Jean-Philippe Vergne, Mary Weil, Ying-Ying Hsieh
In February 2017, Scotiabank’s vice-president of digital enablement was sitting in his office at Scotiabank’s Digital Factory in downtown Toronto. He was reflecting on his recent introduction to the financial technology (fintech) company Kabbage, and on how successfully the partnership was progressing. Scotiabank’s vice-president was considering what opportunities the bank should pursue next, specifically in the area of blockchain. The Scotiabank–Kabbage partnership provided a valuable guideline for future partnerships. At the partnership’s launch, the group head of Canadian banking at Scotiabank said that the partnership with Kabbage set “an example of how banks and fintechs are working together to provide customers with a better banking experience.” However, all partnerships did not work in the same way. How could Scotiabank devise an effective partnership strategy, considering the unique contexts in different sectors and geographic markets?
Jean-Philippe Vergne, Ken Mark
By allowing value transfers without the need for a central authority, bitcoin is disintermediating the highly regulated financial industry that has been dominated by large banks for decades. Bitcoin’s rising popularity in recent years has prompted the development of competing cryptocurrencies, the establishment of a foundation to promote its interests and the emergence of legitimate and grey market entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the currency itself and its features. Its position as a currency concerns regulators around the world, and hackers have already exploited security gaps in service providers such as Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange platform, for their own benefit. Looking at recent developments, what will the future of bitcoin be?
Jean-Philippe Vergne, Parker Cumming
Lending Loop, a Canadian marketplace (peer-to-peer) lending start-up, was founded in 2014 and launched to the public in 2015. It competed with other peer-to-peer lenders to challenge the Canadian chartered banks and other financial companies for part of the Canadian small-business lending market. Without an established regulatory regime in place, it operated according to its lawyers’ interpretation of securities law. The founders needed to scale their business quickly and strategically to gain a first-mover advantage in the industry and to position their company as a major stakeholder for future regulatory decisions.
Jean-Philippe Vergne, Brady Burke
In April 2015, BitGold, an international savings and payments service, was undergoing the final steps towards its historic initial public offering, which would take place on Canada's TSX Venture Exchange and sought to raise between $10 million to $20 million in funding. With its blending of blockchain technology and aspects of digital currencies like bitcoin, BitGold was paving the way to the legitimation of future "FinTech" startups by going public. The important questions include: How can BitGold continue to maintain its legitimacy and growth on the heels of a tumultuous year for digital currencies, blockchain technology and bitcoin? Given the complexity of the regulatory landscape, how can BitGold build its customer base and expand internationally?