NCFA Fintech Confidential October 2021 (Issue 4)

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) and partners are excited to present Vol. 1 Issue 4, FINTECH CONFIDENTIAL, a digital pop-up of the 7th annual 2021 Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo (FFCON21) held virtually from May 11-13 and co-hosted by NCFA and Toronto Finance International (TFI). As global economies strive to contain the latest Covid outbreak and recover fragile sectors, fintech innovators continue to ‘BREAK BARRIERS’, the main theme of this year’s conference, and the second year in partnership with TFI, reflecting the growth and emerging challenges that the Canadian Fintech industry must navigate to achieve mass adoption and scale. It’s been another unprecedented year with covid accelerating trends such as bitcoin’s institutionalization, the growing power of retail investors, the 2nd round of Open Banking consultations and the advisory committee’s recommendations to the federal government, payment modernization efforts, adoption of harmonized Crowdfunding regulation, AI roadmap, emergence of digital identity as a ‘right’ and core data infrastructure (ie., vaccine passports), growing support for Purpose (not just shareholder profit), green finance solutions tackling shared global problems such as SDGs and climate change, EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion), and regulatory push back and a firm ‘line in the sand’ for Big Tech. FFCON21 was a successful event attracting over 100+ thought leaders, 75 partners, 500+ attendees, an NFT charity fundraiser in partnership with CanadaHelps for front line workers, and our second annual 2021 Fintech Draft competition -- a pitching event inspired by sports league drafts and designed to identity emerging high growth fintech ventures. A hearty congratulations to the winners: Agryo (Overall) and Copia Wealth Studios (People’s Choice)! Thank you to all the partners, speakers, attendees, volunteers, and the entire organizing team for making ‘Breaking Barriers’ an impactful and amazing online experience and for being part of Canada’s fintech and funding community. We hope you enjoy reading this special edition of Fintech Confidential.

The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) and partners are excited to present Vol. 1 Issue 4, FINTECH CONFIDENTIAL, a digital pop-up of the 7th annual 2021 Fintech & Financing Conference and Expo (FFCON21) held virtually from May 11-13 and co-hosted by NCFA and Toronto Finance International (TFI).

As global economies strive to contain the latest Covid outbreak and recover fragile sectors, fintech innovators continue to ‘BREAK BARRIERS’, the main theme of this year’s conference, and the second year in partnership with TFI, reflecting the growth and emerging challenges that the Canadian Fintech industry must navigate to achieve mass adoption and scale.

It’s been another unprecedented year with covid accelerating trends such as bitcoin’s institutionalization, the growing power of retail investors, the 2nd round of Open Banking consultations and the advisory committee’s recommendations to the federal government, payment modernization efforts, adoption of harmonized Crowdfunding regulation, AI roadmap, emergence of digital identity as a ‘right’ and core data infrastructure (ie., vaccine passports), growing support for Purpose (not just shareholder profit), green finance solutions tackling shared global problems such as SDGs and climate change, EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion), and regulatory push back and a firm ‘line in the sand’ for Big Tech.

FFCON21 was a successful event attracting over 100+ thought leaders, 75 partners, 500+ attendees, an NFT charity fundraiser in partnership with CanadaHelps for front line workers, and our second annual 2021 Fintech Draft competition -- a pitching event inspired by sports league drafts and designed to identity emerging high growth fintech ventures. A hearty congratulations to the winners: Agryo (Overall) and Copia Wealth Studios (People’s Choice)!

Thank you to all the partners, speakers, attendees, volunteers, and the entire organizing team for making ‘Breaking Barriers’ an impactful and amazing online experience and for being part of Canada’s fintech and funding community. We hope you enjoy reading this special edition of Fintech Confidential.


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VOL. 1, ISSUE 4 | OCTOBER <strong>2021</strong><br />







Through Social Tokens<br />


BANKING in Canada<br />



To Develop Sustainable<br />

Economic Systems<br />



Why This Time It’s for Real<br />




2020-21 DRAFT PICKS<br />


MORE INSIDE: Open Banking • Hiring Talent • Cyber Risks •<br />

Decentralization • Digital Identity • Crowdfunding’s Impact •<br />

Crypto Payments • Unlocking Wealth • Stablecoins • PBOC<br />

Whitepaper • Power of Psychometrics<br />

Cover: Cathy Hackl, Godmother of the Metaverse<br />


Minerva.ai Republic.co Rich Thinking StableCorp Future Earth TAAL University of Waterloo The Crowdfunding Hub CloudTree<br />

Luge Capital Finliti Crypto Assets Institute FGS PayTechs of Canada CoinPayments Forward Security bloXmove Liquid Avatar

Dear Global <strong>Fintech</strong> & Funding Communities,<br />

The National Crowdfunding & <strong>Fintech</strong> Association of Canada (<strong>NCFA</strong>) and partners are excited<br />

to present Vol. 1 <strong>Issue</strong> 4, FINTECH CONFIDENTIAL, a digital pop-up of the 7th annual <strong>2021</strong><br />

<strong>Fintech</strong> & Financing Conference and Expo (FFCON21) held virtually from May 11-13 and cohosted<br />

by <strong>NCFA</strong> and Toronto Finance International (TFI).<br />

As global economies strive to contain the latest Covid outbreak and recover fragile sectors,<br />

fintech innovators continue to ‘BREAK BARRIERS’, the main theme of this year’s conference,<br />

and the second year in partnership with TFI, reflecting the growth and emerging challenges<br />

that the Canadian <strong>Fintech</strong> industry must navigate to achieve mass adoption and scale. <strong>Fintech</strong><br />

is not a niche but a permanent technological evolution that is changing the world of finance by<br />

high growth fintech companies and incumbent financial institutions. It’s setting new standards<br />

and demanding new regulations. It’s about delivering better financial products, services, and<br />

outcomes for everyone especially consumers and small to midsize enterprises (SMEs).<br />

It’s been another unprecedented year with covid accelerating trends such as bitcoin’s<br />

institutionalization, the growing power of retail investors, the 2nd round of Open Banking<br />

consultations and the advisory committee’s recommendations to the federal government,<br />

payment modernization efforts, adoption of harmonized Crowdfunding regulation, AI<br />

roadmap, emergence of digital identity as a ‘right’ and core data infrastructure (ie., vaccine<br />

passports), growing support for Purpose (not just shareholder profit), green finance solutions<br />

tackling shared global problems such as SDGs and climate change, EDI (equality, diversity and<br />

inclusion), and regulatory push back and a firm ‘line in the sand’ for Big Tech.<br />

FFCON21 was a successful event attracting over 100+ thought leaders, 75 partners, 500+<br />

attendees, an NFT charity fundraiser in partnership with CanadaHelps for front line workers,<br />

and our second annual <strong>2021</strong> <strong>Fintech</strong> Draft competition -- a pitching event inspired by sports<br />

league drafts and designed to identity emerging high growth fintech ventures. A hearty<br />

congratulations to the winners: Agryo (Overall) and Copia Wealth Studios (People’s Choice)!<br />

Thank you to all the partners, speakers, attendees, volunteers, and the entire organizing team<br />

for making ‘Breaking Barriers’ an impactful and amazing online experience and for being part<br />

of Canada’s fintech and funding community. We hope you enjoy reading this special edition of<br />

<strong>Fintech</strong> <strong>Confidential</strong>. Please consume responsibility and share with your networks.<br />

Finally, we continue to encourage the community to be mindful of others, and to do the right<br />

thing. Dream big, be open to partnerships, and execute like your life depends on it -- it’s not<br />

too late to participate. The world is changing because of you but there is a long bridge to<br />

cross, and more glass ceilings to break. Onwards and upwards…<br />

All the best<br />

Craig Asano<br />

Founder and CEO<br />

<strong>NCFA</strong> Canada



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IN FOCUS<br />

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THE HOLT XCHANGE KICKS OFF <strong>2021</strong><br />



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AGRYO<br />





2020-21 FINTECH<br />




We are living through a<br />

period of rapid change,<br />

possibly beyond society’s<br />

capacity to keep up. The<br />

metaverse has taken over<br />

tech headlines. There’s an<br />

unprecedented acceleration<br />

and convergence of<br />

technology. It’s rampant<br />

and widespread.<br />

Various emerging technologies, such as<br />

artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR),<br />

virtual reality (VR), and 5G, along with dozens of<br />

devices that work together (Internet of Things),<br />

have helped to create an environment in which<br />

new inventions, possibilities, and learning<br />

curves change weekly.<br />

According to Peter Diamandis and Steven<br />

Kotler, authors of The Future Is Faster Than<br />

You Think, “Moore’s Law is the reason the<br />

smartphone in your pocket is a thousand<br />

times smaller, a thousand times cheaper,<br />

and a million times more powerful than a<br />

supercomputer from the 1970s. In 2023 the<br />

average thousand-dollar laptop will have the<br />

same computing power as a human brain<br />

(roughly 1016 cycles per second). Twentyfive<br />

years after that, that same average<br />

laptop will have the power of all the human<br />

brains currently on Earth.” That’s rampant,<br />

exponential acceleration.<br />

Rampant Acceleration<br />

In the past, there was a slow evolution of<br />

technology, which gave people time to<br />

adapt. In the decade to come, it will feel<br />

more like the Cambrian Explosion—an<br />

event over 500 million years ago when most<br />

living things burst into being. For instance,<br />

radio preceded the advent of the television<br />

by decades, which trained people to go<br />

to a device for news and entertainment.<br />

Mainstream cell phones predated the<br />

smartphone’s popularity by thirty years and<br />

slowly changed how we interact and work.<br />

The Internet was prevalent for ten years<br />

before mobile apps were popularized and<br />

changed how we consumed and processed<br />

information. These gradual changes, one on<br />


top of the other, made for a smooth transition<br />

from a typical household living in the 1950s<br />

to a family living in the 2000s. How many<br />

people today use a smartphone, laptop,<br />

ebook, and tablet multiple times a day? This<br />

would’ve been unthinkable in 1950. But the<br />

change was gradual and maneuverable.<br />

Make no mistake—technology is evolving,<br />

as is our relationship with it. In the first phase<br />

of the Internet, we connected information. A<br />

person could search the web using a search<br />

engine, send a document via email, and use<br />

all this new information in novel ways. The<br />

second phase of the Internet-connected<br />

people. Facebook and Twitter created a social<br />

media revolution, conceivably connecting<br />

one person with millions of other people in<br />

ways that were unthinkable in the past (e.g.,<br />

think of a president’s or movie star’s Twitter<br />

feed). And in the third phase (which we’re<br />

entering), the Internet is connecting people,<br />

places, and things in a more dynamic and<br />

amplified way.<br />

The Internet of Things is amplifying the<br />

concept of location and the concept of<br />

merging our digital and physical lives. It’s<br />

gradually impacting more of how we live,<br />

work, and play. A union of digital and physical<br />

realities, already seamlessly affecting many<br />

areas of our lives. From an acceleration<br />

technology standpoint, we’re seeing an even<br />

greater change than what we’ve seen in the<br />

past—and at a faster pace. The combined rate<br />

and scale of change is causing exponential<br />

acceleration.<br />

In the next decade,<br />

we’ll experience more<br />

progress than in the<br />

past 100 years.<br />

Diamandis and Kotler, again in The Future Is<br />

Faster than You Think, wrote,<br />

They explain: “We’ve been living through<br />

a time of constantly accelerating<br />

technological capabilities. We’re living in a<br />

world of increasing, exponentially growing<br />

computational power. Technology is always<br />

on, always available, and we’re now moving<br />

into the quantum computing era—these<br />

exponential technologies are enabling<br />

artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing,<br />

synthetic biology, augmented reality,<br />

blockchain and allowing these technologies<br />

to converge, creating new business models.<br />

It’s the convergence of these technologies<br />

that creates waves on top of waves of<br />

capability, which will change our world—every<br />

industry—our economy, our government, our<br />

health, our families. Everything is beginning<br />

to change.”<br />

If you think that is a great deal to consider,<br />

Diamandis and Kotler also predict that metaintelligence<br />

(i.e., when humans merge with<br />

technology), will take place in less than<br />

twenty years. We will be able to connect our<br />

brains with the Cloud. The accumulation of<br />

AI, AR, 5G, and IoT, plus related technologies<br />

such as crypto/blockchain and extended<br />

reality (XR) may have snuck up on us, but we<br />

can adapt and catch up.<br />

Business Disruption<br />

Businesses are constantly on the lookout for<br />

things that decrease time, cost, and increase<br />

value. That’s why businesses are one of the<br />

main drivers of technology. Manufacturers<br />

equip operators with augmented reality<br />

devices. Instead of reading a paper manual<br />

or asking another person for help, AR glasses<br />

teach operators where to go for parts or how<br />

to fix equipment. Connected sensors on<br />

hardhats monitor workers’ location and notify<br />

them of dangers or other equipment.<br />

In the restaurant industry, line cooks work<br />

alongside robot arms equipped with different<br />

appendages like hamburger flippers or deep<br />

fry baskets. Even marketing teams have to<br />

evolve as they work with digital influencers<br />

(CGI people who pose with sponsored<br />

clothing or gear).<br />

We’re used to working side-by-side with<br />

devices that we believe are safe, and doing<br />

that saves us time. For instance, many<br />

families have a robotic vacuum cleaner, and<br />

they don’t think twice about it. Warehouses<br />

use robots to fetch and store packages. Tye<br />

Brady, Amazon Robotics’ chief technologist,<br />

said, “The efficiencies we gain from our<br />


associates and robotics working together<br />

harmoniously—what I like to call a symphony<br />

of humans and machines working together—<br />

allows us to pass along a lower cost to our<br />

customer.” As these “cobots” (robot coworkers<br />

or collaborative robots) become<br />

prevalent, it’s likely that our interaction in the<br />

home with Alexa, Siri, or Roomba, will have<br />

conditioned us to be accepting of our new<br />

digital co-workers.<br />

Talking points, instead of planned slides,<br />

allow the audience to more easily move<br />

from topic to topic based on their interest.<br />

VR provides subject material on an asneeded<br />

basis instead of going from slide to<br />

slide. Immersive environments like virtual<br />

and augmented reality and holographic<br />

telepresence make more sense than ever.<br />

Virtual reality is data-rich, providing a whole<br />

new level to the conference experience.<br />

Conferences are disrupted<br />

by virtual reality. In 2018,<br />

Cathy spoke at Lethbridge<br />

College’s Merging Realities,<br />

the first conference hosted<br />

in virtual reality. Over three<br />

hundred people registered<br />

for the event. People<br />

outfitted their avatars in<br />

business attire.<br />

At the time of this writing, companies are<br />

getting rid of their corporate headquarters,<br />

opting to stay remote even after the<br />

pandemic subsides. Kara Swisher stated that<br />

Zoom’s shares rose 60 percent in the month<br />

of February 2020 as employees embarked<br />

on a litany of Zoom meetings from home.<br />

One managing director at Accenture asked<br />

her team to buy Oculus Quests headsets so<br />

they could meet virtually for daily tasks. In<br />

the past she had only used VR for specific<br />

training modules or client needs but after<br />

a few weeks using VR with her team<br />

she noticed “group energy and sense of<br />

camaraderie are better than with any other<br />

mode of communication.”<br />


Virtual reality reduces costs to participants<br />

since hosts do not have to rent out large<br />

convention centers. It also opens the doors<br />

to even more participants since people aren’t<br />

held back by physical constraints. Vendors<br />

create 3D booths to upload into the lobby.<br />

“Instead of handing out pens and candy, they<br />

can give away free credits to their product<br />

or services, something that would actually<br />

be more beneficial since it brings potential<br />

customers right to their website instead of<br />

a pen they’ll forget in a desk drawer,” said<br />

Lily Snyder, digital technologist. “Vendors<br />

who pay a premium can have a whole virtual<br />

experience of their product or service in<br />

action for participants to take part in.”<br />

Since then virtual reality conferences like<br />

Enablers of Tomorrow, Women in XR Venture<br />

Fund Pitch Showcase, and Educators in VR<br />

Summit are all examples of VR disrupting<br />

business. Public speakers better engage<br />

with audiences in “nonlinear conversations.”<br />


A training manager at Nestle Purina thinks<br />

using VR will “help the company recruit a<br />

more technically fluent workforce in the<br />

future.” Nestle Purina uses virtual reality to<br />

build out shelf ideas and category concepts.<br />

VR lowers the risk for employees who build<br />

live tests. It also accelerates time to market<br />

because of the shared vision customers and<br />

employees virtually walk through together.<br />

“Instead of showing them PowerPoint after<br />

PowerPoint or showing them a demo that<br />

might not be to scale, we’re able to use the<br />

virtual reality technology in ways that offer<br />

customized solutions and allow us to make<br />

changes over and over and over again,” said<br />

Kenny Endermuhle, Senior Manager of Retail<br />

Innovation Strategy at Nestlé Purina.<br />

Months into the 2020 coronavirus pandemic,<br />

a local chapter of the Construction Financial<br />

Management Association conducted their<br />

monthly meeting in virtual reality. The virtual<br />

reality boardroom was what the chapter<br />

needed after burnout from “zoom fatigue.”<br />

Experiencing the immersion of virtual reality<br />

once inspired construction firms in the<br />

meeting to investigate other opportunities for<br />

augmented and mixed reality.<br />

The companies that can provide tools to<br />

work from home are the ones experiencing<br />

growth and profits. Yet, even with this data,<br />

some companies decided not to hold virtual<br />

conferences. In early and mid-2020, they<br />

canceled or postponed previously scheduled<br />

(physical) conferences, even across techforward<br />

industries like telecommunications,<br />

entertainment, and social networking. Their<br />

failure to adapt cost them business.<br />

Social Disruption<br />

The Internet and mobile technology changed<br />

how we communicate as human beings.<br />

Generation Z (a.k.a., the iGeneration) make<br />

and break friendships on social media, never<br />

confronting each other in real life. Families are<br />

divided online by algorithms that feed them<br />

one-sided articles, making Thanksgiving dinner<br />

a battle of “Fake News.” The Internet, with its<br />

promise of opening world views, now seems<br />

to close them. From a social standpoint, the<br />

convergence of technologies will continue to<br />

change how we interact with family members,<br />

friends, and co-workers. In under ten years,<br />

people will be able to experience a volumetric<br />

or holographic (3D visual) representation of a<br />

friend or family member in front of them. They’ll<br />

be able to have a conversation with someone<br />

as if they were sitting in the same room, though<br />

thousands of miles apart.<br />

At Magic Leap, Cathy worked with an amazing<br />

corporate team, including some of the most<br />

advanced software developers specialized on<br />

spatial computing, which Simon Greenwold<br />

defines as “human interaction with a machine<br />

in which the machine retains and manipulates<br />

referents to real objects and spaces.” The dev<br />

team created a mixed reality chessboard and<br />

the ability to play against a live 3D opponent.<br />

One chess player was on the first floor, and the<br />

other was on the second floor. They saw each<br />

other as holographic images and could see<br />

each other’s moves as they played on the virtual<br />

chessboard. Companies like Spatial, Rec Room,<br />

AlcoveVR, VR chat, and Galaxity are among<br />

the spatial computing companies altering the<br />

way we work and play from a social standpoint.<br />

These social VR apps change the way we<br />

share experiences, how we share photos of<br />

our vacations, and how we relate to people<br />

because we’re interacting in a 3D space and<br />

experiencing the same presence as in real life.<br />

If given a choice, most students would likely<br />

rather have a volumetric display of Abraham<br />

Lincoln giving a speech than read about it or<br />

watch a video representation of it. Holograms<br />

have something 2D videos don’t: presence.<br />

When people interact with a volumetric video,<br />

they have the experience that they are there with<br />

that person, and they experience emotion and<br />

memory that comes from physical interaction.<br />


Internet dating will change dramatically when<br />

people do not have to guess whether a flat<br />

picture represents the person accurately since<br />

they will have a holographic display of the<br />

person right in front of them that may be harder<br />

to manipulate. Instead of having quarantinesafe<br />

first dates on Skype, potential couples<br />

can date via volumetric video. Someone who<br />

may come across as boring or distant on video<br />

can be themselves by moving around as a<br />

hologram. And if the date isn’t working out?<br />

Simply shut off the stream. Maybe someone<br />

tested positive for an asymptomatic version of<br />

a virus. They want to go dancing but don’t want<br />

to get anyone sick. Dance clubs will enable<br />

people to join the dance floor where they’ll be<br />

a holographic presence for others to see and<br />

to experience the club themselves using VR.<br />

The possibilities are endless.<br />

Golf and country clubs are already being<br />

reimagined with virtual reality. Ready Player<br />

Golf re-envisions a golf outing in virtual<br />

reality. Friends join in VR to play a few holes.<br />

Colleagues or business partners can join in<br />

for a virtual game and talk business. Charities<br />

like Doctors Without Borders have taken<br />

advantage of the social aspect of VR in Ready<br />

Player Golf. RPG generated $12,300 from 78<br />

donors and sponsors.<br />

to their Facebook profile. People can play<br />

games, but more interestingly create worlds<br />

that their friends can explore. Here lies the<br />

possibility for monetizing digital goods within<br />

Facebook, making virtual living a profitable<br />

one. Facebook Horizon is monitored by real<br />

Facebook employees (represented as avatars)<br />

to avoid some of the social pitfalls that can<br />

effect people in VR.<br />

While Facebook essentially requires you to<br />

be “you” in VR, other virtual realities allow<br />

more freedom where a boy might appear as<br />

the wizard Gandalf, or an older woman may<br />

appear as Iron Man. These virtual realities<br />

are interesting because they allow people to<br />

experience a completely different life. But,<br />

anonymity is not without consequences. Social<br />

VR is like the early days of the Internet. People<br />

met in chat rooms and talked to strangers;<br />

there were no online rules of etiquette. In<br />

some social VR platforms, people “sensory<br />

bomb” others who are new to VR, causing<br />

them confusion without a chance to escape<br />

or set boundaries. In the workforce, etiquette<br />

and social harassment guidelines will need to<br />

be put in place before deploying VR. People<br />

will find significance and purpose in the virtual<br />

world, which will change how they relate to<br />

each other in the physical world.<br />


We may be physical creatures, but we<br />

now have digital personas as well. These<br />

existences—online and offline, physical and<br />

digital—are slowly merging. That doesn’t mean<br />

that future generations will always represent<br />

themselves as their physical persona in the<br />

digital world. They can choose to be the color<br />

purple, a dinosaur, or a superhero—or all<br />

three! In the future, people will choose to be<br />

whatever they want to be because they’re a lot<br />

more fluid in their concept of identity. And that<br />

will transcend even further in the future.<br />

For instance, Facebook has created a social<br />

VR world called Facebook Horizon, which it<br />

describes as a “social experience where you<br />

can explore, play, and create with others in VR.”<br />

Cathy was an early beta tester of Facebook<br />

Horizon. She was one of the first people to<br />

livestream from inside Horizon and show the<br />

world what it looks like. In Horizon people<br />

are represented by avatars that look like<br />

themselves as their Horizon avatar is linked<br />

We anticipate seeing job ads in the future for<br />

people who can work seamlessly between<br />

digital and physical realities. We think this way<br />

because job titles like “hologram stylist” exist<br />

today. Hologram stylists work with people to<br />

prepare them for volumetric video capture.<br />


They pick clothes to wear and how a person’s<br />

hair should best be worn so that it is fully<br />

captured in 3D. Fashion brands like Gucci<br />

are already turning to digital only clothing<br />

and accessories. Virtual couture designers<br />

make digital fashion first, in the form of filters<br />

or 3D assets. As we depend on AI robots,<br />

like Amazon Alexa or Siri, they will become<br />

gatekeepers. Business-to-Robot-Consumer<br />

(B2R2C) marketing managers will reach<br />

customers through robots. No matter how we<br />

communicate, we expect AR, VR, AI, and 5G to<br />

have an impact.<br />

Entertainment Disruption<br />

Hollywood is shifting to more immersive<br />

content—not just for viewers but also during<br />

production. In 2016, director Jon Favreau<br />

started experimenting with VR through a film<br />

called Gnomes & Goblins. He took what he<br />

learned and applied them to his remakes of<br />

The Jungle Book and The Lion King.<br />

Traditionally, for a blend of live-action and<br />

animated films, the actors speak into a<br />

microphone while standing up, remaining<br />

stationary when recording their lines. Instead<br />

of utilizing the traditional route, Favreau had<br />

the performers act together in a live space so<br />

that he could capture their movements and<br />

their facial expressions. He then incorporated<br />

that into the animation. Favreau also had<br />

people act using VR so that they could see<br />

themselves as a lion, hyena, or a warthog.<br />

The crew joined them in VR too. This changed<br />

how people performed because they were<br />

able to see themselves as the animated<br />

character and were able to interact in a<br />

digital space. If you had to play a lion, would<br />

you rather stand still at a microphone or see<br />

yourself as a lion in VR? Peter Rubin from<br />

Wired wrote:<br />

The Lion King was filmed entirely in virtual<br />

reality (well, save a single photographed shot).<br />

All the locations you know from the original—<br />

Pride Rock, the elephant graveyard, Rafiki’s<br />

Ancient Tree—exist, but not as practical sets or<br />

files confined to an animator’s computer. They<br />

live inside a kind of filmmaking video game<br />

as 360-degree virtual environments, full of<br />

digitized animals, around which Favreau and<br />

his crew could roam. Headsets on, filmmakers<br />

had access to all the tools of the trade, just in<br />

virtual form.<br />

We believe this will lead to a transition from<br />

storytelling, where we’re passive recipients<br />

of information to “story-living,” where we’re<br />

active participants in the story with agency—a<br />

capacity to act independently. The ultimate<br />

way to experience this will be in an artificial<br />

reality like VR. Of course, this isn’t completely<br />

new. There have been branching narrative<br />

concepts in the past, blending “choose<br />

your own adventure,” with certain digital<br />

technologies. In approximately five years from<br />

now, there will be another shift from “story<br />

living” to “story doing” (similar to AR) where the<br />

person is part of the story.<br />

Think of a supercharged version of Pokémon<br />

GO. The previously passive audience will<br />

now be active, leading to improvements in<br />

engagement and entertainment. The increased<br />

use of interactive storytelling techniques will<br />

blur the lines between mediums. Watching<br />

a pitched medieval battle on TV? Pick up the<br />

controller (or your VR headset!) and help turn<br />

the tide. This transformative experience is<br />

coming soon to a screen near you.<br />

To get access to new content from my second<br />

book, “The Augmented Workforce: How AR,<br />

AI, and 5G Will Impact Every Dollar You Make”<br />

with my co-author, John Buzzell, visit https://<br />

www.theaugmentedworkforce.com/launch<br />

About:<br />

Cathy Hackl<br />

Founder<br />

Futures Intelligence Group<br />

Cathy Hackl is a globally recognized tech futurist and<br />

top business executive with deep experience working in<br />

metaverse-related fields with companies like HTC VIVE, Magic<br />

Leap, and Amazon Web Services. She’s the founder of the<br />

Futures Intelligence Group where she advises Fortune 1000<br />

and top luxury fashion brands on metaverse growth strategies,<br />

NFTs, and how to extend their brands into virtual worlds. She’s<br />

a sought-after consultant, speaker, and media personality.<br />

Hackl was recently featured in 60 Minutes+, Bloomberg and<br />

Cheddar’s coverage of the metaverse and is a contributor to<br />

Forbes. She has written two books and is writing an anticipated<br />

book on the business opportunities of the metaverse that<br />

will be published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Hackl has been<br />

dubbed the Godmother of the Metaverse and is one of the top<br />

tech voices on LinkedIn.<br />



You might not yet have heard of social tokens<br />

or creator coins, but it’s very possible that you<br />

heard the news of Lionel Messi changing<br />

football clubs from Barcelona to Paris Saint-<br />

Germain. Well, millions of dollars of his $40M<br />

signing bonus were paid in $PSG tokens<br />

issued by social token platform Socios. Those<br />

tokens allow fans to interact with the team by<br />

earning rewards, participating in select club<br />

decisions, and accessing unique merchandise<br />

and experiences.<br />

But what are social tokens?<br />

Social tokens allow brands, whether individuals<br />

or organizations, to include their fans and<br />

community in a dedicated tokenized economy<br />

that facilitates:<br />

- Direct monetization<br />

- Community engagement and loyalty<br />

- Governance<br />

Social media platforms can take 5-30% of<br />

content creators’ tips and payment tools like<br />

Venmo charge 3% commission. However,<br />

creator coin platforms like Rally are able to<br />

charge 0% for direct digital payments to creators.<br />

Amazing platforms like Patreon, Substack,<br />

YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch have enabled<br />

creators to build business models on top of their<br />

communities and content, but in addition to<br />

expensive commissions, there is always the risk<br />

of de-platforming and censorship, potentially<br />

eliminating a particular revenue stream entirely.<br />

On the pure donation side, even Twitter and<br />

Clubhouse are now offering in-app tipping.<br />

While there exist great tools like Gumroad<br />

for monetizing downloadable content and<br />

products, content creators need more choices<br />

for direct digital payments that are independent<br />

of any specific content platform or merchant<br />

account. Social tokens facilitate low to no-fee<br />

fiat and crypto transactions between creators<br />

and their communities.<br />

The ability to hold a balance of a creator’s token<br />

creates an opportunity for deeper engagement<br />

and customer/fan loyalty. Platforms like Discord<br />

and Clubhouse or tools like WordPress can<br />

confirm a user’s token balance through APIs<br />

and provide token-gated access to content,<br />

events, and VIP discussion channels. Fans can<br />

earn rewards by contributing to, supporting and<br />

evangelizing the community.<br />

If you have explored NFTs at all, this may<br />

sound familiar, as the ability to bake in early/<br />

VIP access to special content, merchandise,<br />

online and offline events, and other benefits is<br />

exactly the same with creator coins. The third<br />

utility allows for token holders to participate<br />

in the decision process around a brand or<br />

organization. Maybe you want to pick the color<br />


of the next PSG jersey or vote on which subject<br />

a content creator should discuss in their next<br />

video or podcast. You’ll be hearing a lot about<br />

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations<br />

(DAOs) over the next year and the functionality<br />

is the same here; token holders can actively<br />

participate in the governance of an organization.<br />

Social tokens can be:<br />

- Individuals, like your favorite YouTuber,<br />

podcast, or newsletter<br />

- Brands, like a soccer team<br />

- Communities, like an online forum or NGO,<br />

or the social token platform itself, like Rally<br />

or Socios (Chiliz).<br />

Why I’m bullish on social tokens: 3 trends<br />

You might be saying, fine, those are a few,<br />

recent examples, but is there really huge<br />

potential here? There are three signals that<br />

suggest that tokenizing content creators’<br />

communities could lead to a massive market.<br />

The first is the existing centralized creator<br />

economy growth over the past few years.<br />

Hundreds of thousands of people now create<br />

full-time incomes on YouTube, Instagram,<br />

and Twitch. There are hundreds of journalists<br />

and writers making thousands (even tens of<br />

thousands) of dollars per month through small<br />

subscription payments on Substack. Patreon<br />

has 200,000 content creators monetizing<br />

their communities. During home confinement,<br />

practically every band you know used StageIt<br />

to perform paid concerts from their sofas. All<br />

of this runs through centralized platforms and<br />

legacy payment systems. Fans have shown<br />

that they are more than willing to financially<br />

support their favorite content creators directly.<br />

The second signal is the rapid growth of NFTs<br />

and digital collectibles this past year. While<br />

you may be a bit dubious on the potential<br />

of pixelated digital art, people continue to<br />

innovate around the kinds of content and perks<br />

they are creating with non-fungible tokens.<br />

Digital collectibles, however, are the evolution<br />

of the billion dollar industries behind baseball<br />

cards, Pokemon, and comic books. Three<br />

year old fantasy football platform Sorare is<br />

built on NFTs, has generated more than $100<br />

million in revenue in <strong>2021</strong>, and is rumored to<br />

have recently raised over $500M at an almost<br />

$4B valuation. You don’t have to understand<br />

the blockchain or care about bitcoin to see<br />

the future value in business models built on<br />

digital collectibles.<br />

And third, decentralized finance continues<br />

to create new financial solutions that don’t<br />

rely on historical financial infrastructure in the<br />

areas of savings, loans, bonds, crowdfunding,<br />

and insurance. Each month, more people<br />

are discovering and getting comfortable<br />

with crypto/blockchain services without<br />

necessarily being “into” crypto.<br />

Taken together, these three trends show<br />

us a very near future where brands use a<br />

mixture of centralized and decentralized<br />

platforms and financial services to monetize<br />

their communities. Still not sure? I already<br />

mentioned Lionel Messi but Sorare has 180<br />

officially licensed football clubs and just signed<br />

La Liga. Social token-issuance platform Rally<br />

just raised $50M and signed a deal with United<br />

Talent Agency to begin tokenizing some of the<br />

thousands of actors, musicians, and athletes<br />

that UTA represents. Sotheby’s just auctioned<br />

$24M worth of digital collectibles. The Vault<br />

($WHALE) is a social currency fund of curated<br />

digital art, blockchain gaming, and virtual real<br />

estate, with a market cap of over $100M. The<br />

future of finance is social and tokenized.<br />

For my part, I use $ETHAN on Rally as a<br />

payment service for advisory and speaking<br />

services, media sponsorship, as well as<br />

providing access to my networking events<br />

when I’m at The Next Web, Web Summit,<br />

Slush, CES, or SXSW, for example. If you’d like<br />

to give it a try, check out the pinned tweet on<br />

my Twitter for instructions on how to receive<br />

$10 worth of $ETHAN for free.<br />

Twitter: @EthanPierse | Rally.io: $ETHAN<br />

About:<br />

Ethan Pierse<br />

Director<br />

The CryptoAssets Institute<br />

Director at The CryptoAssets Institute, evangelizing the<br />

blockchain economy across Europe and Southeast Asia.<br />

Director, Quantum Economics Financial Advisory. Founder of<br />

Borderless Ventures focused on FrenchTech, CEE, and ASEAN<br />

startups. Former Managing Partner, Nest Venture Capital.<br />

Serial entrepreneur in digital and e-commerce in the US and<br />

Western Europe. 20+ years digital marketing strategy advising<br />

Coca-Cola, HP, BP, large banks, airlines and governments.<br />


9<br />


A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic,<br />

the global economy is looking cautiously<br />

at recovery. According to the World Bank,<br />

growth will be very uneven given surges of<br />

virus variants, patchy vaccination rates, and<br />

withdrawal of government support measures,<br />

so global GDP in <strong>2021</strong> is still expected to be 3.2%<br />

below pre-pandemic projections. To support<br />

a more equitable and sustainable recovery,<br />

it is imperative that our economic systems<br />

recognize how they need to be underpinned by<br />

“flourishing communities, strong and resilient<br />

social institutions, thriving natural ecosystems<br />

and a stable climate” as the Capitals Coalition<br />

articulates. As a member of their supervisory<br />

board, I truly believe that we must empower<br />

organizations to understand that their success<br />

and the success of the global economy more<br />

broadly is fundamentally dependent on<br />

natural, social, and human capital, in addition<br />

to produced capital.<br />

We must work to curb greenhouse gas<br />

emissions in all the ways we produce goods<br />

and services, whether it is how we impact, air<br />

quality, energy management, water quality,<br />

how we reduce waste streams and maximize<br />

circular economies to minimize our ecological<br />

footprint. We must ask ourselves how are we<br />

valuing the rights of all people and nature, how<br />

are balancing our need for privacy and need<br />

for security, how are we making sustainable<br />

goods and services accessible, affordable and<br />

producible by all, not just some. It is time to<br />

consider product passports that standardize<br />

the ability to assess carbon footprint through<br />

a products lifecycle to help customers make<br />

buying choices that support planetary health.<br />

It is also important to ensure labor practices<br />

that favor employee health, safety, inclusion,<br />

diversity and equity.<br />

It is time to enable that our businesses, financial<br />

institutions and governments include the value<br />

of all forms of capital in their decision-making,<br />

especially as countries face their commitments<br />

to the Paris Climate Agreement and United<br />

Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.<br />

And this is where there is huge potential to<br />

leverage digital technologies and increasingly,<br />

financial technology (fintech) to support<br />

a capitals accounting approach and to<br />

develop stronger ESG (environmental, social,<br />

governance) metrics in support of more<br />

sustainable investments.<br />

For example, AgriLedger’s work in Haiti is very<br />

inspiring. This agricultural-focused blockchain<br />

systems provider is piloting a project to use<br />

blockchain technology for traceability and<br />

payment that will allow the farmer to maintain<br />

ownership until the sale at final destination,<br />

while all the packing and logistics services will<br />

be provided by AgriLedger. This mechanism<br />

scaled globally would give more power<br />


and improved livelihoods to farmers while<br />

minimizing waste streams as produce lifecycle<br />

management ensures maximum contribution<br />

to value chains as well as composting waste<br />

to increase soil health. CarbonX, a Canadian<br />

fintech-designed environmental software,<br />

enables users to calculate the carbon impact<br />

of their products and services and to offset<br />

this through investments in carbon mitigation<br />

projects carefully evaluated not only for<br />

their environmental impact but also for their<br />

social and economic impacts. Open Climate<br />

is a collaborative project led by the Open<br />

Earth Foundation, an non-profit organization<br />

operating globally and based in the United<br />

States. The project explores the potential<br />

application of a range of digital technologies<br />

to developing a transparent, global, integrated<br />

climate accounting system and aims to codevelop<br />

a decentralized ‘ledger of ledgers’ to<br />

collect and share climate data from around the<br />

world, balancing transparency and privacy.<br />

Even with all these excellent examples, it is<br />

critical that the tools and technology are not<br />

developed in a black box. In order to have<br />

mechanisms such as stronger ESG metrics<br />

that can potentially transform investments<br />

and truly increase accountability, it is critical to<br />

first build trust. Trust in the metrics and trust in<br />

the technologies underlying the development<br />

of those metrics. By creating more inclusive,<br />

collaborative approaches to probe the<br />

assumptions underlying the algorithms used<br />

to develop ESG metrics, trust and common<br />

standards can be agreed upon.<br />

Another barrier to overcome is the complexity<br />

of the systems at play. There is a dichotomy<br />

between technological literacy and education<br />

to build technological capacity on the one<br />

hand, and over-complexification of digital<br />

systems on the other hand. More of an effort<br />

must be made in order to de-complexify<br />

technology to some extent. This will avoid<br />

the development of what colleagues have<br />

referred to as “technological expertocracy” –<br />

or the continued development of a group of<br />

elites who have access to and understanding<br />

of the incredibly complex systems underlying<br />

the digital infrastructure that increasingly<br />

dictates our lives and is shaping fintech. A lack<br />

of trust in digital technologies or in the experts<br />

who develop and control them can create<br />

huge barriers to implementation, scaling,<br />

enabling policy frameworks and impact in<br />

terms of addressing systemic challenges such<br />

as climate change.<br />

Related to this, there is a strong need to<br />

develop more human-centric technologies<br />

– including fintech. Engaging citizens more<br />

directly could be a positive way forward here,<br />

both to build trust and also to ensure that<br />

technologies are addressing biases, reflecting<br />

shared values, allowing more equity in access<br />

and incentivizing collaboration as opposed to<br />

increasing division.<br />

And efforts are being made. For example,<br />

our initiative, Sustainability in the Digital Age,<br />

convenes leaders in business, government,<br />

science, and civil society to explore how to<br />

consciously steer the societal transformations<br />

unfolding from the development and<br />

deployment of new digital technologies,<br />

towards equitable and sustainable paths.<br />

Similarly, the Global Commons Alliance has<br />

been inviting all stakeholders interested<br />

in accounting and standard setting that<br />

considers ESG, to come together and work<br />

at shaping a co-creative space to align<br />

everyone. The international Coalition for<br />

Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES)<br />

is an open multi-stakeholder community of<br />

change makers and practitioners that seek to<br />

collaborate in accelerating a digital planet for<br />

sustainability.<br />

So the momentum is here, and collaboration<br />

is critical to unleashing the transformative<br />

power of digital technologies in an inclusive<br />

approach that values not just profit making<br />

but also our collective contributions to natural,<br />

social and human capital for planetary health.<br />

About:<br />

By Éliane Ubalijoro, PhD<br />

Sustainability in the Digital Age,<br />

Executive Director<br />

Future Earth, Global Hub Director<br />

(Canada)<br />

Decades of experience span academia, science-policy and the<br />

non-profit and international development sectors. Professor<br />

of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill<br />

University’s Institute for the Study of International Development,<br />

where her research interests focus on innovation, gender and<br />

sustainable development for prosperity creation. Her teaching<br />

over the last decade has focused on facilitating leadership<br />

development.<br />



Challenger Banks are the players that offer<br />

digital-only alternatives to traditional financial<br />

institutions’ banking products and services. As<br />

per FGS database, there are 40 such players<br />

in Canada, and we categorize them into the<br />

following 4 categories based on the status of<br />

their banking license. Top players under each<br />

category include:<br />

• Beta (using parent FI’s banking licence)<br />

- EQ Bank, Simplli, Tangerine, Brightside<br />

by ATB<br />

• New (secured a new banking licence) -<br />

PC Financial, Motusbank, Canadian Tire<br />

Bank, Rogers Bank<br />

• Neo (don’t have their own banking licence<br />

but have a partner who does) - Neo<br />

• Financial, Koho, STACK, Mogo<br />

• Non (don’t have a traditional banking<br />

license but meet the conditions to offer<br />

financial products in non-traditional<br />

ways, like getting a e-money license) -<br />

Brim<br />

Over the years, these players have seen<br />

tremendous growth in their adoption through<br />

launch of innovative value propositions for<br />

Canadian consumers. Following are some of<br />

the recent trends seen in space:<br />

SME Challenger Banks finally enter the<br />

picture<br />

While challenger bank for small and medium<br />

businesses was a white space for a very long<br />

time in Canada, this year we have seen four<br />

players enter the space - Carry, Float, Benji,<br />

Jeeves. While most of these solutions are in<br />

beta stage right now, they have amazing value<br />

propositions for Canadian SMEs like no fee, no<br />

personal guarantee corporate cards, unlimited<br />

one-time use virtual cards, one-click accounting<br />

sync and spend management. While these<br />

are the solutions for small businesses, Moves<br />

is a player that has recently launched Moves<br />

Spending Account, a banking solution for gig<br />

workers. Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have also<br />

partnered with Payfare to offer instant payments<br />

to their gig workers through a prepaid card. Apart<br />

from these, there are expected launches of<br />

SME banking solutions in Canada from Shopify<br />

(Shopify Balance) and Quickbooks (Quickbooks<br />

Cash), which are live south of the border.<br />

Kids/Teen banking gaining traction in<br />

Canada<br />

In the past couple of years, we have seen a<br />

new niche of challenger banks appear on the<br />


Canadian landscape - Challenger Bank for<br />

Kids/Teens. Treasure, Walo and Wingocard<br />

are some of the players in this space. RBC<br />

Ventures has also launched a kid banking<br />

app called Mydoh. These solutions not only<br />

enable parents to digitally give money to<br />

their children, they also help them to track<br />

children’s spending, set tasks that need to be<br />

completed for earning allowance, and help<br />

kids learn about savings. While most of these<br />

apps are meant for kids and teens for earning<br />

allowance from their parents, we have seen<br />

a new player, SideKick, which is meant for<br />

international students in Canada. SideKick<br />

helps international students to receive money<br />

from their family in different currencies and<br />

enables spending in Canada through a<br />

prepaid card.<br />

Challenger Banks are enabling innovation<br />

in the rewards and PFM space<br />

Challengers are innovating the rewards<br />

space which is no longer limited to the<br />

traditional loyalty programs. The new players<br />

are offering a range of reward options from<br />

cashbacks that are immediately accessible<br />

for spending to personalized discounts at a<br />

curated list of<br />

retailers. Mogo has given the rewards a<br />

completely different twist by offering a<br />

cashback in bitcoins. For every purchase<br />

through a Mogo account, you earn 1-2%<br />

bitcoin cashback which is accessible through<br />

Mogo’s bitcoin account (Mogo also has a<br />

bitcoin investing product). STACK has created<br />

a community called World Stream where<br />

STACK users can share their purchases and<br />

STACKHacks to earn best rewards and save<br />

money. PC Financial, on the other hand, is<br />

staying strong on its loyalty program game<br />

through its PC Optimum points program. The<br />

program has more than 18 million members<br />

and is in fact the layer behind most of the<br />

Loblaw offerings - PC Money, Credit Cards,<br />

PC Health and beyond.<br />

solutions. These use-cases will further grow<br />

with the advent of Open Banking in Canada<br />

as users would then be able to link all their<br />

accounts to a single app and get a full view<br />

of their financial standing which will enable<br />

informed financial decisions.<br />

Prepaid is enabling non-banks to enter<br />

challenger banking space<br />

Non-banks are entering the financial space<br />

through the launch of ‘bank like’ solutions<br />

which are mainly enabled by a prepaid card.<br />

The categories of these non-bank players<br />

launching challenger banking solutions<br />

for their customers range from tech giants<br />

to e-commerce players to major retailers.<br />

Prepaid enables these players to quickly<br />

enter the financial industry and start capturing<br />

the banking relationship of their customers<br />

with minimal regulatory requirements and<br />

skipping the need for getting a bank license.<br />

The non-bank players are thus able to not<br />

just offer an end-to-end experience to their<br />

customers but also capture their spending<br />

data which helps them to learn more about<br />

the consumer and further innovate to offer<br />

predictive services.<br />

FGS tracks FinTechs players operating in<br />

Canada and as per our data, there are 40<br />

challenger banks in Canada as of August<br />

<strong>2021</strong> and the number is constantly growing.<br />

If you are interested in more Canadian<br />

FinTech trends and insights, reach out to us<br />

at sbritton@fintechgrowthsyndicate.com and<br />

sbhatti@fintechgrowthsyndicate.com.<br />

Surinderjit Kaur Bhatti<br />

Co-CEO<br />

FGS<br />


Additionally, challenger banks are enabling<br />

Canadians to better manage their finances<br />

by offering tools like automated savings,<br />

spending limits, sub-accounts for saving<br />

goals, transaction round-up savings and<br />

spending insights. Some of the players also<br />

offer credit score monitoring and building<br />

About:<br />

Surinderjit is a FinTech expert with experience ranging from the<br />

venture capital world to leading an innovation lab of a financial<br />

institution to innovation consulting. At present, she is a leader<br />

at FinTech Growth Syndicate and helping Canadian Financial<br />

Institutions build their FinTech strategies through market<br />

intelligence services.<br />


A multi trillion dollar universe of illiquid,<br />

privately held assets stands ready to be<br />

securitized on the blockchain. Millions in<br />

venture capital is riding on the premise.<br />

So why haven’t security tokens caught on<br />

yet?<br />

The difference between Utility & Security<br />

Tokens<br />

Utility tokens are like chips in a casino. They<br />

can be used as currency within the casino<br />

for playing games, tipping dealers and<br />

sometimes buying drinks or hotel rooms.<br />

Holders of a casino’s chips do not own a<br />

stake in the casino, nor does it entitle the<br />

holder to any of the house’s winnings or<br />

profits. Security tokens, on the other hand,<br />

are like owning stock in the casino, shares<br />

in the company itself. When the house<br />

wins, you win. Security token holders own<br />

something that might pay off through profits<br />

or distributions. Utility tokens are used in<br />

an ecosystem. Security tokens give you<br />

ownership in that ecosystem.<br />

In 2018, when many notable utility tokens<br />

nosedived in value, the crypto community<br />

rallied around security tokens and declared<br />

that their simplicity would be the salvation<br />

of the crypto economy. Some were even<br />

saying that security tokens would become<br />

crypto’s “killer app.” Venture capital poured<br />

into security token projects, lured by the<br />

prospect of bringing liquidity to private<br />

markets, especially real estate, which is the<br />

world’s largest asset class--and one where<br />

brilliant minds have struggled to bring true<br />

liquidity for decades.<br />

That year, Founders Fund and Andreesen<br />

Horowitz led an unusually large ($28MM!)<br />

seed round into Harbor, a crypto startup<br />

promising to put ownership of real-world<br />

assets on the blockchain. The company’s<br />

founder declared that Harbor would do<br />

to the real estate market what email did<br />

to snail mail. Three years later, the real<br />

estate market has escaped any noticeable<br />

change.<br />

Harbor’s slow attempt to mainstream<br />

security tokens is indicative of what has<br />

happened across the entire security token<br />

industry: big promises, disappointing<br />

results. It’s easy to see why people might<br />

(wrongfully) conclude that security tokens<br />

are a bust.<br />


Why have security tokens been so slow to<br />

catch on?<br />

In order for security tokens to achieve their<br />

full potential, they must fulfill their promise<br />

of liquidity. Liquidity requires two things: a<br />

regulated exchange and sufficient trading<br />

volume. So far, neither of these requirements<br />

has materialized.<br />

Security tokens are subject to greater<br />

regulatory scrutiny than utility tokens (like<br />

Bitcoin or Ethereum) from the US Securities<br />

& Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Security<br />

tokens require full SEC approval to be sold in<br />

public offerings to non-accredited investors<br />

or traded on secondary exchanges. This is<br />

one of the many reasons their growth and<br />

adoption has been more modest.<br />

Most attempted security token exchanges<br />

have floundered. In 2018, well-funded<br />

companies like Templum, tZero, Coinbase,<br />

Openfinance and Sharespost announced<br />

that they would list security tokens on their<br />

exchanges. Sharespost was particularly well<br />

positioned to do so because they were an<br />

existing broker dealer with ATS registration.<br />

Three years later, the only exchange which<br />

has succeeded even modestly is tZero.<br />

However, even tZero, a passion project of<br />

publicly-traded firm Overstock.com, only<br />

offers two security tokens for public trading,<br />

one of which is an affiliate of its parent<br />

company. Openfinance, although still in<br />

existence, offers securities with a combined<br />

market cap of only around $50 million–a<br />

mere drop in the bucket.<br />

At the moment, no dominant platform for<br />

trading security tokens exists. Furthermore,<br />

the complex compliance issues have<br />

largely discouraged new entrants. But<br />

there is hope. Since security tokens are<br />

programmable, compliance can be baked<br />

right into the token which should reduce<br />

compliance hassles. Compliant protocols<br />

like Polymath and Harbor have figured<br />

out how to collaborate with exchanges to<br />

address these issues.<br />

The SEC (once considered<br />

an insurmountable obstacle<br />

to compliant token offerings)<br />

is finally starting to qualify<br />

offerings. Nothing pours fuel<br />

on a financial product’s fire<br />

quite like transparency and<br />

regulatory clarity, and it’s<br />

happening now.<br />

In July 2019, the SEC qualified the first<br />

Regulation A token offering (a $23MM offering<br />

for Blockstack) setting precedent for the<br />

sale of tokens that are immediately tradable<br />

to both accredited and non-accredited<br />

investors. They also provided clarity around<br />

secondary sales.<br />

In July 2020, Arca Labs began trading its digital<br />

security token, the ArCoin, which is registered<br />

with the SEC and represents shares in Arca’s<br />

U.S. Treasury Fund.<br />


Trading volume has also been thin, but the<br />

expectation that digital securities would<br />

trade with the volume and frequency of<br />

public equities or cryptocurrencies was<br />

flawed from the start. Digital securities<br />

represent private investments, an asset<br />

class that has always traded infrequently.<br />

Adding blockchain does not necessarily<br />

incentivize owners to trade them any more<br />

frequently.<br />

Exchanges don’t exist and trading volume is<br />

thin. Where is the silver lining in all of this?<br />

In September 2020, the SEC finally registered<br />

an $85 million security token offering from<br />

INX, a foreign crypto trading company.<br />

This became the first ever security token<br />

IPO qualified by the SEC, marking a major<br />

milestone.<br />

In April <strong>2021</strong>, the SEC qualified a Reg A+<br />

token offering for Exodus, marking the first<br />

digital asset security which conferred equity<br />

in a US-based issuing company. Exodus<br />

subsequently raised $75 million from 6,800<br />

individual investors.<br />


Security tokens aren’t strictly<br />

a US phenomenon. In May<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, a Singapore-based<br />

bank issued its first security<br />

token offering, a $11.3MM<br />

digital bond that pays a 0.6%<br />

annual coupon.<br />

These movements may appear relatively<br />

small, but they mark an important transition<br />

for the crypto industry, as it evolves from<br />

the Wild West of the dark web to navigating<br />

the daunting obstacle course of regulatory<br />

scrutiny. All of these changes pave the way<br />

for massive mainstream adoption.<br />

Given all of these positive developments, I<br />

have become very bullish on security tokens,<br />

but let me be very clear: my enthusiasm has<br />

absolutely nothing to do with fractionalization<br />

or liquidity. Both of those things are already<br />

widely available in the stock market.<br />

Tokenization adds very little on either of these<br />

fronts.<br />

Instead, let’s be brutally honest about what<br />

people love about crypto. (Hint: it’s not their<br />

stability or their SEC compliance.) Crypto’s<br />

popularity is entirely attributable to its insane<br />

volatility--so volatile that 20%+ intraday<br />

swings are not atypical. Previous attempts to<br />

tokenize stable, income-generating assets<br />

have failed to acknowledge this fundamental<br />

truth. If the carrot of fractionalization alone<br />

were seductive enough to encourage people<br />

to invest, then REITs would be as popular as<br />

Shiba Inu coin. But they’re not.<br />

The problem with early security tokens like<br />

Aspen Coin or the RealT coins is that they<br />

seem like they make sense but they offer<br />

absolutely zero potential for the kinds of<br />

meteoric returns that Dogecoin fans love.<br />

Security token advocates point to the stability<br />

of underlying assets as an important attribute<br />

and one that should breed a strong affinity. But<br />

stability contradicts the very ethos of crypto. If<br />

security tokens are ever going to induce fullfledged<br />

crypto mania, it will be because their<br />

issuers finally embrace their volatility rather<br />

than try to avoid it.<br />

The perfect security token is one that is<br />

secured by real assets--but where the<br />

underlying assets themselves offer the<br />

potential payout for a moonshot return.<br />

I believe that security token alchemy will<br />

occur when an insightful issuer finally creates<br />

a SEC-qualified digital security token that has<br />

potential moonshot returns. Why?<br />

Combining the legitimacy of SEC qualification<br />

with the rocket fuel of crypto-style returns<br />

would be like the gateway drug for all the<br />

crypto-curious conservative investors who<br />

have dabbled in Bitcoin but are too timid to<br />

invest in the types of highly speculative utility<br />

tokens which might turn out to be completely<br />

worthless. A truly compliant crypto asset<br />

backed by actual, quantifiable and verifiable<br />

assets with the potential for exceedingly high<br />

returns would break the internet--and maybe<br />

Coinbase, too.<br />

For investors attracted to the high returns but<br />

deterred by an investment backed by nothing<br />

more than a white paper and a promise of<br />

future utility, the allure of such a security<br />

token would be irresistible.<br />

About:<br />

Janine Yorio<br />

Managing Director<br />

Republic.co<br />

Republic Realm is a metaverse innovation and investment<br />

platform and among the largest owners of digital real estate<br />

NFTs in Decentraland, Sandbox and Axie Infinity and among the<br />

most active developers of in-metaverse content in Sandbox<br />

and Decentraland. Republic Realm is the creator of the Fantasy<br />

Islands master-planned community NFT project. Republic<br />

Realm is backed by strategic financial and crypto investors<br />

and Galaxy Interactive. Republic Realm is based in New York<br />

City, and is an affiliate of Republic.co, the alternative investment<br />

platform. For more information, visit www.republicrealm.com.<br />


17<br />


As the world emerges from a year or more<br />

of uncertainty to find it’s new normal, the<br />

aftershocks of the pandemic will leave<br />

some indelible marks particularly on the<br />

payments industry. Consumers that were<br />

forced to shop online triggered warpspeed<br />

developments in the eCommerce<br />

space, as merchants (big and small) jostled<br />

to convert shopping carts. Add to this<br />

a growing popular sentiment to protect<br />

personal wealth, the current evolution of<br />

the payments space seems almost obvious.<br />

As a long-time payments and blockchain<br />

entrepreneur, I believe that we have reached<br />

a watershed moment in the adoption of<br />

digital currencies, with new data proving<br />

that cryptocurrencies are increasingly part<br />

of our everyday transactions.<br />

Crypto finally breaks into the mainstream<br />

With large corporations, banks, governments,<br />

and retail investors alike holding crypto<br />

assets, digital money as an effective<br />

investment vehicle has been a reality on<br />

Wall Street – and in the public psyche – for<br />

a while. But, only recently are we seeing<br />

the real tipping point for mass adoption of<br />

crypto into the everyday lives of consumers,<br />

as it moves from purely an investment<br />

vehicle into the realm of value exchange. To<br />

everyday shoppers, crypto has now become<br />

a viable alternative to fiat currencies.<br />

Triggered by changing buying behaviours<br />

and escalated by pandemic-fuelled digital<br />

innovation, I believe this evolutionary<br />

tipping point in crypto adoption has been<br />

realized because people have the choice<br />

to pay with a wide array of cryptocurrencies<br />

and have the desire to exercise this choice.<br />

That’s why we’re seeing more merchants<br />

partnering with payments experts to enable<br />

crypto payments for customers, and this<br />

is empowering them to spend gains on<br />

real-world goods. From vacations and cars<br />

to professional services and groceries,<br />

consumers are being given the choice to<br />

step outside the more traditional payment<br />

methods, and this trend doesn’t seem to be<br />

losing steam, especially as more merchants<br />

jump on board.<br />

Consumers also have much to benefit<br />

from the greater transparency and control<br />

afforded by blockchain-enabled payments.<br />

Merchants also benefit from embracing<br />

crypto, avoiding higher fees associated with<br />

credit card payments (especially for crossborder<br />

transactions), and by gaining access<br />

to an entirely new, tech-savvy customer<br />

base. The immutability of the blockchain<br />

also helps merchants circumnavigate the<br />

rising challenge of so-called friendly fraud<br />

claims, as it eliminates chargebacks. Put<br />

simply, accepting crypto payments can<br />

help businesses of all sizes break down<br />

barriers to entry when it comes to securing<br />

profitable sales.<br />

Our crypto data tells a compelling story<br />

At CoinPayments.net, we are seeing a rise<br />

of crypto payments across industries, even<br />


with our eCommerce merchants. According<br />

to our data for the first half of <strong>2021</strong>, overall<br />

merchant transaction volumes exploded<br />

by more than 200% to almost $3 billion<br />

year-on-year. Diving deeper into industry<br />

indicators, you can see rising consumer<br />

confidence in crypto payments as they<br />

are willing to spend more per purchase,<br />

with transaction sizes growing to $300 on<br />

average. In the last year, CoinPaymants has<br />

seen 10X transaction volume growth for<br />

Shopify merchants alone. These numbers<br />

would have been unheard of just three<br />

years ago as widespread adoption was in<br />

its infancy, and offer clear proof that people<br />

are using crypto for everyday transactions.<br />

Regulation is the crypto final frontier<br />

Despite the change being evident, it’s worth<br />

noting that this is not, by any means, universal<br />

yet. CoinPayments.net data also shows that<br />

some geographic regions are streaks ahead<br />

when it comes to mainstream adoption.<br />

Europe, for example, has a much more<br />

established crypto community, with higher<br />

levels of acceptance among businesses and<br />

readiness among consumers. Conversely,<br />

North America is only just getting off the<br />

blocks and has massive growth potential.<br />

the defining core of decentralization, but<br />

I strongly believe that regulation is the<br />

key to truly unlocking digital money for<br />

the masses. And, further, it is exactly this<br />

divide in opinion among industry players<br />

that is preventing us from achieving greater<br />

adoption through collaboration. By lacking<br />

transparency in our practices, it is us -<br />

industry leaders - who are going against<br />

the nature of the blockchain and holding it<br />

back. We are creating barriers to successful<br />

mainstream adoption of crypto.<br />

Questions from regulators will undoubtedly<br />

make the industry ask questions of itself;<br />

which is only a positive thing as more<br />

conversation leads to greater education,<br />

awareness and, in turn, greater adoption.<br />

If industry leaders like CoinPayments can<br />

collaborate to help design the best path<br />

forward, the crypto industry can gain the<br />

credibility required to earn the trust of the<br />

consumers and businesses we are trying to<br />

reach; those that so evidently are ready to<br />

use digital money to exchange value.<br />

Jason Butcher<br />

CEO<br />

CoinPayments<br />


Why is Europe so ahead,<br />

you ask? To put it simply:<br />

regulation. In May, I<br />

participated in the FFCON21<br />

panel entitled “Mainstream<br />

Adoption of Digital<br />

Currencies and Investing in<br />

Alternative Assets,” where<br />

I said that clear regulatory<br />

controls are required to<br />

maximize crypto adoption.<br />

About:<br />

Jason is the CEO of the CoinPayments.net, the founder<br />

of HODLtech.eu, Parallel Payments, Clear Payments, and<br />

a board member and advisor for a number of payments,<br />

fintech businesses and associations such the Emerging<br />

Payments Association, the National Crowdfunding and <strong>Fintech</strong><br />

Association (<strong>NCFA</strong> Canada) and many others. He is passionate<br />

about applying his entrepreneurial spirit to help digitalize the<br />

world of finance and payment processing. Driven to make the<br />

world a better place, his mission is to bring trailblazers and<br />

innovative businesses together across all disciplines.<br />

Some might argue that the notion of<br />

governance for the blockchain goes against<br />


Overrated or underrated?<br />

It’s a question Tyler Cowen, one of my<br />

favourite public intellectuals, poses to<br />

guests on his podcast. The question turns<br />

simple conversation into meta-conversation.<br />

It moves you from discussing something to<br />

discussing the discussion of something. The<br />

question is almost magical, like a spell that<br />

makes you disappear only to reappear on a<br />

new cognitive plane.<br />

So let’s pop the question: is the fintech<br />

policy agenda overrated or underrated?<br />

The answer depends on who’s asking.<br />

Currently, the federal government is<br />

reviewing Canada’s approach to financial<br />

sector policy to put fintechs on a level<br />

playing with banks. Open banking is<br />

supposed to let fintechs access Canadians’<br />

financial information, giving fintechs the<br />

means to offer better products and services.<br />

The government is also exploring whether<br />

to give fintechs access to the payments<br />

infrastructure our economy runs on — a<br />

privilege exclusively afforded to financial<br />

institutions, such as banks. Let’s call these<br />

two initiatives the fintech policy agenda.<br />

If the median voter is asking whether the<br />

agenda is overrated or underrated, then it’s<br />

grossly underrated.<br />

The median voter likely doesn’t even know<br />

what the fintech agenda is. Is open banking<br />

about keeping my bank branch open longer?<br />

I make payments whenever I tap my card at<br />

the point of sale, so what’s the problem? In<br />

fact, the median voter likely doesn’t know<br />

what a fintech is, let alone what problems<br />

the fintech agenda is meant to solve and<br />

how it would solve them.<br />

But if a fintech advocate is asking? Then the<br />

agenda is overrated.<br />

It’s not that payments modernization and<br />

open banking don’t belong on the fintech<br />

policy agenda. They do, but they’re not the<br />

only things that do.<br />

For example, how future proofed is the<br />

fintech policy policy agenda when payments<br />

modernization and open banking are at<br />

risk of having a short shelf life? Consider<br />

DeFi, or decentralized finance, a contender<br />

for crypto’s killer app. DeFi refers to the<br />

distribution of financial services on the<br />


lockchain. As Stephanie Choo, a partner<br />

at Portage Ventures, recently wrote, DeFi<br />

“has the potential to become for financial<br />

services what the Internet has been for<br />

media production and distribution.”<br />

The promise of DeFi<br />

comes from innovation in<br />

governance. It erodes the<br />

power that rent-seeking<br />

intermediaries, such as<br />

banks and legacy payment<br />

networks, have long had,<br />

while circumventing the<br />

barrier to entry-laden<br />

oversight that governments<br />

have long had.<br />

The risk of obsolescence DeFi brings to<br />

payments modernization is easy to see.<br />

An endangered intermediary, Payments<br />

Canada is building a real-time payment<br />

system called the real-time rail, while the<br />

government consults on giving fintechs<br />

access to it. <strong>Fintech</strong>s support both initiatives<br />

— and for good reason — but DeFi could<br />

obliterate the need for both if it matures into<br />

something more ubiquitous. It’s no wonder<br />

someone once told me that Canada is<br />

building railroads while the world is building<br />

airplanes.<br />

The risk of obsolescence DeFi brings to<br />

open banking is also easy to see.<br />

Jon Stokes, who co-founded Ars Technica,<br />

recently described the status quo of data<br />

governance as a “decentralized network<br />

of siloed (user data) tables connected by<br />

access-controlled APIs.” Stokes thinks we<br />

could see the de-siloing and aggregation<br />

of user data on the blockchain. If open<br />

banking promotes competition, then<br />

blockchain-based data portability promotes<br />

competition on steroids. If you think such<br />

visions are speculative, you’re not alone.<br />

No one knows what the future of financial<br />

services has in store, just like no one knew<br />

what the future of media distribution before<br />

the Internet had in store.<br />

It’s too early to tell which way DeFi will go,<br />

which is why experimentation is so important.<br />

But DeFi experimentation is going to be<br />

tricky, as it’s prone to undermining itself.<br />

The government’s response to DeFi has<br />

so far been an ambiguous combination of<br />

supportive and fearful — the latter state<br />

being one from which little good has ever<br />

come. For example, although the Ontario<br />

Securities Commission is allowing for<br />

some experimentation with crypto, the<br />

experimentation is limited and controlled.<br />

Moreover, the Bank of Canada announced<br />

it’s exploring how it could issue its own<br />

digital currency to crowd out the privatelyissued<br />

competition, should it ever mature.<br />

It’s not hard to see the risk that the<br />

government extinguishes too many future<br />

possibilities, killing DeFi before its potential<br />

is even meaningfully tested. This is why<br />

DeFi deserves more space on the fintech<br />

policy agenda.<br />

Then again, perhaps you’re a DeFi bear and<br />

think DeFi deserves no more attention than<br />

it’s getting.<br />


Another intermediary-centric initiative, open<br />

banking compels banks to open their dataloaded<br />

vaults to financial-app developers.<br />

What I said of payments modernization is<br />

also true of open banking: fintechs support<br />

open banking, and for good reason. But open<br />

banking does little good in a world where<br />

financial services have been disintermediated<br />

and user data is on the blockchain.<br />

If that’s you, then substitute for DeFi for<br />

another idea you think is underrated. Maybe<br />

your underrated idea is sandboxing under<br />

the Bank Act, making it easier for fintechs<br />

to become banks, or maybe it’s better<br />

coordination and alignment between<br />

the provincial regulators on modernizing<br />

consumer protection and market conduct<br />

regulation. Alternatively, maybe Canada’s<br />


competition laws need to be reformed<br />

and authorities better equipped to level<br />

the playing field between incumbents and<br />

challengers.<br />

The point is, no matter what you pick, we get<br />

to the same place: the fintech policy agenda<br />

is overrated because it’s not inclusive of<br />

what’s underrated.<br />

If you’ve gotten this far, rest assured<br />

that there’s a way to make the fintech<br />

policy agenda appropriately rated — not<br />

overrated, not underrated, and just right. In<br />

fact, it ought to be obvious by now. Take a<br />

cue from Tyler Cowen: gather your smartest<br />

friends and play a few rounds of “overrated<br />

versus underrated” with them.<br />

About:<br />

Alex Vronces<br />

Executive Director<br />

PayTechs of Canada<br />

Alex Vronces is the Executive Director of PayTechs of Canada,<br />

representing the diverse community of payment technology<br />

companies operating in Canada. Using his payments and<br />

policy knowledge and network, Alex leads the push for a more<br />

competitive and innovative Canadian payments ecosystem.<br />

Alex came to the association from Payments Canada, where<br />

he provided thought leadership and strategic advice on<br />

important public policy initiatives, including the review of<br />

Canadian Payments Act, the introduction of a retail payments<br />

oversight framework, and open banking. He also was pivotal<br />

in modernizing access to Canada’s national retail payment<br />

system, successfully broadening access to the ACSS by way of<br />

a regulatory amendment.<br />

OCTOBER 27-28, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Congratulations to the <strong>2021</strong><br />

Recipients of the CIX Top 20 Early &<br />

CIX 10 Growth awards program<br />

EAIGLE<br />

Out of 492 submissions this<br />

year, our <strong>2021</strong> CIX Selection<br />

Committee rated these startups<br />

as Canada’s most innovative<br />

Join us on <strong>October</strong> 27-28 for<br />

presentations from 65+ hot startups,<br />

plus state-of-the-art virtual networking,<br />

where you can see ‘who is in the room’<br />

and join other delegates for video chats!<br />

22<br />


We are all in the COVID sea, but each of us is on<br />

different ships. Companies that rely on faceto-face<br />

contact, such as accommodation and<br />

food services, have been negatively impacted,<br />

whereas online delivery has seen significant<br />

growth. The CFIB Small business recovery<br />

dashboard 1 shows that as of 19th August <strong>2021</strong>,<br />

76% of small businesses are fully open, with<br />

47% fully staffed and 39% at normal sales.<br />

The data doesn’t show the massive variation<br />

within respondents, but it is fair to say, sales<br />

for small businesses are, overall, way down.<br />

Women have been disproportionately<br />

affected by COVID<br />

McKinsey has been sharing their weekly view<br />

on the impact of COVID. Their analysis has<br />

shown that although women make up 39% of<br />

global employment, they have experienced<br />

54% of overall job losses 2 . Women have been<br />

disproportionately represented in industries<br />

that have declined due to COVID. Much of<br />

the job creation focus has been in maledominated<br />

industries such as communication<br />

and construction.<br />

The National Angel Capital Organisation’s<br />

(NACO) <strong>2021</strong> report on Angel Investing 3<br />

highlighted the research in Crunchbase’s 2020<br />

report. It found that 20% of global startups<br />

were woman-founded, but women were less<br />

likely to seek and receive financing than men<br />

(32.6% vs. 38%). Businesses owned by men are<br />

more likely to receive venture capital, angel<br />

funding and other forms of leverage such as<br />

trade credit and capital leasing. Concerningly,<br />

Crunchbase 2020 data shows that the<br />

proportion of dollars to women-only founding<br />

teams declined, to 2.3%, compared to 2.8%<br />

in 2019. Underrepresented organizations,<br />

including Black and Indigenous founders,<br />

also receive less capital.<br />

The reduction in investment in women-only<br />

businesses is worrying since women have<br />

been disproportionately affected by COVID.<br />

The negative impact for women in business<br />

during this time has been exponential in<br />

nature. It is a double whammy.<br />

I recall speaking at the Global Crowdfunding<br />

Conference in 2016 on the increased<br />

success for women and underrepresented<br />

organisations through crowdfunding. The<br />

PWC data supported these findings a year<br />

later, with 17% of male-led campaigns reaching<br />

their finance target, compared with 22% of<br />

female-led campaigns. Overall, campaigns<br />

led by women were 32% more successful at<br />

reaching their funding target than those led<br />

by men, data seen across multiple sectors,<br />

geographies and cultures. ESMT’s data in<br />

2019, again, backed this up 4 .<br />

24<br />

1<br />

https://www.smallbusinesseveryday.ca/dashboard/<br />

2<br />

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/covid-19-and-gender-equality-countering-theregressive-effects<br />

3<br />

https://digital.builtbyangels.com/link/741283/150/<br />

4<br />


If you are curious, the drivers for success<br />

include the ability to tell stories that engage<br />

potential investors and the ability to multitask,<br />

as it is not one tool that leads to an<br />

investment. These skills are often seen well<br />

expressed in women.<br />

COVID has changed business permanently<br />

COVID has accelerated change. We’ve had<br />

a lifetime of social change in less than two<br />

years. COVID-driven change has opened up<br />

opportunities, and if I can say the overused<br />

phrase, the opportunity to pivot and create<br />

businesses that meet people’s new needs. 92%<br />

of small businesses have pivoted in at least<br />

one way, but many have pivoted in multiple<br />

ways. Only 8% did not pivot their business at<br />

all to adapt to the current environment 5 .<br />

The biggest challenge for small businesses has<br />

been the lack of skills for the new approach.<br />

Followed by a scarcity of funds to make the<br />

changes needed to survive, thrive or grow 6 .<br />

Crowdfunding’s role in raising capital in a<br />

post COVID world<br />

Crowdfunding can play a crucial role to<br />

address the capital gap for businesses. We<br />

need to raise awareness of crowdfunding in<br />

companies looking to pivot and capitalise on<br />

the new opportunities—investment in new<br />

businesses and investment in women-led,<br />

black, and indigenous founders.<br />

• Transaction value is expected to show an<br />

annual growth rate (CAGR <strong>2021</strong>-2025) of<br />

1.61% resulting in a projected total amount<br />

of US$24.6m in Canada by 2025.<br />

• Even though Canada is a relatively large<br />

player in the alternative finance space, our<br />

Southern neighbour, the US, still leads with<br />

a projected $1.2b in total transaction value<br />

in 2020. Even with our new harmonised<br />

regulations, due in September, Canada’s<br />

regulations lag behind the US, but that is a<br />

separate article.<br />

Our two most recent contracts are with visible<br />

minorities, one is a women led and indigenous<br />

business. Both are excellent businesses that<br />

meet a need in the marketplace. Through<br />

crowdfunding they will benefit from growing<br />

their awareness and customer base.<br />

Crowdfunding has also opened up access to<br />

capital for both companies.<br />

Governments have spent a significant amount<br />

of money to sustain people and businesses<br />

through the COVID crises. But it hasn’t been<br />

enough to build new businesses and create<br />

jobs to replace those lost. The taps will start<br />

to be turned off soon. The capital available<br />

through crowdfunding can be used to build<br />

business and employ the most impacted. I<br />

hope the provincial securities commissions<br />

and the government will leverage the new<br />

harmonised regulations to encourage new<br />

companies and new investors.<br />


Just as we discussed the different journeys<br />

each of us has had in the COVID sea, we’ve also<br />

seen different financial impacts. Households<br />

in Canada have increased their net savings 7<br />

due to government support and reduced<br />

spending. At the same time, the comfort in<br />

online financial transactions has increased.<br />

Crowdfunding breaks the barriers so that all<br />

Canadians, not just the wealthiest, can invest<br />

in companies. This releases capital to invest in<br />

businesses to help them pivot and capitalise<br />

on the new opportunities.<br />

About:<br />

Victoria Bennett<br />

<strong>NCFA</strong> ambassador and Principal<br />

Bennett Milner Williams Consulting Ltd.<br />

The capital available for crowdfunding was<br />

already pretty buoyant. The transaction value<br />

in the Canadian Crowdfunding segment is<br />

projected to reach US$23.1m in <strong>2021</strong> 8 .<br />

Victoria Bennett, FCIM, BSc(Hons), is an <strong>NCFA</strong> ambassador<br />

and Principal of the crowdfunding agency, Bennett Milner<br />

Williams Consulting Ltd. She founded The Crowdfunding Hub<br />

to provide broader access and support to organisations raising<br />

capital through crowdfunding and is a passionate believer in<br />

the democratisation of capital through crowdfunding.<br />

5<br />

https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/07/small-business-reinventing-during-pandemic.html<br />

6<br />

https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/07/small-business-reinventing-during-pandemic.html<br />

7<br />

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210301/dq210301b-eng.htm<br />

8<br />

https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/fintech/alternative-financing/crowdfunding/canada<br />


Has your investment thesis changed precovid<br />

versus now?<br />

Covid has been a digital reality check for<br />

financial institutions. The strongest companies<br />

that have emerged post Covid are those<br />

helping financial institutions accelerate their<br />

digital transformation without being a victim<br />

of long sales cycles. Our thesis has changed<br />

little in that we believe in collaborating with<br />

financial institutions and removing friction for<br />

users to consume financial services.<br />

What do you see as the long-term impact of<br />

COVID-19 on the pace, shape and evolution<br />

of the Canadian fintech ecosystem?<br />

Many of the services provided by financial<br />

institutions were done face to face or with a<br />

wet signature. Due to Covid this is changing<br />

and will last longer term. The other big<br />

change is that a larger portion of talent<br />

working in financial institutions will be able<br />

to work remotely which will provide a larger<br />

more skilled talent pool and savings.<br />

What fintech verticals are you most excited<br />

about over the next 5 years and why?<br />

• We’re seeing big growth in digital<br />

insurance (B2B and B2C) especially in life<br />

and health and employee benefits.<br />

• The gig economy is driving digital SMB<br />

banking and this is a huge market.<br />

• Security will continue to grow due to new<br />

digital financial services that increase<br />

possible risk.<br />

• Online financial services means the need<br />

for more data analytics and process<br />

automation.<br />

• As crypto continues its momentum, we<br />

beleive there are significant opportunities<br />

to further develop user-friendly DeFi<br />

applications to address a broader user<br />

base.<br />

What advice would you give fintechs who<br />

are looking for new ways to tap the global<br />

market during this crisis?<br />

I have some general comments then one<br />

specific comment during covid.<br />

1. Succeed in one big market before going<br />

to another. Going into other markets<br />

requires resources and teams that<br />

understand the nuances of those other<br />

markets including, user preferences,<br />

regulation, and compliance.<br />

2. Make sure to architect the solution so that<br />

it is multilingual and multicurrency.<br />

3. Ask yourself can my business scale in<br />

other geographies if travel restrictions<br />

continue?<br />


Is there anything else you’d like to add?<br />

One last thing. Covid may accelerate certain<br />

businesses however it is important to<br />

understand demand post covid to map out<br />

the longer-term strategy.<br />

About:<br />

David Nault<br />

Co-Founder & General Partner<br />

Luge Capital<br />

David has been building early stage technology companies<br />

as an investor, founder or senior member of the executive<br />

team for over 20 years. Prior to co-founding Luge Capital,<br />

David was an investor with Inovia Capital, a leading North<br />

American venture capital fund. Before becoming a VC, David<br />

was president of Callio Technologies, an information security<br />

compliance software provider, whose intellectual property was<br />

acquired in 2009. Prior to running Callio, he managed business<br />

development, partnerships and marketing at Pivotal Payments<br />

(now Nuvei, TSX:NVEI). Nuvei, Canada’s most successful IPO,<br />

now processes $34B in payment volume for over 80,000<br />

merchants worldwide. https://luge.vc/<br />



To learn more about FINToken,<br />

visit token.finhaven.com<br />


Canada’s innovation landscape is evolving like<br />

never before. With Payments Modernization,<br />

Open Banking, and the approval of Canada’s<br />

first crypto-asset custodian, Canadian<br />

regulators are also stepping up to the plate,<br />

ensuring protection for consumers. This means<br />

constant and rapid adjustment of regulatory<br />

frameworks to ensure regulations reflect<br />

the nuances that innovation brings, while<br />

addressing customer demand for advanced<br />

technology and simplified experiences<br />

through leveraging digital options.<br />

That can make it hard for startups and even<br />

established organizations to keep up with the<br />

changes, let alone ensure that they have the<br />

right tools and resources to operationalize<br />

complex legislative requirements.<br />

When it comes to compliance for FinTech,<br />

Security and Data protection often take<br />

the lion’s share of focus and can eat up a<br />

significant chunk of capital along the way.<br />

For example, the average cost of SOC 2 Type<br />

2 compliance, a precursor for the vendor<br />

management process, ranges from $30-40K<br />

– not including the costs to get there, which<br />

can be well over $100K.<br />

Emerging Retail Opportunities<br />

The mainstream adoption of virtual assets in the<br />

retail consumer space (e.g., cryptocurrencies,<br />

NFT’s and the like), coupled with modernized<br />

payment rails and consumer directed finance,<br />

points to a likely increase of entrants into the<br />

payments market – a historical “sweet spot”<br />

offering for startups. Along with this comes an<br />

increased focus on consumer protection while<br />

trying to balance innovation and competition.<br />

This is the driver for the new Retail Payments<br />

Activities Act (RPAA), passed on June 29, <strong>2021</strong>,<br />

and continued updates to the Proceeds of<br />

Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) and Terrorist<br />

Financing Regulations (PCMLTFR).<br />

What do I need to know?<br />

The RPAA defines the nature of a Payment<br />

Service Provider (PSP) and requires PSPs to<br />

register with the Bank of Canada who will<br />

administer and enforce the RPAA, including<br />

financial penalties for violations.<br />

A PSP is defined as “an individual or entity that<br />

performs payment functions as a service or<br />

business activity that is not incidental to another<br />

service or business activity” and covers “any<br />

retail payment activity that is performed by a<br />

payment service provider that has a place of<br />

business in Canada…(or) performed for an end<br />

user in Canada by a payment service provider<br />

that does not have a place of business in<br />

Canada but directs retail payment activities at<br />

individuals or entities that are in Canada.”<br />


While there are some exceptions, this aligns<br />

directly to the FINTRAC definition of a Money<br />

Services Business (MSB) including services<br />

dealing with virtual currencies. This evokes<br />

the requirement to also register with FINTRAC<br />

and directly connects a PSP to the obligations<br />

outlined in the PCMLTFR for an MSB. It’s<br />

important to note that the PCMLTFR already<br />

accounts for Money Services Businesses<br />

(MSB’s) and Virtual Asset Service Providers<br />

(VASP’s) and has for several years.<br />

players in the crypto space. An enforcement<br />

action can have significant reputational risk,<br />

something a startup may never recover from.<br />

Fines in <strong>2021</strong> so far…<br />

If you are unsure whether you fall under these<br />

categories, please reach out to us and we’d<br />

be happy to review the criteria together.<br />

What are my obligations under the<br />

PCMLTFR?<br />


In short, MSB’s must set up a compliance<br />

program that consists of knowing your<br />

customer (KYC - verifying their identity)<br />

and conducting a risk assessment of your<br />

customer base to determine the level of due<br />

diligence and ongoing monitoring required.<br />

Risk assessments should be updated<br />

regularly to and in accordance with detailed<br />

FINTRAC guidance.<br />

In addition to screening for Sanctions<br />

compliance and Politically Exposed Persons<br />

(PEP), there are multiple reporting requirements<br />

depending on the types of transactions<br />

conducted and in relation to customer risk.<br />

There are also special requirements when<br />

certain types of transactions are above a<br />

specified monetary threshold.<br />

Wow, that sounds like a lot. What’s this<br />

going to cost?<br />

It depends. Factors like customer risk, volume,<br />

and velocity of transactions weigh into the<br />

costs of establishing a compliance program.<br />

...but making sure you get it right, protects<br />

you from fines. FINTRAC actively enforces<br />

penalties for violations, and if the US and<br />

UK examples are any indicator, monetary<br />

penalties are positioned to grow. Even a small<br />

fine can cripple a smaller firm.<br />

Trust is also a huge factor in influencing retail<br />

adoption for new entrants, especially for newer<br />

What can we do about it?<br />

What we do know is that leveraging<br />

established Regulatory as a Service tools<br />

like MinervaAI can help you deliver on your<br />

obligations and are proven to be much more<br />

effective and efficient than traditional methods<br />

alone.<br />

Firms like MinervaAI are led by professionals<br />

with deep knowledge of the regulations, the<br />

investigations process, and the machine and<br />

deep learning expertise to “plug and play”<br />

into your existing technology and process<br />

ecosystem. AI innovations coupled with<br />

cloud scalability allows investigators to do in<br />

minutes, what would traditionally take hours<br />

and days to do.<br />

Compliance doesn’t have to be scary or slow<br />

down customer onboarding. In fact, having<br />

an efficient and accurate risk assessment<br />

process upfront, with automated ongoing<br />

monitoring behind the scenes, ensures<br />

that your customers will be able to transact<br />

without interruption.<br />


How can MinervaAI help?<br />

Complete client risk assessment in real time, all in under a minute:<br />

• Execute all your regulatory tasks; Sanctions and PEP scanning, adverse media analysis, social<br />

media review, beneficial ownership, legal and disciplinary action, networks, and relationships<br />

• Risk rate clients and contextualize that risk against multiple risk dimensions<br />

• Monitor for change to customer profile and risk at configurable intervals<br />

• Generate an auditable package to complete the investigation<br />

Request a demo at minervaai.io<br />

Jennifer Arnold<br />

CEO and Co-Founder<br />

MinervaAI. Chief Regulatory Nerd and<br />

financial crimes enthusiast.<br />

Charlene Sebastian<br />

Head of Client Success and Delivery<br />

Enablement<br />

MinervaAI. Obsessed with Data and<br />

getting *&^% done.<br />

About:<br />

MinervaAI is a venture-backed financial crime discovery<br />

platform that uses deep learning and automation to radically<br />

increase the efficiency, accuracy and efficacy of financial<br />

crime investigations. It’s complete EDD in under 60 seconds!<br />

MinervaAI requires no complex integrations and works<br />

alongside your existing case management and/or transaction<br />

monitoring solutions.<br />

About:<br />

Transformative enterprise leader focused on results; creates<br />

strategic outcomes through value-based Agile execution.<br />

Specializes in large, complex enterprise Regulatory initiatives<br />

with a Data and Digital focus. Doing it well and doing it right<br />

matters. Over 15 years’ experience leading successful programs<br />

in Banking and Telecommunications. Collaborative influencer<br />

who inspires trust in relationships to maximize team performance.<br />



As the spotlight grows on Canada, one of<br />

the world’s most cashless economies, tech<br />

talent in the financial industry is in demand.<br />

Home to some of the world’s most promising<br />

fintech companies, Toronto is the secondlargest<br />

financial hub in North America. From retail<br />

banking to cybersecurity and cryptocurrency,<br />

Ontario companies are booming. With<br />

this comes competition for recruiting and<br />

retaining top fintech talent.<br />

In a remote world, Canadian fintech talent is<br />

enticed to cross borders for competitive pay,<br />

cool perks and unlimited vacation days. How<br />

can these fintech companies continue to<br />

compete?<br />

The next generation of talent<br />

Companies need to engage Millennials and<br />

Generation Z tech talent. One way to do that<br />

is to hire co-op students. By 2028, Millennials<br />


and Gen Z will make up more than half (58 per<br />

cent) of the workforce. Born between 1981 –<br />

1996, Millennials are emerging leaders. Gen Z,<br />

those born between 1996-2014, are entering<br />

the workforce.<br />

Here are ways you can attract and support<br />

them:<br />

1. Showcase your values<br />

Values matter to Gen Z in the workplace. The<br />

University of Waterloo’s Work-Learn Institute<br />

(WxL) research shows that understanding<br />

those values might be most important to<br />

effectively recruit, motivate and retain young<br />

employees. According to WxL’s research<br />

almost half of Gen Z students are unlikely to<br />

accept a full-time job if it matches their skills<br />

but not their values.<br />

Learn more: Click ‘Top Motivators’ image<br />

2. Highlight diversity, equity and inclusion<br />

The Canadian workforce will be 33 per<br />

cent international by 2036. This global and<br />

diverse workforce presents new opportunities.<br />

To adapt, organizations must establish<br />

a more diverse, inclusive and equitable<br />

talent pipeline. Diversity strategies will<br />

focus on blind recruitment, unconscious<br />

bias training and looking beyond Canadian<br />

experience requirements for credentials.<br />

Companies must commit to diversity<br />

targets.<br />

4. Strengthen your remote<br />

recruitment strategies<br />

During the pandemic, organizations<br />

shifted their operations to work remotely.<br />

This challenged the way we do business<br />

as well as recruitment and onboarding<br />

strategies. A recent survey found that 73<br />

per cent of workers hope remote work<br />

will continue past the pandemic.<br />

While Gen Z agree with this, our research<br />

shows they feel stressed and struggle more<br />

than their peers. This research found three<br />

core themes as priorities for young talent:<br />

• Socialization: help them to understand<br />

workplace culture and build professional<br />

networks.<br />

• Productivity: give them flexibility and<br />

independence to manage their work.<br />

• Meaningful work: provide them<br />

with challenging work that aligns with their<br />

values.<br />

Provide the right environment and<br />

young fintech talent can blossom to fill<br />

your talent pipeline. Don’t hesitate - get<br />

them through your doors early as the<br />

competition booms.<br />

3. Focus on your job descriptions<br />

Job descriptions that highlight how candidates<br />

can learn, make an impact and link their academics<br />

to their work, can enhance<br />

job attractiveness for Gen Z talent. By<br />

adding these, candidates can reframe how<br />

they see themselves in the role – without<br />

requiring organizations to change their own<br />

values or offerings.<br />

Want to increase your number of applications?<br />

Check below to learn more and<br />

download a job description sample:<br />

About:<br />

Tammy Kim-Newman<br />

Business Developer<br />

Co-operative and Experiential Education<br />

University of Waterloo<br />

Tammy Kim-Newman is a business developer and tech talent<br />

specialist at the University of Waterloo, Canada’s #1 university for<br />

Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering (Maclean’s<br />

<strong>2021</strong> University Rankings). She has 10+ years supporting<br />

industry partners with their early talent strategies and is an<br />

advocate for work-integrated learning. If you have questions<br />

about early tech talent recruitment strategies, please reach<br />

out to Tammy Kim-Newman (tammy.kim-newman@uwaterloo.<br />

ca) or 289-231-3752.<br />


33<br />


Businesses focused on fintech are hardwired<br />

to fulfill customer needs, reduce customer pain<br />

points, and introduce new ideas that shape a<br />

better experience. Early stage startups may have<br />

more flexibility to shape their brand, product, or<br />

culture, but even larger organizations that are<br />

looking to make a similar pivot are finding value<br />

in making a change from the norm.<br />

Startups are fast at testing and iterating. As<br />

a product marketing consultant for fintech<br />

startups, validating product-market fit is<br />

essential for hypergrowth and sustainability.<br />

Once achieved, it takes smart, customerfocused<br />

decisions to drive ultimate success,<br />

starting from product to brand, and from<br />

customer service to culture. These mechanisms<br />

also include rigorous reassessments to ensure<br />

they’re adapting to a continuously evolving<br />

landscape.<br />

Successful financial businesses, regardless<br />

if it’s a large organization or an early-stage<br />

startup, adhere to these core elements.<br />

Your customer wants to work with other<br />

humans.<br />

Humanize your business<br />

It’s unfortunate, but for customers in modern<br />

times, placing trust in businesses is at an alltime<br />

low. Modern brands are focusing on<br />

enabling human emotions within their business.<br />

It reflects on virtually every aspect of their<br />

public-facing self: ad headlines, PR, packaging,<br />

content marketing, and “meet the team”<br />

segments from the top down. Customers feel<br />

greater trust when they can see the people<br />

working behind the scenes.<br />

One important takeaway: humanize the<br />

brand, brand the human. Ultra successful<br />

organizations brand their management team<br />

as experts themselves. That may be why more<br />

fans follow Elon Musk or Mike Novogratz on<br />

Twitter over their respective company brand<br />

accounts.<br />

Your customer wants an easier life.<br />

Get creative and simplify your customers’<br />

lives<br />

It’s no secret that AI tools, such as roboadvisors,<br />

have taken market share from<br />

traditional financial institutions. A product<br />

should make the customer experience<br />

simple without sacrificing time or money,<br />

and at best, minimizes the customers’ need<br />

to think. It begins by answering questions<br />

for them. If your customers have a preferred<br />

communication channel, make the necessary<br />

changes to accommodate that.<br />


In most cases, ideas that simplify your<br />

customers’ lives may be deemed as too much<br />

of a resource hog internally. However, a closed<br />

mindset will inevitably lead to another company<br />

stealing market share from you.<br />

Your customer wants honesty.<br />

Be more transparent than you’re traditionally<br />

comfortable with From a customer POV,<br />

offering greater transparency during financial<br />

transactions has become a standard. Hidden<br />

fees have always been a crux for customers.<br />

Wise (formerly Transferwise) made the<br />

smart move to not only offer lower fees for<br />

currency conversion, but their transfer screen<br />

also includes a detailed breakdown of where<br />

each dollar is going (while simultaneously<br />

showing how much they’re saving compared<br />

to competitors like PayPal). It’s the little things<br />

that count.<br />

Your customer wants to be heard.<br />

Create feedback loops for service-driven<br />

opportunities<br />

Better service is always a primary motivator for<br />

retention. However service-driven initiatives<br />

need to continually evolve to keep up with<br />

customer expectations. Scrap initiatives that are<br />

outdated.This can only be achieved by creating<br />

a feedback loop in your customer lifecycle that<br />

is repeatable and actionable.<br />

Your customer wants to work with a winner.<br />

Make education part of your content<br />

strategy<br />

Thought leadership is essential in building a<br />

successful business. Budget planner Mint<br />

revolutionized the industry by focusing on<br />

delivering content that educated prospective<br />

and current customers with the knowledge<br />

needed to plan and meet their financial goals.<br />

Your content team, which consist of content<br />

creators and subject matter experts, need a<br />

sound strategy that focuses on answering<br />

customer questions - whether they’ve thought<br />

it up first or not.<br />

Your customer wants to work with good<br />

companies.<br />

Create a solid cultural foundation that<br />

supports diversity and inclusion<br />

Having an organizational structure and<br />

strategy that supports diversity and inclusion<br />

is imperative. Embedding D&I initiatives into a<br />

company culture begins with recurring training<br />

sessions and fostering open communication,<br />

but it also means changes to hiring practices<br />

from both management and non-management<br />

roles. Organizations that support D&I in its<br />

foundation unlock greater hiring capacities,<br />

stronger customer onboarding and retention,<br />

and a healthy work culture.<br />


Lastly, take ownership when bad service is<br />

apparent. Accountability and humility can go a<br />

long way to not only those affected, but those<br />

watching from the sidelines.<br />

Your customer isn’t a number.<br />

Continually refine your customer personas<br />

Digging deeper into your customer personas<br />

can help your product and marketing efforts.<br />

While it’s easier to see your customer base<br />

as defined by a few lines of text, defining<br />

your audience into numerous segments and<br />

increasing granularity will better define your<br />

scope as a business. Never default to treating<br />

your customers like a number. Focus on<br />

developing better segmentation in your CRM<br />

to optimize your customer funnels.<br />

Financial organizations are continuing to finetune<br />

their culture and product/marketing<br />

strategy to reflect the changing directions<br />

of their customer base. In order to succeed,<br />

startups and large organizations in financial<br />

services need to adopt a mindset that is<br />

adaptive, open-minded, and forward thinking.<br />

About:<br />

Reggie Tan<br />

Founder & Senior Growth Hacker<br />

Rich Thinking<br />

Reggie Tan is a senior growth hacker and marketing strategist,<br />

with specialization in fintech, cryptocurrency, and blockchain<br />

applications.<br />


Picture this. You are the CEO<br />

of a large financial services<br />

company and are looking<br />

to acquire a smaller fintech<br />

company to expand your<br />

business. Everything within<br />

the company’s infrastructure<br />

looks normal.<br />

Turns out, technology and security of the<br />

company wasn’t thoroughly tested, and<br />

after acquiring the company, you inherit a<br />

major security breach along with it, costing<br />

you millions of dollars. Believe it or not, this<br />

is exactly what happened to Paypal, when<br />

it acquired TIO Networks and they are not<br />

alone.<br />

Paypal’s example proves the importance<br />

of incorporating thorough technology due<br />

diligence into the acquisition process of a<br />

company.<br />

What Does the Due Diligence Process<br />

Entail?<br />

To gauge what the due diligence process<br />

entails, let’s consider the example of a<br />

VC or a CEO of a fintech company who is<br />

interested in preparing their company for<br />

acquisition. After taking the first step to hire<br />

an investment banker to show the company<br />

to investors, there are three main stages of<br />

the Due Diligence Process. The first round<br />

of bids includes a high-level company<br />

evaluation, addressing the condition of the<br />

business, financials, and management team.<br />

A handful of bids progress to the second<br />

round of bids, which takes a deeper dive<br />

into the business. The interested party then<br />

submits a Letter of Intent (LOI) to indicate<br />

interest in acquiring the company.<br />

At the LOI stage, things could go awry<br />

if issues are found while evaluating the<br />

health of a company during the due<br />

diligence process (including legal diligence,<br />

accounting diligence, customer diligence,<br />

and technology/cybersecurity due<br />

diligence). After the LOI stage, if the investor<br />

is still interested in the company, the deal<br />

moves to the closing stage.<br />


Why is Security Important in the Due<br />

Diligence Process?<br />

In any investment, buyers are clearly looking<br />

for no problems with the company, as this<br />

could cost them millions in the future.<br />

A buyer’s priority is to minimize risks and<br />

solve for sustainability and scalability through<br />

assessing three aspects of the company:<br />

people, process, and technology. Risks<br />

surrounding people could involve code<br />

development and knowledge distribution,<br />

while risks around the process typically entail<br />

sustainability and scalability.<br />

Risks surrounding technology often<br />

involve security issues and documentation<br />

surrounding open-source code. If you think<br />

your company will need to embark on the<br />

due diligence process in the next 6-12<br />

months, it’s crucial to be thorough with<br />

documentation regarding all aspects of due<br />

diligence.<br />

To prove that a company<br />

doesn’t have issues, it’s<br />

important to provide the<br />

correct documentation<br />

and engage security<br />

from the beginning of the<br />

development process and<br />

have it ready for the due<br />

diligence process. Engaging<br />

security from the start leads<br />

to strong foundations in<br />

governance and policy as<br />

well as in the applications<br />

themselves.<br />

Regarding the technology and security<br />

aspect of due diligence, it’s important to<br />

note that doing a risk assessment shows<br />

buyers that a company is truly worth the<br />

investment. It’s also crucial to know where<br />

your security issues lie by having a 3rd party<br />

look at the code to find loopholes. It assesses<br />

business impact and how likely a security<br />

breach is to occur, making it more valuable<br />

than security gaps or vulnerabilities.<br />

If any security issues are found, it’s key to<br />

have a plan of action for the investor or<br />

show progress on the issues that were<br />

found. Where open-source software is<br />

used, keeping thorough documentation on<br />

what is used will help tell the company’s<br />

story while preventing it from being put on<br />

the defensive.<br />

Going forward, sellers should expect<br />

more scrutiny for technology and security<br />

aspects of the company. Therefore, any<br />

preparation on this front would be valuable.<br />

Buyers are also becoming more aware of<br />

what breaches exist and will ask sellers how<br />

they’ve prepared themselves. Buyers need<br />

to be able to ensure these breaches aren’t<br />

impacting them, as they don’t want to inherit<br />

liabilities.<br />

What Are the Next Steps?<br />

In short, add security early in the<br />

development process and document<br />

your controls to cover your bases. Apply<br />

security best practices while building your<br />

company and applications. Though it may<br />

seem more efficient in the short run, refrain<br />

from cutting corners, and get professionals<br />

to support you during the due diligence<br />

process. Spending money on a 3rd party<br />

assessment to find potential security<br />

loopholes is valuable, as this could save<br />

millions in transaction value. Remember,<br />

investing in security initially to ensure<br />

a strong security posture will only save<br />

millions of dollars in the long-term.<br />


Consistent and diligent documentation from<br />

the start of the process also strengthens the<br />

validity of the company’s security posture.<br />

If you’re looking to learn more about what to<br />

do to secure your company including your<br />

products and infrastructure, check out the<br />

Security 4 Startups (S4S) framework: https://<br />


www.security4startups.com/. S4S was<br />

designed by a group of investors and small,<br />

mid, and large-corporation CISOs to help<br />

startups combat their biggest security risks<br />

in a balanced manner. If you’re looking for<br />

an in-depth security consultation, Forward<br />

Security and RiskAware are always here to<br />

help, so get in touch: contactus@fwdsec.<br />

com.<br />

About:<br />

Farshad Abasi<br />

Founder, Chief Security Officer<br />

Forward Security<br />

At Forward Security we are all about doing application, cloud,<br />

and information security better. Our team tackles security<br />

using a systematic approach, leveraging standards based and<br />

repeatable processes. We are incredibly passionate about<br />

delivering the best security solutions, and are driven to help our<br />

clients achieve the highest level of security to enable business<br />

growth. https://forwardsecurity.com/<br />

Michael Castro<br />

Founder, Risk Executive<br />

RiskAware<br />

About:<br />

RiskAware was incorporated in 2018 to help address the gap<br />

with organizations utilizing part-time or fractional CISO and to<br />

offer executive leadership services. We serve organizations<br />

of all sizes and specialize in small and mid-size businesses<br />

(SMBs) in all verticals, including Not-For-Profits and Startups.<br />

https://riskaware.io/<br />


39<br />


How the current macro environment is<br />

changing the way we work, play, and<br />

engage online.<br />

The last time you left home, you probably<br />

had at least 3 items with you that would prove<br />

who you are, most likely your mobile device,<br />

wallet, and keyring.<br />

In the “real” world, we’re used to carrying<br />

personal identification, driving or taking public<br />

transit, and our keyring not only provides<br />

security to our homes, autos, offices, and<br />

other valuables, but also tells a bit about our<br />

personality, based on the type of keyrings, and<br />

fobs we have. Why should it be any different<br />

in the online world, and how can I prove who I<br />

really am online just as easily?<br />

While the pandemic has held a grip over our<br />

daily lives, not until recently have we started<br />

to believe that things may get back to normal.<br />

This global crisis has also been a catalyst for<br />

digital identity.<br />

Not only did our traditional lives change<br />

dramatically during this period, but so did our<br />

digital existence. Online gaming and digital<br />

content consumption went up 75% literally<br />

overnight. Amazon is our new best friend<br />

delivering almost daily. While it may have<br />

seemed novel initially, it became the new<br />

reality thanks to our kids being educated online<br />

and trying to keep up with friends and family<br />

via Zoom calls instead of getting together. It<br />

has also has meant finding reliable ways to<br />

stay in touch with our clients and business<br />

associates and doing more online, exposing<br />

ourselves potentially to additional security<br />

concerns and identity fraud. Now, more than<br />

ever, we need something that requires us to<br />

prove who we are.<br />

Digitally, we can be viewed<br />

as the sum of all our online<br />

“information” most or which has<br />

been controlled by corporations<br />

intent on mining your data for<br />

their overall benefit. However,<br />

continuing jurisdictional changes<br />

in privacy rules and data<br />

protection in many parts of the<br />

world have started to shift the<br />

power of data from corporations<br />

to the people.<br />


As we spend more of our lives online, it will be<br />

essential to prove who we are when it comes<br />

to:<br />

• Reduction of potential identity fraud<br />

• Validation of online purchases<br />

• eSports, online gaming, and social media<br />

• Information and data services<br />

• Education<br />

• Government and Healthcare services<br />

New technologies and innovations are<br />

changing the way digital identity and<br />

personal information is managed. We’re<br />

seeing healthcare passports, single sign on<br />

applications and digital wallets, but the key is<br />

for users to manage, control and benefit from<br />

this information and personal responsibility.<br />

With over 300 million people in North America<br />

and over 5 billion people online globally, the<br />

market, tasks and opportunities are both<br />

enormous and daunting. Organizations<br />

like the Linux Foundation, Trust over IP<br />

Foundation, Cardea, The Lumedic Exchange,<br />

Liquid Avatar Technologies and other leading<br />

firms and organizations are working to help<br />

empower users from around the globe to be<br />

part of the digital identity revolution.<br />

To find our more, please feel free to contact<br />

us at www.liquidavatartechnologies.com<br />

About:<br />

David Lucatch<br />

Co-Founder, President, Director & Chair<br />

of Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc.<br />

Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc., through its wholly owned<br />

subsidiary KABN Systems North America Inc. focuses on the<br />

verification, management and monetization of Self Sovereign<br />

Identity, empowering users to control and benefit from the<br />

use of their online identity. The Liquid Avatar Mobile App,<br />

available in the Apple App Store and Google Play is a verified<br />

Self Sovereign Identity platform that empowers users to create<br />

high quality digital icons representing their online personas.<br />

These icons allow users to manage and control their digital<br />

identity and Verifiable Access and Identity Credentials, and<br />

to use Liquid Avatars to share public and permission based<br />

private data when they want and with whom they want.<br />


Create, Secure & Share a fully customized digital version of you<br />

Show the Digital World Who You Are TM<br />

• Manage, control and benefit from your digital identity.<br />

• High quality icons that represents you.<br />

• Share what you want, when you want, and with whom you want.<br />

• Access verifiable credentials in your digital wallet.<br />

• Prove yourself digitally as easily & effectively as you do in the “real world”.<br />

www.liquidavatartechnologies.com<br />


Download today<br />


Did you know, society generates 1.145 trillion<br />

megabytes of data every single day? Most<br />

of us don’t crunch numbers for a living, so<br />

organizing data and displaying it intuitively<br />

really matters. With all this data sprawling<br />

the planet, one of the most significant<br />

challenges is using it effectively.<br />

Luckily, we can use artificial intelligence<br />

and machine learning in our investment<br />

portfolios to help us better understand<br />

the data. Yet, this idea can still be very<br />

overwhelming. Where do you start, and<br />

what do you track and measure? How do<br />

you know your data is working for you, and<br />

how does your data compare to your peers?<br />

The good news is that artificial intelligence<br />

and machine learning work together with<br />

big data, making it easier than ever to benefit<br />

from the tech. One area this technology<br />

can be applied is to our own investment<br />

portfolios. After all, we’re all looking for a<br />

more comprehensive understanding of our<br />

strategies and wish we could make much<br />

more confident decisions.<br />

Artificial Intelligence and Better Data<br />

Visualization Are Your Competitive Edge<br />

People have been trying to understand and<br />

exploit data for decades. From Bloomberg<br />

Terminals to Robo-advisors in your pocket,<br />

there’s been an explosion of financial<br />

visualization tools for people of all skill and<br />

knowledge levels. They allow just about<br />

anyone to interpret signals and make<br />

predictions based on their own perspective.<br />

We can leverage those advances in<br />

visualizations and add machine learning<br />

algorithms to make the insights sharper<br />

and more helpful.<br />

Until recently, these algorithms were out<br />

of reach for the average investor. This is<br />

changing rapidly as today, developers build<br />

platforms and services that make deep<br />

learning accessible to everyone. There<br />

are obvious use cases such as interactive<br />

graphs or elegant charts. But from there,<br />

it’s easy to imagine a world where your<br />

portfolio is benchmarked against others in<br />

a similar cohort, allowing you to fine-tune<br />

your strategy.<br />


Using the right wealth management<br />

platform further allows wealth owners and<br />

family offices with complex portfolios to<br />

access these data visualizations and unlock<br />

a complete picture of their overall wealth in<br />

exciting new ways.<br />

Use Case: Fundamental Analysis<br />

AI-powered visualizations can help<br />

investors gain perspective into what‘s going<br />

on with each of their asset classes. Adding<br />

algorithms to the mix can uncover hidden<br />

correlations between those same asset<br />

classes. From there, we can use this data<br />

to suggest which investment opportunities<br />

may outperform others and which positions<br />

we might have to reconsider.<br />

Another example would be using AI to<br />

scan documents such as annual reports,<br />

economic articles, and other financial<br />

datasets to better understand a company‘s<br />

fundamentals.<br />

In other words, AI can lead to a more healthy<br />

asset management strategy.<br />

to assess the risk curve of a particular<br />

investment. It can forecast risk variables<br />

ensuring absolute risk falls within bearable<br />

levels, whatever those might be.<br />

Another great example is assisting with<br />

transaction costs for large purchases. An<br />

AI can find the best prices for breaking up<br />

big trades into smaller chunks. These kinds<br />

of algorithmic traders already exist and<br />

use artificial intelligence (we just call them<br />

Robo-advisors.)<br />

Artificial Intelligence Improves<br />

Accessibility to Data Visualization<br />

These tools can supercharge your<br />

visualizations. Wealth owners can capitalize<br />

on the advancements and availability of<br />

algorithms to find insights in the same way<br />

financial analysts of the past did without the<br />

need to manually calculate outcomes.<br />

We‘re all looking for ways to improve our<br />

portfolio management. It might be time to<br />

ask ourselves if the AI and data visualizations<br />

we use are up to the task.<br />


Use Case: Stronger Portfolio<br />

Understanding<br />

Artificial intelligence can also help us<br />

better predict future outcomes or expected<br />

returns, which can help with optimal asset<br />

weighting. This is like having a magical<br />

crystal ball. We can understand what our<br />

present-day portfolio looks like versus our<br />

dream portfolio with a couple clicks. We<br />

can run and re-run scenarios or ask the AI<br />

to help us know what might happen to our<br />

portfolio based on specific criteria.<br />

Algorithms are also capable of handling<br />

complex optimization problems. For<br />

instance, they can restrict the number of<br />

assets or set minimum holding thresholds.<br />

When you couple these ideas with userfriendly<br />

visualizations, things really start to<br />

get interesting.<br />

Use Case: Risk Management<br />

AI can likewise help us analyze qualitative<br />

data, like news reports or social media,<br />

About:<br />

Michael Sikorsky<br />

CEO<br />

Copia Wealth Studios<br />

Michael Sikorsky (@mjsikorsky) is an EY Entrepreneur of the<br />

Year Winner, Deloitte Fast 500 Recipient, and serial innovator<br />

- he sold his first company to ThoughtWorks at age 28.<br />

His current company, Copia Wealth Studios, is a financial<br />

intelligence platform on a mission to Simplify wealth. He is also<br />

the Chief Investment Officer of his family office, Sky and Ray.<br />

Michael is passionate about education and has guest lectured<br />

at Harvard Business School, Stanford, MIT, Columbia Business<br />

School, and the World Economic Forum.<br />


In a cooperative ecosystem,<br />

companies interact with each<br />

other based on a digital trust<br />

infrastructure. The members<br />

can network their services<br />

and thus temporarily access<br />

resources of competitors.<br />

The bottom line is that<br />

they can better meet the<br />

customer needs. At the same<br />

time, all players retain their<br />

independence, their data<br />

sovereignty and have the same<br />

market opportunities.<br />

Thomas Müller<br />

evan.network<br />

Decentralized peer-to-peer networks and<br />

platform economics<br />

Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technologies<br />

(DLT) as well as other decentralized<br />

technologies, such as Decentralized Identifiers<br />

(DID) provide technical mechanisms which<br />

lend themselves very well to building fully<br />

automated transaction platforms which can<br />

manage financial transactions from contract<br />

signing all the way to financial settlement<br />

without the need for intermediaries. The<br />

underlying peer-to-peer (P2P) principles,<br />

in which all participants are equal peers<br />

and operate identical nodes provide a<br />

technical analogue to a “commons” technical<br />

infrastructure which provides the transaction<br />

execution layer to those wishing to conduct<br />

decentralized commerce. Decentralized<br />

platform economics are revolutionizing the<br />

way services and delivered, consumed, and<br />

settled.<br />

Blockchain-powered cryptographic networks<br />

(‘Cryptonetworks’) lend themselves very well<br />

to peer-to-peer governance models in which<br />

a common resource - the Cryptonetwork - is<br />

community-governed. A major leap between<br />

the world-wide web as we know it, is that<br />

cryptonetworks have a secure and trusted<br />

mechanism for incentivization and value<br />

transfer known as ‘token-economics’. Token<br />

payouts are calculated as part of the smart<br />

contract layer and securely transferred as<br />

part of the Blockchain’s essential function,<br />

namely securing consensus. There is no need<br />


for an intermediary to manage and enforce<br />

terms and conditions, invoicing, payment and<br />

settlement.<br />

bloXmove: a decentralized platform for<br />

Mobility as a Service (MaaS)<br />

As an example of how this can be applied<br />

to real-world applications, take the market<br />

for urban mobility. The “product” or rather<br />

“service” urban mobility offers, is neither this<br />

car nor that scooter, but rather seamless<br />

travel through a city – mobility as a service.<br />

Users should be able to roam across services<br />

delivered by different operators. This means<br />

they only register their identity and credentials<br />

once and these verified credentials serve to<br />

unlock any service provided by any service<br />

provider in the ecosystem – this being the<br />

paradigm of “roaming”. By using decentralized<br />

technologies such as Decentralized<br />

Identifiers (DID) and Blockchain technologies<br />

the complete service lifecycle can be<br />

orchestrated, executed and settled through<br />

a common decentralized infrastructure:<br />

bloXmove.<br />


Cryptonetworks are digital communities of<br />

self-sovereign peers<br />

According to the International Cooperative<br />

Alliance a cooperative is:<br />

“…an autonomous association of persons<br />

united voluntarily to meet their common<br />

economic, social, and cultural needs and<br />

aspirations through a jointly owned and<br />

democratically-controlled enterprise.”<br />

Cooperatives have a long history. In their<br />

formalized and legal form, they appear in the<br />

19th century.<br />

“These legal entities have a range of social<br />

characteristics. Membership is open, meaning<br />

that anyone who satisfies certain nondiscriminatory<br />

conditions may join. Economic<br />

benefits are distributed proportionally to<br />

each member’s level of participation in the<br />

cooperative…(Wikipedia)”.<br />

Prominent examples of cooperative business<br />

networks are:<br />

• VISA, the well-known ubiquitous credit<br />

card, which in its pre-IPO form was a<br />

cooperative of banks who cooperated to<br />

create a new interoperable, customerfacing<br />

financial product.<br />

• Star Alliance, which is not a cooperative<br />

in the legal sense of the word but rather<br />

an “alliance” of cooperating airlines.<br />

Cooperative organisations are jointly<br />

governed by those who use or consume<br />

the cooperative’s services, hence:<br />


• All members have an interest to grow<br />

the cooperative and make it profitable.<br />

• The cooperative is built to provide<br />

services which enable the businesses of<br />

each community member and therefore<br />

provides direct benefit to each and all.<br />

• The revenues of the cooperative<br />

originate from fees by the cooperative<br />

members.<br />

• The revenues of the cooperatives<br />

belong to the members of the<br />

cooperative.<br />

• Customer relationships and therefore<br />

access to demand and liquidity stays<br />

with the individual members.<br />

This creates a self-reinforcing loop<br />

of checks & balances. Members of a<br />

cooperative are incentivized to fund the<br />

cooperative with their fees while at the<br />

same time being in control to keep those<br />

fees within a range sustainable to their<br />

individual core business.<br />

A common infrastructure with the goal of<br />

achieving net-zero carbon emission<br />

Here I quote what to me has become a<br />

manifest and gave me the inspiration for the<br />

name of the company I have the privilege<br />

of co-founding: Power & Mobility Ltd.:<br />

Making the EU the world’s<br />

first climate-neutral economy<br />

will require more than just<br />

an energy transition. To cut<br />

CO2 emissions by 2050, many<br />

sectors will need to make<br />

far-reaching changes. Two<br />

sectors that play a key role<br />

in society have the leverage<br />

needed to do this: power<br />

and mobility. 1<br />

By creating a common infrastructure<br />

across these two sectors – sector coupling<br />

Power & Mobility – balancing of renewable<br />

power grids using vehicle-to-grid (V2G)<br />

technologies has become possible. By<br />

the economical and regulatory standards<br />

of Europe it should be obvious that such<br />

a platform can, may and should not be a<br />

centralized platform at the mercy of one<br />

centralized, profit-maximizing hyperaggregator.<br />

Rather, such a platform needs<br />

to be thought of, built and operated along<br />

cooperative mechanisms. Decentralized<br />

technologies lend themselves beautifully<br />

to this!<br />

1<br />

elia group: “Accelerating to net-zero: redefining energy and mobility”<br />


Conclusion: Decentralized networks<br />

provide a commons for commerce to<br />

digital cooperatives<br />

The last twenty years have shown us how<br />

software indeed is eating the world and have<br />

brought powerful new actors to the world of<br />

international commerce. Software platforms,<br />

have now entered a phase where they<br />

constitute a similar danger to competition<br />

and market balance as Standard Oil did in<br />

the early 1900s. Politicians and regulators<br />

are recognizing this and are addressing it<br />

with the means at their disposal.<br />

Blockchain and other decentralized<br />

technologies have emerged over the last<br />

ten years and provide a paradigm by which<br />

new cooperative platforms can be built,<br />

combining the advantages platforms offer;<br />

but with a more sustainable balance of<br />

power among market participants.<br />

Tokens provide a mechanism to program<br />

the flow of money into community operated<br />

and highly secure commercial platforms.<br />

Combining the technical advantages of<br />

decentralization with the purpose and<br />

incentives of cooperatives, can create a<br />

powerful counterbalance to centralized<br />

platforms. As well as unleash new business<br />

models in which power does not necessarily<br />

accrue to centralized market makers but<br />

is jointly held by a community of equal<br />

cooperative members.<br />

About:<br />

Harry Behrens<br />

Chairman and CTO of Power & Mobility<br />

bloXmove.com<br />

Harry Behrens, Chairman and CTO of Power & Mobility,<br />

bloXmove.com, founded and headed the Daimler Mobility<br />

Blockchain Factory until May <strong>2021</strong>. He is a veteran Blockchain<br />

evangelist since 2012. In 2016 he co-founded the DFS<br />

Blockchain swarm and initiated the development of the<br />

smartVIN ® Blockchain platform. Before starting his new<br />

position as “Mr. Blockchain” for DMO AG, he was Head of IT for<br />

Mobility and Digital Finance for MBAFC (DFS China). Harry has a<br />

Master (Diplom) in Computer Science from the TU Muenchen,<br />

with a thesis on Neural Networks, and a PhD in Information<br />

Engineering from the University of Tokyo with a thesis on<br />

Distributed Artificial Intelligence. He speaks six languages<br />

fluently and is trying to learn Mandarin Chinese. In his private<br />

time he enjoys practicing languages and reading about history.<br />



Harnessing information and channeling its<br />

energy to improve people’s financial activities<br />

is the very essence of FinTech. The promise is<br />

to thrust traditional financial services—banking,<br />

insurance, and investment management—into<br />

cyberspace where they can be reimagined<br />

and elaborated by mobile software to add<br />

both capability and fluidity to people’s lives.<br />

This frontier of possibilities also brings new<br />

challenges to the forefront: With more people<br />

carrying their investment portfolios on their<br />

mobile devices, FinTech is asked to deliver<br />

high-quality, customized financial guidance<br />

wherever and whenever people want it.<br />

Finliti is ready to meet this challenge. Our goal<br />

is to engage with investors in the ways that<br />

are most personally meaningful and helpful<br />

for them. We believe that investing should<br />

be as fun and immersive or as serious and<br />

disciplined as investors desire. We believe<br />

in financial inclusion—that every investor, no<br />

matter their experience or the size of their<br />

portfolio, deserves access to personalized<br />

financial advice. And most of all, we believe<br />

that all investors deserve the opportunity to<br />

earn good returns and meet their financial<br />

objectives.<br />

This is why we developed the Finliti Investor<br />

Profile Indicator (FIPI), a rigorously developed<br />

psychometric assessment and interactive<br />

feedback platform that helps investors<br />

understand how they allocate attention, make<br />

decisions, and react to important market<br />

events. The FIPI was developed by starting with<br />

the recognition that each investor is unique.<br />

We’ve all heard it before: Some investors<br />

are more risk averse than others. True! But<br />

have you ever pondered the fact that some<br />

investors are more intellectually curious and<br />

enthusiastic than others? That some investors<br />

more readily defer to the advice of others?<br />

And that some investors are dangerously<br />

overconfident? More to the point: Did you<br />

know that these investor characteristics are<br />

as important as risk aversion? These are<br />

real emotional and behavioral tendencies<br />

that define the investor experience. For too<br />

long, they have been difficult to measure<br />

and frequently overlooked. Until now... The<br />

FIPI unlocks investors’ self-knowledge and<br />

transforms those self-insights into a more<br />

optimal investing experience and motivation<br />

for long-term success.<br />

The FIPI is the culmination of considerable<br />

research and development. It was developed<br />

using a painstaking, “bottom-up” approach<br />

that probed over 250 different beliefs,<br />

preferences, emotional experiences, and<br />

behavioral tendencies that are common to<br />

self-directed investors. From this long list,<br />


we distilled four personality traits using<br />

advanced psychometric tools: Zeal, Inhibition,<br />

Conventionality, and Swag. These traits can<br />

be used to comprehensively describe the<br />

psychological individuality of investors.<br />

• Zealous investors tend to be enthusiastic<br />

and can become overly excited and<br />

sometimes even carried away by new<br />

opportunities;<br />

• Inhibited investors tend to be risk-averse,<br />

easily lose confidence, and often feel<br />

intimidated by the stock market;<br />

• Conventional investors more readily<br />

follow the advice of others, they trust “the<br />

experts”;<br />

• Swaggy investors tend to believe they<br />

know more about investing than they<br />

actually do and that they are immune to<br />

experiencing negative financial events.<br />

These FIPI traits characterize the psychological<br />

landscape of self-directed investors. Our<br />

research shows that the FIPI traits are reliably<br />

related to key demographic variables like age<br />

and level of education, differentially related<br />

to economic and financial knowledge, and<br />

predict financial behaviors and consequential<br />

outcomes like the amount of trades that<br />

investors execute, their levels of decision<br />

paralysis, and their degree of impulsive<br />

decision making. We presented some of this<br />

research at the 7 th Biennial Meeting of the<br />

Association for Research in Personality, which<br />

took place in June, <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Curious? Try our Discovery Survey for<br />

FREE! It’s a miniature FIPI, powered by the<br />

same psychometric insights but delivered<br />

in abbreviated form. It will give you a broad<br />

overview of your investing personality that is<br />

equal parts informative and playful.<br />

The complete FIPI feedback expands on the<br />

micro-version. The feedback is longer, more<br />

detailed, and offers many actionable insights.<br />

It is reference material that - with the passage<br />

of time - may aid in the development of deeper<br />

self-understanding each time it is read anew.<br />

It provides an objective viewpoint from which<br />

investors can learn about their strengths,<br />

identify their blind spots, and evaluate the<br />

way they make investment-related decisions.<br />

The goal isn’t to change investors’ personalities.<br />

Rather, the purpose of FIPI’s feedback is<br />

to help investors become more mindful<br />

of their emotional tendencies so that they<br />

can more easily stay focused and rationally<br />

pursue their investment goals. For example,<br />

Zealous investors are reminded about their<br />

tendencies to bullishly rush into new positions;<br />

Inhibited investors are reminded that risks<br />

may be necessary to meet their objectives;<br />

Conventional investors are encouraged to<br />

crystallize their own opinions so that they<br />

can hold their positions with more conviction;<br />

and Swaggy investors are encouraged to<br />

learn. The feedback is personal. The platform<br />

is interactive. The insights are real.<br />

Investors want high-quality, personalized<br />

insight and they want to be able to access<br />

it 24/7. The power of psychometrics can<br />

be harnessed to deliver this more optimal<br />

experience. So take a moment and give our<br />

Discovery Survey a try.<br />

About:<br />

Jennifer Schell is the founder and CEO of Finliti that she built<br />

to help investors make informed and impactful investment<br />

decisions to enrich their lives by achieving their financial goals.<br />

Her career spans over fifteen years across Canada’s major<br />

financial institutions, where she’s been passionate about wealth<br />

management and helping her clients align effective stock<br />

market strategies with their core values. Finliti.com<br />

About:<br />

Jennifer Schell<br />

Founder and CEO<br />

Finliti<br />

Dr. Stefano Di Domenico<br />

Assistant Professor<br />

University of Toronto Scarborough<br />

Dr. Di Domenico is an Assistant Professor at the University<br />

of Toronto Scarborough, where he teaches personality and<br />

neuroscience. He has published dozens of articles, advancing<br />

the modern understanding of motivation, personality, and<br />

decision making. His current research focus is behavioral<br />

finance and FinTech. He serves on Finliti’s advisory board.<br />



FLOW: OB, CAN Trends, Beyond OB: BaaS +<br />

Embedded Finance, tunl<br />

The Open Banking model marks a global<br />

evolution (although some experts talk about a<br />

“revolution”) in the financial market. Motivated<br />

by the increased need to respond to customer<br />

demands, compete with new financial players<br />

and meet regulation requirements, banks are<br />

adopting API-based 1 business models. Open<br />

Banking emerges in the financial industry<br />

as a new model of collaboration with thirdparty<br />

providers. By working in partnership<br />

with fintech banks, they are able to expand<br />

customer reach, accelerate the adoption<br />

of new technologies, and create new<br />

revenue streams. The underlying mindset<br />

is the realization that complex problems<br />

that demand immediate resolution, need<br />

a strategy that taps into “the wisdom of the<br />

many”, rather than siloed proprietary solutions.<br />

While, in some countries like the US and<br />

China, Open Banking is spreading only by<br />

market forces, in other geographies the<br />

regulatory agenda is playing a central role.<br />

In Europe, some Asian and Latin American<br />

regulators, often driven by financial inclusion<br />

mandates, are promoting the shift to open<br />

ecosystems by launching directives like the<br />

well-known PSD2 2 in Europe and the Open<br />

Banking Standard in the UK.<br />

Taking into account these regulatory<br />

successful practices, the government of<br />

Canada appointed an Advisory Committee<br />

(AC) in 2018 for the design and implementation<br />

of the Open Banking framework. As a first<br />

phase, the AC started with consultations<br />

with stakeholders across Canada. Based on<br />

its findings, in spring 2020 the committee<br />

started the second phase, providing advice<br />

on potential solutions and standards focusing<br />

on data protection, privacy and security over<br />

consumer’s personal data.<br />

Bringing together the government and<br />

the private industry, Canada is aiming<br />

to embrace a hybrid, made-in-Canada<br />

strategy. The scope is ambitious as all<br />

federally regulated banks will be required<br />

to participate while other regulated banks<br />

could join on a voluntary basis. Despite<br />

some delays due to the pandemic, the AC<br />

plans to have the Open Banking regime<br />

operational by January 2023.<br />

1<br />

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software<br />

2<br />

PSD2 is the second Payment Services Directive, designed by the countries of the European Union<br />


Canada Open Banking Phased Implementation Plan<br />

Live Date January 2023<br />

IN FOCUS<br />

Source: Final Report, Advisory Committee on Open Banking<br />

While the regulation is cautiously but<br />

steadily progressing in Canada, leading<br />

banks are already partnering with FinTechs<br />

using APIs to deliver new digital products 3 .<br />

Even later adopters are exploring new<br />

technologies as COVID-19 forced them<br />

to respond, adapt and innovate. As far as<br />

fintechs are concerned, they have gained<br />

attention by proving to be the solution to<br />

navigate the crisis.<br />

According to Accenture, <strong>Fintech</strong> Report<br />

2020 4 , the Canadian FinTech industry is<br />

booming with 700 FinTechs and hundreds of<br />

nascent startups. Registering record levels<br />

of investment, venture capitalists remain<br />

optimistic despite COVID-19 uncertainty.<br />

The potential of the Canadian ecosystem is<br />

massive, especially when considering the<br />

proactive approach taken by an efficient<br />

public sector. That explains the surge of<br />

many Canadian unicorns, like Clearco, a<br />

lending platform, Coveo an AI platform<br />

and Wealthsimple, an online investment<br />

manager, to name a few.<br />

Going beyond the Open Banking model, the<br />

Canadian financial sector is also benefiting<br />

by innovative collaborative structures like<br />

Banking-as-a-Service 5 and Embedded<br />

Finance. As an example we have Hopper, the<br />

travel mobile-only app that uses predictive<br />

analytics to make travel recommendations.<br />

This Canadian unicorn, recently awarded as<br />

the Best Travel App, provides information<br />

about best deals on flight and hotels,<br />

sends push notifications to their users when<br />

best prices are available, suggests new<br />

destinations based on your search and most<br />

importantly allows the payment for all travel<br />

services through one single interface.<br />

Open Banking can and should be a journey<br />

towards digital innovation. As FinConecta’s<br />

Chief Business Officer Betty deVita<br />

remarks: “Infrastructure is sexy” (and now<br />

it is trendy!). There has never been a better<br />

time for enabling new business models.<br />

In March <strong>2021</strong> Amazon Web Services<br />

(AWS) and FinConecta launched Open<br />

Finance, a leading-edge platform based<br />

3<br />

How Canadian banks prepare for open Banking| Pwc article. Pwc Canadian-Banks 2019 Article<br />

4<br />

Canada <strong>Fintech</strong> Report| Accenture 2020 Accenture FIntech Report 2020<br />

5<br />

Banking-as-Service goes beyond the data sharing contemplated in Open Banking, including products that are embedded into the financial<br />

institution’s own core, such as infrastructure, data and banking licenses on a white-labeled basis.<br />


on FinConecta’s technology, that expands<br />

the boundaries of Open Banking to the next<br />

level”, deVita adds. “And now we landed<br />

in Canada, as the engine behind tunl., an<br />

API platform that brings together Financial<br />

Institutions and <strong>Fintech</strong>s” (To learn more<br />

about Ficanex and FinConecta’s joint launch<br />

of tunl 2.0 click here).<br />

The future is open and Canada is ramping<br />

up. We anticipate dramatic changes in <strong>2021</strong><br />

pushed by the FinTech sector growth and the<br />

regulatory framework. If financial institutions<br />

were contemplating digital transformation as<br />

a “nice to have”, now is a must-have shift.<br />

Bottom line is, great things are to come in<br />

Canada. A flurry of fintech activity is gaining<br />

traction, bolstering the ecosystem.This API<br />

economy opens new horizons for all types<br />

of institutions, by enabling collaboration and<br />

the co-creation of new solutions leveraging<br />

what others have available, in a robust,<br />

interconnected and integrated roadmap.<br />

As the old adage says: “If it’s not here, where;<br />

if it’s not me, who; if it’s not now, when.”<br />

About:<br />

Betty DeVita<br />

FinConecta, CBO<br />

FinConecta<br />

Betty is a global digital transformation executive with<br />

expertise in consumer financial services/payments. Her<br />

focus is on early-stage and emerging companies driving<br />

value creation, partnerships and the path to global scaling. She<br />

most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer of Digital<br />

Payments & Labs at MasterCard. She also served as President<br />

at MasterCard Canada. Prior to that she was with Citi in Latam,<br />

the US and Asia in their consumer franchise and left Citi as<br />

Chair/CEO for Citibank Canada Inc.Betty sits on the board of<br />

Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP), where she sits<br />

on the audit committee. She holds a Bachelor of Science from<br />

St John’s University, a CEO Certificate from the Wharton-<br />

KMA in South Korea and is a certified director from the<br />

Institute of Corporate Directors, University of Toronto<br />


The global stablecoin supply has exploded<br />

in <strong>2021</strong>, tripling in supply since the start of<br />

the year with market cap surpassing USD<br />

100 billion. What was once thought of as a<br />

bridge between the fiat and crypto world<br />

has increasingly become part of mainstream<br />

financial transactions with use cases ranging<br />

from access to crypto markets and a safehaven<br />

asset to a means of payment for<br />

goods and services, accessing yield in digital<br />

markets, and remittances.<br />

Stablecoins enjoy the benefits of blockchainbased<br />

assets without the volatility of<br />

traditional cryptocurrencies. The most popular<br />

stablecoins are ‘backed’ or ‘tethered’ to a fiat<br />

currency thus they achieve their ‘stability’ via<br />

fiat collateral held in reserve. These reserves<br />

are typically stored with a bank or some<br />

other third-party requiring management<br />

by a central authority, traditionally a private<br />

company. The whole principle behind the<br />

stability of this type of token is that you expect<br />

that the collateral held in reserve is equal to<br />

the stablecoin tokens that exist and that it is<br />

being held by a reliable entity.<br />

Users of stablecoins should ask themselves:<br />

What proof is there that the collateral reserves<br />

are actually there? Do they have the value that<br />

has been indicated to the market? In what<br />

jurisdiction are the reserves held and are<br />

they being held by a regulated entity? Does<br />

the entity issuing the stablecoin have the<br />

appropriate licenses and are they following<br />

appropriate regulations to operate?<br />

Stablecoin-issuing companies seek to provide<br />

an element of trust and answers to these<br />

questions by providing regular attestations<br />

that the stablecoins are fully collateralized<br />

by a reserve, often done by a third-party<br />

auditor, as well as providing proof of licenses<br />

and registration to operate in the jurisdiction<br />

in question. But why not take this another<br />

step further? Rather than a stablecoin being<br />

‘tethered’ or ‘backed’ to a fiat currency or bank<br />

deposit, why not create a stablecoin that is an<br />

actual bank deposit; a digital representation<br />

of a bank deposit?<br />

Stablecorp and VersaBank have partnered<br />

together to do just that: create a token, VCAD,<br />

that differs from the traditional stablecoin<br />

model in that it is a digital representation of<br />

a deposit at an A-rated Canadian Schedule I<br />

Bank. Schedule I banks are fully audited, well<br />

capitalized, and highly regulated by one of the<br />

world’s most respected financial regulators. In<br />

other words, you do not have to worry about<br />

the value of your stablecoin, whether it is<br />

“backed” in some offshore jurisdiction beyond<br />

Canadian (or any) regulation, or whether<br />

you can redeem it today for fiat. There is no<br />


guessing game. A VCAD is a digital, secure,<br />

transferable bank deposit receipt facilitated<br />

by the blockchain. It has all the features of a<br />

cryptocurrency but addresses the two major<br />

shortcomings of the traditional cryptocurrency<br />

market – volatility and security. For all intents<br />

and purposes, it will function as the ‘stablest<br />

of stablecoins’ offering the highest level<br />

of stability and security amongst all digital<br />

currencies in the market today.<br />

Jean Desgagne<br />

CEO<br />

Canada Stablecorp<br />

IN FOCUS<br />

About:<br />

Jean Desgagne is CEO of Canada Stablecorp. He is also a<br />

Corporate Director, Advisor, and Leader. He brings to his role<br />

deep C-suite and Board experience within large multinational<br />

financial institutions, exchanges & market infrastructures - in<br />

risk, operations, technology, finance and innovation. Current<br />

and past Board Member for regulated financial companies,<br />

government agencies, industry associations, universities and<br />

not-for-profit organizations. Advisor to several startups in the<br />

blockchain, <strong>Fintech</strong>, platform and data spaces.<br />


Today, China and the United States are<br />

competing and growing their technological<br />

capabilities in a wide array of sectors. The<br />

cutting-edge area of America and China’s<br />

technological war that’s been heating up<br />

recently is around who will dominate the<br />

blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.<br />

Although China has cracked down on<br />

cryptocurrencies, shutting down all domestic<br />

crypto exchanges and banning all ICOs,<br />

blockchain technology itself is recognized<br />

as a revolutionary development by the<br />

government. In a speech <strong>October</strong> 2019<br />

speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared<br />

blockchain would play “an important role in<br />

the next round of technological innovation<br />

and industrial transformation.” That marked<br />

the first major world leader to issue such a<br />

strong endorsement of the widely hyped – but<br />

still unproven – distributed ledger technology<br />

(DLT). (By contrast, most governments in the<br />

West have been far more cautious.)<br />

Calling for blockchain to become a focus of<br />

national innovation, President Xi’s speech<br />

detailed the ways the Chinese government<br />

would support blockchain research,<br />

development, and standardization. China’s<br />

leadership position in the global competition<br />

of central bank digital currency (CBDC) is the<br />

prime example.<br />

In April 2020, the People’s Bank of China<br />

(PBOC), China’s central bank unveiled the<br />

world’s first sovereign digital currency that is<br />

based on blockchain-like technology. (PBOC<br />

has started research and development<br />

for a digital version of the yuan, known as<br />

e-CNY, since 2014.) Since then, China has<br />

been steadily expanding its digital yuan<br />

pilot programs while also cracking down<br />

on cryptocurrencies. In July <strong>2021</strong>, the<br />

PBOC issued a white paper detailing the<br />

current workings of the digital yuan, also<br />

referred to as the e-CNY, which is the first<br />

comprehensive disclosure of its plans.<br />

The release of the white paper probably<br />

marks the near end of the testing phase,<br />

and the official launch may occur soon at<br />

the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year.<br />

As such, China is likely to be the first major<br />

economy to introduce a sovereign digital<br />

currency.<br />

The rapid development of the e-CNY is<br />

only an inevitable result of China’s robust<br />

digital economy. Even before the digital<br />

economy, mobile pay has grown rapidly<br />

in the last several years to become the<br />

dominant form of payment in China. Since<br />

2020, China has been steadily expanding<br />

its digital yuan pilot programmes, given the<br />

country’s rapid development of internet<br />


industries such as e-commerce and social<br />

network platforms that provide a myriad of<br />

application scenarios.<br />

operated cross-border payment networks,<br />

such as Swift, which the US has used to<br />

enforce sanctions.<br />

The digital yuan wallet supports several<br />

functions, including scan to pay, top-ups<br />

and money transfers. According to the white<br />

paper, as of June <strong>2021</strong>, participants have<br />

spent 34.5 billion digital yuan ($5.3 billion)<br />

in trials. Uses include paying utility, dining,<br />

transportation, shopping, and government<br />

services. The new digit yuan would allow<br />

users to spend it even without an internet<br />

connection, and it will bring convenience<br />

to foreigners, too. “Foreign residents<br />

temporarily traveling in China can open an<br />

e-CNY wallet to meet daily payment needs<br />

without opening a domestic bank account,”<br />

said the white paper.<br />

That means even foreigners traveling in<br />

China can have access to the digital yuan<br />

without a domestic bank account. This is a<br />

particular benefit given the difficulties that<br />

foreigners have had using mobile payment<br />

apps like WeChat Pay (of Tencent) and<br />

AliPay (of Alibaba), because those apps<br />

must be linked to banking accounts.<br />

But it’s likely a long march for the e-CNY.<br />

“Though technically ready for cross-border<br />

use, e-CNY is still designed mainly for<br />

domestic retail payments at present.” the<br />

paper reads. For the e-CNY, its real test only<br />

starts after its upcoming official launch.<br />

About:<br />

Winston Ma<br />

Co-Founder and Managing Partner<br />

of CloudTree Ventures and an adjunct<br />

professor at the NYU School of Law<br />

Winston Ma, CFA & Esq. (@Winston_W_Ma), is a Co-Founder<br />

and Managing Partner of CloudTree Ventures and an adjunct<br />

professor at the NYU School of Law. He is the former<br />

managing director and head of the North America office at<br />

China Investment Corporation (CIC), and author of Investing<br />

in China, China’s Mobile Economy, The Hunt for Unicorns,<br />

and The Digital War.<br />

IN FOCUS<br />

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that in its white<br />

paper, the PBOC cited the rapid growth in<br />

cryptocurrencies as a driver for research<br />

and development of the e-CNY and said that<br />

“cryptocurrencies are mostly speculative<br />

instruments, and therefore pose potential<br />

risks to financial security and social stability”.<br />

This is the first time that the PBOC, in an<br />

official document, linked its sovereign digital<br />

currency issuance with cryptocurrencies’<br />

potential challenges to the international<br />

monetary system. According to the PBOC,<br />

“cryptocurrencies’ lack of intrinsic value,<br />

acute price fluctuations, low trading<br />

efficiencies and huge energy consumption<br />

make them unfit for use in daily economic<br />

activities”.<br />

Of course, the profound impact of e-CNY is<br />

likely to be more than China’s retail markets.<br />

Many believe the e-CNY will bolster Chinese<br />

currency’s global status and eventually<br />

challenge the US Dollar’s preeminent<br />

position as the world’s reserve currency. For<br />

example, the e-Yuan could bypass western-<br />


In a landscape where cryptocurrencies and<br />

blockchain technologies are experiencing<br />

confusion and volatile action, TAAL is focused<br />

on bringing stability to the chaos.<br />

Our company is a pure play on the value and<br />

enormous potential of BitcoinSV (BSV) to<br />

reshape how global commerce functions. As<br />

blockchain usage accelerates, so too does<br />

the understanding of what is needed to make<br />

its utility value impactful — and its fluctuations<br />

far more steady. Scale and reliability on the<br />

network are essential to driving adoption and<br />

eliminating skepticism about blockchain’s<br />

long-term viability.<br />

We chose to the BSV network because it has<br />

the world’s lowest blockchain transaction<br />

costs. And its lead in that area is simply<br />

untouchable.<br />

In April <strong>2021</strong>, the average cost per BSV<br />

transaction was $0.0062, which was<br />

exponentially less than the Ethereum ($17.21)<br />

or Bitcoin ($30.79) networks for the same<br />

period. BSV is also designed to meet the<br />

massive demand from enterprises and<br />

governments for a secure blockchain solution.<br />

That attribute aligns with TAAL’s strategy<br />

to offer tools and services that help people<br />

and organizations operate commercial<br />

applications on bitcoin. As the global leader<br />

in BSV transaction processing, TAAL is poised<br />

to capitalize tremendously as more and more<br />

organizations migrate to the network because<br />

of its very low fees and massive ability to scale.<br />

Already, we have entered into a phase of rapid<br />

growth. With our operations broadening, we<br />

have added talent and ingenuity to our team<br />

while also rolling out new products that help<br />

the world adapt to the era of blockchain.<br />

Trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange<br />

(ticker symbol: TAAL | OTC:TAALF), our<br />

company’s public status ensures customers<br />

that we are compliant with regulations. In our<br />

financial report for the first quarter of <strong>2021</strong>, we<br />

noted several recent successes, including:<br />

• On March 13, TAAL processed a world<br />

record 638 MB block on the BSV network<br />

• As of May 25, TAAL had approximately<br />

84,000 BSV in its treasury<br />

• Based on current network conditions,<br />

TAAL anticipates winning at least 30<br />

blocks per day.<br />

Even better, the TAAL stock price has<br />

experienced phenomenal growth during the<br />

past 12 months, advancing from a 52-week<br />

low of $1.42 to as high as $8.75 in the early<br />

weeks of <strong>2021</strong>. The company’s market cap is<br />

at approximately $165 million.<br />


We expect that to rise as we continue to<br />

deliver value-added services, providing<br />

highly scalable blockchain infrastructure and<br />

transaction processing to support businesses<br />

building solutions and applications on the<br />

BSV platform. As our client base increases<br />

and as BSV’s value lifts off, we anticipate<br />

TAAL’s products and services will be viewed<br />

as an important part of digital infrastructure<br />

for many businesses.<br />

What we know for certain is blockchain is only<br />

at the beginning of showing what it can do.<br />

Not only is it fascinating to be operating in this<br />

sector, but it is also inspiring to know we are<br />

working with the solution that will so positively<br />

impact the world for years to come.<br />

Chris Naprawa<br />

TAAL President<br />

TAAL<br />

IN FOCUS<br />


During this year’s investment period, The<br />

Holt Xchange hyper-targeted 7 main<br />

verticals that deemed most promising:<br />

digital identity, regtech, insurtechs,<br />

cybersecurity, digital lending, wealthtech,<br />

and digital assets. As a result, this led to<br />

better targeted candidates and as such,<br />

a greater number of applications were a<br />

better fit for our investment program and<br />

Holt Ecosystem.<br />

As a way to engage with fintechs in these<br />

verticals, Holt hosted the ‘Holt Invests’<br />

Webinar Series featuring special Holt<br />

Advisors and alumni portfolio companies<br />

who are experts in this space. As such, we<br />

were able to engage in some engaging<br />

conversations as they shared firsthand<br />

insights on the current trend and<br />

opportunities.<br />

The webinars consisted of the following:<br />

1. The I AM Webinar explored trends and<br />

opportunities found within RegTech<br />

& Digital ID industries. It’s clear that<br />

compliance costs are surging and<br />

expected to continue this trend. For<br />

instance in 2018, businesses spent $1.3<br />

million on average to meet compliance<br />

requirements and were expected to<br />

put in an additional $1.8 million (IAAP).<br />

In Europe, GDPR played a large role<br />

in compliance related cost increases<br />

for business, with more expected to<br />

come. Given Canada is moving forward<br />

nationally with programs like Bill C and<br />

provincially, such as Quebec’s Bill 64,<br />

we expect compliance costs in Canada<br />

to further continue. Additionally, FAbout<br />

25% of all financial services applications<br />

are abandoned due to friction in the<br />

Know Your Customer (KYC) process, in<br />

part because current Identity Verification<br />

(IDV) procedures fail users. Need for<br />

consumers to support. To better prepare<br />

for these proposed legislative changes<br />

(ie. among many others), as well as<br />

support KYC / AML process, this year we<br />

invested in following regtech companies:<br />

a) RequirementOne requirementone.<br />

com: Supercharge compliance power<br />

users and their ecosystem as Apple<br />

did for the mobile phone user.<br />

b) DigiPli digipli.com: We’re redefining<br />

how financial institutions onboard<br />

customers by bundling a SaaS-based,<br />

end-to-end onboarding tool with<br />

ongoing support from AML experts.<br />

2. The I BORROW Webinar explored the<br />

opportunities and trends found within<br />

Digital Lending space. There continues to<br />


e an emergence of alternative lending<br />

options, pushing lenders to compete<br />

on price, demographics and ancillary<br />

product offerings. Additionally new<br />

offerings such as revenue base financing,<br />

and buy-now-pay-later, are received<br />

with greater comfort by investors and<br />

customers alike. As such, while looking<br />

into alternative financing options and<br />

recognizing the lack of options for first<br />

time buyers in a surging real-estate<br />

market, we invested in a new financing<br />

product of:<br />

a) FirstStep Financial firststepfinancial.<br />

ca: Opening the Door to Home<br />

Ownership. Digital Lending<br />

3. The I EARN Webinar explored the<br />

opportunities and trends within Digital<br />

Assets, Investment & WealthTech<br />

industries. For instance, A survey<br />

conducted by the Alternative Investment<br />

Management Association and SS&C<br />

found that out of 100 global hedge<br />

fund managers, 69% of the market<br />

leaders use alternative data to boost<br />

performance. Also considering property<br />

earning assets, the real estate market<br />

showed no sign of slowing, and real<br />

estate sector funding appeared to be<br />

making a comeback early in the year,<br />

with VC funding to proptech companies<br />

growing 29% to $2.4B for Q1’21. Given<br />

the need for better solutions in trading<br />

and real-estate, we invested in:<br />

a) CityFalcon cityfalcon.com: Using Big<br />

Data, AI, and NLP, we democratize<br />

access to financial content, personalize<br />

it, add analytics, and deliver it in realtime<br />

in 50+ languages. Capital Markets<br />

b) Reitium reitium.com: REITIUM is a<br />

blockchain real estate marketplace<br />

where everyone can be an investor<br />

starting with $100. PropTech<br />

over $6 billion in funding. The number<br />

of deals (114) increased by 50%, with 18<br />

mega-rounds accounting for over 75%<br />

of the total funding. From a banking<br />

side, according to Accenture, over<br />

50% of banking tasks are still manually<br />

performed. By using technology, banks<br />

in North America can save more than<br />

70 billion USD through 2025. Not only<br />

can technology improve the bottom line<br />

for banks, but we are witnessing better<br />

customer centric designs to better tailor<br />

and serve niche demographics and<br />

communities. As such, we invested in the<br />

following payment and niche banking<br />

companies:<br />

a) Payzel payzel.com: Forged out of<br />

frustration we are building the GE<br />

Capital for Innovative Industries like<br />

cannabis. Digital Payments<br />

b) Phaze phaze.io: A prepaid payouts<br />

API for fintechs. Digital Payments<br />

c) PeopleHedge peoplehedge.<br />

com(MAYBE)<br />

The Holt Xchange has just invested in 8 of<br />

the best fintechs that build solutions for our<br />

society’s greatest challenges. They kickedoff<br />

their Growth Acceleration Program and<br />

are already in the process of working closely<br />

with the portfolio companies and leveraging<br />

their global advisory network to help drive<br />

their business growth.<br />

I am very excited to work<br />

with this year’s portfolio<br />

investments, complemented<br />

with 500+ Advisors, and to have<br />

the backing of key partners<br />

like Fairstone, RBC, MNP, BDC<br />

and Montreal International.<br />

stated founding managing<br />

partner Jan Arp.<br />

IN FOCUS<br />

4. While not a webinar in itself, the theme<br />

of I TRANSFER emerged throughout<br />

the series, focusing on payments and<br />

banking. Payments remains the largest<br />

attraction for VC investment, whereby<br />

funding for payments companies tripled<br />

compared to the previous quarter, with<br />

If you are interested to learn more about us,<br />

or meet our portfolio companies or Advisors<br />

highly suggest you attend our <strong>Fintech</strong> Show<br />

<strong>2021</strong> either remotely or in-person: <strong>Fintech</strong><br />

Show <strong>2021</strong>.<br />


What’s Next for the Holt Xchange? The<br />

Holt <strong>Fintech</strong> Show<br />

• When: Tue Nov 16, <strong>2021</strong><br />

• Where: Rialto Theatre (Montreal, QC)<br />

• Agenda:<br />

• 6 PM - 7 PM: Doors Open<br />

• 7 PM - 8:15 PM: <strong>Fintech</strong> Show<br />

• 8:15 PM - 9:00 PM : After Show<br />

• Tickets to register: https://bit.ly/3tdicJA<br />

The world-famous Holt <strong>Fintech</strong> Show, in<br />

which our Holt <strong>2021</strong> Portfolio Companies will<br />

pitch their progress to date and share their<br />

next key milestones that the audience may<br />

want to get involved with, such as investing,<br />

partnerships, new clients, mentoring, etc.<br />

This is a great networking opportunity for<br />

anyone looking to get more involved in the<br />

fintech ecosystem.<br />

* If you can’t make the in-person event,<br />

virtual options are available.<br />

Join the LinkedIn event page here and<br />

remember to register a spot as spaces are<br />

limited!<br />

About:<br />

Jan Arp<br />

Managing Partner<br />

Holt Accelerator<br />

Jan is a fintech evangelist, passionate about improving society<br />

through finance and technology. He founded Form<strong>Fintech</strong> that<br />

supports or has formed over 100 fintech startups. Prior to this,<br />

he worked as Head of Finance at District 3, helping 20 early<br />

stage teams raise more than $15 million, and was Head of<br />

Finance at bus.com, helping it from incorporation to Series A.<br />

He also worked as a consultant for billion dollar infrastructure<br />

projects on behalf of banks. He holds an MBA from HEC, a<br />

finance degree from Ottawa University, and passed II levels of<br />

the CFA.<br />


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o<br />

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o<br />

3 Day Virtual Conference<br />

500+ Attendees<br />

100+ Speakers<br />

60+ Sessions<br />

Covid-19 Fundraiser<br />

Live Pitching Finals<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

24 Event Sponsors<br />

50+ Media and Community Partners<br />

Launches, Demos + Innovation<br />

Partnerships + Investment<br />

Diversity + Inclusiveness<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

o<br />

DeFi, Web 3.0, NFTs, CBDCs<br />

Digital assets, Open Finance<br />

IPO Innovations, Stakeholder Capitalism<br />

Digital Identity, Data Privacy<br />

Financial Health / PFM<br />

Sustainable Finance<br />

Leadership, Talent Sourcing<br />

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage<br />

to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

2 nd ANNUAL <strong>2021</strong> FINTECH DRAFT<br />

Inspired by sports league drafts, the inaugural 2020 <strong>Fintech</strong> Draft Pitching & Demo competitions<br />

were held virtually on May 12-13, <strong>2021</strong> where 6 pitching finalists competed for exposure,<br />

prizes, introductions to investors, media and prospective buyers and a complimentary one<br />

(1) year industry partnership with <strong>NCFA</strong>. The annual program is sponsored by <strong>NCFA</strong> and open<br />

to Canadian and international companies in the fintech sector and designed to identify and<br />

feature emerging and high growth fintech startups and scaleups. Finalists were evaluated<br />

on a variety of criteria such as strategy, traction, product/market fit and need, differentiation,<br />

innovation, x-factor and ability to answer judges’ questions.<br />

Judges:<br />

Praveen K. Varshney<br />

Director<br />

Varshney Capital Corp.<br />

Som Seif<br />

CEO<br />

Purpose Financial/Purpose Investments<br />

Dave Unsworth<br />

Co-Founder and General Partner<br />

Information Venture Partners<br />

David Nault<br />

Co-Founder & General Partner<br />

Luge Capital<br />

Missed FFCON21 Breaking Barriers? Checkout the Session Recordings -> here<br />


Isaque Eberhardt<br />

CEO & Co-founder<br />

Location: Brasília Vertical: Digital Banking / Analytics / Infrastructure<br />

Year Founded: 2019 Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: agryo.com<br />

Agryo is a global risk intelligence provider that enables financial institutions to assess and<br />

manage financial risks in the crop field level for underwriting agriculture insurance, loans, and<br />

trade finance globally; as well as meet sustainability goals. They are a US C Corp enterprise<br />

SaaS provider, a mix of rating provider like Equifax/Moodys + infrastructure provider like Plaid<br />

for the financial and environmental services in the ag space.<br />


Michael Sikorksy<br />

CEO<br />

Location: Calgary and San Diego Vertical: Wealthtech / Alternative Investing<br />

Year Founded: <strong>2021</strong> Employees: 15 – 50<br />

Website: copiawealthstudios.com<br />

Copia Wealth Studios is a financial intelligence platform that uses modern design and machine<br />

learning to bring all your investments (including Alternatives and Illiquid assets) into one elegant<br />

view.<br />


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aaannnnddds Illlllllliiiiquuiiiiddds aaasssessseevettssse) iiiiiinnnnnnettttthmoooo o oooo onnnnnneeeeeeeou eeeeeeoullleeeeeeouggaataannnnnnettttthm vviiiiiieeeeeeouw.<br />

Prrreeeeseeeerrrveeee Grrrow Vaalidaateeee<br />

wwwwwwwwwwww...cnnccctooopiiel ciiaanlinaawwwwee cgteeaanlinaalplealllntttthhdsssssnttttuanddiiel ciitooodsssss...cnnccctooomom<br />



NAVA<br />



Problem:<br />

Credit unions have gotten used to baby<br />

boomers never moving their funds and have<br />

failed to increase technological innovation. As<br />

the baby boomers age, they leave over $30<br />

trillion dollars to the younger generations. This<br />

next generation isn’t like the baby boomers.<br />

They switch from financial institutions based<br />

on technological innovation and social impact.<br />

Some big banks anticipated the generational<br />

wealth transfer and did a better job over the<br />

years to try and innovate. Credit unions, however,<br />

got left behind and continue losing members<br />

daily to the big banks. We have interviewed<br />

credit union executives and they agreed that it<br />

is difficult to recruit tech talent to build solutions<br />

in-house and create a sticky ecosystem to help<br />

their members achieve financial wellness.<br />

Core Benefits:<br />

At Nava Ventures, we are going to offer an<br />

ecosystem of sticky socially responsible<br />

products that will help both credit unions<br />

and their members. These products include<br />

BI tools, rewards, money transfer, loans,<br />

and investments. meetNavi is our market<br />

entry product for credit unions. It empowers<br />

members to make socially responsible financial<br />

decisions. Credit union executives have told<br />

us that they see deep value in meetNavi and<br />

can see it helping with their member financial<br />

wellness, retention, engagement, and help<br />

increase liquidity. meetNavi is different from<br />

competitors because it uses machine learning<br />

to provide personalized guidance to credit<br />

union members. Another key component of our<br />

app is that it is social and invites member-tomember<br />

collaboration.<br />

We have user tested meetNavi at every stage<br />

and have some remarkable quotes to show for<br />

it:<br />

– “Other banks don’t have anything like this.”<br />

– “I love this! It feels like you’re using Fitbit. I would<br />

definitely use it. Is it ready to use right now?”<br />

Ideal Customers:<br />

We follow a B2B2C model. Our ideal customers<br />

are financial Institutions (Credit Unions/Banks).<br />

Milestones:<br />

• 2 Partnered with FrontFundr to launch<br />

crowdfunding round (see our website for<br />

details)<br />

• 2 LOIs from credit unions in BC<br />

• Winners of Startup Canada SDG Pitch<br />

Competition 2020 for Poverty Reduction<br />

• Winners of BoomStartup Global Pitch<br />

Competition for Finance<br />

• Top 24 Finalist at the OKGN Summit<br />

• SFU Venture Connection Coast<br />

Capital Venture Prize Finalists<br />

(Digital Platform Category)<br />





Problem:<br />

The small business lending process at<br />

most institutes today is highly manual and<br />

conducted across a multitude of unintegrated<br />

systems. We believe that a shift is happening<br />

in the small business lending and underwriting<br />

decisions; the focus is moving from historical<br />

to real-time predictive data. Currently,<br />

accounting, and financial data are locked<br />

in silos, creating workflow inefficiencies,<br />

and hindering digital transformation.<br />

Core Benefits:<br />

We are the only provider that offers<br />

critical accounting and financial data in<br />

both historical and predictive formats. We<br />

further cross-validate accounting data with<br />

multiple bank accounts data that a business<br />

may be using to help with the authenticity<br />

of the data or detect fraud. We believe<br />

that high-frequency small amount funding<br />

decisions can be fully automated using<br />

real-time business data. Our technology<br />

is helping banks and lenders solve<br />

complicated problems so that they are not<br />

flying blind. Lenders can develop targeted<br />

marketing campaigns; for example, funding<br />

applications are rejected because small<br />

businesses could not qualify for the loan,<br />

but if the connection is continuous, the<br />

lender may notice when that business may<br />

be eligible and come up with a product offer.<br />

Every accounting data provider is unique<br />

and offers data through API in a special<br />

format. It is a daunting task to understand<br />

and implement these APIs into a decision<br />

engine in any normalized & secure way. This<br />

is where ForwardAI’s API shines; our API<br />

provides context-rich data(information about<br />

recurring invoices or bills, whether paying<br />

bills or receiving payments on time, etc.) in<br />

a standardized format regardless of who the<br />

endpoint is. Once our API is implemented,<br />

lenders can download accounting data from<br />

many accounting platforms in a simple,<br />

straightforward way without worrying about<br />

various formats.<br />

Ideal Customers:<br />

Businesses (B2B)<br />

Milestones:<br />

• The company is in active discussions<br />

with many possible clients to use its<br />

technology and recently signed up a<br />

lender in Australia as its first customer.<br />

• We are currently outreaching to<br />

alternative lenders in UK, Australia, New<br />

Zealand, the USA, and Canada while<br />

working on our SOC2 audit compliance.<br />


ORCHID B<br />


Problem:<br />

Entrepreneurs require the services of up to<br />

20 different back-office providers to manage<br />

banking, payroll, invoices, reconciliations,<br />

accounting adjustments, tax, and statutory<br />

returns. That’s over 200 processes that need<br />

handling every year, in separate systems,<br />

that don’t talk to each other. A sole-proprietor<br />

spends up to 25,000 dollars a year in back<br />

office fees. Including their billable time, that<br />

can mean 65,000 dollars every year, and<br />

even more for SMEs.<br />

Core Benefits:<br />

We’re launching with a payments and<br />

cards business in Canada with invoice and<br />

expense management: the heart of Orchid<br />

B. Onboarding in just 10 minutes with cards<br />

available immediately on mobile. Next,<br />

we will scale Orchid B by building out it’s<br />

brain; payroll, accounting, tax, and statutory<br />

reporting. By year 5, Orchid B will be running<br />

the entire back-office for small businesses<br />

with currency wallets, insurance, and<br />

business registration, all in one. Our frontend<br />

interface will provide the best possible<br />

experience. By integrating with specialised<br />

“back-end” partners, we will not reinvent<br />

the wheel. One value chain for all the<br />

entrepreneur’s back-office data. We will save<br />

our clients a lot of time and money.<br />

Ideal Customers:<br />

Businesses to Business (B2B)<br />

Milestones:<br />

• Version 1 of a high fidelity front-end<br />

prototype is ready<br />


PHAZE<br />



Problem:<br />

93% of the world’s money is non-physical,<br />

yet less than 1% of it is made instantly and<br />

globally spendable to account holders from<br />

neobanks, wallets and fintech companies.<br />

Many companies seek to solve this problem<br />

by issuing prepaid Visa debit cards.<br />

Unfortunately, they are only available to<br />

users in select countries and require a lot of<br />

time and money to go live on a per-country<br />

basis.<br />

Core Benefits:<br />

We give our customers superpowers so<br />

with just a few lines of code, companies can<br />

go live in hours not months, globally, in a<br />

compliant way.<br />

Ideal Customers:<br />

Businesses (B2B2C)<br />

Milestones:<br />

• Hit $16,500 in monthly revenue<br />


FFCON 2020-21<br />



Migrations.ml helps asset managers increase<br />

their returns and avoid losses in the bond<br />

market. Using machine learning, it enables<br />

researchers, traders and portfolio managers<br />

to analyze more bonds, make decisions faster<br />

and get more precise analytics.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2019<br />

Vertical: Capital markets / Decentralized<br />

Finance / Crowdfinance<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: migrations.ml<br />

ENGAIZ has developed an AI-Driven SaaS<br />

platform to help enterprises mitigate Third-<br />

Party Risks such as Cybersecurity, Data<br />

Privacy, Regulatory through an effective<br />

Governance and Engagement framework.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2019<br />

Vertical: Third-Party Governance & Risk<br />

Management<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: engaiz.com<br />

Finally is a DIY Financial Planning Simulator<br />

that allows users to create a free financial<br />

plan in less than 20 minutes, and understand<br />

the products and providers that can help you<br />

reach your goals faster.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2019<br />

Vertical: Personal Finance<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: myfinally.com<br />

Kalsa is an app where friends can save money<br />

together for things that connect them<br />

Railz provides a single API that integrates<br />

with the majority of accounting software<br />

service providers used by small businesses.<br />

They provide quick, low cost and direct<br />

access to both existing and new customers’<br />

accounting software systems and are solving<br />

the traditional challenges the Small Business<br />

lending market has seen for years with<br />

respect to time, cost and risk.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2020<br />

Vertical: Lending / Borrowing<br />

Employees: 11 – 50<br />

Website: Railz.ai<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2020<br />

Vertical: Personal Finance<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: Kalsa.co<br />


knnct’s robust P2P platform for brokers &<br />

lenders lets them get mortgage deals done<br />

quicker and easier. Brokers create a digital<br />

mortgage application, post their deal and then<br />

knnct filters & matches the deal with lenders<br />

whose lending criteria matches the deal &<br />

have access to all compliance docs.<br />

Their mission is to help people take charge<br />

of managing their personal finances to help<br />

them achieve financial well-being. Kaira’s<br />

Financial Wellness Coach comes in the<br />

form of a mobile, it gives personalized and<br />

proactive advice to relevant events with the<br />

aim of achieving Financial Wellness.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Lending / Borrowing<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: knnct.com<br />

Location: Boucherville, QC<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Personal Finance<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: Kaira.ai<br />


Lagoon empowers investment professionals<br />

in capital markets with data science tools,<br />

without the need to write a single line of<br />

code. The platform places the human at the<br />

center (HITL), allowing the user to customize<br />

and control metrics to generate explainable,<br />

data- driven insights.<br />

Location: Tel Aviv<br />

Year Founded: 2020<br />

Vertical: Digital Banking / Analytics /<br />

Infrastructure<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: www.data-lagoon.com/<br />

The challenge for group insurers is<br />

administrative complexity. Sentro tailor<br />

plans for every customer. But they try do<br />

it with legacy technology that holds them<br />

back. Sentro lets group insurers offer their<br />

customers and partners choice and flexibility,<br />

in a highly efficient way.<br />

Location: Auckland, NZ<br />

Year Founded: 2019<br />

Vertical: Insurtech<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: Sentro.co<br />

Established in 2018, Bitvo is a cryptocurrency<br />

exchange that facilitates buying, selling and<br />

trading cryptocurrencies through its bestin-class<br />

website and mobile applications.<br />

Bitvo offers seven different cryptocurrencies,<br />

including Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Bitcoin Cash,<br />

Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum Classic and QCAD,<br />

Canada’s first stable coin designed for the<br />

mass market.<br />

Location: Toronto, Calgary<br />

Year Founded: 2017<br />

Vertical: Blockchain / Digital Assets /<br />

Cryptocurrency<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: bitvo.com<br />

Moves is a financial services platform for<br />

independent “gig” workers. Overlooked or<br />

ineligible for products offered by traditional<br />

financial institutions, this rapidly expanding<br />

demographic needs modern financial products<br />

designed to support them on their paths to<br />

career fulfillment.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2020<br />

Vertical: Personal Finance<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: Movesfinancial.com<br />


Finnovate.io has established itself as a<br />

trusted software development partner in the<br />

Canadian <strong>Fintech</strong> ecosystem through a wide<br />

variety of leading edge projects. Working<br />

with companies of all sizes, from start-ups<br />

to Canada’s largest banks, Finnovate.io has<br />

repeatedly demonstrated an ability to provide<br />

technical support and expertise in all stages<br />

of product development.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2017<br />

Vertical: Software Development for <strong>Fintech</strong><br />

Employees: 11 – 50<br />

Website: finnovate.io<br />

NuMoola is the industry’s first familyfocused<br />

consumer banking app that uses<br />

real money, gamified education, and the<br />

family network to teach kids (and parents!)<br />

about managing money, missions, and<br />

budgets. The NuMoola App focuses on<br />

family togetherness by encouraging family<br />

goal setting and initiating conversations<br />

about money management.<br />

Location: Pittsburgh, PA<br />

Year Founded: 2017<br />

Vertical: EdTech<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: numoola.com<br />

Fidectus automates post-deal processing<br />

in energy trading. They connect market<br />

participants and optimize their working<br />

capital. Their clients optimize their working<br />

capital while benefiting of highest resilience<br />

and ROI.<br />

Location: Zürich<br />

Year Founded: 2020<br />

Vertical: Finance / Accounting<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: Fidectus.com<br />

Powered by unbiased AI data aggregation,<br />

Arbor is a social spending platform that educates<br />

consumers on the impact of their spending.<br />

Arbor empowers everyday consumers like<br />

you, to make informed decisions about where<br />

and how you spend your hard-earned dollars.<br />

Location: Calgary<br />

Year Founded: 2019<br />

Vertical: Digital Banking / Analytics /<br />

Infrastructure<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: yourarbor.com<br />

Balance offers an insured institutional grade<br />

digital asset custody and wallet management<br />

solution to crypto exchanges, OTC desks, and<br />

funds. Assets are kept secure in geographically<br />

distributed offline vaults on dedicated, military<br />

grade hardware.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2017<br />

Vertical: Blockchain / Digital Assets /<br />

Cryptocurrency<br />

Employees: 1- 10<br />

Website: balance.ca<br />

Green Apple Pay is a digital fundraising<br />

platform for organizations like charities,<br />

nonprofits and other community based<br />

groups to generate new recurring revenues<br />

from spare change and cashback rewards<br />

from their stakeholders’ everyday spending. It<br />

works like a rewards program for organizations<br />

that fundraise.<br />

Location: Burlington, ON<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Payments / Transfers / Rewards<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: greenapplepay.com<br />


Senso embeds predictive revenue<br />

intelligence into lender operations to optimize<br />

loan portfolio retention, acquisition, and<br />

product cross sell. Senso’s suite of solutions<br />

helps sales, marketing, and customer success<br />

teams in the financial services industry<br />

improve customer experience, retention, and<br />

profitability.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2017<br />

Vertical: Digital Banking / Analytics /<br />

Infrastructure<br />

Employees: 11 – 50<br />

Website: senso.ai<br />

SolidBlock makes property work for everyone.<br />

We are building a new asset class based on real<br />

estate, combining the stability of the property<br />

market growth and efficiency of blockchain-based<br />

financial products. SolidBlock creates tradable<br />

digital assets backed by real estate that grant<br />

investors rights to revenue, dividends, or interest<br />

and allow them to benefit from the growth of their<br />

property as well as trade their assets at any time.<br />

Location: Tel Aviv<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Real Estate<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: SolidBlock.co<br />


Benefi is a fintech platform that is disrupting<br />

the pay-day loan and predatory lending<br />

market. We leverage AI and a unique<br />

employee benefit channel to level the playing<br />

field and serve underserved segments in the<br />

$548 billion Canadian lending market with<br />

affordable credit and financial literacy.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2020<br />

Vertical: Lending / Borrowing<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: Benefi.ca<br />

WALO’s mission is to ensure the next generation’s<br />

financial wellbeing through a gamified financial<br />

literacy platform. The WALO app integrates with<br />

parents’ & their tweens/teens bank accounts and<br />

teaches youngsters how to become financially<br />

responsible. Our beta is available in the App<br />

Store and Google Play.<br />

Location: Quebec City<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Personal Finance<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: walo.app<br />

We make the world smarter by connecting<br />

existing infrastructure to cutting edge internet<br />

of things technology and modern payment<br />

solutions in a secure, scalable, and seamless<br />

way.<br />

Location: Stockholm, Sweden<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Digital Banking / Analytics /<br />

Infrastructure<br />

Employees: 11 – 50<br />

Website: Trust Anchor Group<br />

FundMore is focused on providing a simpler<br />

mortgage experience for Canadians by being<br />

the leader in mortgage process automation. Our<br />

mission to provide a completely underwritten<br />

mortgage decision in 60 seconds.<br />

Location: Ottawa<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Lending / Borrowing<br />

Employees: 11 – 50<br />

Website: FundMore.ai<br />


MazumaGo is a lean structured, fast-growing<br />

<strong>Fintech</strong> start-up that enables businesses to<br />

move away from cheques by giving them a<br />

simple solution to send and receive no limit<br />

payments for a flat fee. With MazumaGo,<br />

businesses can collect money from<br />

customers, pay suppliers, set-up recurring<br />

transactions and move money between<br />

internal accounts at different banks – all in<br />

one dashboard. The company was founded<br />

by a group of three technical co-founders<br />

based out of Victoria, B.C., who built the<br />

software entirely in-house. Since launching<br />

the software in September 2019, MazumaGo<br />

has processed a total transaction volume of<br />

$11.2 million with over 30 active customers.<br />

Cyclebit empowers retailers to take advantage<br />

of new payment offerings, devices, and user<br />

knowledge in order to provide a superior,<br />

more engaging payments experience. We<br />

provide simple, affordable and robust tools for<br />

retailers to accept digital currencies, credit/<br />

debit and cash transactions for in-store, online<br />

and on-the-go purchases.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Blockchain / Digital Assets /<br />

Cryptocurrency<br />

Employees: 11 – 50<br />

Website: cyclebit.io<br />

Location: Victoria, BC, Canada<br />

Year Founded: 2018<br />

Vertical: Finance / Accounting<br />

Employees: 1 – 10<br />

Website: MazumaGo<br />

The Digital Economy is worth 3+ trillion<br />

dollars today, and yet, the majority of small<br />

businesses in this space don’t have access<br />

to growth capital because they don’t have<br />

tangible assets to collateralize. Corl has<br />

developed a financing platform that leverages<br />

data, automation, and machine learning to<br />

offer revenue-sharing financing to small<br />

businesses. Using 10,000+ data points on a<br />

business, we are able to analyze businesses<br />

in under 24 hours, mitigate risk through our<br />

proprietary technology and product, and<br />

capture market share in this new asset class<br />

by earning a % of a business’ monthly gross<br />

revenue in exchange for capital.<br />

Location: Toronto<br />

Year Founded: 2017<br />

Vertical: Capital markets / Decentralized<br />

Finance / Crowdfinance<br />

Employees: 1- 10<br />

Website: corl.io<br />


Thanks to our valued industry partners, innovators and leaders<br />

The National Crowdfunding & <strong>Fintech</strong> Association of Canada is grateful to and<br />

recognizes the following industry partners/sponsors for their support and commitment<br />

to <strong>NCFA</strong> Canada’s mandate to develop Canada into a world class fintech, blockchain,<br />

P2P, crowdfunding, alternative, innovative and digital finance centre by providing<br />

education and research, advocacy and networking opportunities for members in<br />

the rapidly evolving <strong>Fintech</strong> & Funding industry. Our partners are industry builders<br />

who have provided a significant level of service and/or contribution towards the<br />

sustainability and growth of <strong>NCFA</strong> Canada and the Canadian Alternative Finance and<br />

<strong>Fintech</strong> sectors. Please support our network of industry partners/sponsors and ecosystem<br />

supporters by engaging directly with their companies to demo, buy, support,<br />

and promote their collection of high quality products and services.<br />


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