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UK Proposes Regulations That Would Recognize Stablecoins As A Form Of Payment

The Defiant | | May 16, 2022

UK global cryptoasset hub - UK Proposes Regulations That Would Recognize Stablecoins As A Form Of PaymentStablecoins haven’t looked so stable recently. The United Kingdom doesn’t seem to be too worried

Despite the recent collapse of Terra’s UST stablecoin, the U.K. government will move forward with proposed regulations that would facilitate stablecoins’ use  “as a recognised form of payment,” according to a report from The Telegraph.

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Treasury told the U.K.-based newspaper said:

Legislation to regulate stablecoins, where used as a means of payment, will be part of the Financial Services and Markets Bill which was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Apr 5:  UK government: Sets sights on being a global hub for cryptoasset technology with flexible future regulation

The UK government said in a report issued last month after more than 12 months of study:

[Fiat-backed stablecoins] have the capacity to potentially become a widespread means of payment.  An amended e-money framework can deliver a consistent framework to regulate stablecoin issuance and the provision of wallets and custody services.

‘Global Hub For Crypto Assets’

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK,” he continued, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - UK Proposes Regulations That Would Recognize Stablecoins As A Form Of PaymentThe 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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Underground bitcoin mining operations in China lead to resurgence

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance | May 17, 2022

CCAF Bitcoin mining map - Underground bitcoin mining operations in China lead to resurgence

New mining map data, spanning the period from September 2021 to January 2022, included shows that the US has remained at the forefront of Bitcoin mining and extended its leading position (37.84%) amidst the global hashrate recovery. Following a sudden uptick in covert mining operations after the June 2021 government-mandated ban on Bitcoin mining, China has re-emerged as a major mining hub (21.11%). Kazakhstan (13.22%), Canada (6.48%), and Russia (4.66%) have been relegated to more distant places.

See: 

When we released the last update of the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), mining map in October 2021 (covering data up to the end of August 2021), the Bitcoin network was grappling with the consequences of the Chinese ban on domestic mining activities. The government crackdown immediately resulted in a harsh decline of the total hashrate – the network’s aggregate computing power – which bottomed at 57.47 Exahashes per second (EH/s) on 27 June 2021.

A new global bitcoin mining landscape

  • Kazakhstan emerged as a popular destination for miners leaving China and quickly turned into a major Bitcoin mining centre, hosting about 18.10% of the network’s total hashrate in August 2021.
  • China: Recent research has suggested that the Chinese decision to ban Bitcoin mining has worsened (rather than improved) Bitcoin’s environmental footprint.
  • Russia on the other hand not only experienced a substantial drop in relative hashrate share from 11.23% in August 2021 to 4.66% in January 2022.  One deterring reason could be perceived political risk given the vocal opposition of the Russian central bank to Bitcoin mining, going as far as lobbying for outlawing this activity.
  • Canada experienced only a moderate increase in its hashrate from 11.54 EH/s in August 2021 to 12.15 EH/s in January 2022, which resulted in a loss in market share from 9.55% to 6.48% as total network hashrate was growing significantly faster.
  • Iran has seen a severe drop in reported hashrate from 3.75 EH/s (3.11%) to 0.23 EH/s (0.12%) in January 2022, making it join the long tail of other countries with sub-1% shares.

Continue to the full article --> here

View visual mining map --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Underground bitcoin mining operations in China lead to resurgenceThe 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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a16z Releases 2022 State of Crypto Report: 5 Key Takeaways

a16z crypto | Daren Matsuoka, Eddy Lazzarin, Chris Dixon, and Robert Hackett | May 17, 2022

Total AUM by bank including defi - a16z Releases 2022 State of Crypto Report:  5 Key Takeaways

This report is the first of what will be an annual overview of trends in the crypto industry, shared through the a16z crypto vantage point of both tracking data and across the countless entrepreneurs and builders we meet. It’s for anyone who seeks to understand the evolution of the internet, and where we are on the journey towards a decentralized, community-owned-and-operated alternative to the centralized tech platforms of web2 – especially as it touches creators and other builders.

5 Key Takeaways

1. We’re in the middle of the fourth ‘price-innovation’ cycle

Although crypto can be volatile and its cycles seem chaotic, there is an underlying logic at work, as Chris and Eddy first pointed out in 2020. (See slides 9 through 12 in the deck.) Whereas prices are often a lagging indicator of performance in some industries, in crypto they are a leading indicator. Prices are a hook. The numbers drive interest, which drives ideas and activity, which in turn drives innovation. We call this feedback loop “the price-innovation cycle”, and it has been the engine that has propelled the industry through multiple distinct waves since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009.

See:  Crypto Payments Report 2022: How digital currencies are revolutionizing commerce, corporates and culture

Analysts at Andreessen Horowitz wrote in a blog post Tuesday announcing the firm’s inaugural “State of Crypto” research report:

Price are a Hook.  The numbers drive interest, which drives ideas and activity, which in turn drives innovation.

2.   web3 is much, much better for creators than web2

The take-rates of web2 giants are extortionate; web3 platforms offer fairer economic terms. (See slide 39 in the deck.) Compare Meta’s nearly 100% take-rates across Facebook and Instagram to NFT marketplace OpenSea’s 2.5%. As U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres noted in a recent op-ed:

“You know something is profoundly wrong with our economy when Big Tech has a higher take rate than the mafia.

NFTs are the start of what is next for the creator economy, Dixon said. NFT (non-fungible tokens) creators earned on average $174,000 per creator in 2021. Music platform Spotify, which hosts 11 million artists, earned on average $636 per artist in 2021, the research report noted.

3.  Crypto is having a real-world impact

Creator payouts are just one example of crypto’s benefits; there are many others.  Consider the financial system. The status quo has failed many people: More than 1.7 billion people don’t have bank accounts, per the World Bank.

See:  Giving block reports, Crypto philanthropy jumped nearly 16x in 2021

Demand for decentralized finance or DeFi, and digital dollars, has increased dramatically in the past few years, even after accounting for the recent downturn, as the accompanying slides show. (See slides 26, 28, and 33.) For underserved and unbanked populations – 1 billion of whom have mobile phones – crypto offers a shot at financial inclusion. Projects like Goldfinch are expanding access to capital that would otherwise be unavailable in emerging markets.

Continue to the full article --> here

Download the 56 page PDF report --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - a16z Releases 2022 State of Crypto Report:  5 Key TakeawaysThe 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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Luna Foundation Guard’s Reserves Down to 313 Bitcoins from 80K post-UST Crash | Vitalik and CZ Take to Twitter

CoinDesk | Sam Kessler, Shaurya Malwa | May 16, 2022

moon over water - Luna Foundation Guard's Reserves Down to 313 Bitcoins from 80K post-UST Crash | Vitalik and CZ Take to TwitterThe announcement comes after criticism of the Luna Foundation Guard's "lack of transparency."

The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), official stewards of Terra’s bitcoin (BTC) reserves, released a statement on Monday documenting how it disbursed millions of dollars' worth of crypto in its failed attempt to maintain the peg of stablecoin terraUSD (UST).

In the statement, LFG notes that it has almost entirely depleted its BTC reserves from around 80,000 bitcoins to 313. The remaining assets, which mostly comprise the crashed UST and LUNA tokens, will apparently be used to compensate investors.

In one of the most calamitous events in crypto memory, the $40 billion Terra ecosystem collapsed last week when the UST stablecoin, which is supposed to be worth $1, dropped to below 20 cents. The LUNA token, which is designed to serve as a sort of shock absorber for UST’s “algorithmic” dollar-pegging mechanism, crashed from $80 to below 2 cents.

See:  Terra is transitioning from a dollar-pegged stablecoin to a bitcoin-backed stablecoin

In a tweet on Monday, LFG said it sold off most of the BTC in its reserves for UST as Terra’s ecosystem was beginning to collapse early last week.

  • May 8:  LFG said it transferred more than 50,000 bitcoins “to trade with a counterparty”, as the UST price was originally starting to slump.  It said the funds were used for “directly executing on-chain swaps and transferring $BTC to a counterparty to enable them to enter trades with the Foundation in large size and on short notice.”
  • On May 12, LFG said another 30,000 BTC from its reserves were sold off by Terraform Labs, the original company behind Terra, “in a last ditch effort to defend the peg.”  That, however, failed to restore UST’s peg to the U.S. dollar as traders continued to sell the token for other stablecoins, leading to an exodus of capital away from UST and thus lower prices.
  • LFG confirmed the remainder of its reserves, which once totaled over $3 billion, have sunk almost completely as a result of the unsuccessful effort to defend UST.  Says these funds will be used “to compensate remaining users of UST, smallest holders first.”

Continue to the full article --> here


Decrypt | Sander Lutz | May 15, 2022

Vitalik and CZ took to Twitter this weekend to critique Terra—and the very premise of the UST token itself.

In the aftermath of last week's historic collapse of Terra’s stablecoin, UST, and native token, LUNA, crypto leaders have emerged to offer their perspectives.  UST isn’t backed by cash or assets like other leading stablecoins. Instead, an algorithm ties UST’s value to LUNA via a burning/minting mechanism designed to keep UST at $1. That mechanism collapsed last week, wiping out UST and LUNA, and with them some $40 billion in value.

Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum:

“We need to emphasize that the two,” Buterin said, referring to algorithmic stablecoins and asset-backed stablecoins, “are very different.  [The entire premise of UST] from inception [was] intentionally misleading and inherently flawed.

See:  Yellen Renews Call for Stablecoin Regulation After Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin tumbles

After days of uncharacteristic silence, Do Kwon reemerged on Friday with a new plan to resuscitate LUNA. The idea includes abandoning UST permanently and resetting LUNA to a 1 billion token circulation, with tokens to be distributed to both former holders wiped out by last week’s events, and to current holders.

ChengPeng Zhao, Binance CEO tweet:

  • “forking” LUNA, or splitting the blockchain to create a second version, “won’t work. [It] does not give the new fork any value.  That’s wishful thinking."
  • Zhao elaborated that the fatal flaw of such a strategy is Kwon’s failure to understand that “minting coins (printing money) does not create value, it just dilutes the existing coinholders.”
  • Zhao went further, openly questioning the transparency of Kwon and Terra’s handling of the crisis spurred by UST and LUNA’s collapse.  “Where is all the BTC that was supposed to be used as reserves?” Zhao wanted to know.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Luna Foundation Guard's Reserves Down to 313 Bitcoins from 80K post-UST Crash | Vitalik and CZ Take to TwitterThe 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 Innovative Edutainment Approach Transforms Traditional Education

Guest Post | May 16, 2022

Eductainment - How Innovative Edutainment Approach Transforms Traditional Education

Education is a rapidly evolving sector. A few decades ago, traditional education was the only acceptable model. We had blackboards, wooden desks, bulky textbooks, and detention for naughty students. Fast forward to the 21st century, and most of the symbols of traditional education have now been replaced by technology. Thanks to the infusion of technology into education, we now have Brighterly.com and other online learning platforms. But that’s not where it ends. Technology has equally birthed a new genre of education known as “edutainment.”

But what exactly is edutainment? And how is it transforming traditional education? Let’s take a quick look, shall we?

What Is Edutainment?

As the name implies, edutainment is a combination of education and entertainment. It was first used in 1954 by Walt Disney to describe the new True Life Adventure series. Basically, it means infusing education with entertainment to make learning an enjoyable experience for students.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent disruption to education, students have been finding it harder to learn. However, as we all teach and learn post-pandemic, it’s time to infuse fun and joy into learning to boost students’ motivation and participation.

See:  The digital transformation of learning: Social, informal, self-service, and enjoyable

It’s important to note that edutainment doesn’t necessarily have to take digital forms like educational PC games or virtual reality apps. Instead, it could also involve physical exhibitions and fun trips to zoos. As long as the students have fun while learning, the teaching process can undoubtedly be classified as edutainment.

How Edutainment is Transforming Traditional Education

As we mentioned earlier, edutainment has completely changed the narrative and is transforming the concept of traditional education. Here’s how:

Breaking the shackles of geographic limitation

One aspect we rarely explore when discussing traditional education is the geographical limitations of this model. Students have to travel from their homes (regardless of the distance) to learn in traditional classrooms. If you fall ill and can’t make it to class, you’ll have to miss learning for the day. Conventional education is like a ruthless dictator swinging a hammer, dishing out consequences with little to no empathy for students’ limitations.

However, edutainment helps students learn even when they can’t make it to class. For instance, with educational games and YouTube videos, students can still catch up on what they missed for the day.

Helping students understand that education isn’t boring.

A teacher walks in, and all the students groan. We’ve all seen this scenario play out frequently in traditional education. In some cases, we’ve misinterpreted it as a sign of laziness amongst students, and we couldn’t be further from the truth. Students aren’t necessarily lazy; they just find the educational system boring. Having to learn using the same format repeatedly can be super exhausting, which explains why a large percentage of students are apathetic towards learning.

However, edutainment completely changes this narrative by making learning a fun process for students. Since they can learn through various formats such as video games and movies, it becomes easier and more enjoyable to learn. Problem solved!

Improving teacher-student communication

Here’s the thing: in traditional education, it’s hard for students to see teachers as humans capable of mistakes or humor. What they see is an unfeeling robot that forces them to learn and then grades their papers. But we all know that this isn’t true. Teachers are human and could even possess a sense of humor (insert shocked gasp).

Edutainment helps to make teachers seem more human and improve the communication between them and the students. By delivering entertaining lectures, students will be able to ask questions and freely engage with the teacher instead of simply keeping mute. In the same vein, this can also be beneficial for teachers as they’d be able to get honest feedback on modules and their teaching styles.

Boosting information retention

Here’s one thing to note: students forget. Not just their lunch boxes or homework but what they learn at school in most cases. This isn’t any fault of theirs, however. It’s an innate human trait that we all experience. In fact, according to a study by InnerDrive, students tend to forget things quickly within the first 24 hours of learning them. Unfortunately, traditional education doesn’t help much with this problem.

On the other hand, when teachers use entertaining materials and fun-filled activities to educate, students tend to remember more. Since they participating actively and not just sitting passively in class, it would be easier to recall what they’ve learned.

Keeping students excited about learning

Students rarely get excited about learning, thanks to traditional education. It’s basically the same format every day with no variety to spice up the routine. However, edutainment gives students something to look forward to each time they step into class. For instance, let’s assume you teach your students about letter writing using fun videos and then make them write funny letters to each other at the end of the class. The next day, they’ll walk into class with a bounce in their step, excited to see what fun video or class activity you have up your sleeves this time.

See:  Lethbridge College heading into metaverse with online campus

What Challenges Does Edutainment Have?

Although edutainment might be the messiah that traditional education wasn’t, it does come with its own set of challenges and risks. For starters, the use of digital devices and tools for education could distract students from learning. As such, teachers and parents have to help them strike a balance between learning and having fun.

In the same vein, developing and purchasing edutainment games or devices is quite expensive, and as such, most students still have to deal with traditional education. In essence, edutainment might be a beautiful rose, but it certainly has its fair share of thorns.

Final Thoughts

The rise of edutainment has massively transformed traditional education and has made learning more enjoyable for students. As parents and teachers, it’s time for us to come together to change the narrative around education and help students navigate their academic challenges through fun activities. The difference will certainly be clear!

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - How Innovative Edutainment Approach Transforms Traditional EducationThe 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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UK Revenue-based Lender, Outfund, raises £115m Series A

London Loves Business | Apr 27, 2022

revenue based financing - UK Revenue-based Lender, Outfund, raises £115m Series AOutfund are changing the way online businesses raise funds, today announces the close of a £115M Series A round of equity capital and debt amount. The funding round was led by Force Over Mass, PostFinance, 1818 Venture Capital and Tribe Capital, and will support Outfund’s rapid global growth as it provides a faster, fairer and more affordable way for SMEs to raise growth capital across the globe.  With this new investment, Outfund is pledging to invest more than £500m of lending to over 5,000 businesses in the next 12 months, and will increase its lending limit to £10m per company.

See:  Corl raises $20 Million USD to expand Revenue-Based Financing in North America

Outfund can deploy between £10,000 and £10million of funding, and is available to businesses that take online payments, have a minimum of £10,000 monthly turnover, and have been trading for at least six months.  Only simple checks are required to access capital and there is no need for companies to provide business plans or go through prolonged risk assessments. Businesses simply connect their revenue accounts and, with access to this data, Outfund will build a funding offer and deploy the same day.

Unlike conventional business loans, Outfund ensures the time taken to repay is based on each businesses’s circumstances, with an agreed revenue share creating flexibility for founders. Outfund’s revenue-share percentages are set to ensure each business maintains a healthy cash flow in its day-to-day operations; the better the company does, the better Outfund does. For the first time, the funding balance between a company and a lender is equal.

See:  Debt vs. Equity Financing: Pros And Cons For Entrepreneurs

Outfund’s technology takes the bias out of lending and improves financing terms, with analysis based solely on a business’ revenues and performance. 20% of Outfund’s portfolio are female founders, a testament to their commitment to advancing the democratisation of access to capital. Its advanced algorithm pulls information from multiple data sources to determine how a company performs, and is then able to de-risk the proposition. This allows more affordable funding, with longer payment terms and a flat fixed fee from 2%, making it the most competitive offering in the market.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - UK Revenue-based Lender, Outfund, raises £115m Series AThe 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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7 Essential Ingredients of an (Open) Metaverse Framework

a16z | Liz Harkavy, Eddy Lazzarin, Arianna Simpson  | May 10, 2022

open metaverse - 7 Essential Ingredients of an (Open) Metaverse Framework

There has been a lot of buzz about “the metaverse” since its coinage in the ‘90s, but especially during the pandemic (given the surge in online activity), and even more so after Facebook changed its name to Meta.

In many ways, the metaverse is just another name for evolving the internet: to be more social, immersive, and far more economically sophisticated than what exists today. There are, broadly speaking, two competing visions for how to bring this about:

  1. One is decentralized, generous with property rights and new frontiers, interoperable, open, and owned by the communities that build and maintain it.
  2. The other vision is centralized, closed, subject to the whims of corporations; and often extracts painful economic rents from its creators, contributors, and inhabitants.

An open metaverse is decentralized, allows users to control identity, enforces property rights, aligns incentives, and ensures value accrues to users (not platforms).

See:  CB Insights: Metaverse stack and companies making it a reality

An open metaverse is also transparent, permissionless, interoperable, and composable (others can freely build within and across metaverses), among other criteria.

Achieving a “true” metaverse — one that’s open versus closed — requires seven essential ingredients intrinsic to this sought-after state. We argue that these are necessary to meet the minimum requirement to be called a metaverse. Our goal is to clear the fog of misinformation about what is and isn’t a true metaverse for builders and would-be participants, and to provide a framework for evaluating early metaverse attempts.

  1. Decentralization
  2. Property Rights
  3. Self-sovereign identity
  4. Composability
  5. Openness/open source
  6. Community ownership
  7. Social immersion

We believe — as is evident in this framework — that a metaverse cannot exist without the fundamental foundations of web3 tech.

See:  Blockchain-based replacement for traditional crowdfunding: DAOs

Openness and decentralization are the pillars upon which the whole edifice rests. Property rights rely on decentralization — they must endure despite the influence of powerful adversaries. Community ownership prevents unilateral control of the system. The approach also bolsters open standards, which are helpful for decentralizing and composability, a closely related property downstream of interoperability.

The development of an ideal multi-dimensional virtual world will come about gradually. Many problems remain to be solved.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - 7 Essential Ingredients of an (Open) Metaverse FrameworkThe 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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