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Category Archives: Legal Issues and Regulation

PayPal’s role in EU Antitrust complaint about Apple Wallet

Mac Rumours | Juli Clover | May 3, 2022

Google pay dispute - PayPal's role in EU Antitrust complaint about Apple WalletApple Pay competitor PayPal played a role in the EU's decision to target Apple with antitrust complaints about its mobile wallet, reports Bloomberg. PayPal was one of "multiple companies" that filed informal complaints about the way Apple restricts third-party apps from accessing the NFC capabilities of the iPhone, which in turn led to the European Commission issuing a Statement of Objections against Apple.

The European Commission believes that Apple is unfairly limiting access to the NFC chip, preventing PayPal, Venmo, banks, and other payment services from offering features that are equivalent to ‌Apple Pay‌, which in turn limits the mobile payment options that ‌iPhone‌ users have access to in stores.

See:  Lawmakers Take Aim at Big Tech with Push for Sweeping Overhaul of Antitrust

No third-party apps are able to access NFC on the ‌iPhone‌, so ‌Apple Pay‌ is the only tap to pay payment method available. Apple claims that the restriction is designed to safeguard user privacy and security, but it will now face an EU investigation.

The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology used for contactless payments with mobile devices in stores ('Near-Field Communication (NFC)' or 'tap and go'), Apple restricts competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.

PayPal has an Apple Pay-like tap to pay option that's available to Android users, and the company wants to be able to offer a similar feature on the ‌iPhone‌. Such a feature would require PayPal to use the NFC chip in the ‌iPhone‌, but it is not able to do so with Apple's current restrictions.

See:  Ipsos Survey: Most Canadians Say (88%) We Need More Competition

Apple does have plans to allow third-party apps to use the NFC chip for the upcoming "Tap to Pay on ‌iPhone‌" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments through ‌Apple Pay‌, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets with no hardware required, but it is not equivalent to the tap to pay ‌Apple Pay‌ equivalent that PayPal is after.

 

Forum Comments from Both Sides:

I have to side with PayPal on this, it is not really right that Apple added a hardware feature into the phone that only Apple applications can access and use. It is my device, I should have the choice in what tap to pay options that I can use with NFC.

That's like being upset that you can't use your Visa card to pay with Amex.

 

Apple didn't invent NFC. They added it to the iPhone as a feature and then restricted the use of it.

Rubbish. They didn't add "NFC" as a feature and then restricted the use of it. "NFC" was never once advertised as a feature of the iPhone. What was advertised was ApplePay and Apple Wallet with the ability to handle contactless payments via NFC.

What right does the EU have - or any other body, for that matter - to dictate to a private company which parts of their products must be accessible to the public? Should the EU force car makers to provide public APIs to all vehicle functions and all sensors? Etc., etc.

Why does the EU need to get into the middle of this at all? If Apple's refusal to create a public API to its NFC chip and mobile payment apps such as PayPal can't provide NFC payments on iOS, then consumers that value PayPal can vote with their wallets and buy an Android device! Let the free market decide these things!

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - PayPal's role in EU Antitrust complaint about Apple WalletThe 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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OSC TestLab selects 7 businesses to help improve new capital markets testing environment

OSC | Apr 26, 2022

TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today announced that innovative solutions put forward by seven businesses will be part of its new capital markets testing environment, OSC TestLab. This initiative allows businesses to test solutions that can help Ontario registrants and contribute to better investor outcomes.

See:  Ontario moving ahead with expanded mandate for OSC

The following businesses will test solutions that include product comparison, client onboarding, portfolio analytics and assessment tools that leverage behavioural science, artificial intelligence and automation, among other approaches:

  • Broadridge Investor Communications Corporation
  • LockDocs Inc.
  • Mako Fintech
  • Morningstar Research Inc.
  • Syntoniq, Inc.
  • TMX Group
  • Wealthscope

“We are pleased to see such a strong response to our first test, which harnesses the collaborative power of people, ideas and expertise,” said Pat Chaukos, Director of the Innovation Office. “OSC TestLab is a unique opportunity to effect change and support innovation in our capital markets.”

Participating firms will begin testing later this spring with testing expected to conclude in fall 2022. More details about the tests, including how to participate as a registrant or investor, is available at oscinnovation.ca/TestLab/spring2022

In November 2021, the OSC invited businesses to submit applications to test their innovative solutions to make product information more accessible, improve information sharing and enhance registrant-client interactions. From these applications, the OSC selected seven firms to participate in testing.

See:  How you can experiment, learn and improve with OSC TestLab

A first for Canada, OSC TestLab invites businesses to experiment with innovative solutions in Ontario’s capital markets as part of focused, group testing. Testing will provide opportunities for participants to learn through experimentation and gather feedback that can help to fine-tune and tailor solutions. At the same time, insights from testing can provide valuable input to inform the OSC’s efforts to modernize Ontario’s regulatory environment.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - OSC TestLab selects 7 businesses to help improve new capital markets testing environmentThe 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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Bank of Canada to Simulate Crypto Adoption Cases using Quantum Computing

Decrypt | Stacy Elliott | Apr 14, 2022

BoC uses quantum computing models to test crypto - Bank of Canada to Simulate Crypto Adoption Cases using Quantum ComputingThe researchers’ model can complete in half an hour what would take a regular PC longer than a human lifetime.

The Bank of Canada has become the first G7 country to turn to quantum computing to simulate scenarios where cryptocurrency and fiat currency can coexist.

This week, Multiverse Computing, the startup leading Canada’s research, hit a milestone: Its model can evaluate more than 1 octillion possible scenarios in 30 minutes. An octillion is a 10 followed by 30 zeros.

See:  Quantum computing use cases are getting real—what you need to know

That means Multiverse Computing has completed its proof-of-concept, which combines blockchain data from stablecoin Tether (USDT), whose tokens are pegged to the U.S. dollar, and public data from up to 10 major financial institutions. It also consulted with experts from two major Canadian banks to come up with realistic parameters.

Multiverse Computing chose Tether for its model because the stablecoin, founded in 2014, had endured a variety of market scenarios in its eight years worth of blockchain data.

Most scenarios in the model showed that non-financial institution adoption of the cryptocurrency would be slow, since there was some upfront knowledge and cost associated with converting fiat to a digital asset. It was also able to simulate how banks might respond by reducing wire transfer fees to compete with the very low cost of crypto transactions.

See:  Quantum computers could crack the cryptography that underpins financial stability

The research itself has only just reached the proof-of-concept stage, so there aren’t yet any implications for Canada’s crypto regulations. But being able to use quantum computing models to simulate how fiat and digital currencies might compete for use and adoption is a big leap forward, says a Bank of Canada official.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bank of Canada to Simulate Crypto Adoption Cases using Quantum ComputingThe 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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DeFi Advocates Call out the SEC (Again) over attempts to define ‘Exchange’

ComplianceX | Jack Kelly | Apr 20, 2022

defi advocates cry foul at SEC - DeFi Advocates Call out the SEC (Again) over attempts to define ‘Exchange’For the second time in a month, the Securities and Exchange Commission has the crypto industry up in arms about what it calls an attempt at backdoor regulation that, depending on who you ask, falls anywhere on the spectrum between opaque and unconstitutional.

At issue is an expansion of the definition of a stock exchange to fit what the SEC calls “communications protocol systems” that “bring together buyers and sellers of securities” — which many experts believe would include cryptocurrency exchanges, and specifically, decentralized exchanges (DEXs).

See:  Communication protocol systems: SEC’s big DeFi move

Digital assets are not mentioned anywhere in the bill — mirroring complaints made in late March about another rule change that would define the automated market maker (AMM) smart contracts that act as liquidity providers in decentralized finance (DeFi) projects like lending/borrowing platforms.

Digital assets were mentioned in one footnote in that 200-page rule.  That rule, which would encompass even software developers to register as securities dealers, according to, Delphi Digital Labs’ general counsel Gabriel Shapiro who called it:

An all-out shadow attack on decentralized finance.  More regulation-by-enforcement” that is “far from technology-neutral”.  [The result will be to] to entrench incumbents who have legacy centralized business models and amount to a de facto prohibition on the decentralized finance models that have arisen.

As for the exchange-focused rule, Shapiro said in a Twitter chain Monday (April 18) that it was “more regulation-by-enforcement” that is “far from technology-neutral” and will ensnare even DeFi software developers.

See:  OECD Report: Why DeFi Matters and Policy Implications

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal said:

The SEC is going beyond its authority under the Exchange Act in redefining exchange. An exchange is a facility that performs the ‘functions of a stock exchange, as that term is generally understood.  The SEC should provide clearer guidance in the future about how the market should apply its rules.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - DeFi Advocates Call out the SEC (Again) over attempts to define ‘Exchange’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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OFSI issues guidelines for Culture Risk Management and seeks for input by May 31, 2022

OFSI | Mar 15, 2022

OFSI culture risk management guidance - OFSI issues guidelines for Culture Risk Management and seeks for input by May 31, 2022The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) examines the culture practices of federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs) and how the risks created, perpetuated, or magnified by a FRFI’s culture can affect their safety and soundness.  OSFI plans to issue a principles-based, outcomes-focused culture risk management guideline for consultation in late 2022.

Proposed outcomes of culture risk management guidance

As part of its future guidance, OSFI will expect FRFIs to establish and maintain a robust approach to manage and oversee culture risks. OSFI is proposing six prudential outcomes that FRFIs should achieve to support effective culture risk management.

See:  OFSI Publishes Draft Guidelines on Technology and Cyber Risk Management

  • Leadership: Leaders, at all levels, consistently promote and reinforce the desired culture through their words, actions and decisions.
  • Compensation, People Management & Incentives: The FRFI acquires, develops, retains, compensates, and incentivizes executives, material risk-takers and all other employees to promote and reinforce its desired culture, effective culture risk management, and achieve sound financial and non-financial outcomes.
  • Accountability & Ownership: Individuals have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, have capacity and autonomy to fulfill them, take ownership of their decisions and actions, and are held accountable for them.
  • Risk Mindsets & Behaviours: Risk mindsets and behaviours within the FRFI align with and support the structures in place to ensure financial and non-financial risks are effectively managed.
  • Group Dynamics & Decision-Making: The work environment enables individuals to feel safe to speak up, openly communicate and work together to make sound decisions and achieve financial and non-financial outcomes.
  • Resilience: Individuals are vigilant towards known and unknown threats, notice and effectively respond to problems and opportunities, and continuously learn, improve, and adapt to changing conditions.

See:  Culture: Why regulators should care about diversity and inclusion

OSFI is seeking comments on the following questions

  1. What are your views on OSFI’s proposed culture risk management outcomes? Are there other outcomes OSFI should consider?
  2. Which of the outcomes outlined above is your organization currently overseeing as part of its culture risk management? How is your organization measuring and assessing culture risks in these areas?
  3. Is your organization proactively disclosing culture risk management information as part of its published annual reports? Why or why not? Do you foresee any challenges if OSFI were to expect FRFIs to enhance existing annual reporting requirements to include this information?
  4. Does a FRFI’s size, nature, complexity, risk profile or various sub-cultures (e.g., differences between geographies, business units or functions) give rise to specific culture risk management issues that OSFI should consider?
  5. How do culture risks influence the way FRPPs are managed and administered? What are the benefits of similar outcomes-focused guidance for FRPPs?

Stakeholders can submit comments to Culture@osfi-bsif.gc.ca by May 31, 2022.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - OFSI issues guidelines for Culture Risk Management and seeks for input by May 31, 2022The 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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Ottawa to review Crypto, Stablecoins and CBDCs; Budget promises more financial cops

Investment Executive | James Langton | Apr 8, 2022

AML money laundering review - Ottawa to review Crypto, Stablecoins and CBDCs; Budget promises more financial copsIn yesterday’s budget, the federal government announced plans to launch a new authority, the Canada Financial Crimes Agency, which it envisions as the future lead law enforcement agency in the fight against financial crime.

Alongside the launch of a new federal policing unit, the budget also pledged increased funding — $89.9 million over five years, and $8.8 million annually after that — to beef up the existing AML agency, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).  This represents a 24% increase to FINTRAC’s budget, and provisions for a 13% increase in staff.

See:  Lex Fridman Podcast with Brett Johnson: US Most Wanted Cybercriminal

Government in the budget said:

“This increased capacity will enable FINTRAC to implement new anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements for crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers; support the supervision of federally regulated financial institutions; continue to build expertise related to virtual currency; modernize its compliance functions; and update its financial management, human resources, intelligence, and disaster recovery systems.”

It’s also already working on legislative changes to strengthen the existing AML legislation, the Criminal Code, and other legislation, “to enhance the ability of authorities to detect, deter, investigate, and prosecute financial crimes,” the budget said; while also enabling the government to tackle emerging threats that may not be covered under the existing regime.

Continue to the full article --> here


Investment Executive | James Langton | Apr 7, 2022

Ottawa to review crypto, CBDC: A new review of financial sector legislation will examine the emergence of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, and the implications for the financial system.

In today federal budget, the government announced plans for a review, led by the Department of Finance, which will examine the so-called “digitalization” of money and its possible impact on the traditional financial sector.  The budget pledged $17.7 million in funding over five years to finance a review that will, among other things, consider the need for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Canada.

See:  Carolyn Wilkins: to achieve benefits, crypto must be made as safe as Canada’s financial system

A number of countries are exploring the potential of CBDCs, with the idea that their development could enhance payment systems, foster financial innovation and improve inclusion, while potentially reducing credit and liquidity risk.  However, there also concerns that the introduction of CBDCs could undermine bank deposits, which are a traditional source of bank funding; while also cutting into banks’ revenues from payments processing.  The government said that the review will also consider how to adapt the financial sector’s regulatory framework to deal with the risks posed by the digitalization of money; and, how to maintain the security and stability of the financial sector amid the development of these emerging technologies.

“The first phase of the review will be directed at digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies and stablecoins,” the government said in today’s budget.

Bank dispute resolution overhaul

The budget also reiterated the federal government’s pledge to amend financial sector legislation to overhaul the banking sector’s dispute resolution regime.

See:  Decentralized Finance—Risks, Regulation, and the Road Ahead

Specifically, the government indicated that it will introduce amendments to “provide for a single, non-profit external complaints handling body (ECB) in banking and to strengthen the ECB system.”

“Canadians deserve a fair and impartial process to address unresolved complaints with their banks,” the government said in today’s budget. “Banks should not be able to choose the complaints handling body they participate in, and the system should not be run on a for-profit basis.”

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Ottawa to review Crypto, Stablecoins and CBDCs; Budget promises more financial copsThe 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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Fintech Fridays EP57: 10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding: Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

About NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Apr 11, 2022

NCFA FF EP57 10 years of investment crowdfunding UPDATED resize 2 - Fintech Fridays EP57:  10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding:  Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

Apr 8, 2022: NCFA's Fintech Fridays podcast episode 57

10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding: Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS Act

About this episode:

10 years ago in 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law in the U.S. (and eventually a similar exemption was approved in Canada) to encourage more capital to flow to startups, support innovation, and, create jobs. It's significance cannot be understated as the rule change allowed private companies to raise capital by selling securities digitally for the first time via registered online platforms and dealer-brokers.  Regulation crowdfunding also democratized previously excluded retail investors (non-accredited) by allowing them to invest directly in startup ventures empowering a new era of digital finance.

See:  Crowdfunding is Now a Serious Way for Private Ventures to Raise Capital

A tremendous amount of advocacy and regulatory change efforts took place to make this happen, and since then the original JOBS Act rules have been improved for investment crowdfunding in the U.S., such as increasing the fundraising cap from US$1 million to US$5 million (not in Canada though, we've asked for years ahem).

But there are still many challenges and myths to be debunked. While venture financings are at an all time high in sectors like fintech, it does not mean that startups are awash with capital.  While there is growing interest among retail investors to participate directly in these offerings, and take control of their investment future, education and awareness still remains a top priority if industry is to grow in the right ways.  Having said that, in the United States, RegCF recently surpassed $1billion raised.  Canadian figures are more modest with at least $100 million in equity financings raised on a leading platform.

Today there's also a JOBS Act 2022 proposal on the table but will these changes be sufficient to support evolving technologies and their capabilities while also protecting investors?  Regulatory change is slow and regulators should support innovation and competition.  All stakeholders need to continue to support efforts to make capital markets whole, so EVERYONE can benefit from the advancements in technology or the wealth gap will continue to widen.

This is a not to be missed episode for anyone interested in the past or future of digital finance and capital markets.  Join investment crowdfunding pioneers in both Canada and the U.S. who discuss the 10 year journey from a wide variety of perspectives including the evolution of first generation marketing platforms to the arrival of second generation decentralized finance models powered by blockchain technologies.

Duration:  92mins

Timestamps:

00:00:00 NCFA Fintech Fridays Intro
00:00:17 Craig Asano, NCFA Canada
00:02:06 Andrew Dix, Crowded Media Group
00:02:49 Sherwood 'Woodie' Neiss, Crowdfund Capital Advisors
00:03:32 Kim Wales, CrowdBureau Corp
00:04:23 Alixe Cormick, Venture Law Corporation
00:04:13 Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, FrontFundr
00:05:48 Alan Wunsche, Tokenfunder
00:08:21 RegCF advocacy (SEC, Congress, White House)
00:10:47 Designing the framework
00:11:58 Purpose of the JOBS Act
00:15:10 Road to Equity Crowdfunding in Canada: Change is hard (and long)
00:26:22 Blockchain finance: education and regulatory challenges
00:33:38 Crowdfunding’s Impact and opportunity: first US$1 billion
00:38:39 RegCF to digital finance
00:41:57 Evolution of digital finance Gen1 to Gen2
00:49:23 Digitalizing private capital markets
00:55:03 Ontario’s exemption 45-108 setup to fail
00:59:46 JOBS Act 2022 bill proposed to improve rules in the U.S.
01:00:10 Canada harmonizes equity crowdfunding rules Sep 2021
01:04:00 Educating regulators
01:06:00 Regulators need to support innovation and competition
01:09:00 Financial inclusion
01:11:00 Canadian ECF $100 million and beyond
01:17:00 Decentralized Finance is the future
01:19:00 Convergence and reducing wealth gaps
01:23:00 Regulatory culture change and sandbox
01:25:00 Capital markets need to work for everyone
01:30:00 Closing remarks

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP57:  10 Years of Investment Crowdfunding:  Past, Present & Future Since the JOBS ActThe 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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