F|T: The FinTech Times – Coinbase secures restricted dealer status in Canada

Coinbase Canada's Lucas Matheson.
Plus: Nuvei to go-private in $6.3B deal while Binance kills Bitcoin NFT support.

Welcome to the FinTech Times, a weekly newsletter covering the biggest FinTech news from around the globe. If you want to read F|T before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using this form.

Coinbase becomes first international crypto exchange to secure restricted dealer licence in Canada

United States cryptocurrency giant Coinbase has announced that it has become registered as a restricted dealer in Canada with the Canadian Securities Administrators.

This makes Coinbase the first international crypto exchange—and, it claims, the largest—to become registered in Canada to date. Other international players, including Crypto.com, Gemini, and Kraken, are also hoping to secure registration with the CSA.



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Binance Stops Support for Bitcoin NFTs Citing ‘Streamlining’ of Offered Products

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance will cease support for Bitcoin-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as it undergoes a process to “streamline” its product offerings.

“Users are advised to withdraw their Bitcoin NFTs from the Binance NFT Marketplace” before May 18, Binance wrote in a blog post.

It added that users will not be eligible for future airdrops related to NFTs hosted on the Bitcoin network.


Nuvei to be acquired by US-based Advent and taken private in $6.3-billion USD deal

Boston-based Advent has agreed to buy Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq-listed Nuvei and take it private in a deal that values the Canadian FinTech firm at $6.3 billion USD. The announcement comes two weeks after The Wall Street Journal first reported that the two companies were engaged in advanced buyout discussions.

For Nuvei, the deal comes about 3.5 years after it first went public in September 2020.


Rakuten Could Combine Bank and FinTech Operations

Japanese conglomerate Rakuten is considering merging its financial operations into one unit.

The plan, announced Monday (April 1), would consolidate the company’s bank, insurance, securities, and card company and other Fintech businesses into one group.

“This decision is based on the belief that enhancing the collaboration across FinTech business, including prompt and flexible decision-making, along with the deepening of the collaboration including data integration and AI utilization, is crucial for providing innovative financial services and adding more value to customers,” the company said in its announcement.


Brim Financial closes $85-million Series C led by EDC to fund US expansion

Toronto-based FinTech startup Brim Financial has secured $85 million in Series C financing.

Brim, a certified credit card issuer that sells technology infrastructure to help other financial institutions, plans to use this capital to fuel its United States expansion. The firm intends to expand its US presence, invest in product development, form “strategic alliances,” and ramp up hiring to support these goals.


DeFi developers behind crypto exchange Phoenix close $20 million Series A round

Ellipsis Labs today announced $20 million in Series A funding, led by Paradigm with participation from Electric Capital.

The company’s debut product, a decentralized exchange called Phoenix, went live in February 2023, with its public-facing user interface launching last August. The funding will accelerate its efforts to “create a new financial ecosystem that offers competitive financial products on top of high-throughput blockchains,” the company said in a statement, while merging DeFi‘s accessibility and transparency, with the efficiency of traditional markets.


With latest funding and Scotiabank partnership, Willful sets its sights on profitability

Like many of its peers, Toronto-based will and estate planning software startup Willful is now targeting efficient growth.

The technology startup set out last year to raise a Series A round, according to co-founder and CEO Erin Bury, but after facing challenging market conditions, Willful adjusted its strategy and scaled back its fundraising target, ultimately closing $1 million CAD in the fall.

Since its launch, Willful has helped over 150,000 Canadians create over 300,000 documents. By teaming up with Scotiabank, Willful hopes to help even more.


Where is David Smillie? Alleged crypto scammer nowhere to be found as customers try to recoup losses

The whereabouts of the B.C. man behind an alleged $13-million cryptocurrency fraud remain a mystery as a hearing into the collapse of his bitcoin exchange considers evidence he gambled away customers’ money.

A lawyer for David Smillie, founder of the defunct Nanaimo-based ezBtc platform, told a panel of the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) that his client was somewhere abroad, too broke to pay legal fees and suffering from an unspecified illness as Smillie’s hearing began Tuesday.

(Investigative Journalism Foundation)

BetaKit Live: How Coinbase is growing crypto adoption in Canada

In partnership with Coinbase, BetaKit is happy to present a live-streamed fireside discussion tackling the company’s focus on growing the opportunity for digital assets in Canada, the future of money, and Canada’s innovation opportunity.


Fintech funding slows to the lowest level since 2017

When it comes to funding, the fintech sector didn’t have a very good start to the year.

Fintech funding slid by 16% quarter-over-quarter during the three-month period, according to CB Insights’ Q1 2024 State of Venture Report. But even more troubling than the double-digit dip was the fact that the $7.3 billion raised globally by fintech startups in the three-month period marked the lowest level the sector has seen since early 2017, according to the report.


Hard Knocks: Marcus Daniels on creating impact over activity in #CDNtech

In the first entry of Hard Knocks, a four-part series presented by Mantle where key players from Canadian tech share insights, war stories, and lessons learned, Highline Beta CEO Marcus Daniels believes Canadian tech is facing an “Old Yeller” moment.

Well, not entirely. To Daniels, Canada does a fantastic job cheering for its triumphs, even those he considers to be “superficial wins.” However, he believes the real test comes when things aren’t going well, and it’s time to pull the plug.


Sachin Bansal’s fintech Navi seeks $2B valuation in its first major external fundraise

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal is in talks to raise capital for his new startup, Indian fintech Navi. Bansal is talking to investors to raise at a valuation of around $2 billion, three sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. One source said he is looking to raise between $200 million and $400 million.

Bansal has largely self-funded Navi up to now, and this would be the Bengaluru-headquartered startup’s first large outside fundraise since it was founded in 2018.


Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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