F|T: The FinTech Times – Jack Dorsey is back at the head of Square

Plus: Moneris goes down, Netcoins get breached (again).

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Aquanow launches AQN Digital Ventures Fund to back next generation of blockchain startups (BETAKIT)

Digital assets infrastructure provider Aquanow has launched a blockchain technologies fund. It claims the AQN Digital Ventures Fund will give investors access to the next generation of founders and businesses.

Michael Kwok, head of venture capital at AQN Digital, said the fund is valued at $13.4 million CAD ($10 million USD) and targeting early-stage investments in blockchains and projects.

Open banking’s leadership shakeup leaves fintech sector on edge

Abraham Tachjian is expected to wrap up his term as Canada’s open banking lead this month with pressing questions about the initiative still unresolved—the latest in a series of departures that has left the country’s fintechs wondering what comes next.

ZayZoon closes Series B to fuel continued US expansion of earned wage access business (BETAKIT)

Calgary-based FinTech startup ZayZoon has secured $34.5 million USD in debt and equity Series B financing.

ZayZoon, which helps employees at small to medium-sized businesses in the United States access money they have already earned from hours they have already worked but haven’t been paid for yet, plans to invest in “recruiting efforts and continued growth and innovation.”

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Moneris confirms credit and debit card processing outage, but offers few details (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

It remains unclear how many businesses and transactions were affected after Canadian payment processing firm Moneris confirmed its credit and debit card transactions were interrupted by a network outage early Saturday.

The Toronto-based technology company issued a statement saying there was nothing to suggest the outage was related to a cyber attack.

Netcoins loses $343,000 in second security breach within 17 months (BETAKIT)

For the second time, the online cryptocurrency brokerage Netcoins is reporting a security breach of its network, this time resulting in a loss from its operational float worth $343,000 CAD. Netcoins is a subsidiary of Bigg Digital Assets.

Bitbuy enters strategic partnership with Canadian crypto ATM firm Localcoin (COINTELEGRAPH)

Canadian fintech corporation WonderFi, a firm backed by billionaire Kevin O’Leary, recently announced a strategic partnership between Bitbuy and cryptocurrency ATM provider Localcoin ATM.

According to the press release, with this partnership, “Bitbuy’s digital asset services will cover nearly 50% of Canada’s Bitcoin ATMs.”

A checklist for building sustainable rural tech hubs (BETAKIT)

With the explosion of remote work, there has been a paradigm shift away from major municipalities and toward smaller regions as people seek both livability and career prospects, said Pablo Listingart, Executive Director of tech skills school ComIT.

Speaking with BetaKit, Listingart shared his theory of how rural tech hubs can come to be—and what support they need to become sustainable.

WhatsApp launches in-chat payments service for businesses in India (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Hundreds of millions of WhatsApp users in India will be able to pay for products and services through the chat app, as its parent company Meta seeks to generate more revenue from the messaging service in its biggest market.

“The goal is to help businesses make it more convenient for customers to pay right within a chat, which will help them close more sales,” added a WhatsApp spokesperson.

How TECHNATION thinks we can solve Canada’s tech talent gap (BETAKIT)

Data from TECHNATION, a member organization of Canadian tech companies that bridges the tech industry and government policy, shows that Canadian firms have over 40,000 vacant positions that they need to fill as soon as possible.

Speaking with BetaKit, TECHNATION Executive Director for the Future Workforce Development Team, Sandi Campbell, shared more about the root causes of Canada’s tech talent gap and offered a solution for organizations looking for talent.

Square CEO Alyssa Henry is stepping down, and Jack Dorsey will take over for now (CNN)

Alyssa Henry, the CEO of Square – a unit of Jack Dorsey’s fintech company, Block – will leave her post at the company next month.

Dorsey, whose current title is Block Head and Chairperson, will take on an additional role of “Square Head."

The reason for Henry’s departure was not immediately clear.

FTX Bankruptcy Estate Sues Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents, Joseph and Barbara, to Claw Back ‘Misappropriated Funds' (COINDESK)

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has sued founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, to “recover millions of dollars in fraudulently transferred and misappropriated funds,” the company said in a Monday court filing.

“Bankman and Fried deployed their decades of experience as sophisticated law professors and veneer of legitimacy not to help the FTX Group, but rather to plunder it in order to enrich themselves and their pet causes,” the filing alleged.

ALL IN to showcase Canada’s AI at major conference (BETAKIT)

Scale AI, Canada’s federally funded AI Global Innovation Cluster, is presenting the country’s largest gathering dedicated to Canadian artificial intelligence (AI), ALL IN. The event will bring together leading AI experts, industry members, startups, investors, and researchers to share their insights and explore how AI is transforming the Canadian economy.

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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