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Fintech Fridays EP37: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy

NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019

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Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37

GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin)

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019.

 

About this episode: 

On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what the Angel Academy is, why female funders matter, and the holistic approach to innovation.  Enjoy!

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Listen to more podcasts here: Season 1 | Season 2

 


Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan : Hey everybody Manseeb Khan here. Thank you for tuning to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast. I'm thinking of actually creating fantastical T-shirts because we should use this. Every single show as fantastical is not a word. Last episode I said I was part of the Oxford Dictionary actually might come highly considered actually trying to make it an actual word just for the sake of my introduction, sort of look like an idiot. But this week I'm super excited to have Jill. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

Jill Earthy: Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Manseeb Khan : Absolutely. Jill. Could you for the five or six people or actually for the five or six people that may not know who you are and what Female Funders is, could you just give us a little bit of introduction of your background and the amazing work that you're doing?

Jill Earthy: Thank you. Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah Jill Earthy a program called Female Funders. And, you know, it's interesting, you come out, you ask about my background. And I've always been passionate. I think, like many of your audience members, about disrupting and changing things and looking at things in new ways. And certainly, my career has, as you know, shows that path. So, as an entrepreneur, then leading several organizations, supporting entrepreneurs, or  working as chief growth officer at a fintech company, Front Funder online investment platform, creating new ways for entrepreneurs to access capital and broadening the reach for investors. And then, you know, it all circles. It's funny how it’s kind of all kind of comes full circle. So Female Funders is a program focused on female leaders, primarily senior leaders in corporations and technology companies or seasoned entrepreneurs themselves who have a curiosity about investing in early stage companies, but maybe haven't had exposure to it in the past or aren't sure where to start. And so, our goal is really to demystify the process, make it easy and make it accessible and increase the number of women participating as investors.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible. So, you guys created this new kind of academy called the Angel Academy. Could you talk a little bit more about that and how I can get of all people can get involved and just essentially what the Angel Academy is?

Jill Earthy: Yes. So, the Angel Academy is our core education program and we work with cohorts of leaders from across North America. And that's really neat to right because they're coming at it from a variety of different backgrounds perspectives. It's primarily, primarily women. And the program runs over. The Angel Academy program runs over eight weeks. It's virtually run. We have four online learning modules which are self-directed full of all sorts of great content and articles and links. And thanks to podcasts, we'll have to add this one and other content. But the most important part is we host office hours where we bring in investor mentors. And those investor mentors are men and women, incredible venture capital partners or experienced angel investors to share their experience and expertise and provides an active learning opportunity for us to all work together. So that happens over an eight-week period. And then we have an apprenticeship component where we match each of our participants with a mentor, an experienced investor. And that's super powerful as they're starting their investing journey. I'm starting to identify companies that they're interested in and having that guide to ask questions I've learned from as they're getting ready to write the first check. So, the bulk of the program is it's a really over eight weeks of education, four-month apprenticeship, so a six month program. And then we wrap a whole number of other things around that, including investment learning labs, bringing different cohort participants together and an in-person event as well.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible. That sounds like a lot of fun and like very important work because like becoming an investor or, you know, if the audience wants to just quickly, maybe follow along, just I kind of read a little bit about it having a guide or just having somebody kind of walk you through. You know, you have enough capital to start investing in a couple of companies that you definitely have your eye on. Having a mentor or having a system, having a more or less academy to kind of teach you the ins and outs of the realm of investing. It's super important, super crucial, because every single day we have the opportunity to keep more and more investors right now having academies and having institutions to create more and more smart investors. That's an interesting, incredible and it's super exciting.

Jill Earthy: Well, I think you're absolutely right. Because I think we should make sure that it's clear that these are high risk investments. This is an asset class in that that is high risk in early stage companies. Right. You're taking a you're taking a huge risk, but also it could result in a big opportunity as well. But you're absolutely right. Like having that support, expertise, know, sharing, sharing experiences. You know, we know the importance of having diverse perspectives to make better decisions. And we're hoping that mitigates some of the risk greater to result in greater outcomes for all.

Manseeb Khan : So why are female fund funders and backers important? Very important, especially when it comes to funding. I mean, this is a topic that I've very briefly touched on the second episode of this podcast but haven't really had the chance to really go in depth. So, could you just talk a little bit about why Female Funders and backers are very important, especially in the fintech space?

Jill Earthy: Well, you look at just, you know, our economy as a whole and the huge, huge opportunity that we have. So Female Funders in partnership with Highline data released a report earlier this year that looked at some of the numbers and I was fine. Obviously, numbers are great. They tell a story for factual. So just as an example, you know, in Canada last year, 14 percent of angel investors were women, 17 percent of angel investors this year were women. So, we're seeing a shift, which is great, but there's a huge opportunity to increase that. You know, you look at the diversity of those making investment decisions within venture capital firms. And, you know, this is relevant as the growth of the fintech ecosystem continues. But now 15 percent of venture capital leaders are women and 8 percent are partners. Right. So, we look at that as like, wow, OK. We have an opportunity here right now. How do we unlock some of their capital? Because we know that the growth of female leaders is continuing. We have incredible resources. And so how do we how do we connect those dots? I think one of the key challenges that women we don't often identify as investors, you know, certainly as champions and mentors and advisors. And so how do we just connect those dots? And by doing so will unlock new capital, which benefits everybody. Because, again, by having those diverse perspectives making decisions, we'll see a broader range of companies from seed funding, new models. And then everyone benefits.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No,  I absolutely agree through. And in a sense of like creating you said something interesting creating more like I guess more or less like diversity and a sense of like, hey, you know, having more female funders, having more female investors, that's just going to, you know, just fast forward innovation in any space. Right. Not a fintech, but any realm of investing, having new ideas, having new concepts, having new models. It just it's a win for.

Jill Earthy: 100 percent, 100 percent. You think about I mean, we're focused primarily on gender diversity, although I would also say very much within our cohorts of women, we have incredible cultural and ethnic diversity and certainly a lot of industry experience diversity, which is powerful, too. But our goal is, is not to continue to run this. This program focused on women. We'd rather not, but. Absolutely. We do have some catching up to do so. So, there's huge power. And that's certainly why we love these conversations and having so many incredible male champions involved in our in our program. And we're just trying to bridge the gap, bring these great women into the ecosystem.

Manseeb Khan : So, yeah. So, you know, I mean, you don't want to be running this program for like six years and be like, OK, well, now we're a two out of five females. Our investors well crap. Exactly. Exactly. So, yeah. Could you talk a little bit more? So, you did briefly mention you guys focus on gender diversity and ethnic diversity. You could talk a little bit how you guys are going about that and just some of the initiatives you have in place to further that mission.

Jill Earthy: Yeah. Yeah. So, with our core program in Angel Academy, we know the types of people that are participating in the program tend to come from three, three groups, I guess primarily so senior leaders within large corporations. I mean, you indicated the need for corporations to continually innovate to That's, especially the financial institutions. Well, every company, you know, oil and gas, you know, there's every sector need to continually innovate. And so, we have a lot of senior leaders within those companies are going, OK, we need to innovate, but we need to do that. We need to understand the venture ecosystem and we need to understand how these startups operate. And so, we're seeing more and more of those types of leaders come into our program for professional development and better understanding and direct connection to the ecosystem, but also for personal interest, of course, as they look to potentially invest to as they become more comfortable and familiar. And then the other group is those in those technology companies. When you think about, you know, even thinking of some of the fintech companies across North America, where they've grown to a point and they're leaders within those companies maybe who didn't start at the very beginning, but who have seen this company grow and are likely to second to be involved with those companies from the from the start. So, they're interested in coming into this program. And then the third group is are those seasoned entrepreneurs who have built businesses to a point where they may still be involved, but they're not as involved in the day to day and can actually step up. And participate on the other side of the table. Or maybe have exited and want to get one. You complete the circle.

Manseeb Khan : And of course, under. And give back. Right. Because one of the core things that you kind of learn, especially in entrepreneurship, is it's great that you know, it's good that you're learning. Creating a network, but also giving back to network is always very crucial. It's very clear that it's the it's the full circle. Right.

Jill Earthy: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. No. It's amazing. And even you look at, you know, there's so many great leaders in fintech now, too. I mean, some of our partners are you know, you look at someone like Lisa Shields of Flies Van and Natalie Cartwright, and there's just so many great. Yeah, great, great leaders, men, and women. But there are some real opportunities to continue to enhance the tech sector.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No, absolutely. I like hopefully, you know, not in the fintech sector, but other sectors as well. So, this is, again, very, very exciting, exciting work. So, could you talk about the current challenges that female founders and funders face? Yeah. Top five or even top 10.

Jill Earthy: So, I think there's a couple of key ones and I like to think about. So, there's a lot of a lot of articles and things that talk about women being risk adverse. I think that holds true on women entrepreneurs’ access and capital as well as women investors. I much prefer the term risk astute, meaning that women tend to be more methodical in their approach, especially when it comes to accessing, financing, or writing checks. Want to really understand the process, demystify it, understand the lingo. You want to talk to a number of people. That's not a wrong way of doing things. It's just a different way of doing things. And so, I think by embracing that, there's a lot more opportunities. And we're seeing the data now show, too, that, you know, women entrepreneurs they're building companies in different ways and accessing different buckets of financing and putting this together. The results are much stronger. They're actually using less capital to grow more and focused on revenue growth. And that's pretty powerful. I see that as an opportunity. It's just a different model because often we you know, certainly in the venture ecosystem, success is often based on how much money you've raised. And so, you know, which is one benchmark. But I don't think that's the that that should be the only one to benchmark. No, not like I personally would much rather invest in companies that are focused on revenue growth and customer acquisitions. But that that's different anyways. And then so and on the investor side, too, it's the same thing. Women are less likely to just immediately write a check. Really. They want to do more research, dig it, dig in deeper, understand that more. Not a bad thing, just a different path. And therefore, the process takes a little bit longer and the numbers aren't quite as high. Also tend to write smaller checks versus larger checks, more maybe more smaller checks. But again, just different approaches. So, I'm not sure yet. There's lots of data around that challenges. I think sometimes it's also around access to networks and women are getting better at doing that. But we have to invite them in sometimes. That's another common challenge. Like often.

Manseeb Khan : Are they? So, when you mean access to networks, are they just a little adverse to joining? These said networks are like what is like what is the challenge specifically of them having access to these networks.

Jill Earthy: Yeah, well, you think about it and I'll just use angel groups as an example. Right. Typically, haven't been very many women involved in those groups. And so, you know, but that's where the deals happen or in other groupings like that, right. Or no. I have a lot of friends to get a call from their friend saying, hey, do you want to go in on this deal with me? And women are just for whatever reason, you know, it's not. Not necessarily that they've been excluded, maybe just not completely invited, or haven't put their hand up to be invited. Right. There are multiple factors, but I think we need to. Yeah. So. So that's why you're seeing an increase in the number of women's networks. And I don't believe just in women only networks. But I think that's a starting point to get and start to have those conversations and create access. And we'll see that. And now. As I said, our goal is to make sure we're just growing the networks overall. So, people are connecting and identifying deals and opportunities together and collaborating on those. So that's just a shift right there where a lot of all know the term old boys’ networks and where we're trying to shift that.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I know for sure. I mean, definitely having a focus on first like an equality, it comes to both parties and then starting to network. I think that's definitely one of the better approaches when it comes towards that. I guess I guess I'm going to I'm going to try to throw it to you. Is there something that we should be aware of when it comes to Female Funders and female founders? Is it something that we, the audience can kind of do to help is? Yeah. Is there a way that we can kind of hope or is it ways that we're just not aware of that we can help?

Jill Earthy: Well, I think what you're doing right now is awesome because it's really often about just having the conversation right and putting it out there and hearing people's stories. So I think for all of us, it is about just getting engaging with more people, reaching out, talking about it, you know, and certainly as it pertains to Female Funders, you know, where I get excited and most passionate about it is, you know, I'll just start talking about at the dinner table or a dinner party. Right. About an opportunity to participate in investing in this new venture. And, you know, it's amazing when you just start to open up the conversation that how people are like, oh, that sounds interesting. I thought that I had to write a million-dollar check to and not look like I look like that. And I think that's for young people. I think that's for women. I think that's for everybody. Is just a start to have the conversation about finance and about investing, you know, whether you have the capacity to do it now or in the future? It's starting to just think about that differently and starting to plan because again, these are high risk investments. So, you need to plan you need your traditional investments, for sure, but starting to plan a small portion. Your first check is small or maybe it's five thousand dollars. Or through something like Front Funder , it's a thousand dollars or whatever it is. That being the thought of being coordinated and collaborating with others. Have more experience or all are all critical.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, no, I agree. I mean that's kind of what kick this. That that's just one of the reasons why I actually invited you to come on the show. It's because of, you know, we're thinking of creating this new initiative where we kind of focus on female founders, female funders, and kind of sharing the stories. I know when we had when I had  Sue Britain on, one of the fears was that like, hey, especially in finance is an old boys club. Slowly but surely, you're seeing some of that remnants bleed into fintech. And that's one of the biggest worries of OK. I definitely don't want that to happen here because the because the whole purpose of fintech is to be different. Right. From the traditional sense. Right. So having amazing people like you and some of the other guys that we have lined up should be a really interesting set of conversations that we're going to have a, you know, talk about the challenges, talk about opportunities, how we can how what we can do and just, you know, hope furthering long the conversation of like, hey, you know what? There should be an even playing field for anybody and everybody. That's. That's. There's no there's no it is no budge on that, there's no leeway. Right.

Jill Earthy: Yeah, no, absolutely. And there's so many more opportunities now, right? I mean, you look at some of the new fintech initiatives or programs and there's. Yeah. I mean, a lot of the point of it is to make it a bit more inclusive. Right. Because it's more transparent. A lot of the platform are more accessible and so there's things are really exciting opportunity.

Manseeb Khan : Well, yes. And now like a TV to switch gears a little like when it comes to investing. And now you have you have the chance of crowdfunding and, you know, getting money from people. They want to see that you're doing amazing work. They want to see that like, hey, like, what are what are some of the initiatives that they're that they're doing? What are the social causes that they're involved in? Right. Cause if you're putting if I'm putting my money towards something beautiful, a regular Joe Schmo like me or an actual seasoned investor, they want to see that you guys are doing something different, something that, you know, having female funders or even having a team of like really kickass female executives matters. That works.

Jill Earthy: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Chuckling Yeah. There are so many new incredible opportunities for people to participate. And even as you said, like even starting small, I mean, my first my first cheque was five thousand dollars for my RSP, which I didn't realize I could do. And was eligible for 30 percent tax credit. This was four or five years ago. And it's just those things where nobody talks about those and you're like, wow, that's amazing. And I get to participate. And it's not all opportunities are like That's. There are obviously much higher minimums and sometimes there's much lower minimums and there's pros and cons. And sometimes you want a whole mix of all those things. Course. Yeah, but the point is there's a lot there, a lot more opportunities out there everywhere and a lot more people that can now engage and participate in the right way.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, no, I absolutely go through. This is really exciting things. So, before I wrap this up, I'm going to throw it to you. Is there anything else that the audience should be aware of when it comes to the great work that you're doing?

Jill Earthy: Thank you. Yeah, I mean, it's just. Just keep talking about it. I mean, we run our Angel Academy program twice a year, bringing together these leaders through a virtual environment. Our next programs and we run in the fall, the end of October and one in the spring. So, if you know anybody who's interested and love to hear from them or any questions. We also talked to founders all the time and help to direct them to the right resources. So, we're happy to support there. But I just think it's such you know, it's an exciting ecosystem at the moment, right. Technology fintech, you know, everybody's talking about it. Everybody has a role to play in it. So, it's just figuring out what your role is and how you how you want to engage. But it's amazing. And I keep telling these great stories. Yeah.

Manseeb Khan : No, I mean, definitely I'm going to flip to you to you if there is any amazing funders or founders that you think wish that I should personally talk to you just to come on the show. By all means, it's an open invitation for anybody. I mean, the more conversation, the more stories I can share, the more exciting my job becomes, right?

Jill Earthy: Yeah. And the more impact we can have.

Manseeb Khan : Absolutely. Absolutely. Joe, before we wrap this up, are there a couple of golden nuggets that you want the audience to kind of go home with and just, you know, a year from now? Oh, yeah. Jill told me That's. Yeah, I know that that makes total sense. So, what are some golden nuggets that you want to leave the audience with?

Jill Earthy: That's a lot of pressure. Yeah. I think I think a key thing is just, you know, I think sometimes we get overwhelmed. There's so much noise, there's so much information. You know, you are reading information online and you hear about the technology in an ecosystem and innovation and what does it all mean. And I think we each have a role to play in it. And so I think it's identifying, you know, our own strengths, our own interests, our own goals, whether that's as an art partner and how we want to engage and participate and make a difference as an investor, you know, putting our hand up and reaching out to learn more about what that can look like, because it can look a lot of different ways and engage that way or just as an advisor or a mentor supporter, because we all have strengths and skills and expertise. But I think just the power of that and continuing to talk about innovation as a whole as a holistic approach. It's pretty exciting time, but it can get a bit overwhelming. So just keep me be clear on your mission and connect with others who align with

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible. Jill, thank you so much for sitting down today. Super excited to have you back on the show and super excited to have any of the amazing people a part of your network on the show.

Jill Earthy: Thank you.

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 and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy 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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McKinsey & Company | Oct 2019 Ten years ago 10 years ago, the US retail banking industry was in the depths of the global financial crisis, with many one-time leading institutions struggling to survive. Since then, after bringing in billions in fresh capital, US banks have made a return to stable ground and greater liquidity. Despite this progress, aggregate return on equity is at the lower bound of sustainability, and the industry’s price-to-book value is about 1.4, not far above where it stood in 2009. Customer trust has improved from the downturn but is still well below pre-crisis levels. Though most banks were able to avoid unsettling challenges in the following ten years, few were able to break out and significantly outperform the industry. Now, however, several major forces are accelerating the evolution of the US banking industry–the encroachment of new competitors, rising expectations from customers on service levels and corporate responsibility, and an intensifying war for talent—and promising to make doing business more challenging in the coming ten years. Further, US banks have yet to go through the restructuring that has already swept European and Asian markets, where a majority of services are delivered digitally. In this report, we ...
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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Oct 7, 2019 Last week, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) adopted a “Blanket Order” for “Startup Crowdfunding Registration and Prospectus Exemptions.” In effect, the ASC was seeking to improve access to capital for smaller firms – a good thing- but the move also highlights the disparity between the provinces and a greater need for national harmonization of online capital formation rules. Financial services in Canada are all regulated at the provincial level thus there exists a degree of disparity regarding rules. While a smaller country by population, Canada has consistently ranked high in entrepreneurship and innovation. According to a recent KPMG report, the Canadian Fintech ecosystem is thriving but, like any other country, more can be done. Crowdfund Insider reached out to Denise Weeres, Director, New Economy at the ASC and Craig Asano, Executive Director and founder of the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA). The NCFA has long led the charge advocating on behalf of Canada’s emerging Fintech market and various securities crowdfunding platforms. The New Economy Division of the ASC works closely with staff to coordinate efforts to facilitate capital-raising by new economy companies entering the capital market. The Division ...
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Fintech Fridays EP36: Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic

NCFA Canada | Aug 9, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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Aug 23:  Techfins with Michael R. King, PhD CFA EP36

GUEST:  MICHAEL R. KING, PhD CFA, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, (Linkedin)

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

BIO:  Professor Michael R. King is the Lansdowne Chair in Finance at University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. Prior to joining UVic, he held the Tangerine Chair in Finance at Western University’s Ivey Business School (2011-2019), where he co-founded Canada’s first FinTech research centre (the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab). Before joining academia, he worked in investment banking in Zurich, New York and London from 1990-1998 (Credit Suisse, RBC Dominion Securities) and central banking in Ottawa and Basel from 2001-2011 (Bank of Canada, Bank for International Settlements). Michael completed his PhD at the London School of Economics in 2001 and his CFA designation in 1999. He has taught finance to undergraduates, MBAs and executives. His research focuses on FinTech, banking, international financial markets, and corporate finance.

About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA's Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Prof. Michael R. King PhD CFA, Lansdowne Chair in Finance at University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. They chat about transformational fintech, big tech vs techfins and fintech 3.0.  Enjoy!

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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

 


Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan :  Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan here. Thank you for tuning in to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast, Fantastical is now in the Oxford Dictionary. It's not. I'm just kidding. I really want it to be. I mean, fantastical. I love using that word. But this week, today, I'm very, very thrilled. I've been sent a message to all my friends of how excited I am for this episode. I got Michael King. Michael, thank you so much for sitting down today.

Michael King : It's great to be with you, man. Thank you for having me on FinTech Friday.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. Michael, could you just for the five or six people that may not know who you are and may not share the same level excitement that I am currently sharing? Could you tell us a little bit of who you are, a little bit of your background?

Michael King : Okay, great. Yeah. So, I'm a university professor out on the West Coast at the University of Victoria has kept this in school business. This is my third act when it comes to my career. I did my first decade was in investment banking and trading in New York, London, where I got to see what things look like on the private sector side. My second act in the in the 1990s was in the 2000s was with US Central Banking with the Bank of Canada in Ottawa and also with Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, where I was there during the financial crisis and got to see how regulators look at the world. And since 2011, I've been in academia. I was at Ivey School of Business at Western University, and back in 2016, I was approached to co-found a fintech research center with my colleague J.P. Varian. And we've been following fintech avidly since then. And then I'm actually in the process of writing a book on fintech called FinTech Explain, which should be out later in the year.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible of why I can't wait for that book. So, could you talk a little bit more of the traditional versus the transformational views of fintech?

Michael King : Yeah, I mean, I as somebody who's been coming at this from the banking side, from the financial services side for a long time, I shared the same skepticism as most people did that fintech is just the application of technology to financial services. Banks have been doing that for decades, ever since they made the transatlantic cable, the telex, the fax machine and the A.T.M. So, what's so new about fintech? And it really started to dawn on me, you know, as I was writing my book, that there's really two views about fintech. And there's one view that it's evolutionary. And this is the sort of traditional view that we're using technology to reduce costs and to automate back office and digitize a lot of processes. But there's also a transformational view, and that's more of a viewing fintech as a reason, a revolution that's coming out of, you know, the application of technologies in many different industries, consumer products and cars, automation and that back to fintech is really redesigning or reimagining financial services as part of a larger product offering. So, the traditional view is very product centric. We're going to offer customers a loan. We're going to offer them a wealth management product. We're going to offer them a means of payment. And that's kind of the way that traditional financial intermediaries are set up. If you look at the big banks there, they have divisions with names like capital markets, personal and commercial banking, and insurance. And people in those divisions tend to have titles that sort of say what they do. Mostly focused on the product. But when you start looking at a number of these new marketplaces, these multi sided platforms that are being set up and in particular by a techfins  like Ali Baba and Tencent you see that they're looking at this really from the customer's point of view. And it's very customer centric. They're saying, what does the customer want? What's their pain point and how can we provide them with, you know, a great experience? And that great experience may be social networking and maybe ecommerce and maybe gaming, but there is typically a financial service product that makes its way in there somewhere. And so financial service products are being bundled along with other customer products in a new and imaginative ways. And that's where I think the real revolution, or the transformation is taking place right now.

Manseeb Khan : I couldn't agree with you more. I mean, I'm just explaining what fintech is. A lot of you know, a lot of people may think, oh, yeah, it's a very product focused thing. This is just okay, you know what? We are just going to digitize the loans. We're just going to digitize mortgages. We're just going to digitize X, Y and Z payment method. It's very product focused and a kind of I mean, it's a little heartbreaking because. FinTech, it's so much more, right? It has the capability. I mean, you've been hit on the fact that you're having tech companies like Apple that recently released a credit card. These guys are very customer focused, customer centric, right. Because there is around. We've recently had on the on the show a stat that there's 2 billion people that are under serviced and you're having fintech companies come in and service is under serviced, under banked individuals. Its very customer focused, is very good. What do the people want? How do we build a product around the people? Not a product for the people or like a product that the people who just give it to them.

Michael King : Yeah, I'm. And Manseeb. I don't want to say that all. But these two types, traditional and transformational fintech, they kind of co-exist in this ecosystem. And you look at some of the startups that we have here in Canada and abroad and really, they're focused entirely on the customer and on how to make that experience great and simple and less costly. Or as he pointed out there, they're trying to serve customers that have been ignored or underserved or under banked. And that's true both in the United States but also in emerging markets, places like Kenya and Africa. But there are a lot of fintech that are basically just trying to automate what's already out there. And you know, I would say that There is a twist on the existing business model. But, you know, if you look at balance sheet lending online, that's pretty much the same thing as what banks have been doing for a long time. And if you look at electronic banking, well, we've had digital banks since the 1990s, and that's not particularly new. It just may be a better experience that they're getting now.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No, I couldn't agree with you more. So, could you talk a little bit more of the main differences between fintech and techfin and essentially like our data? And like, you know, just like the contrast and I guess the similarities between the two?

Michael King : Yeah. This term tech fin, actually, I only heard it about a couple of years ago and I got curious about it. I wondered where does this term come from? They've basically just taken fintech and turned it on its head. It turns out that it was first used by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, back in 2016, to describe his company Ant financial. Where Ant financial is the formerly known as Ali Pay and was spun off prior to Ali Baba's IPO on the US stock market in 2014. And he said Tech fins are basically technology companies that are trying to provide financial services to underserved customers. Jack Ma, he kind of is critical of the existing financial system, probably looking at his home market in China, which was very undeveloped. It's all state-owned banks and state-owned enterprises. So, keeping that in mind, he said, you know, a lot of these fin techs are simply using technology to make a profit by selling financial products and services to customers. And tech fins are really trying to help people that are under banks, whether it's small businesses, whether it's in emerging market countries or whether it's some individual customers. Now, tech fins are really that term is really stuck for Ali Baba and Tencent in their financial service arms. When we go to North America, we tend to use the term big tech, where big tech is Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The big U.S. headquartered technology companies that are also moving into financial services slowly but surely.

Manseeb Khan : So, should fintech’s be afraid of the big tech companies and the techfin companies, or should they see this more as an opportunity of, you know what? Hey, now that we have these bigger tech players coming into our space, should we start creating partnerships or should we be a little bit more averse to them?

Michael King : Yeah, you've hit it. You've hit it right on the nail there because it can be these tech fans in the big tech are a real threat to incumbent financial intermediaries such as banks, insurance companies, wealth management. But they could also be an enormous opportunity for fintech who are partnering with them. I know on one-year earlier podcasts back in September, you had Paul Schulte also talking about Alibaba, Tencent, and Wal-Mart in India. And what we've seen there is that these companies are really opened to partnering and helping other fintech to basically provide their customers, their users and their ecosystem with the products and services that they need. So, I would say that tech fins and big tech do represent a threat to incumbents, but I think they also represent an opportunity for partnerships with startups in fintech.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I mean, but if you have the financial incumbents adopting the mindset of like, you know what? Hey,  let's start transitioning from the traditional view of how we see fintech into something transformative. Then like the partnerships are just going to be astounding, right? Like if we have just one of one of the big five banks partnering up with Apple, you know what? We're to start backing Apple into the credit services or just whatever the case may be, that in and of itself, they'll be very, very interesting to see.

Michael King : Yeah, it's become a really fascinating landscape because there's a lot of things going on. And as you point out, some of the big banks are really forward looking. They've really caught on to this kind of customer centric point of view. I'd highlight Royal Bank of Canada at home here at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs in the United States. They those big players are recognizing that these partnerships with these fintech can really deliver a great experience to their customers. It can give them an edge over other incumbents. And it's the way of the future. In particular, with the development of these marketplaces. No bank is going to want to be on a dropdown list on Amazon when it comes to offering a mortgage or a loan. But that seems to be at least from looking at what's happening in China in some other countries. That seems to be the direction we're going, where it's coming very. You know, banks backed loans and mortgages were very commodities, financial products. And it's going to become even worse if these ecosystems come between a bank and their customer. So, some of these banks are developing these marketplaces themselves or they're partnering up. And that's, I think, the way to go. And you mentioned Goldman Sachs is actually backing Apple with their credit card yet to be launched. It was announced with a lot of fanfare, but it's not out there yet, but it's a retail credit card. MasterCard and Apple have said specifically, we do not want your data. And Goldman Sachs has said data privacy is going to be key to our customer offering. Right. They seem to be taking a swipe at Facebook and at Google and their ad-based business models. So just showing that you can't just lump all these big players, big tech, and thin tech fans together into the same bucket. They're really pursuing different strategies.

Manseeb Khan : Of course. I mean, because now you're seeing how the consumer and just, I mean, not only our audience, but just like everybody else is starting to realize how important their data is and how powerful their data is. Right now, you're seeing how there's been this really big push for digital identity and digital privacy of just kind of, you know, hey, I should be able to pick and choose what and how much of what of information I get to give out to companies like Facebook, to Apple or to any of the companies. And the fact that Apple is taking a swipe and taking a stance of like, hey, you know what, we don't really, we don't want your data. We want you to be in charge of your data as much as you can. And that's kind of helping build that, I guess, like future brand equity.

Michael King : Yeah. Ownership of data is going to be central to competitive advantage of any kind of financial service company or non-financial service company. But customer trust in how you treat their data. Maintaining privacy and ensuring that you're a good custodian of that data is also going to be central to claim financial services. So, I think most people agree that more data that the competitive advantage, the big tech companies like Facebook and Apple is really they get to see so much of what customers are doing online and understand them in better ways. Amazon is certainly using that data to try and understand, hey, what kind of new products do our customers want? And it can be a great benefit to consumers if by understanding this data they can provide you with a product that you didn't even know you wanted. But on the flip side, if they go around and they sell it and they monetize it and there is a cyber hack or breach where your identity is stolen. That is a nightmare scenario and one that consumers, regulators, everyone is focused on.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, that's definitely a very scary, scary situation of getting all of our data hacked. I mean, I mean, speaking of Apple and just the big five banks, this is slowly but surely moving towards open banking, which has been a theme on the show time and time again. This is like I'm a huge advocate for it. I mean like open banking it's a very bright future. It's a very exciting future, because now with Apple announcing their credit card, that's just one of the first of many steps towards, hey, you're looking for a mortgage. Well, you know what? Hey. Amazon actually has amazing rates on mortgages in Waterloo. So, once you get a mortgage to Amazon, right. You don't have to go through TD or RBC or anybody else. You can get it from a tech company. Right. Like in the next five to 10 to 15 years, getting a car loan from Facebook is not going to sound as crazy as it is today.

Michael King : Yeah. And I think open banking is really it's coming. It's coming to Canada. It's already presents in Europe, the U.K. and in some ways,  it's coming into the United States. But it's inevitable that we are going to own our own data and have control over it. And that whether it's held by a bank, whether it's helped by a social media company or by a utility, could be your Rogers could be your phone company. That data belongs to us. And we should be paid or at least given service for the access to that data. I think that forward looking companies are now recognizing that they've been able to use it as without compensating us for it. But at the end of the day, competition in the marketplace is going to lead people to focus on the ones that are best custodians and provide the best service. And I think bringing incisive that of that data is going to help consumers. You mentioned also that, you know, Apple is trying to really distance itself from that ad base, business models of Google and Facebook. It's going to be interesting to see how they have to pivot to address all the concerns that consumers have, although a lot of people seem to be favoring convenience over security when it comes to those to their data. By the way, a big shot up for one of Canada's best fintech companies, secure key. I think they in the realm of digital identity, are doing a fantastic job and really leading in terms of looking after consumers.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome shout out to secure key, you did mention a really good point of view. You know, it should be really interesting to see how Apple is going to pivot. I mean, you know, convenience over security. I mean, that's just kind of what that has been the norm for. I mean, forever now. Right. No one like when it comes to terms of services, everyone really laughs because no one's really reading them. I don't I'm in this space and I don't I don't either. I don't like any app that I download. I'm like, screw it. I'll be fine. I'm not going to whatever. I'll be OK. I'll have I'm not that crazy yet. But, you know, it should be really interesting to see how in the future companies not only like Apple, but all the big tech companies, how are they going to monetize or what does this pivot going to kind of look like? Because right now, the landscape has been very like ad focus. AD revenue focus. Right. That's what you're seeing. That's how traditional media has been. When it comes to TV and newspapers. That's now how you're seeing Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media platforms make money. It should be really interesting to see how the heck are these companies going to make money in the future if they're not selling me ads?

Michael King : Yeah. And I think Facebook, most recent announcement about its it's backing a stable coin, a digital cryptocurrency called Libra is a really fascinating look into potentially where they're going to see some more revenues in the future. As you know, and probably your listeners already know, they launched they announced this this plan to use this coin. That's basically going to be backed by. It's going to be held in by a consortium of companies at arm's length from Facebook announced with initially 27 partners. Not a single bank was in the initial group of partners, although they do envisage having banks and other companies there later. They did have a ride sharing on, you know, food companies as well as Visa, MasterCard and other kind of consumer products are there. But it's going to make payments, electronic payments free using WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. So, then the question is, if you're offering me something for free, how can you make money off of it? Clearly, by seeing all the ID that the spending payments is such a rich place to find out customer insights. You know, they must be believing that by seeing all that spending, they're going to be able to. On financial services where they make money from that, right?

Manseeb Khan : I mean, like you said, right. Like right now, they're not partnered up with any banks or anything based on our spending habits and based on where we're sending money, where we're receiving money, they're just going to add more and more players to the Libra ecosystem, right?

Michael King : Yeah, they will. If they've said they're going to basically expand it to at least 100 partners. And by the way, when you say that payments are free. We're talking about cross-border payments. So, there may not be a charge for actually sending the money, but there is a foreign exchange conversion. And typically, you know, PayPal and others, they add a two to three percent charge when converting currencies. Not to mention making a bid ask spread on that foreign exchange transaction. And that can be that can add up when it's billions or trillions of dollars of volume that can create a lot of profit for whoever is managing it.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. It should be really interesting to see how Facebook handles that. And on top of that differentiates it from that. Right. Because if they're going to if they're going to still charge that 2 to 3 percent charge fee, it should be interesting to see how they kind of market it and how they kind of present it to the customers of like, oh, yeah, yeah. You want some money to Kenya for sure X amount of charge, but we'll try to like jazz it up.

Michael King : Well, it's instant and it's easy and it's convenient. So, you know, most people probably wouldn't think much about paying like 2 percent on a as a service fee.

Manseeb Khan : Yes. No, I actually agree with you. I like to throw it you what are you mostly excited about when it comes to I mean, like everything that we kind of talked about, what are you most excited about and what should I guess the audience and everybody keep in mind or keep top of mind when we're looking at Apple and all these big tech companies moving into financial services?

Michael King : What I'm most excited about is what this means for us as consumers or as customers and whether it's individuals or retail or it could be small business. I think we're going to just have a much better experience when doing our living, our digital or e-commerce lives and as well as offline in the physical commerce world. We're going to see that financial services are going to sort of fade into the background. They're going to not become front and center like the way or the way they are now. Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, hey, I can't wait to go to my bank, you know, pay those fees, or engaged with that individual and the bank. Most people would rather get on with their lives. They want to focus on their spending. They want to focus on their travel, their savings, meeting their friends. And I think financial services are going to become just the way that Jack Mind and Ant financial, they talk about it. They say it's just like tap water. You turn on the tap and water come out. You don't have to worry about where the water is. Is it clean? What's the source? It's available when you need it. You probably don't turn on your light and ask yourself, well, is this Ontario Hydro That's providing this electricity to me or who is. Where's this coming from? You just assume that the electricity is available. And I think that's what's going to happen with financial services. So, we're going to have a reimagined experience. It's focused on us. I would say that institutional markets, institutional clients have been getting a much better service for decades. And now it's the retail consumer and the small businesses turn. That's what fintech is going to deliver to us.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. That's. That should be really exciting. I can't I can't wait for that future. Michael, is there anything else you want to share with the  audience before I let you go?

Michael King : Yeah, I would say that the model that we're seeing. I mean, we've talked about big tech. We talked about tech fins. There are some really interesting fintech companies that are actually building up marketplaces very similar to what we're seeing. You may have seen that Borrowell, for example, as has pivoted from being a platform providing loans to consumers to now being a basically a financial marketplace, offering at least products from 40 or more third parties. That's kind of the way that we're these multi sided business models are really going to become much more prevalent. I think we're going to get away from having individuals fintechs and seeing instead collaboration between them to offer us a variety of products and services. So, I don't know whether people call that fintech 3.0 or 4.0. I'm losing track, but I do think that this is a fast-moving industry and there's lots of innovation going on.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, no, I'm super excited to see the future of fintech and for it to be just as background as turning the latter turning on the tap. Michael, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. What would the best way for the audience to either reach out to you personally if they have any more questions about the book, if they want to pick your brain out? If you have a new research paper like this through email, Snapchat, Twitter,

Michael King : They say they can certainly find me on LinkedIn, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or to email me at michaelking@uvic.ca. And once the book's out, I'll set up a Web site as. To add to advertising, to share the content with people for free.

Manseeb Khan : Perfect, can't wait to have you on when the book is officially launched. Michael, again. Thank you so much for joining me today and can't wait to have you on next.

Michael King : Thanks, Manseeb.

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 and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy 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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Andreessen Horowitz | Anish Acharya In 2006, LendingClub introduced a then-novel business model: the ability to offer online personal loans to millions of underserved customers. The peer-to-peer lender was a media and investor darling, hailed as a tech-enabled alternative to traditional banks. When LendingClub went public in 2014, it was valued at $8.5 billion, the year’s single largest US tech IPO. Now, five years later, that fintech pioneer has lost 85 percent of its market value. Meanwhile, mobile upstart MoneyLion launched in 2013, also providing online personal loans—a direct competitor to LendingClub. Today, MoneyLion claims more than 5 million users and is valued at nearly $1 billion. See:  Peer to Peer Lending: The Future of Fintech is Now LendingClub had significant competitive advantages, from low customer acquisition costs—back then, personal loans keywords weren’t nearly as competitive on Google and Facebook was actively promoting LendingClub as an early F8 partner—to improved underwriting (the company provided lenders with access to customers’ credit score, total debt, income, monthly cash flow, and social data). So why is LendingClub experiencing growing pains while MoneyLion sees significant growth? Though the latter started out solely as an online lender, it quickly morphed into an all-in-one lending, savings, ...
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Fintech Fridays EP35: Autonomous Alternative Lending with Vit Arnautov of Turnkey Lender

NCFA Canada | Aug 9, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

FF EP35 Vit Arnautov Turnkey Lender - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy

Aug 9: Autonomous Alternative Lending with Vit Arnautov of Turnkey Lender EP35

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST: VIT ARNAUTOV, Chief Product Officer of Turnkey Lender, (Linkedin)

BIO: Vit is a skilled business executive with more than 10 years of experience in managing and delivering innovative fintech solutions. Since its foundation, Vit has been a part of the TurnKey Lender, a company creating intelligent AI-driven solutions for alternative lenders. Over the years he’s become its Chief Product Officer which gives him an incredibly deep insight into fintech in general and lending industry in particular. His areas of expertise include FinTech, digital lending, AI, and big data. Vit is happy to share his expertise with striving entrepreneurs and anyone else it can be helpful for.

About this episode: On this episode of NCFA's Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Vit Arnautov from Turnkey Lender. They chat about how AI will help the lending space, underbanked countries and why cloud lending is a trillion dollar industry. Enjoy!

turnkey lender logo - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy

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

 


Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan : Hi, everybody Manseeb Khan here and thank you for tuning in to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast. This week I'm super excited to have Vit from Turkey lender. Vit Thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Vit Arnautov: Hello. Happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, for sure. So, could you. For the I guess five or six audience members may not know who you are and what your company does. Could you just give us a rundown of a little bit of your background and what turnkey lender is?

Vit Arnautov: Okay, sure. So, I am a chief product officer, at Turnkey Lender. I mean, this business for about 10 years now, I've been in this company since the very beginning. So, this gives me a good understanding of all the processes in fintech and digital lending. Turnkey lender is the provider of intelligent lending automation. We were the first company to offer great software for the businesses of any kind. And we're focusing on digitalization processes automation and a loan decision making. But we're pretty much covering all the long lifecycle from the origination of the collection and through, of course, the decision. So, we have a line of products. The books version that can be delivered within a day. And with all the required functionalities to start lending and the enterprise solution for more sophisticated clients, this is a tool that allows you to build business processes, solve any complexity without coding. So, you can put it as a kind of Lego construct, a way you can build and automate your processes with blocks. We're Singapore based company we have offices in the U.S., in Ukraine, Indonesia, Malaysia.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible. I like the Lego analogy you use. I think that's going to make it a lot easier for the audience members , especially to really understand the really amazing work that you guys are doing. So, could you just talk a little bit more of the approval process, right, and how kind of differs from the other alternative lenders?

Vit Arnautov: Yes, sure. So, the decision making, and approval process is still the biggest challenge for the lenders. We understand that this is also the main brisk source in their business. So, we provide several layers of the decision-making process using both traditional and alternative approaches. So, it goes like this first you have the fraud prevention to where you analyze information from internal and external sources like terrorists and other fraud lists. Then you have alternative scoring with more information from client’s house to fill in the application for how fast he's typing, how the application details. If there were copy paste that if there are too many replacements of attachments and understanding if this is a bot filling the application of these real plan. Now that we analyze also the mobile data, which is like mobile usage, number of contacts and so on, because for the entire statistics, about 80 percent of applications can come in from mobile platforms. Right? After that, we have the bank account statements, analysis, and after that goes the internal scorecard, which is the decision engine that we provide out of the box. It's powered by artificial intelligence. It learns about the borrowers and during the lifecycle of the loans. Right. And adjust in time by having more accurate and precise decisions later on. We don't have enough data to analyze. So, with more like advanced package, you can also have the champion challenge scorecards where, for example, if you want to have 10 or 15 percent of more riskier applicants and this is how you apply this on. And also, we provide, of course, the scoring reports for us or our class to analyze and track the performance and to fine tune in future the score.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible, I'm glad that you have multiple like contingency plans when it comes time, actually like vetting and approving the process. Right. Like even under you, even though the process, I mean, as you know, has turned 200 does claim that it is. It is very fast. It is incredible that like even though it is fast, you still have multiple layers of channels you have to kind of go through.

Vit Arnautov: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And this is like it has all those layers. And actually, can combine several of those. So, we also have like artificial intelligence with image forgery detector, for example, to analyze it attachments that are being in placed this is like an additional module that can be included. And all of this is combined all together. Or you can just use partially to use one block or use another one cause for different markets. It's different. And for different auditors, it's also different. Right. And so, you just can choose which of those you want to use.

Manseeb Khan : So, you do have the option to pick and choose the blocks that are appropriate for you and your business and your auditors. Could you talk about like the biggest technological challenges that alternative lenders face and how does Turnkey lenders solve them?

Vit Arnautov: Sure. So, from my point of view, the biggest ones are, first of all, of course, the regulations that we're having from our governments. There are literally a lot of them right now. And it's getting even worse because governments very strict in those regulations. And we, of course, understand that someone a good purpose. But so, we need to comply with that. And so, in case of Turnkey Lender, it's for example, we have signed an agreement with Thompson Reuters to streamline those military compliance for the clients in different countries because each country has their own compliance. And also, you want to buy a solution that is flexible enough to fit the regulations that are not there yet, but yet to come the fall of the governments. So, the second thing is you the need of one day fund transfer for the organizations and for borrowers. So, solution for that is in turnkey lender. That is fast decision making where you can provide a decision within seconds and you can transfer funds with some kind of automation of payment provider, comparing it to taking days or even weeks. In the past. So, this is a huge change right now. I say that is the growing competition among lenders due to a significant lowering of the entry barrier to the market. And this is also we provide the faster decision making which allows your business to grow faster and provide better decision and lowering risk, of course. And it's the intuitive user interface for the borrowers scores. Each of those question or another step in the application process and know your customer process. It lowers your sales funnel.

Manseeb Khan : Right that makes total sense. How do you see the role of A.I. in digital lending now and in the near future? Because you have mentioned a couple times, you know. How what differentiates you guys from other lenders? And what kind of makes you guys a little bit more pulling ahead is the fact that you guys actually use AI the most the fullest advantage currently to make sure your loaning process, your vetting process and security. And just to make sure the whole like you can optimize every single block to the fullest potential.

Vit Arnautov: Yes, absolutely. So, the first usage of the A.I. is obviously for chat bots that we can see this support that automates their first level and second level usually. And like using bots to kind of answer the questions faster. But what's the biggest application for me, as I see, is the risk evaluation and of course, the decision and process. So, the AI usage helps us to provide more accurate analysis in predicting the expected future behavior for a client and therefore to provide more precise decision making. So, the learning curve for the AI is exponential and in the nearest couple of years we are going to get a huge leap in this.

Manseeb Khan : Because you can totally mitigate a lot more risk. Right being able to map out certain behaviors of who you're lending out to, you get to know, you know, aside from who they are, from the financial statements and from the history and aside from all the documents that they already require having an additional layer of A.I. to learn their behavior patterns and to send it to kind of trend to see what they're going to do in the next five years. I believe that's very important for sure.

Vit Arnautov: Yes, absolutely. If I may add. So please, you've got the operational costs because you don't need to have like 20, 30 people in the office for decision making. You can automate it at all and provide the system within seconds. So, this also eliminates today human error and it helps you to cut costs. Right.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, for sure. Absolutely. And like you can even start again adding more. And actually, this opens up the door to add more blocks in the future of having even more criteria as of getting approved for loans or what it or the case may be. You guys do something really interesting called Cloud lending. Could you explain a little bit more of what cloud lending is and why it's going to become a trillion-dollar year over year industry?

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, sure. So, cloud lending is really exploding and so we host all our solutions in the cloud, of course. And for each like if it’s a retailer or even a dentist wanted to stand their business and to go online. Or is it a fintech startups. A lot of new players coming into the market. And of course, they have our own challenges and many businesses struggle with the entry barrier. But with a bot platform that we provide, it can be deployed within a day. So, it's ready to use and compare it to the like millions of dollars that banks were investing in R&D to have the same functionality in the past. So, the way we see it is launching now a web platform. A cloud platform for lending is as easy as a WordPress site, which was a really heavy 10 years ago. And now it's a matter of hours. And so, we're even hosting it for you. So, you don't need to pay for hosting separately on your domain name. So, we have a goal in one place. You just buy a subscription and you go with your lending platform.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible. That makes it a lot more easier to use. I like the WordPress analogy. How do you how do you see technology changing in the lending space in the next five years?

Vit Arnautov: Yeah. First of all, the one that we just discussed, the way AI use each, of course. Now, the second thing I would mention is the whole lifecycle of the loan automation. And it's not only the A.I. usage, but all these flaws that are being now automated with lending solutions. So, it's also eliminating the human error and speeding up the process. It's all about processes. Automation is all things like servicing and collection, reporting, underwriting, and even notifications are all automated now. And you don't need once again 20 people to manage the software and be one engineer who's sitting in the office and fine tuning the software. And it works just as it is. No additional features required. Everything's in place already. Now, the one more thing worth mentioning is an expansion to under banked or unbanked regions and new demographics. Cause as far as I remember, it is two and a half billion people who cannot get access to banks right now in the world. Right. So, it's half of the entire population of the planet. And in really developed countries, the customer acquisition cost is already high. And it continues to grow. This why is many financial institutions having branches of them of their software to go with under banked regions and demographics. This is what's going to change in the near years, of course, because, for example, we're providing an international version of our solution that also you can just choose the country you're operating with and change it automatically change the unique identifier system, for example, and the date format, the currency, the language and stage, and it's ready to go and you can work with it. So, in an example within Asia, they have a lot of rural banks and fintech’s trying to reach out offline lenders outside of the big cities and provide loans to them. So, we can see that interest industry is growing faster.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. I mean, you did bring up a good point of the fact that there are two billion people that are getting under serviced. And I think the future of that is very bright. I think there's a ton of opportunity there for helping, you know, very under underdeveloped countries. And just like infrastructure in and of itself and being able to service these kinds of people and help them develop, help them, you know, like foster new growing economies. That in and of itself is very exciting because like so many like so many new innovations and just ideas and just like so amazing things are to come out of that. And that to me is. That's can be very, very exciting.

Vit Arnautov: Yes, absolutely. I totally agree with you. And hopefully Elon Musk will cover the earth with the Internet connection very soon and all those people will be able to reach the Internet with loans to be able to grow their businesses. Because right now they just cannot access their banks, right? Yeah. Yeah. In the next few years, they will be able to get loans or their business and start to get in profit.

Manseeb Khan : Right? For sure. And this and this now start to become like an actual player. Right. In whatever space they may be in. Right. That's very, very exciting.

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, absolutely right. Yeah.

Manseeb Khan : So, I guess, how does alternative lending impact industries, I guess, such as telecom and like medicine then?

Vit Arnautov: Ok, let's start with medicine first, right? Cause medical is they say that 21st century is going to be a century of medicine and biotech and the industry's going to be bigger every year. I believe that in 10 or 15 years you will be able to replace your arm with a bionic we are if you want. But the costs for these such kind of surgeries are really high. And so that's where the lending comes in. And you have to get sometimes the service is very fast and you get money and not get a loan from this organization. And so, the second one is telecom and the previous logic goes there. When a user doesn't have money on their balance, they should be instantly offered with the with a credit line to continue communicating so they could repay it later on. And the second use case for telecoms is that they should be able to get a new tablet or new phone right from the office of the telecom. So, they are starting to finance their retails. And you don't have to go to bank anymore. You can get it right in place. So that's why I think it's going to be big in next couple of years.

Manseeb Khan : Mm hmm. The medicine that I never thought of it in the medicine field of like, hey, you know, you want a new bionic arm. Awesome well there is costs for that. I was like, oh, that now. I mean, it's a lot more sense, especially now with the new I guess now like we have robotics and medicine and like, you know, we can actually like sooner or later we able to replace any single body part we can.

Vit Arnautov: Absolutely agree with you Looking forward into this into that future.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. One hundred percent. So, my I can't wait for that too. Um, are there any other spaces that turnkey lender or are looking into?

Vit Arnautov: Yes, sure. So, we think that retail will be big also. For example, the in-house retail, if you're producing anything you can just provide also services like lending services for that and you will be able to get to competitors with that. You just provide an installment program. Increase in your sales. And then it's very simple, but it's very effective because the sales rises.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, for sure. because now you have one advantage compared to competitors of, hey, you know what? Sure. We sell. I don't know. Artisanal couches, whatever, whatever, whatever. I don't know whatever you might be selling if you know how to feel, if you do have the full amount. That's OK. We actually offer financing terms, and these are the actual financing terms. So, yeah, no, I agree.

Vit Arnautov: And the business gets their interest and the customer gets the reality. And then there are more clients and there is no downside in this in this approach for sure.

Manseeb Khan : Absolutely. So aside from, I guess, a telecom retail. Are there any other industries that you think alternative lending is going to impact next? And why?

Vit Arnautov: Actually, I think lending will be huge in years future That's to what you mentioned. Like 1 trillion dollars. And it can be anything. It can be e-commerce. It can be a medicine, retail, anything. It can be just installment loans, consumer loans, just anything. And the under banked regions, so that you are discussing. Right. So how about what the population will be getting loans?

Manseeb Khan : So, a little insight into the trends of the lending industry. I mean, such as P2P lending and house financing, which we talked about, debt financing, you know, factoring, invoicing. Could you discuss the areas a little bit more in detail and how do you see them developing more in recent years?

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, sure. So once again, the other bank regions, for example, are not just crowd lending and like crowd funding, it can be peer to peer for businesses in Africa, for example. They want to extend their business. They, for example, produce some great goods, but they don't have this capital to yet grow in. So, with the peer to peer, they can access funds from UK and US for from developed countries. Right. And they're just getting those money to expand their business. And this is very efficient loans with low risks, actually, because they have collateral on their businesses. I'm pretty sure that they will be able to give it back the loan within like short terms for business. It's two years, three years. And this is very effective. And for those lenders, for those businesses in Africa, that they just cannot get funding without it. So, this is the only source and the fastest source of funds that they can access. So, the effort to bear is great also.

Manseeb Khan : Right. And this kind of goes in the conversation of like open banking right now. You're going to have let's stick with the Africa example. Right. I'll let you have a business in Africa. They need money to actually start the business up or pay off whatever they need to pay off. And, you know, they could they can actually start getting more competitive rates. You know, hey, let's look at the banks and UK and let's look at the banks and like Germany or like the bank or the banks like Sri Lanka. Let's see. Look what all the rates are. What do we get? And it's kind of creating a more of a of a really creative, not creative, creative, and competitive marketplace for businesses to kind of have a lot more options and not be as and not have such a high bar of entry.

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, Exactly. And also, worth mentioning that for developed countries, the percentage for loans will get 3 percent. Right. And for Africa, the usual percentage might be like 12 percent or 14 percent. And it's OK for them because they just don't have access to money. So, for developed countries, they have the high interest for not developed or developing countries. It's to get money faster. So, the economy of the world is growing because of that, because money is distribution from one region to another. And are like the money is in the place in Africa producing goods and selling goods. So, the economy rises all over the world because of it.

Manseeb Khan : Right. No, absolutely not. You know, it's really helping fuel the flame of having of more of a globalized economy. Right. Exactly. Yeah. So Vit is there. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you want to add on? I guess a couple of things that you definitely want to keep. You want to make sure the audience kind of keeps in mind.

Vit Arnautov: If you're starting a business, just consider having a platform that is really user friendly and to its flexible enough to fit your business needs and flexible enough to fit your future business needs. So, there are platforms right now that allow you to start business with one day and start operations. So, yeah, it's good. It's great. It's like good for your business.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. Yeah. So, make sure you make sure everyone or all the entrepreneurs that we have in the audience, make sure that you stay flexible as much as you can. So. Exactly. Yeah, that's awesome. So Vit Thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Vit Arnautov: Thank you very much for having me Manseeb. Once again. Yeah.

Manseeb Khan : For sure. So, I guess we'll I guess we'll be the best way for audience members to either reach out to you personally and or to Turnkey Lender or if they have any more questions about anything.

Vit Arnautov: Absolutely. You have my contacts. If anything, you can contact me directly or with from our site on Turnkey Lender dot com where we'll be happy to help you. And we'll be happy to answer all of your questions.

Manseeb Khan : Ok. Awesome. Thank you very much. Yeah, for sure.

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 and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy 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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National Post | Andy Blatchford | Oct 5, 2019 The letter was drafted by a lobby group representing signatories run domestic firms that employed more than 35,000 people last year and generated more than $6 billion for the economy OTTAWA — More than 110 Canadian tech CEOs have signed an open letter urging political parties to take action to strengthen the country’s innovative economy, and avoid falling further behind international peers. So far, major parties have put forward pledges in areas like affordability, first-time home-buyers and climate change, but the campaigns have offered few promises designed to drive economic growth in the digital age. “We’re writing because Canada’s productivity is lagging and our future economic prosperity is at risk,” reads the letter addressed to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May. “You can help by developing economic policies that advance innovative Canadian companies, including increasing their access to skilled talent, growth capital and new customers.” The letter was drafted by the Council of Canadian Innovators, a lobby group representing some of the country’s fastest-growing companies. Combined, its signatories run domestic firms that employed more than 35,000 people last year and ...
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CarefulCents  | Ryan Friend | Sep 17, 2019 Of all the types of insurance out there, health insurance is perhaps the most important. After all, without our health, it’s difficult to do much else in life. However, in the United States, which relies mostly on a private health insurance system, costs are high, and it’s often very confusing to know how much you can expect to pay. This is because you can get health insurance in many different ways. You can buy it on your own, receive it from your employer as part of your compensation package, or get it from the federal government. However, just because the world of health insurance is confusing, it does not mean you need to pay more than you should, and knowing the average costs of the many different types of health insurance can help you understand if your premiums are fair or if it’s time for a change. Below we’ve outlined all the different factors that determine the cost of your insurance and also identified the average rates for the various options out there. In addition, you will find some tips to help you save on your insurance so that you can get ...
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health insurance - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
Coindesk | David Pan | Oct 9, 2019 Mutual fund giant Vanguard has partnered with Nasdaq Ventures-backed blockchain startup Symbiont to develop a trading platform for the $6 trillion currency market, the companies said. With the new platform, Vanguard, which manages $5.2 trillion, aims to lower transaction costs for the trillions of dollars worth of currencies it trades annually by boosting peer-to-peer trading for investors, connecting them directly via blockchain technology. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk the company teamed up with Vanguard to build the currency platform, confirming a Bloomberg report that cited an anonymous source. The platform has been operational for two months and completed its first trades during the time, according to the report. A Vanguard spokesperson told CoinDesk: “Vanguard is currently piloting a project focused on improving the efficiency and reducing risk of FX hedging.” The new platform is part of the fund manager’s commitment to lowering the cost of investing for all investors, the spokesperson said. Neither company would provide further details of the pilot. See:  HSBC settles FX deals worth $250 billion on blockchain in last year Machine Learning in Finance – Present and Future Applications The project, if successful, would be another important milestone ...
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Vanguard ForeX blockchain platform - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
Finextra | Oct 8, 2019 The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on an innovation hub in Switzerland that will initially focus on research into digital central bank money and distributed ledger technology. The SNB is working with SIX on the research, embarking on a proof of concept to explore how digital central bank money could be used in the settlement of tokenized assets between market participants. The project is making use of the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) platform, which is currently being built and promises to be the world's first end-to-end exchange for digital assets when it launches next year offering listing, trading, settlement and custody service. See:  Mark Carney’s Trojan Unicorn — Are Central Banks Considering Stealth Nationalization in Sovereign Digital Currencies? The SDX system will be used to explore technical possibilities for integrating digital central bank money into DLT platforms. Options include the connection of the existing Swiss Interbank Clearing System or the issue of digital Swiss franc tokens by the SNB for financial market participants. Jos Dijsselhof, CEO, SIX, says: "We are pleased to contribute to this initiative and, through SIX Digital Exchange, to explore the technological possibilities with ...
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Andreessen Horowitz | Anish Acharya In 2006, LendingClub introduced a then-novel business model: the ability to offer online personal loans to millions of underserved customers. The peer-to-peer lender was a media and investor darling, hailed as a tech-enabled alternative to traditional banks. When LendingClub went public in 2014, it was valued at $8.5 billion, the year’s single largest US tech IPO. Now, five years later, that fintech pioneer has lost 85 percent of its market value. Meanwhile, mobile upstart MoneyLion launched in 2013, also providing online personal loans—a direct competitor to LendingClub. Today, MoneyLion claims more than 5 million users and is valued at nearly $1 billion. See:  Peer to Peer Lending: The Future of Fintech is Now LendingClub had significant competitive advantages, from low customer acquisition costs—back then, personal loans keywords weren’t nearly as competitive on Google and Facebook was actively promoting LendingClub as an early F8 partner—to improved underwriting (the company provided lenders with access to customers’ credit score, total debt, income, monthly cash flow, and social data). So why is LendingClub experiencing growing pains while MoneyLion sees significant growth? Though the latter started out solely as an online lender, it quickly morphed into an all-in-one lending, savings, ...
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fintech lenders in disguise - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
CNBC | Chloe Taylor | Oct 8, 2019 Singapore has overtaken the U.S. to become the most competitive nation in the world, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). In its 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, the WEF measured the strength of 103 key indicators, such as inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs, across 141 countries. The key indicators in the report were organized into 12 pillars, which included institutions, macroeconomic stability and health. The U.S., which held the top spot in 2018′s ranking, dropped into second place this year, although the report’s authors noted that it “remains an innovation powerhouse.” America received the highest score in the world in several subcategories, including ease of finding skilled employees and venture capital availability, with the U.S. also being ranked higher than any other country in the business dynamism pillar. However, the country scored relatively low in some categories, with increasing trade tariffs, declining life expectancy and low digital skills among the American population taking a toll on the United States’ overall ranking. The WEF noted that life expectancy in the U.S. is now lower than it is in China, with the U.S. having only the 39th highest life expectancy in the world ...
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McKinsey & Company | Oct 2019 Ten years ago 10 years ago, the US retail banking industry was in the depths of the global financial crisis, with many one-time leading institutions struggling to survive. Since then, after bringing in billions in fresh capital, US banks have made a return to stable ground and greater liquidity. Despite this progress, aggregate return on equity is at the lower bound of sustainability, and the industry’s price-to-book value is about 1.4, not far above where it stood in 2009. Customer trust has improved from the downturn but is still well below pre-crisis levels. Though most banks were able to avoid unsettling challenges in the following ten years, few were able to break out and significantly outperform the industry. Now, however, several major forces are accelerating the evolution of the US banking industry–the encroachment of new competitors, rising expectations from customers on service levels and corporate responsibility, and an intensifying war for talent—and promising to make doing business more challenging in the coming ten years. Further, US banks have yet to go through the restructuring that has already swept European and Asian markets, where a majority of services are delivered digitally. In this report, we ...
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Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Oct 7, 2019 Last week, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) adopted a “Blanket Order” for “Startup Crowdfunding Registration and Prospectus Exemptions.” In effect, the ASC was seeking to improve access to capital for smaller firms – a good thing- but the move also highlights the disparity between the provinces and a greater need for national harmonization of online capital formation rules. Financial services in Canada are all regulated at the provincial level thus there exists a degree of disparity regarding rules. While a smaller country by population, Canada has consistently ranked high in entrepreneurship and innovation. According to a recent KPMG report, the Canadian Fintech ecosystem is thriving but, like any other country, more can be done. Crowdfund Insider reached out to Denise Weeres, Director, New Economy at the ASC and Craig Asano, Executive Director and founder of the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA). The NCFA has long led the charge advocating on behalf of Canada’s emerging Fintech market and various securities crowdfunding platforms. The New Economy Division of the ASC works closely with staff to coordinate efforts to facilitate capital-raising by new economy companies entering the capital market. The Division ...
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TNW Hard Fork | Yessi Bello Perez | Oct 7, 2019 As Facebook deals with the loss of PayPal‘s backing for its ‘cryptocurrency‘ Libra, the tech giant must now get ready to answer EU regulators’ questions about the potential risks posed by the project. The European Commission has requested that Facebook and the Libra Association – the body tasked with supervising the digital currency – answer questions relating to financial stability, money laundering, and data privacy risks. According to the Financial Times, which saw the commission’s questionnaire last week, this is all part of EU financial commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis’ efforts to asses whether projects such as Libra should be regulated in the EU, if new regulation is required, or whether the ‘cryptocurrency‘ should be allowed to operate at all. See:  Libra: France opposes the development of Facebook’s currency “on European soil” News on China cryptocurrency and more reforms Competition Bureau’s call for intel on anti-competitive conduct in digital economy raises eyebrows The news couldn’t come at a worse time for Facebook, which has faced increasing scrutiny and opposition from regulators in recent months. Just last month, Libra‘s founders were subject to questioning by 26 central bank officials in what was the first encounter between the ...
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Facebook Libra and EU committee - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
Betakit | Isabelle Kirkwood | Oct 4, 2019 This week, Hut 8 Mining Corp., a cryptocurrency mining and blockchain infrastructure company headquartered in Toronto, announced it would begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on October 8. In addition to expediting new listings and transactions, the Sandbox could also become a channel for new securities policy development. The company is the first blockchain or cryptocurrency company to be listed on the TSX, and is also the first to be listed via the TSX Sandbox. The program aims to accept more listing applications and transactions, and grant access to newer companies that don’t meet all the traditional requirements to be listed, such as market capitalization, a long-form prospectus, management team’s experience level, incorporation in Canada, or corporate governance practices. “Our move to the TSX, the senior public market of the TMX Group, is another significant step in our evolution to provide improved liquidity and enhanced public disclosure to investors,” Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Hut 8, said when the company first announced it would list last month. “We are grateful to the TSX for conditionally approving Hut 8 to be the first company through the TSX Sandbox.” The TSX said Sandbox ...
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bitcoin mining hut 8 lists - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy

Fintech Fridays Ep34: Accelerating Fintech Growth with Brendan Holt Dunn

NCFA Canada | July 6, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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Ep34-July 6: Accelerating Fintech Growth

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST:  BRENDAN HOLT DUNN, Founder Holt Accelerator, (Linkedin)

BIO: 
Brendan is an investment guru who has close to 15 years in managing multi-billion dollar asset portfolios. He is currently the CEO of Holdun, a 5th generation family business which offers family office services, wealth management services, trust services, corporate services, concierge services and financial services and was awarded best Multi-Family Office in the Caribbean 2017 for Holdun Family Office. A tech savvy investor, he has made many investments in startups including Stradigi AI, Addepar, Uber, LeAD Sports Accelerator, Sway Ventures, and Falcon 5. He has accumulated five finance and investment certificates to compliment his finance degree from King’s University College. He’s considered by entrepreneurs to be founder friendly.

About this episode:

On this week's episode of NCFA's Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Brendan Dunn the Managing partner of the Holt Accelerator program. They talk about why are accelerators are important, how the can find the right companies and what their Fintech Show is. Enjoy!

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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

 


Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan: Brendan thanks so much for sitting down today.

Brendan Dunn: Thank you for having me. Appreciate it and excited to talk.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah for sure. So, Brendan for I guess the five or six people that may not know what the Holt accelerator is. Could you tell us a little bit more about what it is and a little bit more of your background?

Brendan Dunn: Sure. Maybe the easiest way to start is my background and kind of segway into how we started the Holt accelerator. So originally, we are a fifth-generation family office. That's our core business called The Holden family office where that came from is from my great great grandfather Sir Herbert Holt came over from Ireland to Canada was extremely successful control over 300 businesses around the world for non-Canadians most notably longest serving president chairman of the Royal Bank of Canada for around thirty five years C.P. rail and Montreal light heat power which is one of the largest energy producers in North and South America that was nationalized and still exists today as Quebec hydro. Since then we're a single family office for four generations and now we're multifamily office which means we manage our family's assets alongside those of our friends and other friends high net worth individuals other families or charitable institutions or foundations we don't manage any institutional money but our background has always been in finance. And then as we got more clients in the multifamily office we were investing as our family always had in venture capital private equity. We had to take into consideration we had other clients to look after and when we started to do more V.C. specifically we realized that anything outside of finance related investments were better off being a CO investor not being really a lead acting and more of a passive approach and relying on our partners who are experts in the field be it real estate or wherever to source better deals and bring us on. But on the finance side that's where we believe we really have an expertise. We have a knowledge base and our network is all around finance giving our banking history. So, we felt that we wanted to be more active in the fintech space when we're doing our investments. And we felt that given that the best way to do that is have our own accelerator. So that's where  Holt fintech accelerator came from obviously named at Holt in honor and my great great grandfather and only focused on fintech investments. So, we're super laser focused on what we're doing. We're not diverging into real estate or anything else and we can't pretend to be experts. So it's fintech only and it's there for us and for all of our partners or our clients and our investors and our network to source the best top 10 roughly quality fintech ideas every year from around the world to bring them to Montreal to encircle them in our in our ecosystem and embrace them in our network and help them grow.

Manseeb Khan: How important are accelerators such as yourself in the fintech space right. Because you know startups are really hot right now. I mean there's just tons of accelerators there's tons of incubators and there's tons of other programs for financial tech companies or just any startup company to really get into. So, I guess my question to you is why are accelerators such as yourself important for fintech companies?

Brendan Dunn: Yeah well, I am thinking a first has be on quality the accelerator itself. Obviously, you know if it's a sub performing company or partner, you're working within the quality of you're going to get out of it isn't that great. But let's put aside and say any good accelerator in any industry is very beneficial for startups so that's a general approach now if we talk about fintech specifically or for or Holt fintech. I think it's very important in the sense that all these startups want. They want what they need. They need access to a network be it investors or strategic partners or financial institutions to work with. They need capital and they need guidance on how to structure an operating professional manner and get their due diligence in everything or their corporate governance in order. That's what an accelerator does if it's doing its job. We have over 200 advisors from a you know 30 to 50 of the top 50  VC funds around the world. Most of the most about all the banks in Canada some from the states and we're growing our banking partnerships globally and access to capital and then we have legal teams, financing teams and accounting teams and that also down and helped them structure themselves and that's what we do we accelerate their growth so they come and work with us in a three month very intense program. At the beginning we figure out what their top three needs are during that program. So, each company might have a different need and we tailor the program for them. So, some might need their first institutional client they've got their product ready they've got the marketing anything else is great they just need network we'll focus on making the proper introductions to C-level executives at banks or financial institutions or  VC funds to them. Others might need help structuring or getting the product finalized so we'll tailor the program to them. But we're building is a customized program where the goal is at the end of program, they're ready for the race. They've got our restructured they've got their valuations are financials everything prepared where they can be successful. And we've opened them up to our network to allow them to access where they need to get, they’re either the first client or to grow revenue.

Manseeb Khan: That's incredible yeah. You mentioned something really important customized programs right. I mean having accelerator having a incubate or having a program to help start companies grow is very important to be as flexible as you possibly can because in the startup world everything changes on a day to day to day basis if not an hourly basis right. Things change things get moved around so like creating more flexible program creating a program that is right for every single company that does come in. I think it's very crucial, so we have had Commercial Passport on the show in the past. Yes, actually a part of the Holt accelerator. So I guess could you just let us know what do you guys look for in a company before you take them on and what your bar of entry is right because you talked about you guys you have an intensive program, customized program. Could you just give us I guess a walkthrough of how to get into Holt and take it from there?

Brendan Dunn: One hundred percent Bryce is a Rockstar he's one of our we have a lot of great teams I think all of them are great in the first call so we're quite lucky. I think that also comes down to our screening process. And you know Bryce is a testament to that. He's doing very well, and congratulations is his success to date as it relates in general to how you get in the accelerator. Obviously everyone first goes to our Web site and they fill out an application during the application window which is now closed for this year and our first year if a referencing Bryce for example I think we had four hundred and five applications during a two month application window from around the world. I forget all the stats, but I think from over 50 companies’ sorry companies 50 countries from there it whittles down between who's actually fully completed the entire application. So, I say out of the 400 I assume 250 to 300 those are fully complete the ones that weren't completed. Obviously, we don't throw out, but we say they can't move the next step. Then we let them base on you know we know, or we are in constant communication with our VC funds and our financial tensions and they give us lists of the challenges the problems are looking to solve. So we take that list because those are our partners and those are the ones most likely if it's a V.C. fund to be writing a check at the end of the program or a financial institution to be there partnering or doing a PMC with them or entering some type of relationship with them. So, it's important for us to see what challenges or what the market is looking for in terms of fintech’s for that year. So we take that and we take the top three hundred and we'll narrow that down to 100 not saying the other 200 aren't good it just means you're not a fit currently for what our partners are looking for or what the demand is in the marketplace currently of that top 100. That's when we go into what we call it. It's the face to face conversations. Obviously not everyone's looking in Montreal or Toronto. So we do that all through video chats on those video just 30 minutes and it's always someone from Holt myself or Jan Arp or our team and an adviser mostly V.C. funds at that point because they're very good at getting the due diligence and asking the correct questions about vetting a startup. But there's always an adviser on the call which shows the commitment that our advisors are bringing in providing support. So, we use their feedback. We have 30-minute calls with those top hundred teams. We take the feedback from whoever's on the call. There's two or three people on the call. And we add up the scores and then obviously we have a ranking of the top hundred people the top hundred companies and then we'll top 30 roughly 30 to 40 times or whatever are invited to a formal what we call selection day event in Montreal where they have to hopefully attend in person on our first year we unfortunately had a couple of people that due to visa requirements had to participate remotely. But the goal is to have all the top 30 and 40 teams in-person in Montreal for it to do that. What happens there is a speed dating. So they will have a booth they can set it up and obviously get everything ready and every 15 minutes there's meeting a team of three to five advisors we group the advisers together maybe it's like four people from one bank or four people from different funds we also to make sure it's a good team of people they don't all have to be related but it's speed dating for about five or six hours each day. And in the first day will be 15 teams in the second they will be the next 15 teams. So that's very powerful just for the startups alone and get access to I think last year we had 300 attendees at that event. So very powerful, very valuable for the startups just to attend that event. And then from there once again all the advisors and all the participants and attendees of those speed dating speed dating event in Montreal they score every team based on a system that we prepared. And then we ranked the top 30 teams and get feedback and if we know it Hey every single bank is rated this company in the top five that obviously we're going to pick those. So, we take the ratings and the feedback from all of our participants and advisors which are the V.C. funds and the banks and financial institutions and or angel investors and we use that and we put it all together and hopefully we have a consensus of the top 10. And then the goal is from there to pick the top 10 and invite them formally to invite them to participate in that year's cohort that was last year. This year we had over five hundred and thirty applications even more fully completed. So, it's showing that our brand and our reputation is growing globally and shocking we've actually I think we have extremely strong forward this year which is hard to compete to beat last year's cohort which I think was amazing for our first year. So, we're getting we're constantly getting strong teams around the world. Obviously since we haven't picked the top teams, I can't give a breakdown of where they're going to be based but it's definitely a global reach. So, it's very exciting and I think a very valuable process for startups to go through and hopefully they can be in the top 10.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. That's incredible. I mean I guess from the start of the show people may have had the I guess idea in their head like oh you know Holt accelerator  is a very small accelerator they're just you know they're on their way to growing you know they're on the route to be something big but like the fact that you guys are growing from 300 to 500 already going globally and under what five years that's in and of itself is a pretty incredible. So, you guys do have if people actually check out the Holt accelerator website you guys have a pretty great breakdown of all the companies that did get accepted in your cohort which happens to be a very diverse group of people. How do you how you see yourself expanding into maybe other aspects of I guess technology and I guess hopefully you can answer as well the programs do you see roll out in the future. I mean do you guys see yourself maybe even having a very AI focused kind of an accelerator or maybe something else. How do you guys kind of see have hold accelerator growing in the next I guess 5 to 10 years.

Brendan Dunn: That's a great question. And we actually have a full shareholding After selection days which are next week in Montreal to discuss that. I think first off on the growth we're still going to always remain laser focused. It's only going to be fintech. We're not going to pretend to become real estate experts and create a real estate accelerator that's on our vision here. We don't want generalists. We don't want to dilute our brand or get greedy and try to do something stupid and pretend to be something we're not. So, anything we do in the future it's always going to be fintech related. That's our expertise that's our background that's our network and that's our reputation. So, it's always going to fintech as it relates to maybe something specific. AI in fintech you can argue that any fintech company needs some type of AI. So, whether they've incorporated or not the most of them could or will benefit from AI. So, you know  we're able to partner with one of the top companies in Canada Stradigiai as well as universities and schools in Montreal as well the nonprofits which as we all know is one of those very Montreal is one the  world leader in AI. So, if we see a fintech company that needs or guidance or help in their A.I. we have the network and the partners be able to assist them in that. But to have an A.I. focused fintech not really possible something fintech most in techs already will need AI if we could have a A.I. focused company accelerator wouldn't really be fintech focused so I think we'd stay away from that. Because again we won't be laser focused on fintech as relates to our growth. What we have seen is not everyone can make the trip or the journey to Canada for the accelerator. So how do you grow and still work with these great startups from around the world. I think our vision is to create hubs in different jurisdictions around the world the same strategy the same vision. It's just having more specific local partners. So obviously in Canada we have strong relationships with the Canadian banks. Does your key demographic. If you're going to be doing business in Canada. So, if we were looking to do something in Australia we would then partner with the Australian banks and they get a network of Australian venture capital funds or  Australian angel investors or Asia Apex Pacific Partners. Same thing for Europe and Latin America. So, I think our growth is to create hubs of the whole fintech accelerator. Different jurisdictions so that we can basically let's say Latin America we can get all the Latin American teams to go to the Latin American fintech accelerator and have relationships with the financial institutions the V.C. funds and the angel investors that are very well-connected and do business in Latin America. Which can be different partners and in Canada. Because if you're a Latin American company which that made it in the Canadian fintech accelerator. Hopefully we can definitely if we bring you we know we can add value but it might not be in the Canadian banks might not be the partners that you're looking for really you want to be strong in your local market which would be back in Latin America. Same for Europe or Australia or other areas around the world. So, I think our growth model is to create specific hubs and different jurisdictions to allow more localized partners in those areas to work with the local fintech’s really create localized ecosystems. So, these companies can then you know basically grow and dominate their local market and then work with our other hubs around the world to expand throughout our network. So basically, creating a global ecosystem with local hubs and then piggybacking from that into other jurisdictions with trusted friends and partners through the accelerator.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah, no doubt mixed that that seems to make a lot of sense. I mean Fintech is globally it's a very it's becoming a very powerful industry. You're having like some of the places you've mentioned like Latin America specifically there's a lot of really amazing fintech companies coming out of Latin America do some really incredible work which is going to help with tons and tons of people. So, what is the most exciting aspect of fintech for you and what are you most excited about when it comes to fintech. I mean you guys have a lot of amazing companies you might be biased on some maybe not but yeah to what are you most excited about when it comes to fintech because of your very deep-rooted family history.

Brendan Dunn: It's a very good question and try and figure out how to answer that. I think fintech in general excites me simply because it's constantly evolving how the world does business. Everyone touches financial institutions as a client as a partner etc. right. So fintech and you know any of our fintech’s that we were honored to work with last year and the ones that we will be working with this year and the future cohorts every one of them is solving a problem to make these a business better whether it's from the KYC AML problem like Bryce was from credit's credit scoring like Curu other ways or just all fintech do is they have these they see these problems in their personal lives or however they come up with their ideas. That they've had in the financial industry and they create a  solution through their startup. So, I'm just excited about fintech in general simply because they're they are trying to make everyone's lives around the world better and easier. You know all this touch finance. Sometimes we have we have headaches, we have problems, we don't wait like waiting in line to the banks et cetera et cetera wires get loss, clearance takes too long to get approved. Invest in the fund takes a month nowadays. So, everyone we're looking at is taking a problem in the financial industry and solving that. So, in general everyone should be supportive of fintech startups because they make people's lives around the world easier.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No. I couldn't agree more. FinTech’s really make a lot of lives easier. I mean that's kind of the reason why since I kind of started in the first place Could you let the audience know what the not sure if you can share this what the FinTech show is, I tried googling this. I tried; I didn't find anything on this. What is the FinTech show. Could you let us know?

Brendan Dunn: I just going back to last question is thing you know exciting is the fact that all these giant banks they are amazing they're very good at what they do, and we need them right. But any business that that's big it can't move quickly right. So, the point of fintech or any startup in any industry bespoke some Fintech is to is to solve the problems that the banks can't right. They are small they are nimble they can move quickly they can come up with ideas and they can test them out. And if it works then they have the partners will can adopt it and take it to a global scale to their client base. So definitely very excited about fintech because they can work with their partner. They can solve the current problems that people have in the world and then we can bring them to the partners basically take that out to the masses. As it relates to the with the show itself. That is Jan Arp the managing partners baby. So, whatever you mostly every accelerator does around the world at the end of the three-month program is that they have what's called maybe Demo Day. That's when all the teams have finished the three-month program and you put on a basically a pitch, a pitch show, a pitch contest in the sense where you invite as many people as you can. All your advisors, V.C. funds, potential investors and all the teams you'll get on stage and a present. Who they are? So, it's their final chance at the end to present their companies. You know we've been polishing them and their pitch for the last three months and they open up the round. So, I'm Brendan Dunn I started this company this right do you know it's about a five- or 10-minute presentation and raising this amount of money at this valuation. This one uses the money. That's the standard right. But what we've done is what Jan has done give him full credit is make it more fun. Most those things are dry just blah blah blah, and everyone falls asleep Jan has taken it to the next level. We've gotten great feedback from last year and he's even going to up the ante this year. He's turned it into a show a full actual entertaining enjoyable show just like not going to a movie but it's like going to a live play. The teams still have the chance to put across and pitch what they're doing but the audience is engaged in their interactive and they're not falling asleep so they you know from last year which their first year. Nothing but amazing feedback and chopping on what we've accomplished in that show. And hats off to Jan the end of the day. It's as simple as it is a demo day where the teams are pitching but it's more entertaining enjoyable atmosphere with a little bit of entertainment around there potentially maybe some cirque du soleil people there this year so it's just making it more audience friendly and allowing people to enjoy the moment and focus more and have some cocktails some food. It's a great it's a great evening where people are actually excited to go you know other normally people go. I have to go to a demo day because I'm an adviser this can be quite boring. People have said when is your Fintech Show?  I'm excited to go. Last year was amazing let's do this again. Hats off to what you've done. So that's what it is and congratulations Jan to coming up with that vision. And you know he kind of keeps it closely guarded so I'm excited to see what he does this year to.

Manseeb Khan: I'm excited with the Cirque du Soleil people you sold me on that I'm like that's all I expect and I'm like I'm expecting like a magician maybe some standup. I don't know some like crazy really.

Brendan Dunn: We tried it we tried to make it fun and it did it but at the end of the day the teams this is important part each team still has their time to present themselves. It's just that the audience is more awake and having fun and therefore able to focus on what people are saying.

Manseeb Khan:  Now think of somebody pitching their company or juggling knives. OK. So, Brendan Could you lastly but not leastly could you let us know the best way for the audience to either reach out to you personally. And or Holt accelerator.

Brendan Dunn: Yeah. Generally, the holds accelerator. The info it holds accelerator.ai my personal e-mail is Brendan@holtaccelerator.ai. I am happy to talk to anybody. If people want to apply. I think it's on the website holtaccelerator.ai/apply. The applications close closed for this year but people can already start submitting for next year. You know it's always somewhat open for people to apply and then we close it a couple months before we start selection days for next year. But we have a database of thousands of startups around the world now we're tracking them or monitoring them and we're going to be creating an ecosystem where everyone even if you don't make the accelerator can still participate in our network. So very excited for the future and looking forward to meeting this year's cohort.

Manseeb Khan: Hey you and me both. Brendan Thank you so much for sitting down with me today and I am super excited to have you back on.

Brendan Dunn: It's a pleasure. Thank you so much and always available.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome.

Brendan Dunn: Take care

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 and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy 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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National Post | Andy Blatchford | Oct 5, 2019 The letter was drafted by a lobby group representing signatories run domestic firms that employed more than 35,000 people last year and generated more than $6 billion for the economy OTTAWA — More than 110 Canadian tech CEOs have signed an open letter urging political parties to take action to strengthen the country’s innovative economy, and avoid falling further behind international peers. So far, major parties have put forward pledges in areas like affordability, first-time home-buyers and climate change, but the campaigns have offered few promises designed to drive economic growth in the digital age. “We’re writing because Canada’s productivity is lagging and our future economic prosperity is at risk,” reads the letter addressed to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May. “You can help by developing economic policies that advance innovative Canadian companies, including increasing their access to skilled talent, growth capital and new customers.” The letter was drafted by the Council of Canadian Innovators, a lobby group representing some of the country’s fastest-growing companies. Combined, its signatories run domestic firms that employed more than 35,000 people last year and ...
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Finextra | Oct 8, 2019 The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on an innovation hub in Switzerland that will initially focus on research into digital central bank money and distributed ledger technology. The SNB is working with SIX on the research, embarking on a proof of concept to explore how digital central bank money could be used in the settlement of tokenized assets between market participants. The project is making use of the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) platform, which is currently being built and promises to be the world's first end-to-end exchange for digital assets when it launches next year offering listing, trading, settlement and custody service. See:  Mark Carney’s Trojan Unicorn — Are Central Banks Considering Stealth Nationalization in Sovereign Digital Currencies? The SDX system will be used to explore technical possibilities for integrating digital central bank money into DLT platforms. Options include the connection of the existing Swiss Interbank Clearing System or the issue of digital Swiss franc tokens by the SNB for financial market participants. Jos Dijsselhof, CEO, SIX, says: "We are pleased to contribute to this initiative and, through SIX Digital Exchange, to explore the technological possibilities with ...
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Andreessen Horowitz | Anish Acharya In 2006, LendingClub introduced a then-novel business model: the ability to offer online personal loans to millions of underserved customers. The peer-to-peer lender was a media and investor darling, hailed as a tech-enabled alternative to traditional banks. When LendingClub went public in 2014, it was valued at $8.5 billion, the year’s single largest US tech IPO. Now, five years later, that fintech pioneer has lost 85 percent of its market value. Meanwhile, mobile upstart MoneyLion launched in 2013, also providing online personal loans—a direct competitor to LendingClub. Today, MoneyLion claims more than 5 million users and is valued at nearly $1 billion. See:  Peer to Peer Lending: The Future of Fintech is Now LendingClub had significant competitive advantages, from low customer acquisition costs—back then, personal loans keywords weren’t nearly as competitive on Google and Facebook was actively promoting LendingClub as an early F8 partner—to improved underwriting (the company provided lenders with access to customers’ credit score, total debt, income, monthly cash flow, and social data). So why is LendingClub experiencing growing pains while MoneyLion sees significant growth? Though the latter started out solely as an online lender, it quickly morphed into an all-in-one lending, savings, ...
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Fintech Fridays Episode 32: Rallying behind Bitcoin with Frederick T. Pye

NCFA Canada | May 24, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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Ep32-May 24:  Rallying behind Bitcoin with Frederick T. Pye

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST:  FREDERICK T. PYEPresident & CEO3iQ Corp (Linkedin)

BIO:  Fred kick-started his career as a precious metal and foreign exchange trader at Guardian Trust. In 1986, they were the first to list gold, silver, and platinum certificates on the Montreal Stock Exchange. Fred later joined Fidelity Investments, where he was part of a team that saw its assets rise from 85 million to over 7.5 billion. Through the launch of creative and exotic investment products, Fred started his own firm, which worked diligently with Canadian regulatory bodies to establish the first mutual fund in Canada that was allowed to take short positions. Finally, as founder and CEO of 3iQ, he and his team have worked cooperatively with the OSC for the last 2 and a half years to launch the first regulated Bitcoin fund in Canada. This fund will be the first major exchange-traded cryptocurrency fund in North America.

About this episode:  On this week's episode of NCFA's Fintech Friday Podcast, our host sits down with Frederick T. Pye from 3iQ. The chat about bitcoin trusts, ETF's and rallying behind bitcoin.  Enjoy!

 

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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

 


Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan: Thank you so much for sitting down today.

Frederick T. Pye: Great. Thanks for having me Manseeb.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah for sure. So, Fred for I guess the five or six audience members that may not know essentially who you are and the amazing work that you do at three IQ. Could you just give us a real quick rundown?

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah well first of all I think I'm probably one of the oldest guys in crypto so that's why most people would know me from that and I guess my claim to fame was I was part of a team back in the late 80s that took Fidelity Investments from 80 million to 7.5 billion and really put them on the map in Canada with a lot of people don't know is before that I was actually the first one to list gold silver and platinum certificates on the Montreal Stock Exchange for a way to give investment advisors to buy gold and silver and platinum for their client portfolios. And it was really funny because back in the early 80s when we're trying to do that the Securities Commission as the regulator said well hang on a second gold is speculative it's volatile. It's used for illegal purposes. And you know why it’s would not in the public interest to have gold listed on an exchange. And funny enough flash forward 30 some odd years later I'm trying to do the same by listing Bitcoin ether in somebody other digital assets on the exchanges.

Manseeb Khan: Right. That's. It's funny how times have changed. Right now, it's gold and silver are probably the most secure investment that you probably are getting to. Exactly. For a lot of the audience members that may not know  3iQ actually works with the Ontario security regulation. Fred could you just talk about your dealings with that you guys also work with not only the Ontario securities commission, but you guys are also partnered up with the Canadian securities exchange. Could you just talk about just the relationship between that, how that happened and pretty much what can the audience expect when it comes to a timeline with both partnerships?|

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah well, I would say that we've been we have been working with the Ontario Securities Commission for a few years now to get this fund to the market and it's kind of come to a head and I'll explain that in just a bit. But to give 3iQ or a bit of a background we actually started in 2012. I was working with Landry investment management we were running a global multi asset portfolio. And when you're running these global multi asset portfolios you've noticed that everything just was becoming completely correlated. So as a hedge fund manager I was always looking for perfect non correlated asset class and sure enough I fell down the rabbit hole and stumbled on it on bitcoin at the beginning of 2015 and it was shortly after then that Chris Bronski and Adam White wrote a white paper saying ringing the bell on a new asset class. And Chris I knew from Arc invest quite well and I read this white paper and I said hey now we can create a product out of it. So, we were going to just do acquire a fund that was already listed on the  Toronto Stock Exchange and de facto do an RTO and end up with a Bitcoin Fund on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2016 circa three-hundred-and-fifty-dollar price of Bitcoin. We went to those securities regulators in November of 2016 and said you know we can go in the backdoor or we can go in the front door and we'll go in the front door if you want to be first then if you love the asset class and you should move ahead and the guy by the name of John Mountain said absolutely we want to be first. We can do this we can get through all the hurdles that we have to do. So, we filed in in April of 2017 the first Bitcoin Fund to be listed on a major exchange like the Toronto Stock Exchange. All of a sudden we went back and forth two or three times just getting the custodian right getting the insurance right getting the clearing right getting all of the pieces right and then all of a sudden it hit a brick wall the fund got to hit a brick wall because Ontario created something called the launch pad. The launch pad if you read their website it says they're there to facilitate and reduce the regulatory burden to get crypto funds to the market around exactly the opposite happened. And we got thrown into regulatory hell from April 2016. We then launched a hedge fund called a Global crypto Asset Fund which is an exempt market fund. They asked us to pull back. We said Well it's an exempt market and it's not under the regulatory purview of the OSC. They said no but we as money managers are. So, Canada went the route to try and regulate money managers instead of regulating the funds which is what they should have done. And unfortunately, when you take a look at the Price Waterhouse study that comes out there's 250 asset managers running 10 billion dollars in the United States of crypto assets. In Canada you have to know you know it's absolutely silly. There were three. There were four. ROSS SMITH From Calgary a close shop. And the third one. First block capital with their bitcoin trust. We just recently purchased the bitcoin trust from first block capital, and we bought their ETF from them and First Block made an investment in  3iQ. So, we're just kind of teaming up together. But having said that after two and a half years we finally got a firm rejection and we have applied to go to a public hearing on June 3rd. So, we encourage all your listeners to look that up and come and join us at the Ontario Securities Commission and see our center to get the first bitcoin fund listed in Canada.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I think many of the audience members would be very excited to join you. And it was June 3rd. You said right. `

Frederick T. Pye: June 3rd Yeah.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. Okay cool. We'll definitely. Well we circle back when the date comes closer just to give everybody  a little bit more of a rally call. So, I want to touch a little bit. So, I'm going to put a pin in the First Block and just essentially what a bitcoin trust is. Could you guys talk a little bit more of your current initiatives right now that you have now with the dealings of the Ontario Securities Commission with First Block. So, I guess could you talk a little bit of what the current initiatives at 3iQ are.

Frederick T. Pye: So, when one First Block launched the bitcoin trust it isn't again exempt market when we say exempt market it means it's for accredited investors and that's an absolutely ridiculous component because the people that understand bitcoin are 35 or 40 years and under. And you know they don't necessarily make two hundred and fifty thousand a year for the last three years. They don't necessarily have amassed five million dollars in assets. So, you know a completely misses the audience on crypto funds. However, it's the only option we have at this time. Clients are investors such as yourself can open up an account. It's a discretionary account at 3iQ and our company is portfolio managers can buy a free RSP or your TFSA. But because First Block had the bitcoin trust we didn't launch an exempt market Bitcoin trust because we're going for a public Bitcoin Fund. Yeah. So right now, in the exempt market in meaning in the accredited investor market we have the bitcoin trust. And we also have something called the  3iQ global crypto asset fund. The Global crypto asset is 50 percent Bitcoin, 35 percent ether and 10 percent lite coin. And this fund obviously is absolutely on fire. Now I think its up 100 percent year to date. So, we're hoping that the whole crypto market settles down for a bit because 100 percent good for a 12-month return. I don't need any more this year.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah you exceeded your targets and then some.

Frederick T. Pye: So, we've exceeded our targets at 100 percent this year. But you know it gives us a bit more of a broader post. It's very low for me. I'll turn it over on how Canadians can actually purchase that and just get that off our website it says. Click on the button buy here as accredited investor or they send us a note we'll walk them through the whole process. So that's really the two products we have. We do have an ETF which is the distributed ledger technology adopter’s ETF. They weren't allowed to use block chain in their ETF. So, they use distributed ledger technology adopters. This is more of a US large cap. So, this is this will hold the people such as IBM, Apple and the rest of Amazon the people that have blockchain initiative announced public block chain initiative that fund also does very very well. So, you know we're encouraged about that can be bought under the symbol f b c n on the Toronto Stock Exchange or sorry on the neo exchange from your advisors. Mm hmm.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome. So, you guys are coming out with a stable coin with Mavennet. Could you talk about the I guess how the partnership started. Why you guys considered creating a stable coin and what can we expect from the stable coin partners?

Frederick T. Pye: Well the stable coin is called QCAD and everything 3iQ. Well we'll produce we'll have a Q on the front of it right for the for the just audio listeners. He's actually wearing the QCAD shirt . He just stood up and showed up. Yeah. So.

Frederick T. Pye: About six months ago I noticed Tether and a few of the other stable coins started to proliferate and I started pontificating and I said you know what. The forex markets about a five trillion dollar a day trading market the single largest business and trading market in the world. But you know there's a couple of thousand crypto traders. How do we get the tens of thousands of forex traders to trade crypto and all of a sudden people needed the US dollar stable coin? So, when they were on exchanges when Bitcoin starts to fall, they were somewhere they could hide, you know they could put their accounts into a stable coin, and they could hide and wait for the next rally. Yeah. And I was looking at this and I said Well if you've now got a digital US dollar meaning a digital US stable coin if you have now a digital Canadian Dollar or digital Hong Kong dollar or a digital Japanese Yen all of a sudden the forex traders know how to trade Canadian dollars and US dollars or Japanese Yen or Hong Kong dollars trading them digitally will be very, very easy. And the distance from trading Fiat forex into digital forex or paper forex and to digital forex is not that big a jump. And therefore, once these thousands of people are trading digital forex all of a sudden, the jump from QCAD to QBTC is not very big. They can now start trading Bitcoin or any of the other digital assets right. Kesam Frank and myself wrote a white paper that's on Medium that actually shows that if you take a look at the pyramid of this unstable crypto platform on top of a very stable on top of a very stable forex base it's missing two triangles to stabilize the pyramid to take care of the rest of crypto to the moon. So, though we think that the movement you know stable coins are three and a half billion today I expect them to be 30 billion in the next three years North of 300 billion in the next five years as well. We want to play in that space. So, we're under full development right now Mavennet out of Toronto is easily one of the best blockchain developers that we've had a chance to interview and talk with. And. having said that they're also part of the Eon network and are well versed on Aon is a or an interoperable platform for all block chains to make block chains talk together so it doesn't matter where people place their stable coin at some point in time that they'll be all. Portable between different block teams.

Manseeb Khan: Right. That's really exciting we're actually Mavennet is actually going to be on the show in the next coming up episodes so definitely stay tuned for that. I guess I'll throw it now to you. I mean now that we have not now that we can now, we talked about the Ontario security commission you guys initially starting your partnership with the Canadian securities exchange. Is there anything else that you'd like to at least I guess share with the audience is there's something that we should kind of keep in mind when it comes to crypto investment funds.

Frederick T. Pye: Well you know Canada has a bunch of big challenges in Canada right now. You know you hear that the Ontario government says oh the door is wide open for fintech you know you're pushing on an open door. you know where you want to encourage fintech to Toronto. And if your regulators can't even approve a closed end bitcoin fund it's really tough for us to take them seriously that they're trying to encourage if the Ontario Securities Commission is waiting for the S.E.C. to approve an ETF in the United States they will have lost another opportunity to be a leader and to attract business to Toronto. Yeah, the S.E.C. says it's not about bitcoin it has to do with more the mechanics of how an ETF works a closed end fund with our partners. Gemini and Coinbase and Xapo and Silver Gate Banks and you know we have by far we believe the safest opportunity for Canadian investors to invest in Bitcoin. And when we take a look at something like Quadriga CSX you know where they can trace 26 million of the two hundred some odd million that disappeared how they can say with a straight face that Canada doesn't need a regulated fund is beyond me. Yes, Canada needs a regulated fund. Their job is to protect investors and understand. Now it doesn't matter in the price of bitcoin goes up or down as long as the structure is safe. And isn't going to get hacked and isn't going to get stolen and isn't going to you know be perpetrated by fraud or anything along those lines. And that's why we have these regulated managers and these rules, and you know if you can put gold in a closed end fund you certainly can put Bitcoin in the closed end fund.

Manseeb Khan: I absolutely agree with you And it goes by the circles back to what we talked about a little bit before of This is one of the many things that's going to help kind of close the gap of having all those amazing day traders kind of switch over and also switch to crypto and then that's just going to help with the mainstream adoption that we've been pretty much foaming at the mouth for years now.

Frederick T. Pye: Well if you take a look at all the great development being done out of Toronto or Montreal or for that matter and Vancouver, I wouldn't want to leave them out and Calgary. Yeah you know there's you know there's great exchanges, there great wallet systems, there are great custody platforms these people are developing. They're developing an infrastructure which is an OTC trading desk. But where's the billion dollar an asset manager behind everything that's the customer. We haven't got one. Right now, we want to be the customer. We want to be running institutional money here in Canada. And you know those top 10 hedge funds in the US have gone through Canada to all our institutions they do roadshows and take all the money south of the border. It's absolutely absurd that we can't manage that money here in Canada. Yeah. You know if we had institutional support through an asset manager or Canadian custody solutions you know we'd be running three or four billion dollars of crypto in Canada and have assets to be able to move through the ecosystem in Canada. So, it all starts off in a very simple. you know a very simple place. You just start off with one fund it goes into two funds it goes into three managers all of a sudden will have an AGF and Templeton or Mackenzie or any of these great companies you know managing crypto. But let somebody like us our chairman is Howard Atkinson who was you know former head of Horizon ETF you know  he was really one of the pioneers of ETF's in Canada. And you know him, and I work very closely with these regulators to say look you allowed us to list gold you allowed us to do ETF is actually created the first long short mutual fund in Canada back in 2000. 2000. You know it's people like us and try to do something and move they move the line they you know we're now going past our third year almost our fourth year and four and half million dollars to try and make this thing work. And so, it's an absolute killer for our small cap companies or for startup companies to try and do this. There is no reduction a regulatory burden by any stretch of the imagination.

Manseeb Khan:  I mean unfortunately this has been a pretty big theme of the podcast. Canada has been very traditionally conservative and Canada is just kind of waiting like you said they're just waiting for our brethren in the States just saying what are they going to do? what are the regulations kind of doing and not really giving an actual shot because there's such amazing talent here in Canada. I like you fired off quite a few names and quite a few amazing companies that are doing great work here the fact that they if we kind of keep them if we keep going the way that we're going now they're not going to feel secure in their own country to create a company. They're just going to go off to god knows where they can go to Malta and just kind of create the whole thing, they just start scratch from that right. So, it's starting to get pretty concerning when it comes in the shoes of these companies.

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah, we would have more success if we had set up even in New York Obviously there's bitcoin products available over the counter in the United States with GBTC, so Canadians are already buying it in their brokerage accounts. You know there's a bunch of RTO's from Ether capital to the others that that are all out there but you know the reality is people want something that's come in the front door that's regulated that is plain and simple English you know what you're buying when you when you buy it and you know that the there is a trusted party behind it and it doesn't matter whether you're a you know a to the moon Bitcoin Bull it is completely an uncorrelated asset class the movement you know with the trade problems in the United States right now with China I believe it's definitely the Chinese that are you know if you're a 30 year old in China you're moving your R and B into bitcoin because you're down 10 percent and you're you know you don't want to hold the US dollars so you're definitely buying Bitcoin and what does that do. Puts 50 percent premium on Bitcoin right off the bat.

Manseeb Khan: So yeah exactly you did touch a little on the fact that you guys are right now you guys can only operate with accredited investors the entire pull when it comes to crypto is the. Anybody and everybody you can invest into it and hopefully when it comes later down the line that and that principle still stays the same. That pretty much accredited investors and just regular investors are on the same playing field. How do you see that happening? How do you how do you see that coming into fruition.

Frederick T. Pye: Well you know there's a lot of things that have to happen a closed end Bitcoin Fund is a proxy. Or like we would own let's say we do a 10 million dollar offering there's 10 million dollars a Bitcoin we buy it and then we list that pool on the Toronto Stock Exchange so we can now buy that pool as a security. So from your discount brokerage account you can buy it in your RSP and your TFSA and it will reflect Bitcoin one for one and basically you know if bitcoin trading at seven thousand dollars the price of our fund is going to be seventy dollars so it will be a one for one out of one hundred. So, people will know what they're buying. They're buying it for thirty-two hundred dollars with their money at ten thousand So yeah. It'll be quite clear for them what they're paying for their Bitcoin. We hope to do the same with ether or any of the top 10 assets. But one thing I didn't mention is Vaneck of New York a 50-billion-dollar asset management. They own a set of series of indexes called the MVIs index is MVIS Gabor Gurbacs runs a bunch of that operation. Vaneck owns 10 percent of 3iQ. They're so convinced that we're going to win here that they've put their money behind us to help us support us and help us fight this this battle. But certainly, the minute that ETF and indexes are crypto indexes are allowed we can go to the Investor Index and we can create a dozen indexes so top 10 top 5 top 10, top 10 out of 100 , top 10 small cap top 10 large cap. We can create and again also active portfolios so we can create a whole series of products. We just have to get that first product done and then the doors will open. You know it's just sad to see that Bitcoin's had to go from three thousand three hundred to an eight thousand. The general public gets access to it. And the reality is when see are our clients are going to be stockbrokers as financial advisors. It's the advisor that understands tech. It's the advisor that understands the Internet. You know it's I watch Kevin O'Leary on the TV yesterday. He clearly has no concept of what Bitcoin is or their future or are doing and you know what. We can let those people be you know have their opinions and we're happy to let them short us all the time as much as they want on it because we'll take all their money. But definitely you know there is a growing part of the population that wants easy access through a registered or licensed investment account and that's really what we're trying to do for everyone.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah like you said when you have the first product up and out of the door then it's about to be floodgates right. Yeah right. Awesome. So, Fred with that I mean is there any last-minute tidbits you want to give us before we wrap this up.

Frederick T. Pye: No I think as I said to keep if you can do two things and tell your investment advisors you'd like to buy our funds  or get them on the platforms because we now have to work with all the brokerage firms and the banks to allow our funds on their platforms but certainly keep an eye out for 3iQ work with the OSC. And when we win then you'll see us on TV you'll see us in all the newspapers. But right now, it's funny the journalists in Canada don't follow it like they do in the United States every time. Hester Peirce or one of the people in the US say something it's covered by all the press. You know we've kind of been under the radar but it's about to go very public and kudos to you for being one of the first to bring us on.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No, I'm super excited to have you on and I'm excited to keep having you guys on and just pretty much rallying behind bitcoin with you guys.

Frederick T. Pye: Good. Well happy to be here.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah for sure. Fred thank you so much for sitting down with me today. And we'll be the best way for audience members to connect with you and or some of the amazing team you have behind 3iQ.

Frederick T. Pye: You will definitely go to the 3IQ.CA. We actually run a weekly blog which is the five coolest things that happen in crypto in Canada. Nice you send us a link we'll have this show. There's so linked on our Sunday or Monday blog that comes out and this will clearly be one of the coolest things that happen in crypto this week.

Manseeb Khan: So awesome. I'm super excited to make it on your blog. So.

Frederick T. Pye: Yeah go to 3iq.ca and surf around and take a look at what we're doing.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome.

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 and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy 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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National Post | Andy Blatchford | Oct 5, 2019 The letter was drafted by a lobby group representing signatories run domestic firms that employed more than 35,000 people last year and generated more than $6 billion for the economy OTTAWA — More than 110 Canadian tech CEOs have signed an open letter urging political parties to take action to strengthen the country’s innovative economy, and avoid falling further behind international peers. So far, major parties have put forward pledges in areas like affordability, first-time home-buyers and climate change, but the campaigns have offered few promises designed to drive economic growth in the digital age. “We’re writing because Canada’s productivity is lagging and our future economic prosperity is at risk,” reads the letter addressed to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May. “You can help by developing economic policies that advance innovative Canadian companies, including increasing their access to skilled talent, growth capital and new customers.” The letter was drafted by the Council of Canadian Innovators, a lobby group representing some of the country’s fastest-growing companies. Combined, its signatories run domestic firms that employed more than 35,000 people last year and ...
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CarefulCents  | Ryan Friend | Sep 17, 2019 Of all the types of insurance out there, health insurance is perhaps the most important. After all, without our health, it’s difficult to do much else in life. However, in the United States, which relies mostly on a private health insurance system, costs are high, and it’s often very confusing to know how much you can expect to pay. This is because you can get health insurance in many different ways. You can buy it on your own, receive it from your employer as part of your compensation package, or get it from the federal government. However, just because the world of health insurance is confusing, it does not mean you need to pay more than you should, and knowing the average costs of the many different types of health insurance can help you understand if your premiums are fair or if it’s time for a change. Below we’ve outlined all the different factors that determine the cost of your insurance and also identified the average rates for the various options out there. In addition, you will find some tips to help you save on your insurance so that you can get ...
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Coindesk | David Pan | Oct 9, 2019 Mutual fund giant Vanguard has partnered with Nasdaq Ventures-backed blockchain startup Symbiont to develop a trading platform for the $6 trillion currency market, the companies said. With the new platform, Vanguard, which manages $5.2 trillion, aims to lower transaction costs for the trillions of dollars worth of currencies it trades annually by boosting peer-to-peer trading for investors, connecting them directly via blockchain technology. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk the company teamed up with Vanguard to build the currency platform, confirming a Bloomberg report that cited an anonymous source. The platform has been operational for two months and completed its first trades during the time, according to the report. A Vanguard spokesperson told CoinDesk: “Vanguard is currently piloting a project focused on improving the efficiency and reducing risk of FX hedging.” The new platform is part of the fund manager’s commitment to lowering the cost of investing for all investors, the spokesperson said. Neither company would provide further details of the pilot. See:  HSBC settles FX deals worth $250 billion on blockchain in last year Machine Learning in Finance – Present and Future Applications The project, if successful, would be another important milestone ...
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Finextra | Oct 8, 2019 The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on an innovation hub in Switzerland that will initially focus on research into digital central bank money and distributed ledger technology. The SNB is working with SIX on the research, embarking on a proof of concept to explore how digital central bank money could be used in the settlement of tokenized assets between market participants. The project is making use of the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) platform, which is currently being built and promises to be the world's first end-to-end exchange for digital assets when it launches next year offering listing, trading, settlement and custody service. See:  Mark Carney’s Trojan Unicorn — Are Central Banks Considering Stealth Nationalization in Sovereign Digital Currencies? The SDX system will be used to explore technical possibilities for integrating digital central bank money into DLT platforms. Options include the connection of the existing Swiss Interbank Clearing System or the issue of digital Swiss franc tokens by the SNB for financial market participants. Jos Dijsselhof, CEO, SIX, says: "We are pleased to contribute to this initiative and, through SIX Digital Exchange, to explore the technological possibilities with ...
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Andreessen Horowitz | Anish Acharya In 2006, LendingClub introduced a then-novel business model: the ability to offer online personal loans to millions of underserved customers. The peer-to-peer lender was a media and investor darling, hailed as a tech-enabled alternative to traditional banks. When LendingClub went public in 2014, it was valued at $8.5 billion, the year’s single largest US tech IPO. Now, five years later, that fintech pioneer has lost 85 percent of its market value. Meanwhile, mobile upstart MoneyLion launched in 2013, also providing online personal loans—a direct competitor to LendingClub. Today, MoneyLion claims more than 5 million users and is valued at nearly $1 billion. See:  Peer to Peer Lending: The Future of Fintech is Now LendingClub had significant competitive advantages, from low customer acquisition costs—back then, personal loans keywords weren’t nearly as competitive on Google and Facebook was actively promoting LendingClub as an early F8 partner—to improved underwriting (the company provided lenders with access to customers’ credit score, total debt, income, monthly cash flow, and social data). So why is LendingClub experiencing growing pains while MoneyLion sees significant growth? Though the latter started out solely as an online lender, it quickly morphed into an all-in-one lending, savings, ...
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Fintech Fridays Episode 31: Blockchain Law with Jason Saltzman

NCFA Canada | May 14, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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Ep31-May 14:  Blockchain Law with Jason Saltzman

About this episode: On this episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jason Saltzman partner at Gowlings WLG law firm. They chat about how to make your ICO compliant, Blockchain in law and how to create a business structure.  Enjoy!

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST:  JASON SALTZMAN, Partner, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP (Linkedin)

BIO:  Jason Saltzman is a partner in Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP’s Toronto office practising in corporate finance and securities law, with an emphasis on securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions and regulatory compliance matters.  Jason assists issuers, investment dealers, investment portals and institutional and private investors on complex equity and debt financing transactions, ranging from start-up investments, venture capital and private equity investments, to larger public offerings and project finance.  Jason has taken numerous companies public on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange and Canadian Securities Exchange by IPO, reverse takeover, capital pool transactions and direct listings. He also advises securities dealers, advisers, investment fund managers and other market participants in connection with their registration and compliance issues.  Jason served two terms on the Ontario Securities Commission’s Small and Medium Enterprises Committee and has been very active in building an alternative finance practice by focusing on fin-tech, crowdfinance and other disruptive models such as online investment platforms, peer-to-peer lending and robo-advising. He has become known as a thought leader in this innovative area.

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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

 


Transcription of Interview

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

Jason Saltzman: Thanks so much happy to be here Manseeb . Great to be on this amazing podcast  that I listen to all the time.

Manseeb Khan: Awesome I mean I love to hear that. So, Jason just for I guess the five or six people that may not know essentially who you are and what Gowlings does could just give us a quick rundown?

Jason Saltzman: Yeah. So, my name is Jason Saltzman I'm a partner at the law firm Gowlings WLG Gowlings is a law firm that's global. We have about 14 hundred lawyers around the world where in every major business center in Canada. We're also throughout Europe London Germany a number of other offices in Europe as well as we're in the Middle East and in Asia. Yeah. And my practices on the corporate finance and security side. So, I basically help all kinds of companies raise money access capital from all the early stage entrepreneurs all the way through different investment rounds up through going public transactions and of course in new asset classes such as alternative finance with anything from robo-advising, peer to peer lending and crypto currencies.

Manseeb Khan: We're seeing a lot in the space of pretty much crypto companies going just having crazy evaluations doing amazing things in the space. And I guess my question to you, my main question to you is as a law firm What are you guys kind of looking for to take on a robo-advisory company. A peer to peer company or crypto company. I guess like what is their list of qualifications that to kind of fill out. Like what. I guess like what is your quick little checkmark or checklist of things that you are looking for. If I personally but I guess as a law firm for these companies to have?

Jason Saltzman: Yes. So I mean we're open to working with all kinds of clients at everything from large blue chip companies and we act from any of them here in Canada and globally but we know that a lot of these big companies they started somewhere and they've started from the entrepreneur and they've grown. So, it is not uncommon for us to work with good quality startup companies and entrepreneurs and those that have amazing ideas that we see the growth potential in, and we want to be with them from the ground floor and work with them and whatnot. So, we're open to all kinds of inquiries from entrepreneurs that think they have neat ideas. We're particularly invested in the fintech space which is everything from financial technologies to blockchain technology to alternative finance as I mentioned and entrepreneurs that have these amazing ideas, we want to hear about them and figure out how we can work together.

Manseeb Khan: So, there are a lot of amazing fintech companies here. I guess how I get. Yeah, I guess specifically when it comes to since you are working with so many amazing companies you may you may not have to give specific names, but I guess what excites you about the space. I mean as a law firm as somebody kind of standing a little bit more outside going a little bit but also very much in the details. What are you very much excited about in the space?

Jason Saltzman: Yeah, I mean I love working with innovative companies with great ideas that solve big problems that are disruptive. You know I've been a lawyer for on Bay Street for twenty-two years working with all kinds of traditional industries everything from mining and natural resources and you know early stage technologies as well. But in a different era and life science. But when fintech and alternative finance and blockchain came around it was like wow this is like just a greenfield of so many new disruptive ideas. And it's a great opportunity for a law firm to say OK like you know we're just on the cusp of this new industry and you know law firms you know they have this image of being old and staunch and especially on Bay Street. But you know as we see the world evolve and new technologies go from small companies to very big players and you know we want to be part of it. And you know we found that just by immersing ourselves and myself personally in these ideas going back now four or five years myself personally particularly on known crowdfunding and alternative finance and crowd finance and whatnot that you can vary by it by working with these companies you have more experience than your competitors. You're immediately going up the chain in terms of knowledge and you know I started working with some great organizations like the NCFA and whatnot where I've gone to events, I speak, I write, I participate on the advisory board and I've met so many wonderful people through my involvement with the organization both companies and investors. There's you know those in the ecosystem who support or want to be part of the industry and it just I just keep coming back for more because it is so interesting and exciting.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah no I get it like every day is something very exciting especially like comparing it to traditional Bay Street where everything is a little bit more slower. Today everything's a new adventure and that's probably it's just fun. It's very amazing. So, with I mean I'll hit on blockchain as a legal firm right. I mean there's definitely a lot of blockchain innovation right now. You're seeing a huge I guess we'll call it overhaul in the insurance space. Blockchain  definitely has a role in the legal system definitely does it plays a role in government. Play the role in law. What does blockchain in law look like to?

Jason Saltzman: Yeah. No, it's that's a great question and as far as how what we're seeing as a law firm we took an early adoption in this industry and back in I'd say 2017. We set up a blockchain group and my partner Usman Sheikh has become a leader in blockchain law, and I worked very closely with him in my practice in the corporate finance and security space. You know we saw in early 2018 and since the emergence of ICOs and initial coin offerings and whatnot and we you know sensed that there would be securities law and regulatory issues. So, our group mobilized to see how we can support the entrepreneurs who wanted to use you know non-dilutive financings like an ICO  to access capital and help grow their business. So we worked with many interesting entrepreneurs who had great ideas and tried to navigate the you know the securities law system and you know we took many companies through the Ontario Securities Commission through their launch pad program and through those in the other provinces and tried to advise them on the best way to approach their model in a way that is compliant and whatnot. So, you know we saw a lot of opportunities on the security side but also you know apart from securities I mean our firm does everything from intellectual property whether it's patents or trademarks. And we've also been dealing closely with companies that may not have sold the tokens in a compliant way and helping them now through the through the process on the other end. We've been helping a lot there but. And also, just general technology law when you're you know setting up web sites and making sure you have your terms of use. And when you have a white paper making sure that that's compliant and makes sense and you know a law firm can be a friend and making sure that you know that that that works out well. So, we've become a big believer in blockchain. Our group has grown to about one hundred professionals worldwide and our global platform who have some aspect of blockchain their practice and we stay on top of developments in the industry to ensure that you know we speak, we write and participate at events but also you know we're trying to figure out the best where it's going to go and how blockchain can actually be integrated into the practice of law. And you mentioned insurance and other industries. And so, we're always we're understanding, and the technology and we want to be where it's going.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No I mean as you it's kind of a relief to hear that and not only do you guys make sure that everybody is kind of covered before their ICO's are not complaint but after as well it's kind of like hey whoa woops we just lost X amount of money like these 15 things weren't compliant. Okay cool. You guys can actually help that's a sigh of relief. For a few audience members.

Jason Saltzman: Yeah. And we can advise you know those who want to get in the business of that as they need to do it in a compliant way whether it's you know some in some companies they want to register as dealers and make sure they're doing it right. Yeah get whatever relief they need from the regulators and whatnot. Yeah. You know we can help.

Manseeb Khan:  I agree with you I mean like compliance is really it's a really funny thing especially in this space because since this space is so brand new it's kind of like hey you know we can kind of do whatever we want, well not really though. There are still some terms this does some like rules that you still have to kind of follow. You can't just it's not an open playing field right.

Jason Saltzman: Yeah that's right. we've seen that evolve like a year ago when ICOs are first coming on scene everyone would say well I can do this because somebody else did it but would say no and we were always like the party poopers. Yeah say no. Guys you got to be careful here. And so now we've seen it evolve. to.

Manseeb Khan: No I absolutely agree with you I mean it's very important like you did mentioned on the top the episode that like you guys work with these companies well you guys aren't here to hinder their innovation, you're not here to hinder their technology, you're not here to hinder anything whatsoever. You're just making sure you guys aren't navigating through the right waters make sure like OK there's a storm coming. Your kind of carefully veer left a little bit because you know we want to stay away from that. Right. Exactly. Yeah. And that's very important I mean I don't think  like you mentioned. I think I think people and companies are slowly understanding that now. Right. That you guys can work alongside of them that this change is not a radical cut from the old world it's that it's more of a hybrid. Yes, you can work together to kind of create something amazing.

Jason Saltzman: Correct and because we have gained a lot of experience with the challenges that the entrepreneurs have faced with the current regulatory regime and we're able to take our stories that we hear from our clients and together with other industry participants like the NCFA and others be you know be part of a community we can have an open dialogue with the regulators and who very much want to hear from all of us. Absolutely. And they've said many times they want to work and listen to what people have to say and see you know maybe they can do something that's better. So, you know I think we're still in the early innings of where this is going to go from the regulatory point of view. But I think there is definitely a movement toward something that makes more sense yes for the industry.

Manseeb Khan: It's actually it's kind of funny because you think that the regulators are not as open to have a conversation with many of the entrepreneurs. With many of the law firms, with many of the people that are in the space but they're they sure do a lot of events. They come, they speak  if you have any questions, I feel free to come by and by all means we'll sit down with you. They'll understand your problem why where you're coming from and then we'll try to work with you and then talk about OK well this is kind of the red tape is or this is why we can't kind of do this. Yeah. Because yeah, we don't know X Y and Z which it’s is hilarious since that was pretty funny. So, I'm going to shift gears a little bit we did very early on in the show we talked about smart contract was probably the very early topic we ever talked about. Since I am speaking to another lawman what would it. What is your take on smart contracts and or what would what do you need to see to for Gowlings to kind of take on a more of a smart contract initiative?

Jason Saltzman: Yeah, I mean we're certainly open to it. We see that that's where the world is going there's going to be more and more smart contracts coming so you know we'd like to try to understand the technologies that are being proposed that would be formed the basis of that smart contracting question. So, we can assess as to you know the validity and the enforceability and how we will execute and where the pitfalls or risks may be with that contract. But we you know  we're all over it and we are interested in learning about them  and seeing how they'll be adopted in a more mainstream practice. Yeah for sure. Yeah. I mean you know traditionally law firms are like big steamships. They're hard to navigate and you've got to go through lots of bureaucracy. You know I think fortunately we have dedicated teams in this area who and the firm has invested in the area and is a believer in the area that we can move quicker when it comes to these new opportunities. But you know but like anything else we need to understand it  but we have good news is we have like such a significant technology and intellectual property group with all kinds of engineers and computer scientists and people who are much smarter than me on technical technology then you know they can they certainly bring a lot of value to these kinds of companies.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah. No I mean I think it is incredible that you guys have actually decided to put actual manpower behind it because it's not just all talk it's kind of like now we actually have a team around it that are everyday there on top of it they're learning they're understanding it so they can come back to us is like hey this is how we're going to navigate this is the game plan for x y and z so you can kind of hit the ground sprinting which is it's pretty awesome.

Jason Saltzman: Yeah. And that's what's exciting about it. Actually, we like the team is just you know you know men and women are absolutely wonderful professionals who you know who really enjoy working with entrepreneurs  in the innovation area.

Manseeb Khan: So, you do and  at many of the events that you've been to the events that you sponsor, the entrepreneurs you have onboard that you've been talking to. I guess we'll be your best advice to them on how to set up a proper business structure when it comes to setting up partnerships because these are brand new founders right these are these are people that have an idea and they want to build something but they don't know how to build it so that they people like you. What's your best advice to these people?

Jason Saltzman: And that's a great question. Like in many cases you know we come across entrepreneurs who have a great idea and then I'll say OK. Like what. You have a business structure yet and they say no and we say OK well that's great because you know we always want to know who are clients going to be is going to be the individuals are going to be a company that already exists and who's involved and you know we have very strict know your clients procedures under the law society before we take any went on. So, it's always good to know who we're dealing with. And in cases where it's just an individual. The first thing we generally advise the individual when we take them on is OK. Do you want to set up as a partnership or are you doing this alone? Or you're doing want to do this to a corporate vehicle? And there are many different reasons why you would choose one thing over another sometimes it's tax driven sometimes it's jurisdictional be driven and whatnot but you know the simplest form is we generally advise setting up a either you know on Ontario or a federal company put a little you know get a name for the company so you have an account of your identity and whatnot and that company gives the entrepreneurs you know some advantages in terms of you know mostly a lot of entrepreneurs set up through a company so they have personal. So, they don't have personal liability and exactly how they can sort of have you know limited liability through their company and then the company can go ahead and do things and whatnot. Generally, when there is more than one founder or entrepreneur involved in a business then when the company is incorporated, they both become shareholders or could be more than two. But however, many there are some shareholders and then we assist in putting together like a shareholders agreement which basically governs how the shareholders operate amongst themselves and you know basically no one person can sell his or her shares unless the other one has the first opportunity to buy them. And because you need to know who your partners are you can just go ahead and set up a company and then sell your shares and not exactly leaving the others with partners that they didn't desire.

Manseeb Khan: And or not know right. Just like Wait who's Greg.

Jason Saltzman: That's right. Yeah. So, we assist with every aspect of from the incorporation to the organization of the company to setting up the shareholder agreement. But then also you know what's the next step for that company it is raising equity before you do like an ICL or something like that. So it may be you go to some friends and family investors and we assist with the documentation and ensuring that the business when it's selling the equity is complying with securities law has a prospectus exemption and that kind of thing and then you know we'll help with the various rounds and if there is an opportunity to do an ICO then will advise about that as well. And you know as I said how to do it in a compliant way and as the company grows there's different opportunities whether it's a merger and acquisition buying another company, or you know maybe it goes public. And we saw some blockchain technology companies go public. In fact, our firm acted for the first one and quite a few years ago and sometimes we see these structures like in a reverse takeover where they know they don't just go public by an IPO, but they get acquired by a public shell company and a share deal. So, we certainly can advise and all of that stuff too right.

Manseeb Khan: So ideally you want to make sure you from the jump gets set up so you can if you're going to be going to go public get built. So, you can become public.

Manseeb Khan: Yeah absolutely right. Because there's a lot of work that goes into becoming public whether it's and the habits form early right. Yeah like you know entrepreneurs and I work with many of them and you know usually things happen so fast in an entrepreneurial world which is great. But sometimes that's the corporate records and financial statements and things like that lag a bit. So, there's always you know everybody sort of has to you know get their act together quickly to be in a position to go public. But certainly it's never too early to develop those good habits and have records in place and that's everything from you know if you're taken on employees, have in your employment contracts having your IP protected having you know at any if there's any dispute settling all of those in advance and whatnot because if you get if you wait too late to the end of the go public process and things come out of the woodwork and that's going to get in the way of your plans.

Manseeb Khan: So, you did talk about how. OK so now we have a business structure right. We know not we know how we want to get a built. Now the next step is say raising money right. We can take it a traditional way where we can talk to VCs. We can go to the hedge fund guys. We can go to some of your old friends a Bay Street 100 percent but say if take it we want to be on this new wave, we want to raise money through peer to peer through crowdfunding. We'll be your best advice to companies if they're are considering taking that route. So, they are 100 percent compliant?

Jason Saltzman: Yeah that's a great question and I'm sure it's one that's on the top of every entrepreneur's mind is where's the money going to come from. And you know there are only so many you know friends and family members that are you know that you're that you want to take money from.

Manseeb Khan: Mom  is only going to give you so much money.

Jason Saltzman: That's right. So. So let's talk about crowdfunding first. Crowdfunding is actually very exciting. I mean it's something that really burst on the scene probably about five years ago or so and you know there are there are some great crowdfunding platforms and portals that that are available that help companies raise money in different ways using you know in a compliant way in Canada using existing exemptions. Some of these platforms are you know I've known for quite a long time there are different exemptions that they use whether it's the accredited investor exemption, where they seek money on their platform from credit accredited investors only which is you know it's a more limited market in the sense that there are only so many accredited investors who are in the world or in Canada who are willing to invest. But you know the benefit of going to those types of investors on a platform is  that it's quicker and easier and there's fewer information that you need to provide and less information that you to provide. On the theory that an accredited investor has enough money that he or she can afford to lose it and can take care of him or herself. But you know there are some other exemptions that the platforms use. There's the offering memorandum exemption the offer memorandum exemption unfortunately varies by province because in Canada we don't have a national securities regulator as I'm sure many of your listeners know. So, we're fragmented and have to deal with it on a you know by complying with the patchwork of the different provincial regulations. The good news is there is some harmonization but we're not quite there yet. We're moving in that direction but the offer memorandum exemption like in British Columbia you can give a British Columbia an investor on a platform just an offering memorandum and a risk acknowledgement form and they can invest whereas in Alberta and Ontario and some of the other provinces you give them an offering memorandum and a risk acknowledgement form. But there are limits imposed on the investment based on the net worth of that investor of course. Basically, anybody can invest up to ten thousand dollars in those provinces but then there's a concept of an eligible investor which you don't quite meet the high standard of accreditation that at the credit investor would. But you meet sort of a lower test and then you. But then you can only invest up to 30 thousand dollars or maybe 100 if you get a letter from your broker or whatnot and then the offering memorandum itself. There's some work that goes in in drafting it it's basically got to contain you know full information about your business it can't contain a misrepresentation but one of the big challenges for a small company that wants to use that exemption is that you also have to have audited financial statements put in that offering memorandum which for a small company paying an auditing firm is not a good use of your resources. Not at all no. Yeah. So. So that's sort of a challenge with the current use of that exemption. There's also a crowdfunding exemption that the regulators had come up with specifically dedicated to use on these crowdfunding platforms. It hasn't really been popular because there were you know pretty tough restrictions on the ability to advertise the investment. So, no one has really been using that, but the good news is this is an example of the regulators listening to the industry and they've come back with some new proposals that the industry is now considering and maybe we'll move into something a little bit easier there. So but there are some as I mentioned there are some great platforms that are sort of using all of these exemptions and they've set it up to assist in the drafting of your offering memorandum and assistant navigating the different exemptions and the different provinces and they're registered as dealers to enable to operate. I'd recommend looking into some of these platforms and seeing if that. Would be an option for your company because they exist and some of them are doing quite well. As far as robo and ICOs and what not. I mean robo advising is not a way to raise money but it's a way to. It's a way to get involved and invest your money in it. Certainly, there are some great sites out there that too. It's certainly marketed a lot and whatnot and they have all the registrations they need, and they seem very interesting and whatnot and then on the ICO side I mean ICOs. What's interesting about that for a company is as I mentioned earlier it's non-dilutive. You're not selling equity in your company you're selling a token. Token might have some kind of functionality could be used on the platform. Could you know value could go into that token which could later be sold on an exchange and what not. But there are challenges because there aren't any recognized exchanges right now. So, I think we're past the point of debating whether to token itself as a security or not. I think the regulators have become quite clear that a lot of people think that the regulation isn't clear. But I would tell you it is that the regulators take the position that that in most cases these tokens are securities under established common law tests and therefore you need to sort of comply with the same exemptions that I mentioned earlier. Yeah or do a public offering under a prospectus but where no one's quite taken that leap as of yet in a successful way. But the idea would be that if you navigate the exemptions then you can do it and there are some token companies that have received that do use exemptions and have seen have received relief and they're operating in a compliant way. But then what do you do with your tokens How do you trade them on an exchange that's not recognized yet. So, I think we're early days and, in the industry, still I think there'll be a time when all that gets flushed out . Yeah. When there will be exchanges that rate whether it's existing exchanges that have added crypto to their business or new crypto exchanges that have gone through the regulatory process I think we are going to get there because there's no stopping the desire on the part of the industry to move in that direction.

Manseeb Khan: No, I absolutely agree with you. So, before we wrap this up. My last question to you would be aside from all the amazing as we talked about write robo advising, smart contracts, blockchain in a law. Bay street. What are you most excited about in the space?

Jason Saltzman: Yeah, I mean I personally just love the ideas and working with the people and the entrepreneurs and you know let's face it. You know I'm getting a little bit older and it's fun to me you know some real bright entrepreneurs that have amazing ideas that you know open up a new world and you know for us it's you know for me personally it's working with people and learning new things. So, to be in an industry where it's all about innovation and new things and you know moving from the old ways of doing things and things that are disruptive, I mean that's to me that's exciting.

Manseeb Khan: That's I mean that's awesome. So, Jason thank you so much for sitting down with me today. And super excited to have you back on.

Jason Saltzman: Pleasure this was this was great. And yeah. Again, thanks again for the opportunity. Cheers.

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 and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy 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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TNW Hard Fork | Yessi Bello Perez | Oct 7, 2019 As Facebook deals with the loss of PayPal‘s backing for its ‘cryptocurrency‘ Libra, the tech giant must now get ready to answer EU regulators’ questions about the potential risks posed by the project. The European Commission has requested that Facebook and the Libra Association – the body tasked with supervising the digital currency – answer questions relating to financial stability, money laundering, and data privacy risks. According to the Financial Times, which saw the commission’s questionnaire last week, this is all part of EU financial commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis’ efforts to asses whether projects such as Libra should be regulated in the EU, if new regulation is required, or whether the ‘cryptocurrency‘ should be allowed to operate at all. See:  Libra: France opposes the development of Facebook’s currency “on European soil” News on China cryptocurrency and more reforms Competition Bureau’s call for intel on anti-competitive conduct in digital economy raises eyebrows The news couldn’t come at a worse time for Facebook, which has faced increasing scrutiny and opposition from regulators in recent months. Just last month, Libra‘s founders were subject to questioning by 26 central bank officials in what was the first encounter between the ...
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Betakit | Isabelle Kirkwood | Oct 4, 2019 This week, Hut 8 Mining Corp., a cryptocurrency mining and blockchain infrastructure company headquartered in Toronto, announced it would begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on October 8. In addition to expediting new listings and transactions, the Sandbox could also become a channel for new securities policy development. The company is the first blockchain or cryptocurrency company to be listed on the TSX, and is also the first to be listed via the TSX Sandbox. The program aims to accept more listing applications and transactions, and grant access to newer companies that don’t meet all the traditional requirements to be listed, such as market capitalization, a long-form prospectus, management team’s experience level, incorporation in Canada, or corporate governance practices. “Our move to the TSX, the senior public market of the TMX Group, is another significant step in our evolution to provide improved liquidity and enhanced public disclosure to investors,” Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Hut 8, said when the company first announced it would list last month. “We are grateful to the TSX for conditionally approving Hut 8 to be the first company through the TSX Sandbox.” The TSX said Sandbox ...
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Ep30-Apr 12: The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov

NCFA Canada | April 12, 2019

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Ep30-Apr 12:  The Future of Canadian Crypto With Andrei Poliakov

About this episode:  On this episode of the Fintech Fridays Podcast, our Host Manseeb Khan sat down with Andrei Poliakov the CEO of Coinberry. They chatted about the future of Coinberry, the power of blockchain and his favorite failure.  Enjoy!

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST:  ANDREI POLIAKOV, CEO and Co-Founder, Coinberry (Linkedin)

BIO:  Andrei is a seasoned entrepreneur having previously launched and managed various start-ups with a strong focus on implementation and early-stage strategy development. Having finished the University of Toronto with a bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Andrei worked in Business Consulting before completing his IMBA at York University, Schulich School of Business. Andrei brings to Coinberry +10 years of algorithm design, management and strategy development experience in various corporate settings with leading multinationals around the world.

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Transcription of Interview

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

Manseeb Khan :  So, for the five or six people that may not have been privy to your ads like I have in the past, could you just give us a little bit more of essentially what Coinberry is and a little bit of your background because you have a really interesting background?

Andrei Poliakov: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. So Coinberry is a Fintrac registered cryptocurrency trading platform based out of Toronto. And basically, our whole philosophy and our goal is to break down the barriers of entry that exist for people when they would like to participate in the cryptocurrency space if they want to buy or sell  cryptocurrency in a safe, secure manner. So that's what we're about here in Coinberry. Company was founded in 2017 and throughout the last year and a half that we've been in operations, we've put out some what I think are amazing, amazing technology. You know the platform is  available on the Web. It's available on Android and Apple. And you're able to very easily and seamlessly trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin , the three main crypto currencies basically instantaneously. I mean, from the point of actually, you know, signing up to being able to purchase the coin. You can do this as well, such as just under five minutes, which is amazing because you can buy it with a credit card when you e-transfer if you want to do large amounts and send a wire. Yeah, that's what we try to do. We're trying to make it very easy, very secure for Canadians to participate in the cryptocurrency space, which we think is the future of finance.

Manseeb Khan : I'm going to touch back on the fact when you said secure just to dig a little bit more into your background. I mean, if you go into your LinkedIn and you go through some of the past companies you work on, you pretty much went from working at L’Oréal to Volvo to now crypto  which is a very, very interesting career path. I mean, could you tell us a little bit of how you got into crypto? Why you crypto? I mean, was it a buddy of yours?

Andrei Poliakov: There's always that buddy is in there.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. I'm like I'm like, yeah. Because it's a very common story. Or you could even have a completely different one. Who knows? Right. Like I'm just curious though, like how the heck did you go from there to now here?

Andrei Poliakov: Yeah. How do I get from the corporate world? OK, so my background is I have finished electrical engineer at UofT and then I worked in the field of business systems and algorithm design for a couple of years. So I mean, my LinkedIn isn't like fully detailed for what I did prior to Coinberry, but that's what I did for a couple years after I finished UofT, and then I went to actually back to school, and I got my MBA at York University because I always wanted to combine my technical knowledge and my love of business in one. And so, I figured getting an MBA would be a good way to Segway into that. So, once I graduated from Schulich, I actually ended up moving to Montreal. I was newly married and wanted to move out of Toronto. So, live there for a number of years. Seven years in total. I ended up working in the corporate world there for a bit like you mentioned a couple of companies that I joined. I always had projects that I was involved with on the side. I mean, I had an entrepreneurial streak since I was like 12 years old, you know, selling like apples and oranges from my grandma's orchard on the street kind of thing and then like opening a lemonade stand. So, I always I was always loved, you know, entrepreneurial projects. So, I always had projects on the side. I was involved with at one point in time. I was actually at a startup that actually ended up doing relatively well. We were exporting Hawaii juice from Canada into Eastern Europe and then, you know, start up some work out and some don't. So yeah that followed  after a little while and I was looking for a project to get involved with because again, I mean, the corporate world offers a lot of opportunity, and a lot stability, but it also lacks a lot of this. Like really, you know, the passion that drives startups, the endless nights that people love, you know, that totally not existent in the corporate world. So, I was looking for a project to join and a friend of mine, one of the co-founders at Coinberry whom I've known for decades, introduced me to Bitcoin. And actually, funny anecdote, the way that happened is early 2017. We were,  so like I said, me and him have been friends for a very long time. We were all down in Florida for a bachelor party and we have friends that came in from different parts of the world. We had friends from the US that were there, Canadians that flew down, friends from Europe. It all came down for the trip. And then the trip you all had to settle our internal tabs like we usually have when a bunch of friends travel and there was a problem that arose, and that people had to concurrences. You know, some people had access to their European bank accounts and some people had access to their Canadian bank accounts. But there was no way to actually settle within this group of friends that were, you know, in one location at this point in time. And so, Evan, my friend, he suggested that we all actually purchase Bitcoin and settle internally that way, which I don't remember if we ended up doing that that night or not. But the fact that this new technology can be used and that there is a use case, but it is just a very simple one. But it’s kind of made me think and start looking at the technology, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain more and much more depth. So fast forward about four or five months later I was on a call with Evan and we were discussing that, you know, there's an opportunity here for us to really start a viable business. And there was a big problem that existed in this space. And it did exist in that you have a lot of people that are, you know, opening companies in cryptocurrency that are not doing it right. They're not doing in a sort of strategic , matter prone to success. It's a lot of fly by nights. See what happened to Quadriga. People that are just basically fraudsters There was a lack in the space of a simple system, That's trusted, you know, trustworthy, that has actual professionals behind it, people with experience and not just randomly, you know, some kid just decide to sell crypto on the side, which I mean, I have no problem with people doing that, too. If that's your thing. But for me personally, we saw an opportunity to create a business that actually lends itself to the masses that we believe will another inevitably look to participate in the current cryptocurrency space. And so that's how the sort of Coinberry came around, you know, with that sort of philosophy and history.

Manseeb Khan :  I'm just like mentally picturing you guys just scrambling, trying to, like, settle up with how much is that ?

Andrei Poliakov: But you know what I mean? I mean, I'm sure you've been on road trips as well. It's it doesn't hit you until you face that problem. And like I said previously, I was in the sort of international trade space and I realized that the pains that exist. When you look at international trade and settling international debt and paying for international shipments, using the current rails that exist using SWIFT system, I mean, it is so painful, it's so slow and it's so expensive that I'm honestly amazed that even right now still you don't see a huge demand for. Let me rephrase that. A much bigger demand for settling debt internationally and in international trade using crypto currencies because I mean there is serious opportunities.

Manseeb Khan : I think I mean, you bring up a good point. I think there will be because I think more and more people are starting to realize how slow the whole SWIFT system is, and the process is like how. I mean, some might even say outdated because like all of cryptocurrency and I mean especially blockchain, what it really is doing is shedding a light in just the inefficiencies and like the lag and just in all these systems that we now trust and all the systems that we have currently in place. All it really is like, hey, look, these are the vulnerabilities. This is how slow it is. This is how inefficient it is with our stuff or with what we hope to do with our stuff. It is only going to speed up the process. Right. So, I mean, in the future, like, heck, it might not even like paying up international debt through the currency. Like I've been amazing. add on to have. Right. Especially if you might in the future go back into international shipping and what may have you. It's interesting conversation for sure.

Andrei Poliakov: Yeah. No, I don't think I'll be going anywhere. Yeah. I think this is just so much fun and we're doing so much. I mean we've achieved so much over the last year and a half. I mean, it's incredible. And I'm very fortunate to work with a team that's super dedicated and like we're all aligned here. And I'm just I'm excited. You know, some of the stuff we have coming out not only in the short-term future, but long term as well. It's just that the sky is yours is your limit.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. So, I mean, did you briefly touched on security and Quadriga, I mean, could you just I mean, for the audience, give us a little rundown of what does this mean for the very small Canadian cryptocurrency market? And what does this mean for Canadians that either are thinking of investing or have invested in crypto currencies?

Andrei Poliakov: So, I think overall, what happened with Quadriga and you know, the bankruptcy proceedings that are currently ongoing. The loss of keys in general overall is, of course, a very sad occurrence. And nobody is going to deny that, you know, some people lost their life savings. I was reading a story online recently about a developer who lost half a million dollars in Quadriga, which is very unfortunate. So, I think not to minimize the impact of what happened with Quadriga, but I do think that overall in the long term, what happened is it's going to lead to some positive change. First and foremost, I think we're going to see some regulation which is going to weed out, you know, basically a fly by night operations, that exist in this space and it's kind of ironic when we talk about regulation and cryptocurrency in one sentence because, you know, the initial sort, of initial background story of the true believers in crypto currency. Of course, Anti, you know, any sort of involvement of any third parties with anything as to do with currency. But I think when you start applying or you start looking at how things actually unfold in the real world. I personally believe that some degree of regulation, of oversight is required because you do have situations where people are taken advantage of and this exists in every industry. This is not only encrypted currencies. I mean, if you look at you look at, you know, the currency used most in the world for money laundering is not bitcoin. By far, it's the U.S. dollar. Right. So, if this exists in any space, in any industry. But that being said, just because that's the case, does it mean that we should not look at. Taking care of consumers, especially unsophisticated consumers in Canada. Now, what do I think is going to happen? I do think it's going to take some time for people to feel comfortable again and to be able to actually trust. The platforms that do exist, if you look at all the conversations that are taking place on Reddit and there's a ton of conversation that is taking place on Reddit, people are looking, people are discussing, and trust the platforms that that they can join. And I mean, for us and Coinberry, what happened with Quadriga is, I don't want to say it's a good thing, but there are a lot of people looking for new platforms that they would like to use. And Coinberry being one of, you know, one of the few trusted platforms in Canada. Of course, we're seeing an influx of users, and surge in volume. So, is it unfortunate what happened? Absolutely. Was it avoidable? I believe so. Are we going to get over it? Of course. I think in the long term and even in the medium term, we're going to get over it. I mean, look what happened to MtGox. It was a hit to the industry, but by no means was it a fatal blow. Right. So, people going to live and learn and move on.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, no, I agree with you. I mean, like harping on the whole MtGox I mean like at the time is like it was the most devastating thing that had ever happened. But now in hindsight, it's okay, cause like the market is just it's volatile because we're still figuring things out. It's fine. It's just like a.

Andrei Poliakov: If you compare them out of money or the amount of crypto lost during the whole MtGox thing and now with Quadriga. I mean, Quadriga wasn't even comparable.

Manseeb Khan : That's very true. But I meant like in a sense of like when it way when you take the comparison among MtGox of like, oh, look, no one's ever going to invest in this thing again. Like it's dead. That kind of like mentality.

Andrei Poliakov: And that's where we know when I got involved in Coinberry, I mean, like I left the big cushy corporate job. And when I when I came on board, my idea, and the philosophy which we had from day one was to build a business that's fully compliant and on board with, you know, with supportive banking and to go about it actually building a viable business with long term potential for success and building value. And that's proven to be the absolute right decision because even though, of course, it hasn't slowed us down and, you know, compared to some other players that have cut corners. Absolutely. There's no doubt about it. What wasn't the right decision in the long term? Totally because, look, this is what happens when you cut corners. You have Quadriga happen.

Manseeb Khan : I mean, I absolutely agree with you. I mean, like we mentioned before. Is this all I mean, is this what cryptos all about? Is this what the whole thing's about? Crypto from its birth has been very anti-establishment, very anti. No, no, no government regulations, no banks like decentralize everything. We can do this on our own. But the fact that you guys are actually going to regulation's you guys actually go into the right channels and working with the current systems that are in place now. I mean, that speaks volumes into anybody that's trying to get into crypto that's either, you know, trying to be an investor or are aspiring to do something that you guys are doing.

Andrei Poliakov: It's the only way to build a viable business and a business that can grow outside of Canada, because, I mean, the Canadian market is great. And, you know, we're very proud to be based out of Toronto and to be a Canadian company. But there's a there's a big world out there that, as you know, is facing the same problems that Canada is facing. And we were able to solve this problem here. So, you know, we're very excited to see if we can solve this problem outside of Canada and in the US and Europe and Asia and Latin America. Because, again, I mean, if you look at the actual product we built, which again, is absolutely amazing in a year and a half, what you achieve if you put your mind to it and you pretty much work 24/7 because the product is world class right now. And I'm really proud of it. And I hope that we get really good positive feedback from users that are using it. So, you know, it really makes the whole team here proud and everybody happy, right?

Manseeb Khan : I mean, the fact that you guys went so fast in a year, what has I guess what has been your biggest challenge and subsequent to that question? What has been your favorite failure building Coinberry?

Andrei Poliakov: So, I think the biggest challenge is unfortunately out of our control more or less. And that's the general market sentiment. You know, with Bitcoin flying up to almost twenty-five thousand Canadian dollars last December 2017 wasn't a healthy thing for anybody. It wasn't healthy for the industry, it wasn't healthy for the investors. And, you know, the fall that happened afterwards hasn't really helped the industry as a whole. I personally would have preferred it if we if we saw a more healthy, gradual rise in Bitcoin prices versus what we actually saw. But it is what it is and the whole industry is living through the current bear market. And of course, it doesn't make things easier. It's a lot easier when it's top of mind for everybody and everybody is talking about and wants to get into it. But again, we have a great product, so we're personally like as a company, we're growing month over month, which is amazing in this market. But could we be going faster? Yeah, I think if we if we had the product we have now back, you know, mid 2017, we would be on top of the world right now. So, you know, the general market conditions I think is the biggest challenge for us. And one of our failures. So, I think something that we discuss quiet, quite a bit here between Evan and myself, who is the other co-founder of the company, is. We went to market. I think a bit too early at the beginning with a product that wasn't as complete as it is now. And I think if I had a magic wand, I would go back and just hold on a little bit of an ongoing market until  we had a product which was more complete, because what we have now is just as I said, it's world class. And everybody I mean, you know, you live, you learn. And we were very excited to go to market with whatever we had at the time. And, you know, there was some pitfalls, some mistakes made some feedback from users that we had to take into account and to which kind of brought us to where we are now. But knowing what we know now, I would go back and just hold off a little bit. A couple months more, maybe half a year or more and go to market with it with a more deep product then then what we actually did back like a year ago.

Manseeb Khan : So aside from the I mean, what's kind of going in the cryptos space? I mean, what else are you excited about? What else do you have your eye on in 2019 that you're very excited about? I mean, somebody has to give it to give you an idea. I mean, somebody answers. We've been like, what's going on in insurance right now? It's very exciting what's going on in medicine right now. It's very exciting, especially the like the blockchain integration and insurance and medicine. What are you excited about in the space?

Andrei Poliakov: Yeah. So, I mean, what we have right now is we have a bunch of projects we're working with companies even outside crypto, which I'm super excited about, because it shows, first of all, the fact that the industry is maturing is becoming more accepted by other fintech’s in the space, you know? With other financial companies in general, and that to me is super exciting because, you know, in an itself like trading crypto is fun and it's a great way to make money for people that know how to do it. Right. But it's one of its one of many, many, many applications of blockchain in the world, but even specifically within finance. So that, you know, to me that's really exciting is to see that, you know, sort of blockchain and to certain extent even crypto applied to other to solve problems that exist in, you know, in banking, that exist in finance above and beyond, simply trading and speculating on the price of bitcoin today versus tomorrow kind of thing. So that to me, super excited. And you guys are going to see some really amazing project that we're going to be coming out with Coinberry I can't say what it is yet, but in April, it's just going to be that, you know, we have partnerships that are first in Canada and it'll definitely make the news what comes out. I'm super excited about that.

Manseeb Khan :  But, you know, that's what's amazing about the space is that literally you can look the world is your oyster. You can go and knock on any door and say, hey, you know, we have this amazing product with this amazing technology that we built. And and I mean, specifically Coinberry. But then there's also the bigger application of blockchain. And, you know, people listen, and people are excited and interested. And regardless of what's being said and news, regardless of the price of, you know, coin at a point in time. I don't think there's any individual right now who doesn't appreciate the potential of what can you know, what what can be achieved with blockchain. So, it's a lot of opportunities that exist in space right now.

Manseeb Khan :  I absolutely agree with you, the fact that like. Set aside from what a lot of a lot of media outlets are saying about the price and like all negative news around it. I mean, if you actually, like, sit down and actually, you know, go into like one of the you like into your medium page. I mean, you guys have I your own like a little blog talking about like security options, like just like if you just to sit down actually really look into the actual applications of blockchain and Crypto and everything like the world really is your oyster and it just opens up so many more opportunities and then some. Like so many more options that like we haven't even like fathom yet, because that's how massive of an impact this is bringing on.

Andrei Poliakov: And if you think about it like I mean, you and I are a little bit younger. Right. So. So, you know, there was, you know, like take our parents live in a world with no Internet, right. And I mean, I don't know how old you are, but I mean, I remember when I was a kid. Yeah, I know. But, you know, when I turned like 10ish, I think eight, maybe ten. Eleven. That's it. That was the Internet has been around since I was 10 . There as kids now that I've worn that crypto, who has been around the whole life, like they don't know a life where or, you know, a world where there was no blockchain, where there was no bitcoin. So, imagine the solutions that they are going to come up with when they grow up. They're going to blow, you know, out of the water, whatever we come up with. And that's what's super exciting. And I think people forget that. It's like there's been a there's been a change in, you know, and in to a certain degree in technology. And the generation that, you know, they're growing up right now, they're going to take us to, you know, to the stratosphere, which is the most exciting.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No, I'm definitely excited to see just the applications of what they kind of come up with because like you mentioned, like they're actually growing up in this way. Like I'm only 23. Like, I remember being my little brother age, like outside having fun, like fooling around. Now, these guys are like learning and watching all these videos. If such a massive access to information, we're like, yeah, no, they could literally do anything and everything and they can because they have the tools to do things like, yeah. Well you kid now like coding, you know, Ethereum smart contracts.  Yeah, I know for sure. For what.

Andrei Poliakov: You know this kid another ten years is going to be I don't know what he's going to be doing, but it's going to what we're doing now is going to pale in comparison to you know.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, he could be getting contracted out of like one of these law firms.

Andrei Poliakov: Yeah. No, I think it's like the industry super tiding in and, you know, the short-term price volatility. I mean, first of all, Coinberry is in the business of buying and selling cryptocurrency. So, for us, pricing makes no difference whatsoever whether bitcoins twenty-five thousand or twenty dollars doesn't matter. We provide a service to people and as long as people are looking to transact in bitcoin like Ethereum, we're in business. So, pricing itself even for the business model, we have as irrelevant. But to me personally, price is also relevant because it's such a short-term aspect of the growth of a new industry. That doesn't matter. You know, it does not matter. What matters is the services, the tools, the technologies. They're going to be built using blockchain. And that's what really is going to change. It will revolutionize society as a whole.

Manseeb Khan : Eventually. Yeah, no. I mean, I absolutely agree with you. I think they'll be a good, good place to wrap. So, we'll be the best way for the audience. Anybody want to buy a trade crypto? Best way to contact you guys at Coinberry or you personally would be through Snapchat, email. Like fire signal. I mean, carrier pigeon. Yeah. Raven?

Andrei Poliakov: Yeah. No, the carrier pigeon usually works. No, I mean anybody in Toronto is welcome to visit our office. You know, we're located between 320 Davenport. So, you know, feel free to stop by if I'd like to reach out to us on social media. You know, we're on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. We are everywhere, anywhere. And when it comes to social media, we're available online as well. W w w dot Coinberry dot com, c o i n b e r r  y dot com. And also, you can download our apps on the on the Appstore or on the play store or just look for Coinberry.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. Andrei Thank you so much for sitting out with me today.

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 and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy 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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Coindesk | David Pan | Oct 9, 2019 Mutual fund giant Vanguard has partnered with Nasdaq Ventures-backed blockchain startup Symbiont to develop a trading platform for the $6 trillion currency market, the companies said. With the new platform, Vanguard, which manages $5.2 trillion, aims to lower transaction costs for the trillions of dollars worth of currencies it trades annually by boosting peer-to-peer trading for investors, connecting them directly via blockchain technology. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk the company teamed up with Vanguard to build the currency platform, confirming a Bloomberg report that cited an anonymous source. The platform has been operational for two months and completed its first trades during the time, according to the report. A Vanguard spokesperson told CoinDesk: “Vanguard is currently piloting a project focused on improving the efficiency and reducing risk of FX hedging.” The new platform is part of the fund manager’s commitment to lowering the cost of investing for all investors, the spokesperson said. Neither company would provide further details of the pilot. See:  HSBC settles FX deals worth $250 billion on blockchain in last year Machine Learning in Finance – Present and Future Applications The project, if successful, would be another important milestone ...
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Vanguard ForeX blockchain platform - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
Finextra | Oct 8, 2019 The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on an innovation hub in Switzerland that will initially focus on research into digital central bank money and distributed ledger technology. The SNB is working with SIX on the research, embarking on a proof of concept to explore how digital central bank money could be used in the settlement of tokenized assets between market participants. The project is making use of the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) platform, which is currently being built and promises to be the world's first end-to-end exchange for digital assets when it launches next year offering listing, trading, settlement and custody service. See:  Mark Carney’s Trojan Unicorn — Are Central Banks Considering Stealth Nationalization in Sovereign Digital Currencies? The SDX system will be used to explore technical possibilities for integrating digital central bank money into DLT platforms. Options include the connection of the existing Swiss Interbank Clearing System or the issue of digital Swiss franc tokens by the SNB for financial market participants. Jos Dijsselhof, CEO, SIX, says: "We are pleased to contribute to this initiative and, through SIX Digital Exchange, to explore the technological possibilities with ...
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Switzerland - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
Andreessen Horowitz | Anish Acharya In 2006, LendingClub introduced a then-novel business model: the ability to offer online personal loans to millions of underserved customers. The peer-to-peer lender was a media and investor darling, hailed as a tech-enabled alternative to traditional banks. When LendingClub went public in 2014, it was valued at $8.5 billion, the year’s single largest US tech IPO. Now, five years later, that fintech pioneer has lost 85 percent of its market value. Meanwhile, mobile upstart MoneyLion launched in 2013, also providing online personal loans—a direct competitor to LendingClub. Today, MoneyLion claims more than 5 million users and is valued at nearly $1 billion. See:  Peer to Peer Lending: The Future of Fintech is Now LendingClub had significant competitive advantages, from low customer acquisition costs—back then, personal loans keywords weren’t nearly as competitive on Google and Facebook was actively promoting LendingClub as an early F8 partner—to improved underwriting (the company provided lenders with access to customers’ credit score, total debt, income, monthly cash flow, and social data). So why is LendingClub experiencing growing pains while MoneyLion sees significant growth? Though the latter started out solely as an online lender, it quickly morphed into an all-in-one lending, savings, ...
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fintech lenders in disguise - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
CNBC | Chloe Taylor | Oct 8, 2019 Singapore has overtaken the U.S. to become the most competitive nation in the world, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). In its 2019 Global Competitiveness Report, the WEF measured the strength of 103 key indicators, such as inflation, digital skills and trade tariffs, across 141 countries. The key indicators in the report were organized into 12 pillars, which included institutions, macroeconomic stability and health. The U.S., which held the top spot in 2018′s ranking, dropped into second place this year, although the report’s authors noted that it “remains an innovation powerhouse.” America received the highest score in the world in several subcategories, including ease of finding skilled employees and venture capital availability, with the U.S. also being ranked higher than any other country in the business dynamism pillar. However, the country scored relatively low in some categories, with increasing trade tariffs, declining life expectancy and low digital skills among the American population taking a toll on the United States’ overall ranking. The WEF noted that life expectancy in the U.S. is now lower than it is in China, with the U.S. having only the 39th highest life expectancy in the world ...
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Singapore financial district - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
McKinsey & Company | Oct 2019 Ten years ago 10 years ago, the US retail banking industry was in the depths of the global financial crisis, with many one-time leading institutions struggling to survive. Since then, after bringing in billions in fresh capital, US banks have made a return to stable ground and greater liquidity. Despite this progress, aggregate return on equity is at the lower bound of sustainability, and the industry’s price-to-book value is about 1.4, not far above where it stood in 2009. Customer trust has improved from the downturn but is still well below pre-crisis levels. Though most banks were able to avoid unsettling challenges in the following ten years, few were able to break out and significantly outperform the industry. Now, however, several major forces are accelerating the evolution of the US banking industry–the encroachment of new competitors, rising expectations from customers on service levels and corporate responsibility, and an intensifying war for talent—and promising to make doing business more challenging in the coming ten years. Further, US banks have yet to go through the restructuring that has already swept European and Asian markets, where a majority of services are delivered digitally. In this report, we ...
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7 transformative shifts in US retail banking banner - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
Crowdfund Insider | JD Alois | Oct 7, 2019 Last week, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) adopted a “Blanket Order” for “Startup Crowdfunding Registration and Prospectus Exemptions.” In effect, the ASC was seeking to improve access to capital for smaller firms – a good thing- but the move also highlights the disparity between the provinces and a greater need for national harmonization of online capital formation rules. Financial services in Canada are all regulated at the provincial level thus there exists a degree of disparity regarding rules. While a smaller country by population, Canada has consistently ranked high in entrepreneurship and innovation. According to a recent KPMG report, the Canadian Fintech ecosystem is thriving but, like any other country, more can be done. Crowdfund Insider reached out to Denise Weeres, Director, New Economy at the ASC and Craig Asano, Executive Director and founder of the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA). The NCFA has long led the charge advocating on behalf of Canada’s emerging Fintech market and various securities crowdfunding platforms. The New Economy Division of the ASC works closely with staff to coordinate efforts to facilitate capital-raising by new economy companies entering the capital market. The Division ...
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Canadian flag2 - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
TNW Hard Fork | Yessi Bello Perez | Oct 7, 2019 As Facebook deals with the loss of PayPal‘s backing for its ‘cryptocurrency‘ Libra, the tech giant must now get ready to answer EU regulators’ questions about the potential risks posed by the project. The European Commission has requested that Facebook and the Libra Association – the body tasked with supervising the digital currency – answer questions relating to financial stability, money laundering, and data privacy risks. According to the Financial Times, which saw the commission’s questionnaire last week, this is all part of EU financial commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis’ efforts to asses whether projects such as Libra should be regulated in the EU, if new regulation is required, or whether the ‘cryptocurrency‘ should be allowed to operate at all. See:  Libra: France opposes the development of Facebook’s currency “on European soil” News on China cryptocurrency and more reforms Competition Bureau’s call for intel on anti-competitive conduct in digital economy raises eyebrows The news couldn’t come at a worse time for Facebook, which has faced increasing scrutiny and opposition from regulators in recent months. Just last month, Libra‘s founders were subject to questioning by 26 central bank officials in what was the first encounter between the ...
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Facebook Libra and EU committee - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy
Betakit | Isabelle Kirkwood | Oct 4, 2019 This week, Hut 8 Mining Corp., a cryptocurrency mining and blockchain infrastructure company headquartered in Toronto, announced it would begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on October 8. In addition to expediting new listings and transactions, the Sandbox could also become a channel for new securities policy development. The company is the first blockchain or cryptocurrency company to be listed on the TSX, and is also the first to be listed via the TSX Sandbox. The program aims to accept more listing applications and transactions, and grant access to newer companies that don’t meet all the traditional requirements to be listed, such as market capitalization, a long-form prospectus, management team’s experience level, incorporation in Canada, or corporate governance practices. “Our move to the TSX, the senior public market of the TMX Group, is another significant step in our evolution to provide improved liquidity and enhanced public disclosure to investors,” Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Hut 8, said when the company first announced it would list last month. “We are grateful to the TSX for conditionally approving Hut 8 to be the first company through the TSX Sandbox.” The TSX said Sandbox ...
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bitcoin mining hut 8 lists - Fintech Fridays EP37:  Funding is Female with Jill Earthy