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US Talk Radio Raises Over $80,000 in Crypto to Build Ugandan Orphanage

US Talk Radio Raises Over ,000 in Crypto to Build Ugandan Orphanage

An independent Free Talk Live broadcast show (FTL) broadcast from New Hampshire has announced that it has been able to raise over USD 80,000 towards establishing an orphanage for Ugandan children.

The project to build an orphanage in a small Ugandan village has been led by The Foundation of Hope Uganda and one of the foundation’s ministers, Ndifuna Johnson. Much of the funds have come from an unexpected source: the radio show’s listeners.

Using FTL’s cryptocurrency tip jar, listeners have been able to donate DASH, BTC, BCH through Shapeshift. Co-host Mark Edge has put out the good word and a call for funds via his broadcasts which reaches nearly 200 radio stations.

With USD 45,000 in digital funds already raised for the orphanage’s construction and now a further USD 35,000 amassed for the purchase of the land which will purchase the children’s new home, the project is well on the way. FTL had also previously hooked, Cell411 and the Shire Free Church in order to raise the much-needed capital.

This is very much a hands-on project, with the villages all chipping in where they could to make it happen, including handcrafting thousands of clay bricks in anticipation of the funds being raised. FTL’s Mark Edge was clearly impressed by the level of community activity and spirit shown once the project had been announced, commenting:

“They did it piece by piece, first the foundation, walls, second floor — Bit by bit, over time. It looks great and can fit 40 kids. It also functions as a sort of community center for all the children in the village.”

With the children taken care of, the orphanage cum community center will also allow the tiny Ugandan village to free its residents for other important tasks relevant to the livelihood of the community such as tending livestock and growing crops.

P2P cryptocurrency exchange Paxful has also made a name as a humanitarian financer of worthwhile projects in such small villages in Africa, supporting the construction of two schools, this time in Rwanda.

NGO Zam Zam Water, in a cooperative project with Paxful, had planned to raise USD 100,000 for an education center in Rwanda’s Bugesera District comprising two schools back in August. This followed on from the construction of the first primary school earlier in the year using Paxful’s BuiltWithBitcoin initiative and a donation of USD 50,000 in Bitcoin.

The second, much larger, project has now been fundraised for and completed in the space of just a few short months, providing the region with its second school double the size of the first, with six classrooms and six full-time teachers. The school also has its own cafeteria, potable well, and sustainable solar panel power system.


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Syrian Refugees Get Coinbase Gift but Little Else of Crypto Cheer

The traditional 12 days of Christmas is continuing crypto-style with Coinbase using the song to promote its worldwide services, focusing Day 6 on supporting refugees.

In tune with the season of goodwill, the global exchange giant has promised to make an announcement that will profit someone each day leading up the big day itself. The latest gift has gone to Kurdistan and Beirut through, a nonprofit organization that distributes cryptocurrency to people living in poverty.

GiveCrypto has sent USD 10,000 to support 15 Yazidi families and 5 Syrian families living in Kurdistan and Beirut to follow up on its last gift which went to the wallets of over 100 families living in the Venezuelan border town of Santa Elana de Uairen, located in Bolívar state near the border with Brazil and Guyana.

The plight of Yazidi families made world news in 2014 when 1,200 refugees fled Syria leaving less able families stranded in the Sinjar mountains without food or water, relying only on air drops from the Red Cross and NGOs.

Similar to the Venezuelan project, this latest of its humanitarian gifts will enable the 20 families to be able to buy essentials through receiving the funds in local fiat currency. A Coinbase announcement on its latest humanitarian offering stated:

“With Coinbase’s support, is poised to support even more refugee families in Greece, where crypto transfers can do even more to support those rocked by unstable financial institutions and lack of access.”

“Our recent shift in strategy is really driven by customers. When we asked customers the number one thing they want, they told us it’s adding new cryptocurrencies to the platform.”

— Coinbase (@coinbase) December 11, 2018

This only the second humanitarian gift so far; other gifts have included Coinbase announcing that users could buy gift cards so that family and friends could get Uber, Adidas and Nike surprises through its U-gift program.

On the weekend, Coinbase made one of its more materialist gifts, which allowed its US customers to withdraw their Coinbase balances to Paypal giving them access to a fast payments platform. Some more critical observers would like to see such gifts follow the form of the Venezuelan and refugee payments maintaining a strictly humanitarian focus, putting money where it is really needed.


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Bitcoin Black Friday Parody Hits Right Note with Young Investors

A video parodying American YouTuber and singer Rebecca Renee Black’s 2011 single “Friday” has already won 1,200 young admirers.

Black gained extensive media coverage when her hit single went viral on YouTube and other social media sites. “Friday” was derided by many music critics and viewers, who dubbed it “the worst song ever” but this didn’t stop it from achieving 127 million viewers from among the young YouTubing community.

The parody, released by “Crypto Finally” and promoting trading platform Bitpay, clearly went down well at head-office, with the company expressing gratitude for the extra publicity, promising a surprise gift for an effort that had so far attracted 12,000 viewers. The video was made without any collaboration or agreement with Bitpay ahead of its production but that doesn’t seem to have troubled the Bitcoin payment platform in the slightest.

The video is clearly aimed at getting younger YouTubers onside with cryptocurrency, labeling those who haven’t yet taken the crypto plunge as “old-fashioned”. Millennials are still predominant users of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, many undaunted by the market’s extreme fluctuations over the past 18 months.

Christmas is coming, and many youngsters would see Bitcoin as the perfect gift, particularly with predictions that a protracted bull run will follow cryptocurrencies’ current dip in fortunes towards mid-2019. Investors are now suggesting that Bitcoin at USD 3,000 is a perfect time to buy.

It is clear that millennials are completely at the forefront of the crypto space and that without them, it is hard to imagine that Bitcoin would have even got off the ground. “Over 82% of millennials say their investment decisions were influenced by the Great Recession when USD 14 trillion in wealth was lost,” writes Kari Paul of MarketWatch, adding that.

Paul added, “Millennials regard the stock market with skepticism. People between the ages of 18 and 39 are less likely to invest money in the stock market than are other generations, studies show.”

Falling cryptocurrency prices appear to have done little to deter the younger generation from purchasing cryptocurrencies with 55% either having purchased or looking to buy in the near future. Many young investors cite the ability to invest what they can afford to lose without impacting on their lifestyles, not using third-party institutions, and having the ability to work anywhere with easy access to funds, regardless of global location.


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Art (r)evolution: Empowering Artists with Blockchain, Celebrating Bitcoin’s 10th Birthday

Crypto Culture

a series

Part 2: Art (r)evolution in Paris showcases international Bitcoin-themed art

In the second installment of the Bitcoin News Crypto Culture Series, we look at Paris’s own cryptocurrency-themed art exhibition, Art (r)evolution, and speak with several of the artists involved.

Friday 5 October marks the final day of the cryptocurrency-themed art exhibition in Paris, Art (r)evolution, organized by French artist Pascal Boyart to celebrate Bitcoin’s tenth birthday. Bitcoin News caught up with him to see when he found himself involved in the space and how decentralization is becoming a powerful phenomenon in the art world.

”The art world is similar to the rest of the economy”

Pascal became familiar with Bitcoin in 2014. Once he came to understand the technology, he became a passionate follower and a proponent for the potential changes it can bring to society. He told Bitcoin News, ”It can change a lot because lives have become so controlled by central authorities. Decentralization is a big thing, and it can help to free us by taking back the control of our own money.”

”The art world is similar to the rest of the economy,” Pascal continued, saying that he sees it as an entity divided into two parts. One of these parts is disconnected from the real world and reserved for the international elite where ”art is just a pretext to play the Medicis without Michel Ange”, as he phrases it.

But the other part of the world is where he believes people can find passion and creativity, with not so much Medicis. One cannot flourish without the other, however, and that is where blockchain and cryptocurrencies find their place: ”We need to connect with both parts again, patrons and artists. That’s why taking back some power of the middlemen is good for creativity. Decentralized cryptocurrencies can bring some financial freedom for the artists who want to innovate. It can help artists to have a more direct relationship with the people who truly love art.”


Pascal’s artwork displayed at Art (r)evolution


Fighting populism and the FAANG

Josephine Bellini also showcased some of her crypto-themed artwork at Art (r)evolution.

She first became aware of Bitcoin while she was studying finance at college in 2014. The professor asked the students if any of them owned it and only a few foreign exchange students from China raised their hands. Intrigued, she followed up and did some research into the basics of this new phenomena. ”What really blew me away was the fact that no central entity controls Bitcoin and it is ‘controlled’ by the users,” she told Bitcoin News.

After trying unsuccessfully to purchase some Bitcoin for herself, Josephine took a step back from the market but the underlying ethos remained with her.

”Fast forward to early 2017 and my circle of friends had started talking about Ethereum non-stop,” she shared, saying it was at this time she made her first cryptocurrency purchase. ”That is pretty much when I dove head first into the crypto rabbit hole and discovered that blockchain/DLT had massive implications for our future and society.”

And with that sentiment, Bitcoin and blockchain can help usher in social change, fighting populism and the FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google), as Josephine puts it. She sees the technology as enabling ”cheap trust”, a new form of economic institution that can replace those established forms prevalent when opening a bank account or obtaining a loan, which can also be abused by those in power.

She explained, “We are now able to take every function in the financial world and transform it into code that sits on a secure blockchain, thereby enabling cheap trust.”

In the art world

For artists, cryptocurrencies and blockchain may well prove to be an irreplaceable tool for taking back power. In particular, Josephine thinks that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will play a significant role in the art world. NFTs are digital tokens that represent ownership of a physical or digital item and can be used to represent anything from university degrees or housing deeds to pieces of art.  

Blockchain has a host of different use cases for artists. Josephine listed several of those she found most prominent for the technology: selling artwork on the international market, a decentralized, transparent “artnet” platform to sell work, buying part shares in art pieces, and tracking the history of artwork on the chain to minimize forgeries.

According to Josephine, when art is sold through galleries, the gallery will often take up to 50% of the payment, sometimes more: “Blockchain will eliminate the need of the middleman, allowing artists to reap the full extent of their work.”

thankful_for_today, by Josephine Bellini


Bitcoin in Josephine’s art

The foundation behind her art can be tracked to the cryptosphere: “All of my artwork is influenced by crypto and its ethos.”

Art is the way that she opens up the conversation with the audience, whether they are familiar with the topic or not. Speaking of one of her pieces, in particular, ”Filter” which depicts a woman wearing a gas mask lined with the Bitcoin white paper and shredded pieces of US dollars in the background, she says it makes her feel empowered; many can surely relate to that imagery.

Josephine explained her art to Bitcoin News: ”I have found the way to breathe in the truth while living in a corrupt society, I have found a way to control my own financial future… filter fiat into cryptoassets – cryptoassests that I own, and cannot be taken away from me. Viewers can and should create their own meaning of my artwork. Whether the viewers’ reaction be positive or negative, I hope to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question what we consider to be societal norms.”


To read more about the artwork and artists exhibiting at Art (r)evolution, information is available on their blog.



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Image Courtesy: Pascal Boyart, Josephine Bellini

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Blockchain Report Goes Live with Daily News Video Targeting Millennials

Crypto Culture

a series

Part 1: Blockchain Report Goes Live

In the first installment of the Bitcoin News Crypto Culture Series, we investigate a new daily news video from What’s Trending and ICO Watchdog, Blockchain Report.

On Tuesday 2 October, the first episode of a new daily blockchain news program aired, hosted by Snapchat influencer Taylor Nikolai. Blockchain Report is a combined effort from cryptocurrency financial information service ICO Watchdog, and Emmy-nominated digital media company What’s Trending.

The short videos are looking to tap into the millennial generation’s intrigue in cryptocurrencies while providing a trusted source for information, with no underhanded selling of new tokens or products that unfortunately crop up in crypto-related media.

What’s Trending founder Shira Lazar co-heads the project and has plans to use the show to highlight women in the field of cryptocurrency. Speaking to Forbes, she described her goal of using the Blockchain Report platform to showcase both well-known women, and those under the radar who have not yet had the opportunity to make headlines.

The first episode remained shy of 100 views on YouTube at the time of press but with these big names and solid capital behind the project, it looks likely to form a large following. What’s Trending boasts 3 million cross-platform followers and over 200 million YouTube views to date, while Blockchain Report’s Twitter account already has nearly 6,500 followers.

Who’s going to enjoy it?

The fast-paced, well-produced video mimics that of its partner company What’s Trending but like its videos, they are short and do not divulge a lot of detail into the topics discussed. Creators of Blockchain Report say they are targeting the millennial generation, although well-informed millennials in the space are likely to want to do further research on the topics discussed as the self-imposed five minutes of each video leaves little time to really delve into the subject matter.

Scheduled daily Monday to Friday, Blockchain Report may well become a useful, trusted source to find out the big news headline of the day, and the production quality is certainly superior to the majority of alternative daily cryptocurrency videos. Experts or individuals who are looking for a more in-depth approach may be inclined to look elsewhere, however.

What can you expect?

The first episode covered three big stories from Tuesday: Tom Lee’s claim that Ethereum is on the verge of a major rally, web browser Opera enabling built-in Ethereum support, and corporate investment company Fidelity showing further interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain.

ICO Watchdog prides itself on providing an unbiased, informative take on the ICO market, providing investors with informative publications such as ”The Six Key Factors for Analyzing an ICO“.

Its participation in the project can assure viewers that what they are watching can be corroborated by facts, while What’s Trending has the necessary background in media production to make it entertaining and accessible enough to attract younger viewers.

Blockchain Report is one to watch to grab your quick headlines but not a sole resource to rely on.


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