Don Tapscott, WEF Senior Advisor, Joins Chamber of Digital Commerce’s Advisory Board

Bitcoin Magazine
Don Tapscott, WEF Senior Advisor, Joins Chamber of Digital Commerce’s Advisory Board

The Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade association focused on promoting digital currencies and assets, announced today, at Money 20/20, that Don Tapscott had joined its board of advisors.

The goal is for him to advise on government affairs and public policy related to technology and economic policy. He will also be working on a framework for best practices on blockchain technology for regulators.

Tapscott is the author or co-author of more than 15 books about technology, such as The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in The Age of Networked Intelligence and Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. Along with his many books, Tapscott is also CEO of Tapscott Group, a senior adviser to the World Economic Forum, and the Chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

“I am delighted to join the Chamber of Digital Commerce in its mission to develop pro-growth public policy for digital assets,” Tapscott said in a statement. “The blockchain will radically transform the way we do commerce, redefine the very nature of industries worldwide and has the potential to fundamentally shift the way in which our society’s is [sic] hierarchically organized. However, without a regulatory framework that allows for such innovation, the blockchain could be severely stifled.”

“The digital asset industry has significant public policy challenges to overcome. We look to our Advisory Board to provide thought leadership in developing policy proposals and solutions. Don Tapscott’s influence in technology and financial services will be helpful in building relationships and credibility in Washington for the digital asset industry,” said Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine.

Originally a skeptic on bitcoin, Tapscott has since changed his mind and said, in an interview at a Toronto school: “Bitcoin. Well, I’ve changed my mind. I used to think it would never fly, and now I think it’s not only going to fly as a currency, but the underlying blockchain technology is part, core part, of a next generation of the Internet, that it’s going to radically transform commerce, or the nature of the corporation, but many of our institutions of our society, and everybody needs to pay attention to this.”

Along with his son, Alex Tapscott, he is writing a book titled The Trust Protocol: How Blockchain Technology is Changing Money, Business and the World , which will be published by Penguin Random House in Spring 2016.

Jacob Donnelly is a full-time product manager and freelance journalist covering stocks, business and bitcoin. He runs a weekly digital currency and blockchain newsletter called Crypto Brief.

Photo Dan Tapscott / Flickr (CC)

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Silbert’s Digital Currency Group Announces Major Fundraise from MasterCard, CIBC, and Others

Barry Silbert, Founder of the recently acquired SecondMarket, announced at Money20/20 that the Digital Currency Group had raised its round of capital.

Digital Currency Group, otherwise known as DCG, was formed when Genesis Global Trading—a bitcoin OTC trading firm—and Grayscale Investments—a digital currency asset management firm that manages Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC)—were combined into one entity.

Along with these two companies, Mr. Silbert also combined his diverse portfolio of seed investment in the bitcoin and blockchain space. Some of his early investments include BitPay, Coinbase, itBit, and Xapo.

“Our companies have raised over 70% of venture capital that has been invested in the space if you don’t count the miners,” Silbert said at Money 20/20.

Bain Capital Ventures, Canadian Imperial Bank of Comerce (CIBC), CME Ventures, FirstMark Capital, MasterCard, New York Life, Novel TMT, Oak HC/FT, RRE Ventures, Solon Mack Capital, and Transamerica Ventures are all new investors in DCG.

“I wanted to work with firms who have a long-term perspective, and were willing to explore with us and invest not only money, but real organizational and intellectual capital into building businesses and partnerships that will enable us to unleash value in new, unprecedented ways,” Silbert said in a statement.

DCG is being launched a holding company rather than an investment fund. Silbert believes that this gives the company the necessary flexibility and diversification. “Being structured as a company, versus a fund, allows us to evolve with the industry given our permanent capital base and flexible mandate,” Silbert said in the statement. “It is our view that broad exposure with the optionality to concentrate our focus is a winning strategy.”

Jacob Donnelly is a full-time product manager and freelance journalist covering stocks, business and bitcoin. He runs a weekly digital currency and blockchain newsletter called Crypto Brief.

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CardCash to Start Rolling out Mobile App for Gift Cards, Offer Bitcoin-Only Discounts

In August Bitcoin Magazine reported that CardCash, an American online company that buys and sells discounted gift cards from thousands of national retailers, had started to accept bitcoin payments, joining companies such as Gyft and Fold in providing ways to purchase gift cards from major retailers with bitcoin.

Founded in 2008, CardCash has been included in the Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies for the last three years, as well as in the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America for the past four years. In November 2013, the company raised $6 million in Series A funding from Guggenheim Partners.

Bitcoin Magazine reached out to Eric Berger, director of growth strategy at CardCash, to find out more about the company’s bitcoin-related strategy.

Could you explain in a few words the main benefit that CardCash brings to consumers?

CardCash has been the industry leader in security, speed and innovation for nearly a decade. The benefits our consumers enjoy are as follows:

CardCash offers gift card liquidity by allowing consumers to exchange their unwanted gift cards quickly and securely for cash.CardCash offers consumers the opportunity to purchase second-hand gift cards to their favorite retailers at significant discounts. These savings can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars each year for our regular customers.Lastly, CardCash fully guarantees each purchase for 45 days. That means that customers have over six worry-free weeks to use their cards.

Furthermore, with CardCash’s acceptance of bitcoin, we have now bridged the gap between bitcoin users and over 1,000 retailers that do not yet accept the innovative digital currency.

How do consumers use your mobile app? How is the rollout plan proceeding?

Our mobile app is set to launch at the end of October. Customers will be able to purchase gift cards using their same account information, just as they would online, with our omni-channel account access. The app also has full wallet functionality, allowing customers to store their gift cards and even purchase goods at retailers’ physical stores straight through the app. The next iteration of the app will also include Apple Pay and Android Pay along with improved location-based technology that will allow us to custom-tailor promotions to suit each customer better.

Do you have plans to expand beyond the U.S. to international markets, and, if so, what’s your expected timeline for that?

We believe that the current domestic opportunity is still in its infancy. With this enormous potential, our primary focus for the foreseeable future is on the U.S. market. We do look forward for the opportunity to share our valuable service with new markets and consumers when the time is right.

You mention strict AML/KYC compliance policies. Isn’t that likely to become a barrier to CardCash adoption from bitcoin users?

CardCash has always been the industry leader concerning customer security and AML/KYC compliance, and we will continue to meet these standards for our new bitcoin users. We have seen no barriers to CardCash’s bitcoin adoption and are excited for the tremendous potential impact in the bitcoin community. Policies such as purchase limits, fraud detection and account monitoring will be no different for our bitcoin users. These not only satisfy compliance requirements, they also help detect and deter fraudulent activity that ends up costing everyone more.

How do the bitcoin-only discounts work, and are you already able to offer bitcoin-only discounts?

Bitcoin discounts will be an automatically credited discount at checkout, passing back our savings on transactions fees back to the consumer. We will also have bitcoin-only coupons from time to time to market, specifically, to the bitcoin community. We plan on implementing these discounts in the very near future.

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