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Fintech Fridays EP54: How Digital Identity will Transform Human Potential

NCFA Canada | Jul 9, 2021

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FF EP54 David Lucatch How Digital Identity will Transform Human Potential 3 - Fintech Fridays EP54:  How Digital Identity will Transform Human Potential


EP54: How Digital Identity will Transform Human Potential

Featured Guest:

DAVID LUCATCH, Co-Founder, Director and President, Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. (LinkedIn)

About Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc.

Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. focuses on the verification, management and monetization of Self Sovereign Identity, empowering users to control and benefit from the use of their online identity.

The Liquid Avatar Mobile App, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play is a verified Self Sovereign Identity platform that empowers users to create high quality digital icons representing their online personas. These icons allow users to manage and control their digital identity and Verifiable Access and Identity Credentials, and to use Liquid Avatars to share public and permission based private data when they want and with whom they want.

The Company has a suite of early stage revenue generating programs that support the Liquid Avatar Mobile App program, including KABN KASH, a cash back and reward program that has over 500 leading online merchants and coming soon, an integrated offering engine. In Canada, the Company also has the KABN Visa Card, a "challenger financial" platform that allows users to manage and control a range of financial services for traditional and digital currencies. The Company is currently exploring expansion of the KABN Visa Card program to other geographic regions, including the USA. The Company's subsidiary, Oasis Digital Studios, is a creative and development agency that supports a wide range of artists, talent, and enterprises with Non-Fungible Token (NFT) solutions.

Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. is publicly listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the symbol "LQID" (CSE:LQID).

The Company also trades in the United States under the symbol "LQAVF" and in Frankfurt under the symbol "4T51".

If you have not already joined our mailing list and would like to receive updates on Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc., please click hereto join!

For more information, please visit www.liquidavatartechnologies.com

 

Liquid Avatar Technologies New - Fintech Fridays EP54:  How Digital Identity will Transform Human Potential

About this episode:

On this episode, show host Anna Niemira sits down with guest David Lucatch of Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc. They discuss the ins and outs of digital identity and it's transformative potential for both consumers and businesses.  Enjoy!

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here:

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

 


Fintech Friday Transcript of Episode 54: David Lucatch of Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc.

Intro: Welcome to fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners. Covering all things fintech, blockchain, AI and alternative finance.

Anna Niemira: [00:00:04] Hello and welcome to the NCFA Canada summer edition of the Fintech Fridays Podcast. NCFA is a leading community-based FinTech and crowdfunding association driven to advance innovation finance sectors. This is Anna Niemira. I am today's podcast host. Our podcast introduces remarkable people from the FinTech community and showcases industry trends and developments. You can always refer to the past episodes by visiting our website to connect with our incredible guests and their stories. Thank you so much for tuning in to today's podcast. We are thrilled to welcome our guest, David Lucatch of Liquid Avatar Technologies, which is a high-quality, digital, image-based Personal Passport containing public and securely managed private information that users can choose to share when they want and include only the information they want simply by sharing their image. David, great to have you here to discuss, especially nowadays, an engaging topic.

 

David Lucatch: [00:01:21] Thank you. And it's a pleasure to be here.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:01:24] Great to have you here once again. Let's talk a bit about digital identity. It's a little bit controversial topic, and I'm sure that our listeners would like to know a little bit more about it. What is a digital identity and how it is different from what we have right now?

 

David Lucatch: [00:01:48] Well, it's a good question. And I don't know that I would qualify as controversial, but I would try to qualify as innovative. Digital identity is really taking the paper or electronic data that you have now that represents yourself and it could be as something as a paper-based or card-based doing something like your driver's license and electronic could be a username and password and taking those to a digital state where, you know, we're using blockchain technology to ensure that you have absolute control over its use and functionality.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:02:29] Well, recently, during the last few months, we've been talking, media was talking about cyberattacks, there were some issues. So, when we have everything digitally that possibly can represent some danger for us, that our data can be stolen. So what is the level of security pertaining to our data stored digitally?

 

David Lucatch: [00:02:55] Well, again, I mentioned something a minute ago and that, again, is a really good question. The key behind security is, how does someone access the data and as we found, unfortunately, you know, organizations were able to find on the dark web CRA username and passwords. So what we've done is installed biometrics. So, for you to manage to control your digital identity in your digital credentials are verifiable credentials. We use techniques that require you to identify yourself biometrically. And where we start with that is with facial recognition. Now, one would argue, well, you know, we could use a fingerprint, we could use a retina and we could use all these different tools. But when we're verifying someone's identity, the easiest thing to start with is something that is easily recognizable. And there's very few pieces of identity that you have that have your fingerprint or your retina or anything else. But there is identity documentation that you have that has your picture on it. So, when we start with the know the customer process, know your customer process or KYC, and identifying an individual so that they can store, manage, and control digital identity, we start with the basics and with a piece of identity that will have an image on them that we can cross-reference. And then we store a digital map of your face.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:04:21] Well, we know that KYC, it's rather a complicated process. And this is the issue a lot of companies are dealing with, and individuals, every single time you're going somewhere, you have to show your I.D. It's it's troublesome. You have to pull a bunch of papers to prove your identity. So what are the exact user's benefits from holding a digital ID versus a traditional one?

 

David Lucatch: [00:04:52] Well, first of all, it's there's a lot of convenience. You know, we use our mobile phone for everything, so it means we don't have to carry everything everywhere. Now, I want to be clear about this. We don't store data on the phone. We are cloud-based. And so at the end of the day, you know, everything is in the cloud. So your phone is sort of the gateway to your phone is lost, stolen or compromised, we're not going to end up, you know, having data compromised because your phone was lost or stolen. But what are the benefits to a user is very simple that they have control over the data in a way that they've never had control before. Let me use an example for, let's say, a young person who walks in and wants to buy something that is age-restricted. They generally have to show a piece of identity that has their image on it and their name and all their usually their address and usually, you know, is a driver's license. And that's too much information to show for a verification of age where a digital credential would pass back and forth between the individual and the organization wishing to verify that and the user could only provide at that time the fact that they were over, for example, in the province of Ontario, they were 19 or over. And so it really makes data more controllable by the individual. We don't have to give out pieces of information that are not relevant to a transaction. It also makes it easier for an organization to ensure that the people that they are engaging with are who they say they were. And we can take that in, which I'm sure you'll ask questions about, but from a business standpoint, it means I'm only dealing with real people now. I'm not dealing with fake people, you know, multiple personalities or multiple usernames and, you know, bots. So there's a lot of value in the equation and a lot of convenience and it would mean that I don't have to remember any of my passwords anymore. So I don't know how many passwords you have, but I have a lot of passwords. And remembering them or using a system to control them can be dangerous. If I could just use my biometrics in conjunction with a verifiable credential, it would make it so much simpler to get into, for argument's sake, my bank account.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:07:16] Yes. So, is this technology going to make our world much more organized?

 

David Lucatch: [00:07:25] I think I think organized is one. It's going to make it more convenient, it's going to be easier and faster and if used properly by all parties, it will make it safer as well. You know, there are many regulations around the world, starting in Europe with something called GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation that has changed the way that we deal with data even around the world because many countries have adopted the basic principles and are enhancing those principles of GDPR. California has done that, Canada is looking at it with the updates in PIPEDA. So identity is changing and we've now got to download that requirement to manage that data, the consumer, or the user. So we're stepping in, we're helping the consumer by providing them tools and services that allow them to better manage to control that identity. But we don't own it. We don't rent it. We don't sell it. It's all under the control of the user.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:08:27] Yes. Well, there's one thing certain in life, and it has been proved true, throughout the centuries, that the only constant is change. So naturally, we are changing how we deal with our ID as well and how we use it. So how exactly can we manage our digital ID?

 

David Lucatch: [00:08:51] Well, like wallet for currency or for other pieces of identity. And I'm going to try and make it very easy. If I ask you to go into, you know, your wallet or for some people a satchel or a purse or whatever the case may be, you're going to have ID, you're likely going to have some cash or change on you, whatever it is, you're going to have different things that you already control. And so the process is effectively the same. Instead of having it in a conventional wallet, you know, you might have a wallet for your identity and you might have a wallet for your money or change or whatever the case would be. You're also going to have a wallet for your identity, and that'll be an electronic wallet in which you can control various aspects of your data. Now, some of us are already used to doing that with things like Apple Pay and Google Pay. But those are two things. One, those are edge-based. So they sit on on a phone. And two, there is a third party that controls them. Apple or Google has the right to tell you what can go in those what can't go in them. And they have the right to manage a lot of the data that goes that's being dealt with in there in. In our system you manage and control all of that. We only provide the tools for you to do that. So it is a completely self-sovereign identity. It is independent and independently managed. And so you will have a wallet which your employer might give you a credential similar to the card that you might use to enter a facility. But now it'll be a digital credential that sits in a wallet that is accessible by your phone. It might be your driver's license, it might be your student identity. It might be a bus pass or transport pass. There are so many different things that we use, again, username and passwords that this will be a wallet which you control and we provide biometric control that you control with your face and other aspects that allow you to manage all your identity in a very simple and easy manner.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:10:56] Hmm. Well, that's, actually, that's fantastic. That's definitely very easy to use and very convenient. So what is that what is the implementation process?

 

David Lucatch: [00:11:07] Well, right now, users, and I want to stress that there are three parties in this process. There is a holder or someone who as an individual holds all their credentials. There is an author or issuer, an organization that issues those credentials. And so like a bank or an employer or a government. And then there are what we call verifiers and verifiers are those that want to make sure that the information you're providing or for to give you to verify your identity, your access, or your qualifications are correct. And I'll talk about something for a moment as I go through the implementation process but we call those three organizations the holder, the issuer, and the verifier part of what we call a trust triangle. And a very interesting but simple to understand the use case of the trust triangle, a process that is not digital identity, but one that we all deal with on a regular basis is if I walked into a grocery store and I filled my basket with goods and I walked a walk to the checkout, I'd likely use, in most cases debit or credit. And when I swipe, tap or insert my card, I'm now creating a relationship as a holder of that card with the supermarket, which is trying to verify my card, and my bank, which is the issue of my card, so we're used to doing this every day. And once I start that process, the verifier asks if I want to continue with it. The bank verifies it and then says, yep, David has the money or David has the credit in which to proceed with this transaction. But hold on a second. We just want to make sure it's David, so, David, can you enter your pin so that we do all of that and then I get my groceries and I walk out of the store in the transaction is completed and it's gone. Digital identity works the same way except the challenge might be that I'm asked to prove with my face that I am who I say I am. So it's a very similar process to what we're using today. So the implementation process follows that. So the government, or like the Ontario government is proposing that by the end of the year, the issue, some type of digital identity. BC is working on it or Quebec is already started with QR codes on covid credentials. There are lots of different organizations that are starting to issue digital credentials. And you'll see the implementation process will be that the issuer will issue a credential. The holder will hold that credential in their wallet, and they will go to locations where they need to be verified. And we're developing an onboarding process not just for the consumer, but both for the the author, those organizations that want to author credentials. So we SAS model for business and we're working also on the verification process that SAS business model as well, or software as a service where verifiers will be able to easily verify a digital credential. But it is still fairly early days. And if you think about an example, as Tesla builds more and more cars, they're putting in more and more charging stations. So you're the infrastructure is going to take on a life of its own and build very quickly because, you know, up to now digital identity or identity on the Internet, it's been a very, very large challenge.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:14:23] Right, since you actually mentioned the timing - so that is still developing and it's still growing for further implementation. So how far away we are from the general worldwide implementation of digital identification?

 

David Lucatch: [00:14:42] Well, Australia is already issuing digital birth certificates. So, you know, we think of ourselves, the North American, a bit of a bubble, but we are not leaving this for those that are old enough to remember, you know, for years, you could buy a can of pop or soda, depending on how you phrase it, in a vending machine using your phone in Europe and in Asia but you can't do it in North America. So everybody's trying to adapt quite quickly because if you think about the value proposition to business and the value proposition of businesses is let's look at the credit card and identity fraud industry that globally is a 30 billion dollar industry. In North America alone, it's about 12 billion dollars. Now, I can use my card online. I could give my daughter my card and she could use it online. So it doesn't take a lot of sophistication to use someone else's card. And so, you know, there's very little information you need to know about the person in the car to to be able to use it. But what if I said to you, every time you use the card over a certain limit, even in e-commerce, you know, the organization, the issuer would ping you to ensure with your face that this is your card. I mean, if the value proposition of business is is so immense, it's so immense. But until recently, technology didn't exist. So we're seeing everywhere, especially, you know, we talk about, you know, covid credentials. And there was a survey that just came up by travel week that showed that a significant I think it was well over 80 percent of respondents agreed that if necessary, willingly and if necessary, they would easily use a vaccination passport. So one of one of the primary opportunities for digital identity is creating digital identity in conjunction with test results or vaccine results so that everybody can easily travel again. And so there is this movement very quickly to get this onboard and work with it so we can get industry and lives back to normal.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:16:47] So when we talking about the businesses and when we are talking about the advantages for the businesses, often, it pertains to making money. So how those businesses, the implementation of the digital I.D. process is going to be beneficial for these companies when are we talking about modern monetary advantages?

 

David Lucatch: [00:17:17] That is a great question. So is it revenue-driven? Is it cost savings driven? Is it a bottom line? So I'm going to focus on the bottom line. So you know, how businesses make more money. So I think we would agree that if people could freely travel again, the travel industry would benefit from that in all facets. The hospitality industry would benefit, the entertainment industry would benefit. For those organizations to make more money, they're going to have to implement controls that are going to ensure that people are safe to enter a facility. And to do so, we have a system that is very, very nominal costing. It's zero cost for the consumer. We never charge a consumer for any of our technology. Our business partners have to for that that that cost. And it becomes a revenue generator for us. But on the business side, we've got processes that allow even small restaurants and organizations to eventually be able to implement this, so that they can get back to making more money. The world has changed and we have to change with it. So we're all about getting people back to normal and kick-starting the economy so that people can make money from the services that they currently offer or did offer.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:18:38] Right, so we're talking about, most right now, using for mobility and operability as well that, you know, the businesses can operate and also individuals can simply use it for easy transition and going to places and they have proof of vaccination, they have proof of the I.D. and the entire process, which right now seems to be very complicated, eases up. So that's what it is.

 

David Lucatch: [00:19:08] Well, that's one example. I think that's an easy example for people to embrace. But I think for the for for for the payment industry, it is a massive advantage because of the networks because, you know, fraud would diminish. So it's about identity. And we look at three different things. It's about identity, access, and qualifications. So for identity, where identity is required, let's say, you know, let's take a cannabis retailer. Cannabis retailer is under strict guidelines to make sure that they sell only to people who are above age that has a certain qualification and age qualification so that their business can be in jeopardy if they don't follow those rules and there are only as strong as the weakest link. So what happens when a clerk decides I'll just sell it anyways and inspectors there and they get caught? They can lose the right to do business. But if it was required in the transaction process that you verify age and use digital identity, that would be another solution to keep businesses on the road. But I think of it this way. If you think about identity, access, and qualification and a very simple example is a doctor enters a hospital to check-in. They provide their digital credential for their identity, verifies that they are who they say they are, they that their access qualification is already there, that they have privileges in that hospital and their qualification is up to date and they can perform surgery in that hospital. So there are lots of different opportunities within a number of different sectors. But I think that the because it's self-sovereignty, because it's blockchain based and because it's trusted, or trustless, I'm sorry, not trusted, but trustless this will implement very quickly because it hasn't existed before and it makes our entire world safer and more efficient.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:21:05] Right, so there's definitely additional value creation. So we are addressing also legal issues here, administration issues, academic issues. So practically everything can be, any aspect of our life, can be in our digital identity and it can be addressed all the time. But at the same time, is it not too much information accumulated in one spot?

 

David Lucatch: [00:21:32] Actually, it's completely decentralized. I would argue the contrary. So right now, corporations know everything about us because they own all the data. They own all the identity information. You know, I walk in somewhere and they want all my information about me before I do something. They may only need a small sliver of my information and they might only need it temporarily to create to complete a transaction. So I think it's completely the opposite. All these systems are designed to ensure that me, as the owner of my data, I am in control of that. I am in control of all my information. I only provide certain information to complete a transaction, not to pass data, but to complete a transaction. So a good example of that would be the grocery store never keeps my pin. They don't know my pin, but I need to provide that piece of information to complete the transaction. So what if that pin for that particular transaction was an age verification or an access verification that I am entitled to be able to come in here? It doesn't mean that that a facility needs to keep that information. They've just verified that that information is true. So I would argue vehemently that this provides the the ecosystem with less data and less control over me and more control in my hands.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:22:55] So you mentioned that there are biometrics and facial recognition used for using digital identification. And then we have to share it with businesses when we're doing certain transactions. Does it not represent the danger that we are sharing the information with them? Or, is the system working in the way that we are still holding this completely and we are just using this for the confirmation with other companies, getting that confirmation without getting our biometrics out or our facial recognition information, or any other data?

 

David Lucatch: [00:23:34] It's the latter. It's the fact that they never get that information. It is again, like a pin. It's the challenge. It's the answer to the challenge. So if, you know, if we don't add to a verification process, a challenge and it could be authenticator, doesn't have to be biometrics. There are other opportunities as well. One-time passwords. There's lots of different situations. But we don't add that. We're not adding an additional level of security. So, again, when you are typing in your pin unless somebody is standing in front of you looking at it or copying it, nobody gets your pin. So facial recognition is a map, not your picture, but the map behind facial recognition is a way to create a verification, just like a fingerprint that you use or a thumbprint use on a phone. We won't go into phone technology, but, you know, we're not we're not storing that for the purposes that map for the purposes of identification. We're storing, using it for the purposes of verification.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:24:42] So this is actually going to be a lot of changes in regards to the business environment as well because the businesses will have to embrace consumers' rights to manage and control their identity, the personal information. So how businesses can embrace it?

 

David Lucatch: [00:25:02] Well, I'm going to go back to a story. And it's quite a few years ago. So it's almost 25 years ago. It's probably twenty-three, twenty-four. So my team in the late 90s, I led a team that actually worked with the data providers, Visa, MasterCard, and Canadian banks to develop the way that people type in their credit card online. And it didn't exist before that. Somebody had to invent it and I like to say I think our team was the ones that did it. And for Canada. So before that, no one ever shopped online. So people were telling me left, right, and center, no one is ever going to shop online. I don't think we would say the same thing today. You know, we weren't going to register for courses online. I talked to the University of Toronto, which is my alma mater, in two thousand and eight, 2009, about doing digital lectures online and they basically said no one is ever going to do digital lectures online. So we, as you said, the only constant is change and so I think this is a process that creates value, it gets people back to work, back to play, back to travel. So I think everybody wants to find the fastest route to that and because it is built on open standards and it is going to be effectively affordable to everyone. I mean, we're working on situations with our competitors in this field. What if someone doesn't have a digital identity? How are they going to be able to do things that those with digital identity. So inclusion. But frankly, the Internet was not fast enough. It wasn't technologically developed enough. And the technology around it to ensure that identity was a process, we sort of threw that out the way. Now that it's coming full force, I think we're going to have to reckon our ability to deal with it very quickly.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:27:05] Yes, you brought actually a very good issue because, in the Fintech, in general, there is this division between banked and unbanked. And also, that seems to me, that the same is important also for digital identity as well. When we're talking about a global aspect to it. They are still the regions in the world that have trouble accessing the Internet. However, most the people nowadays have phones. So if we can implement digital I.D., then most likely that can be also used in those different regions in the world and you can expand to different geographical regions, which right now are limited when it comes to access to bank or some businesses or some other industries as well.

 

David Lucatch: [00:28:04] I agree. If you look at we if we look at the Internet today, we look at services are available to one hundred percent of the addressable to 100 percent of the online market. And the first one we would say is, is search. I think everyone online uses search, in one form or another. You pick the search engine that you like and you generally, at one point in time during the day, are looking for something. We all use electronic communications. We're doing that right now. We're doing a podcast, you know, over electronic means, over the Internet. You know we all use a browser. I don't think anyone doesn't use a browser. There are very few that might not. But I think everyone uses browsers. So I think those three services are addressable to one hundred percent of the market. Our belief and obviously everyone has to do their own due diligence and anything they're doing. But our belief is that digital identity is addressable to 100 percent of the market because everyone online is a person and young old will eventually have to do identity. And we're even putting in safeguards. We're building new technologies that will allow parents to be able to create, you know, data guardianship for their for their children. And in the event of a challenge or problem or situation that an individual wants to be able to manage, they can have a second or signed somebody who could get into their digital identity in the event that there was an issue or unfortunately, a demise, because we don't want necessarily our social media profiles living on forever. And we do want to be able to get into some of our bank accounts of someone to get into bank accounts if necessary. But again, they would have to qualify. They would have to provide biometrics. There's a whole process, but they have their own digital identity to be able to cross-reference. But at the end of the day, I think this is an inclusive process that covers not only North America, which covers the online population, representing about 90 percent of the people in North America, but it covers over five billion people worldwide.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:30:11] Right. So in consideration that all this information is going to be stored on our mobiles, at least for now.

 

David Lucatch: [00:30:19] No, no, it's not stored on your mobile.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:30:22] It's also the cloud. That's right. Let me rephrase that. We are using our mobiles to access the cloud and then provide our information. When will we need eventually some different equipment to do it, or for the expansion and to facilitate also easier usability, or will phone always represent that tool we need to access our digital ID?

 

David Lucatch: [00:30:55] Well, let me be clear. It's any Internet-enabled device that has a camera on it. So would be a laptop, a tablet, a mobile phone, and so as foreign factors and technologies become more pervasive, the way to access your information will become more engaging as well. So, you know, we've heard stories of virtual reality. We're already working with augmented reality. So, you know, as technology becomes more intriguing, faster, better digital identity will keep up with that because it's the credential behind who you are, not what you use to prove who you are.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:31:39] Right. So, definitely, in consideration of what has happened in 2020, we are looking for different solutions for urgent issues that we have at hand. And definitely, the digital I.D. provides a venue for us to explore it and get back on track, as you said, back to normal and start our lives once again from a different perspective. But how you can see this develop and expand in the future? Because we are addressing current issues, but then we have five, ten years from now. So in your opinion, how this can expand and help us in our lives, help us when it comes to businesses? What is your point of view about it?

 

David Lucatch: [00:32:34] Well, obviously, I'm a big proponent of it. And we're already looking, you know, down the road at where virtual reality comes in play, the metaverse comes in play, how this will open up new doors for the medical industry, the educational industry, the information services, e-commerce, gaming, whether it's e-sports or other types of games. So we travel. There are so many avenues for us to explore. What we're really focused on today is creating baseline products that a user can expand with. So based on the technology that's available today, we're building our solutions to manage the infrastructure that is available today. But we know that that that access to credentials will change. So we're not talking about changing necessarily the credential. So a driver's license has existed for, I would say probably 100 years. Its form may have changed slightly, might have gone from paper to plastic and then now to electronic and digital. But the process of having a driver's license has never changed. So we have to start with the baseline credentials and then work around how they will be implemented, presented, or how they will be issued or authored and verified, and how the user will or the holder will store them. So, we're again, we go back to that triangle between the holder, the issuer, and the verifier. And we're really focused on providing tools and services for each one of those parties and expanding the opportunities as their infrastructure expands.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:34:22] Right, so we're not changing the actual process, we just changing how we presenting that, right? So, as you mentioned, with the driver's license, the document stays as it was. It represents the same value and the point of identification, except how it is being presented. That it's going to be much more convenient and available for us and the businesses way.

 

David Lucatch: [00:34:54] I agree, 100 percent agree. You know, we businesses and individuals are used to change again. You know, a few short years ago, you couldn't take courses online. Now not only can take courses online between but you can take exams online. When we took our company public last year, in 2020, we've done it a number of times with other organizations in the past. You'd have to go into a lawyer's office and you'd have to sign everything. And they are all these folders. We did everything remotely using DocuSign. So so now that is a recognized way of signing documentation, so we're changing. What we have to do is, is work with that change to make it better for us and this is the really hard part. We're not only going to see changes in the way we do things, but we're going to see changes in responsibility. I'm going to be responsible for some of my data. And there are other companies out there that are giving users value propositions to partner with them, for them to sell the data and the user to get money from the use of the data. So there's lots of new industries being born out of this and a lot of new companies. And we believe based on our positioning and our, you know, acumen and our team, which is a phenomenal team, that that we hopefully have a leadership position in this industry.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:36:23] So, digital ID is one thing. The entire infrastructure about it, what it can be done with it in the future, and how it can go towards different industries, the possibilities we don't even know about right now. We cannot pinpoint it at the moment. It's just truly exponential.

 

David Lucatch: [00:36:45] I agree. There are many opportunities, again, not just for the holder of the credentials, but for the authorization, or the authoring of an issuing of credentials, and certainly within the verification of credentials. I think it will make, you know, it will make it easier for us to do things in more advantageous for us to engage in certain pieces or certain opportunities without having to give away all our rights or all our data.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:37:11] Yes. So at this moment, since we are rushing to have everything implemented right now and start with a digital identification, what is the most urgent issue that this industry needs to resolve to have this truly pushed forward and implemented on the global scale?

 

David Lucatch: [00:37:37] Travel. I think the first one will be travel and travel is driven by health and health records. So, I think the travel industry is probably, and the hospitality industry as well. So, you know, again, I could go on and on and on on this. But if I take the travel and hospitality industry, I think they can benefit the most initially from digital identity to ensure that users are safe to enter a facility, safe to travel, give comfort to others. So it's not just about my own safety, my own value, but it's the people around me. If I'm confident that the people on a bus or on a plane are safe to be there, then it'll increase my opportunity to want to do those things, or a restaurant, or a public event. So it's really about creating safety awareness. And I think the travel in the hospitality industry can be leaders in this this space.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:38:38] So hopefully the current world health issues will go away, but at the same time, we hope for the digital ID to stay because we have full control as individuals. It's easy to use, has really a lot of possibilities and it definitely eases up our lives. Particularly, we are living in a very busy world right now and we want to move and meet and be mobile, so digital ID actually gives us an access to travel, to do financial things and many other aspects of life, just all under one umbrella.

 

David Lucatch: [00:39:25] Yeah, I believe so. I think it's really important that we don't look at this as as a detriment to our ability to do things, but, you know, helps us open up new frontiers and gives us as individuals control over the data that has been for many years controlled by others. So it's an empowerment strategy. And it's one that hopefully consumers and again, issuers and verifiers will embrace. We're seeing that every day. I mean, every day we're seeing, you know, covid passports or vaccination passports. And we're seeing new opportunities for people to ditch the password or do this or do that. And so it's already underway. So, you know, sort of the train has left the station. It's just we've got to make sure everybody's onboard where the train is leaving the station. We've got to make sure everybody's onboard would be a better way for it.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:40:25] Yes. You used the word empowerment. And I really like that word. It just gives us additional possibilities and empowers us, as users, as well. And on that positive note, of the empowering note, I would like to thank you for joining us for today's podcast. I truly appreciate you sharing all the information and giving us details, how it works, how it can be used, and whatever questions people might have, we will be more than happy to hear it. And also as the company, will you be able to provide the information people can use it, visit Liquid Avatar, the website, correct?

 

David Lucatch: [00:41:16] Yeah, it's www.liquidavatartechnologies.com and they can fill out a contact sheet or, you know, they can reach out to me directly. And I'd be happy to speak to anybody who has any inquiries.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:41:32] So let's keep our fingers crossed that everything goes well, that everything is being implemented fast enough for us to start our lives as we had before it and enjoy them, but at the same time with new perspectives.

 

David Lucatch: [00:41:50] Absolutely, and it was a real pleasure being here today Anna and I thank you so much.

 

Anna Niemira: [00:41:54] Thank you so much. And ladies and gentlemen, that's a wrap. On behalf of the Fintech Friday's podcast we would like to thank David Lucatch of Liquid Avatar Technologies for joining us on the show and you for tuning in. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us. We always welcome your feedback. Once again, I'm inviting you to visit NCFA website to check out some of the fantastic past episodes. We look forward to having you next Friday for another episode of FinTech Fridays. Have a great weekend. Thank you so much.

 

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

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Fintech Fridays EP50: Compliance to the Moon

NCFA Canada | Feb 12, 2021

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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EP50: Compliance to the Moon

Featured Guest:

MARK BINNS, Chief Executive Officer, BIGG Digital Assets Inc.  (LinkedIn);

BIGG CEO, Mark Binns Quote:  “BIGG is a compliance-first crypto company that believes Bitcoin offers the best store of value for its free cash flows. This has led us to adopt an initiative of reinvestment into the underlying asset of our industry. Of late, we are seeing a surge in the number of corporations buying Bitcoin to hold as a treasury reserve asset. We have held Bitcoin on our balance sheet since 2017, and foresee the next evolution being the investment of fiat profits into crypto. BIGG aims to be at the forefront of this movement. Profits from Netcoins’ trading and Blockchain Intelligence Group’s software sales earned in fiat will be converted into and held in Bitcoin, until such time as required by operational demands. The decision to roll forward our profits into Bitcoin, where we anticipate returns to outpace fiat values, is easy and highly strategic.

About BIGG Digital Assets Inc.

BIGG Digital Assets Inc. (BIGG) believes the future of crypto is a safe, compliant, and regulated environment. BIGG invests in products and companies to support this vision. BIGG owns two operating companies: Netcoins (netcoins.ca) and Blockchain Intelligence Group (blockchaingroup.io).

Netcoins develops brokerage and exchange software to make the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency easily accessible to the mass consumer and investor with a focus on compliance and safety. Netcoins utilizes BitRank Verified® software at the heart of its platform and facilitates crypto trading via a self-serve crypto brokerage portal at Netcoins.app.

Blockchain Intelligence Group (BIG) has developed a Blockchain-agnostic search and analytics engine, QLUETM, enabling Law Enforcement, RegTech, Regulators and Government Agencies to visually track, trace and monitor cryptocurrency transactions at a forensic level. Our commercial product, BitRank Verified®, offers a “risk score” for cryptocurrencies, enabling RegTech, banks, ATMs, exchanges, and retailers to meet traditional regulatory/compliance requirements.

For more information and to register to BIGG’s mailing list, please visit our website at https://www.biggdigitalassets.com.

Trade Symbols:  CSE: BIGG | OTC: BBKCF | WKN: A2PS9W

 

BIGG Digital - Fintech Fridays EP50:  Compliance to the Moon

About this episode:

On this milestone episode, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Mark Binns CEO of BIGG Digital Assets. They cover the rally behind bitcoin, big tech investing in crypto, and giving your kids crypto instead of fiat for allowance money.  Enjoy! 

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here:

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

 


Fintech Friday Transcript of Episode 50:  Mark Binns of BIGG Digital Assets Inc.

Intro: Welcome to fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners. Covering all things fintech, blockchain, AI and alternative finance.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:00:00] For Episode 50, I got Mark Binns. Mark, thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

 

Mark Binns: [00:00:34] Yeah, great to be here. I'm excited to talk with you today.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:00:37] Awesome. So, Mark, could you just for, I guess, the five or six people that may not know who you are and what BIGG Digital Assets is could just give us a rundown of what big is and a little bit of background of who you are.

 

Mark Binns: [00:00:52] Yeah, absolutely. So BIGG Digital Assets, publicly-traded company on the CSC in Canada under the ticker BIGG. We're a compliance first crypto company. And what that means is BIGG is a company that has found a way to make money in the compliance and regulatory space around cryptocurrency. We own two operating businesses. One is called Blockchain Intelligence Group, and it's a crypto forensics software company. We make products that help track crypto through the blockchain and the other companies called Netcoins. And that coins is a crypto exchange in Canada, mainly focused in the Canadian market. And both of those companies together make up BIGG Digital Assets. My background and how I got involved is I actually did an undergrad in computer science. I'm a tech guy first and foremost. I used to write code for a living and then I got interested in the business side of technology. So I got my MBA from Western and started a consulting company and built and grew a couple of different consulting companies doing marketing and growth advisory to tech companies. And around twenty thirteen, the world's first Bitcoin ATM was launched in Vancouver, where I'm where I live. And it was a big, exciting event in the tech scene. And everybody was going to see this first-ever Bitcoin ATM. And I went down, had a look and said, wow, that's pretty cool technology. And there was a guy there named Mitch Demeter who was actually launching that machine. And funny enough, it got me interested in crypto started paying attention. I got into the space in about twenty seventeen with Netcoins and one of the very first hires I made was Mitche Demeter, the guy who opened that Bitcoin A.T.M, and he's now the president of the Netcoins division of big digital assets. So, you know, it's it's an exciting place to be. And I couldn't be happier that I ended up here in the crypto world.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:02:48] Yeah, it's it's kind of crazy how things worked out in that unheard of. Like, who would have thought that you'd meet the guy that first launched Bitcoin ATMs and then later down the line you're like, hey, you know what? Let's make something. Let's make something together.

 

Mark Binns: [00:03:02] I think he was so successful. He put those ATMs all over the world and he started an early crypto exchange called Bitcoiniacs and sold those and retired. And I had to convince him in twenty seventeen. I said, come on, give out a retirement, get back in the game. Crypto is getting exciting again. Like you're right. Let's do it.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:03:20] No, it's honestly it's a very it's an amazing move on your end.  So when you talk about compliance first crypto. Right. Why is compliance so important in crypto now that now that crypto is getting more attention, as it seems like by hour?

 

Mark Binns: [00:03:37] Yeah, absolutely. Compliance is important to protect the retail investor, the institutional investor. But the little guy, that's sort of why there is rules in financial services all over the world and it's for protection. So if you're buying Bitcoin on an exchange, you're spending two hundred dollars as an individual, that might be a really important two hundred dollars to you. You don't want to find out that that exchange was actually a pyramid scheme or something and fraudulent in your your two hundred dollars of the bitcoin disappears. So compliance isn't there to try to de-anonymize the blockchain or anything of the sort. It's there to protect the endpoints, which are usually the exchanges and the investors in the ecosystem, and make sure that the companies that are taking their money are are legit. And it also helps law enforcement. So we make products at Blockchain Intelligence Group that help law enforcement investigate crypto crime. And if you have these tools that will reduce the likelihood people will commit crimes and they know there is law enforcement, there's rule of law. So all of it really ties together for protection of people in the ecosystem. And, you know, there's a great market opportunity for us in that space by being leaders in the regulated and the compliance side of crypto.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:05:01]  Yeah, it's actually very amazing to see we're going on three years of having Fintech Fridays, and like if honestly, if I had you on two years ago and we talk about regulation and like all government getting involved, like honestly, like it was really a joke because like it was these are conversations just now starting to happen. But really there was no headway. There was no direction. But now, you know, with Blockchain intelligence, what you guys are doing with law enforcement, even with Secret Service in and of itself, we've come so far and it's only the beginning. And that that to me is just incredible and also wild at the same time.

 

Mark Binns: [00:05:37] Yeah, absolutely.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:05:38]  So Bitcoin is back in the news. I mean, people people thought I was going to crash, you know, people I've had my group chats have been blowing up my friends are like what's going on, like what are we doing? you told us to put money in this? So can you just walk us through what's going on with Bitcoin right now and like, what's your take on it?

 

Mark Binns: [00:06:01] The big thing happening in Bitcoin and crypto overall overall right now is institutional buy in. This is what's changing the fall of twenty seventeen crypto on its last run before the current one, when Bitcoin went up to nineteen thousand USD, and then it turned around and went all the way back down to something like thirty five hundred. That was a total retail rally. So that was small investors buying small amounts of bitcoin. The rally that happens is happening now since about mid last year and particularly the early stages of twenty twenty one is because of institutional involvement. It started with PayPal saying that they were going to get involved in crypto and let the individual person spend crypto on purchases day to day and then big buy-in on Treasury. That's the other big one. So company called MicroStrategy Nasdaq listed company said we're going to buy four to five hundred million dollars with a Bitcoin and keep our reserve cash in Bitcoin instead of US dollars. And part of that is because of the money printing going on in the US dollar, the Canadian dollar, the pound tied to the pandemic and covid. There's a huge lack of store of value in fiat currency right now. So they said we can do better, we're going to put this money into Bitcoin and we believe that will give us better returns. And then people started wake it up because it was half a billion dollars in a Nasdaq listed public company. And then Square went out and bought fifty million dollars. And That's Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, a lot of attention on it. And then it started a bit of an institutional rally where companies realized, oh, yeah, that might be a good store value. And just last week, Tesla bought one point five billion dollars worth of crypto to just a store on their balance sheet instead of holding it in US dollars. The current rumor is that Apple might actually step in and start buying Bitcoin on its balance sheet. And this is the difference is now an institutional investment rally, institutional involvement on spending, institutional involvement on saving. And it's bringing real credibility to Bitcoin in particular. But crypto overall as a store of value.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:08:12] Mm hmm. So, yeah, no, this is this is actually incredible, right. Because, you know, majority of cryptocurrency is the people that have been kind of rallying behind it, like you said, were many retail investors. Right. People just, you know, seeing what's going on with fiat currency, if you will be able to understand the market a little bit and seeing that, hey, you know, having money in just traditional assets like cash, it doesn't make any sense. Right. Especially now with the pandemic, everything is kind of a lack of a better word is going to shit. You know, they need to have more control of their money. Right. So cryptocurrency is a great place to do it. So what's BIGG Digital's play in this right now?

 

Mark Binns: [00:08:52] It's a two-pronged approach. So first of all, yeah, we have Netcoins. Right. Which is our exchange. And people need to get into crypto. You need an onramp. So Netcoins is an on-ramp. You can email money, wire money, bill pay money into the platform, traditional fiat currency. And with that, you can buy crypto, you can buy your bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, whatever you're looking for. So as adoption is rising, values are rising. Investors looking to access the space can use Netcoin's platform to onramp into the space. And with blocks intelligence group, it's the law enforcement side. So the more involvement the everyday consumer has in crypto, the unfortunately, the more crime will tend to rise, the more use of crypto through the ecosystem. There will be just like the crime. There will be crime involving crypto and our tools are extremely valuable. Some of the only tools in the world that you can use to properly track the movement of crypto through the blockchain so you can do law enforcement. So our customers are everyone from the US Secret Service down to Singapore Police Department, Hong Kong police department. Canadian law enforcement and we're helping market participants stay safe.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:10:06] Yeah, and that's one of the biggest, I guess, knock on crypto is the fact that, you know, criminals use it, terrorist organizations use it like you can you know, you can put money in today, and then tomorrow it's gone. Right. That's the fact that you guys are spending a lot of time and energy to work with law enforcement of some countries to make sure that's not the case and to make sure that it is accessible for everybody because we're having new investors come in by the hour and to make sure that the money just doesn't disappear. That in and of itself is very incredible.

 

Mark Binns: [00:10:39] Yeah, thanks. I mean, it's a fast-moving ecosystem, it's growing quickly, it's changing every day. And again, we want to be part of the future and the growth and the prosperity of the industry. So we're doing our part.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:10:54] Yeah, that's awesome. So, you know, you mentioned what with one of your pronged approach is you have you know, you're having more and more people invest in crypto. What is your take on these Meme coins, such as dogecoin? Right. You see it, Elon Musk's tweet out the wazoo about, you know, like going to the moon. I'm getting my friends literally just moon emojis and rocketships emojis every morning when I wake up, like, what's your take on that? You see, I guess organizations like yourself later on having like meme coins on your sheets for people to buy?

 

Mark Binns: [00:11:32] Well, we it's an it's exciting, I guess, is what you would say. I mean, the meme coins bring a little bit of excitement to the industry. They certainly create interest. They get people talking. They get dogs. Images of dogs flying on rockets to the moon sent around. Elon is waking up and I'm tweeting about it. It's creating PR and awareness for space. And that's the part I like about it. It's getting more people going. What is this thing about? Oh, it's crypto or what is crypto. Right. And getting more people involved in the ecosystem and paying attention, whether there's a real future for these coins or not, it's very up to debate. I mean, buying Dogecoin right now is a lot like going to the casino, right? It could triple tomorrow. It could also easily get cut in the third tomorrow. Right. It's based on nothing but speculation. And there isn't a traditional custody for a lot of these meme coins and coins. What I mean by that is a proper institutional grade, cold storage, insurance, etc. So because of that, they won't be adopted the same way as a Bitcoin Litecoin, Ethereum will be most likely. So the jury's out on where they go. I think they're interesting for the excitement of the space, but I certainly do not believe they're a safe bet for a store of value. They're much more like a lottery ticket.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:12:57] Yeah, of course. Yeah. I think you got a really good point. They do bring an amazing amount of attention to it. Is it the right kind of attention? I mean, the jury's still out on that, right? Because it's still a very ever-expanding and rapidly growing space. But the fact but like all attention is good attention at this point, especially in a space where the more people, the more eyeballs that we can get on the space, the better, because that we can show. Yeah, you know, like there's dogecoin, there's everything else. But there are so many other amazing, like companies out there that that are just using that using crypto for the greater good. Right. Be it through loans, be it through buying a house, just like the tech aspect of what you can kind of build on top of these cryptocurrencies. That in and of itself is very amazing. So kind of tying back to what I previously I was like. So we have companies like Tesla with Tesla-like you said, square of rumors of Apple, you having all these big names, you know, take some of the cash reserves and put into cryptocurrency. Right? Do you see more big brands doing the same thing and do and I guess and secondarily the fact that they would be doing the same thing? Do you think having these big companies? Own cryptocurrency, you think that's going to push the government or speed up the government regulation when it comes to cryptocurrency?

 

Mark Binns: [00:14:24] Yeah, absolutely. So first and foremost, I think there's going to be continued adoption of large corporations, public companies, private companies, insurance companies, you name it, buying crypto. I think Tesla's the start. There is the rumor Apple will buy crypto for the balance sheet. If Apple does buy every publicly traded company, the United States will have free reign to do the same, just sort of like no one gets fired for buying. IBM was the same back in the day. Now it's like if you say, Hey, Apple, Apple bought Bitcoin and you're the CFO of a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq, you can do it, too. Now, you can say, look, Apple did it and they're one of the most reputable companies in the world. So it's not a fly by night type of decision. They truly believe in the store value. They wouldn't do it. So I think you will see a continued adoption. You're going to see more and more insurance companies doing it. MassMutual about one hundred million dollars. And someone said, why so much? And the CEO is quoted as saying, well, that's a tiny amount. We manage billions. One hundred million. It's just a test. So you're going to see a lot more adoption of crypto on balance sheets. I truly believe that there's even discussion that the bond market might move towards crypto underlying assets of the trillion-dollar bond market, which is supposed to be sort of the longer-term stable store of value for Fiat, could start taking positions in crypto or crypto, could supplant the bond market or supplement the bond market. So I think that is all coming. I really do believe that. And that's why you're going to see a continued increase in the value of their currencies, namely Bitcoin because when you have that kind of adoption is only ever going to be twenty-one million Bitcoin. So you'll expect to see a continued rise in the valuation as demand goes up. The supply is not changing.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:16:19] That's. Yeah, I agree with you. There's always I always forget that the sort of finite amount of bitcoin because the prices have skyrocketed. Oh yeah. There's only so much bitcoin that you can purchase. So why would a company want to put the cash reserves in crypto? I mean, aside from big names buying into it, I guess like from a company perspective, like, you know, you being a CEO of a company, you having balance sheets you have in cash reserves, why why would companies put their money in cryptocurrency then cash?

 

Mark Binns: [00:16:51] I think there are two reasons. No. One is truly a store of value. It's like putting your money in an interest account except for an interest account might make you a percent or half a percent a year. Whereas you look at Bitcoin, it's been the best performing asset over the past one to five and 10-year time horizons. If you put it in to keep it and feel it. All you're seeing right now is a continued printing of money by world governments, US government, the Canadian government, the Canadian US governments have printed more money this year than they did in the last hundred years combined. And that is going to be incredibly. Bad situation for the value of those dollars, right, long term. So as a corporation, it's just a smart, safe place to keep your financial reserves. So they're buying power, stays where it is or grows as opposed to shrinking. So that's I think that's a big part of the secondary part is there are some companies using it as a way to make their company more valuable in the eyes of investors. So MicroStrategy for sure, but crypto, so people would buy MicroStrategy stock as a proxy for owning crypto or owning a bitcoin and crypto miners valuations, are generally based on how much Bitcoin they're holding on their balance sheet, or hodling, as they say, and other regular companies can do the same thing. You can buy Bitcoin, have it on the balance sheet. And if you're a publicly traded, people will buy into your company because they know it'll be worth more in the future for them today because it has Bitcoin on the balance sheet,

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:18:28] Of course. Yeah, that makes sense. You know. You know, it reminds me of talking to like we had we've had VCs on the on previous episodes. And of one of the things that they've mentioned was like how you have companies now they'll put like cryptocurrency and like AI got their pitch just to name just to see more value. Like even though the company has nothing to do with AI, there's no AI involvement whatsoever. There's no cryptocurrency involvement. There's no blockchain involvement whatsoever. But the fact that they have these buzzwords in their pitch like it's it just increases their value.

 

Mark Binns: [00:19:05] You know, there was a big twenty seventeen thing. I remember the juice company Iced Tea Bottling Company of New York, USA became the blockchain ice tea company or something. They literally just put it in their name and they got all this attention to this like value. But yeah, just a PR stunt that one.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:19:24] So how do you see I mean, now we have big companies coming into the market? All of us are getting more retail investors day to day. How does this accelerate innovation in the space? And I guess what innovation do you see happening in the space?

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:19:41] Well, innovation comes from corporate involvement, right? So most innovation has to do with a company that's looking to create a financial opportunity for themselves through some new technology. And then you get more and more corporations involved in whatever way with crypto and aware of it, the more likely they're going to drive forward and create innovations and put investment into the space. You look at companies doing things like helping build the Lightning Network for faster transaction processing and payments on top of Bitcoin. That's coming because more and more corporations are involved. So I really believe that corporate involvement in the institutional involvement we see now will put more money into innovation and searching for more ways to exploit the opportunity around crypto, which will just naturally move the market forward.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:20:30] Mm hmm. Yeah, no, I mean, that makes total sense. Or you need these big movers and shakers in the space to move and shake anything at all. Right. Like, you know, the Lightning Network is something I've been hearing about for like two years now, and it's still going. There hasn't been any any any system in place yet. So it definitely makes it makes a lot of sense, I guess. Where do you see just crypto as a general heading in the future? Do you see I mean, Do you see like your kids or any of these Tik Toc kids using cryptocurrency. Like where do you where you see cryptocurrency heading?

 

Mark Binns: [00:21:11] And I see a general adoption both in payments and also in-store value. So a cross between gold or people own it just to have it as is value that will increase in the future. And Fiat which people are using to buy goods and services. I hear about lots of parents now that pay their kids allowance and crypto because they believe that I mean, you could give them twenty dollars and in three years it'll still be worth twenty dollars, or you can give them twenty dollars worth of Bitcoin that in three years will probably be worth one hundred dollars. That's theory. So you see a movement of all sorts of. Yeah. Investment, payment, daily use. I think it really is going to infiltrate our lives. As you see PayPal making it available to twenty million Americans to buy goods and services. That's pretty exciting. And you see merchant adoption and acceptance. Now there are all sorts of merchants that will accept payment. Tesla just announced as part of their acquisition of Bitcoin, also that accept payment in Bitcoin for cars. Big corporations are starting to do it. I know Dell does it. Overstock.com does it. I believe Microsoft does it. I think Amazon is. Or talking about it, so as soon as people can spend it and in the meantime when they're not spending, I believe they'll get a bigger return on their investment than sitting in a fiat currency. It'll just be a self-perpetuating situation. So I really do see crypto over the coming years becoming part of your daily life financially.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:22:51] Yeah, no, I mean, paying me the allowance and crypto, that's a very wild, wild, a very amazing idea. And it makes sense. I like living in like, you know, living in a post covid world. It makes sense that you'd want to invest in something digital. Right. You want to make sure you have at least as many touchpoints as you possibly can. Cash is one of them. Right. Not like the ATM, taking it out, touching. It just so many light touchpoints, like, I don't want it. I don't want my change back.

 

Mark Binns: [00:23:18] Like, take it. Look, I don't want I have friends who gave their kids crypto as Christmas presents on ledgers. And I have there are all sorts of examples now of the use of crypto in the store, crypto becoming part of everyday lives like two and three-year-olds. I have crypto in my kids. RESP's is now the new financial instruments where you can buy it in RSPs and TFSA and RESPs and yeah, like basically savings accounts that are tied to crypto with underlying derivative assets. It's pretty exciting.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:23:53] Yeah. I mean especially like tiebacks where you sort of like if the bond market summerlike has a little bit of crypto into it and oh my goodness, I know my grandmother would be super happy with all the bonds that she was buying me if I could change them over to crypto.

 

Mark Binns: [00:24:09] There you go. Yeah. Awesome. So, Mark, is there, you know, aside from everything, what else is aside from Bitcoin and what's going on in big tech? what likes what are the things that you find interesting in the market? What what are the things that are like keeping you up at night or things that you're very excited to buy in the next coming years?

 

Mark Binns: [00:24:35] Yeah, I think it's an I'm excited about the things we don't know anything. Right. So we know what we know. But there's the old saying. You don't know what you don't know. There's there are innovations happening in every corner of blockchain. And I haven't, of course, seen them all. But every day I wake up and see some new novel way to use crypto or new novel technology to crypto. And I don't know where it's going to go. And that's sort of what's exciting. Nothing's changing, really, in the fiat world. Crypto, you're getting things like exchange-traded funds starting in futures trading. And like I talk about people giving it to their kids with allowance, but the technology around payments and processing transactions like the Lightning Network on top of Bitcoin, it's all just moving so quickly that it's as I have friends say, it's hard to sleep at night. You want to wake up every day and see what's changed and what's moving in the news tied to crypto. You're going to see governments get involved. I think there's this move towards central bank digital currencies, which is really just the digitization of their existing currencies, not true crypto occurrences that are decentralized. But I do think you will see governments start to get involved in true crypto decentralized currencies. There's an example of a small town in Ontario that you can now pay your property tax and get to it. Yeah, Innisville, all they do is take the crypto and sell it immediately and put the cash in the bank. But it does open up more cool uses for the technology. And you're going to see more and more governments getting involved one way or another. And that's just going to help accelerate the adoption.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:26:16] Yeah, no, I mean, I'm excited to have more. Yeah, I'm excited to. You know, when we open back up and so I can travel around Canada, I got to just pull up in like a small town in Alberta and just pay for my Tim Hortons coffee in the of Bitcoin that I think that they'll be amazing.

 

Mark Binns: [00:26:33] You're going to tap your Visa card and it's going to withdraw instead of fiat it from an account. It's going to basically convert some crypto into payment instantly and give it to the guy at Tim Hortons.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:26:45] Yeah, so that'll be amazing. Mark, thank you so much for sitting down today. What would be the best way to either get in touch with you or even get in touch with BIGG?

 

Mark Binns: [00:26:57] Yeah, you can check out our website, Bigg Digital Assets dot com, and be more than happy to hear from anyone mark@biggdigitalassets.com is my email address. Happy to talk about crypto. Happy to talk about BIGG and reach out any time.

 

Manseeb Khan : [00:27:11] Awesome. Thanks so much, Mark.

 

Mark Binns: [00:27:12] My pleasure.

 

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP50:  Compliance to the Moon 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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Podcast and Paper: Roxana Mihet on Financial Innovation and Rising Inequality

IMF Podcast | Jan 21, 2021

WAccess to data and intel - Podcast and Paper:  Roxana Mihet on Financial Innovation and Rising Inequalityith the great strides in financial technology in recent years, the lower data processing costs and fees associated with investing in the stock market should have led to broader increases of household wealth. But in this podcast, economist Roxana Mihet says while fintech has reduced barriers to access and held out the promise of gains for all, it may have worsened capital income inequality.

Mihet is Assistant Professor of Finance at HEC Lausanne, and her recent study suggests the most likely beneficiaries of financial innovation are those who have access to the valuable data that inform good investments. Mihet was recipient of the ECB's Young Economists Award in 2020 for her work on Financial Innovation and the Inequality Gap. She was invited by the IMF's Strategy, Policy and Review Department to present her research.  Transcript

Roxana Mihet is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Lausanne, and a faculty member at the Swiss Finance Institute.

Overview of Research Paper

Information-based models of capital income inequality that link return heterogeneity to investor sophistication levels need to assume an increase in data costs to generate an increase in inequality.

Empirically, this assumption contradicts the fact that investment markets have become more informative over time, and theoretically, it also overlooks the possibility poorer investors can avoid paying a large fixed cost for data, simply by buying shares in a fund.

See:

In this paper, I study the impact of financial innovation on capital income inequality in a theoretical framework where investors, heterogeneous in their sophistication, have a costly choice between not investing, investing through a fund of average quality, and searching for an informed fund.

The model predicts that while financial innovation can make the investment sector more efficient and boost financial inclusion, some financial innovation also brings risks. For example, when the cost of financial data processing falls, more wealthier investors trade on information.

This makes participation less valuable for the marginal stock market participant, who is a relatively poorer investor in some average (uninformed) fund and who exits the market altogether, foregoing the equity premium.

This amplifies the inequality gap and also jointly explains why in the last decades, in spite of a dramatic reduction in data processing costs and fund fees, the US stock market has become more informative, yet the stock market participation rate has been on the decline.

Download the Paper (80 page pDF) Fintech and the Inequality Gap -> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Podcast and Paper:  Roxana Mihet on Financial Innovation and Rising Inequality 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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Regulators Should Not Underestimate the Value in Having Younger Investors Enter the Market

Cato Institute | Jennifer J. Schulp and Caleb O. Brown | Jan 21, 2021

Robinhood is trading too easy podcast by Cato Institute - Regulators Should Not Underestimate the Value in Having Younger Investors Enter the Market

The “gamification” of stock trading has raised the hackles of state‐​level financial regulators. So what’s the big deal if Robinhood throws up confetti when you make a trade? Jennifer Schulp evaluates the claims.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Regulators Should Not Underestimate the Value in Having Younger Investors Enter the Market 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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‘Shark Tank’ investor Kevin O’Leary says bitcoin is too volatile for his portfolio — but says he would own a crypto ETF

Business Insider | Emily Graffeo | Dec 2, 2020

Kevin oleary on pomp podcast 1 - 'Shark Tank' investor Kevin O'Leary says bitcoin is too volatile for his portfolio — but says he would own a crypto ETF

Shark Tank investor Kevin O'Leary told The Pomp Podcast on Tuesday that bitcoin is too volatile and illiquid for his portfolio, but he would consider owning a basket of cryptocurrencies in an ETF.

O'Leary has created multiple ETFs as the chairman of O'Shares, and he said that a crypto ETF could be the most liquid way to buy and sell bitcoin. The investor said that right now there are too many fees associated with getting in and out of bitcoin, but he does own a little bit of the coin right now.

"Give me the top 7 cryptocurrencies, put them into an ETF wrapper, and let me invest in it with liquidity so that if I want to buy a million dollars of it in the morning and sell a million dollars in the afternoon, I can do that in an ETF format," he said.

He also told host Anthony Pompliano that doesn't believe there will be only one successful cryptocurrency, and coins like Ethereum will benefit when more investors see cryptos as stores of value and potentially a medium of exchange. Whereas equity investors can buy a "basket of stocks," it's harder for crypto investors to load up on multiple coins. An ETF would solve this problem.

See:  Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rally

Also, the seal of approval from the SEC that the ETF would require may convince more institutional investors to buy bitcoin, he said. O'Leary said institutional support is "slowly creeping" into the bitcoin market, but many investors are still hesitant without "clearance from the regulators."

"If tomorrow morning we woke up and the SEC said you can create an ETF with bitcoin and we think bitcoin is legitimate payment system and storage of wealth, not only would it go up, you'd have a lot of people like me investing in it, because I'd say ok, I'll give it a 5% weighting," added O'Leary.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - 'Shark Tank' investor Kevin O'Leary says bitcoin is too volatile for his portfolio — but says he would own a crypto ETF 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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Fintech Fridays EP48: How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting

NCFA Canada | Nov 13, 2020

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EP48: How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting

Guest: FATIMA ZAIDI, CEO and Co-Founder, Quill Inc. (LinkedIn)

Bio:

Fatima Zaidi is the CEO and co-founder of Quill Inc. the world’s first one-stop marketplace where podcasters can find pre-vetted expert freelancers who will save them time, improve their podcast quality, and help grow their audience. As a member of the National Speakers Bureau, Fatima has spoken at various events around the world on media and tech trends leading her to keynote on world stages alongside speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk, and most recently Richard Branson. In addition to being a commentator for BNN Bloomberg, she is a frequent contributor to publications including The Globe and Mail, and Huffington Post. Over the past few years she has won two Top 30 under 30 awards, the Young Professional of the Year by Notable Life, and one of Flare Magazine’s Top 100 Women.

 

Fatima Zaidi Quill logo - Fintech Fridays EP48:  How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting

About this episode:

Fatima Zaidi, CEO and Co-Founder of Quill Inc joins Fintech Fridays host Manseeb Khan to understand why podcasts have grown 200% in the last 6 months, and how influencers and corporate brands are building authentic customer relationships and motivating prospects with them. They talk about inspiring stories of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, building trust, advice for female (under-represented) founders, and how to connect with affluent, educated millennial professionals. If you’re new to the power of podcasts, tune-in to learn why they are quickly becoming an integral part of a company’s marketing mix, today.

 

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech. Listen to more podcasts here:

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

 


Fintech Friday Transcript of Episode 48: Fatima Zaidi

Intro: Welcome to fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners. Covering all things fintech, blockchain, AI and alternative finance.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:00:00] Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here. Thank you for tuning in to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast. Fantastical is now a Oxford dictionary term. And I've joked about this before, but yeah, I did it. I made a request to make fantastical a word. Is my dad happy about it? Absolutely not. Fantastical is not a word at all. And it is something that I made up in these past 50 episodes. Anyways, moving on. This week's episode, we're doing something a little different. FinTech is something that I love talking about. I can talk your ear off and nauseam. But, aside from FinTech, there's another thing that like to I talk about as well. That's podcasts. And who better to help?  Honestly make this conversation that much more credible than my guest today, Fatema. Fatema, thanks so much for sitting down with today. Super excited to have you on the show.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:00:53] Thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be here.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:00:55] Awesome. So, Fatima, could you just for I mean, for the audience could just tell us a little bit of who you are and essentially a little bit of what your company does?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:01:04] Yeah, absolutely. So I am the co-founder and CEO of Quill Inc., which is the world's first marketplace for podcasters. So, if you're an indie podcast or a company looking to start a show or even outsource elements of your existing show, we are your one stop shop. We work with brands and corporations to create their branded podcast. So, we do have a full service agency team. And for people who don't necessarily have those big brand budgets, we also have a marketplace where you can go on and hire freelancers curated by us who are all podcasting experts for a range of different services that you might need. We also won the Listen In Conference, which is the world's first enterprise podcasting event that's held in L.A. Of course, everything's been put on hold because of COVID this year, but we are looking forward to moving ahead as soon as there's a vaccine that's readily available and your guess is as good as mine. But yeah, I would say that we are a full service podcasting company, a one stop shop for anyone who wants to start a show or grow their audience.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:02:08] Awesome. So how did you, I guess, get started? I mean, like podcasting is now, honestly, it's all the rage, all the craze. Pretty much because everybody's doing it. Everybody and their mothers doing it. My dad jokingly was telling me he wanted to do like a Bengali poetry one, which I was like, OK, I mean, my Bengali is not as strong as yours, but I guess I can edit that.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:02:31] There's definitely a market for it so props to him.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:02:34] Oh, 100%. I'm well aware. There's uncles calling me. I'm getting Facebook messages now about it.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:02:41] Your dad sounds really cool. He sounds like one of those hip uncles that I wish my dad was friends with.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:02:48] Hey, if it helps, he became a hip uncle because only I mean, as his son, I just keep calling out on like just like the Boomer stuff that he does. And I was like, hey, dad, you can't be on Facebook just talking about conspiricies with uncles. Like, you got to, like, write something, let's do something. Let's get creative. So, how did you get started in this whole space?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:03:08] Well, you know, I run an agency for quite a few years, and one of the biggest requests that we started getting towards the end before the agency got sold was, you know, corporations and enterprise companies that we worked with, like the big banks, big tech companies wanting to move aggressively into the podcasting space. And I just really found it fascinating as a medium, because unlike other forms of marketing, like performance marketing, it's all about mass downloads and mass targeting. But podcasting, the more niche and engaged your audience is, the more impactful. And so, I just started as a consumer. I listened to ten podcasts a week. And so, I started really following the industry, you know, following a lot of studies that were being put out in the industry. And one that in particular really stood out for me. And I think was the turning point when I decided that I wanted to get involved in the space was Midroll, like they did a massive, I would say, interview process with hundreds of thousands of podcast consumers like myself. And they found that all of these people that they interviewed, sixty one percent of these people said that they purchased a product or a service after listening to a podcast, which is pretty incredible when you think about traditional advertising that only converts at one to two percent.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:04:20] So I said, OK, it's really interesting that we're spending hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars, like performance marketing, that it's about mass targeting that converts at one to two percent. What if you spend a fraction of that budget for a smaller audience that's more niche and more engaged, where the conversion rates can be up to sixty one percent. And so just like really from that train of thought, I just started seeing an exponential growth trend. So I decided to productize our services and that's how I launched Quill. We started off as the marketplace because I wanted to make it accessible to anyone and everyone who wanted to start a podcast. It's a low barrier to entry. So who cares what your budget is? You should be able to put out really good content. And then, you know, all of those clients that we worked with came back to us and said, it's great that you have a marketplace. It's great for the indie podcasters, but we're a big brand. We need a full service team around us. And so launch another agency that lives alongside our marketplace where we work with corporations like CIBC, RBC, Bay Street, Microsoft to create their podcast and market them.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:05:27] Yeah, that's very incredible. Yeah, it makes sense. It makes sense that, you know, you create a--companies definitely want a full service team like I mean I'm a one man army when it when it comes to this show. So I don't need a full team. That's more people than me.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:05:43] What you would need is our marketplace that you wanted a logo or you wanted someone to edit your podcast files or convert the video into audio or distribute your show like you probably have one ad hoc services that you might need. And so you only want to spend like a couple hundred dollars to get something up and taken on. You just go to our marketplace and hire a freelancer.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:06:04] 100%.Yeah, I totally would do that. So I mean, now that you talk about like listen to 10 podcasts a day, what I mean, how has that list changed now that you've transitioned from being like just a corporate girl to being like a female founder? Like just like how does that list change? Like, how is. Yeah, like how is that list changed and how is that mindset kind of changed?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:06:25] Yeah. And when you just to clarify, when you mean how the is list changed, I mean in terms of priorities or in terms of..?

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:06:31] Yes, in priorities and I guess like what you're absorbing now, right, because like stuff, you know, coming from an agency like this, like the stuff you listen to, like something you absorb as someone that works an agency compared to the stuff that you absorb as a founder--the list. There's some differentials in that list? How has that list kinda changed I guess.

 

[00:06:52] I would say it's interesting because like as a CEO, my entire career, I've been a sales person so very much focused on contributing to the company's bottom line. And revenue has been a very core focus. As a CEO, you have to wear just so many different hats. And like the biggest hat, I would say that I have to wear is managing a large team. And you know, that is definitely, I would say, an experience for any early stage founder, because you go from becoming an individual contributor to having to manage the day to day productivity, motivation and retention of your team. And so there is a huge mindset shift in terms of your priorities day to day. What what matters to the long term success of your business? But I would say it's funny. I used to spend my days listening to podcasts like cereal and, you know all the junky sort of..

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:07:45] Oh, yeah, OK,

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:07:47] Awesome podcasts that have you on the edge of your seat, but the I think my list of of shows that I listen to are very much either in the mindfulness space to make me a better CEO or things that make me a better leader. So, Radical Candor is a show that I love all about supporting CEOs navigate through difficult challenges and becoming a better leader, an effective communicator. Another show that I absolutely love as a founder is How I Built This.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:08:13] Great show.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:08:14] So good, right? It's so good. And the reason I love the show so much is because they literally any time I have a bad day, I put on an episode. The one common thread between all of the success stories is that they had to go through all of the really difficult days. There was multiple failures before they iterated their business to a point where it was successful. And it kind of reminds me that even though being a CEO or a founder can be a very isolating experience, there's millions of people who are going through this entire process with you. And I think it's just kind of a comforting motivational podcast for me. And then there's just so many that I tune into week after week. But I would say those two are like my consistent--constantly coming back to any time I'm having a bad day.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:08:55] Yeah, I know. You brought up a good point of I guess like the best analogy I could come up with is like being a salesperson. You're so used to being the quarterback of the team. You're like, hey, I'm the one, I'm scoring the points, I'm throwing numbers on the board and then being a founder, you're now a coach. You can't get run out as much as you love to just like run out on field.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:09:16] I love that. I love that analogy.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:09:19] OK, perfect.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:09:19] And that's a very good analogy. That's exactly what it is. You literally go from like, you know, hustle, hustle, hustle to. Oh, my God. Now I have to worry about the day to day politics. Now, I have to worry about people being happy. And yeah, it's a humbling experience. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world. And I think you have to sort of master the art. But hey, you signed up for it when you decide to start a company.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:09:42] Exactly. And it just yeah...podcasting is just one of the many mediums where founders and I guess everybody can realize that, like, hey, you know, like you're not in this boat alone. There's like hundreds, if not thousands of people having just a shitty day as you are. It's totally fine. Everybody has it. Now, here's like little tips and tricks to make your day that much more better. And I think that's pretty incredible.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:10:05] I used to be so naive before I launched Quill. And in a former life, when people used to ask me why I wanted to start a company, I used to naively tell them it was because I wanted to be my own boss and not be accountable to other people. And now I realized how far from the truth that statement could possibly be. I almost feel so foolish looking back, realizing that you are so much more accountable now to your clients or customers, your investors, your employees, your team, yourself, the amount of pressure. And I would say accountability is ten fold. And so if you're starting a company because you want to be your own boss, that is not a good motivation or impetus because it will not last on the scale.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:10:46] Yeah, no, that's true. And like the crazy part is the realization of the accountability you have to have for yourself skyrockets. And it's like, hey, if I don't figure this out, there's nobody else. I can't go to a boss, I can't--There's no hierarchy. I'm the top of the pyramid. Where am I going to go? Ask the sky? What am I going to do? You can't do that. So switching gears, how do you think podcasting has now become important when it comes to running a business like do you--podcasts are popping out left and right. You're seeing it--it's like we're still very much in the early stages of podcasting. Do you see it later becoming more of an integral part of businesses later on?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:11:32] I wouldn't say later, I would say it's becoming a very integral part of businesses today. I think podcasting or rather the pandemic has sort of shown us that marketing teams have to sort of re-imagine what their business is they're going to look like in the in the short term. And how are they going to continue communicating with their customers and their employees in a time where, you know, the face to face touch points are just no longer possible. And I think we you know, if you look day to day, we use so many brands like Slack, Amazon, Google, Facebook Donalds. But do we really have an emotional connection or relationship to them? No, absolutely not. Podcasting can really change that. An example that I like to give people is Ben and Jerry's. I love ice cream and I've never been particularly loyal to any ice cream brand like I'll literally, whatever's on sale, I'll grab it. Whatever tastes good, I'll have it.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:12:22] But after I listen to the Ben and Jerry's podcast episode on How I Built This and then further saw their statement that they put out for the Black Lives Matter movement... I developed such an emotional connection and bond with the founders and their story and the inspiration behind Ben and Jerry's and what it took to get there that now I exclusively only buy Ben and Jerry's when I'm at the grocery store. And so I didn't--you know, it's just the perfect example of, you know, they become influencers. You end up trusting their product recommendations. You end up understanding their brand story. They become human. It's not just a brand far away in the distance that you have no connection to. And that is the perfect example of a story. Lush is another example. Now, I like, buy so many Lush products after hearing their story on a podcast. And so I would say in the 1980s, every company had a phone number for their business. In the 1990s, it was a website. In the early 2000s, it was social media and I think in the next five to ten years, everyone, every company will either have a podcast or be advertising on one. So we're still early in the hype cycle. But you know, in 2007, if you were one of the first people on Twitter, you're by default and influencer today. And similarly, if you're podcasting today, you will be an influencer in the next five to 10 years.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:13:38] Yep, I totally agree with you. Podcasting--like you have the ability to build such an intimate relationship..

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:13:47] It is intimate.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:13:49] Very much so because you get to...Because like people who have been like I mean, there's been so many situations are like, man, I wish I was a fly on the wall in that conversation. Now you can! You can literally sit--like I woke up and I forgot to turn my phone off and I was listening to like--I was listening to a podcast and I woke up and I was like four in. And I was like, oh, crap. I got I got I got to go back. So it's like, oh, wow. I'm like re-listening to old episodes. And I was like, oh yeah. Forgot about that. Or like this or that. It's...yeah you're right. Like brands have now they have the ability to build a very intimate relationship with their customers. Aside from...Hi, I'm Ben and Jerry's, here's my ice cream. It's like no, like this is the cool things that we're doing when it comes to Black Lives Matter. It's some amazing things that we're doing when it comes to like all these different kinds of food.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:14:31] Here's our purpose. Here's our mission. Here are values. Here's how we treat our employees. Here's what we're doing for our philanthropic efforts. And yeah, it's just like they become--They go from becoming this like, powerhouse brand to just becoming, you know, it's just a human interaction or a human connection. And the cool thing with podcasting is, unlike events and physical touch points, that typically offline tactics have the power of forming stronger relationships with podcasting, even though it's an online tactic, you reach a global audience. And so you're not sort of confined by geographic boundaries. And yeah, I just I think if you're a brand that is targeting to affluent, educated, millennial professionals, which is typically the audience that tunes into podcasts, that's 80 percent of the workforce that has purchasing power, then it's a no brainer that you should be starting a podcast.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:15:22] Yeah, I mean, you brought up a good point of like you have the ability like you have two abilities, like one, you know, like you're in between someone ears, like you in their head for a huge chunk of the time. So you have the ability to, like, not only get buy-in for your brand, but have buy-in for you as an individual. You as a CEO, you as a founder. And it's kind of amazing that you can take like the culture stuff that you spend so much time building within your company. You can share that with everybody and get more brand by it. That's always been like the biggest, I guess, issues with founders, like how do I share my culture? How do I share my message? How do I share my vision with everybody, not only investors, but the people. Well now you can with a podcast, you can sit down like. Hi, I'm Manseeb, host of FinTech Fridays. I'm a 25 year old kid that doesn't know anything about FinTech or anything. I sit down with people that do. That's my show. That's it. It's a really crazy, incredible journey.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:16:16] It is. And you know what, like not forget brands for a second. I mean, even just like the barriers of entry are starting of a starting a show is so low you literally need to have a mic and an Internet connection. That's essentially it. And so...

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:16:30] You don't need a mic you can just use your phone.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:16:33] I mean, I cringe when people use their phones, but yes, you could technically use your phone. All you need to do is have a story and content to share and there's something really cool about that.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:16:44] So how do you think the space has changed due to COVID? I guess like podcasting space? And I guess it's like business as a whole?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:16:54] So I would say that before the pandemic, when we had just launched in the New Year, a lot of people were saying that it was a huge risk because podcasting could still be a fad. I mean, I know it's been around since well before serial launched in 2014 I would say people were still very skeptical of its tactics. I think because of the fact that the pandemic has isolated people, people have been looking for new ways to consume content and people have been looking for new ways to stay connected. And we've seen like an exponential growth curve in the industry, not just with our own sales and revenue, but also just the amount of podcasts that have been created. I mean, I think before the pandemic, we were at something like eight hundred thousand podcasts and now we're at one point five plus million podcasts. Even in this short period of time, the amount of new shows I think get the stat is something crazy. Like five thousand new podcasts are launching every week. And so I think the pandemic is really shown us that we've been so reliant on physical touch points and human interactions, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But as soon as that would sort of put into question, people are thinking of new ways that they can allocate their marketing dollars, that they may have budgeted for conferences and events and videos and client lunches and team meetings. And now it's like, OK, well, how do we still continue to stay engaged with our audiences, our listeners, our followers, our customers or our families and people that we are typically just looking to shoot the shit with? It doesn't have to be some like a work agenda. It can literally just be a way to...I have actually some friends who have started a podcast just for their internal group of friends to talk about fantasy football all week. And, you know, props like what a great way to create content and have fun while doing so. You don't have to have some larger agenda for it. It can literally just be to have fun. So I think people are going to continue using it as a tool to stay connected with people. And it's like very similar to your phone. Zoom calls, Instagram. It's just another medium of a way that you will communicate. And I will say that everybody consumes content in different ways. For some people, it's visual. For some people it's audio. For some people it's written. And until this point, there has been no form of audio content that really can resonate. I mean, radio is real time, so it doesn't really count. But for someone like me, I consume content. The best way for me to learn is through audio while I'm actively engaged in other activity. And until podcasting became mainstream, there was like audio books. But that's pretty much it. Like where else can you tune in to hear really good content on the fly?

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:19:31] So yeah, no, I agree with you. I feel like if I'm not listening to music like I have in past episodes, I'd be listening to a podcast to prepare for my podcast. Which is very strange, but like it works like you're right, I mean, wow, that's now I think about it...I think I helped launch like two podcasts this week because, like, I have so many friends that are, that want to, you know, like they want to talk about their own little like X, Y and Z, like, you know, like what's it like to be like a founder, like in the mental health space? I was like, perfect, I can help you on the phone. So, I guess what would be, you know, now that now that like podcasting, everyone, everyone's launching a podcast right now that my dad might launch on probably after I've done this. What would be some, I guess, like tips and tricks that you can share dealing with so many brands, you know, like going all the way from a corporate level to just an indie one.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:20:25] Well, I think really defining the whole of why you're launching your podcast is really the first step, is that like your dad just doing it to stay connected to his friends and have a touch point with them. Then great. Are you looking to go into it full time? So I think once you figure out the why, the how becomes a lot more clear. For example, if you're wise to bring in sponsors and monetize on your show, then I would say your production quality and budget should look very differently than someone like your dad who's doing it just to have some fun. We want to record off of your phone if your goal is just to have fun. And that's totally OK. But if you are, you want to use Zoom, that's totally OK. But if you're looking to bring in a sponsor or monetize on your show, then you really want to start thinking about your brand elevation in your position and you want to make sure that your audio quality is spot on. You want to make sure that you have invested in your cover art, that you are thinking about ways to market your show, that you have a really great mic and like, you know, using a recording software that typically doesn't distort the audio waves. So I would say typically like figuring out the why is the first thing. And then the second thing is figuring out your ideal listener profile. You can't be everything to everyone. So your dad's case, it would be like Bengali uncles who really enjoy poetry or it doesn't have to be Bengali. My dad is Pakistani and also loves poetry. So he would be like the perfect target audience for your dad's podcast. Yeah, we'll connect our dads for sure. They'll definitely like to jam out to some poetry sessions, but...Yeah, like figuring out your ideal listener profile I think is so key. And this is an exercise we do with all of our clients, like who are we looking to target with this content and with our marketing efforts. And then once you know who that is, everything should be revolved and tailored around that ideal listener profile. And then just, yeah, from there it's just about really going to the steps, which is the easy part, to be honest. Like everyone can purchase equipment, create episode plans, source guests, hire people to help you with all of those things off of marketplaces like Quill or Fiverr. And but yeah, I would say just like figuring out the why should always be your first step and then everything else will sort of fall into place.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:22:40] Yeah. No, I agree with you. The biggest... Yeah, I mean, that's one of the biggest obstacle or hurdle of like figure is your why, right. Like granted like in podcasts, in life, in business, or what may have you, like, just figuring out why we're this, who we're doing this for is the biggest thing. You brought up a good point, podcast like profile. I don't think that's going to be a term that I think they're going to start using dramatically in the coming future of podcasting, because I don't think when people are launching a podcast, I mean, I don't think they're really keeping the end listener in mind. You know, like it's very similar to marketing, very similar to sales of like, you know, what's your customer persona? What's your customer profile or do they look like what are the sound like? What do they do? How do they shop? How do they buy? Very similar when it comes to podcasting. And a lot of people I think they make the mistake, which I've done personally of like they'll look at like really big podcasts like Joe Rogan or like Tim Ferris or what have you. And they have since there since a brand name so big, their audience is a lot wider. You have people like on Rogan, you have people that are fighters to hunters, to neuroscientists, to philosophers, to everybody. But they feel like an indie the podcast. Your stuff's really not for everybody. I think that and I don't think a lot of people consider that at all.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:23:50] Yeah, I would definitely agree with that, and you're right, I think Joe Rogan's target audience for his podcast are essentially white males, like he's very clear on who his target audience is. And that's great. That's great that he has a very specific niche. I am definitely not listening to Joe Rogan, but I love podcasts like... Yeah, look, I love podcasts with a lot of diversity that include diverse programming, for example. And so I would say that those are more of the shows that I typically gravitate towards. But yeah, I mean, like I would say, again, being hyper clear about who it is that you're trying to target. And yeah, if you are looking to promote your products or services, doing it in a way that's extremely tasteful and doesn't come across as salesy and promotional because that's not what podcasting is for.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:24:42] Yeah, no, not at all. You definitely you definitely want to have your podcasts to be a sales pitch because nobody likes big sales pitches. I'm a salesperson. I hate hearing sales pitches. Like leave me alone.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:24:52] So the best way to be a salesperson is to not be a salesperson.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:24:57] Yeah, it's everyone makes that mistake. I mean they'll learn. Everyone will learn and it's a matter of same. So, I mean, so you've got a good point. You know, you like to listen to episodes or so you like listening to shows that have more of that diversity. I mean, what do I mean by very diverse? What I mean, like what advice would you give to, like, female founders, I guess more specifically, like like diverse female founders? Like, is there anything that you, I guess, either listen to from a podcast that you kind of carry over into your business or something that you read in a book? What advice would you give to younger up and coming female founders?

 

[00:25:38] So I would say in typically when I look at my network, it's always the women in my network that are afraid of being too aggressive, too promotional, too opinionated. It's funny, I was on a work call this morning with a group of women in the tech community that I'm friends with. We have this like monthly standing meeting. And one of the women were talking about how she constantly suffers from imposter syndrome, where she feels like when she's in a room pitching to investors, she feels like she knows her product is good enough, but doesn't know how to articulate it and sell it and come across as super confident and aggressive and bold. And I would say that that that is something I find a lot of women struggle with. And so, you know, the system itself is flawed. Absolutely. I recognize that, especially for underrepresented founders. But we can counteract a lot of that by advocating for ourselves. At the end of the day, we are CEOs of our own brand. And so my advice is always take credit for your ideas. Don't act, don't get... Put up your hand, advocate for yourself, work on your personal brand, because if you don't, nobody else is. And then I think it's normal for everyone to suffer from imposter syndrome. But I try to remind myself whenever I'm sort of hearing those self-critical, self doubting moments that nobody else has more or less of a right to doing exactly what I'm doing. And the difference is just going for it. So that is actually probably my biggest piece of advice, because as a female founder and particularly one of colour, I would say that I have to be so over-prepared every time I'm in a meeting because there is no element of error and judgment. I cannot...There is no second chance, typically, I would say with us and we're already walking into the room with a disadvantage. We're already walking into the room where we don't look like the people who are giving us money and making the decisions. And so if there is going to be a clog in the pipeline and you're going to be so overprepared, then there's no room for imposter syndrome because you have done your preparation and with preparation comes confidence. So that would probably be my biggest learning lesson in the last few years that I would sort of pass on to other founders.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:27:55] Yeah, I mean, you bring up a good point of imposter syndrome among a lot of a lot of women deal with it. Right, because it's I mean, I was as you're talking, like I got reminded of, like my negotiation skills course that I took a couple of years ago. And like one of the things a professor brought on, like women are not as aggressive as they should be. It's like if you want to raise, ask for a raise. Reason why guys get raises is they ask for a raise.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:28:16] Your professor has not met me.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:28:22] Yeah, clearly!

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:28:22] I would say I would say not all, but like...it's definitely something that I think a lot of women are now working on and being conscious of. We have a long way to go. But I think like for me particularly, I want to try to keep profiling female founders in my community and championing them so that we have more examples to look to.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:28:44] Yeah, I mean, that's that's that's a huge part of the show of like having like female founders. You know, not specifically the financial tech space, but I guess now the podcasting space as well of, you know, having amazing people like you on the show just gives a chance for everyone else to kind of like, oh, crap, she's doing it and she's of colour, OK? Like, she's just as aggressive as me and she's very similar to my personal type. So why am I not doing it? Why am I think I can do. So yeah, it's incredible that what you're doing is to create that, you know, you're taking the traditional rhetoric of what it means to be, I guess, a woman of colour in business and like flipping it on its head and just running with it.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:29:27] Thank you. Yes.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:29:30] OK, so before we wrap up, is there any last minute tidbits that you want to, I guess, leave the audience before before we wrap this guy up?

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:29:44] Yeah, I would just say that, you know, this is an extremely difficult time...

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:29:50] Whatever however you want...

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:29:51] I would say that, like I know that, yeah, I would say that I know that this is a really difficult period as people are navigating the pandemic and reimagining in the short term what their lives are going to look like. And so, you know, just try to stay as connected as possible as you can with people and maybe podcasting is that medium. Maybe not. But offline tactics do have the power of forming stronger relationships. And I've built my entire network one handshake at a time.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:30:17] Love that! One handshake at a time. That's going to be the....today's episode. For this. I'm calling it one handshake at a time. So Fatima will be the best way for audience members to either reach out to you personally, for business, to reach out to you will be the best forum for people.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:30:35] Google me, I'm pretty accessible. My handle is @zaidiafatima across the board. Our website is quillit.io. I'm like very accessible if you want to find me. It's like not hard to so feel free to reach out directly on any platform.

 

Manseeb Khan: [00:30:52] I love it. Fatima, thank you so much for coming on the show today and I'm excited to have you back on.

 

Fatima Zaidi: [00:31:00] Thank you so much, thank you for having me. Really appreciate it. Happy podcasting!

Outro : you've been listening to Fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit ncfacanada.org. Oh yeah.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP48:  How to Connect and Resonate with Customers Through Podcasting 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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The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buy

CATO Institute | Jennifer J. Schulp and Caleb O. Brown | Nov 11, 2020

accredited investor - The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buy

Regular folks don’t have access to a vast array of investments, and that’s because of Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Why is that? Jennifer Schulp explains.

"Jennifer Schulp says that it is time for the SEC to give Americans the freedom to choose their investments. As it stands, the accredited investor definition decreases community investment and restricts the market."

Continue to the full article --> here

 

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The Investments Most of Us Can’t Buy 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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