NCFA Blockchain Fintech CONFIDENTIAL (Vol 1, Issue 1)

ncfaglobal

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) and exclusive Title Partner of the 4th VanFUNDING conference held in downtown Vancouver Nov 29-30, 2018, TODA Network, are proud to present select content in an inaugural pop-up digital magazine format.

This year’s theme, CONVERGE, immerses participants and builds bridges across the most disruptive emerging technologies, capital market innovations and key stakeholders that are powering new global markets, new decentralized models, new forms of computer intelligence, new IP, new infrastructure and new alternative investment opportunities toward the vision of a Web 3.0.

The world is undergoing unprecedented change that is already affecting our daily lives — how we interact with financial services, generate digital wealth, invest, evaluate, consume, vote, store, transfer, and purchase anything of value.

Blockchain’s momentum is not slowing down anytime soon and its capabilities for revolutionizing the financial industry go beyond merely eliminating the “middleman” to harnessing the power to improve fraud detection, transparency and trust, and enhance financial management, change the nature of money and encourage financial inclusivity. The potential is limitless.

While blockchain technology has shown immense potential to push us closer towards a utopian financial world, the global penetration of [this technology] is less than 0.2 per cent. While individuals should remain cautious about fraudulent businesses that have arisen from people looking to cash in on the hype, the next wave of blockchain adoption and utilization will be like a tsunami, [where] you can partake in what's yet to be the most disruptive technology in human history or ignore it and get disrupted.

We’d like to thank all the partners, speakers, attendees, volunteers and the entire organizing team for coming together to make VF2018 an incredible experience. Congratulations to Symend, Very Good Butchers and MOCA Estimator and for winning the pitching competition. We wish you all great success!

The commercialization of emerging technologies is a journey, not a sprint. With this in mind, we encourage you to converge with us in volume 1, issue 1 of ‘Blockchain Fintech CONFIDENTIAL’ and step inside the future of blockchain, fintech, AI and alternative investing.

INSIDER VIEWS, INNOVATION AND BEST PRACTICES

VOL. 1, ISSUE 1 | JANUARY 7 2019

The 5 Missing

Necessities to

Move Blockchain

from 0.2% Global

Penetration to the

Remaining 99.8%

Amazon, Alibaba,

Walmart & Tencent

in India: Turning

Payments into

Lifestyle Companies

How we raised

$220 million in 4 years

(art or science?)

SPECIAL VANFUNDING 2018 NEW YEAR’S EDITION

Issues and

Characteristics by:

Tokenizing Asset Classes

Using Artificial Intelligence

to Enrich the Customer

Experience

Anatomy of a Deal:

How to Beat the

Crowdfunding Odds

Reclaim Control

of Your Data, Money

and Identity

10 % of All Money

in Digital Wallets

Is Stolen

How REITIUM is Changing

the Face of Traditional Real

Estate Investing


Dear Global Blockchain and Fintech Communities:

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) and TODA Network, the

exclusive Title Partner of the 4 th VanFUNDING 2018 conference held in downtown Vancouver

on Nov 29-30, 2018, are proud to present select content in an inaugural pop-up digital magazine

format.

This year’s theme, CONVERGE, immerses participants and builds bridges across the most disruptive

emerging technologies, capital market innovations and key stakeholders that are powering new

global markets, new decentralized models, new forms of computer intelligence, new IP, new

infrastructure and new alternative investment opportunities toward the vision of a Web 3.0.

The world is undergoing unprecedented change that is already affecting our daily lives — how

we interact with financial services, generate digital wealth, invest, evaluate, consume, vote,

store, transfer, and purchase anything of value.

Blockchain’s momentum is not slowing down anytime soon and its capabilities for revolutionizing

the financial industry go beyond merely eliminating the “middleman” to harnessing the power

to improve fraud detection, transparency and trust, and enhance financial management,

change the nature of money and encourage financial inclusivity. The potential is limitless.

While blockchain technology has shown immense potential to push us closer towards a

utopian financial world, the global penetration of [this technology] is less than 0.2 per cent.

While individuals should remain cautious about fraudulent businesses that have arisen from

people looking to cash in on the hype, the next wave of blockchain adoption and utilization will

be like a tsunami, [where] you can partake in what’s yet to be the most disruptive technology

in human history or ignore it and get disrupted.

We’d like to thank all the partners, speakers, attendees, volunteers and the entire organizing

team for coming together to make VF2018 an incredible experience. Congratulations to

Symend, Very Good Butchers and MOCA Estimator and for winning the pitching competition.

We wish you all great success!

The commercialization of emerging technologies is a journey, not a sprint. With this in mind, we

encourage you to converge with us in volume 1, issue 1 of ‘Blockchain Fintech CONFIDENTIAL

and step inside the future of blockchain, fintech, AI and alternative investing.

Sincerely,

Sincerely,

Craig Asano

Founder and CEO

NCFA

Toufi Saliba

CEO

TODA.Network

ii


TABLE OF CONTENTS

FEATURED

01 03 05

INSIDER VIEWS

11

18

CAPITALISM 3.0:

THE ‘TOKENISM’

RELEASE

ISSUES AND

CHARACTERISTICS BY

TOKENIZING ASSET CLASSES

42

44

STAY AHEAD OF THE

NEXT REVOLUTION IN

BLOCKCHAIN: THE STO

OPEN BANKING:

WHAT’S REALLY AT STAKE

21

10% OF ALL MONEY

IN DIGITAL WALLETS

IS STOLEN

46

THE FUTURE OF

BLOCKCHAIN

BEST PRACTICE

14

ANATOMY OF A DEAL:

HOW TO BEAT THE

CROWDFUNDING ODDS

22

LAUNCHING A TOKEN?

BEST PRACTICES AND

RESOURCES

27

HOW BEST TO

APPROACH DIGITAL

OFFERINGS?

IN FOCUS

29

32

35

HOW REITIUM IS CHANGING

THE FACE OF TRADITIONAL

REAL ESTATE INVESTING

THE BUBBLY WORLD

OF MASTERNODES

THE VALUE OF

ESL COIN

TRENDING

USING ARTIFICIAL

09 38

INTELLIGENCE TO

ENRICH THE CUSTOMER

EXPERIENCE

RECLAIM CONTROL

16 40

OF YOUR DATA, MONEY

AND IDENTITY

THE ART OF

COLLABORATION:

HOW CAN I HELP

YOU

5 TRENDS IN

BLOCKCHAIN TO BE

EXCITED ABOUT IN

THE NEW YEAR

iii


T

The TODA Protocol is a network-packet

layer enabling value management without

dependency on a ledger or any third party,

using deterministic distributed computing

as its Proof of Work

SECURITY

EFFICIENCY

CONFIDENTIALITY

SCALABILITY

INTEROPERABILITY

www.toda.network

iv

415-263-9823


Despite the skeptics, those that have noticed

the hype surrounding current blockchains

have in fact only seen less than 0.2% global

penetration. If that is a revolution - it’s a failure.

However, what’s yet to come is what will get

this technology to the remaining 99.8%; and

that will not be ledger-based - but will still be

a blockchain at the network level that will be

unstoppable. No government, no agency, no

company, in fact, nothing can stop it. Think of

a Tsunami that has already started - can’t stop

it.

Decentralized Governance is a

Security Model

True decentralization cannot be stopped by

any central power, however, in order to take

off, decentralization must be self-regulated,

a living example of that, Bitcoin for 10 years

now, owns itself, defends itself and continues

to evolve by incentivizing people around it

with the only language they both speak: the

money language.

Nature has it, what occurs during the exchange

of oxygen with carbon dioxide in your lungs,

which uses a decentralized protocol called

the Alveolus Capillary Protocol. It is doing

billions of exchanges per second in your

lungs as you read this, without interference

from your brain on its functioning. No matter

how powerful your brain is, it can neither

stop it nor interfere with it. In fact, the more

effective it is the more powerful your brain

is and vice versa. Think of the brain here as

the government. A government that wants

to be effective at servicing people must let

decentralized governance take over without

a centralized point, aka a weak point that

could be attacked from within. Governments

who care about the people would care to

ensure they are operating with the least

friction and most efficacy as they exchange

value between each other and even between

them and their government, for things such

as health records, money, real estate or other

value-based digital assets.

There are five technical necessities that

are still missing or incomplete. They must

be achieved for blockchain to get to the

remaining 99.8%, these are:

Security: Decentralized governance is

actually a security model to prevent an attack

from within. Security without decentralization

can be achieved using traditional databases

that are fairly secure from outside attack and

have been around for decades, but that won’t

help because they don’t prevent an attack

from within. Decentralization must be equal

to the number of actual users, in fact, every

user must be the node participating in the

global consensus. (Yes it can be done)

Efficiency: your users/customers will not

use a system that is not efficient - at least not

for long. The cost of any system must make

relative sense to what we are using it for.

You would not purchase a two dollar coffee

using a system with a transaction cost that

is higher than that. We aren’t talking about

fees, don’t let that fool you into believing that

this is the overall cost. Current blockchains

don’t reflect the true cost. In fact the cost is

hidden from the user by adding a tiny layer

of fees, but effectively it takes the cost from

the users.

Confidentiality: A public ledger that is

replicated is generally not confidential. An

open and public system will go mainstream

but not a ledger. Perhaps a hash of the block is

all you need especially if it can be built in a way

that all users no exception can contribute but

hey don’t have to. Think of some replication

but not full replication.

FEATURED

1


Scalability: This is one of the most publicized

problems, in order for any system to achieve

mass adoption - it must scale. (Not by reducing

any of the points above. In fact we expect the

deterministic distributed computing to achieve

such a result.

Interoperability: Over 50 projects claim

that they have figured this out by building

decentralized exchanges that must be relied

upon. For P2P interoperability, it is necessary

not to have anyone in the middle because

they can impact any, if not all of the 4 previous

necessities and collapse the system on itself.

In security, there is a saying: “you are as

good as your weakest link” and by having

decentralized exchanges to depend on, they

at best become one of the weakest links if not

the absolute weakest

What’s Holding Humanity Back?

The most popular blockchains intended to

achieve this, however, an exploitation of the

Bitcoin protocol that started almost 7 years ago,

precisely on Hashcash, the core component

of PoW got us to the point where only certain

classes of machines can be miners. The

incentives of those machines diverged from

the incentive of users and contributed largely

to the regressive evolution of this revolutionary

technology at its infancy stage.

Leakage of Value

This leakage of value is a major cost to

everyone, despite the fact that people claim

that the current Ethereum implementation is

free for people to use. The majority actually

think that the cost is what they pay in fees

using the Ethereum Gas model, in fact, the

fees are low when compared to the overall

cost of mining that leaks out from users into a

different class called miners. Those miners in

Ethereum alone extracted directly over $3.4B

from the community YTD which led to the

collapse of the ETH price as supply outpaced

demand. Some criticize Ethereum to be a Ponzi

scheme because of that, while we reserve no

judgment; instead, we work with many on a

solution that will return this technology to its

original promises and make it more disruptive

than anyone thought before. The remaining

99.8% of the people on this planet will all be on

chain one way or another, but definitely not on

a ledger based chain. This can truly be the next

biggest revolutionary technology the world

has yet to witness.

Solving By Design

There are over 5000 people working on these

issues globally - so why has the situation not

advanced? Because most researchers are

not liberated, in fact, they are constrained but

often find it hard to admit to.

Mass adoption can only be achieved if these

issues are solved by design. This means that

the blockchain in question must have all 5 of

the key elements described - not 3, not even 4

is enough. Without these necessities, entities

using the technology cannot succeed, but

having them also does not guarantee success.

From the Bottom Up

To achieve these necessities, blockchain

needs the right foundation. TCP/IP is the

current foundation (protocol) that allows the

internet to exist and enables packets of data

to be transmitted. However, these packets

cannot effectively hold nor transmit value: the

ownership of your home, for example.

Why does this matter? This matters because

without solving these problems, we would

not even want to strive for mass adoption. A

system that does not offer security, efficiency,

confidentiality, scalability and interoperability

(in that order of importance) all must be met

or else, what we have to show will never be

revolutionary.

About:

Toufi Saliba

CEO

TODA.Network

Toda.Network launched in 2018 to enable projects to deliver

on the promises of Blockchain. The company has formed and

continues to form and onboard alliances, startups and joint

ventures which are building on the Toda.Network. The TODA

Protocol is a network protocol, a modification of TCP/IP, (not

replacing it/ that enables value transmission over the packet

layer and below the operating system in a fully decentralized

setting, without reliance on a ledger. Learn more: Toda.Network.

2


FEATURED

Alibaba has unbeatable infrastructure and is neck in neck with Amazon in financial

services, cloud, payments, food and e-commerce. But Alibaba surpasses in

browsing, lifestyle, SME lending, public apps & its awesome integrated PRC

apps which it is simply inserting into Paytm.

Amazon is creating a world class ‘farm to

market’ infrastructure which is a blueprint

for 100 countries. The world has never seen

such a thing. Walmart comes in third. And the

incumbents Commonwealth banks like HSBC

and Stan C are rapidly being left in the dust.

(India is one of Stan C’s biggest market by

revenue). These two banks will not BECOME the

pipes for financial services – THEY ALREADY

ARE. Firms like Bank of Baroda and Yes Bank

got onboard with Amazon and Alibaba. HSBC

and Stan C should have done the same – is it

too late? Bank regulators prevent two things:

collaboration and open systems. Without these

two vital links, regulated banking entities can

not be transformed. We can blame the board

of directors of these two banks, but is the fault

with the bank regulators?

Amazon: stealth-like buildout of financial

infrastructure in India in 18 months – food,

finance, fun, film, FX, Cloud and more.

There is one word for competition in the Indian

online space: fierce. Amazon is pushing the

envelope into uncharted waters faster than

anyone. The online world is growing at 23%

CAGR and 98% of India is offline.

The extent of Amazon’s penetration

into all parts of Indian life: it is truly

a life style company… and a bank,

insurance company, entertainment

firm, publishing house and an

agricultural conglomerate.

In a short period of time, Amazon can now

challenge and beat Standard Chartered or

HSBC in their Commonwealth backyard. AMZN

is now far deeper and wider in the scope of

products which it offers. It has Amazon Pay

(wallet), Red Bus (transport), Faasos (food

delivery), Niki (utilities), Book My Show (theater),

Tone Tag (payments), Qwikcilver (gift cards),

Emvantage (payments), Lending (corporate

loans), Capital Float (SME loans), Prime (cards),

Protect (insurance), Acko (insurance).

Retail, entertainment, cloud, logistics: this is a

company that can’t stop. Retail development:

Future (hypermarkets), Easy Day (local

stores), Ezone (electronics), Shoppers Stop

(department store), More (supermarkets),

Pantry (delivery), Prime Now (fresh produce).

3


Amazon Prime is new and has a 5% market

share. Prime Video is also less than 1 year

old. In the Cloud market, AWS is new but

already has 5 centers with $100 mn in

revenue. Amazon in logistics is probably the

most interesting in that it touches all parts

of Indian life throughout the country. This

includes Fulfillment (delivery and warehouse

management), Flex (warehousing), Easy Ship

(local delivery), ATSPL (last mile delivery), IHS

(crowd sourced delivery), Prime Now (ultrafast

delivery). And it is investing $700 million

into a national infrastructure program for farm

to market delivery of food. This is something

that will offer tremendous productivity

improvements, since 30% of food in India is

wasted on the trip to the market.

Alibaba: also on a hyperactive expansion

binge in India with equally impressive arsenal

of tools with Paytm.

Paytm is for all intents and purposes Alibaba.

It is migrating onto the Alibaba 5.0 network

in all services. In return, it offers Alibaba 300

million subscribers. Digital transactions are

growing at more than 20% CAGR. Currently,

Paytm dominates with 50% market share.

The multiple offerings of Paytm are a mirror

image of Alibaba in China – virtually identical.

These include banking, tickets, utilities, FX,

investing, insurance, taxes, tracking finances,

Indian Unified Payments, e-commerce, QR

payments, gifts, charities, travel, streaming,

gold trading, credit cards, prayer, tolls, credit

cards…and more. This platform has 300

million users and the grocery part is only

two years old. There are dozens of offerings

which bring together an entire lifestyle in

one page – finance, investing, insurance,

entertainment, leisure, education, prayer.

Alibaba is new to the E-mall space but is

morphing Tao Bao to Paytm Mall. It is behind

Walmart and Amazon. It also has a 20% stake

in Big Basket, which itself has a 40% market

share for groceries in India. Online grocery

business (versus the overall grocery/retail

spend) is a tiny fraction – less than 0.05%!

The sky’s the limit here.

The last interesting part of the Alibaba arsenal

is UC Web. Alibaba has a 50% market share

in India for mobile browsing. (It also has a 41%

market share in Indonesia!). This is almost 25%

of the global MAU for UC Browser. Google is

number 2 with 30%.

Paul Schulte

Founder and Managing Editor,

Shulte Research

Amazon’s Key Acquisitions in India

Online Payment

Finance

May

2018

2015

E-Commerce

2015

2016

May

2018

Sept

2017

Lending

Schulte Research

Apr

2018

Insurance

May

2018

Publishing

2016

Home Services

2015

1

4


FEATURED

The 7 P’s For Crowdfunding Success

The idea of crowdfunding has been around for

a while. However, crowdfunding as we know

it today, via platforms such as IndieGoGo

(started in 2008) and Kickstarter (started in

2009), is quite new.

And yes, the idea of participating in something

so cutting-edge and exciting makes the

thought of creating a crowdfunded project

very appealing. However, no matter how

gifted you are as an entrepreneur, there are

certain elements you need to consider and

incorporate to get your project funded and off

the ground.

For all our projects we strive to achieve

statistical significance. We let the data speak

to how capable a project is of achieving a

positive ROI and continuing to raise money. In

short, we know what works and what doesn’t

work. We’ve learned to apply numerous

techniques and elements, including the 7 P’s,

to all our projects in order to maximize the

potential for success.

1. Product

Every crowdfunding project begins with, of

course, the product. Your product has to be

good -.even the greatest campaign in the

world won’t salvage a bad product. Promoting

a product that the market simply does not

want, robs you of money.

So, how then do you know if your product is

“good?” Begin by asking yourself these questions:

“Why is this product different/special/

unique?”

Can you buy a very similar product in a

store? Your product must be a product that

consumers can’t buy at Bed, Bath and Beyond,

or Target, or Amazon, or Wal-Mart. It has to be

unique.

Is there something about your product,

some benefit, that makes it wholly special?

Ideally a product should give us some benefit

that no other product offers. Even if there are

many similar items, what is it about yours that

no one else offers? Does your product offer a

solution or a prevention? How does it do this

better than other products on the market?

5


Would you buy this product? Will your family

and friends actually give you cash for it?

This is that step beyond, “hey, that’s a great

idea.” This is the, “Here’ s my checkbook,

I want in”, step.Part of your research on

this needs to include other crowdfunding

campaigns to see if other people have

sold a similar product. And, if so, how much

did those similar campaigns raise? What

do the Kickstarter comments say about

this product and what do the facebook

ads comments say about this product?

Is your product “techy” or cool?

Certainly your product does not need to be

techy or cool for you to make money. But no

one can deny that tech products or those

with a coolness factor do sell well. Some

examples include:

• Watch + Tech = Pebble Time ($20 million

raised)

• Cooler + Tech = Coolest Cooler ($13 million

raised)

• Luggage + Tech = Trunkster ($1.4 million

raised)

• Meat Thermometer + Tech = Meater ($1.2

million raised)

• Wallet + Tech = Woolet ($332 thousand

raised)

Will a lot of people need or want this

product and/or its benefits?

How big is the market for your product? Is your

product dependent on other products? (For

example the pebble watch band depends

on owning a pebble, and OrbiPrime depends

on owning a VR headset). If your product

is dependent on the consumer owning

something else, you need to understand how

this will affect your potential market.

2. Platform

You have to be on the right platform for your

product. And not only that, you’ve got to

consider whether crowdfunding is even the

right platform to launch your new business

or idea. If you want to start a landscaping

company, that might very well be a great

idea, but, it will NOT be a good idea for

crowdfunding.

Therefore, for this P, let’s focus specifically

on if you’re invention is a good fit for a

crowdfunding platform. In this case, there

are many crowdfunding platforms to choose

from but the two top-players are Kickstarter

and IndieGoGo. The first thing you need to

determine is whether your product is suited

at all, for crowdfunding on Kickstarter or

IndieGoGo. So, as you set out to determine

which crowdfunding site is the best one for

you, do thorough research. Find out which

platform similar projects do best on. You can

leverage our free Kickstarter vs. IndieGoGo

comparison tool here Apps really don’t do

so well, for example. A lawn care or window

washing business, while great businesses/

ideas, likely would NOT do well on the

crowdfunding “platform” that is Kickstarter or

IndieGoGo.

3. Presentation

When we talk about presentation we are

including the video and the page design. To

create an effective presentation you need to

consider these factors among others:

• How is the video?

• How is the page?

• Is everything visually appealing?

• Does your presentation sell the product

well?

• Does it show use cases of the primary

demographics/users who would use the

product?

• Does it show use cases of all the different

scenarios someone might use the

product?

• Does it focus on product benefits and not

features?

• Are your video and page emotionally

compelling?

• Are your reward levels clear and not

confusing?

• Does it show use cases of all the different

scenarios someone might use the

product?

• Does it focus on product benefits and not

features?

6


• Are your video and page emotionally

compelling?

• Are your reward levels clear and not

confusing?

Presentation comes down to this:

Does just looking at the page, and reading the

sales page/landing page, and watching the

video make you want to buy?

4. Promotion

Your promotion needs to take into account

what the marketing has been up to this

point. So, what do you need to include in

your campaign to create a phenomenal

crowdfunding promotion?

Our special promotion sub “P’s”, paid

media, press and partnerships.

Paid Media

For Funded Today this comes down to –

spend money anywhere you can make

money. The best paid media is what

works. From this you can build an email

list. If this doesn’t work don’t bother with

Press or Partnerships. To do well you need

to know how different demographics

are converting on paid media.

Press

Working with Press is simple, but hard. You need

to create the angle and the story, and be able to

tell the Press (in a non salesy way) why should

they write about you/your product. Consistency

is key here with the goal of getting an article

syndicated to generate massive publicity.

Partnerships

Partnering with others who are excited about, and

want to help promote your crowdfunding project,

gives you access to a massive email list. You need

to offer partners great incentive. Partnerships

can be with anybody. It’s about building

relationships and leveraging connections.

We aim to see an average between all the many

ad and audience combos, to make sure that we

have a minimum ratio of 1: 3 - meaning spend

$1 and make $3 or more. This alongside the

EPV*, which shows how much is made for each

person that comes in to the page (the value of

these people), and additional metrics, we are

able to determine a verdict on what’s working

and what’s not.

5. Price

How do you know if your price is too high

or too low? Are your pledge levels set up

properly? Are there early bird pledge levels?

Do you have different pledge levels for people

who want to buy more than 1? Are the pledge

levels easily clear and understandable?

If you “price yourself out of the game” before

you even begin, you run the risk of offending

Prospective Backers, even before you price drop.

For example, let’s suppose that you have a

product, XYZ, which has minor modifications

to it. So granted, it’s not exactly the same as

other XYZ products on the market. You decide

to offer a crowdfunding early bird special for

$100. However, a quick Google search turns

up many similar products priced at $99 or

below.

You have a problem. Your price at $100 is

going to feel too expensive, particularly if

your presentation does not convey that this

is a $100 XYZ. If a potential backer is going to

look at your XYZ and think, “Hey, that’s a $25-

7


$30 gizmo, max,” and then they scroll down

to view your rewards and the least expensive

option is $100, your project is going to fail.

So, if manufacturing costs dictate that you

price your XYZgizmo at $100 then your

presentation and stand-out benefits HAVE

to convey, “This is a $100 product.”

What if you find out that you simply can’t

competitively price your product? (Clearly,

your initial research had some holes in it). You

can disband and invent something new, or

move on to your next adventure. Remember,

this is business, not personal. A failed project

does not represent you in any facet of the

world. Mistakes are key to our growth. If you’ve

had a failed crowdfunding campaign, please

read Your Crowdfunding Campaign Might Fail.

And That’s Okay. Here’s Why.

6. Probability

The previous Ps, for the most part, are

relatively concrete. When we talk about the

6th P, Probability, though perhaps harder to

quantify, can have just as much impact on the

success of your project as any of the other Ps.

• Will people think that your product can

really happen?

• Is your creation a product with a lofty

undertaking and, if so, will consumers still

believe in your product?

For example people struggle with the idea of

this project:

ORBI Prime: The First 360 Video Recording

Eyewear

Effortless, intuitive, and durable, ORBI Prime lets

anyone create incredible 360° videos and images.

Why do people struggle with this product?

They think ORBI Prime is just NOT realistic. In

other words, they don’t think the probability

of creating something like this is high enough

to justify backing OrbiPrime. Certainly, that

doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, just that

people perceive that it can’t.

When consumers are predisposed to not

believe in your product even if it’s a great

product and you can deliver, that clearly

makes it much harder to get the funding you

need and require.

7. People

Even if you’ve gone through all the steps

above, and believe you have all your Ps and

Ps in a row, there is still one last P for you to

understand and examine: the people behind

your product. Talk about perception a bit

here (Does your team exude confidence and

capability).

You need to take an honest look at your team.

Do the people you have behind the product

lend credibility to their potential on delivering?

In other words, knowing the strengths and

weaknesses of your team, can you deliver

what you say you are going to deliver, and are

consumers going to believe that?

Summing up the 7 P’s

So your Crowdfunding Success equation

looks something like this:

Potential + 7Ps = Profit

When you are strong on all your P’s, you

are going to have a successful campaign. In

other words, you are going to profit. As are

your backers and buyers who get all those

awesome benefits.

As you can tell by this article, at Funded Today

we do not simply throw great content out

there to support your product. We use our

vast base of knowledge to test and refine all

aspects of your project, so that together we

can make your crowdfunding project wildly

successful.

Zach Smith

CEO and Co-founder

Funded Today

8


TRENDING

USING AI TO ENRICH

THE CUSTOMER

EXPERIENCE

“Is AI going to replace us?”

This is a concern we hear most often – that

service providers, like the financial institutions

we work with, will end up being replaced by

algorithms.

As I noted in the discussion “Pioneering

Markets: Game Changing Tech Innovations

Impacting Finance and Society” AI isn’t seeking

to replace financial advisors whose guidance

customers value. Rather, AI will augment and

improve the overall value that the financial

service provider is able to present.

The threat of tech giants like Amazon and

Google and consumer focussed fintechs that

are seeking to cut out financial institutions

altogether means traditional banks will need

to do more than offer marginal savings on

fees to win the long-game.

Their key differentiator will be a brand that

people trust, and customer experience.

The benefits of AI applied to the banking

experience don’t just apply to those

customers on their mobile phones, but can

provide greater insight to advisors in branch

for a more effective banking relationship.

AI is improving the customer experience by

providing an overall more consistent, hyperpersonalized

omnichannel experience for

every customer.

The challenge

Financial institutions are well aware that

different customer segments prefer

different types of access and service –

self-serve, in branch, on mobile, at home,

one-to-one.

9


Irregardless of how they prefer to consume

service whether it’s on mobile or on their

laptop at home, 87% of banking customers

still want advice and guidance from their

bank.

Unfortunately, the industry is currently

falling short of meeting those expectations.

As digital adoption increases, customer

satisfaction is dropping, and customer

satisfaction is lowest among digital only

segments. Today’s consumers want it

all: digital self-service convenience and

personal relationships.

Why it matters

In a recent report released by Kantar, customer

experience leaders earned 1.9x greater wallet

share than others and 1.9x greater level of

recommendation. Additionally, customer

experience leaders’ customers are 2.1x more

willing to take up new products.

Improving customer experience isn’t just

strategic lip service - it’s imperative for

traditional banks to remain competitive. So how

do financial institutions meet the challenge of

human personalization in increasingly device

and digital-driven services?

Enter big data

The intersection of AI and financial technology

is inevitable because it’s one of the areas AI

can add the most value. Financial data, with

everyone in Canada utilizing banking services

in some way, presents a hugely detailed data

set for learning. Afterall, without data sets and

application that solves tangible problems, AI

isn’t really doing much for anyone.

The opportunity we have here to make a

material impact on people’s lives is significant.

Aggregating and analyzing financial data

means a service provider could give informed,

real-time advice based off more information

gleaned in 5 seconds than they could learn

in a decade of face to face meetings. That

advice could be delivered in person or

through a mobile phone depending on the

customer’s preference.

Ultimately it’ll be the technology whose

incentives aligns with the end user that will

win out. By aligning with end users desire

for success and need for guidance, banks

and credit unions will retain the servicedriven

edge that many consumers expect

and actually far exceed these expectations

as their insights become smarter and more

valuable.

Banking customers will get the most out of

their financial service providers, as opposed

to more products.

Enter open banking?

Given how quickly tech giants and consumer

fintechs are moving in an effort to eat up

market share, open banking could help

level the playing field by enabling financial

institutions to take advantage of productfocused

fintechs who can offer immediate

solutions and improve customer experience

faster than they could do themselves.

While banks and credit unions have the

benefits of deep industry knowledge, trust

and customer-centric services, taking

advantage of the agility and niche skills of

fintechs building AI applications will do more

to ensure they not only survive, but flourish,

as the financial landscape continues to

evolve.

Analysis and the AI insights driven by financial

data can help answer questions like “Should I

go back to school?” or “Would I be better off if

I moved to Calgary?”

These are huge life decisions where the

information that supports different choices are

from disparate or unreliable, anecdotal sources.

Jesse Penner

VP Product

Grow Technologies

10


An era of unprecedented technological change is changing finance, and

capitalism more fundamentally. As a society we now expect a regular release

of innovative new products – new versions and upgrades fix the issues of the

past, and leaps in functionality challenge the status quo to provide exciting new

business model opportunities.

INSIDER VIEW

Following the 2008-09 global financial crisis

that eroded public confidence in existing

institutions, thousands of fintech companies

with financial oligopolies in their crosshairs

offer innovative upgrades to open up

and improve financial services for the next

generation.

Recently, open source blockchain

technologies that cryptographically secure

global transactions of cryptocurrencies such

as bitcoin have delivered an effective parallel

monetary system. Hundreds of potentially

viable cryptocurrencies could be alternative

forms of money. The programmability of

smart contracts and tokens on Ethereum’s

world computer public blockchain drives a

vision of unstoppable, censorship-resistant

applications on “Web 3.0” the successor to

today’s centralized Web 2.0 – with secure

value transfer built in. Web 3.0 has become a

movement to decentralize ownership of the

web as it was initially envisioned.

Has blockchain impacted the important

capital markets sector? 2017 saw the

explosion of blockchain-based initial

coin offerings to fund innovative projects

seamlessly across borders, and venture

capitalists became concerned their role as

at risk. Investors around the world felt free

to invest their cryptocurrency anywhere,

essentially without restrictions. 2018

brought regulatory scrutiny to a global

tokenization movement and the industry

responded with early regulatory-compliant

token offerings but most served accredited

investors. Regardless of the early size of

the blockchain market, well-known issues

with many fraudulent projects that skirted

securities regulations, the potential changes

at a macro level (see IMF Winds of Change)

brought about by decentralized tokenization

are so profoundly disruptive (Wikipedia) that

they’re signalling a new form of capitalism --

call it Capitalism 3.0.

Will Capitalism 3.0 be accepted as a

successful upgrade that can address the

uncertainty and risks in today’s capital

markets? Undoubtedly, entrenched

interests, current processes, and regulations

exist to preserve the status quo. To consider

how transformative Capitalism 3.0 will be

in the coming years, it can be useful to see

the future through the lens of a software

release that must deliver value to investors,

governments, regulators and investors.

11


Introducing Capitalism 3.0 (the

“Tokenism” Release). Availability:

2017 – 2025+

Capitalism 3.0 (the “Tokenism” release) is

a transformative global upgrade of the

economic and social operating system

that underpins western and developed

civilizations. Capitalism 3.0 incorporates the

latest secure, private exchange of value

now made possible by Web 3.0 blockchain

technologies, decentralization, tokenization

and token economics.

Capitalism (Wikipedia: Capitalism) very

broadly is an economic and social operating

system based on the private ownership of

the means of production, their operation for

profit, investment and competitive markets.

Financial institutions, the nation-state

governments who licence and regulate them,

and stock exchanges support and maintain

the current version of capitalism by providing

valuable financial services to connect

investors to business. Yet, capitalism is often

blamed for increased inequality around

the world, concentrating wealth and power

amongst a very small number of companies

and individuals, resulting in opaque financial

instruments such as CDOs that caused the

recent global financial crisis.

Capitalism 3.0 follows the evolution of the

Internet (i.e. the Web) which, at Web 1.0, was

designed for the free flow of information.

Capitalism 3.0 is designed to give all

investors the kind of access normally

afforded the wealthy investors with

privileged access to early stage

investment opportunities. Imagine

retail investors with the freedom to

buy and sell a share of any public or

private company, from anywhere, and

at virtually no cost.

Web 2.0 architects then built advertisingbased

business models for search,

information sharing and commerce that

centralized power and wealth in the hands

of a few companies – including Google,

Facebook, Amazon, Apple.

Blockchain innovators are building Web

3.0 infrastructure as a catalyst for the

widespread adoption of Capitalism 3.0,

challenging centralized power by permitting

the free flow of capital, wealth and value

without centralized intermediaries. With tens

of thousands of developers globally, it’s no

longer possible to dismiss the architects

of Web 3.0 as cypherpunks and cryptoanarchists.

Addressing capital markets, Capitalism

3.0 not only has the potential to digitize

and tokenize the market cap of the

world’s publicly listed companies, valued

at over 80T $USD (World Bank, 2017).

Conservative estimates indicate hundreds

of billions of dollars of financial services

fees currently charged by intermediaries

could be impacted. But as we’ve seen with

ICOs, the wide-ranging impact extends

to democratization of private company

innovators who seek capital for startups and

scaleups.

What’s New in Capitalism 3.0:

1. Tokenization: Tokenization is the

digitization of any physical or digital asset

into a cryptographic smart contract (a

native blockchain program) referred to as

a “token” or cryptoasset. Tokens can be

programmed to behave as equity, debt, or

payment tokens and are easily subdivided,

resulting in fractional ownership out of

the box. Cryptoassets are designed to be

inherently transferable wallet-to-wallet,

with immediate settlement using smart

contracts with trustless atomic swaps

that can behave as decentralized stock

exchanges.

2. Token Economics: Token economics are a

combination of game theory and incentive

mechanics designed to distribute value

to the market participants who produce

12


it. Incentives include blockchain mining

and rewards for participating in these

new decentralized network protocols (e.g.

computing and file storage)

Alan Wunsche

MBA, CPA, CA, BSc., CBP

CEO & Founder of TokenFunder

Chair & Co-Founder of Blockchain

Canada and Canadian Chair of ISO TC307

(Blockchain Standards) Committee.

Conclusion

The current financial system is under

stress and may soon see another crisis.

The technologies underpinning Web 3.0/

Capitalism 3.0 are young but rapidly maturing.

Recent and planned upgrades by a global

movement of technologists, defined by

decentralization, disintermediation.

About:

Alan is a finance and blockchain technology expert focused on

the disruptive impacts of blockchain and cryptocurrencies on

capital markets and global wealth distribution. He recently led

TokenFunder’s launch of Canada’s first regulatory-compliant

security token offering on the Ethereum public blockchain.

Alan is a Chartered Professional Accountant with hands-on

technology experience leading finance and risk transformation

programs as an executive at a global bank (Scotiabank),

management consulting (Deloitte, PwC), incubators and

startups

13


BEST PRACTICE

Entrepreneurs approach crowdfunding with the optimism and overconfidence

of a novice stock trader out to beat the market — yet, at the end of the day the

underlying assumption of easy money, if not actually rocked to its foundations,

is certainly called into question. Low success rates have historically plagued

crowdfunding campaigns: in the U.S., U.K., and Canada about 60 percent fails to

reach its target.

At the VanFUNDING Conference, crowd-funding

veterans Daryl Hatton (FundRazr), Victoria

Bennett (FrontFundr), and Jasper Dikmans

(FrontFundr) hosted the workshop “Anatomy of a

Deal” to tell you everything you need to know to

not be exiled to crowdfunding Siberia.

We analyzed two companies that raised on

FrontFundr: ski resort RED Mountain that raised

$2.5 million from 744 investors and vegan

butcher The Very Good Butchers that raised

$446,000 from 171 investors to date. Here are the

five key strategies these companies employed

to successfully execute their investment

crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Drive high volumes of traffic

The dictum “more is better” certainly applies

to the number of unique visitors to your

campaign page. 171 people invested in

The Very Good Butchers — yet over 14,000

people visited their campaign page. If you

do the math, you’ll find that only 1 in about

86 visitors to the campaign page made an

investment. Let’s add one more variable: the

click-through rate of emails that were sent

out to promote the Very Good Butcher’s

campaign averaged 19%. If the campaign

would have been solely promoted via

emails, the company would have needed to

reach an astonishing 77,000 email recipients

to drive 14,772 visitors to the campaign

page. In reality, the company reached out to

potential investors through different online

channels — yet emails have the highest

conversion rate of them all. For example,

The Very Good Butcher’s Facebook posts

had an average click through rate of just 7%.

2. Build an engaged community of

supporters who surround the business

FrontFundr has an investor community of

over 11,000 investors and promotes every

campaign to this community. However,

by now it should be clear that you’ll need

to reach more than 11,000 people to pull

off a successful investment crowdfunding

campaign — that’s why the company will

have to drive traffic to its campaign, too.

RED Mountain started to build email lists

and a following on social media long before

its campaign began. Access to a large,

engaged community of supporters who

surround the business is what set RED up

for investment crowdfunding success.

3. Provide social proof and investor perks

What is crowdfunding social proof? It’s

the phenomenon where people are more

prone to invest in a campaign already

invested in by others. The dollars raised and

the number of investors are a measurement

of company’s risk or credibility, and provide

a mental checkbox that potential investors

check off before they invest their hardearned

money in your company. A progress

bar on the campaign page that displays 100%

or more is the crowdfunding equivalent of a

pub with a long line out the door is. While

seeking $500,000, The Very Good Butchers

14


set its minimum at just $100,000 — and that

enabled the company to achieve 100%

quickly. The campaign skyrocketed soon

after, and currently the campaign is at 446%.

Now, there is an issue here: to gain

momentum you need investors in the early

days of your campaign – but in this period

potential investors are not in a hurry to get

on board yet, as the typically campaign

runs for 45 days. That’s why the creation

of a sense of urgency for investors is key

to a successful campaign. To incentivize

potential investors to get in early, RED

offered investor perks in addition to equity:

early investors could receive season passes,

custom made skis and snowboards, and

on-mountain overnight stays.

4. Appeal to different investor motivations

At the end of the raise, a company will

have a hybrid investor pool of sophisticated

investors (“accredited investors”) and

the general public. On FrontFundr, the

average campaign receives 66% of its

raise from accredited investors and

33% from the general public.

Everyday Canadians and the suits and ties

may have different motivations to invest.

To appeal to different investor types, the

Very Good Butchers did not just position

itself as an opportunity realize capital gains.

The company focused on the positive

environmental impact its vegan meat has

and presented itself as a company that

supports local communities, too. By setting

a low investment minimum of just $250,

the company enabled different investor

types with a variety of motivations to

invest alongside each other.

5. Think of it as a way to promote the

company, not just a capital raise

The resources spent on your investment

crowdfunding campaign don’t just bring

in investments. At the end of the day, an

investment crowdfunding campaign is as

much a marketing exercise as a fundraising

exercise. Your shareholders become your

brand ambassadors who help you spread

the word about your business. Consider

these statistics: RED raised $2.5 million to

grow the business, and on top of that its

revenue increased by almost 50% that year,

likely a result of the noise made by the

company and its 744 new shareholders.

With these tips in hand, you’re already ahead

of the curve when it comes to your investment

crowdfunding campaign. If you have any

questions, comments, or would like to learn

more, please feel free to reach out to Jasper@

FrontFundr.com.

Jasper Dikmans

FrontFundr

15


TRENDING

For centuries we have trusted central parties to structure our society. We’ve

placed our trust in governments for governance, decisions, and personal identity.

Trusted banks and financial institutions to be custodians of our wealth.

And we now trust corporations to be are

custodians of our data – we live in the data

economy and voluntarily pay in personal

data and privacy instead of money for

online services. However, our trust in

central parties continues to diminish

with every recurring case of a corrupt

government, personal asset seizure (bank

haircuts in Cyprus), and hack company that

mismanages data.

Momentum is building for alternative

structures. A shift towards the decentralization

of data, identity and trust is an

appealing proposition. Instead of placing

trust with a central party, we can democratize

trust across system of people participating

in a network – where we trust in the rules of

the system, the economic incentives built

in and that enough participants follow the

rules and act rationally.

We also seek to regain control – we are

building a world where we can control the

keys to our own money, our identity, our

data. For a long time in our history we would

reach into our pocket and give our coins to

someone. Citizens can again own the keys

to their own money, limiting the ability of

governments and banks to seize assets or

limit the participation of the unbanked in

the global financial economy.

Despite our transition to a digital economy,

we continue to rely on physical documents

to prove our identity or a specific attribute

like age. From a privacy standpoint, it is

unnecessary to show more information

than is necessary – the bouncer just needs

to know your age, not your address. In

the future, we will be able to control the

attributes that are released in a secure and

privacy preserving way.

A world where we can we leverage

technology to take back control of our data

and privacy, also shifting the economics

of data – whether its paying directly for

services or monetizing our data.

As we embrace digital technologies, we

concurrently open ourselves up to new

threats and attack vectors. A new world

where bad actors seek new ways to access

to our personal, financial or corporate

information, or our bank accounts, or try

to disrupt our digital infrastructure. While

individual and decentralized control has

16


the advantage of the ‘honeypot’ (data,

assets, etc.) being spread across many

individual participants, the responsibility

for security is shifted and personal opsec

can be challenging for segments of the

population. You regain control but you also

take on the full responsibility of your own

digital safe and key – and in the case of

cryptocurrencies, most transactions are

irreversible and misplaced ‘keys’ remain

lost forever.

Decentralized technologies and applications

are not yet intuitive. Usability remains

a barrier to widespread adoption. The value

and incentives for early adoption prevails in

corrupt, destabilized or war-torn countries,

where citizens face runaway inflation,

persecution or asset seizure.

Citizens recognize the enormous value of

being able to flee with their digital assets or

identity represented as a seed phrase in their

head – one that cannot be forcibly taken

at the border like gold. Good design and

usability and scalability improvements will

attract broader global consumer adoption.

We are creating new systems for the digital

economy – as developers and builders

and dreamers, we need to understand the

limitations of both technology and users to

get it right for the next generation.

Magdalena Gronowska

LinkedIn

17


INSIDER VIEW

One of the best aspects of speaking at conferences, such as Vanfunding 2018 -

Converge is the rich conversations that result. Our topic this year “Why Tokenize

Your Real World Assets” sparked a series of interesting conversations related

to the different implications and issues related to tokenizing a variety of asset

classes.

The large real estate project raising money via

tokenization will certainly face very different

issues and exhibit different characteristics

than a corporate equity issue. The purpose

of this short discussion is to highlight some of

the outcomes from these discussions which

nicely summarize the questions on our mind

in these early days of asset securitization via

blockchain tokens.

As with almost any area of discussion in

the quickly evolving blockchain space an

exploration of the impact of tokenization on

different asset classes is potentially endless.

To keep this discussion short we’ll have a look

at a small number of archetypical asset classes

and look at the considerations associated with

issuing tokens for that asset. This is meant as

a general high level introduction and is not

intended either as management, investment

or legal advice, nor should it be considered

exhaustive. Instead this short overview should

stimulate thought around the potential that

tokenization could bring to securitizing a

variety of assets, as well as the challenges to

be expected.

Real Estate - No area of potential tokenization

has gained more early traction that the real

estate space, with numerous subscriptionbased

services competing to offer developers

access to tokenized fundraising platforms.

Investors are equally offered stakes in

otherwise inaccessible international projects.

While in vogue and attractive as a tokenization

candidate, real estate is a highly regulated

space with wide variations in international

laws and licenses. Obtaining legal title also

requires interaction with numerous regional

land title regimes. As a result most current

platforms do not promise legal title, but

offer token holders stakes in real-estate

funds or trusts. Benefits delivered with token

ownership range from bragging rights, to a

share of future revenues to, in a minority of

cases actual legal property ownership. On the

positive side regulation of real estate project

fundraising is well established, understood

and highly structured around the world. The

higher (but not perfect) regulatory certainly

in this area is obviously attractive to both

project developers/token issuers and token

investors.

Corporate Lending - Most businesses at

some point in their development will utilize

debt financing to provide resources for

growth, operations or special projects. This

18


asset class is curious in that while securitized

corporate debt is highly structured, rated

and regulated, nothing stops any company

from taking a loan from almost anyone in

many jurisdictions around the world. This is

indeed an area of buyer/investor beware. It

remains to be seen to what degree regulators

choose to treat tokenized corporate debt

as equivalent to a regulated bond, versus a

simple loan documented on a blockchain.

The degree and nature of future regulation

hangs in the balance. Regulators around

the world have often retroactively applied

future rulings to past investments, which can

cause both issuers and investors significant

heartburn. That said, corporate lending has

a long history of standardization in structure

and information flow, that makes tokenization

of this asset class attractive for both issuers

and investors.

Futures & Commodities - This asset class

includes the securitization of both current

hard-assets such as oil & gas, mineral claims,

mining production etc., as well as synthetic/

derivative instruments such as futures

for resources yet to be produced such as

unharvested or even un-sown agricultural

commodities. As a result this asset class

is both highly structured and regulated

especially in the area of derivatives and

futures. There is also a tradition of highfrequency

secondary trading of many

of these assets. This last characteristic

makes issuance and documentation via

blockchain particularly attractive for both

the owners of the underlying assets and

the investors they attract. The higher the

volume or frequency of trading, the higher

the potential reduction in administrative

costs promised by a robust blockchain

implementation.

Corporate Equity - No area of tokenization

causes asset issuers, investors and

regulators more pain and uncertainty than

the area of corporate equity issuance via

blockchain. No area of asset securitization

has been more rife with scams and hustles

than the issuance of stock in companies,

attracting the justifiable attention of

regulators as a result. While technically

extremely well suited to blockchain-based

tokenization, corporate equity issuance

laws, categorization and restrictions vary

incredibly across international jurisdictions.

Who can invest in what, when and where

is in no way standardized. Reporting and

registration requirements such as KYC/

AML as well as investor accreditation rules

add another layer of complexity. While

certainly possible in-jurisdiction now, true

international equity issuance and investment

via efficient technology enabled tokenization

seems a more distant goal. The ability of

regulators to truly cooperate internationally

beyond superficial letters of understanding

will deeply influence the pace at which

international corporate equity tokenization

becomes practical.

Obviously this is a limited and high-level

survey of some characteristic asset classes

only. Although the challenges to practical,

economical and regulation-compliant token

issuance are significant, the benefits in the

form of increases asset values, investor

flexibility and reduced fees for all actors are

compelling.

Where there is a financial benefit a way is

usually found. It will be profoundly interesting

to see the concept of asset tokenization go

from a rarity to the norm, very possibly faster

than we could have imagined. At Northmark

Ventures we fully expect to see examples

of successful tokenization projects in all the

asset classes discussed here in 2019.

Routine tokenization of these issues with

multiple credible platform options for

asset owners is likely to take longer. Asset

issuers are unlikely to say no to higher asset

valuations, lower fees and a broader investor

base. The key wildcards remain on one

hand regulator behaviour, and on the other

acceptance of tokenized securities by the

ultimate driver of blockchain token adoption,

the retail investor.

Bernd Petak

Investment Partner

Northmark Ventures

19


THE FUTURE MAY BE

SHOCKING, BREATHTAKING

AND REVOLUTIONARY.

BUT IT SHOULD NEVER

COME AS A SURPRISE.

When change is the only constant, you need a lawfirm that sees what’s

on the horizon. With more than 1,400 legal professionals in key industry

sectors and regions around the globe, Gowling WLG has the legal insight

and foresight you need to prepare for any eventuality — and rise to

tomorrow’s challenges today. Find out more at gowlingwlg.com

TM

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP is a member of Gowling WLG, an international law firm which consists of independent and autonomous entities providing services

around the world. Our structure is explained in more detail at gowlingwlg.com/legal

20


Cryptocurrency phishing campaigns have spread to epidemic proportions,

alongside the unprecedented rise of digital assets driven by the boom of

cryptocurrency and the subsequent development of blockchain technology.

INSIDER VIEW

Although cryptocurrency provides users the

capacity to “be their own banker” this approach

ultimately pits responsibility for securing

the vault on the user, or custodial service

managing the wallet address. As a result of

poor security practices a multibillion dollar

marketplace is fraught with fraud as scammers

vie for a portion of the pie in the sky. Fraudsters

have come out of the woodwork, touting false

opportunities with offers that are too good to

be true, in an effort to skim a bit of crypto from

someone foolish enough to simply send some

to a phishing wallet address, or worse, given a

prompt to log in to a phishing site mimicking

a cryptocurrency exchange, or wallet service.

It is because users cannot identify legitimate

resources from those of phishing scams that

10% of all money in digital wallets is stolen.

As the webscape has never been more hostile,

MetaCert has decided to fight back with a

verification system designed to augment with

current security tools as a last line of defense

against malicious resources. MetaCert’s green,

grey, and red shields provide users a measure

of whether a resource is green and safe, or

red and unsafe, and if a known to be verified

link shows up as grey, you know it might be

a phishing link. Since 90% of phishing scams

start malicious links in email, MetaCert has

modified our solution to work natively in email

applications, and we are currently beta testing

that technology.

This means that when a person using this

technology receives and email from a

phishing scammer claiming to be a popular

cryptocurrency exchange, wallet service, or

other payment portal, they’re going to see a

grey shield next to the fake link and know right

away that it might be a scam.

This is the same concept that powers Cryptonite,

the popular browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox,

Opera, and Brave browser that blocks phishing

scams and uses the shield system to indicate

the verified status of a web resource known to

be associated with cryptocurrencies.

MetaCert sees a world where you don’t have

to worry about clicking on a link, and our tools

will go a long way towards keeping digital

assets out of the hands of thieves, and in the

possession of its rightful owners. Visit us today

at https://MetaCertProtocol.com to find out

how we can help protect you.

Paul Walsh

Founder & CEO

MetaCert

21


The information in this article is for informational purposes

and does not constitute legal, tax or investing advice or

instruction.

FUNDAMENTALS

Should you consider the token model?

References:

ICO-Summit 2017–10- ICO best practice

How to Raise Money on a Blockchain with a Token

Against Tokens: Part II

All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization

Mapping the blockchain project ecosystem

BUSINESS FORMATION

References:

Best Practices for Token Sales

Discussing Cryptotoken Best Practices

What I Look for as an ICO Advisor

WHITEPAPER

Does your whitepaper contain the following?

— Investor Summary

— Team

— Product

— Audience

— Market

— Risk Factors

— Warranties

— Metrics

— Budget

— Reporting

— Compliance Requirements

— Governance

Blockchain History (if applicable)

22


White Paper Examples:

— Monetha

— Filecoin

— Aeternity

References:

How to structure an ICO white paper

How to write a cryptocurrency white paper

How to Develop White Paper for ICO: Do’s

and Don’ts

DESIGN THE TOKEN

Determine the following:

— Purpose of the token

— Functionality or utility of the token

— Distribution and allocation of the token

— Budget forecast for five (5) years

— Spend distribution: Development

& operations, legal & compliance,

marketing and community outreach

— Lockup period for company and insiders

— Cap, if any

— Pre-registration, if any

— Time period

— Geo-fencing, if any

— Types of investors (individual or

institutional investors)

Would your token pass the CrapCoin

Checklist?

References:

The ICO Handbook

The Pre-ICO Checklist, with William

Mougayar and Ty Danco

10 keys for evaluating Initial Coin Offering

(ICO) investments

SMART CONTRACT CREATION AND

TECHNOLOGY

The following is a list of smart contract and

token issuance platforms. The most popular

platform is Ethereum ERC20 Tokens.

— Ethereum ERC20 Tokens

— Ethereum Classic ERC20 Tokens

— Counterparty

— OpenZeppelin

— NEO

— Waves

— Stellar

— COMSA platform for Token Sale &

Exchange Listing

References:

ICO smart contracts Documentation

Analyzing Token Sale Models

How To Create Token and Initial Coin Offering

Contracts Using Truffle + OpenZeppelin

Your Guide To Running An Initial Coin

Offering, For Better Or Worse

Using Stellar for ICOs

SMART CONTRACT SECURITY

Here are a few known attacks:

— Attacker execute malicious code within a

transaction

— Order of transactions is manipulated

— Timestamp of a block is manipulated

— Gas limit in a block occurs because you

are paying out to everyone at once

Here are a few things you could do:

— Upgrade broken contracts

— Pause the functionality of a contract

— Delay an action of a contract

References:

Ethereum Smart Contract Security Best

Practices

Known Attacks

Security Tools

Software Engineering Techniques

MARKETING

If you are issuing an utility token, promote the

token based on its functionality. Consider the

following:

— Your main token buyers may be

underwriters, investors, traders and

organic users and consumers of your

product

— Translate your content in different

languages

— Attend and speak at Conferences for 4–6

months in North America, Asia and Europe

— Build community

— Make ICO website

— Draft an explainer video

— Update Github repository

— Place your event on Exchange Listing

Assistance

— Consider bounty campaigns

— Set up social media including Twitter,

LinkedIn and YouTube

23


— Send out a newsletter

— Be on BitcoinTalk and Reddit

— Write a blog

— Communicate via Slack

— Pay for advertising

— Be mindful of privacy notices in the EU

and UK including direct marketing best

practices.

— Hire a PR Firm

- Interviews

- Events

- Podcasts

References:

Anatomy of ICO For Blockchain Investors and

Entrepreneurs

Your Guide To Running An Initial Coin

Offering, For Better Or Worse

Guide to launching an Initial Coin Offering

(ICO)

LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Is your token a security or utility?

Lawyers will help you determine using the

Howey Test. According to the Howey Test,

a transaction is an “investment contract” or a

security if all the four (4) elements are met:

— Money is vested

— In a common enterprise or company

— The investor expects profits from the

investment

— The profit comes from the efforts of

others other than the investor

References:

What is the Howey Test?

Tokens Can Be Securities? Even ICO Advisors

Agree with the SEC

Tokenomics — A Business Guide to Token

Usage, Utility and Value

A Securities Law Framework for Blockchain

Tokens

Appcoin Law: ICOs the Right Way

ICO Offering a New Paradigm

Food for Thought: SEC Turns Up the Heat on

Utility Token Sales

SEC Statement on Cryptocurrencies and

ICOs

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions and Public

Statement in the Blockchain Space

LabCFTC Releases Primer on Virtual

Currencies without Broadly Addressing

Blockchain Tokens

Video: Blockchaingers Legal Deep Dive:

Keynote Address by Lee Schneider at Dutch

Authority for the Financial Markets

Debevoise update on the SEC’s DAO Tokens

report

Debevoise update on pre-functional tokens

Zug Crypto Valley event and video (1 of 18)

Cardozo Tech Talks panel discussion,

“Structuring Legally Compliant Token Sales”

featuring Lilya Tessler

ACCOUNTING AND TAXES

What are your tax options? Here a few best

practices:

— Keep in mind how token issuance is

taxed. Income from the token issuance is

considered operating income.

— Consider place of incorporation. For

example, corporate income tax is

approximately 14% in Zug, Switzerland.

— Plan the timing of your token issuance.

The earlier you conduct token issuance,

the longer you will have to spend them in

the first critical year before having to pay

taxes.

— Diversify your cryptocurrencies.

References:

The ICO Handbook

Best Practices for ICO Accounting and

Token Management

COMPLIANCE

Are you in compliance with KYC and AML?

— Know Your Customer (KYC): Verify your

investor’s identity

— Anti Money Laundering (AML): Do you

have a red flags checklist?

— Is your investor on the denied person list

or embargoed country list?

— Is your investor located in a country that

bans ICO?

References:

The 3 Most Important Things When

Launching an ICO

Considering an ICO? Consider AML/KYC

Compliance

24


AFTER THE TOKEN ISSUANCE

Here are a few best practices after the token

issuance:

— Convert cryptocurrency into fiat in order

to have runway for at least two years

— Keep some of your cryptocurrency

— Update your token holders regularly

— Recruit new advisors if appropriate to

achieve product market fit

References:

The Post-ICO Checklist: Replace Your

Advisors

Insider Reflections on the ICO Bubble, Part II:

What it takes to ICO

Michelle Tsing

Founder, Elevate the Blockchain

Advisor, Kambria

BEST PRACTICE

25


26


BEST PRACTICE

Regarding the definition of a security: “Am I giving you my money to go off in a

venture and relying on you and the efforts of your colleagues?” – Jay Clayton,

Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, interview with Bob

Pisani on June 6, 2018

The first and best practice approach for

conducting an ICO or STO (collectively

“digital offerings”) in the United States is

the same regardless of which offering you

or your attorney decide to use. First and

foremost, you must Google the absolute

hell out of the ICO and STO craze that has

become an international phenomenon. You

will read how some believe all ICOs were

illegal (most were) and how others believe

that all STOs are going to fail (most will).

Then you will read libertarian and contrarian

views on how ICOs and STOs shouldn’t

be regulated or should be regulated

completely. This is the first approach you

should take to anything: your own initial

research.

Now, some would question the legitimacy

of this approach, but the fact of the matter is

everyone (and I literally mean everyone) will

question your decision to conduct a digital

offering, if you choose that path. Why, you

may ask? Simple, because of your choice

to conduct a digital offering is like the first

person walking on Moon. It took a hell of a

lot of people to get Neil Armstrong up there,

and no one remembers the rest of the guys

who came afterward. Similarly, it is going to

take a relatively substantial amount of work

to make this digital offering successful.

The days of being able to put up a fancy

website and decently written white paper

and be successful are over. You are going

to have to develop a team and, depending

on the venture, you are going to need

something from a bootstrapped minimum

viable product (MVP) to an actual alpha

ready. The ratio you’re looking for here

27


is team development versus business/

product development. If you have an

outstanding group of talented individuals

who have decided to follow you as their

leader, then your product development may

be a bit behind the MVP level. Alternately, if

you have a functioning alpha product with

users/subscribers but your team looks like

the GarageBand equivalent of Avengers,

then you do not have worry about the

pedigrees of your team as long as your

numbers (users/subscribers) make “cents.”

This is an important comparison because

these teammates of yours, or anyone who

wants to join your team before conducting

this digital offering, is going to be the first

naysayers who question your sanity. They

are going to want to quiz you on why issuing

this type of offering makes sense for this

type of product or service. They are going

to want to make sure you know enough

of what this blockchain/cryptocurrency

industry is to feel comfortable in explaining

to their friends and family when they ask

about why you decided to use blockchain

(and they will).

These are serious documents and will

affect the fate of your venture and the team

mentioned above. So, after you’ve Googled

your way to elementary comprehension,

consult a professional to see if this digital

offering is truly a good approach.

The third and final best practical approach

for conducting a digital offering is very

simple: you must believe in what you

are doing. You cannot waive. You cannot

hide and, God forbid, the state or federal

regulators call and ask you what you are

doing, you must answer. If you are serious

about conducting a digital offering then

you must be able to withstand the storm of

questions, concerns, and comments from

your spouse or loved one, to your team, to

possibly even regulators in your jurisdiction.

The second best practical approach for

issuing a digital offering is making damn sure

you know when you’ve gone outside your

comfort zone. I once was able to replace a

brake light in my Explorer after an incident

where a kid decided it would be a good place

to park his bicycle after flying down a hill (the

kid was ok; always wear a helmet).

This was an easy fix thanks to YouTube and

eBay. I was not, however, able to fix another

vehicle when a drunk driver took out a

light pole which happened to cross both

lanes of traffic just outside of Rochester,

New York. I had the pleasure of running

over at midnight at around 60 miles per

hour. Needless to say, running over a light

pole wasn’t a simple fix and required a

professional. The anecdote here is you can

bootstrap your operation up to a certain

point. You can figure out basic limited

liability company and corporate formations

very easily online. You should not, however,

draft your operating agreement or conduct

a digital offering without consulting with a

professional.

As noted above, the SEC believes most

of these offerings are securities so, after

you’ve consulted with your professional,

you must firmly believe this is still the best

approach for you and your company. If

you take this approach on this incredible

journey, then you may just be able to walk

on the Moon.

Jonathan C. Dunsmoor, Esq.

Founder/Principal

Dunsmoor Law, P.C.

28


IN FOCUS

For most of the younger generations, housing in major urban areas is financially

out of reach. It’s no longer just a matter of saving more or working harder. With

globalization and the shifting economy, even with a stable job and enough

money for a downpayment, the mortgage fees over the next 25 years in the

world’s most desired cities will eat the average paycheck, without remorse.

Buying power has decreased and the way

people operate in the world has shifted. From

the advent of tech companies, to a more

educated society, to the fact we are now

globally connected from a handheld device -

millennials and their counterpart, Gen Z (who

are incidentally larger than their predecessors

or boomers) have not known life before the

internet and accessibility.

So what happens when new ways of operating

collide with the archaic systems we still have

in place for many industries? We’ve seen

companies shift, travel skyrocket and the

world as a whole become far more educated,

not to mention connected. So the question

begs, what are the oldest industries doing to

keep up with this change?

The emergence of blockchain technology

over the last few years has now evolved to

spreading beyond just cryptocurrencies. So

what real world applications are we seeing

this emerging technology be used for?

One such “real world” use case is real estate.

When REITIUM CEO, Thomas Park began

researching blockchain technology, he

knew he needed to adapt. “When I saw real

estate on a list of ‘industries that blockchain

would make obsolete’, I knew I needed to

get creative. Tapping into my experience

as a realtor, REITIUM was created to offer a

new way of entering the real estate market,

making it accessible to the masses.” Part of

his fuel for creating REITIUM was the fact that

even his own mother had been priced out of

the current market.

Millennials and Gen Z are now of age to

be homeowners but don’t have the same

purchasing power as their parents and have

29


thus retired the idea of being able to afford

real estate. Due to cause and effect, money

is being spent in new ways from the daily

latte, to owning expensive tech devices, to

many more students enrolling in university

and paying the sky-high fees associated. As a

result, they’ve arguably felt forced to at least

seek an enjoyable lifestyle, opting to travel

the world, rent a nice apartment and become

Amazon’s biggest clients.

worth of real estate assets that will be listed

on the platform in 2019. A real estate investing

platform built for any investor,

Even though they see houses as unaffordable,

most of the younger generation still see

homeownership as a desirable good

investment. In 2017, REITIUM was born and

CEO, Thomas Park, along with his Co-Founders,

Michael Moll and Laura Fortey have dedicated

themselves to being a solution to this problem.

What started as an idea, which was presented

and flushed out at the VanFunding Hackathon

in 2017, has now grown to a company of 11

employees and 18 advisors. REITIUM has

raised $650,000 to date and is currently in a

seed round seeking $3 million dollars which

will allow them to achieve their next milestones.

The platform allows anyone across the globe

to fractionally purchase real estate for as little

as $100. Collectively the younger generation

have over $1 trillion dollars in savings, but

individually they don’t have enough money,

time or experience to put their money to work

and grow their wealth sustainably.

Through the use of crowdfunding, REITIUM

is opening a global pool of capital that was

otherwise inaccessible, allowing anyone to

invest in real estate.

REITIUM is a Global Real Estate Investment

Marketplace, Protocol and Exchange

that allows anyone to invest in income

generating properties, earning a percentage

of rental income (dividends) and fair market

appreciation when selling property shares.

Partnered with IBM, REITIUM is built on

Hyperledger Fabric. Using smart contracts

and blockchain technology REITIUM enables

compliant, fractional ownership of real estate

investing. In 2018 the REITIUM Co-Founders

attended 22 conferences across 9 countries,

resulting in incredible partnerships and letters

of intent in excess of $830 million dollars

REITIUM is excited to begin onboarding onto

their platform. From retail investors, to family

offices to REITs, REITIUM has an array of

clients that span investment pools and the

globe. Society is shifting, density is increasing

in cities and the UN predicts 68% of the

world’s population will live in urban centres

by 2050. This also means urban areas will

continue to build, expand and grow wealth.

At REITIUM, we are building the future of

real estate investing so we can support those

looking to grow their wealth while continuing

to live their desired lifestyle.

Laura Fortey

CMO + Co-founder

Reitium Blockchain Technologies

30


The Vanbex Group was established in 2013 as a

strategic communications organization to better tell

the story of companies in the blockchain industry.

We have since evolved into a professional services firm

that specializes in all aspects of the blockchain industry.

From grassroots marketing, application development,

communications, strategy, public relations and operations

consulting, we can assist at any stage of growth.

Interested in finding out more about our services?

We offer an initial consultation 100% free of charge.

Learn more at vanbex.com

31


IN FOCUS

“The VanFUNDING 2018 conference was a great opportunity to foster knowledge

on masternode investing to the North American crypto-investors. Here’s what

we learned from it.”

Just as the blockchain took the world by

surprise, so did masternodes jolt the cryptoworld.

Gradually, masternodes gained more

and more popularity, more fans, more projects.

Lately, blockchain technology that relies on

masternodes has started to pan out, making

room for an investment opportunity in this

sector. And not a small one, but a $3.5 bn

(April 2018) market niche, that’s currently going

unnoticed. All the more reason to join. Cryptoenthusiasts

and crypto-investment funds

altogether caught a glimpse of the blockchain-

supported future, in which masternodes play

the role of pillars. And they saw that it was

good.

Masternodes are actually servers (computers)

on a decentralized network, through which

transactions are being run. They fulfill various

services for the network, for which they receive

rewards on a regular basis. These rewards are

the source of passive income. In a nutshell,

masternodes produce money for their owner,

without the owner doing anything at all. Except

32


uild the masternode, of course. And with the

GIN Platform, that’s as easy as ABC.

Running a masternode on the GIN Platform

requires only two things: the desired coin

collateral (e.g. 1,000 GIN) and about 5-10

minutes of one’s time. The rest is an automated

process, built and constantly perfected by

the hard-working GIN team. The GIN project

removed all obstacles between masternodes

and masternode enthusiasts. Complicated

tech procedures, third parties, anonymous

devs – GIN platform made them obsolete.

Another thing that GIN offers is blockchain

infrastructure, with the purpose of supporting

a fast and healthy development of the global

masternode ecosystem. It started with the

launch of GIN API. Then came the first .NET

native implementation of Lyra2Z, enabling

other coins using this algorithm to build

support. The GIN Platform aims to become

the main blockchain infrastructure partner for

the new wave of blockchain solutions using

masternodes.

With close to 120 coins, and over 6,100 hosted

masternodes totalling more than $8.0M in

value (all data valid at the moment of writing),

the GIN Platform is the first and biggest node

management service. Moreover, in an everchanging

regulatory setting, GIN Platform LTD

has succeeded in maintaining a fully legal

compliance. Completely self-funded and with

a fully functional product from the beginning,

the GIN project relies on consistent delivery of

new features.

The VanFUNDING experience cemented a

feeling that was long felt throughout the cryptosphere:

that the crypto market has slowly,

but surely, reached a higher level of maturity,

in the sense that it is no longer taken lightly.

People are now more willing to learn about the

blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and to take

the time to make the proper research in the

projects that interest them. And when the time

comes for investments or development, GIN

will be there as their personal guide.

Alexandru Stanescu

Chief Legal Officer & Strategic Partnerships

GIN Platform

Give Credit Where Debt Is Due

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solutions for Canadians with traditionally non-prime credit scores. The Progressa solutions suite

is built for enterprise, collection agencies, point-of-sale platforms and originators.

33

progressa.io


34


IN FOCUS

“The English as a Second Language (ESL) industry is a complex network with

many” “interdependent parties seeking stronger, more fluid relationships. But

before getting into the exact pain points that ESL Coin plans to ease within the

industry, the value of the industry itself should be examined.”

Many unfamiliar with the ESL business have

the misconception of it as a niche market,

even within the education industry. On top of

English’s use as a tool for business negotiation

and cooperation, some of the most expensive

private high schools have been English bilingual

ones, producing powerful English-speaking

world leaders in their respective fields.

However, English is no longer exclusive to the

upper economic classes. Many governments

have recently passed legislation prioritizing

English education for all citizens, creating vast

new opportunities in markets that could reach 2

billion learners by 2020. This untapped middle

class is where much of ESL Coin’s value lies.

Even with English being such a desired and

prioritized skill, if a learner doesn’t have a

quality local teacher or access to worthwhile

educational resources, they start their

education at a disadvantage. Most of these

hurdles result from the three issues ESL Coin

specializes in resolving:

• ●Money

• ●Time

• ●Trust

These are three broad aspects that we hope

to take on through three specific innovations

provided by emerging blockchain technology:

• ●Cross-border transaction fees

• ●Micropayments and microcontracts

• ●Automatic and transparent verification

Let’s start with one of blockchain technology’s

principle calling cards, the ability to

significantly reduce the cost of and expedite

35


cross-border transactions. The ESL industry

is greatly hindered by the inefficiency of the

current international banking system, where

money must move from bank to bank to bank,

incurring small, unnecessary costs along the

way.

Cryptocurrency payments are relatively

instant and costless by comparison, regardless

of how many boundaries they have to cross,

and can be easily converted to local currency.

This makes it an ideal payment system for

students, teachers and schools distributed all

over the world.

With processing fees reduced to trivial

amounts, it opens up the door for

microservices. Leveraging the blockchain’s

smart contract functionality, ESL Coin can

automatically trigger transaction following

agreed-upon rules. These contracts aid

ESL students who find it difficult to fit

a long-term English program into their

schedule, or are hesitant about committing

a large sum of money to an instructor or

program of which they’re unsure. Using

a microcontract gives them the flexibility

to integrate English learning into their

schedule and budget.

Small free pockets of time can now be filled

with mobile app-hosted conversations

that range from sharing of culture to

explanations of grammar, priced from lowcost

informal native speakers to pricier

qualified ESL instructors. For institutes,

micropayments in ESL Coin could be a

way to provide bonuses to instructors who

work extra or students who achieve certain

benchmarks, gamifying the academic

experience. Editing and translating

individual content would also fall under the

microservice umbrella.

Administrative costs are a drain on

any industry, but especially one so

international, academic and dynamic as

ESL. Identifications, payments, paperwork

processing, certifications, and exam scoring

are just a handful of the duties that ESL

Coin plans to automate through our own

blockchain and partnering chains, both

private and public. Institutions, employees

and clients all benefit from a transparent

relationship where data is shared in a

responsible and flexible way.

Blockchain technology develops what is

called a trustless network, meaning trust

is unnecessary. Government documents,

banking information and prior paperwork can

now be attached to a secure identity. ESL

Coin instructors, institutional networks and

content publishers will be able to funnel their

resources elsewhere to enhance their quality

of service or product.

ESL Coin is what’s known as a utility token,

meaning they will be redeemable for services

in a trustless and automated manner.

Having a finite supply, their value generally

tends to correlate to the number who

use ESL Coin services, such as for listing a

school on the network, publishing educational

content or uploading test scores. If a

distributed-enough community of producers

and consumers join the network, it becomes

a consumable commodity not unlike oil or

gas, although nobody can predict if or when

that will occur.

ESL Coin is accessible for any interested enterprise

to implement, but we are developing

a partner mobile app, TryEnglish, which

will serve a multifunctional utility highlighted

by conversation partnering, content publishing

and trustless networking. It was originally

conceived to meet the demands of the Conversational

English community, an ESL Coin

partner with around 22K organic Facebook

followers.

The ESL Coin team has a diverse background

that has combined blockchain experts,

industry professionals and English learners.

Together we see the big picture and agree

that the ESL industry will be one of the first to

implement blockchain technology to expand

and improve.

Andrew Wagner

Founder and CEO

ESL Coin

36


37


TRENDING

From the computer of Hussein Hallak

At the start of an event, it’s always cool to see the

anticipation. Some familiar and some new faces.

And to be in the presence of so many smart

entrepreneurs.

The challenge is how to overcome the typical

drawbacks of a gathering. You know, like it’s really

tough to network for a lot of people.

It’s difficult to ask for what you need from a bunch

of strangers. But as it turns out it can be easy to

help people if you know what they want.

So what do you do? How do you bridge the gap

between the ability to help someone and get

what you need as well?

You start by identifying what you need. Then you

focus on what you can do for others. The sense

of altruism in focusing on helping others makes

it much easier to engage in a conversation. It

makes it easier to network. And it makes you

feel good about what you are doing. Instead of

WIFM (What’s in it for me) your experience is

transformed into: how can I help you.

Even people starting out have knowledge and

skills they can use to help someone else. A

connection. Some advice. An idea. All they need

to do is be open to helping someone else with

their problem.

38


This is how I live my life. So I know it works. Ok,

so the workshop took these principles and put

them into action.

Everyone wrote down what they needed on

pieces of paper. Each need represented by a

post-it note.

The idea was to take those needs and instead

of finding people who can help you, you then

go around and see if there are people you can

help with their needs. The person who collects

the most post-it notes: who was able to help

with the greatest number of needs, received

a prize.

Which turned out to be two people…

So the lesson here is that while you may have a

problem you can’t solve, require some advice,

a contact or something else. And while this

need may be pressing, finding the solution can

be daunting. It can add pressure and distress.

But by thinking of others. Finding ways to help

other people solve their problems you open

your mind to other possibilities. You are able

to meet many more people who will be open

to meeting you and appreciative that you are

focused on helping them, and in turn, they will

want to help you. Which consequently, helps

you find ways of solving the problems you

have, get the help you need, and achieve your

goals.

So go ahead, write down what you need,

get clear and focused. But in the meantime,

continue to be curious about what others need

and find out how you can help them.

For it has always been the ability of sapiens

to organize and collaborate that helped us

master an entire planet.

Hussein Hallak

Co-founder and CEO

Next Decentrum

39


TRENDING

In the past year, we have seen a lot

of interest and careful, calculated

advances being made in blockchain

applications across industries.

Blockchain today is proving to

be a viable technology aimed

at decentralizing every industry

resulting in better efficiency and

security.

Blockchain was born as the digital

framework for cryptocurrency

transactions, but many fintech

enthusiasts prioritized the speculation

of trading cryptocurrencies versus

the technology that powered it.

With the markets experiencing a

downturn, we have the opportunity

to shift our focus to innovative use

cases of the technology.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain technology is a digital database

where its information is stored across

computers linked to one another. It is

decentralized and distributed which makes it

nearly impossible to alter without detection.

An example of distributed ledger technology,

blockchain technology ensures transparency

and security of data, empowering peer-topeer

transactions.

According to a recent Forrester research

article, there is a real risk of experiencing

a ‘blockchain winter’ in 2019 as many

promised and groundbreaking applications of

blockchain technology have not yet reached

the masses. In addition, the bear market has

always caused many retail investors to lose

faith in the technology as a whole. However,

cryptocurrency is only part of the picture, and

in my opinion, a considerably small part of the

equation.

The technology is powerful. There is a lot of

push towards using this ubiquitous technology

to develop sustainable and scalable solutions

across industries which will surely be worth

the wait.

5 Trends in 2019

1. Payments: Cross border payments using

blockchain is an innovation that is bound

to change the way we carry out financial

transactions across the globe. The current

process of initiating and setting up

international payments involve multiple

steps, intermediaries, multiple currencies

and is subject to high transaction fees

and regulatory constraints. Blockchain

technology speeds up and simplifies this

process, cutting out many of the traditional

middlemen and at the same time, making

payment transfers more affordable.

Companies like Ripple are working with

Japanese banks on an application based

on blockchain to create efficient, instant

cash transfers around the clock. Payment

innovations using blockchain are also

being taken up by credit card companies

40


like Mastercard, Visa and American

Express and financial institutions like the

Bank of America which has taken out 43

patents on blockchain technology.

2. Unlocking Liquidity: Decentralized

lending based on the blockchain have

opened an alternative financing mode for

both individuals and small and medium

enterprises. With limited access to credit

and credit scores, blockchain based

lending can make the whole process

seamless and efficient. Borrowers can

access competitive financing from any

part of the globe, while lenders can use

smart contracts to validate transactions.

This model of financing though, is still in

its infancy, and one must be cautious of

scrupulous organizations that are acting

as rogue banks. FintruX Network is

currently building a transparent financing

ecosystem where transparency, risk

reduction, and efficiency is maximized,

and all participants win. According to a

Transparency Market Research report, the

global peer to peer lending market will aim

to cater to not just small business loans but

also consumer credit loans, student loans

and real estate loans in the near future.

3. Privacy: With the growing prevalence

of data breaches and in the massively

interconnected world we live in, blockchain

technology will be a game changer as

it provides a robust, incorruptible and

encrypted recordkeeping that can be

easily verified. The hashing feature of

blockchain technology is one of the

underlying qualities that make it suitable

for privacy and security. Public ledgers

and smart contracts can help iron out

security and privacy issues in industries

ranging from healthcare to education

and can also be effectively utilized by the

government. Estonia is a country that has

initiated e-residency allowing their citizens

to record data on the blockchain.

4. Artificial Intelligence: The trustworthiness

and security of blockchains infinitely

increases the effectiveness of AI as it

is granted more accurate data, models

and actions. There is also an increase in

accessibility to data as the information is

available in public domain. The powerful

trifecta of Big Data, AI and Blockchain

technology will help in building better

AI models which can then be effectively

utilized for applications in industries like

retail, healthcare and pharma, gaming,

manufacturing, customer service,

automotive and even agriculture.

5. Internet of Things: Blockchain provides

a secure and scalable framework for

communication between the growing

number of connected devices in our

homes and offices. Due to its distributed

nature, blockchain can also allow smart

devices to make automated microtransactions

with cryptocurrency or token

technology by leveraging smart contracts.

Some companies working on this

technology include SatoshiPay and IOTA.

Blockchain adoption and use cases are

growing daily, and possibilities for innovation

are endless. This technology will stimulate

new solutions, enabling businesses to rethink

their processes to maximize the benefits of

utilizing distributed ledgers. I look forward to

successful implementation of the technology

in the year to come.

About:

Conrad Lin

Co-Founder

FintruX Network

Conrad Lin is a young and dynamic entrepreneur, public

speaker, and influencer with a background in Neuroscience and

Psychology from the University of Toronto. He is a proven expert

in business analysis, social media growth, global marketing

strategy, project management, and product development with

a specialty in DLT (distributed ledger technologies).

Conrad excels at managing teams and delivering phenomenal

results in a short amount of time, often fulfilling multiple

roles in an organization. Conrad dedicates his efforts towards

initiatives that impact the world positively and benefits the global

community. He is often invited to speak at key fintech events

around the world to share his innovative ideas and achievements

with industry professionals.

Official Twitter: @cryptolin

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/conradlin

41


INSIDER VIEW

The history of blockchain has played

out in discreet chapters. First, there

was the era of easy private investment

and sky-high promises for worldchanging

products. Then came

the era of the ICO, which focused

the promise of decentralization on

pure financial returns, and turned

blockchain startups into monetary

behemoths.

The history of blockchain has played out in

discreet chapters. First, there was the era

of easy private investment and sky-high

promises for world-changing products. Then

came the era of the ICO, which focused the

promise of decentralization on pure financial

returns, and turned blockchain startups into

monetary behemoths. Now, as even hardcore

crypto-investors begin to lose faith in the

limitless potential of the ICO, blockchain has

yet another stage to enter, one that could

finally cement its place in the traditional

economy: the security token offering, or STO.

STOs are much like ICOs in that they represent

the first chance for buyers to get access to

a new financial instrument -- but the tokens

being distributed in an STO fall into the

specific legal category of securities. Securities

are, essentially, financial instruments that pay

ongoing dividends to owners, and security

tokens are no different. When you hold a

security token, you are entitled to payouts

from a company or service’s profits, so the

blockchain’s security and transparency makes

it the perfect platform.

The cryptocurrency revolution looked to

take over the role of currency itself -- but

investment in currency isn’t what drives the

world economy; investment in products,

services, and companies is. Blockchain

security tokens could represent traditional

partial ownership of a company, as securities

already do, or it could represent partial

entitlement to profits from a piece of

commercial real-estate. Security tokens could

totally replace the current securities market,

or it could revolutionize that market by adding

a host of all-new securitized assets that have

never been considered before. Or, they could

do both.

There’s a problem, though: while currency

is a highly regulated space, the legal

morass associated with launching a new

cryptocurrency is nothing compared to

the hassle that comes with launching a

brand new security. It’s not even really the

unprecedented nature of the technology

that’s causing the hold-ups, since the only

rules that apply are the ones that have always

applied to launching securities. The uncharted

nature of the space certainly doesn’t help, but

the reality is that breaking into securities is a

daunting task at the best of times.

42


So, we get the current STO market in Canada,

the US, and the world at large: a collection

of securities-related projects that seem to all

be equally teetering on the edge of actual

launch. In parlance, the problem of ticking off

the hundreds of boxes required to legally sell

securities is called “compliance,” and literally

every potential STO is running into difficulty

meeting all of these many the requirements.

In Canada, the STO market is still very much

in the process of forming, and even would-be

STO service providers are still racing to be the

first to fully solve the problems of compliance,

both with Canadian regulation and all relevant

oversight around the world. Even companies

that have carried out an STO have yet to

actually begin handing out dividends.

Etherparty is now developing the next

evolution of our ICO launch platform, Rocket,

adding the ability to quickly easily launch a

sale of fully compliant security tokens -- an

STO. With our new and improved version of

Rocket, startups and established companies

alike will find that they can launch a new

securitized asset as easily as the current

version of Rocket allows them to launch an

ICO! Rocket has been a big part of pushing

ICOs forward in terms of usability, helping to

expand the number of people and entities that

can take advantage of this incredibly lucrative

fundraising option.

So keep an eye out for how this space evolves

over the next year, and make sure to keep

an eye out for updates to Rocket. When our

middleware solution is up and running, you’ll

see an explosion of new STO products in the

market -- and from there, the possibilities

for new, securitized investments are nearly

endless.

Lisa Cheng

Founder

Vanbex Group

43


INSIDER VIEW

A National Project

Open banking has many definitions and

multiple characteristics. At its core though

is the concept of empowerment – the

empowerment of financial consumers,

individuals and businesses alike, that comes

from transferring control over financial

information to clients away from established

financial institutions.

Because of this potential which promises to

democratize financial transactions, much has

been said about open banking in recent years.

And, insofar as Canada is concerned, all that

talk misses the point.

Properly considered, open banking is the

national project for the 21st century digital,

mobile, connected economy.

The only real question is: can Canada build

such a national project when it is having such

difficulty getting national projects for the 20th

century economy off the ground, out of the

ground and out to market?

Think pipelines.

Causes for Concern

Already, there are worrisome signs.

First, we are behind other jurisdictions such

as Great Britain and Australia and there are

indications that other countries will soon

follow suit. Just as the US has moved smartly

to develop and sell its vast reserves of shale oil

while Canada’s product remains landlocked

so too we risk being leapfrogged by the likes

of an Estonia on the open banking side.

Second, governments are engaged in

full consultation mode and the policy

commentariat ranging from the CD Howe

Institute to Canada 2020 have been cranking

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out papers and hosting events on open

banking at a rapid rate. The federal government

has set up an advisory council following the

2018 budget while other federal departments

and agencies from the Bank of Canada to

the Competition Bureau have already been

pondering the issue. However, the general

public remains outside the discourse which

to-date has been confined to the chattering

classes.

Third, one key interest group is claiming

territorial jurisdiction, namely established

financial institutions. Just as First Nations

have demanded that they be fully brought

in to the pipeline approval process, so too

have the chartered banks weighed in with

admonitions to proceed with all due haste –

but, slowly, very slowly. Not wanting to be

seen as anti-innovation and anti-consumer

choice but also wanting to protect their fat

margins that are derived from maintaining

the status quo.

Fourth, Canada’s record on financial innovation

is not stellar. Capital has been flowing into

fintech startups but there is nothing to

suggest that Canada is at the global forefront

of financial innovation adoption. These days,

observers point to countries as diverse as

Kenya and Singapore when looking to fintech

leadership. And, then there’s China and the US

each with a host of flagship firms and fintechs,

often bundled together in novel ways.

Fifth, part of the problem with pipelines as with

open banking is the never ending federalprovincial

jurisdictional turf battle. We can’t

seem to get a national securities commission

(another pipeline project that’s thoroughly

gummed up) which does not appear to be a

priority for anyone any more. For open banking

to be truly comprehensive would likely require

a level of federal-provincial cooperation that

has not been much in evidence lately.

A 2019 fearless forecast: no open banking,

any time soon and certainly not in 2019.

For Canada to participate in this financial

innovation bold leadership will be required

from committed participants unafraid to

shake up the established order to bring

about the birth of a new way of doing

things.

Creating the Winning Conditions

Left to its own devices, the policy process

today would likely grind out a classic

Canadian compromise of the kind that we

excel in producing, much like promoting both

environmental protection and a resourcesbased

economy. However, in the realm of

open banking, allowing things to unfold as they

usually do will probably lead to a middle-ofthe-road

that really doesn’t position Canada

for leadership in financial services innovation.

The main challenge facing proponents of

open banking today is to identify and then

proceed to implement the winning conditions

that will be necessary to overcome regulatory

and bureaucratic inertia.

Some of those winning conditions would

include:

• Developing a public engagement

strategy in order to build the necessary

bodyguard of support in key segments of

society, including interest groups, elected

officials and the general population;

• Focusing on a limited number of key

communications messages that would

address the tangible benefits of open

banking, as well as the opportunity

costs of not proceeding down this

path, to individuals and businesses;

these messages would likely centre on

control, choice, trust and security;

• Taking advantage of the plethora of media

opportunities that exist today to keep

broadcasting out easily communicable

messages and to respond to the no

go/go slow squadrons that are now

mobilizing.

Richard Remillard

President, Remillard Consulting Group

NCFA Board Member

45


INSIDER VIEW

NCFA’s VanFUNDING Conference is perfectly timed and held in Vancouver

annually. Each year, it is set for the late autumn for a microscopic review of

the current year and a sneak peek of what’s coming for next year’s innovative

technologies.

To analyze what might be we need to

reconcile what is.

Many people correlate blockchain with

digital currencies. Yet, blockchain is not just

a financial application. It has many functions

including as a data verification system. A

much broader approach to the technology

is needed for the analysis of its future value

and potential.

Where are we?

Blockchain is a great technology with its

promises too good to pass on. It is disruptive

and revolutionary. It is an independent,

open system with the live traceable audit

and its verifiable time stamp bringing trust,

safety, and integrity to our transactions. It

is a remarkable platform for decentralized

crowdsourcing, supply chain, healthcare

system, tokenization. The technology has

great potential. It can improve the quality

of work and effectively reduce the costs of

operations.

What do we need to do?

So far though, the adoption represents less

than one percent of the global application.

There are many controversies surrounding the

technology including unresolved scalability

and usability issues.

There are five technical necessities to achieve

massive blockchain adoption. There is not

enough security, efficiency, and confidentiality.

When these three factors are addressed and

resolved simultaneously then two additional

ones, such as scalability and interoperability

will follow for effective operations and mass

adoption.

Once the technical issues are resolved then

the usability will follow.

Considering that blockchain is based on

peer-to-peer transactions, it is necessary to

create an ecosystem, an environment for the

majority of people to understand the concept

of blockchain and its application. Education

represents the foundation of this change.

46


For scalability, we need to build a network

of developers, hackers and programmers

who can work on improving the system and

creating a user-friendly product.

For usability, we need to educate the private

and public sector as well as individuals to

create an efficient network of fluent blockchain

users.

It is about developing a blockchain community

for the future secure use and application of

the technology exploring its possibilities in

cross-border trade and finance transactions.

Yet, nothing will happen without regulatory

acceptance and approval of the technology.

It is crucial to work with the regulators to set a

transparent framework.

Which region has the most potential?

Asian countries prioritize blockchain adoption

with China being at the forefront. Japan, South

Korea, and Singapore view the technology

as one of the most important components

in future development and have already

taken steps towards a legal and regulatory

framework. Asian Pacific region excels in

active pursuit of blockchain related projects

easily superseding the US and Europe in the

near future.

It is much easier to create and envision yet

much more difficult to make a dream to

become a reality. That takes time and effort.

Rome wasn’t built in one day. Patience is a

virtue. Blockchain is a new technology and

still, a lot needs to be done. We are all in a

process of learning about it, the users and the

developers. Yet, global adoption is at our door

and the best way to progress is to follow Asian

examples and courageously dive-in to make

a sustainable progress for the blockchain

“wave” to become a “tsunami”.

Anna Niemira

Managing Director

BGX Capital Corp

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“VanFUNDING is a not to be missed

annual Blockchain, Fintech &

Funding Innovation and Alternative

Investing conference that brings

together high growth start-ups

and scale-ups, investors and key

stakeholders who have a vision for

the future of finance.”

PARTICIATION

COLLABORATION & IMPACT

LINKS

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300 attendees

50+ speakers

15 exhibitors

10 pitching companies

Industry, Investors, Regulators, Media

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17 sponsors

40+ partners

Partnerships + Investment

Diversity + Inclusiveness

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Highlight reel

Program | Speakers

Decks and Presentations

Select Interviews

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to

lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

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VANFUNDING 2018 PARTNERS AND IMPACT

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