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Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve

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“We’re on a mission to build global champions from a Canadian base,” Felesky told the TechCrunch website in early December when Portag3 announced it had raised $427 million for a new fund aimed at digital finance startups.

The “majority” of that money remains unallocated, Felesky told me this week, but that could soon change. The social distancing demanded by COVID-19 has sped up the shift to a digital economy, a boon for outfits such as Toronto-based Portag3, which specializes in identifying startups that have plans to disrupt finance. The pandemic caused a terrible recession, but anyone focused on digital technology barely noticed.

“We’ve been playing offence,” Felesky said during a Zoom interview organized by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association. “We’re excited about the environment right now. There are lots of opportunities.”

Without access to data, digital upstarts have little chance of stealing market share from legacy institutions, even if they offer a better service

Unfortunately for Canada, which, like most countries, will need all the investment it can get to recover from the coronavirus crisis, most of the opportunities that Felesky sees are elsewhere.

See:  Open banking would help the recovery

That’s because we Canadians — and, by extension, our elected representatives — refuse to get excited about open banking, the industry term for a regulatory regime that grants control of financial information to clients rather than the financial institutions that serve them.

Without access to data, digital upstarts have little chance of stealing market share from legacy institutions, even if they offer a better service. The United Kingdom, European Union and Australia are among the jurisdictions that have adopted open banking over the past couple of years and will benefit from a first-mover advantage as a result.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, meanwhile, keeps postponing a decision on whether it intends to follow, which probably suits the established banking oligopoly just fine.

Around the time Portag3 closed its latest round of fundraising, an expert committee appointed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau was finishing up a report that was relatively enthusiastic about open banking. In January, Morneau released the review and announced additional consultations would be held in the spring. Those meetings were postponed until autumn because of the pandemic, meaning regulatory clarity is at least a year away, if not longer.

As a result, Portag3’s money probably will end up in places where governments have decided to embrace the future, rather than serve the interests of legacy interests by dallying. Canada will have exposure to the digital shift in financial services thanks to the ownership stakes Portag3 and others take in various international firms. But the actual champions of global finance will continue to come from elsewhere, and their clients in Europe and Asia will be first to enjoy the benefits of better service.

See:  NCFA Open Letter: Government should collaborate with Fintechs

“Unfortunately, we’re spending more time outside of Canada than inside of Canada because of some of these (regulatory) headwinds,” Felesky said. “It’s difficult to make some of these investments believing something may occur. We just don’t have any capital in businesses that are dependent on open banking.”

A new generation of finance entrepreneurs think decades of coddling have left the big banks too risk averse to be successful in the digital economy

There is a strongly held view among fintech advocates that the big banks are using their influence to delay regulatory changes that would entice new challengers for as long as they can.

Given the banking oligopoly’s outsized role in the federal government’s COVID-19 rescue, it’s fair to wonder if it will have even greater sway over Ottawa once the emergency is over. The argument that the guarantee of financial stability justifies protecting the largest institutions from competition will be strengthened by Bay Street’s ability to keep many mortgage holders and smaller companies afloat during the crisis.

See:  NCFA Announces Updated Virtual Interactive Programme for FFCON20 DIGITAL, the 6th annual Fintech and Financing Conference

There will need to be more urgency in Ottawa, too, and some of that will have to be directed by us, so call your member of Parliament. The opportunity cost of letting the banks and their regulators sort out open banking is too great.

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve 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

Source: https://ncfacanada.org/refusal-to-embrace-open-banking-puts-canada-behind-yet-another-curve/

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Financial institutions can support COVID-19 crowdfunding campaigns

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The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the financial outlook for millions of people, and continues to cause significant fiscal distress to millions more, but such challenging times have also wrought a more resilient and resourceful financial system.

With the ingenuity of crowdfunding, considered to be one of the last decade’s greatest “success stories,” and such desperate times calling for bold new ways to finance a wide variety of COVID-19 relief efforts, we are now seeing an excellent opportunity for banks and other financial institutions to partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns, bolstering their efforts and impact.

COVID-19 crowdfunding: A world of possibilities to help others

Before considering how financial institutions can assist with crowdfunding campaigns, we must first look at the diverse array of impressive results from this financing option during the pandemic. As people choose between paying the rent or buying groceries, and countless other despairing circumstances, we must look to some of the more inventive ways businesses, entrepreneurs and people in general are using crowdfunding to provide the COVID-19 relief that cash-strapped consumers with maxed-out or poor credit do not have access to or the government has not provided.

Some great examples of COVID-19 crowdfunding at its best include the following:

The possibilities presented by crowdfunding in this age of the coronavirus are endless, and financial institutions can certainly lend their assistance. Here is how.

1. Acknowledge that crowdfunding is not a trend

Crowdfunding is a substantial and ever-so relevant means of financing all sorts of businesses, people and products. Denying its substantive contribution to the economy, especially in digital finance during this pandemic, is akin to wearing a monocle when you actually need glasses for both of your eyes. Do not be shortsighted on this. Crowdfunding is here to stay. In fact, countless crowdfunding businesses and platforms continue to make major moves within the markets globally. For example, Parpera from Australia, in coordination with the equity-crowdfunding platforms, hopes to rival the likes of GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

2. Be willing to invest in crowdfunded campaigns

This might seem contrary to the original purpose of these campaigns, but the right amount of seed-cash infusions to campaigns that are aligned with your goals as a company is a win-win for both you and the entrepreneurs or causes, especially now in such desperate times of need.

3. Get involved in the community and its crowdfunding efforts

This means that small businesses and medium-sized businesses within your institution’s community could use your help. Consider investing in crowdfunding campaigns similar to the ones mentioned earlier. Better yet, bridge the gaps between financial institutions and crowdfunding platforms and campaigns so that smaller businesses get the opportunities they need to survive through these difficult times.

4. Enable sustainable development goals (SDG)

Last month, the United Nations Development Program released a report proclaiming that digital finance is now allowing people from all over the world to customize and personalize their money-management experiences such that their financial needs have the potential to be more readily and sufficiently met. Financial institutions willing to work as a partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns will further these goals and set society up for a more robust rebound from any possible detrimental effects of the COVID-19 recession.

5. Lend your regulatory expertise to this relatively new industry

Other countries are already beginning to figure out better ways to regulate the crowdfunding financing industry, such as the recent updates to the European Union’s handling of crowdfunding regulations, set to take effect this fall. Well-established financial institutions can lend their support in defining the policies and standard operating procedures for crowdfunding even during such a chaotic time as the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing so will ensure fair and equitable financing for all, at least, in theory.

While originally born out of either philanthropy or early-adopting innovation, depending on the situation, person or product, crowdfunding has become an increasingly reliable means of providing COVID-19 economic relief when other organizations, including the government and some banks, cannot provide sufficient assistance. Financial institutions must lend their vast expertise, knowledge and resources to these worthy causes; after all, we are all in this together.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/financial-institutions-can-support-covid-19-crowdfunding-campaigns/

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Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/taking-lsd-could-help-your-career

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Earn $10,249 a Year in FREE “Crypto Income”

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Last December, I wrote to you about a new way to make money with cryptos.

It didn’t involve risking your money on high-risk crypto tokens. Instead, it was a way to earn safe, consistent income — for FREE — month after month.

In fact, as I’ll explain today, if you’d followed my advice, you could have earned as much as $10,249 over the past year.

But if you didn’t follow my advice, not to worry…

Because as I’m about to explain, you can still take advantage of this strategy today…

Let Me Introduce You to Sandy

Before I reveal this powerful income-generating strategy, let me introduce you to someone:

Her name is “Sandy” — or, as she’s more commonly known, Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy hit New York on October 29th, 2012. According to Business Insider, it was the “worst storm to hit the area since at least [the year] 1700.”

It dropped over 14 feet of water on lower Manhattan, and it left millions of residents without power, cell phone service, or the internet.

People had no way to get in touch with their loved ones, or to get access to emergency info.

But for residents of a tiny neighborhood in Brooklyn, it was quite a different story…

A Peer-to-Peer Network Saves the Day

When Sandy hit and the internet went down, a small group of technologists in an old industrial neighborhood called Red Hook sprang into action.

They set up a “peer-to-peer” network called a “local mesh network.” This enabled residents to connect to each other’s computers directly, so they could communicate.

Everyone else was trying to get online the traditional way: by connecting to a single server. But since that single server wasn’t working, they were out of luck.

Here’s an image that shows a traditional network versus a peer-to-peer network:

As you can see, there’s no “middleman” in the peer-to-peer network…

So there’s no single point of failure!

This Could be Huge

This type of peer-to-peer technology is a big deal…

The next time a natural disaster occurs — or God forbid, if there’s a terrorist strike — it could keep people online and connected.

This explains why Grandview Research estimates that, by 2025, such networks could turn into a market worth $11 billion.

It also explains why venture capitalists are pouring money into this sector. For example, Union Square Ventures recently invested $15 million into a peer-to-peer networking startup.

And as it turns out, you could profit from this deal, too.

Let me explain…

Introducing: Helium

Union Square Ventures is one of the most successful venture firms in the country.

It was an early investor in billion-dollar startups like Twitter and Tumblr.

And now it’s invested in a peer-to-peer networking startup called Helium.

Simply put, Helium has built a simple device that acts as a “hot spot.”

Once you put the device in your home, people in your neighborhood can use it to connect to each other instantly.

This device is a breakthrough. You see, when the Red Hook technologists set up their network during Hurricane Sandy, they encountered huge problems. For example:

  • They had to create their own custom software.
  • They were forced to rely on inefficient hardware and unsecure connections.
  • They had to pay huge electricity bills.

But Helium fixes all of these problems in one fell swoop. And now, during an emergency, a Helium network could mean the difference between life and death.

And that’s why Helium wants to incentivize you to set one up…

New Crypto: Helium Tokens

Simply put, if you set up a Helium network, you can earn real money.

Here’s how it works:

  • Helium has created a crypto-currency called Helium Tokens (HNT).
  • To earn these coins, you just need to set up and maintain a Helium network.
  • And because these coins are traded on various crypto exchanges, you can exchange them for real dollars.

Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, has earned roughly 8,266 Helium Tokens since he first set up his device a year ago.

Based on the current price for Helium Tokens, that works out to roughly $10,249 in extra income in the past year alone!

And now you have the chance to start earning income like that, too!

Cash-in on Cryptos Today

Keep in mind: to get started, you’ll need to pay a few hundred dollars for the Helium device.

But once you own the device, you essentially have a source of free income.

To learn more, visit Helium’s website here »

Happy investing!

Best Regards,
Wayne Mulligan
Wayne Mulligan
Founder
Crowdability.com

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/earn-10249-a-year-in-free-crypto-income

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