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Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it’s crowdfunding to buy

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CBC News | Nov 23, 2018

More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist

LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER.

That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said.

Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now.

The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping.

Here's a look inside the room:

The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit.

There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


NEXT WEEK! DON'T MISS IT SEE YOU IN VANCOUVER
LAST CHANCE FOR TIX


Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
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Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
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House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace

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Competition Bureau | Oct 10, 2018

Speech

Remarks by Interim Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell

Global Series 2018
October 10, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario

Thank you. I’m pleased to be here to speak with you today.

Thank you Makan, for your thoughts on these important issues. They are particularly relevant to businesses, the legal community, academia and governments around the world and to all of you who are gathered here today.

Every day we see the world evolving at a rapid pace, thanks to innovation.  Development of new technologies, ways of doing business and the creation of new products have the potential to open up new areas of science, medicine and technology. Small steps lead to bigger steps.  And here in Canada, we have to be ready for both the challenges and opportunities that this is bringing to all of us.

Let’s understand what we are up against. Every year, innovation in the top industrialized countries is tracked by leading authorities on the subject. And here’s what they report about Canada in 2018.

On the plus side, Canada performs better than some others in four big areas: Human Capital and Research, Institutions, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication.

See:  Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has been over-hyped and needs a reality check

From there, the news gets a little grey. Overall, we rank 17th among 47 high-income countries. That’s like getting a B-minus report card.

We score lower on three measures: Knowledge and Technology Outputs, Business Sophistication and Creative Outputs.

In other words, there’s a gap between what we put in and what we get out of our innovation efforts.

So why the gap?

At the Competition Bureau, we’ve asked ourselves that question and have considered carefully what we can contribute to help solve this innovation dilemma. After all: innovation in the economy is a priority for the Government of Canada. It’s an all-hands-on-deck challenge.

So for the Bureau, our innovation focus is on building our knowledge base and strengthening our enforcement capacity.

Why we do this is what’s really important to understand.

Imagine a well-functioning economy as the Starship Enterprise, with innovation thriving thanks to strong, unimpeded competition.  Captain Kirk will take risks, forge ahead and break new ground – sometimes in a disruptive fashion. Mr. Spock, on the other hand, ensures rules are followed, in a logical and predictable fashion. Just like Spock and Kirk, competition and innovation work better together.

Competition drives businesses to innovate and helps spread the gains they make throughout the economy. On the other hand, if competition is impeded, the economy may be harmed. Conduct or mergers that may harm competition are like roadblocks that could hold back innovation.

The Bureau helps clear those roadblocks. We do that by administering and enforcing the law. Fairly. And predictably. That means:

  • taking action against anti-competitive behaviour and deceptive marketing practices;
  • reviewing mergers to ensure they don’t hurt competition; and
  • empowering consumers and businesses.

And what about innovation? Why do we care so much about it? You don’t have to look far to find the answer.

See:  NCFA: Canada Needs a Harmonized Securities Environment as Current Provincial Approach is a Fintech Innovation Killer

The huge gains made from innovation create a lucrative race to the top. Those that innovate are often rewarded with a larger market share. We see plenty of examples in businesses worldwide about how to do that.

In Amazon’s early days, Jeff Bezos channelled company profits back into research and development, fuelling innovation there. Chatting with Alexa and having groceries shipped to your door are just two of many outcomes.

Apple famously steered their way back from bankruptcy by pledging to “innovate our way out of this.” By executing on that pledge, they changed the way we think about mobile phones and computers.

In the music industry, Spotify launched a freemium streaming application in 2008. Today, music streaming is the norm in how we listen to music online and share it legally with others.

We’ve never before been this deeply connected across the country and around the world—doing more with data and turning it into knowledge. Globally we’ve never before seen such overall improvements in education, life expectancy and quality of life as we have in just the last forty years.

The Government has a role in creating the right climate for bold ideas to take root and grow. One way this is done is by passing and enforcing competition and intellectual property laws.

Let’s take a minute and talk specifically about the Bureau’s approach to enforcement and advocacy for competition, innovation and intellectual property.

First, we reduce barriers to entry. That means those entering the market are less likely to be shut out by bigger existing firms. And those who are thinking of entering don’t see roadblocks that deter them from giving it a shot.

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

Next, we make it easier for those newcomers to grow and for incumbents to innovate. That sometimes means preventing mergers that would otherwise significantly lessen or prevent competition. That way, incumbents have an incentive to invest in innovation so that they can compete on the strength of their product or service.

At the Bureau, we support those businesses who seek to compete by legitimate means. Here are a couple of recent examples that support our approach.

...

Addressing FinTech

Another area of study for the Bureau has been on FinTech. We studied the industry for 18 months and published a Market Study report in December 2017. There, we made 30 recommendations to Canada’s regulators and policy makers. Eleven of these focused more broadly on how to strike the right balance in regulation to ensure Canadians are protected while also promoting innovation.

One of these recommendations was that regulation should be tech neutral and device agnostic – not, for example, limited to one type of device. Many consumers still face instances where service providers require face-to-face interactions to collect personal information and verify identity.

But the Internet and mobile computing have changed how consumers wish to consume services—and how providers provide them.

In practice, we saw the B.C. Securities Commission release a consultation in February 2018 on its Securities Law Framework for FinTech Regulation which focused on a number of regulatory challenges.

See:  Nov 20, 2017: NCFA Canada Welcomes Competition Bureau’s recommendations to encourage competition and innovation in Canada’s financial services sector

In our submission to their consultation, we applauded the BCSC’s consideration of automation to meet compliance obligations for “know-your-client” assessments.

This signals a shift away from relying on face-to-face conversations to ensure compliance. It paves the way for automation and artificial intelligence to improve the quality and efficiency of investment advice that is tailored to each customer.

This is only one example of the changes we’ve seen since the release of our Market Study Report.

Making the case for humility on what we regulate

Advances in technology make the future hard to predict. Recent history has shown us plenty of examples of seemingly unassailable products that have been overtaken by innovative new products, such as Canada’s BlackBerry. These advances illustrate the increased importance of an evidence-based approach.

In 2015, former FTC Chair Maureen Ohlhausen warned against prescriptive regulation. She said: “We need to make every effort to tolerate complex phenomena and to develop institutions that are robust in the face of rapid innovation.”

In my view, this means we must take a careful approach to how we address certain issues. As I’ve said before, our focus should be to do no harm and not to overreach.  At the same time, we are guided by the strength of our institutions in setting sensible rules and enforcing them.

Antitrust enforcement does not and should not address all problems.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


NEXT WEEK! DON'T MISS IT SEE YOU IN VANCOUVER
LAST CHANCE FOR TIX


Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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Startup CEOs on how to keep the artificial intelligence ball rolling in Canada

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The Globe and Mail | | Sep 29, 2018

The next time you pull out your smartphone and ask Siri or Google for advice, or chat with a bot online, take pride in knowing that some of the theoretical foundation for that technology was brought to life here in Canada.

Indeed, as far back as the early 1980s, key organizations such as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research embarked on groundbreaking work in neural networks and machine learning.

Academic pioneers such as Geoffrey Hinton (now a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and an advisor to Google, among others), the University of Montreal’s Yoshua Bengio and the University of Alberta’s Rich Sutton produced critical research that helped fuel Canada’s rise to prominence as a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI).

Stephen Piron, co-CEO of Dessa, praises the federal government's efforts at cutting immigration processing timelines for highly skilled foreign workers.

Canada now houses three major AI clusters – in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton – that form the backbone of the country’s machine-learning ecosystem and support homegrown AI startups. In fact, Toronto boasts one of the highest concentration of AI startups in the world, while Montreal is leading the way in producing deep-learning research.

“More and more [Canadian AI] companies are gaining investment … the amount of money is increasing dramatically,” says Oshoma Momoh, chief technical advisor for Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District, incubator to a plethora of AI firms.

See:  Why startups are leaving Silicon Valley

Among the tech heavyweights that have made significant AI investments north of the border are Uber Technologies Inc., Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Adobe Systems Inc., LG Electronics Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Amazon.com Inc.

Federal and provincial governments have also been keen to support the sector, with the aim of building a sustainable countrywide AI ecosystem and buttress Canada’s position as a leader in the field.

The vexing question is how Canadian institutions and business leaders can work together to maintain momentum. We asked leaders of some of the country’s top AI firms for their take.

Andy Mauro, CEO, Automat Technologies Inc., Montreal, a maker of conversational marketing software

“I think the government did a great job of recognizing the research leadership out of the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal, including celebrating and funding it.

I think we should continue doing that. Supporting local, homegrown startups headquartered in Canada is debateably a better generator of economic prosperity for Canada than attracting Facebook, Google and Amazon, even though those are sexy names that look good in press releases.

"I believe the government should capital-match any startup that has raised venture funding – especially U.S. venture capital – and has decided to base their business in Canada. That would be a very bold strategy to help capitalize startups.”

Stephen Piron, co-founder, Dessa, Toronto, a business software firm

“There are fortuitous geopolitical things going on that make Canada extra-attractive. One thing the government can do is to encourage people to move here and not put up walls. They have a visa that we’ve used to get experienced, talented technical people from overseas in between two to four weeks.

See:  Technology is the ‘most profound force bearing down’ on big banks, ex-Barclays boss says

"I think they need to do more things like that to encourage the best and brightest to come here. We recruit from around the world, and the stars are aligning where global talent would consider moving to Toronto, where maybe they would not have made that decision before.”

“It’s all about continuing to invest in the things that are working. That’s probably where governments can think about incentives for locating AI or machine-learning labs here.

"It would not be a bad idea to see a larger venture fund dedicated just to machine learning and AI. A decade ago, when mobile was emerging, for example, there were funds dedicated to mobile. There’s momentum, so we need to keep that going by somehow having startups, the private sector, government and education coming together in the right way.”

Canadian universities need to keep turning out great tech talent, or sooner or later the supply will dry up, says Kerry Liu of Rubikloud Technologies.

Andrew Williamson /Rubikloud

Kerry Liu, CEO, Rubikloud Technologies Inc., Toronto, an enterprise retail software firm

“Canada has some incredibly strong university programs focused on AI. McGill University and the University of Waterloo are two examples that are generating a lot of really great talent in this industry.

"The threat here is that we have to make sure the education available to students continues to keep pace with advances in the industry. Schools need to keep turning out great tech talent, or sooner or later the supply will dry up. High school and university curriculums alike will fail if they don’t adapt to include the skills that have direct business impacts.

More:  For Canada’s tech to thrive, startups must grow up

"Also, although the AI industry focuses a lot on tech talent – developers, analysts, data scientists – selling AI is a whole other skill set – sales, marketing, finance. If the necessary step is to commercialize and sell an AI product, the talent needs to be cross-disciplined.”

Continue to the full article --> here


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

Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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Bank Customers Are Primed And Ready For Amazon

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Forbes | By Gerard du Toit and Aaron Cheris | Sep 25, 2018

Amazon has built an excellent position for expanding into financial services. A new survey of 6,000 U.S. consumers, by Bain & Company in collaboration with Research Now, shows why. In the first direct comparison of customer loyalty for Amazon and US banks, consumers give Amazon a Net Promoter Score of 47, significantly higher than the 31 for regional banks on average, or 18 for the national bank average.

The battle for U.S. retail banking customers is intensifying as Amazon is expected to partner with a bank to offer a cobranded, mobile-friendly, checking-account-like product initially targeted to young adults. Amazon has many advantages: a high and rising frequency of purchasing, viewing, and reviewing interactions with customers; a full commercial relationship, including credit cards on file; integration into consumers’ digital devices; a paid membership program with 90%-plus renewal rates and the majority of U.S. households as members; and no major security breaches so far.

See:  What Can Traditional Banks Learn From Fintech?

Our research suggests that Amazon can count on significant demand for basic banking services. Among Amazon Prime respondents (who pay an annual fee for such perks as free two-day shipping), 65% say they would try a free online bank account offered by Amazon, with 2% cash back on Amazon purchases, similar to the company’s cobranded credit card. Of Amazon customers who aren’t Prime members, 43% would try such an account. Even among people who don’t use Amazon for e-commerce purchases today, 37% would try.

For banks, the level of customer loyalty will likely serve as a leading indicator of defection. The more displeased consumers are with their bank, the more willing they are to consider Amazon. Among respondents who are already Amazon customers, those interested in banking with Amazon give the company a higher Net Promoter Score than those who aren’t interested. For respondents who don’t already have a relationship with Amazon, the more displeased they are with their bank, the more willing they are to consider Amazon.

The loyalty leader that isn’t Amazon

Despite its advantages, Amazon—and by extension, other technology firms—is by no means invincible. For example, perennial loyalty leader USAA has a Net Promoter Score of 79, compared with Amazon’s 47. USAA may have a unique customer base in its military community, but some of its characteristics are shared by other direct banks such as Ally, Schwab and Capital One 360. Many of the direct banks have simplified their product line and processes, saving consumers time and effort. USAA also provides access to a broader ecosystem of services, such as car buying. Direct banks appeal to digitally savvy individuals who prefer app-based banking services, and to those looking for more competitive interest rates and fees.

Related:  Technology is the ‘most profound force bearing down’ on big banks, ex-Barclays boss says

Still, the threat from Amazon is real and imminent. Moving into basic banking would not only save Amazon on interchange costs, but also give it more direct influence and insight into customers’ finances and spending, rather than having banks as the intermediary. The bank account could become a platform for whole new range of services for a company that already has enormous reach among America’s most valuable banking customers. Our survey shows that Amazon customers control 75% of U.S. household wealth, with Prime subscribers controlling about 45% of wealth. Moreover, Amazon customers account for about 75% of the wealthiest households’ assets.

Continue to the full article --> here


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

Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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The Bitcoin Boom Reaches a Canadian Ghost Town

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Bloomberg | Joshua Brustein | Sep 4, 2018

With fewer than 100 residents, Ocean Falls is looking for a revival after almost four decades of industrial false starts.


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

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Crypto Pioneer Buys Penthouse in Former Toronto Trump Tower

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Bloomberg | By Natalie Wong and Gerrit De Vynck | June 20, 2018

A cryptocurrency baron has bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in Canada, paying for it partly with digital money.

Anthony Di Iorio purchased the three-story penthouse for C$28 million ($21 million) at the St. Regis Residences Toronto, the former Trump International Hotel & Tower in the downtown business district. The unit totals 16,178 square feet (1,502 square meters) and includes a wrap-around patio overlooking the city’s skyline at the corner of Bay and Adelaide Streets.

Di Iorio didn’t take out a mortgage for the property because he doesn’t “like being in debt.” Instead, he cashed out some of his cryptocurrency and made a wire transfer to pay the price.

“I don’t remember exactly which ones I cashed in but this is my safety net, real estate right?” he said in an interview with Bloomberg at his new condo. He now owns two condos units in Toronto for a total investment of about C$34 million, he said. “I decided to take a bunch out and put it in real estate.”

The hotel is owned by InnVest Hotels LP and operated by Marriott International Inc. as the Adelaide Hotel Toronto, and will be rebranded the St. Regis once a renovation is complete. Residences in the building are owned by JCF Capital ULC.

See:  $57.9B deployed into fintech so far this year, Canada one to watch

Di Iorio got into the cryptocurrency craze on the ground floor as a co-founder of Ethereum. He was active in Toronto’s early blockchain community and was on the initial team that put together Ethereum, now the leading alternative to the Bitcoin platform. Ether, the currency that runs on Ethereum, now has a market value of around $50 billion compared with Bitcoin’s $115 billion. Di Iorio now runs Decentral, an “innovation hub’ in Toronto focused on blockchain projects. It’s the creator of the popular cryptocurrency wallet Jaxx.

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
Read More
A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance
Cointlegraph | By Marie Huillet | Nov 20, 2018 The cryptocurrency market crash has eased pressure on the U.K.’s financial regulator to introduce hasty new rules for the sector, Reuters reported Nov. 20. As Reuters outlines, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been pressed to expedite new regulation for the rapidly growing crypto space, raising the risk of a heavy-handed approach that could impede investment and stifle development. Now that the sector has settled, government officials and FCA representatives indicate they will be taking more time to fine-tune the balance between investor protection and fostering financial innovation. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Speaking at a conference dedicated to crypto regulation in London yesterday, Nov 20., Gillian Dorner, deputy director for financial services at Britain’s finance ministry, said: “We want to take the time to look at that in a bit more depth and make sure we take a proportionate approach.” British regulators reportedly told the conference they are analyzing over 2,000 crypto assets to see whether they can be regulated under existing rules before considering whether reform might be necessary. Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director for strategy and competition, is quoted as saying ...
Read More
Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation
Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018 After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports. The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years. See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports. In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned: “(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.” The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms: Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.” Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed ...
Read More
House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
NCFA Canada | Nov 16, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep18-Nov 16:  Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan sits down with Charlene Cieslik the Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer at Coinsquare. They talk about not everyone using crypto is a terrorist, regulatory uncertainty, cape shopping and guidance in the crypto space. Enjoy! Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  CHARLENE CIESLIK, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare (view Linkedin) Bio:  Charlene Cieslik is the Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer of Coinsquare, Canada's most secure digital asset exchange for buying bitcoin, ethereum, and other digital currencies.  During her 20-year career, Charlene has held roles as the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Anti-Bribery Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer at several Canadian and Foreign scheduled banks, where she was responsible for the development, remediation, and execution of AML/ATF, anti-bribery, regulatory, and privacy programs.  Charlene has worked with several “Big 4” accounting firms and a Canadian fintech company, where she has assisted global financial institutions with AML/ATF program development, particularly with post-regulatory exam remediation and AML/ATF investigations. Charlene holds a Master’s degree ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.18-Nov 16): Bridging the AML/ATF Gap with Financial Institutions and the New Economy with Charlene Cieslik, Chief AML Officer, Coinsquare

 

Share

Why startups are leaving Silicon Valley

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The Economist | Aug 30, 2018

Its primacy as a technology hub is on the wane. That is cause for concern

“LIKE Florence in the Renaissance.” That is a common description of what it is like to live in Silicon Valley. America’s technology capital has an outsize influence on the world’s economy, stockmarkets and culture. This small portion of land running from San Jose to San Francisco is home to three of the world’s five most valuable companies. Giants such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Netflix all claim Silicon Valley as their birthplace and home, as do trailblazers such as Airbnb, Tesla and Uber. The Bay Area has the 19th-largest economy in the world, ranking above Switzerland and Saudi Arabia.

See:  Silicon Valley Bank Is Coming for Canada’s Burgeoning Tech Scene

The Valley is not just a place. It is also an idea. Ever since Bill Hewlett and David Packard set up in a garage nearly 80 years ago, it has been a byword for innovation and ingenuity. It has been at the centre of several cycles of Schumpeterian destruction and regeneration, in silicon chips, personal computers, software and internet services. Some of its inventions have been ludicrous: internet-connected teapots, or an app that sold people coins to use at laundromats. But others are world-beaters: microprocessor chips, databases and smartphones all trace their lineage to the Valley.

Its combination of engineering expertise, thriving business networks, deep pools of capital, strong universities and a risk-taking culture have made the Valley impossible to clone, despite many attempts to do so. There is no credible rival for its position as the world’s pre-eminent innovation hub. But there are signs that the Valley’s influence is peaking (see Briefing). If that were simply a symptom of much greater innovation elsewhere, it would be cause for cheer. The truth is unhappier.

Silicon Plateau

First, the evidence that something is changing. Last year more Americans left the county of San Francisco than arrived. According to a recent survey, 46% of respondents say they plan to leave the Bay Area in the next few years, up from 34% in 2016. So many startups are branching out into new places that the trend has a name, “Off Silicon Valleying”. Peter Thiel, perhaps the Valley’s most high-profile venture capitalist, is among those upping sticks. Those who stay have broader horizons: in 2013 Silicon Valley investors put half their money into startups outside the Bay Area; now it is closer to two-thirds.

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The reasons for this shift are manifold, but chief among them is the sheer expense of the Valley. The cost of living is among the highest in the world. One founder reckons young startups pay at least four times more to operate in the Bay Area than in most other American cities. New technologies, from quantum computing to synthetic biology, offer lower margins than internet services, making it more important for startups in these emerging fields to husband their cash. All this is before taking into account the nastier features of Bay Area life: clogged traffic, discarded syringes and shocking inequality.

Other cities are rising in relative importance as a result. The Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit group that tracks entrepreneurship, now ranks the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area first for startup activity in America, based on the density of startups and new entrepreneurs. Mr Thiel is moving to Los Angeles, which has a vibrant tech scene. Phoenix and Pittsburgh have become hubs for autonomous vehicles; New York for media startups; London for fintech; Shenzhen for hardware. None of these places can match the Valley on its own; between them, they point to a world in which innovation is more distributed.

If great ideas can bubble up in more places, that has to be welcome. There are some reasons to think the playing-field for innovation is indeed being levelled up. Capital is becoming more widely available to bright sparks everywhere: tech investors increasingly trawl the world, not just California, for hot ideas. There is less reason than ever for a single region to be the epicentre of technology. Thanks to the tools that the Valley’s own firms have produced, from smartphones to video calls to messaging apps, teams can work effectively from different offices and places. A more even distribution of wealth may be one result, greater diversity of thought another. The Valley does many things remarkably well, but it comes dangerously close to being a monoculture of white male nerds. Companies founded by women received just 2% of the funding doled out by venture capitalists last year.

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Shadows of the colossi

The problem is that the wider playing-field for innovation is also being levelled down. One issue is the dominance of the tech giants. Startups, particularly those in the consumer-internet business, increasingly struggle to attract capital in the shadow of Alphabet, Apple, Facebook et al. In 2017 the number of first financing rounds in America was down by around 22% from 2012. Alphabet and Facebook pay their employees so generously that startups can struggle to attract talent (the median salary at Facebook is $240,000). When the chances of startup success are even less certain and the payoffs not so very different from a steady job at one of the giants, dynamism suffers—and not just in the Valley. It is a similar story in China, where Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent are responsible for close to half of all domestic venture-capital investment, giving the giants a big say in the future of potential rivals.

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