F|T: The FinTech Times – Crypto losses mount as Canadian companies join anti-money laundering standard

Plus: A third of Bolt's staff checks out.

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Wealthsimple among international group of companies joining anti-money laundering crypto standard (BETAKIT)

Nine Canadian companies have joined the group, including Wealthsimple, Coinsmart, Netcoins, Shakepay, Tetra Trust, Coinsquare, VirgoCX, BlocPal, and Balance. The Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST), as it is called, was launched in February by leading American crypto companies like Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, and Robinhood.


Bolt, the payments start-up, has begun laying off employees. (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

San Francisco-based Bolt, the fast-growing online checkout startup that was valued at $11 billion earlier this year but recently instituted a hiring freeze, has laid off a third of its workforce. For some, the financial ramifications go well beyond the loss of future salary given the company’s stock loan program.


Gig economy banking app Moves raises $5 million in OMERS-led seed round (BETAKIT)

According to Moves, the investment will help towards its mission of “making the gig economy work for its workers.” The company previously raised $9.1 million in 2020 according to Crunchbase data. Moves has been noted as a Canadian tech company to watch in the past.


Klarna lays off 10% of its workforce (TECHCRUNCH)

Cutting 10% of the company’s workforce means that around 700 people will lose their job at the fintech company. It will potentially affect all domains and offices around the world. “I am no stranger to sharing good and bad news. However, today is the hardest one to date,” Klarna co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski wrote in a message shared with all employees. “As much as we may like it to be the case, Klarna does not exist in a bubble.”


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Canadian innovators wonder what proposed SR&ED review will accomplish (BETAKIT)

Speaking over the phone with BetaKit, Munro noted the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program–better known as SR&ED–isn’t working, in his opinion. But he wasn’t convinced another review of the $4 billion annual program would fix things. After all, the SR&ED program has been tinkered with and reviewed almost constantly since it was first established in 1944.


LayerZero Labs seeks backing that would triple its valuation to $3 billion (THE BLOCK)

After the $135 million raise, Pellegrino described the firm’s goal as to “create the generic messaging layer that underpins all interoperability between blockchains.” The funds raised in March are being used to foster the development of more dApps on the protocol.


The federal government wants to address Canada’s intellectual property woes, but is its strategy paying off? (BETAKIT)

While companies like Ranovus demonstrate how Canadian tech companies can scale through the development of IP, many stakeholders from the IP sector believe that most Canadian startups are not deriving value from their IP, which has put Canada behind its peers in the global race for IP rights.


FINTRAC targets DeFi in report for law enforcement and Five Eyes counterparts (THE LOGIC)

FINTRAC is warning law enforcement agencies and its Five Eyes peers about the risks associated with decentralized finance, which it says comes with “money-laundering and terrorist-activity financing risks.” The report comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny of the cryptocurrency sector.


From Argentina to Nigeria, people saw Terra as more stable than local currency. They lost everything (REST OF WORLD)

Valeria watched her savings dwindle to zero, unable to remove the money from the protocols, which had blocked withdrawals. “I invested in a stablecoin that today is worth $0.08,” she told Rest of World. “I feel sickened and helpless.”


Value of Power Corp’s FinTech portfolio drops as Wealthsimple faces second May markdown (BETAKIT)

Power Corp revealed the reduction last week in its Q1 2022 earnings report, noting that the fair value of the firm’s stake in Wealthsimple had decreased by $147 million CAD, or $0.22 per share.


La Caisse de dépôt au casino de la crypto (RADIO-CANADA)

Like other crypto investors, Celsius users had been hit hard. Some complained that they lost all their savings after getting loans on the platform, which acts like a cryptocurrency bank. In less than two weeks, according to the company’s website, funds managed by Celsius on behalf of its clients had shrunk by $6 billion, from $18 billion to $12 billion. By October 2021, this amount had peaked at $27 billion.


How a Toronto comedian made $205,000 investing in crypto – then lost it all while Coinbase shut him out (TORONTO STAR)

‘I remember just sitting there, staring at the empty account,’ investor says. Coinbase responds that it is not responsible for losses due to compromised login credentials.


Round13 launches new venture fund with initial $70 million USD to back blockchain companies providing “the base” for Web3 (BETAKIT)

VC firm has secured $70 million USD for its recently launched Digital Asset Fund, from a group of undisclosed investors led by a “major Canadian pension fund,” with support from other institutions, family offices, high-net-worth individuals, and members of the Round13 team.


Founder alleges that YC-backed fintech startup is ‘copy-and-pasting’ its business (TECHCRUNCH)

Andy Bromberg, CEO of the a16z-backed startup Eco, is claiming that Pebble, another fintech startup that came out of stealth this morning, “plagiarized” Eco’s materials and business model. Bromberg posted a Twitter thread this afternoon saying Pebble engaged in “copy-and-pasting, immaturity, lying, and espionage.”


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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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