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New research surveys competitive intensity in Canada’s banking and payments sector (BETAKIT)

“The pace of innovation in the regulatory guardrails of Canada’s banking and payments sector has not been promising,” writes Vass Bednar and Keldon Bester.

Canada has long been on the cusp of an open banking regime and the modernization of Canada’s payments infrastructure has lagged behind a number of the country’s international peers. Wealthsimple co-founder and CEO Michael Katchen said this about the research: “now is the time to enable competition and build more affordable financial services.”

Crypto Darling Helium Promised A ‘People’s Network.’ Instead, Its Executives Got Rich. (FORBES)

Davis is one of thousands of people who bought into Helium’s promise, together spending an approximate $500 million on hotspots they believed would pay steady dividends. But so far, citizens of the People’s Network have seen vanishingly small crypto rewards. After waiting more than six months for her $500 hotspot to arrive at her home in Houston, Davis has mined a single token in three months — about $5.

“I could have used my money elsewhere and actually gained some income,” said the 52-year-old real estate agent, “not lose it after I pay my electricity bill.”

RBCx and RBC Ventures merge (BETAKIT)

In a not entirely unexpected move, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced the merger of RBCx and RBC Ventures. The news formalizes the merger following the announcement in April that RBCx head Sid Paquette would lead both groups.

RBCx is the tech banking and innovation arm of Canada’s largest bank, while Ventures builds, acquires, invests, or partners with technology platforms. Moving ahead, the new entity will operate as RBCx.

Klarna to make second round of job cuts (SIFTED)

The company’s chief operating officer, Camilla Giesecke, announced that the organisation needed to make further cuts to some of its departments “to reflect the more focused nature of today’s Klarna”. The message was sent to around 500 Klarna employees, across three departments including IT and recruiting, according to SvD.

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Coinsquare to acquire CoinSmart as consolidation of Canadian crypto traders continues (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based cryptocurrency startup Coinsquare has entered into an agreement to purchase CoinSmart, creating what it claims will be one of Canada’s largest crypto asset trading platforms.

Meanwhile, spatial analytics startup Cognitive 3D has closed $2.5 million in seed funding as fellow Vancouver company TerraZero—a metaverse firm owned by Netcoins parent Bigg Digital Assets—plans to go public on the TSXV via RTO.

Kraken’s Powell steps down, incoming CEO says culture will not change (FORTUNE)

The shake-up is significant as Powell has been an influential figure in the crypto scene since Bitcoin’s early days, growing Kraken from a small startup to a major exchange with a reputation for product innovation. But while a popular figure in crypto circles, Powell has also become a figure of controversy due to his unconventional positions on topics like diversity, abortion, and vaccines.

Startup syllabus: how Dal Innovates embraced innovation education in Atlantic Canada (BETAKIT)

Halifax’s Dalhousie University (“Dal”), through its award-winning program Dal Innovates, is working to provide this education with multiple programs that encourage and support academics considering or otherwise joining the innovation economy.

SMB-focused Pie Insurance raises $315M Series D (TECHCRUNCH)

The financing more than doubles Pie’s total capital raised since its 2017 inception to over $615 million. The company claims that it is the largest funding round for any U.S.-based P&C (Property & Casualty) insurtech company this year.

DealMaker takes over FundAmerica book of business from Prime Trust (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based capital-raising platform DealMaker has taken over the book of business of crowdfunding platform FundAmerica from its parent company Prime Trust, doubling the startup’s client base and solidifying its position in the US.

Meanwhile, fellow Toronto startup FrontFundr, which itself offers a crowdfunding platform, has launched its own fundraising campaign after seeing record growth amid the market downturn.

SEC Claims All of Ethereum Falls Under US Jurisdiction (DECRYPT)

When the SEC filed a federal lawsuit Monday against crypto influencer Ian Balina for his failure to register a cryptocurrency as a security before launching a 2018 initial coin offering (ICO), everything at first appeared run-of-the-mill: the SEC has, for years, filed civil suits against individuals and organizations for rolling out unregistered ICOs.

Eagle-eyed observers then read a little further into the fine print.

How to navigate the tangled web of government startup grants (BETAKIT)

Despite billions of dollars in available grants, many startups don’t seek them due to application complexity, confusion in finding them to begin with, or a mix of both.

This is something the Cisco Grants Support Program is working to solve. The Grants Office helps startups of all sizes navigate the grant funding landscape in Canada and apply for relevant grants.

PolicyMe reveals $18 million in Series A financing to tackle Canadian insurance market (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based insurtech startup PolicyMe has announced $18 million CAD in Series A financing from existing investors and insurance industry players to move beyond just life insurance and selling D2C.

Meanwhile, fellow Toronto startup Verifast has announced a $3.5 million seed round to expand past tenant screening into verifying identities and financial details for other areas, like mortgage underwriting.

Revolut confirms cyberattack exposed personal data of tens of thousands of users (TECHCRUNCH)

“We immediately identified and isolated the attack to effectively limit its impact and have contacted those customers affected,” said Revolut spokesperson Michael Bodansky. “Customers who have not received an email have not been impacted.”

Amazon, Square launch buy now, pay later options in Canada (BETAKIT)

Amazon partnered with American payment network Affirm, while Square launched its integration with Afterpay. The launches mark the latest BNPL offerings to be introduced into the country, following a slew of other services that were recently made available to Canadian consumers.

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The post F|T: The FinTech Times – Competitive intensity first appeared on BetaKit.

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