, saving little girls and puppies and how to get hooked on Philanthropy. Enjoy! Focus on value and avoid the complicated terminology when growing new innovative markets Branding customer segment-focused funding products, white labeling collaborative uses cases Crowdfunding for good at the intersection of technology, people and impact Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: DARYL HATTON, Founder and CEO, ConnectionPoint / FundRazr (linkedin) BIO:  Daryl Hatton, CEO of award winning international crowdfunding company FundRazr and of the innovative sponsored crowdfunding company Sponsifi has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. He actively serves as board member or advisor to handfuls of other hot companies in Canada. In addition, he is a Director and Crowdfunding Ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. As a social media guy and frequent public speaker, his Twitter tagline includes words like “#KingOfGastown, entrepreneur, cardiac survivor, foodie, whisky nut, philosopher, mentor, father and friend.” * Senior Business and Technology ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP24-Feb 8):  Re-imagining Philanthropy with Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of ConnectionPoint/FundRazr
Forbes | Michael del Castillo | Feb 4, 2019 It’s a balmy 80 degrees on a mid-December day in Singapore, and something is puzzling Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist. Using the tools he has developed at Google, he can see a mysterious concerted usage of artificial intelligence on the blockchain for Ethereum. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency (after bitcoin and XRP), and it still sports a market cap of some $11 billion despite losing 83% of its value in 2018. Peering into its blockchain—the distributed database of transactions underpinning the cryptocurrency—Day detects a “whole bunch” of “autonomous agents” moving funds around “in an automated fashion.” While he doesn’t yet know who has created the AI, he suspects they could be the agents of cryptocurrency exchanges trading among themselves in order to artificially inflate ether’s price. “It’s not really just single agents doing things on their own,” Day says from Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. “They’re forming with other agents to have some larger group effect.” Day’s official title is senior developer advocate for Google Cloud, but he describes his role as “customer zero” for the company’s cloud computing efforts. As such it’s his job to anticipate demand before a product ...
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Navigating Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP: How Google Is Quietly Making Blockchains Searchable
Bloomberg | Doug Alexander | Feb 4, 2019 Without digital keys, clients lose access to coins, funds Board said last week that it was seeking creditor protection Digital-asset exchange Quadriga CX has a $200 million problem with no obvious solution -- just the latest cautionary tale in the unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. The online startup can’t retrieve about C$190 million ($145 million) in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and other digital tokens held for its customers, according to court documents filed Jan. 31 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nor can Vancouver-based Quadriga CX pay the C$70 million in cash they’re owed. Access to Quadriga CX’s digital “wallets” -- an application that stores the keys to send and receive cryptocurrencies -- appears to have been lost with the passing of Quadriga CX Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cotten, who died Dec. 9 in India from complications of Crohn’s disease. He was 30. Cotten was always conscious about security -- the laptop, email addresses and messaging system he used to run the 5-year-old business were encrypted, according to an affidavit from his widow, Jennifer Robertson. He took sole responsibility for the handling of funds and coins and the banking and accounting side of the business and, ...
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Crypto CEO Dies Holding Only Passwords That Can Unlock Millions in Customer Coins
Forbes | Jeff Kauflin | Feb 4, 2019 This article was updated on 2/4/19 to include Ripple, the fourth-most valuable private fintech company in the U.S.  Financial technology startups continue to attract a growing amount of attention and capital. In 2018, valuations of the biggest private companies bulged, and at least six new fintech unicorns were minted in the U.S. U.S. fintechs raised $12.4 billion in funding, or 43% more than 2017, reports CB Insights. That growth outpaced the 30% increase in venture investments across the entire U.S. market. And fintechs will need those dollars—they tend to burn about two to three times as much cash compared with other startups, according to an analysis by Brex, likely due to factors like regulatory hurdles. Here are the 10 most valuable private, venture-backed fintechs in the U.S.: 1. Stripe, $22.5 billion Originally a service to help small online sellers process payments, today Stripe serves tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, too. In 2018 the company announced three new high-profile products, including credit card issuing technology, point-of-sale software and a billing platform for subscription businesses. Cofounders: CEO Patrick Collison, 30, and president John Collison, 28. Irish-born brothers, dropouts from MIT (Patrick) and Harvard (John) ...
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The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019

 

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