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Category Archives: Fintech Services

With Cyberattacks on the Rise, Revolut Explains why Cyber Insurance is Necessary

Crowdfund Insider | | Feb 1, 2021

cyber insurance - With Cyberattacks on the Rise, Revolut Explains why Cyber Insurance is NecessaryPublic liability, professional indemnity and employers liability are no longer adequate when it comes to protecting your company or business. But there are certain covers available that could secure your company further, according to a blog post published by Revolut.

The leading digital banking platform has teamed up with Superscript in order to provide flexible, “customizable” business insurance that can keep up with “modern-day risks.”

Nearly every business now depends on the Internet, and has a lot to lose if their IT systems go down or critical data is lost — but still, 82% of these companies do not have cyber insurance, Revolut revealed. The banking challenger noted that a “widely misjudged perception of the risk may be in part to blame.” Revolut’s blog post pointed out that “worryingly, a survey conducted by Gallagher found that over 80% of small businesses didn’t believe they were at risk of being targeted by a cyber attack.”

See:  Revolut and Chubb Team Up to Provide Insurance Options to Fintech’s customers

In reality, however, cyberattacks are underway “all the time” and may potentially have “devastating consequences for any business,” the digital bank noted. Estimations have revealed that the United Kingdom’s small businesses are “collectively subject to almost 10,000 cyber attacks each day.”

While the cybersecurity industry continues to expand, there’s plenty of software currently available to help users protect their financial data and IT systems. However, the Revolut team claims that it’s “impossible to be 100% safe.” They added that “what’s more, with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices becoming increasingly prevalent – expected to increase from 31 billion in 2020 to 75 billion in 2025 – it’s hard to keep track of and protect against potential security flaws.” They also mentioned that “to add to this, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error.”

Revolut’s blog further noted:

“So, while businesses invest in technologies, and most IT teams plan to spend more on cybersecurity measures, insurance is often an oversight. But the impact of a cyber attack and subsequent data breach can be far-reaching. From losing the ability to operate to reputational damage and regulatory penalties, cyber attacks can be brutal for even the most well-resourced businesses to recover from.”

A cyberattack can be described as an Internet-based attack carried out via computers against other PCs or networks. They are performed so that computer systems are disabled, or they may be carried out to steal data, and/or gain access to other computers or networks.

See:  Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators and Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations announce Fintech/Insurtech Advisory Hub

The main goals of these cyberattacks are “usually financially motivated, although sometimes it may be motivated by espionage,” the blog from Revolut explained. It pointed out that the methods used to conduct cyberattacks can vary greatly, and include: denial-of-services (DoS) attacks, malware, phishing, and ransomware.

The Revolut team also mentioned:

“Hackers may use a combination of … techniques to maximize the attack’s efficiency. One thing that isn’t well understood is that hackers also use people to get the job done. By manipulating you or your employees, hackers can get inside your network and wreak havoc. Social engineering — where a hacker manipulates an employee by posing as another colleague (usually someone senior) to steal either money or data — is one of the leading causes of successful cyber attack insurance claims.”

Although larger companies are quite likely to have cybersecurity professionals on their teams,  who are responsible for regularly monitoring and addressing problems, smaller firms are less likely to have adequate resources to perform these checks.

Revolut’s blog post questions or asks what businesses would do if they fall victim to a cyber attack and can’t operate their IT systems or website. Revolut claims that cyber insurance can offer “specialist technical support to help you quickly get things up and running.”

See:  Here is why InsurTech is heating up as an investment category

The digital bank added:

“Understanding what constitutes a GDPR violation has been a challenge for businesses of all sizes.  However, not all GDPR penalties and fines are quite as costly as the reported €20 million fine.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - With Cyberattacks on the Rise, Revolut Explains why Cyber Insurance is Necessary 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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Canadian Regulators Green Light World’s First Bitcoin ETF for Retail Investors

Bloomberg Canada | Olivia Raimonde and Claire Ballentine | Feb 12, 2021

Bitcoin ETF banner - Canadian Regulators Green Light World's First Bitcoin ETF for Retail Investors

Purpose Investments Inc. said Canadian securities regulators have cleared the launch of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, making it the first to gain regulatory approval in North America.

The fund is designed to provide investors with exposure to the world’s largest cryptocurrency by investing directly in physically settled Bitcoin, the company said in a statement. While this is set to be the first investment vehicle for Bitcoin that’s officially labeled an exchange-traded fund, Europe boasts several “physically backed” Bitcoin exchange-traded products that effectively function just like an ETF.

See:  ‘Shark Tank’ investor Kevin O’Leary says bitcoin is too volatile for his portfolio — but says he would own a crypto ETF

This isn’t the first time Canada has beat the U.S. in regulatory approval for ETFs. Canadians launched the first ETF ever and also released marijuana-related funds prior to their southern neighbors. Industry participants say this is a positive sign for firms hoping to offer their own ETFs on a U.S. exchange.

“Canada has a long history of approving new types of ETFs before the U.S. And the U.S. has a history of following. Thus, we think this is net net good news for Bitcoin hopes in the U.S.,” said Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.

There are currently at least four active filings for a Bitcoin ETF in Canada yet to be approved, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The companies that have filed since the start of the year are Evolve Funds, Horizons ETFs, Accelerate Financial and Arxnovum Investments.

“We are excited by this development for the entire industry, but more importantly for investors who would like regulated and transparent exposure to this new asset class,” said Matt Hougan, chief investment officer of Bitwise Asset Management.

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Global and Mail | Clare O’Hara | Feb 12, 2021

Bitcoin ETF approved - Canadian Regulators Green Light World's First Bitcoin ETF for Retail InvestorsCanada approves world’s first bitcoin ETF for retail investors

Purpose Investments Inc. has been cleared by regulators to launch the world’s first bitcoin exchange traded fund, opening the door for retail investors to more easily access a cryptocurrency that had been stalled by regulators for years.

On Thursday, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) gave the green light for Purpose Investments, the asset management arm of Purpose Financial LP, to launch the Purpose Bitcoin ETF on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Under the ticker BTCC, the fund will begin to trade on Feb. 18 and invest directly in bitcoin, allowing retail investors to access the cryptocurrency without the need for a digital wallet.

See:  Fintech Fridays EP50: Compliance to the Moon

Purpose Financial chief executive officer Som Seif, an ETF veteran, says he and his team had private discussions with the OSC over the past eight months to finalize the launch of the ETF. He said that, since 2017, regulators have become more comfortable with the asset class as institutional investors have adopted cryptocurrencies more widely and there is more infrastructure to support the asset.

“There is a greater recognition that this is an asset class that investors are drawn to whether the regulators like it or not,“ Mr. Seif said. “I think the regulators now recognize that creating an efficient, regulated structure is a much better outcome for investors’ protection than some of the things we have seen in recent years that went unregulated, were either outright fraudulent or left investors paying egregious fees.”

In recent weeks, several ETF providers filed a preliminary prospectus with the OSC in hopes of being the first to market. Horizons ETFs Management (Canada) Inc., Evolve Funds, Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc. and newcomer Arxnovum Investments Inc. have all publicly applied with regulators to list a bitcoin ETF that would also trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

See:  Are Stablecoins Better Than Bitcoin?

In the United States, more than 10 investment companies have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for similar products. Last month, U.S. President Joe Biden appointed a new SEC chair, prompting hopes that a bitcoin ETF could be approved in 2021.

The OSC’s approval of BTCC could nudge other markets to see similar products come to light.

“The SEC will definitely feel the pressure to allow such a product to come to the marketplace because there are already products in the market that are taking advantage of the exposure of bitcoin that are not efficient for investors and are not being done in a regulated format like the SEC would want,” Mr. Seif said.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Canadian Regulators Green Light World's First Bitcoin ETF for Retail Investors The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fintech Fridays EP50: Compliance to the Moon

NCFA Canada | Feb 12, 2021

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FF EP50 Mark Binns BIGG Digital Assets banner - Fintech Fridays EP50:  Compliance to the Moon


EP50: Compliance to the Moon

Featured Guest:

MARK BINNS, Chief Executive Officer, BIGG Digital Assets Inc.  (LinkedIn);

BIGG CEO, Mark Binns Quote:  “BIGG is a compliance-first crypto company that believes Bitcoin offers the best store of value for its free cash flows. This has led us to adopt an initiative of reinvestment into the underlying asset of our industry. Of late, we are seeing a surge in the number of corporations buying Bitcoin to hold as a treasury reserve asset. We have held Bitcoin on our balance sheet since 2017, and foresee the next evolution being the investment of fiat profits into crypto. BIGG aims to be at the forefront of this movement. Profits from Netcoins’ trading and Blockchain Intelligence Group’s software sales earned in fiat will be converted into and held in Bitcoin, until such time as required by operational demands. The decision to roll forward our profits into Bitcoin, where we anticipate returns to outpace fiat values, is easy and highly strategic.

About BIGG Digital Assets Inc.

BIGG Digital Assets Inc. (BIGG) believes the future of crypto is a safe, compliant, and regulated environment. BIGG invests in products and companies to support this vision. BIGG owns two operating companies: Netcoins (netcoins.ca) and Blockchain Intelligence Group (blockchaingroup.io).

Netcoins develops brokerage and exchange software to make the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency easily accessible to the mass consumer and investor with a focus on compliance and safety. Netcoins utilizes BitRank Verified® software at the heart of its platform and facilitates crypto trading via a self-serve crypto brokerage portal at Netcoins.app.

Blockchain Intelligence Group (BIG) has developed a Blockchain-agnostic search and analytics engine, QLUETM, enabling Law Enforcement, RegTech, Regulators and Government Agencies to visually track, trace and monitor cryptocurrency transactions at a forensic level. Our commercial product, BitRank Verified®, offers a “risk score” for cryptocurrencies, enabling RegTech, banks, ATMs, exchanges, and retailers to meet traditional regulatory/compliance requirements.

For more information and to register to BIGG’s mailing list, please visit our website at https://www.biggdigitalassets.com.

Trade Symbols:  CSE: BIGG | OTC: BBKCF | WKN: A2PS9W

 

BIGG Digital - Fintech Fridays EP50:  Compliance to the Moon

About this episode:

On this milestone episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Mark Binns CEO of BIGG Digital Assets. They cover the rally behind bitcoin, big tech investing in crypto, and giving your kids crypto instead of fiat for allowance money.  Enjoy! 

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here:

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

 


Fintech Friday Transcript of Episode 50:  Mark Binns of BIGG Digital Assets Inc.

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

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:00:00] For Episode 50, I got Mark Binns. Mark, thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

 

Mark Binns: [00:00:34] Yeah, great to be here. I'm excited to talk with you today.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:00:37] Awesome. So, Mark, could you just for, I guess, the five or six people that may not know who you are and what BIGG Digital Assets is could just give us a rundown of what big is and a little bit of background of who you are.

 

Mark Binns: [00:00:52] Yeah, absolutely. So BIGG Digital Assets, publicly-traded company on the CSC in Canada under the ticker BIGG. We're a compliance first crypto company. And what that means is BIGG is a company that has found a way to make money in the compliance and regulatory space around cryptocurrency. We own two operating businesses. One is called Blockchain Intelligence Group, and it's a crypto forensics software company. We make products that help track crypto through the blockchain and the other companies called Netcoins. And that coins is a crypto exchange in Canada, mainly focused in the Canadian market. And both of those companies together make up BIGG Digital Assets. My background and how I got involved is I actually did an undergrad in computer science. I'm a tech guy first and foremost. I used to write code for a living and then I got interested in the business side of technology. So I got my MBA from Western and started a consulting company and built and grew a couple of different consulting companies doing marketing and growth advisory to tech companies. And around twenty thirteen, the world's first Bitcoin ATM was launched in Vancouver, where I'm where I live. And it was a big, exciting event in the tech scene. And everybody was going to see this first-ever Bitcoin ATM. And I went down, had a look and said, wow, that's pretty cool technology. And there was a guy there named Mitch Demeter who was actually launching that machine. And funny enough, it got me interested in crypto started paying attention. I got into the space in about twenty seventeen with Netcoins and one of the very first hires I made was Mitche Demeter, the guy who opened that Bitcoin A.T.M, and he's now the president of the Netcoins division of big digital assets. So, you know, it's it's an exciting place to be. And I couldn't be happier that I ended up here in the crypto world.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:02:48] Yeah, it's it's kind of crazy how things worked out in that unheard of. Like, who would have thought that you'd meet the guy that first launched Bitcoin ATMs and then later down the line you're like, hey, you know what? Let's make something. Let's make something together.

 

Mark Binns: [00:03:02] I think he was so successful. He put those ATMs all over the world and he started an early crypto exchange called Bitcoiniacs and sold those and retired. And I had to convince him in twenty seventeen. I said, come on, give out a retirement, get back in the game. Crypto is getting exciting again. Like you're right. Let's do it.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:03:20] No, it's honestly it's a very it's an amazing move on your end.  So when you talk about compliance first crypto. Right. Why is compliance so important in crypto now that now that crypto is getting more attention, as it seems like by hour?

 

Mark Binns: [00:03:37] Yeah, absolutely. Compliance is important to protect the retail investor, the institutional investor. But the little guy, that's sort of why there is rules in financial services all over the world and it's for protection. So if you're buying Bitcoin on an exchange, you're spending two hundred dollars as an individual, that might be a really important two hundred dollars to you. You don't want to find out that that exchange was actually a pyramid scheme or something and fraudulent in your your two hundred dollars of the bitcoin disappears. So compliance isn't there to try to de-anonymize the blockchain or anything of the sort. It's there to protect the endpoints, which are usually the exchanges and the investors in the ecosystem, and make sure that the companies that are taking their money are are legit. And it also helps law enforcement. So we make products at Blockchain Intelligence Group that help law enforcement investigate crypto crime. And if you have these tools that will reduce the likelihood people will commit crimes and they know there is law enforcement, there's rule of law. So all of it really ties together for protection of people in the ecosystem. And, you know, there's a great market opportunity for us in that space by being leaders in the regulated and the compliance side of crypto.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:05:01]  Yeah, it's actually very amazing to see we're going on three years of having Fintech Fridays, and like if honestly, if I had you on two years ago and we talk about regulation and like all government getting involved, like honestly, like it was really a joke because like it was these are conversations just now starting to happen. But really there was no headway. There was no direction. But now, you know, with Blockchain intelligence, what you guys are doing with law enforcement, even with Secret Service in and of itself, we've come so far and it's only the beginning. And that that to me is just incredible and also wild at the same time.

 

Mark Binns: [00:05:37] Yeah, absolutely.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:05:38]  So Bitcoin is back in the news. I mean, people people thought I was going to crash, you know, people I've had my group chats have been blowing up my friends are like what's going on, like what are we doing? you told us to put money in this? So can you just walk us through what's going on with Bitcoin right now and like, what's your take on it?

 

Mark Binns: [00:06:01] The big thing happening in Bitcoin and crypto overall overall right now is institutional buy in. This is what's changing the fall of twenty seventeen crypto on its last run before the current one, when Bitcoin went up to nineteen thousand USD, and then it turned around and went all the way back down to something like thirty five hundred. That was a total retail rally. So that was small investors buying small amounts of bitcoin. The rally that happens is happening now since about mid last year and particularly the early stages of twenty twenty one is because of institutional involvement. It started with PayPal saying that they were going to get involved in crypto and let the individual person spend crypto on purchases day to day and then big buy-in on Treasury. That's the other big one. So company called MicroStrategy Nasdaq listed company said we're going to buy four to five hundred million dollars with a Bitcoin and keep our reserve cash in Bitcoin instead of US dollars. And part of that is because of the money printing going on in the US dollar, the Canadian dollar, the pound tied to the pandemic and covid. There's a huge lack of store of value in fiat currency right now. So they said we can do better, we're going to put this money into Bitcoin and we believe that will give us better returns. And then people started wake it up because it was half a billion dollars in a Nasdaq listed public company. And then Square went out and bought fifty million dollars. And That's Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, a lot of attention on it. And then it started a bit of an institutional rally where companies realized, oh, yeah, that might be a good store value. And just last week, Tesla bought one point five billion dollars worth of crypto to just a store on their balance sheet instead of holding it in US dollars. The current rumor is that Apple might actually step in and start buying Bitcoin on its balance sheet. And this is the difference is now an institutional investment rally, institutional involvement on spending, institutional involvement on saving. And it's bringing real credibility to Bitcoin in particular. But crypto overall as a store of value.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:08:12] Mm hmm. So, yeah, no, this is this is actually incredible, right. Because, you know, majority of cryptocurrency is the people that have been kind of rallying behind it, like you said, were many retail investors. Right. People just, you know, seeing what's going on with fiat currency, if you will be able to understand the market a little bit and seeing that, hey, you know, having money in just traditional assets like cash, it doesn't make any sense. Right. Especially now with the pandemic, everything is kind of a lack of a better word is going to shit. You know, they need to have more control of their money. Right. So cryptocurrency is a great place to do it. So what's BIGG Digital's play in this right now?

 

Mark Binns: [00:08:52] It's a two-pronged approach. So first of all, yeah, we have Netcoins. Right. Which is our exchange. And people need to get into crypto. You need an onramp. So Netcoins is an on-ramp. You can email money, wire money, bill pay money into the platform, traditional fiat currency. And with that, you can buy crypto, you can buy your bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, whatever you're looking for. So as adoption is rising, values are rising. Investors looking to access the space can use Netcoin's platform to onramp into the space. And with blocks intelligence group, it's the law enforcement side. So the more involvement the everyday consumer has in crypto, the unfortunately, the more crime will tend to rise, the more use of crypto through the ecosystem. There will be just like the crime. There will be crime involving crypto and our tools are extremely valuable. Some of the only tools in the world that you can use to properly track the movement of crypto through the blockchain so you can do law enforcement. So our customers are everyone from the US Secret Service down to Singapore Police Department, Hong Kong police department. Canadian law enforcement and we're helping market participants stay safe.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:10:06] Yeah, and that's one of the biggest, I guess, knock on crypto is the fact that, you know, criminals use it, terrorist organizations use it like you can you know, you can put money in today, and then tomorrow it's gone. Right. That's the fact that you guys are spending a lot of time and energy to work with law enforcement of some countries to make sure that's not the case and to make sure that it is accessible for everybody because we're having new investors come in by the hour and to make sure that the money just doesn't disappear. That in and of itself is very incredible.

 

Mark Binns: [00:10:39] Yeah, thanks. I mean, it's a fast-moving ecosystem, it's growing quickly, it's changing every day. And again, we want to be part of the future and the growth and the prosperity of the industry. So we're doing our part.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:10:54] Yeah, that's awesome. So, you know, you mentioned what with one of your pronged approach is you have you know, you're having more and more people invest in crypto. What is your take on these Meme coins, such as dogecoin? Right. You see it, Elon Musk's tweet out the wazoo about, you know, like going to the moon. I'm getting my friends literally just moon emojis and rocketships emojis every morning when I wake up, like, what's your take on that? You see, I guess organizations like yourself later on having like meme coins on your sheets for people to buy?

 

Mark Binns: [00:11:32] Well, we it's an it's exciting, I guess, is what you would say. I mean, the meme coins bring a little bit of excitement to the industry. They certainly create interest. They get people talking. They get dogs. Images of dogs flying on rockets to the moon sent around. Elon is waking up and I'm tweeting about it. It's creating PR and awareness for space. And that's the part I like about it. It's getting more people going. What is this thing about? Oh, it's crypto or what is crypto. Right. And getting more people involved in the ecosystem and paying attention, whether there's a real future for these coins or not, it's very up to debate. I mean, buying Dogecoin right now is a lot like going to the casino, right? It could triple tomorrow. It could also easily get cut in the third tomorrow. Right. It's based on nothing but speculation. And there isn't a traditional custody for a lot of these meme coins and coins. What I mean by that is a proper institutional grade, cold storage, insurance, etc. So because of that, they won't be adopted the same way as a Bitcoin Litecoin, Ethereum will be most likely. So the jury's out on where they go. I think they're interesting for the excitement of the space, but I certainly do not believe they're a safe bet for a store of value. They're much more like a lottery ticket.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:12:57] Yeah, of course. Yeah. I think you got a really good point. They do bring an amazing amount of attention to it. Is it the right kind of attention? I mean, the jury's still out on that, right? Because it's still a very ever-expanding and rapidly growing space. But the fact but like all attention is good attention at this point, especially in a space where the more people, the more eyeballs that we can get on the space, the better, because that we can show. Yeah, you know, like there's dogecoin, there's everything else. But there are so many other amazing, like companies out there that that are just using that using crypto for the greater good. Right. Be it through loans, be it through buying a house, just like the tech aspect of what you can kind of build on top of these cryptocurrencies. That in and of itself is very amazing. So kind of tying back to what I previously I was like. So we have companies like Tesla with Tesla-like you said, square of rumors of Apple, you having all these big names, you know, take some of the cash reserves and put into cryptocurrency. Right? Do you see more big brands doing the same thing and do and I guess and secondarily the fact that they would be doing the same thing? Do you think having these big companies? Own cryptocurrency, you think that's going to push the government or speed up the government regulation when it comes to cryptocurrency?

 

Mark Binns: [00:14:24] Yeah, absolutely. So first and foremost, I think there's going to be continued adoption of large corporations, public companies, private companies, insurance companies, you name it, buying crypto. I think Tesla's the start. There is the rumor Apple will buy crypto for the balance sheet. If Apple does buy every publicly traded company, the United States will have free reign to do the same, just sort of like no one gets fired for buying. IBM was the same back in the day. Now it's like if you say, Hey, Apple, Apple bought Bitcoin and you're the CFO of a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq, you can do it, too. Now, you can say, look, Apple did it and they're one of the most reputable companies in the world. So it's not a fly by night type of decision. They truly believe in the store value. They wouldn't do it. So I think you will see a continued adoption. You're going to see more and more insurance companies doing it. MassMutual about one hundred million dollars. And someone said, why so much? And the CEO is quoted as saying, well, that's a tiny amount. We manage billions. One hundred million. It's just a test. So you're going to see a lot more adoption of crypto on balance sheets. I truly believe that there's even discussion that the bond market might move towards crypto underlying assets of the trillion-dollar bond market, which is supposed to be sort of the longer-term stable store of value for Fiat, could start taking positions in crypto or crypto, could supplant the bond market or supplement the bond market. So I think that is all coming. I really do believe that. And that's why you're going to see a continued increase in the value of their currencies, namely Bitcoin because when you have that kind of adoption is only ever going to be twenty-one million Bitcoin. So you'll expect to see a continued rise in the valuation as demand goes up. The supply is not changing.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:16:19] That's. Yeah, I agree with you. There's always I always forget that the sort of finite amount of bitcoin because the prices have skyrocketed. Oh yeah. There's only so much bitcoin that you can purchase. So why would a company want to put the cash reserves in crypto? I mean, aside from big names buying into it, I guess like from a company perspective, like, you know, you being a CEO of a company, you having balance sheets you have in cash reserves, why why would companies put their money in cryptocurrency then cash?

 

Mark Binns: [00:16:51] I think there are two reasons. No. One is truly a store of value. It's like putting your money in an interest account except for an interest account might make you a percent or half a percent a year. Whereas you look at Bitcoin, it's been the best performing asset over the past one to five and 10-year time horizons. If you put it in to keep it and feel it. All you're seeing right now is a continued printing of money by world governments, US government, the Canadian government, the Canadian US governments have printed more money this year than they did in the last hundred years combined. And that is going to be incredibly. Bad situation for the value of those dollars, right, long term. So as a corporation, it's just a smart, safe place to keep your financial reserves. So they're buying power, stays where it is or grows as opposed to shrinking. So that's I think that's a big part of the secondary part is there are some companies using it as a way to make their company more valuable in the eyes of investors. So MicroStrategy for sure, but crypto, so people would buy MicroStrategy stock as a proxy for owning crypto or owning a bitcoin and crypto miners valuations, are generally based on how much Bitcoin they're holding on their balance sheet, or hodling, as they say, and other regular companies can do the same thing. You can buy Bitcoin, have it on the balance sheet. And if you're a publicly traded, people will buy into your company because they know it'll be worth more in the future for them today because it has Bitcoin on the balance sheet,

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:18:28] Of course. Yeah, that makes sense. You know. You know, it reminds me of talking to like we had we've had VCs on the on previous episodes. And of one of the things that they've mentioned was like how you have companies now they'll put like cryptocurrency and like AI got their pitch just to name just to see more value. Like even though the company has nothing to do with AI, there's no AI involvement whatsoever. There's no cryptocurrency involvement. There's no blockchain involvement whatsoever. But the fact that they have these buzzwords in their pitch like it's it just increases their value.

 

Mark Binns: [00:19:05] You know, there was a big twenty seventeen thing. I remember the juice company Iced Tea Bottling Company of New York, USA became the blockchain ice tea company or something. They literally just put it in their name and they got all this attention to this like value. But yeah, just a PR stunt that one.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:19:24] So how do you see I mean, now we have big companies coming into the market? All of us are getting more retail investors day to day. How does this accelerate innovation in the space? And I guess what innovation do you see happening in the space?

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:19:41] Well, innovation comes from corporate involvement, right? So most innovation has to do with a company that's looking to create a financial opportunity for themselves through some new technology. And then you get more and more corporations involved in whatever way with crypto and aware of it, the more likely they're going to drive forward and create innovations and put investment into the space. You look at companies doing things like helping build the Lightning Network for faster transaction processing and payments on top of Bitcoin. That's coming because more and more corporations are involved. So I really believe that corporate involvement in the institutional involvement we see now will put more money into innovation and searching for more ways to exploit the opportunity around crypto, which will just naturally move the market forward.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:20:30] Mm hmm. Yeah, no, I mean, that makes total sense. Or you need these big movers and shakers in the space to move and shake anything at all. Right. Like, you know, the Lightning Network is something I've been hearing about for like two years now, and it's still going. There hasn't been any any any system in place yet. So it definitely makes it makes a lot of sense, I guess. Where do you see just crypto as a general heading in the future? Do you see I mean, Do you see like your kids or any of these Tik Toc kids using cryptocurrency. Like where do you where you see cryptocurrency heading?

 

Mark Binns: [00:21:11] And I see a general adoption both in payments and also in-store value. So a cross between gold or people own it just to have it as is value that will increase in the future. And Fiat which people are using to buy goods and services. I hear about lots of parents now that pay their kids allowance and crypto because they believe that I mean, you could give them twenty dollars and in three years it'll still be worth twenty dollars, or you can give them twenty dollars worth of Bitcoin that in three years will probably be worth one hundred dollars. That's theory. So you see a movement of all sorts of. Yeah. Investment, payment, daily use. I think it really is going to infiltrate our lives. As you see PayPal making it available to twenty million Americans to buy goods and services. That's pretty exciting. And you see merchant adoption and acceptance. Now there are all sorts of merchants that will accept payment. Tesla just announced as part of their acquisition of Bitcoin, also that accept payment in Bitcoin for cars. Big corporations are starting to do it. I know Dell does it. Overstock.com does it. I believe Microsoft does it. I think Amazon is. Or talking about it, so as soon as people can spend it and in the meantime when they're not spending, I believe they'll get a bigger return on their investment than sitting in a fiat currency. It'll just be a self-perpetuating situation. So I really do see crypto over the coming years becoming part of your daily life financially.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:22:51] Yeah, no, I mean, paying me the allowance and crypto, that's a very wild, wild, a very amazing idea. And it makes sense. I like living in like, you know, living in a post covid world. It makes sense that you'd want to invest in something digital. Right. You want to make sure you have at least as many touchpoints as you possibly can. Cash is one of them. Right. Not like the ATM, taking it out, touching. It just so many light touchpoints, like, I don't want it. I don't want my change back.

 

Mark Binns: [00:23:18] Like, take it. Look, I don't want I have friends who gave their kids crypto as Christmas presents on ledgers. And I have there are all sorts of examples now of the use of crypto in the store, crypto becoming part of everyday lives like two and three-year-olds. I have crypto in my kids. RESP's is now the new financial instruments where you can buy it in RSPs and TFSA and RESPs and yeah, like basically savings accounts that are tied to crypto with underlying derivative assets. It's pretty exciting.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:23:53] Yeah. I mean especially like tiebacks where you sort of like if the bond market summerlike has a little bit of crypto into it and oh my goodness, I know my grandmother would be super happy with all the bonds that she was buying me if I could change them over to crypto.

 

Mark Binns: [00:24:09] There you go. Yeah. Awesome. So, Mark, is there, you know, aside from everything, what else is aside from Bitcoin and what's going on in big tech? what likes what are the things that you find interesting in the market? What what are the things that are like keeping you up at night or things that you're very excited to buy in the next coming years?

 

Mark Binns: [00:24:35] Yeah, I think it's an I'm excited about the things we don't know anything. Right. So we know what we know. But there's the old saying. You don't know what you don't know. There's there are innovations happening in every corner of blockchain. And I haven't, of course, seen them all. But every day I wake up and see some new novel way to use crypto or new novel technology to crypto. And I don't know where it's going to go. And that's sort of what's exciting. Nothing's changing, really, in the fiat world. Crypto, you're getting things like exchange-traded funds starting in futures trading. And like I talk about people giving it to their kids with allowance, but the technology around payments and processing transactions like the Lightning Network on top of Bitcoin, it's all just moving so quickly that it's as I have friends say, it's hard to sleep at night. You want to wake up every day and see what's changed and what's moving in the news tied to crypto. You're going to see governments get involved. I think there's this move towards central bank digital currencies, which is really just the digitization of their existing currencies, not true crypto occurrences that are decentralized. But I do think you will see governments start to get involved in true crypto decentralized currencies. There's an example of a small town in Ontario that you can now pay your property tax and get to it. Yeah, Innisville, all they do is take the crypto and sell it immediately and put the cash in the bank. But it does open up more cool uses for the technology. And you're going to see more and more governments getting involved one way or another. And that's just going to help accelerate the adoption.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:26:16] Yeah, no, I mean, I'm excited to have more. Yeah, I'm excited to. You know, when we open back up and so I can travel around Canada, I got to just pull up in like a small town in Alberta and just pay for my Tim Hortons coffee in the of Bitcoin that I think that they'll be amazing.

 

Mark Binns: [00:26:33] You're going to tap your Visa card and it's going to withdraw instead of fiat it from an account. It's going to basically convert some crypto into payment instantly and give it to the guy at Tim Hortons.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:26:45] Yeah, so that'll be amazing. Mark, thank you so much for sitting down today. What would be the best way to either get in touch with you or even get in touch with BIGG?

 

Mark Binns: [00:26:57] Yeah, you can check out our website, Bigg Digital Assets dot com, and be more than happy to hear from anyone mark@biggdigitalassets.com is my email address. Happy to talk about crypto. Happy to talk about BIGG and reach out any time.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:27:11] Awesome. Thanks so much, Mark.

 

Mark Binns: [00:27:12] My pleasure.

 

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP50:  Compliance to the Moon 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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TESLA Coin Now Appears on CoinMarketCap. Is Elon Revving the Engine Up?

Nilsen Report | Mad Tek | Feb 9, 2021

Coinmarketcap lists TESLA coin - TESLA Coin Now Appears on CoinMarketCap.  Is Elon Revving the Engine Up?

CoinMarket has added a ticker of Model3 (Tesla) at the forefront of their list.  Users can find everything they need of Tesla Model 3 here after the news Tesla Inc expects to allow customers to pay for its electric vehicles with bitcoin soon, the automaker said on Monday, a move that could expand how the most popular cryptocurrency is used for real-world transactions.

Tesla is ranked as the world’s best-selling plug-in and battery electric passenger car manufacturer, with a market share of 16% of the plug-in segment and 23% of the battery electric segment 2020 sales.

See:  Tesla buys $1.5 billion of Bitcoin, Expects to Start Accepting BTC as Payment for Its Products Soon

The Model 3 is the world’s all-time best-selling plug-in electric car, and The Model Y shares an estimated 75% of its parts with the Tesla Model 3. These two models accounted for the grand majority of Tesla global vehicle sales in 2020, which were estimated at 499,550 units.

Bitcoin extended gains on Tuesday to a record high as the afterglow of Tesla Inc’s investment in the cryptocurrency had investors reckoning it would become a mainstream asset class for both corporates and money managers.

Although bitcoin has become more of a household name in recent years, it is still mostly used as an investment product rather than a form of payment.

The company made the disclosures in a section of its quarterly securities filing that also detailed its purchase of $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. If customers buy Teslas with bitcoin, the company may or may not liquidate those payments right away – which some experts read as an indication that Tesla might hold on to at least some of the coins and not sell them automatically.

Tesla isn’t accepting it as of now, and it seems like the editors at coinmarketcap are just having fun at the moment.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - TESLA Coin Now Appears on CoinMarketCap.  Is Elon Revving the Engine Up? 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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KABN North America Partners with UK and Barbados Based Tokenise International to Develop Verifiable Identity Credentials for Regulated Stock Exchange

KABN | Cara Buckspan | Feb 11, 2021

KABN and tokenization 1 - KABN North America Partners with UK and Barbados Based Tokenise International to Develop Verifiable Identity Credentials for Regulated Stock Exchange

Agreement will help fuel Liquid Avatar's expansion to the UK and Caribbean.

TORONTO, CA and LONDON, UK and ST. MICHAELS, BARBADOS / ACCESSWIRE / February 11, 2021 / KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp. (CSE:KABN)(OTC PINK:TRWRF)(FRA:4T51) (the "Company", "KABN North America" or "KABN NA") (www.kabnsystemsna.com), a North American Fintech solutions company specializing in empowering individuals to manage, control and generate value from their biometrically verified Self Sovereign Identity ("SSI") through its Liquid Avatar (www.liquidavatar.com) platform, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an initial agreement with the Gibraltar holding company of London, UK and St. Michael's, Barbados based Tokenise International Limited ("Tokenise") (www.tokenise.io), a multi-jurisdictional regulated financial services organization.

Together, the Companies are working on initiatives to integrate Liquid Avatar with Tokenise and issue verifiable identity credentials to account holders and to use these credentials to gain access to Tokenise financial and brokerage services and other related platforms, starting in the UK and Barbados.

See:  For Digital Assets, Private Markets Offer the Greatest Opportunities

Tokenise operates Kession Capital Limited, a London-based broker dealer that is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Tokenise offers issuers and investors the ability to tokenize crowdfunding programs through the purchase, sale, and exchange of blockchain based securities. Kession also acts as a UK conduit to the Tokenise Stock Exchange, a fully regulated stock exchange in Barbados providing global primary issuance and secondary market trading, promoting financial inclusion and asset diversification, and focusing exclusively on tokenized securities and Tokenise Brokerage to support the onboarding efforts of global investors. Tokenise is also exploring expansion opportunities into Canada.

With Digital Identity applications addressable to up to 100% of the online market, the financial services market is a primary opportunity for Liquid Avatar's Verifiable Credentials Ecosystem announced earlier this month. By accessing a biometrically enabled verifiable identity credential that a user can store in their Liquid Avatar wallet, Tokenise will be able to verify and validate customers allowing them to securely and safely access their accounts based on their known and verified digital identity. The program is expected to commence by early Q3 2021.

Tokenise provides customers and blockchain based issuers with a safe, secure, and regulated supported environment to purchase and exchange securities and is considered to be the first global digital Self Regulated Organization ("SRO") to focus exclusively on tokenized products.

See:  Digital Assets: A Framework For Regulation To Maintain The United States’ Status As An Innovation Leader

The Tokenise Stock Exchange will support a wide range of company and program listings including but not limited to tokenized real estate, art, collectibles, businesses and enterprises, celebrity and influencer ventures, cannabis and potentially psychedelics initiatives, digital currency ETFs, and other digitized assets.

"With the rise in awareness and acceptance of digital currencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum and other Altcoins, it naturally follows that investors will want to investigate and potentially invest in blockchain based securities and Tokenise is eager to support this global, growing opportunity," said Mike Kessler, CEO, Tokenise International Limited. "The Liquid Avatar platform and its verifiable identity credential provides Tokenise with a potentially effective and efficient way to continuously verify our customers and afford them increased security and safety to manage their digitized assets."

Liquid Avatar will be releasing its live, open beta app globally in Google Play and Apple App Store on February 18, 2021, subject to all final approvals. Liquid Avatar will launch in phases, as the Company prepares and tests additional service and program offerings to make it easier for users to become familiar with the Liquid Avatar platform, Self Sovereign Identity and Verifiable Credentials.

KABN partners with Tokenise - KABN North America Partners with UK and Barbados Based Tokenise International to Develop Verifiable Identity Credentials for Regulated Stock Exchange

"We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Tokenise to support their growing global needs for customer verification and validation and account authentication," said David Lucatch, CEO, KABN North America. "We believe that by linking Liquid Avatar and verifiable identity credentials, users can use their biometrics and digital credentials to sign in and access their accounts from multiple devices anywhere in the world, potentially providing increased protection of their digital information and valuables."

Liquid Avatar, available at no cost to consumers, makes it easy for individuals to start and maintain the process of managing their SSI/digital identity while giving users the ability to share it with their friends, family, colleagues, and others easily, safely, and cryptographically secure through biometrically enabled Self Sovereign Identity tools and services.

About Tokenise International Limited - www.tokenise.

Working with and in fully regulated environments to meet the needs of the emerging blockchain based securities markets, Tokenise International Limited is a financial services group, operating in multiple jurisdictions. The firm's programs consist of:

Kession Capital Limited, an authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom (FRN 582160). Kession currently operates as a regulated hosting platform and oversees several clients across the investment management industry, from crowdfunding platforms to a national European stock exchange.

UK based Tokenise crowdfunding platform which, under its regulatory permissions, has the ability to manage the purchase, sale and exchange of tokenized securities.

Barbados based Tokenise Stock Exchange International Limited (formerly Daxnet BB (Barbados) Limited) which is a self-regulated organization which is licensed to operate as a fully regulated stock exchange in Barbados providing primary issuance and secondary market trading promoting financial inclusion and asset diversification and focusing exclusively on tokenized securities and is considered to be the first global digital SRO to focus exclusively on tokenized products.

The Company also owns and operates Barbados based Tokenise Brokerage (formerly Kession Capital International Limited) providing global access to investors who wish to use the Tokenise Stock Exchange and provides direct market access to a global customer base.

About KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp - www.kabnnaholdco.com

KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp. through its wholly owned subsidiary KABN Systems North America Inc. focuses on the verification, management and monetization of Self Sovereign Identity, empowering users to control and benefit from the use of their online identity.

Liquid Avatar is a verified Self Sovereign Identity platform that empowers users to create high quality digital icons representing their online personas. These icons allow users to manage and control their digital identity and Verifiable Access and Identity Credentials, and to use Liquid Avatars to share public and permission based private data when they want and with whom they want. www.liquidavatar.com

KABN North America has a suite of revenue generating programs that support the Liquid Avatar program, including KABN KASH a cash back and reward program that has over 300 leading online merchants and coming soon, an integrated offering engine. In Canada, KABN also has the KABN Visa Card, a "challenger banking" platform that allows users to manage and control a range of financial services for traditional and digital currencies. The Company is currently exploring expansion of the KABN Visa program to other geographic regions, including the USA.

KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp. is publicly listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the symbol "KABN" (CSE:KABN).

The Company also trades in the US under the symbol "TRWRF" and in Frankfurt under the symbol "4T51".

If you have not already joined our mailing list and would like to receive updates on KABN Systems NA Holdings Corp., please click here to join!

For more information, please visit www.kabnnaholdco.com or www.kabnsystemsna.com

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - KABN North America Partners with UK and Barbados Based Tokenise International to Develop Verifiable Identity Credentials for Regulated Stock Exchange 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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Symend Announces US$43 million Series B Extension to Accelerate Global Expansion

Symend | Release | Feb 9, 2021

Symend series B extension - Symend Announces US$43 million Series B Extension to Accelerate Global Expansion

Behavioral science and analytics company prepares for imminent global expansion and future additions to its engagement product portfolio to serve the entire customer lifecycle.

CALGARY, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Symend, a leading digital engagement platform that uses behavioral science and data-driven insights to empower customers to resolve past due bills, announced a US$43 million extension following its US$52 million Series B in May 2020.

See:  With $73 million CAD, Symend closes one of the largest Series B rounds in recent Alberta history

The Series B+ was led by global technology venture firm, Inovia Capital, with participation from a consortium of investors, bringing Symend’s total funding to date to over US$100 million.

“We are big believers in Symend’s mission to add lasting value to enterprises, by helping their customers avoid collections,” said Dennis Kavelman, Partner at Inovia Capital.

“Their approach is differentiated and effective because it combines behavioral science and data science to drive a personalized approach for each customer. With this new investment, Symend is well funded to execute its strategy of scaling globally, and to partner with large enterprises in many industries.”

Kavelman is also a former RIM (Blackberry) executive and current member of Symend’s board of directors. Symend welcomed two additional board members in 2020 including John Connors, Managing Partner at Ignition Partners and former Microsoft executive, and Matthew J. Schiltz, former CEO at Conga and DocuSign. Connors and Schiltz joined the board alongside Eric Updyke, CEO at Spirent Communications, and Maor Amar, Managing Partner at Impression Ventures.

Symend’s platform is purpose built to serve complex enterprises in telecommunications, financial services, utilities and media across North America and is on track to significantly expand its client roster globally in 2021. Symend recently opened an office in Australia to serve the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, with plans to expand into Latin America (LATAM) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Symend currently serves two-thirds of the major telecommunications providers in North America and is successfully serving a multinational bank, quickly gaining traction with other major players in financial services.

See:  4 Digital Transformation Lessons that Banks Need to Learn from Covid-19

Symend validated the need for its solution along the entire customer journey by providing clients with rapid response capabilities through the COVID-19 pandemic. By relieving pressure from call centres overwhelmed by inquiries from uncertain customers, Symend created capacity for clients to respond to evolving customer needs when they needed it most.

Over the past year, Symend’s team of behavioral scientists, data scientists and data analysts have significantly strengthened its consumer data platform, which is foundational to its engagement platform. Through rigorous experimentation, Symend is continuously building an extensive library of proven behavioral-based engagement strategies shaped by in-depth customer insights to continuously optimize behavior. This will guide Symend’s product portfolio expansion as it further develops strategies in customer retention and acquisition.

“Given the challenges that service providers have faced during the pandemic, we are seeing a massive uptick in enterprises that are committed to investing in solutions that will ensure they are better prepared for the future, better the lives of their customers, and drive better business results for their core operations during both good and challenging times,” said Hanif Joshaghani, CEO at Symend.

Symend has rapidly accelerated recruitment, growing from 50 people to over 225 in 2020 and expects to double in size in 2021. The rapid growth of the team is led by Calgary success story Benevity’s former Chief People Officer, Vivian Farris, who joined Symend in September 2020. To support the expansion and restructuring of product and technology within the company, Symend attracted several senior executives from major hubs including the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Chicago.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Symend Announces US$43 million Series B Extension to Accelerate Global Expansion 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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Toronto-based DeFi fintech, Ledn, closes 3rd seed round $3.4 million CAD to scale its Bitcoin-backed lending platform

Betakit | | Feb 8, 2021

ledn logo new - Toronto-based DeFi fintech, Ledn, closes 3rd seed round $3.4 million CAD to scale its Bitcoin-backed lending platform

Toronto-based FinTech startup Ledn has raised $3.4 million CAD ($2.7 million USD) in seed funding, as the company looks to fuel the expansion of its digital asset savings and credit platform amid a steadily growing rise in registered users.  Founded in 2018, Ledn offers Bitcoin and U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) savings accounts and Bitcoin-backed loans (USDC is a stablecoin backed by Coinbase and pegged to the US dollar). The startup claims to have issued the first Bitcoin-backed loan in Canadian dollars in 2018.

The round was led by White Star Capital as part of its Digital Asset Fund. White Star Capital is a New York City-based venture capital and private equity firm that focuses on early growth-stage tech companies. White Star’s Digital Asset Fund invests in crypto-networks and blockchain-enabled business. The new Ledn investment marks the fund’s third to date.  Ledn’s round also saw participation from Darrow Holdings, Coinbase Ventures, Global Founders Capital, CMT Digital, and Kingsway. The $3.4 million brings Ledn’s total funding to date to $4.7 million CAD.

See:  Interested in a High Interest Bitcoin Saving’s Account? Interview with Ledn CEO, Adam Reeds

Ledn’s stated mission is to reinvent financial services around crypto assets. It offers Bitcoin-backed loans, where customers can put up their Bitcoin and receive fiat currency in exchange. According to Ledn, one of the advantages of this type of loan is customers getting to keep “all of the upside” of their Bitcoin position. Once the loan is repaid, the Bitcoin is returned to the customer.  Ledn also offers Bitcoin and USDC savings accounts, in partnership with Genesis Capital, which touts itself as the world’s largest digital asset lender. The accounts allow customers to earn interest on their Bitcoin and USDC holdings.

According to Ledn, the startup is already profitable, and its number of registered users is rising 25 percent month-over-month. The company says it serves thousands of customers in over 100 countries. A spokesperson for Ledn told BetaKit over 60 percent of its registered clients are from emerging economies. Ledn also claims to have the highest interest rates available in the digital asset lending space, at 6.1 percent for Bitcoin and 12.25 percent for USDC.

Ledn banner - Toronto-based DeFi fintech, Ledn, closes 3rd seed round $3.4 million CAD to scale its Bitcoin-backed lending platform

With a focus on regulatory compliance, Ledn aims to bridge the gap between traditional and digital asset-based financial services.

The startup recently underwent a formal proof-of-reserves attestation by an independent accounting firm, Armanino LLP. Proof-of-reserves is used as a way to allow customers to confirm the service they are using does in fact hold their crypto assets, on-chain. It is touted as a tool to earn and retain customer trust, in a space that has faced much uncertainty and turmoil.

“We believe that proof-of-reserves reviews that cover all assets and lending activities should be an industry standard across lending platforms,” said Mauricio Di Bartolomeo, Ledn’s co-founder and CSO. “Over time, clients have become painfully aware of why it’s important, and their preferences are evolving to demand transparency. We are making proof-of-reserves reviews a part of our standard processes,” he added.

See: 

Ledn plans to use the proceeds from its latest round to accelerate its growth and pursue expansion into global markets. The startup told BetaKit it also plans to use the capital to accelerate its regulatory compliance processes as well as its marketing and educational efforts around its own products and the value of Bitcoin in general.

“Over the past three years, we’ve focused on building a simple and secure platform that allows clients to grow their digital wealth through savings and credit products,” said Adam Reeds, Ledn’s co-founder and CEO. “As we expand on our product offering with no fee trading rolling out in the next several months and go deeper into new markets, we couldn’t be more excited to work with this select group of top venture investors that believe in our mission.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Toronto-based DeFi fintech, Ledn, closes 3rd seed round $3.4 million CAD to scale its Bitcoin-backed lending platform The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Toronto-based DeFi fintech, Ledn, closes 3rd seed round $3.4 million CAD to scale its Bitcoin-backed lending platformFF Logo 400 v3 - Toronto-based DeFi fintech, Ledn, closes 3rd seed round $3.4 million CAD to scale its Bitcoin-backed lending platformcommunity social impact - Toronto-based DeFi fintech, Ledn, closes 3rd seed round $3.4 million CAD to scale its Bitcoin-backed lending platform

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