FFCON21 Breaking Barriers May 11-13, 2021

Category Archives: Legal Issues and Regulation

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

Investor Wire | Jonathan Keim | April 10, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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Supreme Court handed Google a win in a decade-long court battle with Oracle

The New York Times | | Apr 5, 2021

Google vs oracle supreme court - Supreme Court handed Google a win in a decade-long court battle with Oracle

The 6-2 ruling, which overturns a victory for Oracle, marks a climax to a decade-old case that divided Silicon Valley and promised to reshape the rules for the software industry. Oracle was seeking as much as $9 billion.

On Monday, the Supreme Court said it was kosher to copy someone else’s computer code in some cases. That handed Google a win in a decade-long court battle with Oracle over the guts of the Android smartphone system.

See:  Our patent and copyright system isn’t prepared for inventions or designs by AI

I’ll explain why the technology industry was relieved by the decision, and the ways it might be relevant for artists, writers and archivists. I also want us to ponder this: Why are thorny legal questions seemingly inescapable in technology right now?

What was the legal case?

Oracle controls software programming technologies called Java that are a building block for many apps and digital services. Google used a relatively small chunk of Java computer code in its Android operating system, and that made it easier for software experts to make smartphone apps.

In the Google v. Oracle America case, Google said it was standard practice to copy what are called application programming interfaces, or APIs, a set of instructions to make sure that technologies from different companies can work together. Oracle said that Google stole its software and demanded billions of dollars. Each company said it was trying to save the tech industry from ruin.

This is complicated stuff that made lawyers on both sides and the justices grasping for analogies — safecracking, football playbooks and restaurant menus — to explain APIs. In his majority opinion on behalf of six justices, Justice Stephen G. Breyer compared APIs to the gas pedal, which tells a car to move faster, and a keyboard that types a letter when you press a specific key.

A big question went unanswered, but it might not matter.

Google won. Although as my colleague Adam Liptak wrote, the Supreme Court had previously said it would answer two questions: Whether companies like Oracle could copyright APIs, and if so, whether Google’s use of them fit an exception to the copyright law known as fair use. A majority of the justices answered only the second question, with a yes.

See:  The future relationship between AI and IP

Two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., said it was a mistake to sidestep the question of whether APIs are protected by copyright laws. Justice Thomas wrote that he would have said yes.

Even though the justices left an open question, intellectual property lawyers told me that the decision should give comfort to companies that use APIs. The Supreme Court essentially blessed what Google did because it took APIs and transformed the software into something new that can benefit all of us.

Many technologists had sided with Google — even those who aren’t usually fans of the company. They worried that if companies could prevent rivals from using APIs or charge exorbitant prices to use them, it could discourage companies from inventing new products. For them, the Supreme Court decision brought relief.

The technology industry is racked with legal questions now: How should the First Amendment apply to social media companies? Do antitrust laws need to be rewritten for Big Tech? Does a 25-year-old internet law preserve people’s free expression or crush it? Tech now revolves around laws, not just computer code.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Supreme Court handed Google a win in a decade-long court battle with Oracle 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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Sources Say: Federal and provincial governments shutting down Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory project

The Globe and Mail | Andrew Willis | Mar 31, 2021

national securities regulator initiative in Canada shutting down - Sources Say:  Federal and provincial governments shutting down Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory project

The federal government and seven provinces and one territory are shutting down the organization charged with creating a national securities regulator due to waning political support for the project in jurisdictions such as Ontario and British Columbia.

The federal Finance Department will announce as soon as Thursday it is closing the five-year-old Capital Markets Authority Implementation Organization and laying off its staff, according to two sources working on the project. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the sources because they are not authorized to speak for the government or CMAIO.

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

Canada is the only G20 country without a national securities regulator. Each province and territory is responsible for overseeing its own capital markets. Former federal finance minister Jim Flaherty championed the concept of a single regulator when the Conservatives were in power. The federal Liberals picked up the baton after the 2015 election, committing $30-million to the CMAIO in 2016, along with tens of millions of dollars for programs meant to win support for the project from the provinces.

The CMAIO was created to design and build a new co-operative capital markets regulatory system that provinces and territories could voluntarily join. The goal was to streamline regulations to better protect investors, foster efficient capital markets and manage systemic risk while preserving the strengths of the current system. Since it was launched in 2016, B.C., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon signed on. Quebec and Alberta oppose the concept and never joined. Nunavut and Northwest Territories did not join either.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Sources Say:  Federal and provincial governments shutting down Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory project 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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ASC and FCAA adopt new prospectus exemption to support small business capital raising

ASC / FCAA | Denise Weeres | Apr 1, 2021

Raising capital for small businesses - ASC and FCAA adopt new prospectus exemption to support small business capital raisingAs part of our efforts to reduce regulatory burden, optimize securities regulation in an effort to foster capital formation, the ASC and the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) have adopted a new prospectus exemption. CSA Multilateral Notice of Implementation 45-538 Self-Certified Investor Prospectus Exemption is designed to provide greater access to capital for Alberta and Saskatchewan businesses and broaden investment opportunities for investors in both provinces.

The new prospectus exemption permits investors who certify to having certain financial and investment knowledge, and acknowledge that they understand certain investment considerations and risks, to invest alongside accredited investors, with certain restrictions.

This is the third initiative the ASC has undertaken recently to support small businesses in their capital raising efforts, while still prioritizing the protection of investors. The other two were published for comment last week.

The first, ASC Proposed Blanket Order 31-536 Alberta Small Business Finder’s Exemption, is a proposed new registration exemption for finders to help start-ups and small businesses that have not raised in aggregate more than $5 million under available prospectus exemptions.

The second, CSA Multilateral Notice and Request for Comment 45-539 Proposed Prospectus Exemption for Small Business Financing is designed to provide greater access to capital by start-ups and other small businesses in Alberta and Saskatchewan and broaden investment opportunities for investors.

Later in April the ASC will be hosting a webinar to discuss these initiatives and to encourage feedback on the two proposed exemptions. More information will be shared about this webinar once it is available.

See: 

ASC Updates Raising Capital for Small Businesses Resource: Fostering Alberta’s New Economy

ASC adopts Start-up Crowdfunding Blanket Order

Sep 22, 2019: NCFA Response to ASC Consultation Paper 11-701: Energizing Alberta’s Capital Market

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - ASC and FCAA adopt new prospectus exemption to support small business capital raising 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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CSA and IIROC Publish Guidance and Regulatory Framework for Crypto Asset Trading Platform Compliance

CSA / IIROC | Joint release | March 30, 2021

regulation and compliance - CSA and IIROC Publish Guidance and Regulatory Framework for Crypto Asset Trading Platform Compliance

Toronto – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) today published a notice outlining securities law requirements that apply to crypto asset trading platforms (CTPs) and how they may be tailored by regulators for the CTPs business model.

“The guidance in our notice details steps platform operators need to take to comply with securities legislation as they prepare to fully integrate into the Canadian regulatory structure,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “To bring their operations into compliance, CTPs should contact their local securities regulator now to discuss the registration process and address applicable requirements.”

“We are pleased to work with the CSA on such an important initiative,” said Andrew J. Kriegler, President and CEO, IIROC. “This framework provides guidance on how the regulatory requirements may be tailored to a platform’s business, without compromising investor protection or market integrity.”

See:  A Global Review Of The Regulatory Considerations Relating To Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms

The notice provides guidance on securities law requirements applicable to platforms whether trading crypto assets that are securities or derivatives, or contractual rights or claims to underlying crypto assets such as bitcoin or ether. The notice also outlines interim approaches that may be available to CTPs, that are intended to foster innovation and provide flexibility, while ensuring the CTPs operate in an appropriately regulated environment.

In addition, the notice provides an overview of key risks related to CTPs and areas where requirements may be tailored, provided that key risks are addressed and investor protection is not compromised. Finally, the notice outlines the process for submitting an application to the relevant CSA jurisdictions and IIROC.

“We remind all CTPs that are dealing with Canadians, including foreign-based CTPs, that they are expected to comply with Canadian securities legislation,” added Louis Morisset. “Failure to do so could result in CSA members pursuing enforcement action.”

In 2019, the CSA and IIROC published Joint CSA/IIROC Consultation Paper 21-402 Proposed Framework for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms, which outlined a proposed regulatory framework for CTPs, and solicited comments to better understand the industry, its risks and how regulatory requirements may be tailored. The CSA and IIROC received 52 comment letters in response to the consultation paper and consulted extensively with industry stakeholders on issues specific to CTPs.

The CSA is aware of CTPs seeking to become reporting issuers through an initial public offering or through reverse take-overs, changes of business, Capital Pool Company qualifying transactions or similar transactions. There are potential public interest concerns with a CTP that is required to be registered, but that is not, becoming a reporting issuer.  CTPs and their representatives should contact their local securities regulator if they intend to become reporting issuers through an intial public offering or other transaction.

Joint Canadian Securities Administrators and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Notice 21-329 Guidance for Crypto Asset Trading Platforms: Compliance with Regulatory Requirements is available on the websites of CSA members and IIROC.

Download the 56 page PDF Regulatory Guidance for Crypto Trading Platforms --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - CSA and IIROC Publish Guidance and Regulatory Framework for Crypto Asset Trading Platform Compliance 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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Our patent and copyright system isn’t prepared for inventions or designs by AI

Sifted | Andreas Leupold | Mar 25, 2021

AI assisted design - Our patent and copyright system isn’t prepared for inventions or designs by AI

What does a chair from furniture manufacturer Kartell have in common with a rocket engine by the software powerhouse Hyperganic? They were both created by generative design — in other words, made by AI.

Our patent and copyright system isn’t prepared for inventions or designs by AI.

The buzzword ‘generative design’ stands for a computer-aided design (CAD) process. But it’s a far cry from simple CAD design, using algorithms created by AI to generate a first set of designs for a product based on certain input parameters. It will then continue to refine these designs with each iteration until the final product materialises.

Combined with industrial 3D printing, the result is a technically superior product that weighs less, has better functional features and is often less prone to wear and tear.

See:  Will the Law Keep Up with Smart Contracts in 2021?

And this combination is discovered by more and more industry heavyweights: Airbus is using generative design and 3D printing for aeroplane interiors; US sports equipment company Under Armour is using it for improving the damping properties of its 3D printed running shoes; and German car manufacturer BMW is using it to create automotive parts that are up to 50% lighter than their conventional counterparts.

But generative AI design won’t just disrupt conventional design thinking. It will also change our patent and copyright system, which isn’t prepared for inventions or designs by AI.

Creative machines lose the first legal round

As chance would have it, the same year — 2019 — that Kartell presented its AI chair at Milan’s furniture fair, Stephen Thaler, a pioneer in ‘artificial invention’ claimed that he had triggered “the big bang of machine intelligence with his ‘creativity machine’, the ‘DABUS’.” Dabus was hailed by its creator as the first “true artificial inventor“ — not a physical machine, but a concept that employed artificial neural networks and parallel computing to generate new ideas or even create art.

See:  How do intellectual property rights apply to AI?

He applied for patent protection in the US, the UK and Europe based on his ownership of said machine — not for the machine itself, but for the inventions it had made. The patent offices of all three jurisdictions denied Thaler’s petitions on the grounds that only natural persons, not machines, can be inventors and that patent law consequently does not permit a machine like DABUS to be named as the inventor on a patent application.

For the legal community it was a wake-up call that a paradigm shift on inventorship was on its way.

For Thaler this was a defeat. But for the legal community it was a wake-up call that a paradigm shift on inventorship as we know it was on its way and had to be dealt with.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation initiated an ongoing discussion on intellectual property and AI that continued in 2020. It led to well over 80 questions on how the law should deal with the challenges to industrial property rights and copyrights posed by AI.

While it is virtually undisputed that AI inventions are not patentable under the current law in the EU, UK and US, with the number of works and inventions being created by AI increasing, there is growing momentum around the idea that they need some kind of legal protection.

See:  Sophia the robot set to auction NFT digital artwork

Just what the right vehicle might be is still controversial, however. Patent protection was initially devised to help motivate human inventors to innovate and share the results. But unlike human inventors, AI cannot be motivated to innovate by the prospect of obtaining patent protection but only be instructed to innovate regardless of patent protection.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Our patent and copyright system isn’t prepared for inventions or designs by AI 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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SEC has an active and ongoing investigation on Softbank ‘Nasdaq whale’

ComplianceX | Mar 25, 2021

compliance investigation - SEC has an active and ongoing investigation on Softbank 'Nasdaq whale'On Wednesday, short seller research site PlainSite posted a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission on Twitter revealing that the agency is investigating SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications company and investing giant notorious for financing various unprofitable “technology” companies like WeWork, Uber, Compass, and Oyo.

Aaron Greenspan, founder of the Think Computer Foundation that runs Plainsite, filed a FOIA request in December 2020 for “any investigative materials [from January 1, 2018 to the present] pertaining to the various SoftBank companies controlled by Masayoshi Son, specifically relating to SoftBank’s trading of stocks and derivatives on those stocks.”

This request was filed in response to the revelation last fall that SoftBank was the “Nasdaq whale.”

SoftBank was responsible for stoking a huge rally in tech stocks, the Financial Times reported, because around August it began buying billions of dollars worth of call options in a shift for the company, fueling a rally that pushed up the share prices of tech companies it held billions of dollars of equity in.

Thanks in large part to a rally sparked by SoftBank’s high-risk market plays, firms like Tesla and Apple were up 74 and 21 percent, respectively, in the month of August alone. Executed through a small desk of traders and chief executive Masayoshi Son himself, the trading unit―named SB Northstar―and its bets won the company some $4 billion in gains at the beginning of September, before quickly melting away into nearly $3 billion in losses by the end of the month.

See:  High tech meets high finance: The real revolution on Wall Street

In a January letter responding to Greenspan’s initial request, and months after the reporting on Softbank became public, the SEC said that its search did not turn up any relevant records. Greenspan appealed the decision on March 9 and two weeks later received a letter saying that responsive records were identified, but they could not be released under legal provisions that cover ongoing investigations.

“We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing,” the SEC letter stated.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - SEC has an active and ongoing investigation on Softbank 'Nasdaq whale' 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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