Last week, Fraser Hartley, partner and business lawyer at EKB, shared insights into the legal aspects of fintech as a member of a panel discussion hosted by Business in Vancouver (BIV). This discussion focused on helping small- and medium-sized business in BC make informed decisions in a rapidly changing landscape.
Along with Fraser, panellists included Pam Seale, Head of Marketing at Finn AI, and Blake Allan, Senior Manager at MNP. The panel’s discussion was moderated by Kirk LaPointe, BIV Editor-in-Chief.
The term “fintech” encompasses a range of innovative technology that are disrupting the financial services industry. Fintech entrepreneurs aim to provide greater efficiency for both customers and businesses, reducing the cost associated with handling transactions, allowing for decentralized models, and creating new methods for securing business contracts.
One such innovation, Initial coin offerings (ICO) have emerged as a crowdfunding method for startups that run on a blockchain. “Investors receive cryptographic ‘coins’ or ‘tokens’ in exchange for other established types of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ether, or for real dollars,” notes Fraser. As he pointed out during the BIV Business Excellence event: “There’s a lot of advantages to the ICO structure. It’s just a matter of balancing those advantages with making sure people don’t lose their shirt.”
The fintech industry is experiencing explosive growth, receiving $17.4 billion in investment last year alone. At the same time, fintech’s goal of “disrupting” the financial services industry has drawn the attention of regulators globally, who are struggling to keep pace with the new tech without smothering innovation.
Fraser Hartley and his fellow business lawyers at EKB remain committed to following these developments. To learn more about fintech, the law, and the ramifications for business in BC, follow the EKB Fintech Blog.