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EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed

European Parliament | Dorota Kolinska | Dec 19, 2019

European parliament updates crowdfunding rules - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed

  • A single set of rules will apply to crowdfunding services in the EU, up to EUR 5 000 000 

  • Strict rules to protect investors from financial losses 

  • Member states responsible for authorising and supervising crowdfunding providers 

EP negotiating team reached a deal with the Council on Wednesday on EU-wide rules to help crowdfunding services function smoothly and foster cross-border business funding.

The uniform set of criteria will apply to all European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) up to offers of EUR 5 000 000 (from EUR 1 000 000 proposed by the Commission), calculated over a period of 12 months per project owner, the agreed text says.

To enable small companies or start-ups to use the crowdfunding option, the shares of certain private limited liability companies, which are freely transferable on the capital markets, were included in the scope of the legislation.

The legislation will be accompanied with additional safeguards and clarification on how investors should be informed of the consequences of their choices.

Protecting investors: clear information and transparency

Investors would be provided with a key investment information sheet (KIIS) drawn up by the project owner for each crowdfunding offer, or at platform level. Crowdfunding service providers would need to give clients clear information about the financial risks and charges they may incur, including insolvency risks and project selection criteria.

See:  NCFA advocacy initiatives

In addition, investors identified as non-sophisticated would be offered more in-depth advice and guidance, including on their ability to bear losses and a warning in case their investment exceeds either 1000 EUR or 5% of their net worth, followed by a reflection period of four calendar days.

Authorisation and supervision

Negotiators decided that a prospective ECSP would need to request authorisation from the national competent authority (NCA) of the member state in which they are established. Through a notification procedure in a member state, ECSP would also be able to provide their services cross-border. Supervision would also be carried out by NCAs with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) facilitating and coordinating cooperation between member states. ESMA’s role, and to a lesser extent that of the EBA, was strengthened in areas such as binding dispute mediation, data collection from NCAs in order to produce aggregated statistics and development of technical standards.

"I am satisfied that we came to an agreement on the final version. I hope that, in a couple of years, investors will see this agreement as a good 2019 Christmas gift", said Eugen Jurzyca (ECR, SK), rapporteur for crowdfunding regulation.

"This regulation will allow crowdfunding service providers to give SMEs, start-ups and innovative companies new opportunities. New projects will have better access to finance that will boost the real economy", said Caroline Nagtegaal (Renew, NL), rapporteur responsible for file on “Markets in financial instruments: crowdfunding service providers”.

Next steps

Technical work on the text is now under way by the services of the three institutions. Afterwards, the agreement will have to be approved by the Economic Affairs Committee and the Parliament as a whole.

Source:  European Parliament

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed 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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Principles for Businesses

Robin Ford Consulting | Jan 6, 2019

ethics and integrity - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreedPrinciples for Businesses

When hearing the phrase “principles for businesses” most of us working in the financial services sector think first of the high level requirements and high level expectations imposed on financial services businesses by regulators. They really matter – partly because they are (or should be) requirements that are enforced, and partly because policy makers and regulators understand very well that if these requirements are not met, regulated firms will not be fully competent to meet other more specific legal requirements and to service markets and customers fairly and well.

 

What are they?

  1. Integrity: conduct business with integrity.
  2. Skill, care, & diligence: conduct business with due skill, care, and diligence.
  3. Management & control: take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems.
  4. Financial prudence: maintain adequate financial resources.
  5. Market conduct: observe proper standards of market conduct.
  6. Customers' interests: pay due regard to the interests of customers and treat them fairly.
  7. Communications with clients: pay due regard to the information needs of clients, and communicate information to them in a way which is clear, fair, and not misleading.
  8. Conflicts of interest: manage conflicts of interest fairly, both between itself and its customers and between a customer and another client.
  9. Customers - relationships of trust: take reasonable care to ensure the suitability of advice and discretionary decisions for customers who are entitled to rely upon its judgment.
  10. Clients' assets: arrange adequate protection for clients' assets when it is responsible for them.
  11. Relations with regulators: deal with its regulators in an open and cooperative way, and disclose to the appropriate regulator appropriately anything relating to the firm of which that regulator would reasonably expect notice.

Source: Handbook of the UK Financial Conduct Authority

See:  Lagging regulation, consumer trust inhibiting FinTech adoption in Canada

How are they applied?

In line with its risk-based approach to supervision, a conduct regulator will make clear that firms should apply the principles proportionately in a way that makes sense for their specific business. Firms must also demonstrate how they have achieved compliance.

What are the benefits?

Firms that are used to box-ticking, black letter law compliance will find this approach difficult at first, but achieving it, with the necessary adjustments over time as the business evolves, will pay big dividends. First, of course, they will be compliant but, even more important, demonstrated compliance should enable the regulator to be more relaxed about supervision and impose fewer formal and informal reporting and other discretionary requirements on the firm. Also, if the firm breaches a more specific requirement, the regulator may decide not to take enforcement action on the grounds that systems and controls were adequate or, if it does, any penalty that would otherwise be imposed may be reduced.

Second, these principles really are the essence of a well-run, successful business. In its supervision, the regulator will therefore focus on a firm’s internal culture, its business models, and the way the firm treats its customers (taking a risk-based approach). As the UK FCA puts it: “…culture is about encouraging and incentivising good things, not just stopping bad things from happening” (Speech: https://www.fca.org.uk/news/speeches/transforming-culture-financial-services).

See:  Social equity must be central to urban tech innovations

Regulators want to prevent misconduct, not just clear up the messes after they happen, by anticipating and pre-empting poor conduct. This is exactly what firms themselves should be doing, whether or not regulators are watching them. One could call this self-regulation, or just good business. As one head of compliance for a very large global financial services conglomerate said to me once, she would not be able to do her job if she did not start with these high-level principles in every jurisdiction within her portfolio.

Conclusion

All financial services firms everywhere should strive to meet these high-level requirements. Businesses cannot serve markets and their customers well if they are not compliant with both the letter and spirit of the principles. And, when entering new markets, they are a very good place to start.

Robin Ford is a former Chief Counsel, Insurance, UK Financial Services Authority and former Executive Commissioner, British Columbia Securities Commission. With some minor differences, this article was first published in the Global Business Counselling newsletter RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS in December 2019.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed 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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Cambridge: Global Regulator Survey Results – Regulation of Alternative Finance is Key to Make Sector Safe to Scale for the Masses

Crowdfund Insider | | Oct 21,2019

coins and tokens - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreedThe Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), part of the Judge School of Business at Cambridge University, has partnered with the World Bank to publish a report on the global regulation of alternative finance and innovative Fintech firms. According to the new report, the regulation of alternative finance will increase significantly over the next two years, as indicated by a global survey of 111 regulatory jurisdictions.

Equity Crowdfunding, Peer to Peer Lending & Initial Coin Offerings

As various forms of alternative finance emerge, typically regulators are slow to update or create new rules as they research and dissect digital services. More specifically, access to capital platforms such as equity crowdfunding, peer to peer (marketplace) lending and initial coin offerings (or token offerings), have digitized investment opportunities and the capital-raising process. These three types of finance are the focus of this report. The CCAF study seeks to better comprehend alternative finance via empirical information gleaned from regulators and other public authorities.

Alongside AML/KYC requirements, regulators’ main priorities are said to be:

“… protections against misleading promotions or the misuse of client money. Depending on the activity in question, between 93% and 100% of regulatory frameworks impose requirements in relation to the clarity and fairness of promotions; between 100% and 88% impose sector-specific AML/KYC requirements, and over 80% impose the segregation of client assets, where applicable.”

While regulators and other policymakers see the potential for new forms of finance they simultaneously understand the need to better regulate the sector for the “mass market” including individuals and mid to small businesses (MSMEs).

See: 

 

CCAF explains:

“Despite a boom in alternative finance regulation since 2015, the relevant activities are still not formally regulated in most jurisdictions – only 22% of jurisdictions formally regulate P2P lending, as opposed to 39% for ECF [equity crowdfunding] and 22% in the case of ICOs [initial coin offerings]. Where these activities are regulated, some jurisdictions apply to them pre-existing regulatory frameworks (e.g for securities). More often, they are subject to bespoke regulatory frameworks, particularly in the case of P2P lending (12% of jurisdictions) and ECF (22% of jurisdictions).”

While not the norm today, CCAF predicts that by 2021 most jurisdictions will have bespoke rules for investment crowdfunding and over a third will have new rules for peer to peer lending and ICOs.

Creating new rules or updating old ones is not always an obvious task. Regulators, as one would expect, look towards other jurisdictions to gauge and compare rule-making progress and development.

While fraud and capital loss are big concerns, regulators frequently lack the expertise and other resources to move quickly and better regulate. Innovative policy approaches have helped in their task. CCAF states:

“Regulators are thus looking to more innovative solutions to overcome these limitations in regulation and supervision. Among respondent regulators, 22% have created regulatory sandboxes, 26% have innovation offices and 14% have active Regtech/Suptech programs. Based on regulators’ responses, the number of sandbox and Regtech/Suptech programs could double and triple respectively in the coming years. In terms of sheer numbers, it seems that innovation offices that have the most quantifiable impact to date, having assisted twelve times as many firms as sandboxes – over 2,100 in total, against just 180 for sandboxes. However, proponents of the sandbox might argue that for particular ‘policy-testing’ orientated sandboxes, the purpose is not to increase the number of innovative firms supported but to facilitate policy learning, design, and review.”

 

See:  Canadian fintech adoption rate hits 50 per cent, but still trails global peers: EY

potential impact of altfi - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance | Oct 2019

Cambridge regulating alternative finance 1 - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed

Highlights from the report

  • Alternative finance is still typically unregulated – but bespoke regulation is catching on. Despite a boom in alternative finance regulation since 2015, the relevant activities are still not formally regulated in most jurisdictions – only 22 per cent of jurisdictions formally regulate P2P lending, as opposed to 39 per cent for ECF and 22 per cent in the case of ICOs. More often, they are subject to bespoke regulatory frameworks, particularly in the case of P2P lending (12 per cent of jurisdictions) and ECF (22 per cent of jurisdictions).
  • The potential of alternative finance speaks to a new set of regulatory objectives.
    Policymakers globally are keen to explore the promise of alternative finance. A clear majority are optimistic about its potential to improve MSMEs' and consumers' access to finance (79 per cent and 65 per cent respectively) and stimulate competition in financial services (68 per cent). Such expectations chime with regulators' emerging priorities, as many now have statutory objectives to support financial inclusion, economic policies or competition. While regulation is not the norm today, by mid-2021 most jurisdictions will be regulating ECF and more than a third intend to regulate P2P lending and ICOs; bespoke frameworks will likely become even more common.
  • Benchmarking drives global regulatory change.
    Regulatory benchmarking is used by more than 90 per cent of regulators when reviewing alternative finance regulation, and lessons learned from other jurisdictions have prompted changes in regulation more frequently than any other trigger (56 per cent to 66 per cent of regulators, across the three activities). The most benchmarked-against jurisdiction is the UK, followed by the USA and Singapore, but emerging markets such as Malaysia, the UAE and Mexico also rank among the top 10.
  • Alternative finance regulation is about making the sector safe at scale.
    Alternative finance regulation seeks to make the sector fit for the mass market, including both individual investors and MSMEs. Ensuring liquidity or minimising the potential for capital losses do not appear to be prioritized over those goals. This may be an indication of how regulators interpret their consumer protection mandates in relation to alternative finance.

See:  ‘Underwhelming’ financial services sector contributes to lagging productivity: report

  • Alternative finance regulation isn't 'light touch'.
    There is little evidence yet of regulators purposefully creating light-touch regulatory frameworks for alternative finance. If anything, purpose-built regulatory frameworks tend to have more obligations in place than pre-existing ones – out of 20 potential obligations examined in the survey, the average bespoke frameworks for P2P lending or ECF featured nine, against five for pre-existing ones. For ICOs, the balance was five versus three. They tend to prioritise checks on investor exposure, rigorous due diligence on fundraisers, client money protection and appropriate online marketing standards.
  • As supervision stretches their resources, regulators are turning to innovation.
    Alternative finance supervisors see fraud, capital loss and money laundering as significant risks. Enforcement cases are also common, particularly in unregulated ECF and ICO sectors. Regulators are also looking to more innovative solutions to overcome these limitations in regulation and supervision. Among respondent regulators, 22 per cent have created regulatory sandboxes, 26 per cent have innovation offices and 14 per cent have active RegTech/SupTech programmes.
  • Alternative finance regulation needs better support and a stronger global evidence base.
    To design regulations for alternative finance, regulators have thus received support from a wide range of sources. Most common is for regulators to be supported by multilateral institutions such as various development banks (23 per cent), followed by their peers, for instance, through associations of financial regulators (17 per cent). Nevertheless, 77 per cent of regulators would like more support. Comparing how often sources of support are currently available and desired, there are sizeable gaps. The gap appears larger in the case of support from academics: 13 per cent have received this, but 61 per cent would like to.
  • Emerging-market regulators highlighting new regulatory objectives in regional clusters.
    Most regulators in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean now have statutory inclusion objectives, while regulators in Latin America are more likely than their peers elsewhere to have competition objectives. Regulators in lower income jurisdictions are twice as likely as those in high income jurisdictions to be tasked with supporting governments' economic policies (42 per cent vs 20 per cent), and those in Sub-Saharan Africa are about three times as likely (64 per cent).

Download the 84 page PDF Cambridge / World Bank report --> Now

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed 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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Goldman Sachs is slashing employee pay as it ramps up new tech ventures like the Apple Card

CNBC | Hugh Son | Oct 17, 2019

david solomon - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed

Key Points

  • The bank set aside 35% of its revenue for staff compensation and benefits this year, the lowest that ratio has been in at least a decade, according to an analysis of Goldman’s data.
  • Put another way, the average Goldman employee earned $246,216 for the first nine months of 2019, less than half the $527,192 at the same point in 2009.
  • “As we grow more platform-driven businesses, we expect compensation to decline as a proportion of total operating expenses,” CFO Stephen Scherr says.

Goldman Sachs is on track to pay its employees the lowest of any year in at least the past decade, and executives warned that the trend will continue as software consumes more of the firm’s businesses.

The bank set aside 35% of its revenue for staff compensation and benefits so far this year, the lowest since at least 2009, according to an analysis of Goldman’s data.

See:  Silicon Valley VCs Are Planning to Get Bankers Out of the IPO Business

Put another way, the average Goldman employee earned $246,216 for the first nine months of 2019, less than half the $527,192 at the same point in 2009. That figure is calculated by dividing the bank’s compensation pool by the number of workers.

It’s the latest sign of the times for Wall Street and Goldman in particular. Trading became far less lucrative for banks after financial crisis-era rules discouraged hedge-fund like bets and central banks drained volatility from markets. At the same time, human traders have been disrupted by electronic firms like Virtu and XTX, places that employ a few dozen coders to trade billions in stocks and currencies every day.

“We are in the midst of the biggest marriage of tech and finance in history,” said Mike Mayo, a veteran bank analyst at Wells Fargo. “It means more bots relative to bankers, more machines, more automation, more scale. The next decade will see the implementation of technology to a greater extent and in ways that have never been done before.”

The drop in employee pay will continue as Goldman undergoes a fundamental shift: For most of its 150 years, its business model was essentially to pay top dollar for the best talent available.

Now, as CEO David Solomon faces pressure to reinvent the bank and unearth new sources of revenue, Goldman has been working feverishly to create automated solutions in existing and nascent businesses. That means clients will increasingly interact with software instead of expensive humans.

“As we grow more platform-driven businesses, we expect compensation to decline as a proportion of total operating expenses,” CFO Stephen Scherr told analysts on Tuesday. “Platform businesses should carry higher marginal margins at scale and be less reliant on compensation.”

In fact, the firm spent $450 million so far this year on efforts to draw in new customers, including its launch of the Apple Card, the expansion of its Marcus retail banking brand and the creation of a payments platform for corporate clients.

In its markets division, the bank recently committed $100 million to overhaul its stock trading technology to serve sophisticated quants who rely on trading systems over human operators. And Goldman’s direct-to-client platform Marquee has recently seen “strong growth” to 50,000 monthly active users, Scherr said this week.

See:  Where Top US Banks Are Betting On Fintech

With the bank facing pressure on its overall returns and skepticism over its transformation, the money has to come from somewhere. Taking down employee compensation is one such lever, according to Portales Partners analyst Charlie Peabody.

Continue to the full article --> here

 

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed 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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‘Underwhelming’ financial services sector contributes to lagging productivity: report

Investment Executive | Maddie Johnson | Oct 16, 2019

productivity and the financial services sector - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreedC.D. Howe calls for more regulatory barriers to be removed

For years, Canada’s productivity growth has lagged many of its international peers, according to an upcoming report from the C.D. Howe Institute. And the financial services sector could play a vital role in reversing the trend.

The report, to be released Thursday, examines the financial services sector and its overall contribution to productivity in Canada.

Authors Farah Omran and Jeremy Kronick link long-term sustainable economic growth with an improvement in productivity, saying advanced economies need to do more than just increase their traditional inputs, such as labour and capital.

The financial services sector has the ability to improve its productivity, which would in turn enhance Canada’s overall productivity growth, the report says.

Despite its potential, the sector falls short, and its overall contribution to Canada’s productivity growth is “underwhelming.”

The report discusses how three main channels — competition, attracting capital and the allocation of capital — are hindered by restrictive regulation, hurting Canada’s overall productivity growth.

“Canada’s current regulatory framework has improved over the past decade; however, more could be done to remove regulatory barriers that hamper competition, the progress of innovative firms, and better reflect international best practices,” the report says.

See:  Nov 20, 2017: NCFA Canada Welcomes Competition Bureau’s recommendations to encourage competition and innovation in Canada’s financial services sector


Remove barriers to financial sector productivity: C.D. Howe Institute

C.D. Howe Institute | Oct 17, 2019

The authors examine the contribution of the financial services sector to Canada’s productivity growth and find it has been underwhelming, considering its potential. The financial services sector employs relatively more Canadians with postsecondary and postgraduate education than do other sectors, and promotes growth and productivity within the other complementary sectors that serve it. As a result, any increase of productivity in the financial sector has an outsized effect on Canada’s productivity at large.

The report lays out how regulatory changes could improve the contribution of the financial sector to productivity by increasing competition through the development of fintechs (financial technology), and by bolstering lending to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), through measures including a switch from a focus on mortgage lending to business lending.

Fintech: The report notes only $263 million in investments were made in Canada’s fintech market in the first half of 2018, compared with $14.2 billion in the United States and over $16 billion in the United Kingdom.

One obstacle to investment, productivity and scaling up of fintechs in Canada is legislation that until recently restricted the extent to which banks could invest and participate in fintechs and other technology-related activities. Although recent amendments to the Bank Act and the Insurance Companies Act raised the investment limits based on the value of the entity being acquired, the government has yet to provide sufficient clarity regarding these changes and set a date for enforcing them.

See:  NCFA Letter to Ontario Economic Development on Burden (Jan 2019)

Lending to SMEs: Canada ranks dead last among OECD peers in small business lending as a share of total business lending, and near the bottom in overall business and small businesses lending as a percentage of GDP. This indicates a need to investigate whether it is necessary to deepen Canada’s capital markets beyond domestic bank debt financing, which according to OECD data was 60 percent of all SME financing in 2017 (approximately 80 percent if we include foreign banks, credit unions and caisses populaires).

One reason for this is that the alternative to business lending – residential mortgage lending – is risk free, and SME operational costs might be too binding and crowd out SME credit. This risk-free mortgage lending is a result of the 100 percent insurance that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provides lenders of insured mortgages. As a start, the authors recommend that CMHC begin scaling insurance premiums to the credit-worthiness of mortgage borrowers instead of the present one-size-fits all approach.

“Although regulations are necessary to protect consumers and maintain the stability of the financial system,” says Omran, “They should be balanced between protecting against potential risks and ensuring appropriate competition – often from new entrants – which is crucial for the generation of innovative ideas and, in turn, productivity growth.”

More broadly, the authors recommend:

  • the continued removal of barriers to the development of fintech through a flexible regulatory approach that is both based on the specific function of individual fintechs, and proportional to the risk involved in the services provided;
  • more explicit competitiveness mandates for Canada’s financial services regulators to spur innovation;
  • continued strengthening of the links between regulatory bodies both across provinces and different regulatory areas;
  • changes to the incentive structure so that financial institutions move away from a focus on mortgage lending to one on business lending.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed 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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Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen

Dr Dan Rosen is a FinTech Entrepreneur and Quant. Dr Dan Rosen resize - Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen

He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of d1g1t Inc., a new digital wealth management platform, powered by analytics, that offers advanced transparent portfolio management services to advisors and their individual investors. He is an Adjunct Professor of Mathematical Finance at the University of Toronto and was the first Director of the Centre for Financial Industries at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

Dr Rosen was the co-founder and CEO R2 Financial Technologies, acquired by S&P Capital IQ in 2012, and where he was Managing Director for Risk and Analytics until 2015. Prior to starting R2 in 2006, Dr Rosen had a successful career over a decade at Algorithmics Inc., where he led financial engineering and research, strategy, products and marketing.

In addition to working with numerous financial institutions around the world, he lectures extensively on financial engineering, portfolio management, enterprise risk and capital management, credit and market risk, valuation of derivatives and structured finance. He has authored numerous risk management and financial engineering publications, including two books, and several patents, and serves in the editorial board of various industrial and academic journals.

Dr Rosen was inducted in 2010 a Fellow of the Fields Institute for his “outstanding contributions to the Fields Institute, its programs, and to the Canadian mathematical community”. He currently serves in the Board of Directors of the Fields Institute, as well as in the Advisory Boards of the OSC on Fintech, Canada’s Institute Innovation Platform (IIP), International Association of Quantitative Finance (IAQF), Global Risk Institute (GRI), Center for Advanced Financial Studies at the University of Waterloo, and the Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (iLead) at the University of Toronto. He is one of the founders of the Professional Risk Management International Association (PRMIA) and of RiskLab, initiated at the University of Toronto.

He holds an M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and was a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Centre for Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship. His B.A.Sc. is in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, in Mexico City, where he was awarded in 2015 the recognition of Distinguished Alumni.

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d1g1t Secures Series A Round to Fund the Growth of its Enterprise Wealth Management Platform

CAD $9M investment to support build-out of enterprise portfolio management, analytics and client servicing tools for global wealth management industry

TORONTO — 15 November 2018 — d1g1t Inc., the enterprise financial technology company serving the wealth management industry, announced that it has closed its second round, Series A financing to fund the continued growth of its enterprise digital wealth management platform. Powered by advanced analytics and risk management tools, the d1g1t platform offers transparent portfolio management services to professional advisors and their individual investors.

d1g1t has raised in excess of CAD $9 million over two private investment rounds lead by Purpose Financial, which is headed by Som Seif and backed by the Ontario Municipal Pension Retirement System (OMERS). Other investors in d1g1t include highly-regarded Fintech investors Extreme Venture Partners and Portag3, as well as a distinguished group of angel investors and d1g1t clients.

Through an innovative cloud-based technology platform, d1g1t delivers to financial advisers and their clients greater transparency and enhanced communication that generates trust, as well as an enriched client experience. Its advanced enterprise-wide portfolio and client management capabilities enable advisors to better manage their portfolios and provide their clients with sound investment decision support based on individualized goal-based planning tools, sound risk management and investment analytics.

The d1g1t enterprise wealth management platform is now going live with four clients, responsible for managing an approximately CAD $13 billion of assets under management (AUM) for over 5,000 households.

“The wealth management industry has been underserved by modern technology,” said Dr Dan Rosen, co-founder and CEO of d1g1t. “We have engineered the d1g1t platform to empower advisors to provide proven, transparent, value-added services built around client goals, a richer customized experience for their clients, and stronger client relationships based on long-term trust. Technology, analytics, Big Data and AI will have tremendous impact on the wealth management industry, but will not eliminate the need for human advisors. Instead, they will dramatically improve the services that these advisors provide to their clients.”

The end-to-end platform allows advisors to focus on their client needs and scale the business by uniquely integrating the entire client management lifecycle from client onboarding and financial and investment planning, to portfolio and client monitoring, portfolio rebalancing, trading and compliance.

d1g1t is co-founded by veteran Fintech entrepreneurs, Dan Rosen, Philippe Rouanet and Benoit Fleury, who previously co-founded R2 Financial Technologies, (acquired by S&P Capital IQ) and before that were senior executives of Algorithmics Inc. (acquired by IBM). Originally incubated at the prestigious Fields Institute in Toronto, the company has put together one of the strongest financial engineering teams in the industry to build and support the d1g1t platform.

Purpose Financial is both a lead investor in d1g1t and a client. Its Purpose Advisory Solutions platform has been working with the d1g1t team for the last 12 months, as one of the four early development clients.

“We’re excited to support d1g1t in its roadmap as we feel our industry has done little to invest in technology to support advisors and allow them to optimize their portfolio strategies and client experience,” said Som Seif, CEO of Purpose. “d1g1t provides an unparalleled end-to-end platform to run a modern advisory business which enables advisors to manage much bigger books more efficiently. Advisors and business leaders can now manage their business real-time through business intelligence and continuity reports, advisors can focus on value added activities, and their families and clients can get full transparency through an integrated client experience and modern reporting.”

To learn more please visit: https://www.d1g1t.com.

About d1g1t Inc.

d1g1t provides a new digital end-to-end wealth management platform powered by sophisticated analytics and risk management tools that offers transparent portfolio management services to professional advisers and their individual investors. Headquartered in Toronto, the company is founded by an experienced team of financial technology experts who have developed some of the leading portfolio systems for banks, institutional asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance companies, and regulators around the world.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen 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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BC Securities Commission | Release | Jan 27, 2020 Vancouver – The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is seeking input from interested stakeholders through two new advisory groups. Last week, the BCSC held the first meeting of its Corporate Finance Stakeholder Forum, which will help ensure that the Commission’s regulation of issuers is efficient and effective. The BCSC also announced that it is seeking applications from the financial technology community to join the Fintech Advisory Forum. “We work to keep the investment markets fair and honest, in a cost-effective manner,” said Brenda Leong, the Chair and CEO of the BCSC. “Smart regulation depends on good intelligence, and the best way to get that is by engaging with the people and businesses affected by our rules.” The 25 volunteer members of the Corporate Finance Stakeholder Forum is advising Corporate Finance staff on policy initiatives, investment market trends and other emerging issues affecting reporting and non-reporting issuers, including investment funds. At its first meeting January 22, members discussed the proposal by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) for a “notice equals delivery” system, as well as other proposals for reducing regulatory burden for public companies. See:  NCFA Canada’s response to BCSC Notice 2018/1 ...
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Finextra | Jan 22, 2020 While technology has yet again been a central topic of discussion at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, there has also been a determined focus on fintech and how financial inclusion is key to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In conversation with Finextra, Haus of Fintech founder Misha Rao highlights that the recent formation of the Digital Financing Task Force by the UN Secretary General, as well as the need to ensure the financing of the SDGs - which has a $2.5 trillion annual financing gap - "it is time to actively question how we catalyse the fintech ecosystem globally and build coalitions and strategic partnerships that come up with practical solutions and ensure prosperity is widely shared on a local and an international level." See:  Task Force Analyzes Role of Fintech in Accelerating SDGs Rao continues: "We know that digital finance initiatives could add $3.7 trillion to the GDP of emerging economies and organisations including the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum have invested in fintech, believing that it has the potential to create a better world. "We believe that core areas like the need for ...
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global global - Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen
LA Times | Jan 27, 2020 Kobe Bryant, the NBA MVP who had a 20-year career with the Lakers, was killed Sunday when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames in the hills above Calabasas. His daughter Gianna, 13, was also on board and died along with seven others. For live updates and remembrance --> here Inc. | Sonia Thompson | Dec 13, 2018 This is How You Achieve Greatness. 5 Essential Lessons From Kobe Bryant A few months ago, Kobe Bryant released his book, The Mamba Mentality. I've always admired his work ethic that led to his numerous accomplishments, so I was eager to dive into the text. See:  Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace During Bryant's famed 20-year basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he racked up five NBA championships, two NBA finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals. He's also the third-highest all-time career regular season scorer for the league. The lessons Bryant laid out in his book are gold for entrepreneurs who want to build a legacy of greatness in their work. Here are five important lessons from Kobe's Mamba Mentality every business leader should adopt. 1. Obsession is not-optional. Jeff Bezos often muses about how customer obsession ...
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WSJ | AnnaMaria Andriotis | Jan 19, 2020 Tech giant plans terminals to let consumers link credit card information to their hands Amazon wants to make your hand your credit card. The tech giant is creating checkout terminals that could be placed in bricks-and-mortar stores and allow shoppers to link their card information to their hands, according to people familiar with the matter. They could then pay for purchases with their palms, without having to pull out a card or phone. The company plans to pitch the terminals to coffee shops, fast-food restaurants and other merchants that do lots of repeat business with their customers, according to some of the people. Amazon declined to comment. Amazon, like other tech companies, is trying to further integrate itself into consumers’ financial lives, leaving banks and card networks on edge. Apple Inc. introduced a credit card last year, and Google is rolling out checking accounts. If the Amazon terminals succeed, they could leapfrog mobile wallets such as Apple Pay while expanding Amazon’s already-extensive access to consumer data. See:  Grab launches first cloud kitchen in Singapore amid GrabFood expansion Amazon’s projects are closely watched both by tech and financial companies, which are increasingly colliding ...
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World Economic Forum | Yuval Harari | Jan 24, 2020 Humanity faces three existential threats this century, warned historian Yuval Harari at Davos 2020. Technology risks dividing the world into wealthy elites and exploited "data colonies," he explained. "If you like the World Cup - you are already a globalist," he said, making the case for better cooperation to tackle the challenges. As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first Century, humanity faces so many issues and questions, that it is really hard to know what to focus on. So I would like to use the next twenty minutes to help us focus of all the different issues we face. Three problems pose existential challenges to our species. These three existential challenges are nuclear war, ecological collapse and technological disruption. We should focus on them. Now nuclear war and ecological collapse are already familiar threats, so let me spend some time explaining the less familiar threat posed by technological disruption. In Davos we hear so much about the enormous promises of technology – and these promises are certainly real. But technology might also disrupt human society and the very meaning of human life in numerous ways, ranging from the ...
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Verdict | Ellen Daniel | Jan 13, 2020 Open banking was first launched in January 2018 and received much attention from the financial community as the potential bringer of fintech disruption. The regulations require UK-regulated banks to share their customers’ financial data (with permission) with third party providers through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) in order to make it easier for customers to access financial services and for TPPs to develop new products. Today marks open banking’s second anniversary and while it has impacted the financial landscape, prompting incumbent banks to adapt to innovation and opening up new opportunities in terms of consumer experience, some have argued that the regulation is yet to live up to expectations. See:  Open Banking in the UK: what’s happened so far Banks had until March 2019 to establish a “sandbox” environment that third party providers could access and use to test products and until June to make their APIs available to third parties, but many European banks have not adequately met key deadlines, stalling innovation. Although many traditional banks are now adhering to open banking regulations, more could be done to ensure that they also benefit from the new landscape in terms ...
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open banking image2 - Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen
The New York Times | Ruchir Sharma | Jan 20, 2020 To outsiders, China may seem like a surveillance state. But tech has fueled growth and helped stave off recession. Landing in Shanghai recently, I found myself in the middle of a tech revolution remarkable in its sweep. The passport scanner automatically addresses visitors in their native tongues. Digital payment apps have replaced cash. Outsiders trying to use paper money get blank stares from store clerks. Nearby in the city of Hangzhou a prototype hotel called FlyZoo uses facial recognition to open doors, no keys required. Robots mix cocktails and provide room service. Farther south in Shenzhen, we flew the same drones that are already making e-commerce deliveries in rural China. Downtown traffic flowed smoothly, guided by synced stoplights and restrained by police cameras. Outside China, these technologies are seen as harbingers of an “automated authoritarianism,” using video cameras and facial recognition systems to thwart lawbreakers and a “citizen score” to rank citizens for political reliability. An advanced version has been deployed to counter unrest among Muslim Uighurs in the inland region of Xinjiang. But in China as a whole, surveys show that trust in technology is high, concern about ...
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Driverless delivery bot in China - Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen
TechCrunch | Danny Crichton | Jan 17, 2020 I talked yesterday about how VCs are just tired these days. Too many deals, too little time per deal, and constant hyper-competition with other VCs for the same equity. One founder friend of mine noted to me last night that he has already received inbound requests from more than 90 investors over the past year about his next round — and he’s not even (presumably) fundraising. “I may have missed a few,” he deadpans — and really, how could one not? All that frenetic activity, though, leads us to the paradox at the heart of 2020 venture capital: It’s the largest funds that are writing the earliest, smallest checks. That’s a paradox because big funds need big rounds to invest in. A billion-dollar fund can’t write 800 $1 million seed checks with dollars left over for management fees (well, they could, but that would be obnoxious and impossible to track). Instead, the usual pattern is that as a firm’s fund size grows, its managing partners increasingly move to later-stage rounds to be able to efficiently deploy that capital. So the $200 million fund that used to write $8 million Series As transforms ...
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NCFA and TFI | January 23, 2020 Strengthening Canada's fintech and financial reach through collaboration, competition and networking at FFCON20 TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / January 23, 2020 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) and Toronto Finance International (TFI) announced today a collaborative partnership and the joint launch of the 2020 Fintech and Financing Conference and Expo (FFCON20) to be held in downtown Toronto on March 23-24, 2020. The theme for the 6th annual FFCON is RISE, reflecting the joint efforts of the two associations, NCFA and TFI, to build and increase the success and sustainability of Canada's fintech and financial sector. With finance and fintech touching virtually every business and entity of people's lives, FFCON draws national interest and global participation from high-growth startups and leading industry experts across a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. You will find fintech entrepreneurs from across all fintech sectors including digital banking, peer to peer finance, AI, capital markets, wealth management, payments, crypto and blockchain along with innovative financial institutions, investors, regulators, government and major industry stakeholders, all in one place. FFCON facilitates thought-provoking and relevant discussions, lively debates and personal networking for the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences ...
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Wealthsimple | Press Release | Jan 21, 2020 Wealthsimple Cash offers 2.4% interest rate and lets Canadians save and spend through a mobile app and metal card TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2020 /CNW/ - Wealthsimple has launched its first hybrid saving and spending product: Wealthsimple Cash. The new account offers users the ability to save and spend with one of Canada's highest non-promotional interest rates of 2.4% - in addition to a host of features that help people earn more on every dollar in their Cash account. Wealthsimple Cash combines a saving and spending account to give Canadians the power to have both an account that allows for everyday purchases while also providing a safe place to grow their money. Cash clients will benefit from no monthly account fees, no low balance fees, no foreign transaction fees worldwide, and ATM fee reimbursements - all through a sleek, metal card designed to make spending responsibly easy. "Canadians are used to the status quo when it comes to everyday banking - multiple accounts, high fees and low interest," said Michael Katchen, CEO and co-founder, Wealthsimple. "With Wealthsimple Cash, users can enjoy the power of a high interest savings account for all of their day-to-day spending needs ...
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Ep27-Mar 1: Blockchain Gaming and Esports with Shidan Gouran

NCFA Canada | Mar 1, 2019

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Ep27-Mar 1:  Blockchain Gaming with Shidan Gouran

About this episode:  On this week's episode of the Fintech Friday's Podcast our host Manseeb Khan sits down with the CEO of Global Blockchain Technologies Shidan Gouran. They chat about acquiring X2 games, Facebook getting into the blockchain, and the future of Fortnight - Enjoy! (Transcript)

HOST:  Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST:  SHIDAN GOURAN, CEO, Global Blockchain Technologies (Linkedin)

BIO:  Shidan is a serial entrepreneur who helped pioneer unified communications and the connected consumer electronics industries. He mined his first Bitcoin in 2010, and has been involved in cryptocurrencies ever since. He has been widely quoted in business and tech publications on matters relating to blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, and currently serves as CEO of Global Blockchain Mining Corporation, a publicly-traded cryptocurrency investment company based out of Vancouver, Canada.

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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 with me today. I'm super excited to jump right into today's topic.

Shidan Gouran: Great. So am I Manseeb.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. So, could you just before the audience that may not know essentially who you are and the amazing work that your company is doing could you just give us a quick rundown?

Shidan Gouran: Yeah. So many. My name is Shidan Gouran. I'm the CEO of Global Blockchain technologies and a few other companies from the blockchain space. Global Blockchain technologies  recently merged with a gaming company created by. Noel Bushnell who is the founder of Atari and that's called Global Gaming now. Global Gaming Technologies. And separate to that I'm an investor in the space. I've invested in a lot of game related startups and it's an area that I'm very bullish on for the future.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. So, I'm going to try to dig a little bit more into this so how did this whole like gaming initiative really start. Was it like I mean like where you a huge fan of Atari growing up and then now you get that kind of work with the actual like the creator over like how? like what's really the story behind you getting into the gaming industry?

Shidan Gouran: Yeah. So, I was a huge fan of Atari. Like everybody else my age practically. And you know so it was thrilling to meet Nolan and you know learned that he started a company back then in the blockchain space and blockchain the fight for the gaming industry. And that's an area that I  thought was a perfect fit. It's like a glove for a hand. It's blockchain can really change that industry dramatically because it brings fairness to keeping score. It allows trading of digital assets. And it allows trading of games and whatnot. All these things. A small independent. Publisher can do just as well as the largest publishers. Through these technologies. Right. Right. If a small publisher who you know. Three people working. Let's say 12 hours a day on a game. In their basement. They're not going to have the opportunity to really architect and build an in-game economy. They'll build an in-game wallet system for trading these things and the customer support that comes with it. Just  doing multiplayer game, simple casual multiplayer games is very difficult over the Internet without partnering with a large portal. All these kinds of things can be. Solved through these technologies that make commerce and trading things very easy and allows anybody to create a solution like. A. PayPal let's say. Well in theory there's still I mean  I'm talking about digital assets here  not fiat currency obviously. But to build something infrastructure that that's not robust that not secure and allows trading of these things and keeping track of things. Allowing games to federate with each other so you could have a group of games that decide to federate and use. One In-game currency or one matchmaking service that's not owned by any particular person. But all of them together. All these kinds of things are possible through blockchain technologies. They're different things. But I think I think they're going to be having a dramatic impact on the sector.

Manseeb Khan : Just I mean like just sticking with the whole merchant aspect or just you know just like being able to like buy and sell and trade games and just have like in the indie game creators kind of just all like jump in and just like stand like just federate together and stand behind like a token or coin or what have you. I mean that that that in and of itself is very interesting because now with I mean as a gamer myself I'm sorry.

Shidan Gouran: It's not just standing behind a token it is standing behind one database   right so what it would mean. They can share the same users the same ranking of the users the same token you know the digital assets everything. Right. If it becomes it becomes a social network for them essentially that they can tap into and use. So, it's not just Facebook but they have their own users on the platform that is theirs and the people that are federated with it. So that's  a really big deal right now. Right now, we're not seeing where we're actually seeing decentralized social networking really gain more steam than anywhere else. It's in games that it's not on clones of Facebook or YouTube or anything like that but it's all these publishers were building their solutions on one common block chain infrastructure with one game and there's many of it. Right now, the two contenders are EOS and Ethereum and it looks like EOS is leading the pack. We've we started an initiative there as well and we we're working on it prior to the crash of the markets. We still have great partnerships there and are looking to see how we sit in this ecosystem as it builds up. So, you know this this is an area that that we're extremely interested in. It's very early days. What are you What are you what I can also tell you is for example a lot of small really artistic and talented groups are forming around? Recently I met with somebody from a company called blockade games. They've taken something like crypto kitties and really taken that to videogames on a level that I've only seen a few other startups do. But they are popping up so you can each clothing each item is actually represented as a token. It's all stored on the block chain. It's all accounted for there the wallet is there and they're tradable between people without these people being involved in any way shape or form. So, it is it is really interesting how the space is evolving. Interactive Media! Interactive Media is becoming a lot easier. So, you saw Bandersnatch you saw a bunch of other things come out this year like Resident Evil  who's doing a movie that's you know interactive in the sense of decide how it evolves and everything. These things are being dignified and prizes are going to be a big part of it. So gaming is changing rapidly. You see what's happening with Esports it's becoming more popular than. Traditional sports.

Manseeb Khan : Yes, they're getting very competitive there. They're starting to worry competitive I feel like Olympic a lot like Olympic numbers now like EA Sports is getting massive which is just incredible.

Shidan Gouran: It is it is. And all of this together I mean I mean EA Sports you win prizes. The game there's betting involved all these kinds of things tie into block chains and the digital assets. Economy worlds and gaming. It's going to be a huge driver for her retail I.T. it for this decade. So, 2020 to me is a big year for gaming, I think it's going to be. Personally, I think it's going to be bigger than cannabis actually real. That's what millennial's do. I mean I mean right now the most popular stock. On Robinhood is Aphria Right. So, they smoke pot and they play video games. You talk to a millennial.  That's what they do and that's why this is gonna be so important. Facebook and companies like that  their biggest threat in my opinion the gaming worlds that let you do social networking and do everything. I think we realize that and Just with the way everything is going this new culture that's being built up around them it's a really important space thing that's been good, I think.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I agree with you. I think it’s kind of makes sense why Facebook way back when decided to buy Oculus right because they knew VR gaming is going to be the next frontier that they really have to capitalize on. Right. Like you said like 2020. Yeah. Because like now we have like if you get an iPhone you go on the app store like the 8th and if you go into like the little categories AR gaming right. Augmented reality gaming is huge right. This explains the whole like Pokémon Go. It blew up overnight because it's just it's interactive and like this is just going to be the first of many. Right.

Shidan Gouran: Yeah absolutely right.

Manseeb Khan : So I mean like this is just this conversation is actually very interesting because like now with blockchain what it really is  it's starting to create an actual true community for gamers for not only gamers but like for creators for designers for everybody is kind of creating this whole, this union because right now I mean I guess the only way people can kind of like the closest thing like an actual community would be either if you go on twitch and you watch a famous streamer or if you can go on Discord watch your famous or just you know  go on chat. So, I mean yeah how else is blockchain gonna just radically change like gaming scene. Aside from just creating this amazing community?

Shidan Gouran: Well the community the most important thing. So, I don't think it necessarily needs to revolutionize it in any other ways. Do I. Do I think Discord is going to be replaced by a decentralized platform anytime soon? No, I don't. But do I think a platform like Discord will come by that you know relies on ideas and user it's being stored on a block chain but it's still a centralized service that those users have to you know sign up too much in the same way that you sign up too many services using your Facebook ID. But no. You can do that without Facebook. And I think what will be attached to that is also your tokens your holdings your scores certain things which can be put on a block chain but certain things that you're not going to replace all the centralized features of a death squad or YouTube in the next decade probably but you are bit by bit going to have more of it decentralized and solutions are going to come by that that use though. So very interesting is what Mark Zuckerberg has recently been saying about block chain technology because he actually I just discovered this recently agrees with me on this and for somebody like that who's an incumbent to say this is the future and this is what we're looking to do. We're trying to figure this out ourselves. It's a huge deal because he doesn't need to, but you know Facebook does it and doesn't need to compete to compete with blockchain at this point. It is the incumbent in the world that he doesn't need to compete with anybody and yet it seems that this is going to be disruptive and this is the future. He makes it very clear that that he believes decentralized identity is a very important area for Facebook and he believes. Blockchains are a major potential solution here. So, bit by bit you are going to see blockchain become the database of everything and where it's going to start is with identity and you know accounting for things like value transfers and eventually it's going to be everything right. This will be the back end of everything, and everything will be an app on your kind of commons just  like other commons we had in the world like the park or anything right. So, it's but that's I think the promise of block chain and that's how they're evolving. You're not going to get the TV industry adopting it you're going to get small gamers. Yeah and people like. You know were able to see farther in the future like Mark Zuckerberg who says yeah you know what. We're not going to compete with that.

Manseeb Khan : We're gonna join it. Now I agree with you I mean just harping on what you just said like the whole TV industry. You're not going to see them or even the movie industry adopt it anytime soon you to some small renegade you're going to see gaming communities you going to see like other small little pocket ecosystems really fully adopt and  really take advantage of it and then sooner or later like this is probably what 2030, 2035 TV might start considering or even if it's still around.

Shidan Gouran: I absolutely I was very surprised to hear Mark Zuckerberg recent opinions on this space because so many of his initiatives rate his initiatives are really amazing in this space. You know I can see that coming from a telegram game I can see it coming from an indie game developer. But to see a major incumbent say that this is the way we're going. We haven't seen that from Google for example Google is doing nothing in this space because you know common. Sense tells you this is eating their own lunch at the end of the day. It gets rid of platforms right. It doesn't get rid of publishers, but this space can get rid of platforms and you know. At the same time, you are seeing some major game developers and you are seeing as I said parties like from major, I guess the largest platform in the world for social interaction kind of saying yeah, we're exploring the space too it's not just these small companies.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah I mean if anything this kind of gives all this gives a lot of market validation right because like just like not only the work that you're doing in the blockchain gaming space but like just what the other it like the other guests that I had on the show that are doing other aspects that that also involved blockchain like the fact that like you having  Mark Zuckerberg like a we're kind of like saying like hey you know this is something we're looking into this is like Okay thank god this is like a breath of fresh air that like hey you know we're not crazy like we told you this is coming. This is the amazing work that we're doing now. The fact that he has a validation this is only going to like to propel this until another into the stratosphere.

Shidan Gouran: Yeah. I mean I mean just to give you an example of the kinds of people working on applying blockchain to gaming. Right now, you have. Fortnight's founder who is who is developing solutions around the states and very much involved and passionate about it for example. He is developing Tim Sweeney. Developing solutions on the EOS blockchain. And you have people like Again Nol Bushnell either the list can go on and on. It's absolutely amazing. How strongly the gaming industry has embraced these technologies these decentralized technologies. I mean it kind of does make sense because they are the best developers actually somebody who is you know built an A.I. engine or is very good at computer graphics. It's much easier for them to pick up any technology because they're already at the forefront of as far as skill sets. They have been you know even in the 90s they were somebody who understands computer graphics from back then is a very good developer. Blockchains are still not very user friendly. I need somebody who can who can you know dive under the hood and understand how the code works. You can't hire your average web developer and expect them to take a blockchain technology and build solutions for you. Because cookie cutter templates and frameworks haven't really been developed yet. You are yet to actually understand the protocols. You have to actually understand how the technology works and the low-level details become much more important. So that's maybe one reason why people in the gaming world are adopting it more than people. You know your average web site entrepreneur for example because for them it's too difficult. Well for the people in the gaming world they already are so technical It's actually an easier challenge to approach.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I mean it's light like you mentioned. It's taking away platforms and it makes sense like gamers or game developers and gaming entrepreneurs are it makes sense that they'd take on blockchain a little bit more openly because they are on the forefront of these kind of technologies right. I mean like sooner or later like just a fortnight example right you're going to see them probably building and not build an A.I. that's going to probably just make the game that much more fun than before interactive and just have like you know, now at Right now you have a creative mode right. Like if I just took over creative mind just having all these cool little missions and adventures and everything, I just like its endless fun. It really is endless an endless adventure.

Shidan Gouran: Already a lot of the AI machine learning and more traditionally AIs and gaming it's the science actually one of the areas that that's always been at the forefront of that. And I think I think as the solutions increase yeah, you're going to see a lot more of that you're going to see a lot more bots. So, I think and independent agents in these games for sure that you don't have today just look at how much chat bots have improved in quality since Siri came out right. It's still not really commercially viable that. But there was a little hype bubble in the chat bot space because people were amazed that these things are so much better. Right. It was just a few years ago you couldn't call into a phone number into an IVR. You know one of these phone menus. And have somebody ask you what you are looking for and be able to directly properly. These are things that the people are kind of not realizing how much they've improved. Right. So, I am very bullish on A.I. and in gaming and I think that's a very interesting area as well.

Manseeb Khan : A little bit more of a tangible example. I mean what this could is more of a hypothetical question right. I mean like I guess how radical of a change would block chain bring to say a game like Fortnight.

Shidan Gouran: Well it'd be incredible, I think. And you know so. One thing is again you would have an independent user base where people from fortnight to play in other places and maybe even characters could grow in other worlds other games maintain their digital identity maintain their assets. Trade their assets very easily fortnight as recently getting into the e-sport space then people mistakenly think that fortnight is not a good platform for E-Sports. But you know it's the early days it takes a while to build technologies and platforms to make sports interesting for the I mean a game like fortnight interesting to the youth sports world. Right. So, betting on a fortnight for example is can be immensely popular because all sorts of rich events you know you're not just winning you're losing how you kill somebody, what you do, what weapon you use, all these kinds of things are all betting events it becomes very rich. And you're seeing solutions where you can focus on a certain number of players and you know again some very creative people coming by with methods, you're just seeing this pop up now where you can follow a fortnight game and it's very entertaining. I myself don't enjoy it. I enjoy watching video games, but I am very bullish on where this is going because I see that a lot of people do and fortnight actually some of these technologies which I can't talk about too much because they're not public yet public knowledge and I'm involved with as an investor you know they're making a game like Fortnight. Really interesting to watch actually. And I think that's going to be what's really interesting when you have E-sports that don't look like traditional sports, but you can do even more with it right. When the web came out everybody was trying to replicate the piece of paper as far as there you know cognitive understanding goes. But it's grown to be a lot more than that. And the same thing is going to happen with these sports. Right now, it's mimicking regular sports and the same way of watching it. But people are going to make it much easier to watch and be entertained by something like fortnight as well. So, it's not just like DOTA for the future it's also games like Fortnight that are going to have a huge viewership I believe.

Manseeb Khan : Yes, I agree. I think it should be interesting of like right now E-Sports is again just to harp on what you said just that it really is trying to mimic regular sports. I think it's going to take off and just form and become its own animal in and of itself. I mean I'm a not a huge fan of really watching gaming videos or anything but like that's like my 10-year-old brother is the first thing he does like I remember when I was his again, I would watch my cartoons. He comes on and he just has like a list of like all these favorite streamers and he's like arcades and watch Ninja first then he's going to watch like Mr .Beast and goes down his list. It's incredible.

Shidan Gouran: This was exactly you talk to your average 10-year-old and this is what they do. This is what they loved doing. Oh yeah. It's all about games. They live in games and in the gaming,  industry is already much larger than the music and video industry put together. Oh yeah. And This is just going to increase. I mean. The whole thing is going to get blurred. Video and gaming are going to get blurred for sure. And that's why interactive video to me is very interesting Sure.

Manseeb Khan : I think like even taking it one step further like you did you did touch on digital identities. I mean sooner or later you're gonna have like the digital like your digital persona and your real persona that's gonna start getting pretty blurred to at some point right. Because you'll be spending too much time and energy creating, I guess like the best example would be like if you had like a second like us you can't get on Second Life persona online Absolutely yeah.

Manseeb Khan : Look I mean so I guess what the audience can. I mean what can fans of Atari what can we really expect from X games like what is what is something that I mean like you mentioned you are investor a lot of companies or you're very heavily invested in the gaming industry. What is something that I like I can  touch back on my comebacks on this episode of kind of like hey Shidan the things that you said like  what's the news? what are the updates?

Shidan Gouran: Yeah. So, look X2 is an amazing company because it has a really wide spectrum of areas that it's working in. It has a blocking division where they're doing stuff with gaming and block chain that consortium, I told you about that that we were involved with for over a year there. They're still partners with everybody there as far as friendships go and whatnot and good things will come out of it eventually. They have an in-game wallet that they can license to so many game producers and whatnot a game some of these small independent operators that need games and very large operators as well because obviously they're a very connected team right in the center of the gaming universe which is Los Angeles. Really that's one aspect of this blockchain aspect but that's not even the major aspect of it. That's one spectrum. The other is that they're coming out with game after game and they're coming out with an area that I'm very excited about the game which is that interactive video area and other interactive content that's not traditional you know DOTA like gaming or Fortnight like gaming it's much more casual so they're coming out with a board game where you have an interactive bot voice narrative that goes with it. You can make decisions and it's also integrated with mobile so it’s the first of its kind. I think Amazon should be very excited about what they're doing, and I see them you know they're there they're always invited to these conferences with Amazon and whatnot because it is an Amazon Alexa based product. I think when that comes out it's going to be a whole new way a whole new type of game a whole new media essentially right? So that's really exciting to me because it's something completely new. It's not something better. It's something completely new and they're coming up with a number of productions like this. And I think that's really where global gaming is going to shine in the future. Personally. Yeah. So, I mean I mean that's I think really for it for especially the retail audience. I think it's important that they realize that this is a very risky space and working with a company that has. A wide spectrum of projects is really to their benefit for startup

Manseeb Khan : Right now, I agree with you I mean the gaming space is very new it's I mean I mean it's not really volatile. But it's very new it's emerging it's up and coming so yeah, I'm excited for this whole Alexa thing that's there should be a I can't I can't wait for that. So Shidan. To wrap this up what with the best way for our fellow gamers to contact you would it be through email, Snapchat. I mean is there Discord chat we can jump in with you, would it be raven?

Shidan Gouran: Yeah. So maybe my Twitter handle is Shidan and you can always follow me there and reach out to me I'm very happy to speak with everybody there you can email me shidan@forkcsc.com  Yeah that's probably the best email that's global block mining technologies which I'm still running myself and I think I think those are the two best methods.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today and I'm super excited for all your incredible projects to really revolutionize and take over the gaming industry.

Shidan Gouran: Yeah likewise. Thanks very much for having me Manseeb I enjoy your podcast in general

Manseeb Khan : Thanks so much.

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End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - EU rules to boost European crowdfunding, platforms agreed 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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