Category Archives: Hack or Fraud Alert

Bitcoin Prices Hold Steady After Sudden Canadian Exchange Shutdown

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Forbes | | Oct 29, 2018

Bitcoin prices, along with the wider cryptocurrency market, have held steady following the sudden shut down of a relatively minor cryptocurrency exchange in Canada yesterday.

MapleChange revealed via Twitter that a software "bug" had allowed all of the 913 bitcoin (worth some $6 million at current exchange rates) it was holding to be stolen.

MapleChange attempted to reassure users that it would be conducting a “thorough investigation” but warned it would be unable to make refunds before deleting its social media accounts and taking its website offline. Users now attempting to access maplechange.com are met with a timeout error.

The bitcoin price was little moved on news of the loss, with the market trading sideways over the last 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data.

See:  Cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare announced it is set to expand into Europe in Q4 2018

The price of bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have remarkably stable over recent months, as investors and traders await decisions by regulators, signs of growing user adoption, and interest from some of the world's biggest banks.

Bitcoin exchange hacks remain common around the world despite attempts to better regulate the industry and protect users and investors.

In the UK, where the cryptocurrency sector has been branded a "wild west", the government has promised to improve protections for users by moving bitcoin companies and exchanges under the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority, which looks after the country's extensive banking industry.

While bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange hacks are never good news, MapleChange's small size will mean the damage is somewhat contained. The MapleChange Twitter account had fewer than 2,000 followers, compared to Binance's 880,000.

Prominent bitcoin and cryptocurrency experts and industry leaders were quick to weigh in on the supposed hack, warning users to avoid smaller or unknown exchanges.

Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive of the world's largest crypto exchange by volume Binance, advised consumers to not use exchanges if they do offer cold wallets.

It was also suggested that MapleChange may have pulled off a so-called exit scam, building up reserves of bitcoin before claiming its funds have been lost or stolen.

See:  FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.15-Oct 26): Gearing up Hyperion Exchange, Hybrid Models and Security Tokens with Michael Zavet, CEO and Founder, Hyperion Technologies

Many others repeated the mantra: "If you don't control the private keys, it's not your bitcoin," a phrase used to warn people that keeping their cryptocurrencies with businesses often means they have little proof of ownership.

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Reuters | Pete Schroeder | Jan 14, 2019 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are exploring granting federal bank-like licenses to tech-driven firms that offer financial services, such as money transfers and lending. The plan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost small businesses and promote job growth. Federal licenses would allow fintech firms, which currently operate under a patchwork of state rules, to reduce their regulatory costs and expand into new regions and products. However, fintech firms say they are reluctant to invest heavily in nationwide expansion without access to the payment systems, settlement services, and other Fed tools and the central bank has yet to decide whether to let those lightly-regulated players in. Many Fed officials fear these firms lack robust risk-management controls and consumer protections that banks have in place. See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking “They probably do want access to the payments system, but they don’t want the regulation that would come with that access,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Reuters in November. “I am concerned that fintech ...
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Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed
Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
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Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
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Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
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Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
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SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
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Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
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Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
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MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
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Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
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Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks

 

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Global Governance Insights on Emerging Risks

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Bleu Azur Consulting | June 17, 2018

A HEIGHTENED FOCUS ON RESPONSE AND RECOVERY

Over a third of directors of US public companies now discuss cybersecurity at every board meeting. Cyber risks are being driven onto the agenda by

  • high-profile data breaches,
  • distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks,
  • and rising ransomware and cyber extortion attacks.

The concern about cyber risks is justified. The annual economic cost of cyber-crime is estimated at US$1.5 trillion and only about 15% of that loss is currently covered by insurance.

MMC Global Risk Center conducted research and interviews with directors from WCD to understand the scope and depth of cyber risk management discussions in the boardroom. The risk of cyberattack is a constantly evolving threat and the interviews highlighted the rising focus on resilience and recovery in boardroom cyber discussions. Approaches to cyber risks are maturing as organizations recognize them as an enterprise business risk, not just an information technology (IT) problem.

However, board focus varies significantly across industries, geographies, organization size and regulatory context. For example, business executives ranked cyberattacks among the top five risks of doing business in the Asia Pacific region but Asian organizations take 1.7 times longer than the global median to discover a breach and spend on average 47% less on information security than North American firms.

REGULATION ON THE RISE

Tightening regulatory requirements for cybersecurity and breach notification across the globe such as

  • the EU GDPR,
  • China’s new Cyber Security Law,
  • and Australia’s Privacy Amendment,

are also propelling cyber onto the board agenda. Most recently, in February 2018, the USA’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provided interpretive guidance to assist public companies in preparing disclosures about cybersecurity risks and incidents.

Regulations relating to transparency and notifications around cyber breaches drive greater discussion and awareness of cyber risks. Industries such as

  • financial services,
  • telecommunications
  • and utilities,

are subject to a large number of cyberattacks on a daily basis and have stringent regulatory requirements for cybersecurity.

See:  Bithumb $31 Million Crypto Exchange Hack: What We Know (And Don’t)

Kris Manos, Director, KeyCorp, Columbia Forest Products, and Dexter Apache Holdings, observed, “The manufacturing sector is less advanced in addressing cyber threats; the NotPetya and WannaCry attacks flagged that sector’s vulnerability and has led to a greater focus in the boardroom.” For example, the virus forced a transportation company to shut down all of its communications with customers and also within the company. It took several weeks before business was back to normal, and the loss of business was estimated to have been as high as US$300 million. Overall, it is estimated that as a result of supply chain disruptions, consumer goods manufacturers, transport and logistics companies, pharmaceutical firms and utilities reportedly suffered, in aggregate, over US$1 billion in economic losses from the NotPetya attacks. Also, as Cristina Finocchi Mahne, Director, Inwit, Italiaonline, Banco Desio, Natuzzi and Trevi Group, noted, “The focus on cyber can vary across industries depending also on their perception of their own clients’ concerns regarding privacy and data breaches.”

LESSONS LEARNED: UPDATE RESPONSE PLANS AND EVALUATE THIRD-PARTY RISK

The high-profile cyberattacks in 2017, along with new and evolving ransomware onslaughts, were learning events for many organizations. Lessons included the need to establish relationships with organizations that can assist in the event of a cyberattack, such as l

  • aw enforcement,
  • regulatory agencies and recovery service providers
  • including forensic accountants and crisis management firms.

Many boards need to increase their focus on their organization’s cyber incident response plans. A recent global survey found that only 30% of companies have a cyber response plan and a survey by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) suggests that only 60% of boards have reviewed their breach response plan over the past 12 months. Kris Manos noted, “[If an attack occurs,] it’s important to be able to quickly access a response plan. This also helps demonstrate that the organization was prepared to respond effectively.”

Experienced directors emphasized the need for effective response plans alongside robust cyber risk mitigation programs to ensure resilience, as well as operational and reputation recovery. As Jan Babiak, Director, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Euromoney Institutional Investor, and Bank of Montreal, stressed, “The importance of the ’respond and recover’ phase cannot be overstated, and this focus needs to rapidly improve.”

Directors need to review how the organization will communicate and report breaches. Response plans should include preliminary drafts of communications to all stakeholders including customers, suppliers, regulators, employees, the board, shareholders, and even the general public. The plan should also consider legal requirements around timelines to report breaches so the organization is not hit with financial penalties that can add to an already expensive and reputationally damaging situation. Finally, the response plan also needs to consider that normal methods of communication (websites, email, etc.) may be casualties of the breach. A cyber response plan housed only on the corporate network may be of little use in a ransomware attack.

Other lessons included the need to focus on cyber risks posed by third-party suppliers, vendors and other impacts throughout the supply chain. Shirley Daniel, Director, American Savings Bank, and Pacific Asian Management Institute, noted, “Such events highlight vulnerability beyond your organization’s control and are raising the focus on IT security throughout the supply chain.” Survey data suggests that about a third of organizations do not assess the cyber risk of vendors and suppliers. This is a critical area of focus as third-party service providers (e.g., software providers, cloud services providers, etc.) are increasingly embedded in value chains.

More:  The growing cost of cybersecurity

FRUSTRATIONS WITH OVERSIGHT

Most directors expressed frustrations and challenges with cyber risk oversight even though the topic is frequently on meeting agendas. Part of the challenge is that director-level cyber experts are thin on the ground; most boards have only one individual serving as the “tech” or “cyber” person. A Spencer Stuart survey found that 41% of respondents said their board had at least one director with cyber expertise, with an additional 7% who are in the process of recruiting one. Boards would benefit from the addition of experienced individuals who can identify the connections between cybersecurity and overall company strategy.

A crucial additional challenge is obtaining clarity on the organization’s overall cyber risk management framework. (See Exhibit 1: Boards Need More Information on Cyber Investments.) Olga Botero, Director, Evertec, Inc., and Founding Partner, C&S Customers and Strategy, observed, “There are still many questions unanswered for boards, including:

  • How good is our security program?
  • How do we compare to peers?

There is a big lack of benchmarking on practices.” Anastassia Lauterbach, Director, Dun & Bradstreet, and member of Evolution Partners Advisory Board, summarized it well, “Boards need a set of KPIs for cybersecurity highlighting their company’s

  • unique business model,
  • legacy IT,
  • supplier and partner relationships,
  • and geographical scope.”

Nearly a quarter of boards are dissatisfied with the quality of management-provided information related to cybersecurity because of insufficient transparency, inability to benchmark and difficulty of interpretation.

EFFECTIVE OVERSIGHT IS BUILT ON A COMPREHENSIVE CYBER RISK MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK

Organizations are maturing from a “harden the shell” approach to a protocol based on understanding and protecting core assets and optimizing resources. This includes the application of risk disciplines to assess and manage risk, including quantification and analytics. (See Exhibit 2: Focus Areas of a Comprehensive Cyber Risk Management Framework.) Quantification shifts the conversation from a technical discussion about threat vectors and system vulnerabilities to one focused on maximizing the return on an organization’s cyber spending and lowering its total cost of risk.

See:  FSB warns of third-party FinTech risk

Directors also emphasized the need to embed the process in an overall cyber risk management framework and culture. “The culture must emphasize openness and learning from mistakes. Culture and cyber risk oversight go hand in hand,” said Anastassia Lauterbach. Employees should be encouraged to flag and highlight potential cyber incidents, such as phishing attacks, as every employee plays a vital role in cyber risk management. Jan Babiak noted, “If every person in the organization doesn’t view themselves as a human firewall, you have a soft underbelly.” Mary Beth Vitale, Director, GEHA and CoBiz Financial, Inc., also noted, “Much of cyber risk mitigation is related to good housekeeping such as timely patching of servers and ongoing employee training and alertness.”

Boards also need to be alert. “Our board undertakes the same cybersecurity training as employees,” noted Wendy Webb, Director, ABM Industries. Other boards are putting cyber updates and visits to security centers on board “offsite” agendas.

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Reuters | Pete Schroeder | Jan 14, 2019 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are exploring granting federal bank-like licenses to tech-driven firms that offer financial services, such as money transfers and lending. The plan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost small businesses and promote job growth. Federal licenses would allow fintech firms, which currently operate under a patchwork of state rules, to reduce their regulatory costs and expand into new regions and products. However, fintech firms say they are reluctant to invest heavily in nationwide expansion without access to the payment systems, settlement services, and other Fed tools and the central bank has yet to decide whether to let those lightly-regulated players in. Many Fed officials fear these firms lack robust risk-management controls and consumer protections that banks have in place. See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking “They probably do want access to the payments system, but they don’t want the regulation that would come with that access,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Reuters in November. “I am concerned that fintech ...
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Fintech firms want to shake up banking, and that worries the Fed
Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
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Staff Notice 11-784:  OSC establishes task force to reduce regulatory burden
Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
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Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario
Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
Read More
Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
Read More
SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
Read More
Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
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Form Fintech & Holt Accelerator Create Map of Canadian FinTech Ecosystem
Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
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MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
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Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
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Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, 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

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Bithumb $31 Million Crypto Exchange Hack: What We Know (And Don’t)

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Coindesk | Wolfie Zhao | June 20, 2018

On Wednesday, roughly 35 billion Korean won (around $31 million) in cryptocurrency was stolen by hackers from the South Korea-based exchange Bithumb.

Although the breach may not be as severe as the $530 million hack of the Coincheck exchange earlier this year, the fact that Bithumb now ranks as the sixth biggest trading venue in the world still marks it as a notable, and worrying, incident.

While more details about the heist have surfaced in the hours following the event's confirmation, providing a glimpse into Bithumb's internal operations, some important questions about the hack still remain unanswered.

Here's what we know about the hack so far, and some details we still don't.

What we know

XRP compromised

While Bithumb has not yet disclosed full details of the stolen coins, news emerged following the hack that XRP, the native token of the XRP ledger and the world's third-largest cryptocurrency, has been targeted, according to a report from CoinDesk Korea.

Based on data from CoinMarketCap, Bithumb accounted for 10 percent of the global trading volume of XRP over the last 24 hours, with a total of $32 million-worth changing hands.

Bithumb has so far not responded to CoinDesk's request for comment.

IT improvement failed

While Bithumb officially confirmed the breach early Wednesday morning local time, it appears that security issues were already drawing attention from the exchange at least several days ago.

According to a follow-up report from CoinDesk Korea, Bithumb conducted a security enhancement checkup on June 16, just days before the confirmed hack.

The exchange explained at the time:

"Recently, the number of unauthorized access attempts has increased. As such, an urgent server checkup was conducted to strengthen the security of all system."

At the same time, Bithumb also started moving users' assets to a cold wallet to store cryptocurrencies in a more secure offline environment.

The CoinDesk Korea report indicated that the hack comes at a time when Bithumb is spending 10 billion won, or around $9 million dollars annually on security measures. Another report from Yonhap further suggests that Bithumb beefed up its security measures by implementing so-called "5.5.7 regulations" last month.

Under this requirement, at least 5 percent of a financial institution's staff should be IT specialists. Among those, 5 percent should focus on information security, while at least 7 percent of the firm's total budget should be on information security.

See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity

The report from Yonhap stated that 21 percent of Bithumb's employees are technology specialists as of May, and 10 percent of those are responsible for information security. Further, about eight percent of the annual spending budget is used for data protection activities.

Although Bithumb appears to have fulfilled the 5.5.7 requirements, the report said the fact that it has 300 employees means it may not be able to cope with the increasing amount of trading volume and user numbers on its platform.

Government weighs in

An hour before Bithumb confirmed the hack on its website and official Twitter account, the exchange reported the case to the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), a government organization that supervises internet and cybersecurity issues in the country.

An official from KISA said a dedicated analysis team is currently in the process of investigation the hack. As of press time, the agency has not yet disclosed any details from its investigation so far.

Bithumb to refund users

Immediately after announcing the hack, Bithumb confirmed it will pay back victims using its own reserves.

Industry experts later weighed in, including bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem, who praised the move despite the unwelcome incident.

"Bithumb hacked for $30 million but covering all losses. Out industry is getting better and stronger," he tweeted.

In addition, litecoin creator Charlie Lee also commented that he believes the smart move is to "keep on exchange coins that you are actively trading. It's best to withdraw right after trading."

This is not the first time that Bithumb was reportedly hacked. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the platform was compromised last year with as many as 30,000 users impacted.

At that time, Bithumb later announced that it would repay each victim with 100,000 Korean won each, an amount worth about $85.

Bitcoin price dips by $200 

According to data from CoinDesk, the price of bitcoin dropped by nearly $200 to a daily low so far of $6,561 an hour after Bithumb initially published the statement. As of press time, the price had bounced back to $6,640.

In addition, as Bithumb has so far only suspended asset deposits and withdrawals, trading activity on the exchange actually appears to be increasing since the news broke. Based on data from CoinMarketCap, 24-hour trading volume was initially seen at around $350 million at the time of the news and later climbed to $380 million around noon local time on Wednesday.

Check out:  Prices Aside, Crypto’s Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

As of press time, Bithumb still remains the sixth largest platform globally.

What we don't know

Extent of the breach

It appears that XRP is one of the assets stolen in the hack, yet it's still unclear at the moment if other assets have been taken and in what quantities. In addition, it's also not clear the number of users on Bithumb that have been impacted.

In its announcement, Bithumb refrained disclosing these details, adding that it may disclose the hacked tokens today. It has not made any statement on that at press time.

Further, it's not publicly known at this time which wallet addresses the hacked cryptocurrencies have been sent to, or whether any have been liquidated or not.

Currently, there are over 37 cryptocurrency assets on Bithumb that are available for trading against the Korean won. Among them, EOS and TRON together account for over half of the total trading volume on Bithumb, at 31 and 22 percent, respectively.

Continue to the full article --> here

 

 

Reuters | Pete Schroeder | Jan 14, 2019 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are exploring granting federal bank-like licenses to tech-driven firms that offer financial services, such as money transfers and lending. The plan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost small businesses and promote job growth. Federal licenses would allow fintech firms, which currently operate under a patchwork of state rules, to reduce their regulatory costs and expand into new regions and products. However, fintech firms say they are reluctant to invest heavily in nationwide expansion without access to the payment systems, settlement services, and other Fed tools and the central bank has yet to decide whether to let those lightly-regulated players in. Many Fed officials fear these firms lack robust risk-management controls and consumer protections that banks have in place. See:  MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11): Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking “They probably do want access to the payments system, but they don’t want the regulation that would come with that access,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Reuters in November. “I am concerned that fintech ...
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Investment Executive | James Langton  | Jan 14, 2019 The regulator will look to scrap outdated rules, streamline disclosure requirements and make operational changes to enhance or speed up its dealings with the industry OSC Staff Notice Purpose Seek suggestions on ways to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Announce a March 27, 2019, roundtable discussion on reducing regulatory burden. Introduction The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) has a statutory mandate under the Securities Act (the Act) to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices; to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets; and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk. Under the Act, one of the fundamental principles guiding our work is that business and regulatory costs and other restrictions on the business and investment activities of market participants should be proportionate to the significance of the regulatory objective sought to be realized. See:  NCFA Submission to Ontario Ministry of Finance: Urgent Need for Regulatory Change 11-780 Statement of Priorities – Request for Comment Regarding Statement of Priorities (the “SofP”) for Financial Year to End The OSC has several ongoing projects to reduce regulatory burden ...
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Toronto Foundation | January 2019 Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals. These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested. The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here).  If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5pm on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. See:  How Fintech Is Transforming Microfinance What is Social Impact Investing? Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a ...
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Data Driven Investor | Roberto Iriondo | Oct 15, 2019 Why do tech companies tend to use AI and ML interchangeably? Unfortunately, some tech organizations are deceiving customers by proclaiming using AI on their technologies while not being clear about their products’ limits The term “artificial intelligence” came to inception in 1956 by a group of researchers including Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon [9], AI’s industry has gone through many fluctuations. In the early decades, there was a lot of hype surrounding the industry, and many scientists concurred that human-level AI was just around the corner. However, undelivered assertions caused a general disenchantment with the industry along the public and led to the AI winter, a period where funding and interest in the field subsided considerably. Afterwards, organizations attempted to separate themselves with the term AI, which had become synonymous with unsubstantiated hype, and utilized different terms to refer to their work. For instance, IBM described Deep Blue as a supercomputer and explicitly stated that it did not use artificial intelligence [10], while it actually did. See:  The Age of Artificial Intelligence in Fintech How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes During this period, a variety of other ...
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Differences Between AI and Machine Learning and Why it Matters
Gaming Post | By Ben Hamill  | Jan 7, 2019 In the latest industry news headlines, local Canadian company Ubique Networks has teamed up with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) in order to launch a brand new eSports platform powered by blockchain. The agreement was officially inked on November 14 last year at the residence of the Sri Lankan-based Canadian High Commission. SLT’s eSports Platform is set to be powered by Ubique Networks’ Swarmio technology. This is a decentralized gaming platform with competitive undertones, which will enable virtual sports fans to organize and play in competitions on latency-optimized servers. Swarmio is the very first third-party Dapp created using the firm’s Q Network, and services more than 25,000 eSports players across the world. CEO of Ubique, Vijai Karthigesu, has noted that the SLT Platform will allow gamers in Sri Lanka to ‘raise their profiles’ to global levels. According to him, SLT is using the Swarmio platform and its Q Network to supply a strong solution to local Millennials. He also added that the company has further begun a project to construct a 5G mobile IoT (Internet of Things) for Smart Cities using the very same network. 5G Mobile IoT On the Way The ...
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SLT Launch New Blockchain eSports Platform
Fineqia Release | Bundeep Singh | Jan 9, 2019 LONDON, Jan. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Fineqia International Inc. (the "Company" or "Fineqia") (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is pleased to announce its subsidiary Fineqia Limited, ("Fineqia Ltd") has partnered with Nivaura Limited ("Nivaura") to use its white-label capital markets platform to perform a fully automated tokenised bond issuance and administration, registered and cleared on a public Ethereum blockchain, to conduct its test for issuing crypto asset backed bonds. Fineqia Ltd's test is required as part of its acceptance into the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ('FCA') Sandbox Regulatory Program announced in July 2018. It was amongst 29 companies accepted out of 69 applicants that met the FCA Sandbox eligibility criteria. The test is set to take place in Q1 of 2019, with results also to be obtained in the first quarter. It will enable owners of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to borrow fiat funds via the issuance of crypto asset backed bonds. The product has found appeal among institutional owners of crypto assets, such as miners, funds and exchanges, seeking liquidity but not keen on selling their crypto currencies. Fineqia's partnership with Nivaura allows for such institutional ...
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Fineqia Signs Up Fintech Firm Nivaura for Crypto Asset Bond UK Regulatory Test
Montreal in Tech | Steve La Barbera  | Oct 29, 2019 Montreal’s newest startup accelerator isn’t afraid to try new things.  The Holt accelerator, established earlier this year, has teamed up with Form Fintech and Lab Zed to produce what they are calling the first exhaustive map of Canada’s FinTech ecosystem. “We’re pretty well connected with the Canadian fintech community and we hadn’t seen anyone build anything like this, so we decided hey, let’s do it” says Jan Arp, Managing Partner and founder at the Holt Accelerator. “It’s an ecosystem map. There’s also some analysis in there so people can start to see who’s doing what across Canada. It’s what everyone’s been talking about, but we haven’t seen anything as comprehensive as this yet”. “The idea is that the more we can add the data and metrics, then the more interactive of a platform it can become for users” added Geraldine Holliday, Head of Digital Product at Form Fintech, who was part of the team building the map. “You’ll be able to see what stage each company is at, how much money have they raised… have they been part of different accelerators or incubators and so on…”. Her partner on this ...
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Department of Finance Canada, Ottawa | Jan 11, 2019 Note from NCFA:  the department of Finance is seeking consultations on the merits and risks on the prospect of Open Banking in Canada.  The UK and Australia are already piling ahead.  We encourage key stakeholders to either submit inputs to NCFA for aggregation to info@ncfacanada.org by Jan 31, 2019 and/or submit directly to the submission details that can be found below. January 11, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada Canadians deserve a financial sector that is globally competitive and promotes consumer choice, while also delivering financial stability and economic growth. They must also have confidence that it operates with the highest regard for privacy and security. To this end, the Department of Finance Canada today released a consultation paper on the merits of open banking. The release of the paper and the launch of public consultations marks the next step in the Government's review of open banking, following the appointment of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking in September 2018. Open banking has the potential to offer a secure way for Canadian consumers—including small businesses—to consent to sharing their financial transaction data with financial service providers, allowing them ...
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MoF Consultation (Deadline Feb 11):  Department of Finance Canada Launches Consultations on Open Banking
NCFA Canada | Jan 11, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work About this episode:  To kick off Season 2, NCFA Fintech Fridays show host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CSO of Ledn Inc.. Mauricio Di Bartolomeo. They chatted about what crypto backed loans are, going global and saving the world. Enjoy! Experiencing the dismantling of the Venezuelan economy; a broken financial system The use case and value of collateralizing digital assets Libertarian aspects of bitcoin and how it is benefiting the people outside of North America or in tyrannical regimes Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest: MAURICIO DI BARTOLOMEO, Co-Founder and CSO (Ledn Inc.  |  LinkedIn  |  mauricio@ledn.io) Bio:  Mauricio Di Bartolomeo is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Ledn Inc., a financial services company built for Bitcoin & digital assets. The company underwrote Canada's first-ever Bitcoin-backed loan in 2018 and has since been lending to Bitcoin holders across Canada. Mauricio has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014 - when in Venezuela he learned that friends were using it earn an income by mining it & protecting their ...
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Ep20-Jan 11:  Bitcoin Backed Loans and 2x Credit - Putting Your Crypto to Work
UK Telegraph, Tech | Joseph Archer | Jan 7, 2019 Fundraising on online platforms remains popular with companies in AI and fintech despite the risks, according to Crowdcube. The Exeter-based crowdfunding site said it saw revenues rise 50pc to £6m last year, up from £4m in 2017. Investments pledged by its users to growing companies increased by 72 per cent to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The record results follow the sucess of fintech businesses Monzo and Revolut, that used Crowdcube to raise funds, valuing them at more than £1bn last year. Crowdcube told The Daily Telegraph that the fourth quarter of 2018 was its most successful ever with pledged investments rising 94 per cent to £84.6m compared to last year. See: World’s Largest: OurCrowd Still on Track to Top USD $1 Billion in Investment Crowdfunding $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “It is great to see these positive results against a generally negative economic landscape and the uncertainty Brexit is causing. “I want to see more ‘Monzos’ happen, and I think it will because more and more entrepreneurs are turning to equity crowdfunding now as the way to start their ideas.” In Monzo’s most recent ...
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Crowdfunding still thriving in AI and fintech despite risks

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, 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

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State and Provincial Securities Regulators Conduct Coordinated International Crypto Crackdown

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NASAA | May 21, 2018

Borg: “The actions announced today are just the tip of the iceberg.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2018) – The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today announced one of the largest coordinated series of enforcement actions by state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada to crack down on fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency-related investment products, and those behind them.

NASAA members from more than 40 jurisdictions throughout North America participated in “Operation Cryptosweep,” which to date has resulted in nearly 70 inquiries and investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions related to ICOs or cryptocurrencies since the beginning of May. NASAA members are conducting additional investigations into potentially fraudulent conduct that may result in additional enforcement actions. These actions are in addition to more than a dozen enforcement actions previously undertaken by NASAA members regarding these types of products. Many NASAA members also are conducting public outreach initiatives to warn investors in their jurisdictions of the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

See:  Plowing Ahead: Bermuda Continues Crypto-Friendly Push With Digital ID Partnership

“The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the United States and Canada, and NASAA members are committed to combating this threat,” said Joseph P. Borg, NASAA President and Director of the Alabama Securities Commission.

“Despite a series of public warnings from securities regulators at all levels of government, cryptocriminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”

In April 2018, NASAA organized a task force of its member state and provincial securities regulators to begin a coordinated series of investigations into ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products. Regulators identified many cryptocurrency-related products and as part of its work, the task force identified hundreds of ICOs in the final stages of preparation before being launched to the public. These pending ICOs were advertised and listed on ICO aggregation sites to attract investor interest. Many have been examined and some were determined to warrant further investigation. A number of these investigations are ongoing and others resulted in enforcement actions announced today.

“Not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is fraudulent, but we urge investors to approach any initial coin offering or cryptocurrency-related investment product with extreme caution,” Borg said.

“The actions announced today are just the tip of the iceberg,” Borg said, noting that the task force also found approximately 30,000 crypto-related domain name registrations, the vast majority of which appeared in 2017 and 2018.

A critical component of “Operation Cryptosweep” is raising public awareness of the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products.

For more information about ICOs and cryptocurrencies, watch NASAA’s video “Get in the Know About ICOs” or read NASAA’s Investor Advisories: “What to Know About ICOs” and “Be Cautious of the Crypto Investment Craze.”

View the list of Operation Crypto-sweep Enforcement Actions and Activities

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, 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

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OSC Investor Alert: BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OÜ, and BaapPay Inc.

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OSC Release | May 18, 2018

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is warning investors about BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OÜ, and BaapPay Inc. These firms appear to be involved in schemes that target Ontario investors and encourage them to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies.

BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, CabinCoin OÜ, and BaapPay Inc. are not registered in Ontario to solicit investments or provide advice on investing in, buying or selling securities.

BTCReal manages the website btcreal.biz, where it claims to provide full investment services for cryptocurrency-related investments and forex. BTCReal claims it can provide investors with high returns in short periods of time.

BitSerial operates the website bitserial.io, which claims to offer opportunities to invest in “BTE Tokens.” BitSerial’s website also encourages investors to participate in a lending program where they can exchange Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum for BTE Tokens that are “lent out” for high returns.

See:  CSA Staff Notice 46-307: Cryptocurrency Offerings

Hypercube Ventures LP manages the websites hypercube.vc, hypercube.fund, vnn.money and vnn.cash, which encourage investors to buy “emission pools” for the purpose of generating “VNN cryptocurrency.”

CabinCoin OÜ operates the websites cabincoin.com and cabincoin.exchange, and is currently advertising an unregistered token sale for “CabinCoin Tokens.” CabinCoin claims that the future value of these tokens will far exceed their initial price.

BaapPay Inc. manages the website baappaytoken.com, and is also currently advertising an unregistered token sale.

Any distribution to an Ontario resident requires a prospectus or exemption from the prospectus requirement, which Bitserial, Hypercube, CabinCoin and BaapPay do not have.

Anyone who has invested in, or had dealings with the above businesses should contact the OSC Inquiries and Contact Centre at 1-877-785-1555 or inquiries@osc.gov.on.ca.

Investors should consider the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, and be aware that the marketing of high returns is often an indication of investment fraud.

Information on common signs of investment fraud, helpful material on cryptocurrency basics and initial coin offerings, and more on Ontarians and cryptocurrencies can be found on the OSC’s investor website GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic risk.  Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca.

View source:  release


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to over 1700+ members 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

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Convenience vs Privacy: Here are 4 tips to protect your data from being shared on Facebook

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Avast Blog | Jas Dhaliwal | March 21, 2018

Here are 4 tips to protect your data from being shared on Facebook.

Everyone’s favorite social media site is currently the subject of hot debate, and we’re here to keep you grounded amidst the madness. First, let’s talk about what happened. Back in 2014, a quiz made the rounds on Facebook. 270,000 users took the quiz, which harvested data not just about them, but also their friends. As a result, the quiz aggregated the private info of 50 million Facebook users. All that data was then allegedly sold to the Trump presidential campaign.

Was that illegal? Possibly. Was your own data compromised? Possibly. Do you need to join the panicking mob and #deletefacebook from your life? That’s probably more of a personal question, but answering from a sheer security perspective, no, you do not.

See:  The Cryptocurrency Industry Might Actually Benefit From an Ad Ban

Facebook has come to define a new age of communication and staying in touch. You should feel free to continue using it, but take a moment to safeguard your privacy. The tools are there. Because many may not take the time to tinker under the hood of their account, we’ll point out some of the bigger privacy controls at your disposal.

1. Remove old Facebook apps

Odds are, you’ve accumulated a load of apps over the years, many of which you’ve probably forgotten about. Lose the dead weight. Get rid of all the apps you don’t use anymore and especially those you don’t recognize. Here’s how:

  • Log into your Facebook account
  • From the dropdown menu in the upper right corner, select Settings
  • From the left margin, select Apps
  • Hover over every app you want to delete, and tap the X

2. Turn the platform off

Yes, it can be convenient to use your Facebook login credentials across multiple websites, but this is a great security risk. (Remember, you want to use different usernames and passwords for every account you have.) Using one account across so many sites gives anyone who hacks into that account a full detailed profile of who you are. If you choose to go this route, remember you will no longer be able to login using your Facebook credentials anymore for other sites.  To turn off the Facebook platform, go to the Apps page described above, and follow these steps:

  • Under Apps, Websites and Plugins, tap Edit
  • Tap Disable Platform

3. Control what others can access of yours

If your info is visible to others on Facebook, they can share that info in other apps, games, and websites. There are over a dozen categories of your personal info that can be shared (bio, birthday, location, interests, etc.), but you have the ability to keep that data from being spread. Once again on the Apps page, follow this direction:

  • Under Apps Others Use, tap Edit
  • Uncheck all the categories you do not want shared with other apps and sites (If you are reading this, you probably want to deselect all...but it’s completely up to you.)

4. Beware of surveys and quizzes

Remember, when you complete a survey or quiz from your Facebook account, you’re opening a doorway between the company who created it and all the data in your profile. While you’re taking that survey, the company has temporary access to all your information. Sure, it can be fun to learn which Hogwarts house would be yours, but at the cost of privacy, it’s probably best to avoid the clickbait.

 

Continue to the full article --> here


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

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Canadians warned of new Bitcoin scam

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KelownaNowMegan Trudeau | Jan 7, 2018

Thinking of investing in Bitcoin? You may want to tread carefully, as people are now being warned about a new scam that targets Bitcoin purchasers, and Canadian consumers are being asked to be especially cautious.

More and more people seem to be considering Bitcoin as an investment opportunity, and con artists are looking to take advantage. A scam tracking company, BBB Scam Tracker, reports receiving numerous complaints from consumers who have been fooled by phony Bitcoin investments, resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars.

The tracking company has received complaints about apps that allow Canadian customers to purchase Bitcoin, but they do not support selling it. As one consumer put it: "Basically, they tell you to buy Bitcoins with their app knowing you're in Canada but once you put your money in, they don't allow you to take it out."

See: SEC charges alleged cryptocurrency scam with fraudulently raising $15 million

The scam works through a legitimate looking website that offers to mine the cryptocurrency for a fee (Bitcoin is created by mining, using special software to solve complex math equations). The website asks you to pay upfront, and Bitcoin will be transferred to your account. However, after you make the payment, nothing happens.

Other versions of this scam target investors trying to convert Bitcoin to their local currency. For example, one consumer used a service to exchange Bitcoin for US dollars and transfer the money into a PayPal account. However, the transaction didn't work as planned.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a national non-profit actively engaged with social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, peer-to-peer (P2P), initial coin offerings (ICO), and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, networking opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, academia and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and online financing industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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