Category Archives: Legal Issues and Regulation

OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee

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OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC).

The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation.

The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following:

  • Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers);
  • Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain);
  • Data science or artificial intelligence (AI);
  • Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector;
  • Fintech or technology entrepreneurship;
  • Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or
  • Cryptography or cybersecurity.

See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019

Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their relevant experience by January 4, 2019.

Applications and questions regarding the FAC can be addressed to:

Isabel Cupryn
Fintech Coordinator, OSC LaunchPad
Ontario Securities Commission
osclaunchpad@osc.gov.on.ca

Source:  view release

 


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


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Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
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Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
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Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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Not yet a done deal

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Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018

Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality

Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions.

Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional.

But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada.

Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the SCC’s decision states.

See:  CCMR Draft Prospectus and Related Registration Exemptions (Comment period ends Aug 7, 2018)

And even though several provinces have signed on to the proposed initiative, in theory, actually going through with adopting the new system, in practice, may be another matter.

“For example,” the SCC’s decision states, “the participating provinces will be required to effectively dissolve their existing securities commissions and to merge the administration of those commissions into the [proposed] authority’s organizational structure. Once this has been done, it would undoubtedly be impractical for those provinces to extricate themselves from the co-operative system at a later date.”

The SCC’s decision also points out that the legislation required to enable the proposed CMRA has not been published yet. And, once the required legislation is proposed, “it will have to be carefully drafted so as to respect the limits on overlapping, yet distinct federal and provincial authority.”

Indeed, poorly drafted legislation could prompt further challenges in court.

Certainly, policy-makers in Quebec are not ready to concede that some form of national regulation is inevitable now. Following the release of the SCC’s decision, Éric Girard, Quebec’s finance minister, said that the province intends to retain its autonomy and expertise regarding securities regulation. The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is not in jeopardy of being absorbed into the CMRA if and when the new agency comes into being.

Girard also highlighted the SCC’s reminder that the CMRA’s enabling legislation must continue to respect provincial jurisdiction, and he hinted that Quebec will be keeping a close eye on this. “We reaffirm our resolve with regard to defending both the interests of Quebecers and Quebec’s jurisdiction from any eventual encroachment,” he said.

Even longtime supporters of national regulation don’t view the CMRA as a done deal, given the amount of political spadework that still needs to be done. Ian Russell, president and CEO of the Investment Industry Association of Canada, for example, notes that although the SCC decision removes one stumbling block to the “eventual launch” of a co-operative regulator, there are numerous others.

See:  SCC hears Canada and Quebec AGs arguments on national securities regulator

Not only will all of the participating provinces need to pass legislation to enable the CMRA and to delegate their authority to the proposed agency, they may have to amend other laws, such as privacy and labour laws, to be in accord with the new regulator, Russell points out: “This will contribute to continued delay, as the pending legislation has low priority in provincial governments beset with difficult economic conditions. The approval process is further handicapped by the lack of a champion at the political level.”

Moreover, the SCC’s decision on its own isn’t likely to win over any of the provinces that currently aren’t part of the initiative, Russell suggests: “This means significant further delay, given the need to establish a regulatory interface between the participating and non-participating provinces to ensure integrated national capital markets. The participating and non-participating provinces also will have to establish an umbrella arrangement to achieve a uniform rule framework.”

The one positive sign for supporters of the CMRA model is that the new Progressive Conservative government in Ontario backs the plan despite the fact that support for the idea of a co-operative regulator is a holdover from the previous Liberal government.

Although Ontario’s new government actively repudiates many of the previous administration’s policies, the Tories are casting the CMRA initiative as being in line with the party’s goal of curbing regulation. (See accompanying sidebar story.)

Reacting to the SCC’s ruling, Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s finance minister, said, “Ontario is committed to working with the other participating jurisdictions toward the launch of the system … the co-operative system would support businesses and investors by helping to streamline regulation and reduce red tape.”

Ontario’s government also reiterated its support for the CMRA initiative in its first-ever autumn economic update, noting that the government believes a co-operative regulator would help “businesses raise capital more efficiently and better protect investors.”

Nevertheless, launching the CMRA remains a distant prospect at this point. In the meantime, the fact that the SCC validated one of the CMRA’s core purposes – better monitoring of systemic risk – shifts the spotlight to the existing members of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA).

See:  Saskatchewan, New Brunswick to join national securities regulator

To be sure, systemic risk is on the agenda of both the CSA and the existing provincial securities commissions already, but the SCC ruling highlights that their efforts in this area are limited: “While provinces have the capacity to legislate [with] respect [to] systemic risk in their own capital markets, they do so from a local perspective and therefore in a manner that cannot effectively address national concerns.”

Indeed, in 2011, the SCC first ruled that the monitoring of systemic risk is an area in which the federal government could claim jurisdiction in the traditionally provincial realm of securities regulation. And the proposed federal legislation that would be adopted as part of the CMRA focuses largely on dealing with systemic risk.

“The heart of this is data collection. In the current Canadian financial regulatory regime, there is a gap in data collection because there is nobody charged with the authority to collect data relating to systemic risk threats on a national basis,” explained Kevan Cowan, CEO of the Capital Markets Authority Implementation Organization (which was established to help create the CMRA), at a hearing before the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce in early November.

At the same hearing, Cowan said that because the CMRA would carry out both day-to-day regulation and systemic risk monitoring under one roof, there could be synergies realized in this model that don’t exist in the current system.

Nevertheless, the CSA maintains that it stands ready to meet the ever-changing and evolving demands on securities regulators.

“While provincial governments will determine the nature of future relationships among all Canadian securities regulators, I am confident that our member jurisdictions will continue to work collaboratively to deliver on their core mission, which is to protect investors and promote fair, efficient and transparent markets,” says Louis Morisset, chairman of the CSA and president and CEO of the AMF.

Morisset adds: “If the CMRA initiative ever moves forward,” the members of the CSA will work together to “implement an interface” among provinces that are in the new arrangement and those that are not.

“In the meantime,” Morisset adds, “we are working on delivering on the initiatives of our 2016-19 business plan and will work on the development of a new business plan in the year to come.”

Continue to the full article --> here


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS!


Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
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Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
Read More
FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
Read More
Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
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Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
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A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance

 

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A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services

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Forbes | | Dec 2, 2018

If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee.

I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area.

She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech Association (IRTA), is a member of the Milken Institute U.S. FinTech Advisory Committee, and chairs the boards of the Center for Financial Services Innovation and FinRegLab.

See:  Exploring cryptoasset regulation

A former Deputy Comptroller of the Currency and staff member at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, she is the CEO of Barefoot Innovation Group, the Co-Founder of Hummingbird Regtech, an angel investor, advises financial companies and governments worldwide, delivers a regular podcast with global industry specialists on RegTech, and if all of that is not enough, she is writing a book on financial innovation and regulation.

If you want to understand how technology and the digital revolution will impact regulation and compliance in financial services, Jo Ann Barefoot should be one of your global gotos.

Jo Ann is in London speaking at the RegTech Rising Summit this week so I took the opportunity to get her views on this often technical subject and get us excited about where retech is going.

Lawrence Wintermeyer:  Jo Ann, you do a lot of work in the new field of “regtech.” Can you give us a simple definition of regtech, and tell us who is excited about it?

Jo Ann Barefoot: You’re right about the excitement, which is notable since most people don’t find financial regulation exciting. Something truly new is happening.

“Regtech” is new-generation technology that’s transforming financial regulation and compliance. The same technologies that are remaking everything else, like big data, artificial intelligence, blockchains, cloud computing and voice interface, are revolutionizing the regulatory realm too. They offer the tantalizing prospect of improving regulatory results and cutting costs, at the same time.

Both regulators and regtech firms are attacking pain points in the regulatory chain. Examples include creating “machine-readable” regulations; automating reporting interfaces to enable continuous monitoring of risk; using AI to scan securities market information for signs of misconduct; and equipping mobile phones with chatbots so consumers can report financial scams.

Wintermeyer: I know you’re a former bank regulator. How did you find yourself involved in the regtech space?

See:  Crypto Bear Market Gives UK Regulators Breathing Space to Finalize Crypto Regulation

Barefoot: I’ve been a regulator, Senate staffer, and consultant. About five years ago, I started immersing in new technology, partly through a senior fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business and Government. I realized that current regulation is failing in areas like consumer protection and anti-money laundering and that new technology could do better. I now focus on helping convert financial regulation to “digitally-native” design, and I’ve co-founded a regtech firm, Hummingbird, which combats money laundering.

Wintermeyer: Anti-money laundering, or AML, is one of the most advanced regtech use cases, and the statistics are frankly shocking. The UN says we currently catch less than 1 percent of global financial crime because of technology which is out of date and unscalable. What are the most promising changes emerging?

Barefoot: AML is probably the most expensive and risky regulatory area for banks -- the industry spends at least $30 billion a year to catch that minuscule fraction of cases. And remember, the crimes funded with laundered money are violent -- terrorism and global trade in drugs, weapons, endangered animals, and human beings. A million children are trafficked every year. This is easy money, highly profitable, with low chance of being caught.

Technology can change that. Financial crimes have data typologies, distinctive patterns that become easy to spot if we can consolidate and analyze enough information. Today’s machine learning tools can find the patterns, while new encryption techniques can make it safe to share data much more widely while safeguarding privacy. Technology can also fix the AML “Know-Your-Customer” rules, which currently block millions of innocent people from financial access because they lack traditional identity documents. New digital identity techniques can screen nearly everyone, cheaply and accurately.

We have the technology to do all this well. We need to update the regulations.

Wintermeyer: Regulators currently seem preoccupied with decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges as platforms for money laundering and terrorist financing, which appear marginal next to what is going on in the real global banking system. Does regtech have a role to play here?

Barefoot: Crypto bedevils policymakers because it breaks the molds and because it’s mutating too fast for traditional regulation to keep up. Blockchains arguably have higher promise, and higher risk, than any other innovation except maybe AI. They can accelerate financial processes and reduce costs, whether by moving payments on the internet or enabling new ways to raise capital. Most regulators aim for a balance between over- and under-regulating, but the learning curve is daunting. The road will be bumpy.

Wintermeyer: There is a movement globally toward financial regulators adopting “regulatory sandboxes” to assess fintech innovation in products and processes. Will we soon see regtech sandboxes where regulators could experiment with new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchains? Will we see more regulatory sandboxes being launched by US regulators?

See:  UK banks publish fintech collaboration toolkit

Barefoot: I hope so! Traditional regulatory change is slow. Technology change is fast, and accelerating. The widening gap between the two is loaded with risk for consumers, the financial system, and regulators themselves. One official has said that if regulators hold still today, they’re actually “accelerating backward.”

We can’t speed up regulatory change, soundly, unless regulators can learn faster, and that requires letting them do small-scale experimentation. Regulators throughout the world are creating sandboxes, greenhouses and reglabs: safe, risk-controlled spaces where they can try things out, study how new products and practices really work, and learn hands-on. In the US, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has launched a sandbox-type program, as has the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). All the federal US regulators and several states have innovation initiatives launched or planned. Most focus more on testing fintech than trying regtech, but both are coming.

Wintermeyer: You often highlight a remarkable initiative of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to test “machine-executable regulation” -- issuing some regulations in the form of computer code rather than words. Is this possible? If so, what changes will it bring?

Barefoot: The FCA is the world’s most innovative regulator and they’ve taken a breathtakingly creative step, running a test of whether some regulations could be issued in the form of code and become, in effect, self-implementing. That could drastically reduce compliance costs, mistakes, and time lags.

The experiment was held under an FCA-invented process called a “tech sprint,” which is essentially a hackathon. Experts in financial regulation and technology teamed up to translate a regulatory reporting requirement from words into code and run it against a set of test data. When the computer produced a correct report -- in ten seconds -- the participants jumped up and cheered. Think about that. When was the last time we saw banks and regulators cheering together?

Wintermeyer: US regulators participated in one of these FCA tech sprints this year, and I know some have regtech initiatives on the drawing board. What path do you see the US taking along with regtech?

See:  5 ways regulation can be a competitive advantage to British business

Barefoot: America has a uniquely fragmented regulatory structure which, for all its strengths, impedes innovation. We can’t readily change it, so we need to make it work better through more innovation and more interagency collaboration.

That’s happening. The Treasury Department issued a fintech report this year that calls on the federal financial agencies both to innovate and to coordinate. There’s a lot of momentum developing.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS!


Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
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Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
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Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
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OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
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Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
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Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
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A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance

 

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House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

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Crowdfund Insider | Cali Haan | Nov 19, 2018

After holding a series of 18 meetings to review Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the House Finance Committee has recommended that the Government of Canada regulate cryptocurrency businesses to prevent criminal use, iPolitics reports.

The committee has been conducting meetings to review PCMLTFA laws since February, something required of at least one parliamentary committee every five years.

See:  OSC introduces new cryptoasset educational tools

The committee has heard from over 70 expert witnesses since it started the review last February, including representatives from the financial advisory firm IJW & Co. and the law firm Durand Morisseau LLP, both of which submitted 65-page reports.

In its report to the government, the committee said that both firms warned:

“(I)n the absence of some degree of regulatory oversight, cryptocurrency transactions may be used by parties to swiftly move large amounts of wealth across borders.”

The committee said that its three recommendations to parliament accorded with those suggested by the firms:

  1. Cryptocurrency exchanges handling crypto-to-fiat conversions must be legally classed as money services businesses (MSBs), which are required to follow strict financial-reporting guidelines, “…in compliance with the PCMLTFA.”
  2. Cryptocurrency exchanges should be licensed as they are in New York (Bitlicense).
  3. Digital cryptocurrency wallets should also be regulated, “so suspicious purchases can be traced more easily and police can track hacking or financial crime.”

Crypto-to-fiat gateways have previously been identified by American law enforcement personnel as choke points because crypto is so far rarely accepted at the retail level and must be converted to real-world currencies at some point.

With regards to licensing, early crypto exchanges like Kraken have fiercely criticized the New York Bitlicense program, calling it so onerous as to be anti-competitive and protective of the state’s mainstream and established financial services sector.

Under the Bitlicense program, an exchange domiciled in the state of New York must obtain a specific individual license. This involves fees and procedures and time lags in each.

See:  SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More

Kraken and Coinbase both relocated to San Francisco, although the Winklevoss brothers, who own the Gemini exchange, opted to stay in New York and tough out the atmosphere in the hopes of one day becoming the institutional crypto-trading platform of choice in America’s financial capital.

Noteworthy crypto-wallet news in North America includes recent reports that Eric Voorhees, creator of the Shapeshift wallet, recently announced his formerly anonymous wallet service for crypto-to-crypto conversions (at a fee) would be requiring all users from now on to provide government ID.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS!


Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
Read More
Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
Read More
Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
Read More
OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
Read More
Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
Read More
Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
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A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
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Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
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Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
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A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance

 

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VanFUNDING Brings Leading Blockchain, FinTech, RegTech, and Capital Innovation Experts to Vancouver #VF2018

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VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / November 15, 2018 / VanFUNDING 2018: CONVERGE, an annual innovation, technology and capital event organized by the National Crowdfunding and FinTech Association (NCFA), will take place in Vancouver on November 29-30 at Parq Vancouver.

The event showcases leading technologies and experts in blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence and alternative finance that are making an impact on Canada, the capital markets and the world.

The event will feature over 50 speakers including Monique Morden, CEO of Judi.ai; Brady Fletcher, Managing Director, TSX Venture Exchange at TMX Group; Toufi Saliba, CEO of Toda.Network; Mark Wang, Director of Capital Market Regulation, BC Securities Commission; Paul Schulte, Managing Editor, Schulte Research; Rojin Nair, General Manager Fintech Solutions for Celero and more.

The event will also feature its annual pitching program that will award three "Front of the Line"Dragon's Den Golden Tickets and other prizes to the winning startups. Startups selected to pitch include Flux Network, Capiche Capital Technologies, Very Good Butcher, Squamish Canyon, Drive Hockey, Veme, Moca Estimator, Symend and HeyBryan.

As NCFA Canada CEO, Craig Asano states, ''We are witnessing unprecedented change that is already affecting our daily lives - how we interact with financial services, generate digital wealth, invest, evaluate, consume, vote, store, transfer, and purchase anything of value.''

The past year has been saturated with news about blockchain's capabilities and its potential to vastly alter traditional financial ecosystems. However, as Toufi Saliba, CEO of TODA Network, notes, ''The global penetration of [this technology] is less than 0.2 per cent, of which, the vast majority of blockchains are scams.'' While individuals should remain cautious about fraudulent businesses that have arisen from people looking to cash in on the hype, Saliba explains that the next wave of blockchain adoption and utilization will be ''like a tsunami, [where] you can partake in what's yet to be the most disruptive technology in human history, or ignore it and get disrupted."

This year's theme, CONVERGE, immerses participants in content covering new capital market innovation, decentralized models, computer intelligence, infrastructure, alternative investment opportunities and the evolution of the ICO and security token offering (STO).

''The ICO market has shifted towards securitized token offerings and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this change and enabling a true security token standard with Etherparty, which offers AML KYC controls on assets that are issued from financial institutions or companies looking to raise funds through equity financing,'' said Lisa Cheng, Founder and Head of R&D for Vanbex Group.

Save your spot: http://vanfunding.com/

Link to video: watch here

VanFUNDING wouldn't be possible without the generous support of The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA), Toda.Network, Judi.ai, Vanbex Group, Northern Block, FrontFundr, REITIUM, FintruX, Holt Accelerator, TIMIA Capital, JJ Human Capital, Schulte Research and more.

About the NCFA:

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA) 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. Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

Media Contact:

Brittany Whitmore
Exvera Communications Inc.
Brittany@exvera.com

SOURCE: National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

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UK: A Step Towards UK Crypto-Asset Regulation? Treasury Committee Report Finds Current Status “Clearly Not Sustainable”

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Squire Patton Boggs LLP | Katherine Wakeham and Chris Webber | Oct 30, 2018

Last month, the House of Commons Treasury Committee published its report on crypto-assets. The report expresses serious concerns about the risks of consumer harm and financial crime and calls for regulation “as a matter of urgency“.

Crypto-assets?

It is striking that the Committee did not consider it appropriate to refer to "crypto-currencies" in the current landscape. They felt that these assets were failing to perform key functions of a currency, because:

  • The price volatility of such assets meant they were not a good store of value. The Bank of England gave evidence that Bitcoin is 10x more volatile than sterling against the US dollar. Other crypto-assets showed even greater fluctuations.
  • There was insufficient market liquidity and capacity for these assets to act as a medium of exchange. The Committee noted evidence that the blockchains for some crypto-assets were struggling to handle current payment volumes, leading to higher transaction fees and/or delays in executing transactions. The transaction fees were exacerbated by the higher energy costs of blockchain's decentralised system.
  • There were no crypto-assets being routinely or widely used as a unit of account. Even Bitcoin is not widely accepted.

The term "crypto-assets" was preferred.

See:  SEC Launches Fintech Hub To Engage With Cryptocurrency Startups And More

The Committee's conclusions

The Committee acknowledged some of the advantages and opportunities of crypto-asset and distributed ledger technology. But it found there were interlinking limitations. In particular:

  • The same reasons crypto-assets could not be termed 'cryptocurrencies' also put a limit on the extent to which they were capable of replacing traditional payments systems.
  • The price volatility made crypto-assets "especially risky, particularly for inexperienced retail investors".
  • The Committee looked at the hacking of exchanges, noting a lack of compensation scheme or arrangements put in place by the exchanges themselves. The Committee considered that "The risk of hacking associated with crypto-assets may not be something investors in conventional assets have experience of... they may not be well placed to judge this risk."
  • the Report notes that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have "exposed a regulatory loophole that is being exploited to the detriment of ordinary investors." Although ICOs may be structured to fall outside the existing regulation, investors were clearly expecting financial returns in a similar manner to regulated investments.
  • The Committee noted suspicions that crypto-exchanges are being used to facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing, since they enable anonymous transacting. The Report acknowledged conflicting views on how significant this criminal use is. The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive will bring crypto-exchanges within the money laundering regulations by 10 January 2020, but the Committee urges the UK Government to implement the regulations more promptly.

Some limitations identified by the Committee are inherent. Others could be reduced and/or eliminated by effective regulation. Presently, the FCA has no powers to regulate crypto-assets themselves and only limited scope to regulate ICOs. This limits the FCA to issuing warnings drawing attention to the risks investors in these products face. The Report considered such warnings "a feeble corrective to advertisements...that only emphasise the upside opportunities of crypto-asset investing". This led the Committee to conclude that:

"Given the scale and variety of consumer detriment, the potential role of crypto-assets in money laundering and the inadequacy of self-regulation, the Committee strongly believes that regulation should be introduced. At a minimum regulation should address consumer protection and money laundering."

See:  Exploring cryptoasset regulation

What might regulation look like?

There is currently a level of self-regulation within the industry, but the Committee considered this insufficient. The Committee's recommended that in the first instance "The Regulated Activities Order should be updated to bring ICOs within the FCA's perimeter… and bring investor protections into line with those in the United States", where the Securities and Exchange Commission generally treats utility token issues as within existing securities laws. The Committee considered that this:

"...would be the quickest method of providing the FCA with the necessary legal powers to execute its duties of protecting consumers and maintaining market integrity. Designing a new framework of regulation would inevitably take much longer and given the growing risks surrounding crypto-assets and subsequent consumer detriment, the introduction of regulation should be treated as a matter of urgency."

The Committee suggested that regulation should include, at least, issuing ICOs and providing crypto exchange services.

The Committee also considered that, whilst there didn't appear to be a significant risk to market stability caused by crypto-assets, the Bank of England and FCA should continue to monitor this risk.

Continue to the full article --> here


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS!


Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
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Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
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Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
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OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
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Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
Read More
A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
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Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
Read More
Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
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A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance

 

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Cybersecurity, Blockchain And The Industrial Internet Of Things

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Forbes | | Nov 6, 2018

On September 28, California’s SB 327 was signed by the governor, making it the first such law in the U.S. mandating internet of things (IoT) device manufacturing security provisions (a similar, though more extensive, federal bill known as the Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 still sits with the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and I have not seen any recent activity on its development).

The new California law states that connected devices must be manufactured with “reasonable” security features. This means IoT device makers may need to start providing unique preprogrammed device passwords (instead of default passwords) or embedding functions that force users to authenticate before access is granted to the device for the first time.

Existing California law already compels businesses to implement and maintain reasonable cybersecurity procedures appropriate to the nature of the collected data, but the new legislation applies specifically to “things.” I've seen critics of the new law point out that the requirements are vague, neglect encryption and don’t address underlying bad practices that are fueling the problem.

But pretty much everyone agrees there is a problem.

See:  The growing cost of cybersecurity

Poorly secured IoT devices fueled the Mirai botnet used in the destructive Dyn cyberattack of 2016 and countless other cybersecurity nightmares. In just the past few weeks, it’s been reported that a new Hakai IoT botnet “is now growing into a looming and impending threat” that has even spawned “two different Hakai-based variants” of malware that are spreading online. And these bots are largely being powered by hijacked IoT devices.

Whether or not the California law, which goes into effect in 2020, will have any impact whatsoever in curbing the problem remains to be seen, but it signals that people outside the information-security sector are now also concerned about the security of “things” and the implications of living in our “smart” and connected world.

While botnets like Mirai are largely powered by expropriated consumer IoT devices and used for things like denial-of-service (DoS) cyberattacks, the motivations behind industrial internet of things (IIoT) cyberthreats may be much more threatening to a business's bottom line. I see particular weaknesses in the IIoT-enabled manufacturing industry, for example, where Industry 4.0 has encouraged a massive integration of information technology systems, devices and cloud resources in the supply chain — and now both operational ability and intellectual property are at stake.

The recent 2018 Spotlight Report on Manufacturing from Vectra suggested that the manufacturing industry suffers an inordinate volume of malicious internal network activity, lateral movement and reconnaissance activity (although they are a cybersecurity firm); Deloitte also touched on these vulnerabilities in a recent article. This would indicate that attackers have already infiltrated these networks and are snooping for critical assets or attempting to destroy infrastructure. Attackers could easily gain entry to these networks through imprudent deployment of unsecured IIoT devices and weak (or nonexistent) internal network controls.

Laws that widely enforce better device security best practices may present one solution to this problem, but assistance might also come from more innovative quarters.

See:  The Canada Border Services Agency Pilots IBM Maersk TradeLens Blockchain Solution

Blockchain technology, which works as a distributed database that cryptographically and immutably records every “block” of data moving through a system, may point to a more secure future for our connected devices. Blockchain is difficult to spoof. Its peer-to-peer, decentralized structure and reliance on consensus theoretically make it harder to hack. There is, by my observation, essentially no central control to break into or authenticator to fool.

For example, an attacker might digitally force entry into one poorly secured IIoT router at a company. But attempts to use that entry point to manipulate or interact with other nodes in the network could be thwarted in a blockchain model. In that case, the attacked router’s hashed record of activity would no longer match the others in the network and could not achieve consensus verification.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


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


THANKS FOR #VF2018 VANCOUVER!
CHECK OUT THE PICS!


Bloomberg | Julie Verhage and Jennifer Surane | Dec 10, 2018 In 2018, a number of financial technology startups came into their own. Free trading platform Robinhood Markets Inc., for example, added new services and billions to its valuation. And Stripe Inc. was valued by investors at a price higher than the market caps of 249 of the companies on the S&P 500 Index. But the industry is also maturing and consolidating, and larger industry players, hoping not to be left behind by the new era of digital finance, are stepping up their hunt for acquisitions. What should we be on the lookout for in 2019? According to the fintech pros surveyed by Bloomberg—more deals, swirling IPO rumors and a continued steady stream of checks from venture capitalists. Here’s a wrap from industry experts. (Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and length.) See:  OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee IPOs looming Up to this point, financial technology startups have been hesitant to enter the public markets. And who can blame them? Most fintech companies that have gone public in recent years have seen their share prices tumble, and ample venture capital funding has buffered balance sheets. Still, a major IPO ...
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Experts predict the five big fintech trends of 2019
Coinsquare release | Dec 6, 2018 The acquisition was closed for $12 million CAD and brings the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar platform into the Coinsquare ecosystem TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2018 /CNW/ - Today Coinsquare, Canada's premier cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired BlockEQ, the leading cryptocurrency wallet on the Stellar network. Coinsquare purchased BlockEQ for $12 million CAD and will leverage BlockEQ's technology to help Coinsquare and its users connect further with the world of cryptocurrencies. See:  House Finance Committee Urges Canadian Government to Regulate Cryptocurrencies "We have enormous respect for what the BlockEQ team brings to Coinsquare," said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. "They are one of Canada's best tech teams, and the product they've built is immensely valuable. That combination in partnership with Coinsquare's technology and team means that we have the opportunity to build amazing things for the cryptocurrency community in Canada and far beyond." BlockEQ, which was co-founded by Jonathan Lister, Megha Bambra and Satraj Bambra, is a cryptocurrency wallet that empowers users to buy, trade, and hold cryptocurrencies in a secure manner. It allows for the tokenization of crypto assets in order to allow them ...
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Coinsquare acquires BlockEQ to expand its cryptocurrency offerings
OSC Release | Dec 6, 2018 TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking applications for membership on its Fintech Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC advises OSC LaunchPad staff on developments in the fintech space and the challenges faced by start-ups in the securities industry.  OSC LaunchPad is a dedicated team that engages with fintech businesses, provides guidance and flexibility in navigating securities regulatory requirements, and works to keep regulation in step with digital innovation. The FAC will meet quarterly, with additional meetings as required. The FAC is chaired by Pat Chaukos, Deputy Director, OSC LaunchPad, and will consist of up to 15 members. Membership terms will be for one year.  Members will be selected based on whether they have direct experience in one or more of the following: Digital platforms (e.g., crowdfunding portals, crypto-asset trading platforms, online advisers); Crypto-assets or distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain); Data science or artificial intelligence (AI); Venture capital, financial services, securities, legal or accounting experience with a focus on the fintech or technology sector; Fintech or technology entrepreneurship; Compliance or regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions; or Cryptography or cybersecurity. See:  OSC outlines key areas of focus for 2018-2019 Interested parties should submit a résumé indicating their ...
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OSC Seeks Applications for Fintech Advisory Committee
Coindesk | Nikhilesh De | Nov 30, 2018 Members of VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange met with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff earlier this week to present a new argument on why the bitcoin market is ready for an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the latest push to convince the regulator to approve a rule change which would open the door for the country’s first bitcoin ETF, the three firms met with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis and Office of General Counsel. Notably, Monday’s effort differed from previous presentations, which took more of a regulatory focus. See:  OSC approves Canada’s first blockchain ETF Instead, the proponents’ argument centered around the idea that the bitcoin market is mature enough to support an ETF, and at present looks similar to markets for other assets which already have such products. The presentation gave several examples of assets that already have ETFs, including crude oil, silver and gold. The presentation specifically tied the idea of futures markets with spot markets, noting that for money substitutes such as gold and silver, this connection between the two can be proven with empirical ...
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Bitcoin ETF Seekers Met With SEC Monday In Latest Pitch for Approval
Investment Executive | By James Langton | Nov 23, 2018 Many hurdles remain for the CMRA before it becomes a reality Canada’s regulatory landscape faces a transformation as politics, shifting priorities and new legal realities push the investment industry’s overseers in new directions. Most obviously, the prospect of a fundamental reshaping of the regulatory framework in Canada now is, at least, a possibility – given the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) long-awaited decision on Nov. 9, which reversed a lower court’s ruling in Quebec, that declared that a proposed federal/provincial model for a co-operative capital markets regulator is constitutional. But while this decision knocks down a basic legal obstacle for the new model for overseeing the securities industry, that doesn’t mean that the adoption of a co-operative regulator is imminent – or even inevitable. Indeed, the SCC’s decision hints at the significance of the hurdles that still must be cleared before the proposed Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (CMRA) can become a reality in Canada. Although the SCC has found that the proposed CMRA model is constitutional, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good idea. “It’s up to the provinces to determine whether participation is in their best interests,” the ...
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Not yet a done deal
Forbes | Lawrence Wintermeyer | Dec 2, 2018 If your professional interests take you to the crossroads of financial services, regulation, compliance, and digital - especially data analytics and machine learning - which altogether is known as regtech, you are in the right place. You are part of statistically small and very geek-oriented professional community, but you know this, and though you might choose not to admit this to strangers at this year's festive parties for fear of causing great pain by boredom, you are in good company with this Contributor and my interviewee. I first met Jo Ann Barefoot when I was chairing the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Industry Sandbox Consultation, where she provided excellent guidance and insights. Jo Ann is one of the most dedicated and busiest advocates of the regtech space on the planet and is truly outstanding in both her knowledge and passion in this area. She dedicates her time to a number of global bodies and initiatives related to regtech: she is a Senior Fellow Emerita at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business & Government, a Senior Advisor to the Omidyar network, sits on the fintech advisory committee for FINRA, is an Executive Board Member of the International RegTech ...
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A Regulation Revolution In Financial Services
NCFA Canada | Nov 23, 2018 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Ep19-Nov 23:  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money About this episode:   On this episode, NCFA Fintech Friday's host Manseeb Khan sits down with Alan Wunsche the CEO of TokenFunder. They chat about ICO's funding startups, tokenization of businesses and buying real estate through tokens. Enjoy! The future of business tokenization How tokenization is going to disrupt real estate and auto industry How blockchain challenges the concept of money Host: Manseeb Khan, NCFA, Fintech Fridays show host Guest:  ALAN WUNSCHE, Founder and CEO, TokenFunder (view Linkedin) Bio:  Alan Wunsche is CEO & Chief Token Officer of TokenFunder, a regulatory-compliant blockchain venture funding platform with Ontario's first regulated Initial Token Offering. He is also Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain Canada, a Canadian federal not-for-profit corporation with a mission to connect Canadian Blockchain Innovators and to help Canada be a leader in blockchain technology. Alan is a finance technologist focused on new blockchain business models and the disruptive impacts of blockchain on global wealth distribution. He brings hands-on technology experience as a finance and risk transformation executive at a global bank (Scotiabank), management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), and ...
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FINTECH FRIDAY$ (EP.19-Nov 23):  Future of Business Tokenization - How Blockchain Challenges Concept of Money with Alan Wunsche, Founder and CEO, Token Funder
CBC News | Nov 23, 2018 More than 3,000 people contributed to campaign to buy new installation from renowned Japanese artist LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER. That's the name of the infinity mirrored room the Art Gallery of Ontario plans to purchase from world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama — that is, if its crowdfunding campaign is successful. And yes, it's always spelled in all-caps, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) said. Over 3,000 people have already chipped in a contribution to permanently acquire the brand new Kusama installation, even though they hadn't seen it until now. The AGO said its campaign has brought in around half of the $1.3 million it needs to buy the work, but it's hoping more people donate on next week's "Giving Tuesday," a day devoted to donations following "Black Friday" shopping. Here's a look inside the room: The major installation, which will be given a special place at the downtown Toronto gallery, features mirrored orbs on the ground and suspended from the ceiling — similar to the work Narcissus Garden, which dominated a large room in the AGO during last year's ultra-popular Kusama exhibit. There's also a mirrored rectangular column inside the LED-lit room, which creates what's said to feel like an infinity room inside an infinity room ...
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Art Gallery of Ontario shows off the Yayoi Kusama infinity room it's crowdfunding to buy
CNBC | Eric C. Jansen, president and chief investment officer of Finivi | Oct 31, 2018 The many big companies disrupted by blockchain have now made it a priority to harness this technology. Large firms such as Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are developing patented products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Ironically, the whole raison d'etre of blockchain is to circumvent the very type of centralized authority these traditional tech companies represent. Development efforts in both private and public blockchain are seeking to forge new business models. As is typically the case when faced with disruption, large companies are seeking to defend their territory by adopting the very tool that threatens them. With blockchain there's a lot at stake. The global market for blockchain-related products and services is about $700 million and is projected to exceed $60 billion annually in 2024, according to Wintergreen Research. Among the big corporate blockchain players are Accenture, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft. These firms are developing products and services based on blockchain's digital-ledger open-source technology that can be accessed and adapted by anyone. Blockchain enables global transactions between parties without going through ...
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Blockchain's potential will continue to spur public and private investment
CFO Innovation | by Eric Cheung, Unit4 Asia Pacific | March 15, 2018 The world as we know it is changing. Rapid technological advancements are altering industries and creating new market opportunities. As the business world accelerates towards what arguably is looking like an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy, the next few years will be pivotal for finance departments in making the transformations necessary to update their service offerings and deliver service excellence. Several trends are converging over the next few years that could set the stage for a service-economy shift that will keep CFOs more than ever in the driving seat. This year, 2018, may turn out to be an important turning point for the finance function as three disruptive technologies begin to be widely adopted – as the finance function of Unit4 Asia Pacific, which I lead as CFO, is finding out. In the finance function, we are developing blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers that we plan to link to our Unit4 Financials single-ledger system in 2018 Blockchain and Self-Driving Finance As the foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. It is also gaining traction in a wide range of industries across Asia Pacific. In ...
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A Tech CFO on Three Disruptive Technologies Transforming Finance

 

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