Decentralized Venture Ecosystem

FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | July 20, 2018

FF Samir Bandali - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

 

Fintech Fridays Podcast ep1-Jul 20:  Interview with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

Host:  Manseeb Khan, NCFA

Guest:  Samir Bandali, Director of Strategic Partnerships, CoinPayments

To kickoff the first episode of our Fintech Fridays weekly podcast, our host Manseeb Khan is joined by Samir Bandli, Director of Strategic Partnerships of CoinPayments, to talk about the future of crypto from its role today and its role in the future.  CoinPayments offers merchants an option to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment and currently works with over 700+ altcoins.

Fintech Fridays ep1 grahic - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

Join NCFA's weekly Podcast series 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges!

Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more Fintech Fridays podcasts here


Transcription of Interview

NCFA: Hey everyone Manseeb Khan and you are tuning into the NCFA Canada's newest podcast series called Fintech Fridays where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fin-tech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges. Today I'm here with Samir Bandali from CoinPayments. Samir thanks so much for being here.

CoinPayments:  Thanks for having me Manseeb, I'm very excited share what we do in the world.

NCFA: Yeah before I even started I did a lot of research.  Can you tell us what CoinPayments is about?  The problem is trying to solve, and I guess the achievements it’s trying to make?

CoinPayments:  Sure thing.  CoinPayments primarily a multi-currency online wallet allowing users to store and transact with crypto currencies and allowing merchants to accept those crypto currencies for goods services CoinPayments was established in about 2013. As the first alt coin payment processor in the world is in a time when most cryptocurrency companies were focused primarily on bitcoin and our founder and CEO Alex came up with this idea to create a company that's focused on all of the tokens that were available to the market. So CoinPayments solved the problem of utility tokens not having a real-world use case. And over the past five years we've grown into one of the largest. Cryptocurrency payment processors. In the whole world. Today we support over. 535. Different digital currencies. Aligned merchants and users to store hold and use these currencies in one stop. One log international online. At this time, we have one point five million vendors worldwide. We're really starting to see that cryptocurrency is making that next move. Into a mainstream merchant adoption. And real-world utility cases. CoinPayments prides ourselves on being a coin agnostic system. Where we really focus on being.

A support platform for the entire cryptocurrency industry. Yeah 2017 was a huge year for us. We. Experienced exponential growth. Process almost 1 billion dollars in transactions a crypto currency. Things are just picking up.  We created a plug in for Shopify recently. Fellow Canadian company there and we also have other plugins. WOOCommerce, OS commerce, Magento. Basically, every major e-commerce platform. In the world.

NCFA:  Okay. Damn that's incredible. I'm glad you guys are providing an amazing service, so my next question would be why should merchants consider offering a Crypto payment solution?

CoinPayments:  So, I think the big thing to remember here is cryptocurrency is still in the very early infancy stages. Even though bitcoin started out in 2011 we're still innovating technology every day and finding a way to maximize efficiency and really allow people to transact an international scale. So, I think what merchants have to realize when you select crypto currency as a payment option you're tapping into this entirely new market of people all around the world that are holding these coins and basically gaining this value off of this massive increase in markets and don't know what to do with or how to spend it. So if you're running a business and let's say you're making a million dollars in a year of sales realistically if you add cryptos to that maybe one or two percent well we'll start out in crypto so a majority of your business your operations will still be run with traditional fiat currency but you're just giving your users an additional option and tapping into new market so it's really just extra money and a little bit of fun because it gives you the option to speculate maybe hold on to some crypto and learn about where the future of fintech is going and inevitably one day this is going to be worth a lot more market share.

NCFA:  So how many wallets do you guys currently connect to?

CoinPayments:  So, as I mentioned before CoinPayments currently supports our 535 different currencies. Now a lot of those currencies are just a wallet solution for somewhere to store and for users to be able to send and receive with other like peer to peer.  Our merchant API connects to just about a hundred of those currencies. So those wallets basically enable merchants to accept any of the 100 currencies support with the API. And additionally, we have a really cool feature called Pay by name. And what that does is it allows a store or a person to set up a quick nickname we call it a cash tags sign let's say Samir for myself. That immediately opens up the gateway to access all the currencies that are available in a shopping cart.  So rather than providing a defense hash or wallet ID all you have to do is a dollar sign and CFA and someone can send you any of the currencies that we close for them.

NCFA:  Damn, I love the sound of that and that's awesome. So, what would be the hottest crypto currencies that you are currently seeing and like the type of volumes that you're seeing.

CoinPayments:  So I mean we were in a highly volatile market here so there's a flavor of the month… every day sometimes you know me recently we're part of the integration between Verge and Pornhub which were his largest porn site in the world to accept our Verge currency which is a privacy coin.  We've been trying to build relationships with different communities and very close with the decred community Token pay a couple couple coins that are focusing on merchant adoption but I think we're still in a BTC dominated world in my opinion the hottest cryptocurrency will always be bitcoin because it's the only one with the true liquidity at this point I guess.  And and I'd say 60 to 70 percent of our overall volume still comes in bitcoin even though we focus on all these markets so instead of us.

So how do you see Coinpayments play a role into like things like cannabis right because cannabis is just starting to get legal in Canada. It's been getting legal in a couple of states. There's definitely a being online merchants for cannabis like hemp products and all that so I guess how do you see crypto playing a role in that?  So that one's actually a little bit tricky.  The reason being both cannabis and cryptocurrency are very new emerging markets as far as regulatory jurisdiction.  And really how authorities are going to be looking at the legalities and how it all fits in and cannabis has been obviously illegal for a long time and even that I think yesterday the government passed that bill making it legal but it's still very much a gray area. A lot of people it's it's kind of like a stigma around it. The crypocurrency is very much the same way basically your regulatory authorities haven't found a clear path as to how they want to treat cryptocurrency whether it's a currency or commodity security whatever you want to call it. So, I mean the big thing with cannabis becoming legal is tax right? and government is going to make access of this a big problem with cops right now as direction as to how taxes and cryptocurrency relate. So, I think it's probably going to be a little bit of time before we really see a true marriage between cryptocurrency and cannabis although it is inevitable down the line. I think both markets need to find clear direction and a clear path to regulatory authority before we can really merge them because at this time if you're taking one gray area into another gray area and just gets a lot darker gray. Yeah yeah.

NCFA:  Very, very true as we heard the CoinPayments is currently running a airdrop campaign. You talk a little bit more about that?

CoinPayments:  For sure.  So, as I said that we've been around for about five years now and we have 1.5 million users worldwide and a lot of merchants who've been with us from the start and stop with us over the times as we develop all these new exciting features like pay by name and a few that I can't even name right now but are rolling out in the next few months here.  We decided it will be a cool opportunity to give a little bit back to our customers who've been loyal to us for a long time and at the same time create some sort of incentive to be able to compete with all these new emerging companies trying to do the same thing that we're doing. So, we decided to do an airdrop to create our own basically native platform token and it will allow all of our users to save 50 percent on transaction fees and conversion fees. Wow. I'm transacting with that coin as well as upcoming allocations and ICOs that are using CoinPayments as the payment gateway for the platform. So, our users will now be able to participate in these projects using the CPS coin that we're dropping the airdrop is officially happening on July 1st. So, there's still time if anybody wants to get involved. You can check out more information at W W W dot CoinPayments coin dot com or just sign up for an account add. WWW.Coinpayments.net. And. You're eligible for free tokens right off the bat. Giving 100 free coins each user. Which equates to about twelve dollars in value.

NCFA:  So, I guess what are future opportunities that you guys are seeing a CoinPayments like can you give me like a rough roadmap and I guess some of the challenges ahead.

CoinPayments:  I know you definitely thought of it like there's some tokens you can't talk about yet although I do have a couple of things I can release to the public so I find it kind of a natural evolution in our company to start to morph towards. Not only just a wallet provider and a payment processor but it's also kind of build out an exchange and allow users to really have a one stop shop to use crypto currency in any way that they want. So are our long-term plan here is to be able to basically create an environment that allows users to converge freely between the coins that we host on our system as much as you want on a regular exchange. And also following that would be. To allow merchants. And easy fiat. Settlements option or even users an easy fiat on-boarding. So, for CoinPayments Is to truly be that place where. You can log into the site. Deposit. Some money buy some crypto. Change or for whatever other crypto you want to use. Use that crypto in the real world to buy tangible products and services and potentially cash that back out to your bank account if you're if you're wanting to do that. So, we're really working towards becoming full service one stop shop. And I think over the next three or four months we're going to roll out some features that are going to surprise a lot of people and really make us competitive with the large players in this industry like the Coinbases. What would be your top two to three golden nuggets when it comes fintech and investors and FinTech founders that are trying to build something with in Canada.

I am a huge advocate on education right now.  I believe the next big jump for crypto to really start to make a dent in FinTech is truly educating people on what's cryptocurrency as how to use cryptocurrency. Like I've been involved in this space for a few years now and I can still say that well over 90 percent of my friends don't even understand what bitcoin is or the fact that you can divide a bitcoin into 100 million pieces or you can actually buy a car or a watch or a T-shirt with that question on the Internet right now. People are still in this weird phase where you're seeing mainstream media outlets extremely uneducated sharing useless facts with people and guys like Rebel CEO being like we're going to be bigger than Bitcoin.  There's all this weird fud in the market and I just think that the big thing for all of us and a responsibility we have by being in this industry is to educate people and walk them through how they can be a part of this emerging cryptocurrency phenomenon.

NCFA:  Yeah now that makes sense because if we want everybody to use it helps that everybody knows how to use it and when to use and where to use right and that comes with like all working together like I think the overall market share of crypto towards money is like zero point one percent on a global scale.

CoinPayments:  Now as we grow there is enough room for everyone and it's definitely going to be about working together building communities. And you see that a lot of crypto each of these different projects have very active communities. People who are involved in the early days are engaged and they want to learn, and they want to spread that learning and education everybody so in any couple of years coming up a bench.

NCFA:  Yeah, I think so too because like from what I'm taking away your I guess your golden nugget would be just like make sure you not only share within the community that you've built around your company but share within the complete world still community in general right. So as long as everybody kind of knows what to expect or they get they get everyone get kind of navigate within the huge crypto ship together. Right. Definitely. Awesome. Okay cool. So, wrapping up would be the best way to contact you if anybody has any questions. Would it be through Twitter, do I WhatsApp, do I Snapchat you how I would be the best way to contact you.

CoinPayments:  think that I have a couple different forms of communication with the community. But the best way I get in touch with us is either through Twitter on which our handle is @Coinpayments.net. Through my email directly. PR@coinpayments.net. I'm always open for any sort of opportunities and collaboration to find synergy with other companies that have similar interests.

NCFA:  Thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I mean like I'm super excited, everything that company is about to do. Becoming a full service one stop shop that should be really exciting. And yeah, I can't wait to buy socks with bitcoin that would be really awesome. That's like I'm really excited for. Oh my gosh.

CoinPayments:  We've had about 300 Shopify stores sign up in the last two months since we went live with that integration. And I can tell you right I thought my I'd like at least a dozen stores where you can buy stocks right now.  Actually, it runs www.alwayshodl.com.  Oh good He's got some real cool crypto on merchandise and allows you to buy crypto   swag with the type of crypto that it's representing. So pretty good.

NCFA:  That's really it that's a really cool concept. All right well Samir thanks so much for sitting down with me. This has been super enlightening, super educational and best of luck on everything. All right thanks alot man.

CoinPayments:  All right thanks alot man.

End of Podcast

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPaymentsThe 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, STO, 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

Click for News:

latest news - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

 

NCFA Canada | Jan 21, 2022 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. EP56: How We Raised $426 million Using Rewards Crowdfunding Featured Guest: ZACH SMITH, CEO and Co-Founder, Funded Today (LinkedIn) Zach Smith is a serial entrepreneur having never had a "real" job his entire life. He's always starting, selling, running, and managing businesses. Mr. Smith loves helping others turn their dreams, ideas, and inspirations into successful companies. This passion led to his creation of Funded Today, LLC, the world’s most successful crowdfunding firm. Funded Today has now cumulatively raised over $426 million and counting for 4,000+ crowdfunding campaigns across the world and in 2018 was the 27th fastest-growing-privately held company in the United States on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list, and #2 in Utah. Chances are, if you've seen a successful campaign on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, Zach Smith and Funded Today have been the driving factor behind its success! Mr. Smith graduated Summa Cum Laude as the valedictorian from Weber State University's Goddard School of Business and Economics, with a business degree specializing in accounting. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has been featured in numerous publications including Mixergy, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, ...
Read More
NCFA FF EP56 Zach Smith Funded Today  - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
Niche Gamer | Michael Valverde | January 18 Seven recent patent filings suggest retail giant Walmart is embracing crypto, NFTs, and more as they’re entering the Metaverse with a new business venture that incorporates VR gaming, cryptocurrency, and NFTs. These trademarks were filed to the US Patent and Trademark Office on December 30, 2021, outlining several potential applications that Walmart can pursue that incorporates the growing (and controversial) world of Web 3.0. One patent describes “downloadable e-commerce software” that would allow users to “perform electronic business transactions” by providing them with a “virtual marketplace” that accepts “digital currency, crypto currency, and virtual currency.” See:  Walmart to launch fintech startup with partner Ribbit Capital An example of this potential marketplace went viral earlier this month, when a video created by Mutual Mobile for SXSW 2017 resurfaced on Twitter. This video showcased a tech demo of a virtual Walmart shopping experience using Oculus virtual reality technology. Instead of the traditional e-commerce experience that involves clicking on a picture of an object to add it to a cart, this video shows how the user can manipulate specific products as physics objects placed inside a virtual representation of a real shopping cart, with FMV-style ...
Read More
Walmart files crypto and NFT patents - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
Financial Health Network | Jan 20, 2022 Why Invest in Employee Financial Health? Now more than ever, employees at all income levels are struggling with their finances, especially those with low to moderate incomes. When people worry about their finances, they struggle to stay focused and productive at work. What’s more, employees have come to expect that their employers will provide wages and benefits that support their financial health. See:  Financial Health Network Report: Financial Data – The Consumer Perspective Investing in the financial health of your workforce can create a win-win for your employees and your business. But beyond being a smart thing to do, many companies recognize that investing in employee wellbeing is the right thing to do. Caring for the financial health of your workforce shows that you value your employees and the contributions they make to your company’s success. Diagnose Needs Employee needs are diverse. One-size-fits-all financial health solutions can result in low uptake and limited impact, because they don’t address the needs of the employees who could benefit most. Before designing solutions, take the time to understand your employees’ needs and prioritize the most acute challenges. Identify Solutions To find the right solutions for your ...
Read More
financial health network - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
The Hub | Derrick Hunter | Jan 19, 2022 78 percent of the Canadian workforce are either entrepreneurs or are employed in businesses that at one time were created by entrepreneurs A core objective of every federal, provincial, and local government is to promote “economic development”, which is understood as the improvement of our standard of living through the creation of jobs, the support of innovation, the creation of wealth, and an overall better quality of life. Economic growth is more or less table stakes for officeholders who hope to be re-elected since a shrinking economy is never good news for the incumbent. Consequently, it is hardly surprising that jurisdictions will compete ferociously to attract fast-growing companies. Just witness the frenzy over the announcement by Amazon in 2018 of their intention to create a second headquarters. Dozens of cities across the U.S. and Canada offered extraordinary incentives in the attempt to win the prize. Atlanta offered to build an exclusive airport lounge. Boston offered zero-interest loans to Amazon employees. Columbus offered to make exceptional efforts to reduce their “unacceptable” murder rate. All of this on top of billions of dollars of incentives, subsidies, and tax reductions that were merely the ...
Read More
entrepreneurship core driver of economic growth - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
CloudTree Ventures | Winston Ma | Jan 19, 2022 Today, China and the United States are competing and growing their technological capabilities in a wide array of sectors. The cutting-edge area of America and China’s technological war that’s been heating up recently is around who will dominate the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Although China has cracked down on cryptocurrencies, shutting down all domestic crypto exchanges and banning all ICOs, blockchain technology itself is recognized as a revolutionary development by the government. In a speech October 2019 speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared blockchain would play “an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation.” That marked the first major world leader to issue such a strong endorsement of the widely hyped – but still unproven – distributed ledger technology (DLT). (By contrast, most governments in the West have been far more cautious.) See:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Central Bank Digital Coins (CBDCs) Calling for blockchain to become a focus of national innovation, President Xi’s speech detailed the ways the Chinese government would support blockchain research, development, and standardization. China’s leadership position in the global competition of central bank digital currency (CBDC) is ...
Read More
E CNY Cross border global payments - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
GBBC | Jan 19, 2022 Day 1: Jan 18 See:  Can Blockchain Solutions Unlock Capital to Fix Our Planet? Day 2: Jan 19 Download the 2 day virtual agenda --> here 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 ...
Read More
GBBC Blockchain Central Davos Jan 18 19 - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
CSA Release | Jan 19, 2022 Toronto – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today published guidance for investment funds on their disclosure practices that relate to environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, particularly funds whose investment objectives reference ESG factors and other funds that use ESG strategies (ESG-Related Funds). The guidance is based on existing regulatory requirements and addresses areas of disclosure, including investment objectives, fund names, investment strategies, risk disclosure, continuous disclosure and sales communications. See:  New SEC task force will scrutinize ESG and climate disclosures and marketing As the investment fund industry creates new funds and incorporates ESG considerations into existing funds to meet demand, there is an increased potential for “greenwashing” – where a fund’s disclosure or marketing intentionally or inadvertently misleads investors about the ESG-related aspects of the fund. “Interest in ESG investing is on the rise and this enhanced and practical guidance will play an important role in helping investors make informed decisions about ESG products, as well as preventing potential greenwashing,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. This guidance is intended to help investment funds and their fund managers enhance the ESG-related aspects of the funds’ regulatory ...
Read More
ESG fund disclosure guidance - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
UK Law Society | Jan 11, 2022 We’ve published the second edition of our blockchain report, in collaboration with the Tech London Advocates (TLA) Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Group. Who wrote the report? The TLA Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Group put together the second edition of the blockchain legal and regulatory guidance. Read the first edition TLA's dedicated blockchain working group was founded in 2018 and serves as a hub for multi-disciplinary DLT experts. For the 2022 guidance, we’ve heard from experts including the law commissioner for commercial and common law, Professor Sarah Green, and Alessandro Palombo, CEO of Jur. See:  Blockchain Vulnerabilities, Forensics And Legal Challenges A full list of experts who have addressed and fed into the group’s work is set out at annex two of the report. What’s in the report? The guidance covers a range of key issues for legal practitioners to be aware of when advising on DLT-related matters. The report is divided into two parts: Continue to the full article --> here Download the 236 page PDF report --> here The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and ...
Read More
blockchain legal and regulatory guidance 1 - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
SEC | Jan 19, 2022 Navigating Your Capital Raising Options When raising capital, a business may not offer or sell securities unless the offering has been registered with the SEC or falls within an exemption from registration. Each exemption has specific requirements that a company must meet. See:  The Real Story of Access to Capital This interactive tool can help you navigate the many regulatory pathways to raise capital, based on the criteria that matter most to you. While this tool does not provide legal advice, it can help you better understand your options so that you make informed decisions. Let’s get started! New SEC funding tool to explore options --> here 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 ...
Read More
options to raise capital in the U.S - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments
CBC | Cassie Williams | Jan 18, 2022 Gerald Cotten died suddenly in 2018 and took keys to $250 million in crypto assets to his grave Robertson isn't under investigation and has never faced criminal charges. After Cotten's death, she agreed to forfeit $12 million in assets that included vehicles and real estate. She was allowed to keep $90,000 in cash, $20,000 in retirement savings, a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, $15,000 in furniture and some jewelry, including her wedding band. Cotten ran Quadriga like a Ponzi scheme Investigative journalists Amy Castor and Takara Small have spent years following and reporting on the Quadriga scandal.   Castor said Cotten operated Quadriga like a Ponzi scheme. "Whenever people put their money into the exchange, he sort of used it as his personal slush fund," she said. Small said people were bringing duffel bags of cash to the home Cotten and Robertson shared. She wonders why Robertson didn't think to question what was going on. See:  QuadrigaCX: A Review by Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission Robertson said she trusted Cotten, and any questions were explained away because banks were very "anti-bitcoin" and there were problems exchanging cryptocurrency for cash through traditional means. "It never ...
Read More
QuadricaCX gerry cotton - FINTECH FRIDAY$ Podcast (EP.1-Jul 20): with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *