Despite a current downturn, the global cryptocurrency market remains active and fascinating to say the least—and a trend with enough traction to grab the attention of virtually all companies.
Blockchain-based digital assets “have risen on the radars of boards over the last few years as digital currencies are adopted into mainstream payment flows and central banks across the world,” Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director of the Diligent Institute, noted earlier this month.
Led by the original Bitcoin more than a decade ago, dozens to hundreds of other coins have since saturated the market. Around this armada of currencies and blockchains, there has blossomed an ecosystem of startups paving intersections of once-distinct technologies: the combination of web3, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and hardware advances just to enable the Metaverse, for example.
In Canada, we see a range of startups tackling a variety of challenges across crypto and web3. Indeed, one recent study found Canada to be among the most “crypto-ready” countries in the world, just behind Germany.
According to a poll conducted by KPMG, 13% of Canadians have purchased crypto assets such as bitcoin. The biggest investors are younger Canadians; one quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds have purchased crypto assets.
Fun fact: Canada has the second-most crypto ATMs in the world—nearly 1,500!—and per capita. And of course we also have a lot of crypto-ready companies.
Here we highlight just a handful of those tapping into fintech.
Montreal-born Dello thinks sending and receiving cryptocurrency payments in consumer sale situations is unnecessarily complicated. The startup has launched a new payment processing solutions for cryptocurrency users which it says makes it easy to handle transactions—whether it be for small everyday purchases or large-ticket items like motor vehicles and real estate.
“Someone enters a business to buy something valued at X dollars and pays in crypto,” explains Olivier Benloulou, the company’s president. “Dello takes the crypto and guarantees the exact dollar value to the business.”
Dello first launched in 2021.
The Ottawa-based e-commerce giant Shopify has a longstanding reputation for being at the forefront of innovation. With regards to crypto, the company has not let its size stop it from adapting to emerging technology.
Shopify has partnered with several crypto-based companies within the last year alone, integrating with major brands like Crypto.com and and Strike. The company has also embraced non-fungible tokens through Tokengated Commerce.
“Tokengated commerce offers a fundamentally new way to deepen connections and reward true fans and VIPs by giving NFT holders exclusive access to products, perks, and experiences,” Shopify says. Users can activate tokengated commerce experiences online, mobile, and at physical retail through POS.
Canada’s largest platform for donating and fundraising now accepts donations of cryptocurrency in support of 86,000 registered charities across the country.
“As technology and digital solutions continue to transform our lives, we’re making it easier for Canadians to engage with and support the charities they care about,” Jane Ricciardelli, Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO of CanadaHelps, stated in May. “At the same time, we are helping charities raise the critical funding they need to provide the services that a growing number of Canadians rely on.”
Since 2000, over 3.5 million people have given more than $2 billion through CanadaHelps.
Creative Destruction Lab
The Montreal chapter of CDL this summer launches a new web3 stream for ventures employing blockchain technology to disrupt the fields of decentralized finance, decentralized autonomous organizations, and gaming.
Julien Billot, Site Lead for CDL-Montreal, says the city is “a pole of excellence for the financial industry,” which is a field “ripe to be transformed with the recent advancement in blockchain technologies.”
While not technically a fintech firm itself, CDL was founded in 2012 at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Since then it has graduated many startups from its various streams and chapters.
Toronto-based cryptocurrency trading platform VirgoCX recently raised a $10 million Series A round of funding despite the tough venture capital market.
Virgo Group has laid out a company roadmap for providing more comprehensive products to solve problems that exist in the crypto market, including an NFT Web 3 Liquidity Aggregator to help users instantly complete a sale with competitive prices and a seamless experience.
The company was founded in 2018.
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