Archive for the ‘Technology Related Articles’ Category

Password management startup wins $200 million investment to grow enterprise business

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

1Password now has ‘millions of users and over 50,000 companies’ on the service

James McLeod
The Vancouver Sun

Toronto-based 1Password announced Thursday that it has raised $200 million in venture capital — the first outside investment the startup has taken in its 14-year history — as it shifts from consumer markets into the rapidly growing enterprise segment.

1Password offers a password-management service which generates unique, complex passwords and stores them so that a user can easily log into various accounts.

The service is available for individuals and families, but 1Password chief executive Jeff Shiner said that in the past few years the real growth in the company has come from businesses adopting the service for their employees.

“We started off as a consumer app, but over the last five years we’ve spent a huge amount of time and effort to build out the sophisticated tools that businesses need for password managers — reporting, auditing, provisioning and advanced permissions,” Shiner said.

“Businesses now understand the need for enterprise password management. They understand that it’s a real challenge for their employees to try and follow crazy things like password rules, but at the same time they need to protect their IP.”

The company says that it currently has “millions of users and over 50,000 companies” on the service, and that the enterprise business has grown by more than 300 per cent in the past two years. 

The $200-million investment is the latest in a steady stream of massive venture capital raises for Canadian tech startups in the past year. Quebec-based Element AI announced a $150 million investment round in September, while a second artificial intelligence company in the province, Coveo, announced a $227 million investment round earlier this month.

Also in September, legal software startup Clio raised $250 million. 

But Shiner downplayed the importance of the money, saying that the advice and connections that investors can offer is more important.

“It’s actually having a partner who can bring us the experience, bringing us the relationships, bring us the knowledge,” he said. “It’s more than just the money itself.”

Shiner said that marketing 1Password to businesses instead of individuals means they need to develop different marketing tactics, and different sales channels.

“We really feel like everybody needs 1Password, but from a growth point of view, the B2B side, that’s where there’s a big opportunity, but that’s also where we need help going after that opportunity,” Shiner said.

Arun Mathew, a partner at Accel, the lead investor in 1Password, said that they believe there’s a huge opportunity, because business operations are becoming more and more dependent on cloud services.

“If you look at the rise of cloud-based services, especially in the enterprise, we believe that password management has become even more critical,” Mathew said. “Employees are using more products than ever before across a variety of different devices, and CISOs and IT teams aren’t able to oversee the use of all applications accessed across their enterprise.”

Mathew said he expects the funding to allow 1Password to sell to bigger enterprise customers.

“The enterprise password management category presents a massive opportunity, and this investment will enable the 1Password team to work with larger enterprises and to integrate more deeply into platforms their customers use daily.”

Within the technology sector, security is a major area of emphasis right now, with nearly every company playing up their diligence and competency at securing data against bad actors and hackers.

Shiner said he thinks that passwords remain a weak link for a lot of organizations.

“We talk to a lot of companies, obviously,” he said. “The one thing I’m still amazed by is how many of these companies are still doing things like using sticky notes, they’re still using spreadsheets to share passwords and remember passwords.”

© 2019 Financial Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

Facebook has a ‘very significant image problem’ as it develops Libra digital currency

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Report says Facebook’s digital currency not accepted

Murad Hemmadi
The Vancouver Sun

Consumers in emerging markets are willing to use a digital currency issued by a technology company, as long as that company isn’t Facebook, according to a new report.

The study, from Toronto-headquartered research firm Riwi and the FinHub at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, shows that 35 per cent of Indian and 58 per cent of Nigerian respondents would use non-traditional money, more than the 29 per cent of U.S. participants. But in all three countries, significantly fewer were willing to do so if the currency were issued by Facebook than by a generic tech firm.

The findings suggest that while there is a market for digital currencies like Facebook’s Libra, which is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2020, suspicion of the social media giant may present an opportunity for competitors — especially in developing economies.

Danielle Goldfarb, Riwi’s head of global research, said North American consumers are less eager to adopt tech firm-created currencies because they already have access to well-established financial and banking systems. “We experience fewer frictions in Canada and the U.S. … than people in emerging markets,” she said, citing “long-established legacy payment mechanisms like credit and debit cards.”

However, she said, “the test of the Libra project is really whether there’s a demand in emerging markets.”

Since it was announced in June, Libra has been plagued by controversy. It will be governed by the Libra Association, a Geneva-based non-profit, which was supposed to include 28 founding members. Last week, however, all the major payment firms involved — including Visa, Mastercard and PayPal — dropped out following pressure from members of the Senate and the U.S. Treasury Department’s inquiries about the companies’ respective anti-money-laundering practices.

As Libra Association members quit, “increasingly it looks like Facebook is still in charge, and it always was,” Goldfarb said.

The association still aims to grow to about 100 members before Libra launches. The sole current Canadian participant is the Creative Destruction Lab, a startup incubator headquartered at Rotman and one of four founding “social impact partners.”

Methodology

Riwi surveyed 5,068 respondents in India (3,040), Nigeria (1,200) and the U.S. (828). Half the respondents answered questions about whether they would pay for products and services with a Facebook-issued currency, and the other half about a currency from a technology company in general. The survey did not ask specifically about Libra because the “name does not yet enjoy widespread awareness,” the report states. Participants were also asked which of four concerns about using such coins was their highest priority: data privacy; the money failing to keep its value; a dislike of Facebook or technology companies; and the idea that only governments should issue money.

There is a particular opportunity for digital currencies in emerging markets, where economic and political volatility can make new financial technologies like Libra more attractive to consumers, said Goldfarb, who co-authored the paper with Andreas Park, an associate professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s management department. In India, mobile-wallet app downloads and transactions soared after the government suddenly removed high-value banknotes from circulation in November 2016, although some users have since gone back to cash.

“Places like Nigeria have basically skipped over this credit-card, debit-card period,” said Goldfarb. “They’re leapfrog economies, and they’re really moving toward some of these newer payment systems.” According to the World Bank, there were 4.1 credit cards per thousand adults in Nigeria in 2015, compared to 172.5 e-money accounts — prepaid wallets, often offered through mobile services.

Calibra, Facebook’s new financial services division, is also building a mobile wallet that it will integrate with its Messenger service and its subsidiary WhatsApp to allow users to transfer money at lower rates and to make purchases within the apps. The firm is already working on payments infrastructure in emerging markets — WhatsApp plans to launch a service in India by the end of 2019.

A white paper published by the Libra Association cites high remittance fees as another problem the digital currency is supposed to address.

The study asked half of the participants whether they were willing to use money issued by a tech company, and the other half about a digital currency issued by Facebook specifically. In each of the three countries, the survey found fewer participants were willing to use the Facebook-issued coin. The company has a “very significant image problem,” the report states.

The gap was largest in India. Facebook’s reputation in the country remains damaged by its attempt to launch Internet.org, which gave users access to a limited number of apps and websites separate from their mobile-data allowances. The Indian government banned the service in February 2016. In the Riwi-Rotman survey, more Indian respondents listed dislike of Facebook as their main concern about using non-traditional money, rather than worries about data privacy; among Nigerian and American respondents that finding was reversed.

Overall, consumers were most concerned about what the firms developing digital currencies would do with their personal information. Far fewer believed the coins would not retain their value, or that only governments should have the power to issue money.

But policymakers have focused heavily on that last issue. EU governments have expressed “strong concerns” that digital currencies could undermine their sovereignty; in September, Calibra head David Marcus tweeted to clarify that Libra is not meant to replace national currencies after he faced questions from the representatives of 26 central banks.

Across all three countries in the study, “there’s quite a bit of a backlash against Facebook,” Goldfarb said. The authors found that was true even for respondents who already had a Facebook, Instagram and/or WhatsApp account — they were 1.5 times more likely to be willing to use a currency issued by a generic tech company as users asked about one from Facebook.

© 2019 Financial Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

 

Slack Falls After Projecting Slower Second-Half Sales Growth

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Nico Grant
Bloomberg

Slack Technologies Inc. shares plunged in extended trading after projecting slower sales growth for the second half of the year, a signal that strong competition may dent the software maker’s rapid rise.

Revenue will be $154 million to $156 million in the fiscal third quarter, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 46% to 48%, the San Francisco-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Analysts, on average, estimated $154.2 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the period ended July 31, sales jumped 58% to $145 million. Slack reported an adjusted loss of 14 cents a share for the quarter, compared with analysts’ estimates of 19 cents.

Slack reported results for the first time since completing a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange in June that made the software maker a publicly traded company. While there is a free version of the company’s software, Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield has sought to increase the number of large companies that pay to use the workplace communications product. Slack will have to maintain soaring growth to please investors while competing against the world’s largest software maker, Microsoft Corp., as well as Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc.

“The rate of growth as you get larger is going to go down,” Butterfield said in an interview. “But that’s still very strong growth. The thing that we do is focus on the value we’re creating for customers. It’s going to be a long transformation.”

Slack’s shares fell about 15% in extended trading after the earnings release. The stock has climbed 20% to $31.07 since the company went public, though it also has dropped about 20% from its closing high of $38.62 on its first day of trading June 20.

The company reported its net loss widened to $360 million, or 98 cents a share, from $31.9 million, or 26 cents, in the period a year earlier.

Slack had been one of Silicon Valley’s most-talked about unicorns, raising about $1.3 billion in total funding, and gaining a valuation of $7.1 billion in a funding round in August 2018. The company has sought to emphasize that it’s more than just an office messaging platform where employees chat using memes, GIFs and emojis. The system connects to companies’ other applications in an effort to streamline corporate work flows.

The company raised its fiscal 2020 sales forecast to $603 million to $610 million, which would mean an annual growth rate of 51% to 52%. But the midpoint missed analysts’ average estimate of $607.2 million.

For Slack, the key to growth is fueling demand among large businesses. Less than 1% of Slack’s customer base was made up of large customers that spend more than $100,000 a year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Andrew Eisenson.

The company’s success adding large customers also slowed in the quarter. The number of those customers grew 75% to 720 compared with a year earlier, but that’s slower than the pace of the fiscal first quarter. It’s also dwarfed by Slack’s 97% growth in this metric a year ago.

While Slack’s paid customer base increased 5,000 in the quarter to 100,000, the pace of growth has slowed down — to a 37% year-over-year increase from 55% a year earlier.

Bloomberg Beta, the venture capital arm of Bloomberg LP, is an investor in Slack.

© Bloomberg

The Tech Stock Boom Has Arrived in Canada?s Market (Finally)

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Tech-stock boom has well and truly arrived in Canada’s market

Divya Balji
Bloomberg

It makes up almost 6% of Canada’s stock market and is the best-performing sector this year.

That’s right: technology stocks have climbed a massive 59% in 2019 — more than double the next-best industry group on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. In fact, tech’s share of the benchmark index has grown at the fastest rate among all sectors in the past four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The tech ecosystem in Canada is very robust,” said Todd Coupland, managing director of institutional equity research at CIBC Capital Markets. “There are some high-quality growth companies that have begun to scale up over the last few years and they’ve gone public, and the success of those companies is manifesting itself in higher share prices.”

Canada’s tech sector hasn’t always had a smooth road. Fortunes have ebbed and flowed with the likes of BlackBerry Ltd., formerly known as Research In Motion, and now-defunct telephone equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp.

But the S&P/TSX Composite Information Technology Index, with a mere 10 members, is now on track for its seventh year of gains — its longest winning run on record — having added C$108 billion ($81 billion) in market value in 2019. In comparison, the S&P 500 Info Tech Index, with 68 stocks, has climbed 29% this year after a 1.6% decline in 2018.

Ottawa-based Shopify Inc., which has climbed more than 1,500% since it went public in 2015, is a big part of the success. It has a 39% weighting on the tech sub-gauge and comprises 2.18% of the broader benchmark.

“With Shopify getting bigger and bigger, it’s getting more on the radar of larger, more global focused investors,” said Suthan Sukumar, an analyst at Eight Capital. “That is drawing more eyeballs to the Canadian market.”

It isn’t just Shopify that’s making waves. Lightspeed POS Inc. — which boasted Canada’s second-biggest IPO this year and the biggest offering by a Canadian tech firm in almost nine years — had a stunning trading debut in March. The stock has climbed 175% as the company forecast annual revenue that beat analyst expectations. That performance isn’t reflected in the S&P/TSX Info Tech index, which hasn’t yet added Lightspeed.

And another tech company is looking to follow in Lightspeed’s footsteps. Toronto-based Docebo announced Wednesday that it filed documents with regulators for an IPO.

With valuations sky-high, it’s worth asking whether the rally can last. The price-to-earnings ratio for the S&P/TSX Composite Info Tech gauge stands at 34.6, compared with the broader benchmark’s multiple of 14.3.

Sukumar says he sees opportunity in at least some corners of tech.

“There is an opportunity for investors to continue rewarding higher-quality growth and growth that can prove to be resilient in these kind of market conditions,” he said.

Copyright 2019 Bloomberg L.P

Facebook co-founder says Libra could shift monetary clout to private companies

Friday, June 21st, 2019

other

Facebook Inc’s Libra cryptocurrency would hand over much of the control of monetary policy from central banks to private companies, the company’s co-founder Chris Hughes said in an opinion piece in the Financial Times on Friday.

“If global regulators don’t act now, it could very soon be too late,” Hughes said.

Hughes also said the corporations that would oversee the new currency would put their private interests – profits and influence – ahead of public ones.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The social media giant revealed plans on Tuesday to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra and linked up with 28 partners in a Geneva-based entity called the Libra Association, which will govern the new digital coin set to launch in the first half of 2020.

Hughes, a former roommate of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, had earlier called for a break-up of the social network in an opinion piece in the New York Times in May. Facebook, then, rejected https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cofounder/facebook-rejects-co-founder-call-for-breakup-senator-urges-u-s-antitrust-probe-idUSKCN1SF1HR Hughes’ call to split the company in three.

The company has been under scrutiny from regulators around the world over data sharing practices as well as hate speech and misinformation on its networks. Some U.S. lawmakers have pushed for action to break up big tech companies as well as federal privacy regulation.

All rights reserved SaltWire Network © 2019

Quadriga’s Crypto Ended Up in CEO?s Accounts on Rival Exchanges

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

QuadrigaCX CEO’s actions ultimately led to collapse of crypto exchange

Doug Alexander
Bloomberg

It’s looking more and more like QuadrigaCX founder Gerald Cotten mismanaged the digital-asset exchange before he died, with cryptocurrencies from clients ending up at rival marketplaces in his personal accounts.

The latest report from Ernst & Young, which is overseeing the bankruptcy process for Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp., paints a clearer picture of a Vancouver-based firm that lacked financial reporting and operational controls, run primarily by a founder whose actions ultimately led to its collapse, leaving hundreds of customers owed millions in cash and cryptocurrency.

“Quadriga’s operating infrastructure appears to have been significantly flawed from a financial reporting and operational control perspective,” the June 19 report said. “Activities were largely directed by a single individual, Mr. Cotten, and as a result typical segregation of duties and basic internal controls did not appear to exist.”

Cotten ran Quadriga mostly from his laptop, and his sudden death in December while traveling in India threw the business into disarray. Speculation has swirled around the firm as a series of peculiar details have filtered out, including that digital storage accounts used by Quadriga to hold Bitcoin for clients were empty for months before Cotten’s death.

There were “significant volumes” of cryptocurrency transferred off the Quadriga platform into competitor exchanges and into personal accounts controlled by Cotten, the report said.

“It appears that user cryptocurrency was traded on these exchanges and in some circumstances used as a security for a margin trading account established by Cotten,” according to the report.

Competitor exchanges received multiple forms of cryptocurrencies from Quadriga wallets from 2016 through 2019 — 9,450 Bitcoin, 387,738 Ethereum and 239,020 Litecoin, according to the report. Quadriga’s cryptocurrency reserves were “adversely affected” by trading losses and incremental fees charged by other exchanges, the report said.

“The conversion of user cryptocurrency into other currencies through competitor exchanges resulted in incremental fees being incurred and currency exchange fluctuations relative to the original currency generating gains and losses,” the report said. “In addition, it appears that the activity in the exchange accounts resulted in overall trading losses.”

The late CEO also created accounts under aliases where “unsupported deposits” were used to trade within the platform, resulting in inflated revenue figures, artificial trades with users and ultimately the withdrawal of cryptocurrency, the report said. And “substantial funds” were transferred to Cotten personally and other related parties.

Ernst & Young said it learned from one exchange that Cotten established a margin account and traded various cryptocurrencies “extensively” — 67,000 individual transactions — with multiple digital assets that didn’t trade on Quadriga. That account was subject to substantial fees and generated substantial losses.

Cotten also used an offshore exchange, of which 21,501 Bitcoin were deposited into an account in Cotten’s name. Ernst & Young’s investigation suggests that at least some of that Bitcoin came from Quadriga, though it’s unclear exactly how much. The report said it appears Cotten liquidated all but 8 Bitcoin from that account over the course of three years, for the equivalent of C$80 million ($60.6 million).

© Bloomberg

Raised in a log cabin in Canada, Slack chairman is now worth $1.3 billion

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Raised in a log cabin, Slack chairman would be worth US$1.3B with workplace communication firm?s listing

Sophie Alexander and Tom Metcalf
Bloomberg

Canadian entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield helped found Slack Technologies Inc. after selling his earlier startup, Flickr, to Yahoo for more than US$20 million. The latest venture is bringing a bigger windfall.

His 8 per cent stake in the workplace communication company would be worth US$1.3 billion if Slack goes public this week at US$16 billion, the low end of Wall Street’s expected range. Slack co-founder Cal Henderson, 38, owns 3 per cent worth about US$533 million.

Butterfield, the 46-year-old chairman and chief executive officer, has come a long way from the log cabin where he lived in a remote part of Canada without electricity and running water for the first few years of his life. He was introduced to computers in the second grade but lost interest in the technology as he got older and went on to study philosophy in college.

“By the time I finished my master’s degree I really had no idea of what I was going to do except for be an academic because, you know, the big five philosophy firms aren’t always hiring,” Butterfield told Bloomberg last year.

After brief stints in the startup world at Communicate.com and Gradfinder.com, Butterfield came up with the idea for Flickr, a photo and video hosting service that he sold to Yahoo in 2005. Butterfield worked at Yahoo until 2008 and later founded Glitch, which became the multibillion-dollar company now called Slack.

Slack, an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge,” will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WORK.

Bloomberg.com

Raised in a log cabin in Canada, Slack chairman is now worth $1.3 billion

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Stewart Butterfield’s 8 per cent stake in the workplace communication company would be worth US$1.3 billion if Slack goes public this week at US$16 billion

Sophie Alexander and Tom Metcalf
Bloomberg

Canadian entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield helped found Slack Technologies Inc. after selling his earlier startup, Flickr, to Yahoo for more than US$20 million. The latest venture is bringing a bigger windfall.

His 8 per cent stake in the workplace communication company would be worth US$1.3 billion if Slack goes public this week at US$16 billion, the low end of Wall Street’s expected range. Slack co-founder Cal Henderson, 38, owns 3 per cent worth about US$533 million.

Butterfield, the 46-year-old chairman and chief executive officer, has come a long way from the log cabin where he lived in a remote part of Canada without electricity and running water for the first few years of his life. He was introduced to computers in the second grade but lost interest in the technology as he got older and went on to study philosophy in college.

By the time I finished my master’s degree I really had no idea of what I was going to do except for be an academic because, you know, the big five philosophy firms aren’t always hiring,” Butterfield told Bloomberg last year.
After brief stints in the startup world at Communicate.com and
Gradfinder.com, Butterfield came up with the idea for Flickr, a photo and video hosting service that he sold to Yahoo in 2005. Butterfield worked at Yahoo until 2008 and later founded Glitch, which became the multibillion-dollar company now called Slack.

Slack, an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge,” will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WORK.

Bloomberg.com

Crypto Exchanges Are Facing Their Biggest Regulatory Hurdle Yet

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Olga Kharif
Bloomberg

Bitcoin and its fellow cryptocurrencies have surged in popularity partly because they’ve offered a way to skirt the government oversight exercised over traditional financial systems. Well, get ready to kiss much of that autonomy goodbye.

On June 21, the Financial Action Task Force — a multi-government effort that develops recommendations for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism that’s followed by about 200 countries including the U.S. — will publish a note to clarify how participating nations should oversee virtual assets, FATF spokeswoman Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel said in an email. The new rules will apply to businesses working with tokens and cryptocurrencies, such as exchanges and custodians and crypto hedge funds.

Much depends on how the rules — long governing traditional bank wire transfers — will be interpreted and applied by country-specific regulators, but they are “one of the biggest threats to crypto today,” Eric Turner, director of research at crypto researcher Messari Inc., said in an email. “Their recommendation could have a much larger impact than the SEC or any other regulator has had to date.”

The guidelines will require companies ranging from exchanges Coinbase Inc. and Kraken to asset manager Fidelity Investments to collect information about customers initiating transactions of over $1,000 or 1,000 euros, as well as details about the recipients of the funds, and to send that data to the recipient’s service provider along with each transaction.

While that may sound simple, compliance will be costly and technically difficult, said John Roth, chief compliance and ethics officer at Seattle-based exchange Bittrex, which has about $58 million in daily-trading volume. After all, wallet addresses on digital ledgers supporting cryptocurrencies are largely anonymous, so an exchange currently has no way of knowing who the recipient of the funds is.

“It’s either going to require a complete and fundamental restructuring of blockchain technology, or it’s going to require a global parallel system to be sort of constructed among the 200 or so exchanges in the world,” Roth said. “You can imagine difficulties in trying to build something like that.”

A handful of U.S. exchanges are discussing how to set up such a system, said Mary Beth Buchanan, general counsel at San Francisco-based Kraken, which does about $195 million in daily volume.

“Without enhanced technology systems, this is a case of trying to apply 20th-century rules to 21st-century technology,” Buchanan said. “There’s not a technological solution that would allow us to fully comply. We are working with international exchanges to try to come up with a solution.”

The end result could be that many crypto businesses will face increased compliance costs, Buchanan said. Some non-compliant businesses could shut down, said Phil Liu, chief legal officer at Los Angeles-based hedge fund Arca.

“People in crypto like to make a big deal about giving personally identifiable information to the government, but I don’t see a whole lot of disruption for legitimate players if the proposal is enacted,” Liu said in an email.

U.S. exchanges may also lose customers, as instead of going through an exchange or another virtual-asset service provider (VASP), some may simply start trading with others directly, to safeguard their privacy.

“I get why the FATF wants to do this,” Jeff Horowitz, chief compliance officer at San Francisco-based Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange. “But applying bank regulations to this industry could drive more people to conduct person-to-person transactions, which would result in less transparency for law enforcement. The FATF really needs to consider the many unintended consequences of applying this specific rule to VASPs.”

Just how soon these consequences start to hit home will depend on the individual agencies. Groups like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) are expected to start to vigorously enforce the rules. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently issued interpretive guidance that looks similar to those being considered by FATF. Some state agencies could follow suit, raising the risk that non-compliant businesses will lose money-transmitter licenses.

If a country doesn’t comply with FATF rules and is placed on its blacklist, “it can essentially lose access to the global financial system,” said Jesse Spiro, head of policy at crypto investigative firm Chainalysis Inc.

The proposed regulations could also impact many of the more than 500 crypto funds that have popped up in the past few years, according to Josh Gnaizda, chief executive officer of CryptoFundResearch. “Trading delays or additional transactional costs as a result of compliance with FATF could significantly chip away at returns.”

After multiple meetings with the crypto industry, the regulators likely know compliance will take time, as the industry mulls new technologies and processes. Some participants are looking at the bright side, as greater oversight could lead to more institutional acceptance of crypto.

“Will it be a potential hardship? Certainly, at least initially,” Chainalysis’s Spiro said. “While it may be a hardship, it seems to be something that’s necessary. The road map at the end of the day after this is less arduous for this industry.”

Copyright 2019 Bloomberg L.P

Flying a drone without a licence? You could be fined up to $5,000

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

Jason Gaidola – Stephanie Wiebe
other

As of Saturday, people caught flying drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms without a federal licence could face fines of up to $5,000.

There are two different types of licences now offered by Transport Canada: basic and advanced.

The basic category is meant for people who never fly in controlled airspace or within 30 metres horizontally of bystanders. The basic category requires passing a $10 online exam, registering with Transport Canada, marking the drone with its registration number, and carrying the pilot certificate whenever the drone is in use.

The advanced category requires all of the above, plus an in-person flight review and special permission from air traffic controllers whenever flying in controlled air space.

Users must be 14 years of age or older to take the basic exam. They must be 16 or older to take the advanced exam.

Flying drones without a licence could mean fines of $1,000 for recreational users and $5,000 for commercial users.

Winnipeg drone enthusiast Evan Turner says he believes the government regulations “hit it pretty well on.”

“Something that’s over 250 grams can definitely hurt somebody if you’re going fast enough, or cause property damage,” he told CTV Winnipeg.

Calgary-area drone user Chris Healy also likes the regulations, because he no longer needs special permission each time he wants to fly.

“Anyone with proper training and proper licensing can (now) get the perspective of Earth which was usually meant for the purview of pilots or astronauts,” he said.

Drones that weigh under 250 grams are exempt from licensing. Drones that weigh more than 25 kilograms have their own set of rules.

Transport Canada says that drones should be flown where the pilot can see them at all times, below 122 metres, at least 5.6 kilometres away from airports and 1.9 kilometres from heliports.

Transport Canada has a list of drone flight schools on its website.

© 2019 BellMedia