NCFAs innovation and funding ecosystem

Category Archives: Fintech Services

First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut Tuesday

MarketWatch | Mark DeCambre | Oct 18, 2021

ProShares bitcoin ETF approved in US - First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut TuesdayProShares looked set to offer the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund, marking a major milestone in the crypto sector as digital assets gain greater mainstream adoption.

The fund provider submitted an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for a bitcoin futures ETF that set the table for a launch soon, said Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, in a phone interview.

See:  Bitcoin ETF option gives investors a safer and liquid way to get exposure

The filing for the Bitcoin Strategy ETF points to a rollout of the fund on Tuesday. The new ETF would end a yearslong push for a approval of a bitcoin ETF that started back in 2013 and has seen scores of applications rejected by the SEC.

Anticipation had been building for a bitcoin futures ETF after SEC Chairman Gary Gensler earlier this year said he supported such a structure, which he argues offers more investor protections than an ETF that is tied directly to physical bitcoin.

Bitcoin has seen its price surge in anticipation of the ETF, with the value of the world’s No. 1 crypto above $61,000 up 7.1%, in anticipation of a bitcoin ETF.

Some bitcoin professionals have made the case that using futures contracts for an ETF, rather than using bitcoin directly, confers additional costs to the end user, which could be mitigated by using the spot market. Futures are derivatives that are designed to allow investors to gain exposure to a commodity without owning it outright. However, futures contracts roll monthly, or expire, and must be repurchased, which can add to costs in administering the fund, which, in turn, are passed on to end users.

See:  Cathie Wood’s Ark grants itself power to buy Canadian Bitcoin ETFs

The ticker symbol for the ProShares offering is set to be “BITO” and the fund carries and expense ratio of 0.95%, which means that it will cost $9.50 annually for every $1,000 invested.

On top of the costs, futures don’t always track the underlying asset accurately.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut Tuesday 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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MintGreen to make North Vancouver world’s first city heated by bitcoin

Vancouver Tech Journal | William Johnson | Oct 14, 2021

mintgreen leadersrhip team 1 - MintGreen to make North Vancouver world’s first city heated by bitcoin

Bitcoin mining company MintGreen to deliver innovative low-carbon mining waste solution to heat City of North Vancouver.

As part of an effort to reduce its urban carbon footprint, the City of North Vancouver and Lonsdale Energy Corporation (LEC), its district energy utility, will be introducing a novel heat source to their district energy system. MintGreen, a Burnaby-based cleantech cryptocurrency miner, will be working with LEC to provide heat to North Vancouver from bitcoin mining.

How will this work?

Bitcoin mining facilities produce significant amounts of heat, which until recently, would have been considered an undesirable output. To combat this, miners have gone so far as to invest in venting and cooling infrastructure to remove this heat. MintGreen, however, has built a proprietary solution to capture this heat and sell it to buyers of heat

See:  El Salvador taps renewable energy from volcanoes to start mining bitcoin

MintGreen calls this tech their “Digital Boilers” and says it can recover more than 96% of the electricity used for bitcoin mining in the form of heat energy that can be used to sustainably heat communities and service industrial processes. Because cryptocurrency miners run at full capacity 365 days a year, this creates a unique opportunity to provide a reliable and clean heating baseload for North Vancouver's district energy system.

“Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for LEC, in that it's an innovative and cost-competitive project, and it reinforces the journey LEC is on to support the City's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Lonsdale Energy Corporation CEO, Karsten Veng, in a statement.

A partnership two and a half years in the making

The partnership didn't happen overnight. In fact, MintGreen has been working with LEC for nearly three years, according to MintGreen CEO Colin Sullivan, who spoke to Vancouver Tech Journal over the phone. “When we were sort of in our proof of concept phases, we did a bunch of cold calls for district energy companies,” said Sullivan, and LEC picked up.

LEC had certain demands related to temperature thresholds and other hardware considerations — and MintGreen essentially built their product to meet them. “That was kind of the technical challenge that we had to deal with, so you know, flash forward, two years later, and we have an MOU,” Sullivan explained.

See:  How blockchain and cryptocurrencies can help build a greener future

“It’s really exciting,” he added.” I mean, I feel like we have a very exciting opportunity to sort of go against the narrative of ‘excessive consumption of bitcoin.’ In our work, we're contractually obligated to provide 96% of our energy in the form of heat. We think we can do better than that.”

The deal with North Vancouver comes nearly half a year after MintGreen closed its seed round, a USD$2.5 million injection of cash which valued the company at USD$25 million. The round was led by Nelson Investments and CoinShares, as well as a dozen more of MintGreen’s pre-seed investors.

MintGreen has already deployed its tech on a smaller scale, including with Campbell River’s Shelter Point Distillery (which interestingly, has also taken in funding from Nelson Investments). Now the firm gets to operationalize its innovation on a much larger platform.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - MintGreen to make North Vancouver world’s first city heated by bitcoin 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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Amidst Regulatory Controversy Binance Launches $1 Billion Crypto Fund

Decrypt | Scott Chipolina | Oct 12, 2021

Binance background - Amidst Regulatory Controversy Binance Launches $1 Billion Crypto FundCrypto exchange Binance has launched a $1 billion growth fund to spur on the adoption of blockchain technology, as well as to support the Binance Smart Chain blockchain itself.

“With the $1 billion initiative, our focus will be widened to building cross-chain and multi-chain infrastructures integrated with different types of blockchains”

Gwendolyn Regina, investment director of the Binance Smart Chain Accelerator Fund reportedly said in a statement.

Approximately half of the funds will go to blockchain services, as well as other, more niche areas of the crypto world such as gaming and virtual reality.

See:  Binance: The low-down on the drama-ridden crypto exchange

In addition, about $300 million will reportedly go to a builder program, and another $100 million will go to talent development and liquidity incentives. Liquidity incentives in this context suggest the fund will provide additional bonuses to crypto platforms. Increased yields for a limited time on decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms has been one example of this.

News of the fund comes amid a long and drawn-out period of regulatory controversy for Binance.

It’s been a difficult few months for Binance, as the exchange has raised the ire of financial services regulators around the world.

Regulators in the UK, Italy, Malaysia, the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Holland, South Africa, and Japan have all addressed the exchange’s apparent regulatory shortcomings.

In Holland and Japan, the Dutch Central Bank and the Financial Services Agency issued consumer warnings about Binance. In Italy and the Cayman Islands, regulators said Binance is not licensed to do business in their respective countries.

Read:  Binance Under the Microscope: Former FBI Agent Discusses Possible Investigation of World’s Largest Crypto Exchange

“We have come to realize that we need a centralized entity to work well with regulators,” Zhao said last month.

The Malaysia Securities Commission went as far as to take enforcement action against Binance for allegedly operating illegally in the country.

Singapore—where CZ lives—said Binance is not currently licensed, but recently told Decrypt an application was ongoing. Last month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore placed Binance on an Investor Alert List.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Amidst Regulatory Controversy Binance Launches $1 Billion Crypto Fund 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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Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin

ComplianceX | Jack J. Kelly | Oct 13, 2021

Miami - Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin

Miami will advance a plan to pay city workers in bitcoin, Mayor Francis Suarez told Bloomberg on Tuesday, expanding on his push to make the Florida city a major hub for digital assets.

“We’re going for a request for proposal in October to allow our employees to get paid in bitcoin, to allow our residents to pay for fees in bitcoin and even taxes potentially in bitcoin if the county allows it,” Suarez said in an interview with the business channel.

A formal solicitation would come after the city commissioners in February backed his resolution to direct the city manager to procure a vendor to offer employees the ability to receive a percentage of their salary in bitcoin.

See:  Miami’s mayor says MiamiCoin generated over $5 million USD for the city in the last 30 days

At the time, bitcoin traded close to $48,000, then hit an all-time high of $64,804.72 in April, fell below $30,000 in July, and recently reclaimed the $55,000 mark.

Despite the price volatility, Suarez also wants the state of Florida to allow Miami to hold bitcoin on its balance sheet. Statutes at the state and federal levels currently don’t allow cryptocurrencies to be owned by municipalities.

“It’s a major priority for me because I want us to differentiate ourselves as the crypto capital of the United States or of the world,” Suarez told Bloomberg Tuesday.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin 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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Finliti Delivers Personalized Financial Insights Using the Power of Psychometrics

Finliti | Jennifer Schell and Dr. Stefano Di Domenico | Oct 13, 2021

Finliti delivers personalized financial insights - Finliti Delivers Personalized Financial Insights Using the Power of Psychometrics

Harnessing information and channelling its energy to improve people’s financial activities is the very essence of FinTech. The promise is to thrust traditional financial services—banking, insurance, and investment management—into cyberspace where they can be reimagined and elaborated by mobile software to add both capability and fluidity to people’s lives. This frontier of possibilities also brings new challenges to the forefront: With more people carrying their investment portfolios on their mobile devices, FinTech is asked to deliver high-quality, customized financial guidance wherever and whenever people want it.

Finliti is ready to meet this challenge. Our goal is to engage with investors in the ways that are most personally meaningful and helpful for them. We believe that investing should be as fun and immersive or as serious and disciplined as investors desire. We believe in financial inclusion—that every investor, no matter their experience or the size of their portfolio, deserves access to personalized financial advice. And most of all, we believe that all investors deserve the opportunity to earn good returns and meet their financial objectives.

See:  The Trading Game

This is why we developed the Finliti Investor Profile Indicator (FIPI), a rigorously developed psychometric assessment and interactive feedback platform that helps investors understand how they allocate attention, make decisions, and react to important market events. The FIPI was developed by starting with the recognition that each investor is unique.

We’ve all heard it before: Some investors are more risk averse than others. True! But have you ever pondered the fact that some investors are more intellectually curious and enthusiastic than others? That some investors more readily defer to the advice of others? And that some investors are dangerously overconfident? More to the point: Did you know that these investor characteristics are as important as risk aversion? These are real emotional and behavioral tendencies that define the investor experience. For too long, they have been difficult to measure and frequently overlooked. Until now... The FIPI unlocks investors’ self-knowledge and transforms those self-insights into a more optimal investing experience and motivation for long-term success.

The FIPI is the culmination of considerable research and development. It was developed using a painstaking, “bottom-up” approach that probed over 250 different beliefs, preferences, emotional experiences, and behavioral tendencies that are common to self-directed investors. From this long list, we distilled four personality traits using advanced psychometric tools: Zeal, Inhibition, Conventionality, and Swag. These traits can be used to comprehensively describe the psychological individuality of investors.

  • Zealous investors tend to be enthusiastic and can become overly excited and sometimes even carried away by new opportunities;
  • Inhibited investors tend to be risk-averse, easily lose confidence, and often feel intimidated by the stock market;
  • Conventional investors more readily follow the advice of others, they trust “the experts”;
  • Swaggy investors tend to believe they know more about investing than they actually do and that they are immune to experiencing negative financial events.

See:  How to get into investing with ‘no’ money

These FIPI traits characterize the psychological landscape of self-directed investors. Our research shows that the FIPI traits are reliably related to key demographic variables like age and level of education, differentially related to economic and financial knowledge, and predict financial behaviors and consequential outcomes like the amount of trades that investors execute, their levels of decision paralysis, and their degree of impulsive decision making. We presented some of this research at the 7th Biennial Meeting of the Association for Research in Personality, which took place in June, 2021.

Curious? Try our Discovery Survey for FREE! It’s a miniature FIPI, powered by the same psychometric insights but delivered in abbreviated form. It will give you a broad overview of your investing personality that is equal parts informative and playful.

The complete FIPI feedback expands on the micro-version.  The feedback is longer, more detailed, and offers many actionable insights. It is reference material that - with the passage of time - may aid in the development of deeper self-understanding each time it is read anew. It provides an objective viewpoint from which investors can learn about their strengths, identify their blind spots, and evaluate the way they make investment-related decisions.

The goal isn’t to change investors’ personalities. Rather, the purpose of FIPI’s feedback is to help investors become more mindful of their emotional tendencies so that they can more easily stay focused and rationally pursue their investment goals. For example, Zealous investors are reminded about their tendencies to bullishly rush into new positions; Inhibited investors are reminded that risks may be necessary to meet their objectives; Conventional investors are encouraged to crystallize their own opinions so that they can hold their positions with more conviction; and Swaggy investors are encouraged to learn. The feedback is personal. The platform is interactive. The insights are real.

Investors want high-quality, personalized insight and they want to be able to access it 24/7. The power of psychometrics can be harnessed to deliver this more optimal experience. So take a moment and give our Discovery Survey a try.

finliti article header image new small - Finliti Delivers Personalized Financial Insights Using the Power of Psychometrics

About the Authors

Jennifer Schell

Jennifer Schell is the founder and CEO of Finliti that she built to help investors make informed and impactful investment decisions to enrich their lives by achieving their financial goals. Her career spans over fifteen years across Canada’s major financial institutions, where she’s been passionate about wealth management and helping her clients align effective stock market strategies with their core values. (LinkedIn)

Dr. Stefano Di Domenico

Dr. Di Domenico is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where he teaches personality and neuroscience. He has published dozens of articles, advancing the modern understanding of motivation, personality, and decision making. His current research focus is behavioral finance and FinTech. He serves on Finliti’s advisory board.  (LinkedIn)

 


NCFA Fintech Confidential Issue 4 250 - Finliti Delivers Personalized Financial Insights Using the Power of Psychometrics

This article is featured in NCFA's digital magazine, Fintech Confidential (Issue 4 Oct 2021). Click to read the latest thought leadership, insights and trends about Fintech in Canada:

Checkout NCFA's digital magazine, Fintech Confidential (Issue 4) --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Finliti Delivers Personalized Financial Insights Using the Power of Psychometrics 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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Are the new carbon offset ETFs too simplistic of a solution?

Investment Executive | Mark Burgess | Oct 12, 2021

what is a carbon offset - Are the new carbon offset ETFs too simplistic of a solution?Some advocates of responsible investing say the focus should be on reducing emissions in the first place

As more clients take interest in environmentally friendly investments, providers of new products are buying credits to offset the greenhouse-gas emissions of companies held in their portfolios.

While carbon offsets play a role in reaching net-zero emissions targets, some advocates of responsible investing say focusing on offsets rather than reductions may be a “simplistic” solution.

See:  Rise by Barclays Insights Report: Climate Fintech

Toronto-based Evolve Funds Group Inc., Ninepoint Partners LP and Purpose Investments Inc. have launched ETFs in recent months that offset their holdings’ carbon emissions. Evolve’s funds use broad indexes as a starting point, Purpose’s ETF is focused on clean energy companies and Ninepoint seeks to offset emissions related to its investments in Bitcoin.

The ETFs use third-party data providers to determine the carbon footprints of their portfolios. Then, the funds purchase credits for certified carbon offset projects to counter emissions and subsequently retire those credits (i.e., remove them permanently from the market). The cost of purchasing the offsets is included in fund fees.

Evolve president and CEO Raj Lala said carbon offsets are an alternative to more complex environmental, social and governance (ESG) screening methods that sometimes leave investors “scratching their heads.”

There are no standards for what constitutes an ESG or sustainable fund, which has led to accusations of “greenwashing” or attaching an environmentally friendly label to a fund that doesn’t live up to the billing.

See:  Can Blockchain Solutions Unlock Capital to Fix Our Planet?

Investors can be confused or disappointed when they purchase an ESG ETF that turns out to have a major oil company among its top holdings, for example.

As of September 2021, the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index showed that Bitcoin activities consume about 97 terawatt-hours of electricity annually — more than the Philippines does. Tapscott said that roughly half of the energy used in Bitcoin mining is from renewables, “but half of a big number is still a big number.”

Marie-Justine Labelle, head of responsible investment with Desjardins Investments Inc., called offsets

“a simplistic solution to what is a very complex issue. It removes the onus on the investing companies to take ownership of their carbon-reduction journey.”

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Are the new carbon offset ETFs too simplistic of a solution? 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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VCs are becoming modern-day investment banks

Sifted | Nicolas Colin | Oct 13, 2021

funding continues to evolve - VCs are becoming modern-day investment banksThese days, a closely watched phenomenon is the growth and diversification of Andreessen Horowitz, one of the most prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Not only is it hiring new partners and employees by the dozens, but it is also expanding its approach to the market, going well beyond the usual artisanal approach of early-day venture capitalists.

For a long time, such firms would simply sign a cheque in exchange for equity at a given stage — whether seed or Series A or beyond. Now some of them are doing much more than that: investing across various stages, exploring new geographies and designing new financial instruments to adjust their offering to the specific needs of startups in sectors such as crypto, real estate, healthcare, financial services and others. It makes sense because, more often than not, startups now need more than just equity: they also need debt financing, working capital, structured financial products, access to specific counterparties and more.

See:  European Government Funds May Get Distributed by European Crowdfunding Platforms

If we look a bit more broadly, we see that this model already exists: it’s called an investment bank! Financial behemoths such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan effectively act as one-stop shops for their clients. They provide equity capital, debt capital, asset management, liquidity, sophisticated risk management, market research and opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.

If a single firm can do it all for its clients, then there are economies of scale on both sides. The more capital providers you’re connected with, the more you can tailor your offer to your clients’ specific needs. In the other direction, the more clients you have, the more you can market your portfolio of opportunities to those who can provide capital. And you can already spot these networks at work in the tech world.

It is logical, then, that the most successful VC firms are slowly morphing into a new breed of investment banks — gatekeepers of the capital markets for tech startups and tech companies.

“The most successful VC firms are morphing into a new breed of investment banks — gatekeepers of the capital markets for tech startups”

What today’s startups need

Compared to the tech businesses of the past, today’s startups do have more diverse needs. For example, the rise of revenue-based financing, dominated by the likes of Pipe, Capchase, and Uplift1, has made startups offering SaaS products realise that they could fund part of their endeavour with non-dilutive debt capital rather than costly equity capital. Could the same investment firm provide the equity capital to kickstart the venture and then the debt capital to fund its growth once revenue flows? American VC General Catalyst sure thinks so.

Read:  Doug Ellenoff on US Reg CF Increasing Issuer Caps to $5 million: Investment Crowdfunding Will Challenge Traditional Venture Capital

On the other hand, those with capital on their hands feel that technology is where you can enjoy outsized returns over the long term; therefore, they’re seeking more exposure. As they realise it’s not always easy to access the best deals, maybe they’ll start thinking about trusting an investment bank with large amounts of money to be deployed across its client portfolio to generate the best returns.

It is no coincidence, then, that indexing, a concept long confined to the stock market, is becoming more visible in venture capital (see John Luttig here, and Tomasz Tunguz here). Instead of chasing a few deals a year, just trust a large, established firm with your money and let it index it on the entire tech market! A traditional VC firm can’t do that, but an investment bank does.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - VCs are becoming modern-day investment banks 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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