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Jaxx Announces Massive Expansion, Partnering and Integrating With 70+ Top Blockchain Projects, Exchanges, & Platforms to Make Digital Currencies More Accessible to Masses

 

World’s Leading Multi-Asset Digital Wallet Will Become Universal Command Center for All Digital Assets, With Roadmap to Include Ripple, Monero, Tether & Dozens of Others

TORONTO May 22, 2017 Decentral today announced that its flagship product, Jaxx , the leading user-controlled, multi-asset, multi-platform digital currency wallet and exchange, has secured over 70 new partners and integrations on the way to bolster its mission to become the ultimate command centre for all things blockchain. Just as the browser unleashed the power of the Internet, Jaxx will be the tool that brings digital currencies and digital assets to the masses.

“We are bringing together all facets of the blockchain ecosystem with Jaxx to provide a universal interoperable interface so that non-technical people, like my dad, can easily use these decentralized technologies,” said Anthony Di Iorio, Founder and CEO of Decentral & Jaxx. “Simple tools and intuitive UI / UX will bring adoption to the masses and assist all projects and companies.”

The following partners will integrate with the Jaxx universal key management system and backend blockchain infrastructures to create a simple point of entry into various areas of blockchain technology–including user-controlled payments and exchange, identity, communications, value movement, privacy, smart contracts, document signing and decentralized storage:

  • RSK Labs operates RSK, a smart-contract platform with a two-way peg to the Bitcoin blockchain.
  • BitPay is the first and most experienced company in bitcoin payments, building powerful tools for spending, accepting, and building with Bitcoin.
  • Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers can transact with new digital currencies.
  • Purse.io allows anyone to save 15% off Amazon with Bitcoin.
  • Bittrex provides individuals and businesses a world-class experience for buying and selling digital tokens with lightning-fast trade execution, stable wallets, and industry-best security practices.
  • Blockchain Capital is the premier venture capital firm investing in blockchain tech companies and tokens.
  • BitGo empowers businesses to integrate digital currencies into their existing financial systems.
  • Civic uses a verified identity for multi-factor authentication on web and mobile apps without the

need for usernames or passwords.

  • Changelly is a multi-currency exchange service that provides solutions for the last mile problem of crypto exchanges.
  • Trezor is the original hardware wallet and supports both Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Ledger Wallet is a blockchain hardware wallet that provides cold storage for multiple digital currencies.
  • Opendime by Coinkite is a small USB stick that allows spending of Bitcoin like a dollar bill.
  • QTUM is a hybrid blockchain application platform aimed at building blockchains for business, with a strong foothold in China.
  • Coinfabrik helps customers define their product specifications, design user interfaces, integrate applications, and deploy products.
  • Signatura is the world’s most secure and resilient digital signature platform.
  • Wall of Coins is available in many countries and directly connects buyers and sellers of digital currencies.
  • Bitnovo allows for the simple purchase of Bitcoin and offers a refillable wallet card.

These partners and integrations will continue to power Jaxx’s mission to create a unified, cross-platform experience for all blockchain assets. Jaxx aims to become the ultimate dashboard for all things blockchain, tailored to provide newcomers and power users with a simple, intuitive experience.

“We’re excited to partner with the like-minded team at Jaxx who are making it easy for users to securely manage and transfer their blockchain assets,” said Bill Shihara, CEO of Bittrex.com.

Jaxx also today announced its future coin and token addition roadmap and will be working with teams and communities from Ripple, Monero, Tether, Stellar Lumens, PIVX, Factom, Steem, NEM, QTUM, Bytecoin, Bitshares, MaidSafeCoin, Siacoin, Waves, Lisk, Omni, Stratis, GameCredits, Ardor, SingularDTV, Round, Decred, NXT, Byteball, DigiByte, FirstBlood, IExec RLC, Emercoin, Syscoin, Etheroll, Komodo, Namecoin, Storjcoin, Chronobank, Melonport, WeTrust, Counterparty, TokenCard, Matchpool, Edgeless, Xaurum, CreditBit, MonaCoin, NovaCoin, RubyCoin, Bitcrystals, BitShares, BlackCoin, Expanse, Gulden, Namecoin, NAV Coin, NEM, Peercoin, PotCoin, Tezos and Wings among others to bring more projects into Jaxx across all platforms and devices. These new tokens and coins join Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Augur, Golem, Gnosis, DigixDAO, Iconomi, Zcash, Dogecoin, RSK Testnet, and Blockchain Capital to make Jaxx the most versatile, non-custodial wallet with a built-in crypto-exchange available.

“We’re glad that Jaxx has decided to attempt Monero integration again, because we believe that users need more options with respect to Monero onboarding, not less, and welcome all work being done in that space,” said Monero Core Developer Riccardo “Fluffypony” Spagni. “As a company that operates in the Monero space, we are happy to provide them with as much support as possible, and look forward to a successful release.”

Jaxx will be present in New York at Consensus May 22-24, 2017 and at Token Summit May 25, 2017. Companies and projects interested in partnering with Jaxx to bring cryptocurrency to the masses are invited to reach out to Charlie Shrem, Director of Business & Community Development at Decentral & Jaxx. ([email protected]).

About Jaxx

Jaxx is the first multi-asset wallet that syncs across all devices and provides users the ability to manage, send, receive and exchange digital currencies while users remain in full control of their keys. With Shapeshift onboard and available on 9 platforms, setting up a Jaxx wallet is frictionless and requires no onboarding, verification, usernames or password, making it a seamless experience for blockchain novices and power users alike. Jaxx will soon release its “Orange Paper” (a consumer-friendly version of a white paper) and a company roadmap outlining its long-term vision to provide software and hardware that supports the entire blockchain ecosystem and takes decentralized technologies mainstream. To learn more about Jaxx, please visit: https://jaxx.io/

Media Contact: [email protected]

Decentral to launch Bitcoin Cards at retailers nationwide

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/decentral-launch-bitcoin-cards-retailers-130000503.html
 
Decentral, Canada’s leading hub for disruptive and decentralized technologies, is excited to announce the nationwide launch of a new product that will enable Canadians from coast to coast to purchase bitcoin from local retail stores.
 
Decentral Bitcoin Cards are the first of their kind in Canada. Available in denominations of $20, $50, and $100, they can be purchased at local retail stores – just like a phone card or gift card – and redeemed for bitcoin via the Decentral Bitcoin Card website.
 
“We’ve helped thousands of customers purchase bitcoin at our bitcoin ATM in Toronto, and our goal has always been to increase availability across Canada. Based on the knowledge we’ve gained over the years, we’ve developed a system that makes buying bitcoin as easy and convenient as possible for both customers and merchants,” says Decentral founder and CEO Anthony Di Iorio.
 
Originally trialled in 2014 and perfected last year, Decentral Bitcoin Cards simplify the bitcoin purchasing experience. “The Cards remove the hassles and technical issues associated with installing, maintaining and using terminals or ATMs,” says Di Iorio. “Our new system can be scaled quickly to new locations without the existing roadblocks and complicated logistics common to Bitcoin ATMs.”
 
Decentral Bitcoin Cards are launching in selected provinces later this month, and will be available nationwide before the summer. Decentral expects to have Bitcoin, Ethereum and other select digital currency cards available for purchase in thousands of retail locations by the end of the year.
 
 

ABOUT DECENTRAL

Located in downtown Toronto, Canada, Decentral is an innovation hub for disruptive and decentralized technologies. Offerings include blockchain and fintech consultancy services and software development, as well as a two-way Bitcoin ATM. Decentral also organizes community-driven events in the domains of fintech, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies.
 

ABOUT BITCOIN

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that operates independently of a central bank and uses encryption techniques to verify the transfer of funds. Since bitcoin first launched in 2009, it has become increasingly popular with tech-savvy consumers as a payment method that allows both consumers and retailers to remove the middlemen that drive up prices.
 
For information and media inquiries, please contact Anne Connelly at [email protected]
 

Decentral    |    123 Spadina Ave.    |    416-831-9593

My first experience with a Bitcoin ATM in Toronto

 

Bitcoin is a completely new territory to me. As someone who is not at all tech-savvy, the concept of owning a digital wallet, converting my cash to bitcoins using a Bitcoin ATM (BTM), and performing transactions with the cryptocurrency is mind-boggling.

 

Fortunately, being a part of the Decentral team makes my immersion to the Bitcoin seamless — not to mention operating the BTM we have here at our office in downtown Toronto is simple and comparable to normal ATMs.

 

It’s easy to look at the Bitcoin ATM and instantly get intimidated. But just like intimidating people, if you give the machine a chance, you’ll find out it’s quite OK. The instructions on the orange screen are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. It first prompts me to enter my phone number. A second later I get a text with a code, which I enter onto the screen. The Bitcoin ATM gives two options: Buy bitcoin or Sell bitcoin, so I choose the first one. It asks me whether I have a bitcoin wallet, and since I have downloaded BitWallet onto my iPhone, I press yes.

 

Here’s the first tricky part.

 

It asks me to scan the QR code to my wallet, but the location of the scanner is not immediately obvious. It’s a mini slot on the right side of the machine. I slide my phone in instead of holding it up in front of a red flash-emitting device like at Starbucks. Once I scan my QR code and take my phone out, the machine prompts me to insert cash.

 

Here’s the second tricky part.

 

There are three slots that look like they would accept cash but it’s actually the one closest to my left foot. I insert cash and tap “I’m Done” on the screen and voila! I have some bitcoins in my wallet and I find out the Bitcoin ATM is anything but difficult and intimidating!

 

And now off I go, booking a trip with my newly purchased Bitcoin!

 

FYI the Bitcoin ATM is located inside Decentral at 123 Spadina Ave, Toronto.

Decentral-Deloitte: Ethereum at the Greenhouse

 
Our blockchain consulting arm at Decentral has been involved with Deloitte and the Rubix team for almost a year now, providing them with blockchain expertise and teaming up to run community and blockchain and decentralized tech events. Last night on December 2nd, Deloitte and Decentral partnered to hold an Ethereum event at their Greenhouse space in downtown Toronto.
 
The Greenhouse is a place designed to help Deloitte clients experience breakthroughs through innovative means – to give them that ‘aha!’ moment when they’re stuck in one mode of thought or just going round and round in circles. Deloitte gets that innovating is not as simple as ‘going and doing it’; sometimes it’s not obvious where or how to begin.
 
Events at the Greenhouse aim to spark new ideas by disrupting ordinary ways of approaching problems. It was an ideal venue for us to introduce Ethereum to some of their clients. Deloitte invited banks including CIBC, RBC, and TD, technology firms D+H and Teranet, and the TMX group. When great minds from these sectors begin to understand Ethereum and its disruptive potential, new, brilliant ideas are bound to be generated.
 
Attendees had the chance to hear how Ethereum enables developers to build the next generation of distributed applications and what are some of the strategies they need to be adopting to prepare for the inevitable disruption.
 
The event started with Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum giving an overview of his brainchild and how its blockchain works. Vitalik joined us via a BeamPro robot-proxy, which he was remotely controlling from Switzerland!
 
This was followed by a talk from our CEO and Ethereum co-founder, Anthony Di Iorio. Anthony emphasized that decentralization is the key to understanding what is happening. Blockchains have made it possible for secure systems to exist without a central authority, giving individuals more power and increasing the system’s resilience. Decentralization can also unbundle services and products and firms need to anticipate for what is coming and prepare accordingly in order to not be rendered irrelevant and obsolete. Implementing changes might well be costly, but it would be far more costly to be idle. Anthony’s presentation highlighted some of the steps firms should be taking to begin this transformation, and also identified some of the opportunities that will open up.
 
Jeff Coleman from Ledger Labs then spoke about ‘smart blockchains’ and the advantages of developing and using the technology. Platforms like Ethereum offer far more flexibility and extensibility than more static platforms. Jeff’s talk was quite comprehensible, considering the audience was not primarily from a tech background.
 
The evening concluded with a talk from Joseph Lubin of ConsenSys – also an Ethereum co-founder. He joined us from New York by taking over the robot-proxy from Vitalik. Joseph gave a talk on dApps and gave substantial information about what ConsenSys is building on Ethereum. During the Q&A session, he gave the audience an interesting perspective on New York’s ‘Bitlicense’ and how a lot of firms – including some of his startups – are considering locating elsewhere.
 
Decentral was established to promote decentralized technologies and a large part of what we do is helping enterprises take advantage of the opportunities that these technologies generate. It was a motivating experience to see traditional financial institutions paying interest in this area, and we are looking forward to more of them actively engaging with Toronto’s thriving decentralized technologies community.

 

See the event updates on our Twitter here or by searching #EthereumAtTheGreenhouse.

 

The Future of Personnel

 

At Decentral I have the pleasure to work with a talented team on a diverse range of projects, each of which has a focus on some aspect of the decentralized technology space. Most of the people I work with are employed on a contract basis, and often they work at the same time for a number of the different companies located at Decentral’s space. Short term contracting is necessary due to how quickly the area we specialize in is evolving. I’ve written before about how our era of accelerated change necessitates taking a lean approach to business. Broader, long term goals can be set, but these are of necessity subject to revision. Quick decisions about changes in company approach and methodology is an adaptive strategy that fosters competitiveness.

 

The downside of having a contingent workforce is the staff I want not being available when I need them. In spite of that, a high degree of employee flexibility is desirable for both me and the people I work with. In their article The Dawning of the Age of Flex Labor, Andrei Hagiu and Rob Biederman note “Workers, employers, and society stand to benefit tremendously from breaking the cycle of hiring people in boom times and releasing them fully during economic slowdowns or contractions.” This changing nature of employment careers has been underway for over thirty years, with a workforce now gradually learning to tailor their work lives to hedge against boom/bust realities.

 

Part of this process requires a shift in perspective for employee and employer in which each sees their respective roles as a partnership that benefits both parties. For instance, one clear advantage of short term work contracting is a better accommodation of work/life balance. Millennials in particular find value in the 21st century employment trend of flexible work hours. A study by Bentley University in Massachusetts, The Millennial Mind Goes to Work (2014) found that “77 percent of Millennials say that flexible work hours would make the workplace more productive for people their age.”

 

Based on my own hiring experience, working with people who have forged composite career paths has the advantage of the unique skill set combinations they bring to the workplace. Since 2014, we have pursued multiple initiatives to establish Decentral as a trusted brand in the emerging space of decentralized tech. Everything we have accomplished has happened due to the dedication of the people I work with, including the group I am happy to have on contract today.

 

A flex workforce of independent contractors is part of the broader on demand economy that large sectors of the population have found easy to adapt into their daily lives. In addition to high profile initiatives like Uber and AirBnB, there are newer entries into the field like Handy or Homejoy (for small home repairs and cleaning) or BloomThat (flower delivery) and Fancy Hands (an on-call personal assistant), among many I could cite. Job task specialization on a granular level creates a new form of employment, one that makes best use of excess capacity, whether it be of a workforce’s time, living spaces, or vehicles. As the Economist notes “this marks a striking new stage in a deeper transformation…[that]…will challenge many of the fundamental assumptions of 20th-century capitalism, from the nature of the firm to the structure of careers.” The future of work is now, it’s the everyday reality of our new 21st century.

Changing tactics: Why I am not doing a Fintech and Blockchain Expo this year

 

As we announced at our most recent DEC_TECH event, Decentral will not be hosting a Fintech and Blockchain Expo this fall. I want to extend my apologies to anyone we are inconveniencing as a result of this, but we have good reasons for this change in tactics.

 

In response to opportunities, our business at Decentral is changing in exciting new ways. In recent months, our focus has been shifting to our consulting business and strategic partner development. In my last blog post, I wrote about the benefits of taking a Lean Startup approach to building a company. Prioritize innovation, create time-based benchmarks for the testing of products, and pivot to new approaches if these benchmarks, set according to clearly established criteria, aren’t met. I advocate this approach out of necessity. Our era of accelerated technological change demands it.

 

Decentral’s recent pivots include changing the Meetups we organize (over 100 events to date) from an emphasis on Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies to the broader topic of decentralized technologies. We chose DEC_TECH as the new moniker for our Meetups to ensure that these events can accommodate the newest developments in the space. In a further pivot, as of March, Decentral has been organizing its DEC_TECH events in partnership with the MaRS Discovery District. Working with MaRS has many advantages. The partnership allows us to organize large events that are free for anyone to attend, and this helps grow our community. Use of their first rate facilities cuts down on the time we need to commit to organizing events, strengthens our bonds with many of the exciting tech companies that work out of the MaRS space, and creates synergies attractive to event sponsors.

 

Recent DEC_TECH events include gatherings at MaRS in March, which featured a keynote speech by Andreas Antonopoulos, and in July, featuring Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin, the CEOs of many exchanges in Canada and two top VCs working in the blockchain space. With each of these events we were able to attract an impressive range of sponsors — including Deloitte, DC BANK and Bitmaker Labs — and many hundreds of attendees. Decentral is planning more events at MaRS, as well as developing further strategic partnerships to help grow our business, and equally important, foster a strong sense of community in Toronto’s fast developing but still young tech scene.

 

Deciding not to do a Fintech and Blockchain Expo this year is another pivot for Decentral. We were all looking forward to another Expo this year. But changes in the business focus of the company – and, frankly, bigger event plans that are yet to be announced – are now taking center stage in our day-to-day operations.

 

Anthony Di Iorio is a co-founder of Ethereum. He is president and founder of Kryptokit and of Decentral and Decentral Consulting Services, offering technology consultancy services specializing in blockchain and decentralized technology integrations for enterprise, small business and start-ups. Anthony is the cryptocurrency adviser at MaRS Discovery District, organizes the Toronto Ethereum Meetup Group and DEC_TECH (Decentralized Technologies) events, for summer 2015, is lecturer in the The Principles of Disruptive Innovation course at the University of Nicosia’s Masters Program in Digital Currencies.

Digital Strategy in an Era of Constant Change

 

More than once I have been accused of pivoting my business direction too quickly — but to paraphrase Heraclitus: “change is the only constant.” This is especially true of the digital age, which is experiencing change at an ever accelerating pace.

 

One significant factor spurring the rate of change is the way the network creates a multiplier effect. Brad Feld of Tech Stars notes “the shift from hierarchical to networked society has been emergent throughout the Information Era.” Enhanced by an expanded (globalized) field of play, the multiplier effect of the network creates an extremely dynamic innovation environment. The financial services industry in particular is experiencing “significant uncertainty,” to quote from the World Economic Forum report I wrote about in my last blog. This is a problem stemming from the industry’s lack of common understanding on recent innovations and what impact these innovations will have on incumbents. Alex Rampell, an entrepreneur and newly announced partner at Andreessen Horowitz, has pointed out that banking and insurance are especially vulnerable to digital innovation because of their “dependence on legacy technologies.”

 

Whereas previously most companies, including banks, would have a “digital strategy” as one component of their business operations, today the entirety of a company’s strategy now takes place within a largely digitized world. Digital is now at the core of every business. To understand the truth of this statement look no further than the consumer culture of today, which makes potent use of the leveraging power of the internet.

 

Consider recent changes in customer behaviour and the expectations digital culture creates. Consumers today know they can comparison shop and crowd source information about products, as well as actively participate in such conversations; they can unbundle services and opt for personalized versions of these according to information they get online about companies; and not least, they have expectations about business being transparent and accountable that will only become more prevalent as applications for the blockchain and Fintech, the areas we specialize in at my company Decentral, get popularized.

 

The speed of digital innovation and the newly empowered consumer it creates means the imperative of our time is for enterprise to be on a war footing — to not only adapt but adapt constantly. My own experience provides an excellent case study about the necessity of adapting within the current environment of constant change. Starting out in 2012, I created Toronto’s first Bitcoin Meetup group, a regular event that welcomed a small group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Within months, I had shifted my focus beyond cryptocurrencies to decentralized technologies and changed the name of the Meetup group to DEC_TECH (a coinage from “decentralized technologies”). The business and software development hub I opened in early 2013 was first called Bitcoin Decentral and initially was launched as a coworking and event space for the Meetups. Within a year I had shortened the company name to Decentral while my focus shifted to co-founding and working on the Ethereum project, alongside the development of other cryptocurrency-related activities.

 

Decentral has Toronto’s most active Bitcoin ATM on-site and is home to my company Kryptokit, a security and decentralized tech software firm. Founded in 2013, Kryptokit has always been a core operation within our business that has allowed us to experiment with other ideas. For a time, we contemplated becoming an accelerator, and in 2014 started Decentral.tv, an online channel for information about decentralized tech. As of January this year we have further expanded our activities to launch Decentral Consulting, advising commercial entities (including banks and financial institutions) about how to implement the blockchain and other Fintech solutions. This has been a business pivot that is keeping us busy, as more and more companies are looking for guidance in this area. And as always, we are contemplating further changes to Decentral.

 

With fewer than 10 employees, Decentral is essentially a lean operation. Facilitating understanding of the blockchain revolution is at the essence of what we do and, because of our professional focus on developments in the space, we have been able to adapt and adapt quickly within this rapidly evolving environment.

 

A guiding principle of entrepreneurial world is that wisdom that comes from experimentation; in the words of Brad Feld, “trying equals learning.” As Eric Ries advocates in his influential book The Lean Startup (2011), the mantra for successful companies today is “fail fast and pivot” — be ready to experiment and create timed benchmarks for deciding whether or not a project is viable. If not, you can pivot to take another approach, a practice we have found to be necessary and effective at Decentral.

 

In this era of explosive change, large companies must essentially be prepared to adopt a lean startup ethos. In their report Being digital: Fast forward to the right digital strategy, Accenture has formulated a methodology for how this might be possible. Decisions about an overall direction for the company will provide a set of goals, but within that direction “a multi-speed strategy [ensures] that each part of the organization can move at a different pace.” Further inflection of the strategy comes from the understanding that the speed of change will most likely require a revision of investment horizons, “leading to strategies based on sequencing of multiple bets on the future.” Finally, within this framework of organized contingency, companies should “experiment intelligently…to quickly verify and refine ideas in the face of changing demands” — companies should “fail fast and pivot,” in other words.

 

If recent experience is any guide, this programmatic for a new way of doing business will be widely adopted out of necessity not choice. As someone who has built their business as a rapidly evolving entity, it’s a necessity I am OK with. I’ll take the charge of changing quickly as a compliment.

Anthony Di Iorio is a co-founder of Ethereum. He is president and founder of Kryptokit and of Decentral and Decentral Consulting Services, offering technology consultancy services specializing in blockchain and decentralized technology integrations for enterprise, small business and start-ups. Anthony is the cryptocurrency adviser at MaRS Discovery District, organizes the Toronto Ethereum Meetup Group and DEC_TECH (Decentralized Technologies) events, for summer 2015, is lecturer in the The Principles of Disruptive Innovation course at the University of Nicosia’s Masters Program in Digital Currencies.

Plan for Disruption – Fintech Ushers in New Era for Finance

As the saying goes, it’s not if but when. Will your industry be disrupted? The answer is yes. How you prepare for it is the real question large incumbents need to be asking.

 

This summer I have had the pleasure to be teaching a course in Disruptive Innovation, which is part of the MSc in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. Lecturing online to students from around the world my key point has been that, by definition, disruption can come quickly and unannounced. Disruption happens by working within the framework of a well-established industry with the objective to cannibalize it — either by discovering methods for new efficiencies, or through the wholesale innovation that creates a new industry. Of course, the marquee examples of this phenomenon are music and publishing, still trying to find their footing in a fast changing digital landscape.

 

Digital is the driver of the transformative epoch we are now living through. Fifteen years into the 21st century, this point is well-understood. The new reality of our everyday experience consuming news or listening to music helps ensure that. But the industry-specific nature of disruption, its shape-shifting tendencies, and the inevitability that vested interests will resist change means the experience of disruption will continue to be one of an interloper unwelcome by the status quo.

 

As Joseph Schumpeter, the Austrian economist and popularizer of the concept “creative disruption” wrote “Capitalism is by nature a method of economic change.”

 

A simpler way of saying this is Don’t get too comfortable — in whatever business you happen to be in. Just over a decade ago in 2003, Futurist Ray Kurzweil stated “We’re entering an age of acceleration”. As if to prove his point, today 2003 sounds like ancient history. Business innovation and disruption is an everyday experience and a general public that books Airbnb for their vacations and take an Uber instead of a cab, are perhaps more acclimatized than ever to our era of accelerated change.

 

This new receptivity to change can also be a driver of business success. At Decentral Consulting, our focus is on advising clients about developments in Finance Technology (popularly known by its coinage Fintech), the most significant new wave of disruption currently underway. With a sharp eye focused on the newest innovations, the companies we advise are actively working to understand the risks but also cultivate the opportunities Fintech will bring.

 

In its recently released report on The Future of Financial Services, the World Economic Forum noted there is “significant uncertainty” in the financial services industry, a problem stemming from a “lack of common understanding” on two points; 1) which innovations are most relevant and 2) what implications these innovations have for incumbents.

 

The WEF report predicts that the effects of Fintech will be “most immediate” in banking, but “most profound” for the insurance industry. Decentral’s corporate clients in Toronto are already adapting to meet this challenge, using test projects and innovation teams to promote company adoption and incorporate new Fintech & blockchain technologies (including the upcoming blockchain 2.0) into their business prognostics. The WEF report notes “the pressure to innovate will be continuous” and this “will shape consumer behaviour, business models and the long term structure of the financial services industry”. Toronto, a relatively young and rapidly growing metropolis is well-positioned to take advantage of the immense opportunities Fintech holds out. In future blog posts, I will map out my vision for how this might happen. In the meantime, interested readers can find the full WEF report here: The Future of Financial Services How disruptive innovations are reshaping the way financial services are structured, provisioned and consumed.

Anthony Di Iorio is a co-founder of Ethereum. He is president and founder of Kryptokit and of Decentral and Decentral Consulting Services, offering technology consultancy services specializing in blockchain and decentralized technology integrations for enterprise, small business and start-ups. Anthony is the cryptocurrency adviser at MaRS Discovery District, organizes the Toronto Ethereum Meetup Group and DEC_TECH (Decentralized Technologies) events, for summer 2015, is lecturer in the The Principles of Disruptive Innovation course at the University of Nicosia’s Masters Program in Digital Currencies.

A Partnership with MaRS – and Toronto’s Fintech Scene

 

MaRS began its life as a great idea. The private-public partnership was launched in 2005 to bring a business focus to the life sciences (the acronym stands for Medical and Related Sciences). Its mission has broadened since then to the fostering of innovation in any sector with a commercializing potential.

 

Fired by a need to foster a new era of ambition in Ontario’s business sector, the region is now seeing a new surge of momentum in Toronto’s tech community, one that MaRS can take credit for helping to cultivate.

 

High profile tenants of the facility include RBC, U of T, GlaxoSmithKline, Etsy, Airbnb, and the Ontario Genomics Institute. Cementing the impression that MaRS is now consolidating its success is the announcement last week that Facebook Canada will become a tenant in 2016.

 

That Facebook wants to wants to move into MaRS (certainly not a necessity) suggests an endorsement of Toronto’s tech sector and a desire to nurture its potential. Facebook doesn’t nurture without an eye on how it might benefit. But as the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Toronto’s tech scene is now riding that wave. It’s got momentum everyone can recognize.

 

Just as significant for Toronto’s tech community is MaRS’ creation of a Financial Technology (Fintech) Cluster, announced this past February.

 

Finance as an industry is the global colossus of our age. Using technology and the speed of internet communications to make it more efficient and cost effective seems obvious. Yet even though the World Wide Web has enjoyed widespread use for over twenty-five years now, Fintech’s ascendance as a sector is only now gaining pace. There are reasons for this, it’s a narrative filled mostly with security-concern plot points. More interesting is the story of the foundations that are being constructed right now, as I write this, ensuring that we are witnessing the birth of a new era, one with far reaching implications for the financial industry, including the possibility of its wholesale replacement. This is disruption in action.

 

Starting in March of this year, Decentral has been a partner of MaRS’s Fintech Cluster. We have been working with MaRS to present our DEC_TECH series of events. With our focus on the rapidly growing space of decentralized technologies, crypto currencies and Fintech, we see MaRS as a crucial partner on our events, in part due to sheer logistics: over 300 people have attended each one. As well, the number of sponsors for each event has grown considerably. Beyond the pleasure of working with the MaRS staff and enjoying use of their first class facilities, Decentral, like Facebook, knows how valuable this partnership will be as our business continues to grow, along with that of the Fintech sector in Toronto. It puts us at the heart of a network and an ecosystem that has great potential to contribute to the economic health of the region.

 

Anthony Di Iorio is a co-founder of Ethereum. He is president and founder of Kryptokit and of Decentral and Decentral Consulting Services, offering technology consultancy services specializing in blockchain and decentralized technology integrations for enterprise, small business and start-ups. Anthony is the cryptocurrency adviser at MaRS Discovery District, organizes the Toronto Ethereum Meetup Group and DEC_TECH (Decentralized Technologies) events, for summer 2015, is lecturer in the The Principles of Disruptive Innovation course at the University of Nicosia’s Masters Program in Digital Currencies.

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Briefing: The Senate Banking Committee’s Digital Currency Report

 
On Friday, June 19th the Canadian Senate’s Committee for Banking, Trade and Commerce released its report on digital currencies. Ultimately, the report is very positive and hopefully a sign of how Canadian regulators will approach innovative applications of blockchain technology in the future. Decentral Consulting Services put together an overview of the report, along with some analysis of how its recommendations fit into revent developments in the blockchain industry.
 
You can find the report here