How Decentralized Finance Makes Investing Accessible
Historically, global financial markets have been restricted to those with exactly the right contacts, in the right locations, and with vast amounts of wealth already at their disposal. Investing for the general population, however, was typically expensive, cumbersome, and inaccessible.
Fortunately, today’s infographic from Abra demonstrates how the decentralized financial market has brought about solutions to these hurdles.
Why Investing Should be More Accessible
Many factors such as theft, inflation, and political or economic shifts can erode personal wealth over time.
Being able to invest in the global financial market offers a hedge against these risks, and yet for those with modest resources and limited connections, investing has typically been out of reach.
Consider several well-known platforms or funds:
- Etrade ─ $500
- T. Rowe Price ─ $2,500
- Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index Fund ─ $5,000,000
Investment minimums range from several hundred to several million dollars—making any hope of investing impossible for most.
This is especially urgent for the global middle class, which is expected to swell 180% by 2040. Having access to more avenues to build and protect wealth will be key to sustainable economic growth for a growing majority worldwide.
But how can people actually start investing if much of the current market is still too expensive?
Fractional Investing Offers Better Access
In the past, brokers were limited to buying and selling stocks as whole units.
Fractional investing, however, allows investors with a lower net worth to access valuable, expensive stocks. It also attracts investors that are less likely to buy and sell on a whim and instead focus on long-term growth.
Blockchain technology has been a key component in this democratization of global wealth—much like fractional investing—because people are no longer restricted by their resources, location, or lack of connections.
A New Wave of Investing
Decentralized finance is:
Users no longer need a third-party to verify their transactions.
Users can access decentralized financial markets from anywhere using their smart devices.
Every transaction is made publically viewable.
No one can make arbitrary changes or cause system-wide shutdowns.
Anyone can customize smart contracts based on regional and technical requirements.
Decentralized financial tools, using blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are providing excellent alternatives to building wealth by offering smaller investment minimums, lower fees, and faster transaction times.
The rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies introduced the world to the simple concept of fractional investing—owning extremely small fractions of digital currencies.
Now, investors can also own fractions of high-priced stocks, ETFs, fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, and stable coins, through Abra’s novel platform.
Abra: the Blockchain-based Investment App
Abra is the world’s first global investment app that uses the Bitcoin blockchain to make investing more accessible. Abra makes it fast and easy to manage your investments—all from one app.
- Simple: Easy to use and globally available, Abra’s app makes investing a breeze.
- Secure: Abra is secure and private—backed by blockchain and smart-contract technology—giving investors full control of their funds through non-custodial wallets.
- Fractionalized: Invest in partial shares of traditional and digital assets, starting at $5.
- Global: Trade, store value, and invest in a range of fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and stocks from 154 countries.
The Future of Investing
Historically, investing in equities has been a key to building personal wealth, and Abra’s technology allows more people around the world to access the same types of investments, no matter their location or income.
A survey of Abra users shows the democratization of investing in action:
Affordability: Most Abra users have roughly US$50 in their portfolios.
Security: Abra users enjoy privacy of information and full control of their assets.
Accessibility: A top priority for Abra users, they are able to invest in financial markets and expensive equities worldwide.
With its intuitive, global platform, Abra has introduced the future of investing for everyone.
“For the first time, we can truly democratize access to investment opportunities at global scale.”
—Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra
Water-Soluble CBD: A Game Changer for Consumer Packaged Goods
A breakthrough technology triggers a new wave of CBD products—unlocking new possibilities in the consumer packaged goods industry.
Water-Soluble CBD: A Game Changer for Consumer Packaged Goods
Cannabidiol (CBD)—a major non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant—is quickly becoming a mainstream product. Due to mounting evidence of its health benefits, it is increasingly used as a key ingredient in consumer packaged goods such as food, beverages, and health and wellness products.
This burgeoning market is estimated to grow from $5 billion in 2019, to $23.7 billion by 2023. However, major challenges with existing products need to be addressed, such as poor bioavailability, or the rate at which CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Today’s infographic from Trait Biosciences explores the importance of a truly water-soluble CBD formulation in addressing this challenge and many more.
The Importance of Water-Soluble CBD
When CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, it takes an oil-based form. Like any oil, it is hydrophobic, meaning it will not dissolve in water.
As a result, CBD oil resists absorption into the bloodstream—with 96% of it being flushed from the body without ever having an active effect.
Nanoemulsion is the most common method of creating CBD-infused products. The process involves pulverizing cannabinoids into nano-sizes, and combining them with an emulsifier and a carrier oil, in an attempt to create a water-soluble CBD.
However, despite many industry players’ claims, nanoemulsified CBD is not water-soluble. In fact, water-compatible is a more accurate description. Nanoemulsified CBD also has associated risks, including:
- Risk of DNA damage, cytotoxicity, and immune system response
- Nanoparticles have been known to accumulate in organs, causing other health concerns
- Leads to unpredictable experiences
Trait Biosciences’ breakthrough technology, Trait Distilled™, avoids these issues.
An Entirely Natural Process
Through Trait Biosciences’ proprietary glycosylation process, a sugar molecule is attached to the cannabinoid—a process that naturally occurs in the body as it metabolizes different foods.
The benefits of the Trait Distilled™ process will be a game changer for cannabis, hemp, and CPG industries, due to its:
- Greater bioavailability
- Perfectly clear solution
- Faster onset time
- Indefinite shelf stability
- Better taste
- Lack of emulsifiers, surfactants, or nanotechnologies
- Organic certification potential
- Odor-free properties
Trait’s Distilled™ technology results in pure, and natural water-soluble terpenes and cannabinoids that are entirely safe for commercial use.
The Impact on Consumer Packaged Goods Industries
The adoption of this new technology will prove extremely lucrative across CBD-infused CPG product categories. Many major companies are already capitalizing on the potential of CBD-infused products, such as Walmart, Whole Foods, and Ulta Beauty.
Among products that new and existing consumers would consider trying, edibles—such as CBD-infused baked goods and chocolate—rank the highest.
CBD as a functional ingredient and a mood enhancer is blurring the lines between pharma and food, with health benefits such as:
- Full of Omega-3
- Stress and anxiety relief
The global functional food market is projected to grow from $250 billion to $440 billion by 2022, with CBD-infused food products playing a significant role in the growth of this market.
The global functional beverages market will be worth an estimated $278 billion by 2020, with CBD-infused beverages becoming a significant sub-segment.
Taste is the #1 consumer driver, and biggest roadblock for CBD-infused beverages. Water-soluble CBD will eliminate the unpleasant aftertaste associated with CBD-infused beverages that are currently on the market.
Health and Wellness
Health and wellness is emerging as a new reason for cannabis consumption. With Unilever now entering the space with CBD-infused ice cream, the floodgates will open for other major companies to follow suit.
Truly water-soluble CBD is a revolutionary technology that will kickstart the growth of CBD products in the CPG sector—and unlock the true potential of the cannabis plant.
Trait Biosciences is leading this biotechnology innovation, by creating purer and safer cannabis products for everyone.
Investing in Canada: the Silicon Valley of the North
Canada’s tech sector is booming with promising talent and lower operating costs. U.S. companies are taking notice, with many setting up shop in Canada.
Investing in Canada: the Silicon Valley of the North
The fastest-growing tech hubs are no longer limited to the San Francisco Bay Area. Canadian cities have emerged as ideal ecosystems for nurturing technology companies.
In particular, Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, and Vancouver are well-known hubs for innovation, attracting some of the world’s top tech talent.
Today’s graphic from the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco highlights why Canada’s booming tech industry is attractive to foreign companies, and where the new avenues for growth are located.
Investing in Canada’s Tech Sector
Canada is an attractive market for foreign investors and corporations.
- Free Trade: Canada is the only country that freely trades with every G7 nation
- Innovation: The tech startup ecosystem in Canada ranks 3rd in the world
- Stability: Canada’s social and political climate ranks in the top 20 most stable worldwide
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Canada is fueling this growth. In just a year, FDI grew by 70%—from $32.2 billion in 2017 to $54.7 billion in 2018. There are three primary types of FDI:
|Horizontal||Same type of business established in a foreign country||Cell phone provider in the U.S. opens stores in Canada|
|Vertical||Different but related business established or acquired in a foreign country||U.S. manufacturer acquires a Canadian supplier of parts or raw materials required for its products|
|Conglomerate||An investment made in a business unrelated to the foreign investor’s existing business||Joint venture between a Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) company and a U.S. company with no experience in AI|
For many years, Canada has maintained an open flow of trade, investment, and talent with other nations. That’s why many well-known foreign companies are flocking to the “Great White North” to attract world-class talent.
Who’s Got Talent: Hiring the Best
Canada is an emerging leader in talent attraction. The influx of FDI and skilled immigrants has sparked the “brain gain” throughout Canada’s tech sector.
The Global Skills Strategy (GSS) is a recent federal program that fast tracks immigration for highly-skilled workers applying directly to Canada or through U.S. companies. In 2018 alone, the GSS received over 10,000 applications─with a 96% success rate for approved work visas.
Shorter processing times for Canadian work visas are enabling more efficient immigration. Canadian visas are now processed within 10-14 days, compared with the typical U.S. timelines of 6-10 months.
Locally, Canadian tech talent has also grown formidable. Notable experts in AI, deep learning, and technology have pursued lucrative research and career opportunities in Canada.
Canadian Tech Pioneers
- Yoshua Bengio: 2018 Turing Award, University of Montreal
- Richard Sutton: Google DeepMind, University of Alberta
- Joelle Pineau: Facebook AI Research (FAIR), McGill University
- Geoffrey Hinton: Google, 2018 Turing Award, University of Toronto
- Donna Strickland: 2018 Nobel Laureate, University of Waterloo
- Doina Precup: Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Senior Fellow, McGill University
- Sanja Fidler: NVIDIA Director of AI, University of Toronto
- Hugo Larochelle: Google Brain, CIFAR Associate Director, University of Montreal
Notable accolades include the Turing Award, which is given annually to selected individuals for their contributions “of lasting and major technical importance” to the computer science industry.
Highly skilled professionals such as those listed above are working closely with both renowned academic organizations and major tech companies to foster innovation in Canadian tech.
Show Me the Money: Setting up Shop in Canada
Companies that choose to invest in Canada’s technology sector also have access to several key financial incentives.
- Tax Incentives
Foreign companies can receive corporate tax breaks for investing in a Canadian office. Any research and development (R&D) work may also be eligible for Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits.
- Lower Labor Costs
Lower costs of living throughout Canada allows foreign companies to pay lower wages to staff without impacting quality of life. The rent-to-tech wage ratio─the ratio of a tech worker’s monthly housing costs to their monthly wages─is significantly lower in Canada compared to major U.S. tech hubs. For example, Montreal’s ratio is 12.6%, compared to San Francisco’s ratio of 26.4%.
- Lower Operating Costs
Setting up a physical office also offers more value per dollar for foreign companies, as most operating costs are significantly lower in Canada.
The Canadian tech industry is consistently boosting job growth, tech innovation, and wealth creation─all important considerations for foreign companies and investors.
Attracting Foreign Companies to Canada
Many view Canada as a land of opportunity─ the country consistently ranks highly on global happiness, thanks to its stable politics, social factors, and strong economy.
With quality talent and lower costs, Canada is fertile ground for U.S. and foreign tech companies seeking to grow their businesses and global reach.
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