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Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen

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Dr Dan Rosen is a FinTech Entrepreneur and Quant.

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.

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.


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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Crowdfund Insider | By Bret Conkin | March 22, 2019 VoCare is raising capital for the launch of a new Medtech device, the Vitals360; a smartphone-sized diagnostic device for the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) and Point-of-Care verticals. Current investors include AGS Capital and SAW Capital and tax credits are available to Indiana investors via the State of Indiana. The Vitals360 eliminates the need for extra peripherals, hubs, and tablets for managing cardiac care, diabetes and other chronic conditions and offers cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled real-time data transfer to provider, patient and family portals.  The Vitals360 device measurements include: (1) Blood Glucose, (2) Blood Pressure, (3) Pulse, (4) Oximetry, (5) Temperature, and (6) Electrocardiography (ECG). When reviewing their options to raise capital, VoCare researched and consulted with a number of crowdfunding platforms.  Their goal was a $2M capital raise via Reg D 506c for trials and sales and marketing so VoCare developed the PPM required for compliance.  After several years in R&D for a “doctor’s office in your pocket” vitals device, the Vitals360 was moving through FDA approvals.  VoCare’s goals also wanted to build a community and attract partners. See:  Search Finally. Canadian Securities Administrators Announce Intent to Harmonize & ...
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Medtech Start-up VoCare Boutique Crowdfunds $1.1 Million on Own Website
NCFA / Team FFCON19, March 19, 2019 FFCON19 FEARLESS to address the challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and innovators in the vanguard of transforming the financial industry TORONTO, BC / ACCESSWIRE / March 19, 2019 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA), the non-profit cross-body organisation that promotes and supports fintech and funding throughout Canada, is proud to announce additions to the speaker line-up and programme for its flagship Fintech and Financing Conference - FFCON19: FEARLESS - taking place in Toronto April 3-4. Now in its 5th year, FFCON19 will bring together prominent industry experts, entrepreneurs, professionals, regulatory bodies and ecosystem stakeholders in fintech, blockchain, crypto, AI, capital markets innovation and alternative finance to discuss Canadian fintech and its ability to innovate and globally compete, the latest industry developments, emerging regulation, trends and thought leadership in a fearless framework and forum. The two-day event will feature inspiring keynote addresses and panel discussions with industry leaders, pitching competitions, awards, and prime networking opportunities. Prominent speakers include The Honorable Bill Walker, Minister of Consumer and Government Services, Ontario, and steward of the Province's new Data policy; and Teri Kirk, Founder & CEO of Fundingportal who will discuss Open Data vs. Proprietary ...
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NCFA Announces Additions to Speaker Line-Up and Program for 5th Annual Fintech and Financing Conference in Toronto
Bloomberg | By Doug Alexande and Matt Robinson | March 19, 2019 His crimes: identity theft related to a bank-and-credit card scam. His sentence: 18 months in U.S. federal prison and, later, deportation to Canada. Once there, Omar Dhanani underwent a remarkable transformation -- into a new identity and the wild world of cryptocurrencies. Dhanani, now known as Michael Patryn, has emerged as an enigmatic figure in the strange case of Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp., the digital exchange owner that hasn’t been able to find C$260 million ($195 million) of clients’ cash and cryptocurrencies. Patryn co-founded Quadriga five years ago with the late Gerry Cotten, whose sudden death in December at age 30 left the Vancouver-based firm in shambles. Patryn denied he was Dhanani in a Feb. 8 report in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper and disputed a subsequent report linking him to a criminal past. But Canadian records obtained by Bloomberg News confirm he legally changed his name -- twice: in 2003 and in 2008. The revelation adds a new layer to the mystery surrounding Quadriga, whose closure in January left 115,000 clients wondering if they’ll ever get their money back. Cotten ran the operation mostly from his laptop, so ...
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Criminal Past Haunts Surviving Founder of Troubled Crypto Exchange
Ryan Aceman, special to BNN Bloomberg | March 15, 2019 #FFCON19 is set to showcase the importance of being fearless to succeed in Fintech 12 cutting-edge companies will compete in a ground-breaking pitch competition  Key emerging trends from tech and investment realms will be highlighted Where finance and technology meet, lies one of the most fascinating sectors of the modern world. From its inception, the financial technology (Fintech) space has been built on inventive thinking and unconventional concepts. This crucial intersection has the power to transform global banking, investing, and many other sectors that people and businesses interact with on a daily basis. "The Canadian Fintech industry is leading the way in revolutionizing financial services and events such as FFCON19 to help create a strong ecosystem that cultivates innovation and growth.  Excited to be a part of it!" — Dr. Dan Rosen, CEO of d1g1t.com From April 3rd–4th in Toronto, Ontario, FFCON2019: Fearless will aim to embody this innovative essence, hosting a variety of influential thought leaders, industry experts, and 750 attendees. The event will function as a comprehensive and daring expo showcasing innovators and disrupters that are having significant impacts within Fintech. Attendees will learn vital content delivered from ...
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Canada’s leading Fintech and financing conference
Chainbits | Nathan Rodriguez | March 14, 2019 After the ongoing saga of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX’s downfall, another Canadian cryptocurrency company is now coming under scrutiny. Canada Bitcoin Exchange Inc. is now being investigated as a possible scam. Warning Against Canada Bitcoin Exchange The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), a Canadian financial regulator, has issued a warning against Canada Bitcoin Exchange. The watchdog stated that the company was offering overly attractive BTC (Bitcoin) investment plans to its customers. Canada Bitcoin Exchange was offering 4 different BTC investment plans on its website. Each of the programs asked users to invest a certain amount of capital for a period of 24 to 48 hours. In return, the company offered returns that started at 3.586% and went as high as 7.985%. The website stated that Canada Bitcoin Exchange would reinvest customers’ BTC in other stocks as well as cryptocurrencies. The company claimed to have a team of professional market analysts in place who knew how to find hot stocks. The company also stated that this project was run by the Canada Bitcoin Exchange Group. Signs of a Scam Upon investigating the company, the BCSC found that Canada Bitcoin Exchange was an ...
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Another Canadian Crypto Exchange Under Fire
Dr Dan Rosen is a FinTech Entrepreneur and Quant. 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 ...
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Meet FFCON19 Featured Keynote Speaker: Dr. Dan Rosen
NCFA | FFCON19 Team | March 14, 2019 Want some credit for being in Fintech? Things are tough out there for some parts of Fintech. If you are part of the ICO, blockchain economy for example, they tell you it’s winter. Those bear markets are tough. It’s like Rodney Dangerfield used to say: No respect. You just wish you could get some credit for your hard work and your groundbreaking innovation... I’ve got some good news for you. FFCON19: FEARLESS has partnered with a company that wants to give you the credit you deserve. Well, $10 bucks worth on your next ride with our friends at Lyft. (No taxi for you!) But only if you register and join us on April 3-4 in downtown Toronto. FFCON19 is a fintech focused conference and expo with several special guests, an amazing lineup of speakers, many well known investors and investment opportunities galore through a pitching competition. And guess what? You can still get a discounted ticket. But you only have 2, that’s right, TWO days left. This deal disappears on March 15, 2019. So if you would like Lyft to give you a little fintech credit while networking, pitching, speaking, connecting and ...
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Want some credit for being in Fintech?
CSA | March 14, 2019 Toronto – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) today published Joint Canadian Securities Administrators/Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Consultation Paper 21-402 Proposed Framework for Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms. The consultation paper seeks input from the fintech community, market participants, investors and other stakeholders on how regulatory requirements may be tailored for crypto-asset trading platforms (platforms) operating in Canada. “This consultation outlines a proposed regulatory framework that provides clarity for platforms, greater market integrity and protection for investors,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. “Platforms have told us that a tailored regulatory framework is welcome as they seek to build consumer confidence and expand their businesses across Canada and globally.” “The emergence of digital and crypto assets continues to be a growing area of interest for regulators, investors and marketplaces – and, together, securities regulators are taking steps to deepen our understanding of this area,” added Andrew J. Kriegler, President and CEO, IIROC. “We must adapt to innovation, and provide clarity to the market about how regulatory requirements might best be tailored and applied to these unique business models, while ...
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Canadian securities regulators consult on regulatory framework for crypto-asset trading platforms
Polymath / KABN release | March 11, 2019 TORONTO & SAINT MICHAEL, Barbados & GIBRALTAR--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Polymath (www.polymath.network), the global leader in software solutions that enable assets to be digitized, distributed, fractionally owned, and ultimately liquidated, has formed a consortium in close collaboration with KABN (www.kabn.network), a global financial services platform that has developed, among its suite of products, a patent pending, blockchain based, GDPR compliant, Always On, global identification and accreditation as a support service for investors and other types of contributors. Polymath is leading the effort to make it easier for organizations to create digital securities from traditional assets through partnerships and a community that supports a transparent and compliant process for issuers and investors. Through its extensive service provider network with firms like KABN, Polymath provides security token issuers with access to top quality service providers. “Our solution supports the creation of digital securities from a wide range of traditional and non-traditional assets,” said Kevin North, CEO of Polymath. “The intention of this partnership is to create a best practice model for customers who need help with the full lifecycle of an STO (Security Token Offering). In this model, the issuer would work with an integrated network of ...
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Polymath and KABN Announce Consortium to Accelerate the Creation, Distribution, and Management of Digital Securities Across Multiple Jurisdictions and Platforms
NCFA Canada | Burden Reduction Committee | March 1, 2019 Executive Summary In response to the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC’s) January 14, 2019 request for comments, this submission responds to the eight questions set out in the OSC’s Staff Notice 11-784. This submission draws heavily on, and also updates, the Association’s earlier submission to the OSC dated August 24, 2017 (see Appendix), which primarily focused on the crowdfunding requirements in Ontario. The National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada (the Association) represents over 2,000 fintech SMEs and individual members that support financial and capital market innovation, small businesses and technology. We are pleased that the Ontario government is undertaking this important regulatory burden reduction initiative to the benefit of all Ontarians. The Association has consulted a number of diverse crowdfunding and fintech stakeholders – including exempt market dealers, industry experts, securities lawyers, regulators and government agencies and is proposing several recommendations to reduce unjustifiable burdens placed on Ontario’s businesses. The Association recommends that the province undertake the following: The OSC conduct a review and publish a report evaluating the effectiveness of Ontario’s crowdfunding regulations (45-108) compared to other jurisdictions in Canada and international competitors such as the UK, US and ...
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March 1, 2019:  NCFA Submission to the Ontario Securities Commission on Regulatory Burden

 

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Thanks to the CITY OF TORONTO for Sponsoring a block of Limited quantity Start-up Tickets to attend FFCON19 from low as $50.  Hurry and snag one before they are gone!

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Ep27-Mar 1: Blockchain Gaming and Esports with Shidan Gouran

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NCFA Canada | Mar 1, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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.

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.

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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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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Comprehensive Overview of Fintech in Switzerland H1 2018

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Baer & Karrer | By Daniel Flühmann and Peter Hsu | May 23, 2018

The Fintech Landscape

1.1 Please describe the types of fintech businesses that are active in your jurisdiction and any notable fintech innovation trends of the past year within particular sub-sectors (e.g. payments, asset management, peer-to-peer lending or investment, insurance and blockchain applications).

The Swiss fintech landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years and Switzerland continues to be an attractive base for innovators in the financial sector. Approximately 200 active companies in various sub-sectors form the core of the diverse Swiss fintech ecosystem. The total number of fintech-related businesses, however, is much higher. Many established financial institutions and other established financial market players have entered the fintech space in the recent past and, as a result, the distinction between fintech and traditional financial services has become increasingly blurred.

Swiss-based fintech businesses include robo-advisory and social trading services, crowdfunding and crowdlending platforms as well as payment systems and businesses active in the area of collective investment schemes. One of the key focus areas in the past year has been driven by blockchain-based businesses, in particular in the areas of cryptocurrencies and decentralised transaction platforms (e.g. Ethereum and Lykke), many of which are based in the socalled "cryptovalley" in the Canton of Zug. This development is accompanied by a notable increase in so-called initial coin offerings ("ICO") out of Switzerland, i.e. a digital method of raising capital through the issuance of tradable digital units (coins or tokens) to finance or develop early stage projects of start-ups, including but not limited to projects in the fintech sector.

See: Your guide to cryptocurrency regulations around the world and where they are headed

The Swiss fintech industry has formed a number of associations and shared interest groups (e.g. the Swiss Finance + Technology Association, Swiss Fintech Innovation, Swiss Finance Startups and the Crypto Valley Association) to promote, together with investors, experts and media, the development of a strong Swiss fintech sector.

1.2 Are there any types of fintech business that are at present prohibited or restricted in your jurisdiction (for example cryptocurrency-based businesses)?

Switzerland has no specific prohibitions or restrictions in place with respect to fintech. Generally speaking, Swiss financial regulation is technology-neutral and principle-based, which has so far allowed it to cope with technological innovation. That said, fintech operators may be subject to regulation and supervision by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA ("FINMA") or by selfregulatory organisations depending on the nature and specifics of their business. The relevance and application of Swiss laws on e.g. anti-money laundering, collective investment schemes, financial market infrastructures, banks, insurance companies and/or securities dealers has to be assessed in the individual case (see question 3.1). With regard to ICOs in particular, FINMA recently published a guidance letter in which it emphasised the concept of an individual review of each business case regarding the regulatory impact. It is therefore prudent for fintech start-ups to seek clearance from the regulator before launching their project in the market.

2 Funding For Fintech

2.1 Broadly, what types of funding are available for new and growing businesses in your jurisdiction (covering both equity and debt)?

Switzerland has an active start-up scene and various funding opportunities are available for companies at every stage of development. There are seed and venture capital firms for early funding as well as mature debt and equity capital markets for successful companies at a later stage. In addition, there are many financial institutions that have a potential interest in buying an equity stake in fintech companies or in a full integration.

Crowdfunding and crowdlending as alternative sources of funding have shown rapid growth rates in Switzerland. The first crowdfunding platform was founded in 2008 and currently there are now around 50 active platforms (compared to only four in 2014). A further professionalisation of the crowdlending market may be expected for the near future as Swiss Parliament is deliberating on changes to the Consumer Credit Act ("CCA") with the intention to subject crowdlending intermediaries to certain reporting duties and further obligations in connection with the review of the creditworthiness of the borrowers.

Furthermore, a growing number of incubators and accelerators, either exclusively fintech-related (such as the association F10 or Thomson Reuters Labs – The Incubator) or focused on digital innovation in general including fintech (such as Kickstart Accelerator), support and guide fintech start-ups in transforming their ideas into successful ventures.

2.2 Are there any special incentive schemes for investment in tech/fintech businesses, or in small/ medium-sized businesses more generally, in your jurisdiction, e.g. tax incentive schemes for enterprise investment or venture capital investment?

There are no specific tax or other incentives for the benefit of the fintech industry in Switzerland. However, depending on the tax domicile of the company and the residence of the shareholders, there are certain tax benefits for start-up companies and tax schemes benefitting investors. In addition, again, depending on the tax domicile of the company, the ordinary profit tax rate in Switzerland can be as low as 12%. Currently, there are also discussions in Switzerland regarding the introduction of special R&D deduction regimes and of an IP box regime.

See: How Blockchain is Impacting Canadian Fintech Markets

In particular, start-ups may benefit from a tax holiday on the cantonal and federal level if their tax domicile is located in a structurally less developed region of Switzerland. Furthermore, if a company sells a stake of at least 10% in an investment which has been held for at least one year prior to the sale of the participation, the realised profit benefits from a participation deduction. In addition, Swiss resident individuals are not taxed on capital gains realised on privately held assets. Dividend payments to companies which hold a participation of at least 10% or with a fair market value of at least CHF 1 million in the dividend paying company also benefit from the participation deduction. Dividend payments to Swiss resident individuals on substantial participations of at least 10% are taxed at a reduced rate. Switzerland levies annual wealth taxes. In order to lessen the tax burden for start-up investors, start-up companies are often valued at their substance value for wealth tax purposes (e.g. in the Canton of Zurich).

Finally, it is common in Switzerland to discuss the tax consequences of an envisioned structure with the competent tax administration.

2.3 In brief, what conditions need to be satisfied for a business to IPO in your jurisdiction?

The requirements for a listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange (the main Swiss stock exchange) are laid down in its Listing Rules and its Additional Rules and can be divided into (i) requirements regarding the issuer, and (ii) requirements regarding the securities to be listed. Essential criteria include e.g. that the issuer has existed as a company for at least three years, has a reported equity capital of at least CHF 2.5 million, a free float of at least 20% and a minimum capitalisation of the securities in public ownership of CHF 25 million.

2.4 Have there been any notable exits (sale of business or IPO) by the founders of fintech businesses in your jurisdiction?

There have not been any recent IPOs in Switzerland in the area of fintech. However, in 2017, Warburg Pincus acquired 45% of the shares in Avaloq Group AG, a leading Swiss provider of software solutions and business process outsourcing services for the financial industry.

3 Fintech Regulation

3.1 Please briefly describe the regulatory framework(s) for fintech businesses operating in your jurisdiction, and the type of fintech activities that are regulated.

The Swiss financial regulatory regime does not specifically address fintech. Rather, the legal framework governing the activities of fintech operators consists of a number of federal acts and implementing ordinances as well as circulars and other guidance issued by FINMA. Fintech business models have to be assessed in light of this regulatory framework on a case-by-case basis (see question 1.2).

Based on their (intended) activities, fintech operators may in particular fall within the scope of the Banking Act ("BA") (if engaging in activities involving the acceptance of deposits from the public; see question 3.2), the Anti-Money Laundering Act ("AMLA") (if active as a so-called financial intermediary, e.g. in connection with payments or lending; see question 4.5), the Collective Investment Schemes Act (if issuing or managing investment funds or engaging in other activities relating to collective investment schemes), the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (if acting as a financial market infrastructure, e.g. a multilateral trading facility), the Stock Exchange Act (if acting as a securities brokerdealer or as a proprietary trader), or the Insurance Supervision Act (if acting as an insurer or insurance intermediary). Moreover, inter alia, the CCA, the Data Protection Act ("DPA") as well as the National Bank Act may apply.

More: Fintech As a Pathway to Financial Inclusion? The Case of China

Depending on the specific business model, regulatory requirements may include licence or registration requirements as well as ongoing compliance and reporting obligations, in particular relating to organisation, capital adequacy, liquidity and documentation, as well as general fit-and-proper requirements for key individuals, shareholders and the business as such. Certain types of regulated businesses are prudentially supervised by FINMA on an ongoing basis in a two-tier approach whereby a regulatory audit firm appointed by the supervised firm conducts a significant part of the on-site reviews. The individual financial market laws provide for de minimis and other exemptions that can potentially be relevant for fintech operators depending on the type and scale of their activities. FINMA is the unified supervisory authority for the Swiss financial market, ensuring a consistent approach to the qualification and regulatory treatment of fintech operators. Furthermore, Switzerland has an established system of industry self-regulation by private organisations such as the Swiss Bankers Association SBA, the Swiss Funds & Asset Management Association SFAMA as well as numerous professional organisations for financial intermediaries. Some of the regulations issued by self-regulatory organisations have been recognised by FINMA as minimum standards (e.g. in the area of money laundering prevention).

3.2 Are financial regulators and policy-makers in your jurisdiction receptive to fintech innovation and technology-driven new entrants to regulated financial services markets, and if so how is this manifested?

Representatives of FINMA have expressed on various occasions that the Swiss regulator encourages innovation in the Swiss financial marketplace. FINMA has, inter alia, established a dedicated fintech desk to interact with fintech start-ups and held a roundtable focusing on blockchain technology with interested parties in May 2017. Furthermore, FINMA's CEO in particular supports legislative change to lower market entry barriers for innovative financial services providers and to establish Switzerland as a fintech hub. In the recent past, FINMA revised several of its circulars, which specify the practice of the regulator under the current legislation, to render them technology-neutral (e.g. by not requiring certain documentation to be held in physical written form). FINMA also published new circulars with the purpose of removing obstacles for technology-oriented financial services providers, notably a circular enabling video and online customer identification for anti-money laundering purposes (see question 4.5).

To further the efforts of the financial regulator for facilitating fintech, projects for legislative changes at various levels were initiated in late 2016. Certain elements of these projects were already implemented in 2017. In particular, the Swiss Federal Council (i.e. the Swiss federal government) amended the Swiss Banking Ordinance ("BO") with effect as of 1 August 2017, introducing the following reliefs with regard to licensing requirements:

  • Innovation sandbox: Firms accepting deposits from the public or publicly holding themselves out as accepting deposits may profit from an exemption from the requirement to obtain a banking licence as long as the deposits accepted do not exceed CHF 1 million. This threshold is measured on the basis of the aggregate deposits held at any given point in time. The exemption is available to fintechs as well as any other type of business. However, operators that are mainly active in the financial sector are only allowed to benefit from the exemption if no interest is paid on the deposits and the funds are not invested. A business making use of the sandbox exemption is required to inform its customers that it is not supervised by FINMA and that deposits are not covered under the Swiss depositor protection scheme. The sandbox introduced with the amended BO allows fintech innovators (and other businesses) to develop and test their business idea without incurring the burden of requiring a banking licence or having to comply with prudential supervision requirements at an early stage of development.
  • Extension of the maximum holding period of third-party monies on settlement accounts: With the amended BO, third-party monies accepted on interest-free accounts for the purpose of settlement of customer transactions do not qualify as deposits from the public (and therefore do not count towards a potential banking licence requirement) if the monies are held for a maximum of 60 days (instead of only seven days, as was the case before 1 August 2017). Crowdfunding platforms in particular, but e.g. also payment service providers, the business model of which typically requires holding third-party funds for a certain period of time, benefit from this broadened exemption. It should be noted that settlement accounts of foreign exchange dealers generally do not fall within the scope of the exception for settlement accounts. In the context of fintech, this may in particular affect cryptocurrency traders, which are subject to the same limitation if their business is conducted in a manner comparable to a traditional foreign exchange dealer.

Irrespective of the reliefs granted by the amended BO, anti-money laundering regulation continues to apply to fintech firms if they qualify as financial intermediaries (see question 4.5).

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

In addition to the changes to the BO, Swiss Parliament is currently preparing changes to the BA with the aim to introduce a new regulatory licence category below the fully fledged banking licence, i.e. a licence geared towards financial innovators (sometimes referred to as banking licence "light"). This project is being discussed in Swiss Parliament in the context of the deliberations on the planned Financial Services Act ("FinSA") and Financial Institutions Act ("FinIA"). The new licence category is intended to be available to fintech firms, but also other entities that accept public deposits but do not engage in commercial banking. Holders of the licence will be able to accept public deposits up to a total value of CHF 100 million, but will not be allowed to invest the deposits or pay interest on them. A higher threshold in excess of CHF 100 million can be approved by FINMA on a case-by-case basis if customers are protected through additional safeguards. The regulatory requirements for obtaining and maintaining the licence will be significantly reduced versus a fully-fledged banking licence. Inter alia, less demanding standards are expected to apply regarding financial reporting and audits as well as organisational, equity, capital adequacy and liquidity requirements. Deposits accepted under a banking licence "light" will not be covered by the Swiss depositor protection scheme, a fact that licence holders have to inform their customers about. As the National Council (the large chamber of Swiss Parliament) proposed a number of changes to the current drafts of the FinSA and FinIA, the Council of States (the small chamber of Swiss Parliament) will deliberate on the revised drafts (including the relevant provisions in the BA) again in its 2018 spring session. The reconciliation of differences between the National Council and the Council of States may be expected to take place in summer 2018 at the earliest.

The Swiss Federal Council is furthermore in the process of examining whether further regulatory measures with regard to fintech are necessary. In this context, the Federal Department of Finance together with the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters and FINMA work on a legal solution regarding the qualification of virtual currencies and regulatory requirements for ICOs. Moreover, the Swiss Federal Council has initiated roundtables with representatives of the financial sector and FINMA.

3.3 What, if any, regulatory hurdles must fintech businesses (or financial services businesses offering fintech products and services) which are established outside your jurisdiction overcome in order to access new customers in your jurisdiction?

The Swiss inbound cross-border regulatory regime for financial services is relatively liberal. Many Swiss financial market regulatory laws do not apply to fintech (and other) businesses that are domiciled abroad and serve customers in Switzerland on a pure cross-border basis, i.e. without employing persons permanently on the ground in Switzerland (including by frequent travel). Notably, the BA and the AMLA apply only to foreign operators that have established a relevant physical presence in Switzerland, e.g. a branch or representative office. That said, cross-border operators that are not regulated in Switzerland should refrain from creating an (inaccurate) appearance of "Swissness", e.g. by using a ".ch" website or referring to Swiss contact numbers or addresses.

It should be noted that some areas of Swiss financial regulation are more restrictive with regard to cross-border activities, notably the regulation of collective investment schemes as well as insurance regulation.

Furthermore, as Switzerland is not a member of the EU nor of the EEA, no passporting regime is available.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

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New Zealand: Is This Fair Dealing Or Not? The FMA Makes A Guidance Note For Peer – To – Peer Lending Services & Crowdfunding Services

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Mondaq | Christine Leung (Hesketh Henry) | May 2, 2018

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA), New Zealand's regulator for financial services, has released a guidance note to licensed peer-to-peer (P2P) lending services, licensed crowdfunding services for fair dealing in advertising and communicating offers of financial products or services.

The FMA's media release and guidance note is available here and here.

Who is this guidance for?

  • The FMA addressed the guidance note to P2P lending services and crowdfunding services, but it is useful for anyone who is promoting or advising others about these services (i.e marketing teams, investment bankers, lawyers).
  • The fair dealing expectations stretch beyond New Zealand's borders, so they apply to people overseas. Anyone who acts in relation to, or makes an offer of financial products or services in New Zealand should take note.
  • The guidance note is applicable to any media channel that businesses use to communicate and advertise their financial products and services (be it snail-mail or social media).

What points are made in the guidance note?

Check out:  Ontario government invests in fintech to boost small-business lending

All important facts should be laid out clearly in an advertisement

  • Warnings, disclaimers and qualifications (fine print) should be seen clearly or heard at a comprehensible speed.
  • If an advertisement includes fees and costs, it should be an accurate estimate of what the customer will pay in total.

The information given to consumers should be consistent

  • If an advertisement is published on multiple media channels, they should all contain the same information.
  • The meanings for phrases and terms used across advertisements should stay consistent.
  • The same terms should be used for information targeted towards investors and issuers.

Nothing should confuse, deceive or mislead people

  • The context of statements and the way the advertisement presents information should not be confusing, misleading, or deceiving:
    • if terms or conditions might change, the fact that they could change should be noted; and
    • terms and phrases should be used in a way they are commonly understood.
  • If a business is only licensed for some of the financial services it offers, it should make clear which services it is licensed for.
  • If a service or product is limited to a certain type of customer, an advertisement should state this.
  • A third-party's logo or motifs should only be used with the owner's consent. Nothing should imply a service or product is endorsed when it is not.

See:  Australia to Fix Gap in Crowdfunding Regulations as Private Companies May Gain Eligibility in New Legislation

The information given should be balanced

  • Important information (particularly about risk) must be included. The emphasis on risk and reward should be balanced so that a consumer's impression on a product or service is not biased.
  • When making comparisons with competitors, the platform should compare services which are alike, and not make irrelevant comparisons just to make itself look good:
    • The advertiser should identify the differences and explain why their product or service is superior.
  • Advertisements should state past performance only predicts, but does not indicate future performance. To give consumers adequate information to make a decision, the predictions should not be based on:
    • unreasonable assumptions;
    • selectively favourable information; or
    • a short timeframe or a volatile time period in the market.

Stick to facts—no puff pieces

  • Statements should be based on facts and backed up with sources and not opinions.
    • Testimonials or reviews should only be used sparingly if at all. They must be genuine and relevant to the service or good offered.
  • Advertisers should give informative links to consumers so they can find out more if needed.
  • Flowery and descriptive phrases should be amended. Avoid:
    • phrases like "rigorous checks" unless information is given on how the checks are rigorous;
    • terms such as "inflation proof"; they can make consumers believe their investments are guaranteed; and
    • saying an offer has "limited availability" if the offer is not actually limited.

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The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

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THE CRA’S Position On Cryptocurrency: Income Tax Implications

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BDO Canada | March 15, 2018

We live in a digital age — information is transferred and transactions are completed at a speed that past generations never thought possible. We have seen some amazing innovations in the last decade. One is the creation of digital currency, or cryptocurrency, the best-known of which is Bitcoin. While it sometimes seems that tax authorities play catch-up to technology’s latest advances, not much escapes the scrutiny of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Cryptocurrencies have moved into the mainstream. More and more, we hear of people who not only transact with and trade cryptocurrency, but who also “mine” it. Mining cryptocurrency involves solving increasingly complex mathematical problems that are meant to protect cryptocurrency transactions from becoming vulnerable to hackers. In exchange for solving these equations, the miner is rewarded with cryptocurrency coins or tokens. The increased frequency of cryptocurrency transactions, along with the recent volatility in the value of cryptocurrencies, has left many people who have traded, earned or transacted using cryptocurrency wondering whether income tax reporting obligations apply.

See:  Ontarians and Cryptocurrencies: A First Look

The CRA has provided general, and rather limited, guidance about the taxation of transactions carried out using cryptocurrency. While the CRA acknowledges that cryptocurrencies can be used to buy and sell goods or services over the Internet, cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender in Canada. As a result, the rules governing barter transactions will apply where cryptocurrency is used to purchase or sell goods or services. In addition, the CRA maintains that cryptocurrencies should be treated like a commodity when bought or sold in return for traditional currency, or transferred from one person to another.

It appears unlikely that the CRA will make significant changes in the near future to its position on cryptocurrency. This is largely because the federal government believes the existing tax rules are sufficient to address the tax implications of transactions involving cryptocurrency. In January 2018, Finance Minister Morneau commented that there are no plans to make changes to existing tax legislation to include specific rules dealing with cryptocurrency.

Using cryptocurrency to buy or sell goods or services

It is the CRA’s position that where cryptocurrency is used to pay for goods or services from a vendor or service provider carrying on a business, that vendor or service provider is considered to have provided a taxable good or service. However, unlike a similar transaction carried out using traditional currency, a transaction using cryptocurrency is subject to the barter rules for income tax purposes. As such, it will be necessary to put a Canadian dollar value on the business transaction for tax purposes. Once a value has been established, the vendor or service provider will then be considered to have received that dollar value for the sale of the good or the service rendered.

Consider the example of a car mechanic who accepts payment in cryptocurrency for a routine maintenance check. For tax purposes, the mechanic is considered to have received a payment equal to the value of the vehicle maintenance service provided. This value will generally be the same amount as would have been charged to a customer paying for the same service in Canadian dollars. It follows that this value will be included in the mechanic’s income for tax purposes.

The same principle applies where goods, rather than services, are exchanged for cryptocurrency. The Canadian dollar value of those goods will similarly be brought into the taxpayer’s income where the transaction is business related. For example, if a consumer electronics store accepts cryptocurrency in exchange for a computer, the retail value of that computer in Canadian dollars will be included in the store’s income for tax purposes.

See:  CSE aims to be Canada’s first blockchain platform for trade clearing and settlement

Similarly, where a taxpayer uses cryptocurrency to purchase services or goods for their business, the CRA seems to hold that the value of the services or the goods purchased in Canadian dollars would become the amount the taxpayer must use to record their costs or expenses for tax purposes. This is due to the fact that, where the goods given up (i.e., cryptocurrency) cannot readily be valued but the goods or services received can, the CRA’s position has been that, in a barter transaction, it will normally accept the value of the latter as being the price at which the transaction took place if the parties were dealing at arm's length.

In the early days of cryptocurrency, determining the value of the cryptocurrency being exchanged for goods or services at a point in time would have likely been difficult. In such a case, the value of the good or service being exchanged would have been used to assign a price to the transaction for tax purposes. However, with the technology currently available, it is now much easier to quickly and accurately determine the Canadian dollar equivalent of most cryptocurrencies. As such, it may generally become more practical for the taxpayer using cryptocurrency to purchase goods or services to value the transaction based on the fair market value of the cryptocurrency given as consideration.

Trading cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency can also be bought or sold. In this regard, the CRA has specifically stated that cryptocurrency is to be treated as a commodity for income tax purposes and any resulting gains or losses arising from the trading of cryptocurrency will be taxable in the same manner as any other commodity.

Whether such gains or losses are taxable as income or capital will depend on the facts surrounding the transactions. Similar to transactions involving other types of commodities, the tax consequences of realizing any resulting gains or losses would be determined by considering a variety of factors, including the intention of the taxpayer, as well as both the nature of and the frequency of the transactions. Other factors to consider could also include the following:

  • the period of ownership
  • the taxpayer’s expertise and knowledge of cryptocurrencies
  • the relationship, if any, between the cryptocurrency transactions and the taxpayer’s ordinary business
  • the time spent engaged in cryptocurrency activities
  • the type of financing that is required to support the taxpayer’s cryptocurrency activities
  • whether the taxpayer has advertised or otherwise made it known that they are engaged in this activity.

In most cases, the courts and the CRA have relied on a combination of these factors when determining whether a taxpayer’s activities are on account of income. For instance, a taxpayer who actively and regularly speculates in cryptocurrency, such as a day trader, will be more likely to be taxed on income account, whereas a taxpayer who buys cryptocurrency infrequently with the intention of holding it as an investment will be more apt to have such transactions taxed as capital in nature.

See:  NCFA Canada’s submission to Finance Canada (March 2018): Urgent Need for Regulatory Change and Government Support

There may be some uncertainty, however, as to whether transactions arising from the mining of cryptocurrency are on account of income or capital. Consider that cryptocurrency mining can be a complex undertaking that generally involves the use of highly specialized and powerful computer equipment that consumes an almost astronomical amount of electricity. In this case, where a taxpayer mines cryptocurrency in a commercial and business-like manner, the value of the cryptocurrency coins mined would be included in the miner’s income for tax purposes. However, the upshot of this position would be that any outlays to purchase computing equipment or expenses incurred for electricity could likely be claimed to reduce the net amount of mining income included in taxable income. Conversely, it may be possible that in some circumstances the mining of cryptocurrency could be treated as a hobby or a personal endeavour (and not subject to income tax).

Finally, the CRA takes the position that the foreign reporting requirements extend to cryptocurrencies that are situated, deposited or held outside of Canada. This means that Canadian taxpayers who hold cryptocurrency outside of Canada with a cost that exceeds CDN$100,000 at any time during the year, either directly or indirectly through funds, that is not used or held exclusively in the course of carrying an active business, will have an obligation to file Form T1135 to report the property.

Continue to the full article -->here

 

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, and online investing stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry in Canada.  For more information, please visit:  ncfacanada.org

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Royal Bank of Canada Enters Agreement with VersaPay to Offer ARC™ to Business Customers Under RBC Brand

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Newswire.ca |

Royal Bank of Canada Enters Agreement with VersaPay to Offer ARCTM to Business Customers Under RBC Brand (CNW Group/VersaPay Corporation)

TORONTOJuly 6, 2017 /CNW/ - VersaPay Corporation (TSXV: VPY) ("VersaPay" or the "Company"), a leading provider of cloud-based invoice-to-cash solutions including electronic invoice presentment and payment, automated accounts receivable, cash application and collections management, today announced a strategic relationship with Royal Bank of Canada RBC (TSX: RY). As part of the agreement RBC will offer its business customers VersaPay ARC, an integrated accounts receivable solution, under the RBC brand.

"RBC is always looking for new and innovative ways to help clients use digital platforms to manage and grow their businesses," noted Greg Grice, EVP, Business Financial Services at RBC. "The invoice-to-cash process is vital to the success of all businesses. Integrating this offering into RBC's leading cash management solutions, our business clients now have another way to improve the customer experience and better manage their receivables and cash flow."

RBC's relationship with VersaPay is unique amongst major banks in Canada — the collaboration between the Canadian Fintech and one of Canada's largest banks has provided commercial businesses with a leading and robust cash management solution.

"We are delighted to collaborate with RBC to deliver this new offering. With the bank's breadth and depth of banking and cash management services, and an impressive roster of business customers, RBC is in an ideal position to expand the use of ARC," commented Craig O'Neill, CEO of VersaPay. "The RBC team has been a pleasure to work with as we integrated our systems and prepared our market launch. We look forward to serving many customers together."

As part of the agreement, RBC will offer the solution to its business customers, with support from the VersaPay team. The bank has already introduced the service to select clients with the first RBC customer already signed. By signing up for the new service, RBC clients can offer an enhanced customer experience, reduce manual effort and operational costs, gain greater insight into their customers' accounts, and get paid faster.

About VersaPay

VersaPay is a Fintech company and leading provider of cloud-based invoice-to-cash solutions, enabling businesses to provide a superior customer experience, get paid faster, streamline financial operations, and dramatically reduce DSO and costs. VersaPay ARC is the new standard in accounts receivable and collections management with a customer self-service environment to view invoices online, collaborate on inquiries and disputes, and facilitate secure online payments (EFT/ACH and credit card). Businesses gain access to a suite of powerful tools that enable efficient collections, cash application and real-time insight into accounts receivable. VersaPay ARC automatically reconciles payments and account information through integrations with a wide range of ERPs and accounting software providers.

More information about VersaPay is available at www.versapay.com or under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Forward Looking and Other Cautionary Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking information" which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future. Such forward-looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words and phrases such as "plans," "expects," "is expected," "budget," "scheduled," "estimates," "forecasts," "intends," "anticipates," or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may," "could," "would," "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.

These forward-looking statements, and any assumptions upon which they are based, are made in good faith and reflect our current judgment regarding the direction of our business. Management believes that these assumptions are reasonable. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such factors include, among others, risks related to the speculative nature of the Company's business, the Company's formative stage of development and the Company's financial position.

Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and the Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Source: VersaPay Corporation  

 

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

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MONEY:TWO GUYS WITH A BIG DREAM TRANSFORMING BANKING

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Everything Zoomer | By Peter Muggeridge | June 20, 2017

When most of us go about our daily banking, without really thinking about what happens to our money. We deposit our cheques, invest in a GIC or pay our mortgages with the comfort that our money is safe and secure. But seldom do we consider the mechanics of the banking system, such as where our money is invested and what ventures it supports.

Paul Allard and Andy Krupski want to change all that. This pair of disruptors ran into each other a few years ago and realized they had similar goals. Allard, from Montreal, Krupski, from Toronto, wanted to make two changes in the financial industry: a) change the ways banks do business and b) change the way customers interface with their banks.

That's the concept behind impak Finance – an enterprise that isn't only in the business of making money but also wants to help individuals and companies improve the world.

Changing an entrenched industry like the banking sector is a lofty dream. Allard and Krupski spoke recently at ideacity 2017. Here's their story:

Allard and Krupski came to the financial world from diverse backgrounds. Krupski ran Sprint Canada before moving into the marketing and communications field, with The Hive. Allard's path was more eclectic: he studied music and engineering, became a stage performer (touring with Les Miserables) before becoming highly successful in the world of tech start-ups, including Engagement Labs. Both were doing well in their fields. Yet both felt something was missing.

Krupski: "About 10 years ago, I decided that, when all the shouting is done, can I leave a legacy somehow? I reframed my company's mission to do what's right for the customers and, where possible, what's right for the world."

Allard: "I was seeking something with more purpose. I wanted to combine my entrepreneurial skills with my knowledge of tech but to give a purpose to all of it."

When they bumped into each other, they batted around ideas before eventually settling on transforming the banking industry.

Krupski: "About two years ago, I was studying the financial business trying to understand how Millennials are interfacing with their banks and a lot of the research coming out was that they were distrustful ­ – the financial institutions were certainly safe (especially here in Canada) but their motivations were questionable, especially with the amount of money they were making."

Allard: "Through my work raising money through investment bankers, I got really interested in understanding the mechanics of the financial economy. And the more I read, the more and more pissed off I became. I read all the thought leaders and I began to understand that banks don't work for most of the people on the planet."

See:

 

This led to the novel idea of not trying to take on the big banks but to offer an alternative to the way banks carry out their business. Traditionally, financial institutions take your deposits and much of it is invested in complex financial vehicles (derivatives, hedge funds, financing transactions) that have nothing to do with the real economy. While bank profits are massive, their motivation is solely to make profit, not improve the world. Both men saw an opportunity to change this construct.

Krupski: "The big banks have the ability to leverage money. There's a lot of money swirling around but not enough of it is going into the real economy."

Allard: "There's been sort of a disconnect with the financial economy and the real economy. I always felt finance and financial tools should help support the real economy. The real economy creates job and creates wealth."

     Continue to the full article here--> 

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.

 

 

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