Connect Financial Monthly Update

Connect Financial
7 min readJul 11, 2023

Happy July to everyone! It really feels like it has not been that long since our last update but it has been a couple months. I know you are eager to hear from the team on what we’ve been up to, what you can expect coming out, and when. So I won’t spend a lot of time in the intro section here and rather get straight into it.

There has been quite a lot of news over the last few months with regards to different regulatory bodies. Our overall feeling is that the world is really starting to view cryptocurrency as something that will be a main keystone in the future economy. We’ve seen regulatory bodies come out with explicit framework for how these digital assets should be handled, reported and licensed. Unfortunately on the other side of that coin are some major bodies that have yet to clearly define how to even classify digital assets.

Through the fog though one thing is clear, be licensed to operate in the jurisdiction your clients are in or be relegated to the ash heap of history.

This is the stance that Connect Financial has come to adopt as a base requirement in our go to market strategy. To ensure the longevity and viability of our business, to best secure and protect our users trust and funds we employ every best practice and tool we can gain access to. This includes limiting or mitigating any possible regulatory sanctions and fines from being levied against us.

Being properly licensed to conduct business in the country or jurisdiction of our clients is one core requirements as a responsible steward and player in the market.

With that being said we have had numerous strategy and planning meetings to make sure our global roll out remains at a pace that is acceptable to us and our users. This includes choosing jurisdictions that match our corporate standards to open our subsidiaries and apply for licensing. Ensuring that the licenses we acquire adequately cover our product base and enable us to perform the activities we need to.

The Connect Financial project has been steadily building for more than 24 months, which feels more like 10 “crypto” years. Over this time there has been a number of significant milestones. Notably:

  • Initial project and CNFI token launch (March 2020)
  • Early partnerships with several high-profile crypto projects
  • Securing partnerships with Mastercard, banking, liquidity and custody providers
  • Ready-for-market development of supporting projects including such as Smart Metal
  • Development of the prototype initial platform and all of the supporting infrastructure
  • Closing a successful funding round
  • Completion of an end to end go to market analysis performed by Mastercards Launch Success team

A lot of the activity has revolved around building the “what” of the Connect Financial product: building the software, partnering with the right providers, defining the business rules and otherwise developing a resilient, enterprise grade financial product. Along the way we’ve made some necessary compromises but the focus has remained on building a product that meets the standards of what we can see and control.

During this time, we have been building our marketing engine, largely in stealth, with a handful of experiments to test the waters. We’re confident in our ability to execute an effective and sustainable marketing strategy that sells the benefits of the platform without relying (too much) on hype.

Now, the focus has shifted squarely to perhaps the most challenging part of the launch equation: Defense.

When people talk about ‘defense’, they generally talk about defending against a competitor or some sort of disruptive technology. This is true for Connect Financial as well, but our focus is tuned towards defending against known and probable legal, regulatory and compliance risks.

I’ve talked about the impacts of a changing regulatory landscape at length, and I won’t rehash things here, but the point remains: Crypto and fintech companies simply won’t survive in the open market without being fully compliant with regulations. This isn’t a case of ‘begging for forgiveness’ anymore… every indication is that non-compliance will be swiftly punished, particularly within the US market.


To give you some further insight, the team has spent several weeks focused investigating and creating a compliance strategy with regards to complying with four main frameworks, with a view to gaining accreditation over the next 6–12 months:

  • SOC 1
  • SOC 2
  • GDPR

Choosing to look at one of these in more detail, SOC2 is a compliance standard relating to how companies like Connect manage customer data across the domains of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, privacy.

To become accredited as SOC 2 compliant, Connect Financial needs to show evidence of meeting over 60 requirements across 160+ technical, procedural and policy related controls. Although this is a significant undertaking, eventual SOC 2 compliance will be absolutely required for us to continue to partner with key vendors, and apply for essential licenses in the future.

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to this work, but we are making things as efficient as possible by working with one of the industry’s leading compliance platforms to ensure that we are in the best possible position to pass audits across our selected compliance frameworks.

This technical partner, Drata, provides continuous 24/7 monitoring of all of these data points and controls for each of our frameworks. They also provide us with tools that align with our goal of transparency by allowing us to present to the world our real-time compliance metrics on our upcoming Trust Center and Transparency page. So not only will we have audited certificates of compliance but at anytime you can validate our ongoing commitment to these factors.

Sample of the public facing Trust Center

Product Design update

While we finish the task of obtaining the required accreditations and licenses, we are taking the opportunity to revisit some of our earlier product designs to find ways of sharpening our offering and further enhance the overall user experience of the client portal.

It has been over a year since we originally defined the visual look and feel of the portal so we have added to our team a very talented lead Product Designer to put fresh eyes on the project and add a further layer of finesse to the UI.

We are taking the opportunity to revisit all of our initial assumptions and validate them through an end-to-end review of our users, competitors, platform features and overall aesthetic. The Product Designer is currently working through an process that will take several weeks:

  • Bootcamp-style evaluation of the project including competitor analysis, product functionality, getting thorough answers to all of the “why” questions.
  • Define the core user personas and map out the full user flows for the full feature set
  • Develop new wireframes and refine existing layouts to ensure a great experience across desktop, tablet and mobile
  • Create high fidelity mockups and prepare for development
  • Work with the engineering team to execute the new product designs into cohesive, polished UI/UX

Not every product gets the opportunity to revisit designs in a structured way, and we’re excited that we get the chance to add even more sizzle to the steak.

Legal And Compliance

On top of adding a Lead Product Designer to our team Connect Financial has officially engaged with Renno & Co in Canada as our General Legal Counsel. Renno & Co has long served as Connect Financials Corporate attorney so we are pleased with the addition of their team as General Counsel.

Leading the way for Connect’s Legal team is Noah Billick, who himself is a seasoned Chief Compliance Officer with an extensive legal background in Regulatory, Funds and Compliance.

He has been busy acclimating to our product base, preparing our regulatory submissions in multiple areas, working on our legal framework for new jurisdictions and in general reviewing all of our existing policies and procedures.

We’re very excited to be able to partner with a firm such as Renno which has historically proven themselves to be on the forefront of Blockchain and Digital Assets plus being aligned with an individual such as Noah that has a stellar history in the financial field.

So Roadmap…

We know everyone wants a roadmap or timeline and we’d love to be able to make everyone happy to provide an accurate one. But with the complexity and lack of control in the licensing phase it’s unrealistic to be able to provide one.

Just know that it is one of the most important things to us, the thing we have spent uncountable hours working towards to achieve. But we will not jeopardize all that work to launch without approval and the security of the site all air tight.

With the successful closing of our Seed Round, we remain well funded for the foreseeable future and are extremely proud of this validation for what we have accomplished to date.

This funding also covers our necessary capital expenditures for legal and licensing in the initial jurisdictions, EU, UK, Canada, US and Singapore.