FFCON21 Breaking Barriers May 11-13, 2021

Category Archives: Fundraising and Investing

Lobbying: it’s high time startups up their game

Sifted | Nicolas Colin | Apr 14, 2021

Startups and lobbying - Lobbying: it’s high time startups up their game

The Greensill debacle shows that startups have a lot to learn when it comes to winning friends and influencing people.

Startups are getting stuck into some highly-regulated industries — and they need to start taking those regulations seriously. Long gone are the days when founders could “move fast and break things”, to echo Mark Zuckerberg’s famous words. Now startups are handling people’s money; they’re responsible for children’s education; and some of them are even taking our lives in their (healthtech) hands.

But staying on the right side of regulation is not easy. Most rules were designed a long time ago, well before the internet came about and made it possible to solve old problems with new solutions. Many things that are now possible don’t exactly fit in the old regulatory boxes that we inherit from the past — whether it’s rules that relate to taxi medallions or the 1835 Highways Act that effectively prohibits anyone in the UK from riding an electric scooter on the road. For some startups to take off while strictly complying with existing regulations in sectors such as transportation, financial services or healthcare, the sequence would have to be: first, change the regulations, and second, grow the business.

See:  The U.S. Only Pretends to Have Free Markets

In practice, however, many founders are so obsessed with moving forward that they are often oblivious to the fact that legacy regulations effectively stand in the way. Investors might be more clearsighted about the regulatory context, but they often assume that regulators go with the flow and upgrade their framework as it becomes obvious that new approaches are possible.

What needs to happen

First, founders need to embrace a less naive view of regulations and regulators. Too often, they don’t realise that many government officials are not that sensitive to the promises of technological progress. Rather, their focus is on maintaining order, creating jobs, appeasing various constituencies with conflicting interests — and, yes, winning the next election.

Second, investors need to realise it’s up to them to do the heavy lifting. In the US, the most prominent VC firms have seen enough regulatory issues in their portfolios to decide that they need to have their founders’ backs. They do it by investing in thought leadership and engaging with prominent regulators, as Andreessen Horowitz has been doing for years through their media operation.

See:  BC tech orgs lobby federal, provincial governments for scale-up funding

Finally, government officials themselves need to wake up and remember that adapting regulations is a powerful lever from an industrial policy perspective. This one, by the way, is especially true in Europe. China has the sheer size of its domestic market. The US has the unrivalled power of a financial system able to funnel vast amounts of money into the startup world. What Europe has, in comparison, is powerful governments able to pull the regulatory lever as they see fit. Too often, they do so to protect legacy corporations by maintaining backward-looking regulations. Instead, they should seek to lower barriers to entry and make room for the new business models that technology now makes possible.

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

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Coinbase is the talk of Wall Street on Wednesday: ‘Watershed moment’ in crypto

MarketWatch | Mark DeCambre | Apr 14, 2021

Coinbase direct listing - Coinbase is the talk of Wall Street on Wednesday:  ‘Watershed moment’ in crypto

Coinbase is the talk of Wall Street on Wednesday, as the largest crypto platform in the U.S. gears up for its public debut on a traditional exchange, arriving via a direct listing rather than a more traditional initial public offering.

The arrival on the public markets of Coinbase COIN, 34.38% is a big moment in the world of cryptocurrencies. The company was created just over a decade ago with the genesis of bitcoin BTCUSD, -2.43% and today stands at what many in the industry have described as a tipping point.

There are few ways to secure direct ownership of crypto currencies, outside of buying them directly, a service that Coinbase provides for a fee, and which investors appear willing to pay for.

Coinbase, whose users primarily deal in bitcoin and ethereum, reported last week that its revenue soared 847% in the first quarter to $1.8 billion, and that it now has 56 million verified users.

See:  ETF investors say Coinbase listing will cause explosion in crypto investing

Leeor Shimron, an analyst at FundStrat Global Advisors, described the Coinbase listing as seminal. “Coinbase’s direct listing is a watershed moment for the crypto industry.”

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said the listing is a reflection of cryptocurrencies’ having arrived at the mainstream. “Coinbase is a foundational piece of the crypto ecosystem and is a barometer for the growing mainstream adoption of bitcoin and crypto for the coming years in our opinion,” he wrote in a research note Tuesday.

Some caution that the implied valuation for Coinbase as a crypto exchange has gotten too lofty, compared with traditional stock exchanges like Nasdaq Inc. NDAQ, -0.35%, where Coinbase will directly list, and Intercontinental Exchange ICE, -0.35%,  the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.

In a direct listing, a company floats its shares on a stock exchange but without hiring banks to underwrite the transaction as in an IPO.

David Trainer, CEO of the investment research firm New Constructs, said the crypto platform’s value is ridiculously high. “Even though Coinbase’s revenue surged over the past 12 months, the company has little to no chance of meeting the future profit expectations that are baked into its ridiculously high expected valuation of $100 billion,” he said.

“Coinbase’s expected valuation of $100 billion implies that its revenue will be 1.5 [times] the combined 2020 revenues of two of the most established exchanges in the marketplace,” namely, NYSE parent ICE and Nasdaq.

Trainer said that, based on his calculation, Coinbase’s valuation should be closer to $18.9 billion — an 81% decrease from the $100 billion expected valuation.

See:  The Under-Appreciated Significance of Coinbase Going Public

‘Not for the faint of heart’

MoffettNathanson analyst Lisa Ellis explained to MarketWatch why the offering is, as she described it, “not for the faint of heart,” even as she initiated coverage of the exchange at a buy with a price target of $600, before the stock has seen its first trade on the Nasdaq.

“I’m super super bullish on Coinbase … because you get the sense that they are a market leader in the space and crypto-agnostic,” she said.

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

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Debating Element AI’s legacy

Montreal in Tech | Joseph Czikk  | Apr 2, 2021

element AI reception - Debating Element AI’s legacy

Sam Presti made a risky bet in the summer of 2018. The general manager of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder traded for star player Paul George.

There was just one problem.

George had one year left on his contract before he was free to sign with whomever he wanted, and he made it clear he wanted to return home to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. Presti made a bet on an asset that would probably skip town in a year’s time. In doing so, he risked his job in Oklahoma City, a small market team that doesn’t often lure high-end free agent players.

See:  4 Ways the Startup Landscape Will Shift in 2021

“Scared money don’t make none,” Presti famously remarked at the press conference, referencing a lyric from Midnight, by A Tribe Called Quest.

Presti’s big bet paid off. George liked it so much in the midwest that he spurned the Lakers and signed on for another year with the Thunder, shocking many.

Montreal’s next tech unicorn?

Like Presti’s gamble, risk-taking is sometimes necessary in life. And for so long it felt like Canadian tech markets like Montreal couldn’t stacked up to Silicon Valley and New York because of a lack of risk.

We’ve heard the same refrain over and over again: Canadian markets lack the big bet behaviour to compete with our American neighbours.

But in the October of 2016, the beginnings of what would become one of Montreal’s biggest bets to date began to take shape. A new incubation-style “AI startup factory” launched in an attempt to retain the city’s AI talent and provide a spark for young companies.

The company was named Element AI.

Four years later as we examine the wreckage, the question remains that has polarized Montreal’s tech community. Was Element AI positive or negative for Montreal’s tech sector?

Hype and fanfare

Element AI burst onto the Canadian tech scene four years ago amid hype and fanfare, promising to deliver AI-powered operational improvements to a range of industries and anchor a thriving domestic AI sector, wrote the Globe and Mail at the time.

“The company became the self-appointed representative of Canada’s AI sector, lobbying politicians and officials and landing numerous photo ops with them, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

But the mega-funded Montreal-based AI research company sold to the Silicon Valley cloud computing giant ServiceNow just before Christmas, 2020. The bargain-bin price tag was US $230 million, and adjustments and expenses could bring the final price down to US$195 million. This was far below Element AI’s reported value at between $750 million and $880 million when it last raised money ($200 million at the time) in September 2019.

See:  Forget Unicorns. Zebras are (more sustainable) and the future!

Debate abounded following the sale. How could investors pump so much public and private money into Element AI only to see this ending? How could it get to a point where actual earnings dramatically trailed overhead?

I spoke to several Montreal-based AI startup founders about this story. Some see it as a disappointing tale of a community desperately trying to build its own flagship version of tech success.

They’re frustrated that smaller AI startups in Montreal were ignored by local public and private capital firms. They say investors were too enamoured with Element AI, leaving little capital or facetime for smaller companies desperately competing for a slice of funding.

Others say the city is better off after the tale of Element AI, and that investors are now being chastised for taking the swing-for-the-fences gamble that many had long pushed for.

Dr. Jason Behrmann questions why the “grow fast at all costs using VC funds” model remains the most popular

“When you take $200, $300 million and you put it into one business, the reality is that there are probably 50 smaller AI shops that didn’t get $3, $4, $5 million in seed funding,” said Bouchard.

“I haven’t seen anyone from the government explaining how they’ll reuse that money and we haven’t seen any VCs do any sort of a mea culpa. These guys are just not talking about the deal,” said the source. “I think we’re long overdue for an answer.”

“Element AI tried to raise significant money and do it the Silicon Valley way, which happens 10 times a month in the Bay area. We tried it here and it didn’t work out. But we need to take risks, right?” said Maclean.

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

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Clean Energy Bitcoin Mining Joint Venture Agreement Signed by Link Global Technologies and Neptune Digital Assets

Neptune Digital Assets Corp. | Release | Apr 12, 2021

Bitcoin clean energy mining - Clean Energy Bitcoin Mining Joint Venture Agreement Signed by Link Global Technologies and Neptune Digital Assets

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NEPTUNE DIGITAL ASSETS CORP. (“Neptune” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:NDA; OTC:NPPTF; FSE:1NW) is pleased to provide an update on its planned expansion into renewable energy Bitcoin (“BTC”) mining. The Company and LINK GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES INC. (CSE: LNK; FRA: LGT; OTC: LGLOF) (“LINK”) have incorporated a joint venture company, Pure Digital Power Corp. (“Pure”), and in connection therewith, the Company, Link and Pure have entered into a shareholders’ agreement governing the management of Pure. Pure is a power and Bitcoin mining infrastructure company with an emphasis on clean sustainable energy.

See:  Cryptocurrency and energy consumption debate

Through Pure, Neptune and Link have agreed to develop an initial 5 megawatt (“MW”) renewable energy dominated BTC mining facility in Alberta, with potential for expansion and scaling. Establishing Pure and entering into the corresponding shareholders agreement follows shortly after the March 19, 2021 announcement of the proposed joint venture between LINK and Neptune to develop a green energy facility. All BTC mined under Pure’s operation are expected to be held in the treasury for reinvestment and decentralized finance (defi) based earnings, similar to Neptune’s current approach to treasury and asset management.

Highlights:

  • Pure is a joint venture company owned equally by LINK and Neptune — sharing equally in costs and crypto based revenues
  • The first Pure site will be in Alberta, Canada where LINK operates the majority of its BTC mining operations
  • The Pure site will be powered by clean energy sources — Solar, wind, and minimal natural gas
  • Focused on development of a Pure carbon credit token or NFT

Neptune’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Cale Moodie, commented: “We are extremely excited with our second foray into Bitcoin mining with Link, and an environmentally sustainably focused operation at that. We see the future of Bitcoin mining to be an environmentally sustainable one and this flagship operation is likely to be the first of many facilities to be developed using green sources.”

See:  Blockchain and the Future of Energy

Link’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Jenkins, also commented: “The creation of Pure is the perfect step in the evolution of Link. We have found a like-minded partner in Neptune who understands the value of green energy and sees the same business opportunity in creating a sustainable path for the energy requirements of BTC mining. The Pure 5 MW facility is only the beginning of what we expect will be an innovative and profitable relationship.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Clean Energy Bitcoin Mining Joint Venture Agreement Signed by Link Global Technologies and Neptune Digital Assets The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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ETF investors say Coinbase listing will cause explosion in crypto investing

ComplianceX | Jack J. Kelly | Apr 12, 2021

Cryptocurrencies - ETF investors say Coinbase listing will cause explosion in crypto investingThe pending Coinbase direct listing, scheduled for Wednesday on the Nasdaq under the symbol COIN, is exciting a broad base of the investment community outside the usual cryptocurrency crowd.

“Coinbase is going to blow people’s minds,” said Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management, which pioneered the first cryptocurrency index fund. “I think it’s going to force traditional finance to wrestle with the phenomenal growth that is taking place in crypto.”

It’s not hard to understand why. Coinbase is likely the biggest beneficiary of the cryptocurrency revival. It had 56 million verified users, with $1.8 billion in revenues in the first quarter alone, and a value that could be anywhere from $50 billion to $100 billion.

That is an extraordinary valuation for an exchange of any type. By contrast, Intercontinental Exchange, which runs the New York Stock Exchange, has a market cap of $65 billion, while Nasdaq has a market cap of $25 billion.

See:  The Under-Appreciated Significance of Coinbase Going Public

That kind of valuation is getting the investment community — and particularly exchange-traded fund investors — very excited.

Biggest crypto pure play

Crypto assets have had the same problem that other hot commodities (like pot or space) have had in the past: a high degree of interest with a notable lack of investible assets. Coinbase, however, will go a long way toward solving that problem.  Because ownership of crypto by individuals and institutions is still fairly low, many believe the valuation of Coinbase will encourage more private entities to go public.

“I think we’re going to see a gold rush for crypto equities as investors realize just how fast the ‘picks and shovels’ companies of the crypto ecosystem are growing,” Hougan said.

Michelle Bond, a former senior counsel at the SEC who is now CEO of the Association for Digital Asset Markets, an association of firms in the digital marketplace, said "the Coinbase listing will break down headline barriers because this will have to be approved by a traditional financial regulator, ensuring transparency, integrity and disclosure.”

Will the SEC finally approve a bitcoin ETF?

While bitcoin ETFs exist in the U.S., they do not directly own bitcoin. They own portfolios of stocks deemed to have exposure to blockchain technology.  A bitcoin ETF that owns bitcoin is a long-awaited dream of crypto investors because it will greatly expand the class of potential owners.

“A bitcoin ETF will provide an easy, simple and efficient way to own bitcoin,” said Som Seif, who runs the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, which trades in Canada. “Just like gold, the storage and custody of bitcoin is unique. An ETF solves that problem. Also it’s like a stamp of approval: There’s institutional backing. The GLD [Gold ETF] changed the world when it came out in 2004. It made it easy to own gold as an asset class.”

See:  Canadian Regulators Green Light World’s First Bitcoin ETF for Retail Investors

Several weeks ago, the SEC acknowledged the receipt of Van Eck’s bitcoin ETF application, which set in motion a 45-day regulatory review period. At the end of that period, the SEC must either approve, deny or extend the review period. Several other firms, including Fidelity, have also applied for a bitcoin ETF.  Most observers believe the SEC will punt and seek to extend the review period. The maximum period is 240 days.  However, most bitcoin watchers believe late 2021 could finally be the year a bitcoin ETF is approved.

“The biggest potential change is [SEC Chair nominee] Gary Gensler,” Magoon said, noting that Gensler has taught cryptocurrencies and appears more receptive to a bitcoin filing. He also noted that SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, a Republican, has also been a supporter of a bitcoin ETF.

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

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How Do Canadian Discount Brokers Compare With Robinhood?

Guest Post | April 12, 2021

online trading setup - How Do Canadian Discount Brokers Compare With Robinhood?

Robinhood is a US-based digital stockbroker and trading app that experienced exponential growth over the past few years. The company is on a mission to democratize investing by making the stock market accessible to all. To help with its purpose, Robinhood introduced zero-commission stock trades way back in 2013.

Unfortunately for Canadian investors looking to build their savings, Robinhood is not available to them. There is no indication that Robinhood along with rivals like eToro will make their way up north anytime soon.

In the meantime, the battle of Canadian brokers pits legacy and old-school institutions against newer-age online platforms. For example, this BMO Investorline vs Questrade guide compares and contrasts BMO’s brokerage service that was launched in 1988 with Questrade’s service that was launched just in time for the new century.

Why Isn’t Robinhood Available In Canada?

Robinhood Co-Founder and Co-CEO Baiju Bhatt said in a Reddit AMA in 2019 the company paused in 2016 all plans related to market expansion. Robinhood cited the surprising Brexit outcome and corresponding market uncertainty in its decision to focus exclusively on the US market.

By July 2020, Robinhood confirmed all international expansion plans are no longer part of the company's thought process. Expectations for Robinhood to become one of the online stock brokers available to Canadians has been shot down, possibly for good.

Robinhood said: “We’ve come to recognize that our efforts are currently best spent on strengthening our core business in the US and making further investments in our foundational systems.”

Chances are more likely that eToro will bring its online stockbroker platform to Canada. The Israel-based rival to Robinhood already has a presence in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere. The company recently closed a deal to list itself on the US stock market and will have US$800 million in cash to support future growth initiatives.

In the meantime, the list of stockbrokers in Canada remains mostly the same in 2021 as it was 20 years ago. The list of some of the more notable online Canadian brokers including BMO Investorline, Questrade, Qtrade, Scotia iTrade, TD Direct Investing, WealthSimple, among others.

Do Any Stock Brokers In Canada Offer Free Trading?

Robinhood gained fame by letting all clients transact on its online stock brokerage platform for free. The challenge it presented to legacy brokers was immense and US banks scrambled to introduce free stock platforms of their own.

Only one of the online Canadian stock brokers offers free trading -- sort of. Wealthsimple is a zero-fee robo-advisor firm that only charges clients an annual fee equal to 0.4% or 0.5% of their total assets under management.

Users with up to $100,000 in assets pay a fee of 0.5% and those with more money pay a reduced fee of 0.5%. The math behind the fee structure could prove to be extremely beneficial or very disadvantages for users depending on their individual circumstances.

A Canadian investor that just opened an online brokerage account with $50,000 will pay roughly $250 a year in fees. The tradeoff is the investor is paying for an automated service that includes features like automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and tax loss harvesting.

However, knowledgeable and investment savvy Canadian investors looking for a do-it-yourself experience can set up a diversified portfolio with 12 stocks at roughly half the cost of one year’s worth of Wealthsimple fees. Wealthsimple charges a premium forex fee for all trades denominated in US dollars so it may or may not be advantageous compared to rivals like BMO Investorline and those from big banks that typically charge a flat fee of nearly $10 a trade.

Wealthsimple trading - How Do Canadian Discount Brokers Compare With Robinhood?

Source: Wealthsimple

Some Canadian Brokers Offer Free ETF Trading

A few other Canadian online brokers offer free access to buy and sell exchange-traded funds. Some of the brokers that offer free ETF trading include Qtrade, Wealthsimple, National Bank Direct Brokerages, among others.

Other brokers like BMO Investorline are stuck in the dinosaur era where buying and selling ETFs still cost close to $10.

Do Canadian Online Brokers Offer Fractional Share Ownership?

Another key feature that makes Robinhood stand out as one of the more popular online stock brokers is a feature that lets investors buy fractional shares. Investors can buy as little as one one-millionth of a share and upwards.

This gives investors of all shapes and sizes the ability to own what the big shots on Wall Street own. Investors can buy one-tenth of one share of Amazon's stock for around US $330.

Canadians hoping to take advantage of similar features on one of their online stock brokers are mostly out of luck. A Questrade representative on Reddit confirmed it has “no plans” for fractional trading at the moment.

Interactive Brokers is a US-based online stock broker available to Canadians and it started offering fractional share ownerships to its Canadian users in 2019. Aside from Interactive Brokers, Canadians hoping to do what Robinhood clients have been doing for some time are out of luck.

Conclusion: What Are The Closest Canadian Alternatives To Robinhood?

No single Canadian online stock broker offers an identical experience to Robinhood. Wealthsimple would be considered among the closest given its zero-commission fee structure although for many this could prove to be more expensive given its value-added fees.

Canadian brokers like Questrade and Qtrade might be viewed by some as a close alternative. All three embrace the digital revolution and target younger millennials looking to invest their small but growing fortune.

On the other end of the spectrum, old Canadian online brokers like BMO Investorline, RBC Direct Investing, and TD Direct Investing have the least in common with Robinhood that strives to make investing cheap and accessible to all.


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

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#FFCON21 Brings Canada’s Tech Hub to the Web for 3 Days of Fintech Insights, Business Building

Investor Wire | Jonathan Keim | April 10, 2021

FFCON21 Image 3 - #FFCON21 Brings Canada’s Tech Hub to the Web for 3 Days of Fintech Insights, Business BuildingFFCON21: Breaking Barriers May 11-13

  • The 2021 Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo (#FFCON21) is scheduled May 11-13
  • Global virtual conference streamed from Toronto, the hub of Canada’s developing fintech ecosystem, but presented online due to pandemic concerns
  • 50-plus speakers with expert insights planned
  • Networking opportunities to connect one-to-one with peers and experts
  • Draft pitching competition to gain attention for business brand (as well as prizes)

The 7th Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo will be held for global participants virtually from May 11-13, 2021.  Originating in Toronto, FFCON21 has grown from a basic collaboration between entrepreneurs and big businesses intent on driving change into a thriving gathering of fintech, blockchain, crypto, digital banking, AI, payments, wealthtech, regtech, alternative finance stakeholders and global participants with a love for Canada’s fintech ecosystem.

In its seventh year, the 2021 gathering (#FFCON21) has been adapted to the health security needs of attendees during the present global pandemic, offering exclusive online access to a three-day collection of educational courses, networking opportunities, pitch competitions, e-booth demos and an auction for charity. 

The conference will take place May 11 to 13, still celebrating its place within Canada’s rising fintech and financial sector even as it extends its reach to a global audience through a virtual platform. Tickets, including early bird rates at present and a special startups-only package, are available at https://ibn.fm/3Ov1h.

Conference organizers anticipate bringing attendees to the table with some 50 speakers ranging from Main Street executives such as the president and CEO of public-private partnership Toronto Finance International to enterprising up-and-comers such as the founder-partner of startup builder Borderless Ventures and its CryptoAssets Institute.

See:  Showcase your products/services: Secure a DEMO Speaker spot at FFCON21: May 11-1

The second annual draft pitching and demo competition follows a sports league model geared toward identifying and featuring emerging and high growth fintech startups and scaleups. The “Breaking Barriers” theme of the conference is particularly appropriate here as draft participants compete for exposure and prizes, including promotion to investors, media, prospective buyers and partners.

The online access format driven by the pandemic proved advantageous last year following a scheduling delay necessary to reimagine the presentation of the spring conference. The digital venue and interactive platform allows for increased participation on a global scale because of the elimination of travel expenses from the plan. Networking and file sharing are able to occur naturally and easily using integrated online text and video chat features.

Additionally, the online platform makes it simple to access all digital content to catch up on anything attendees may have missed at a time when it is more convenient. Networking and e-booth displays present attendees with the potential to make connections with a future business mentor, investor or a prospective employee to help build their companies.

And at the heart of it all is the class schedule with insights from thought leaders on the direction of fintech solutions and emerging fintech trends. Presentations will explore topics that address the latest innovations, emerging industry regulation and the impact of government activity on financial technology markets.

For more information, visit the conference’s web portal at https://fintechandfunding.com.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - #FFCON21 Brings Canada’s Tech Hub to the Web for 3 Days of Fintech Insights, Business Building The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Recent Appointments

7th Annual Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo (FFCON21): Breaking Barriers May 11-13 (Digital)
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