Daily Archives: July 16, 2021

4 Consecutive Difficulty Drops Make Bitcoin Block Rewards 49% Easier to Find

4 Consecutive Difficulty Drops Make Bitcoin Block Rewards 49% Easier to Find

Following the largest mining difficulty drop in Bitcoin’s history, this weekend will once again see another slide, but less than 6% of the difficulty will be shaved. Statistics show Bitcoin’s hashrate has been able to climb higher since the difficulty drop two weeks ago, and climbed above 100 exahash per second (EH/s) this week. This weekend’s upcoming bitcoin mining difficulty drop will be the only time in history the difficulty slipped four times in a row.

2021’s Consecutive Difficulty Drops Come Awfully Close to 2011’s Records

After China cracked down on bitcoin miners at the end of June, a large quantity of hashpower had temporarily halted. Statistics indicate that the hashrate was around 66 EH/s on June 28 and since then it has increased to above the 100 EH/s zone.

There’s currently 18 known mining pools dedicating hashrate to the BTC chain, and 4.71 % of the global hashrate (24-hour stats) or 4.79 EH/s belongs to unknown miners.

4 Consecutive Difficulty Drops Make Bitcoin Block Rewards 49% Easier to Find
This weekend, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty will drop for the fourth time in a row. Bitcoin’s mining difficulty has never dropped four times in a row, but did drop three times consecutively in 2018.

Two weeks ago the Bitcoin network saw the largest difficulty drop ever and another difficulty drop is expected this weekend. Using today’s average hashrate, statistics show the drop will be less than 6% bringing the current difficulty of 14.36 trillion down to 13.5 trillion.

This means after the dip, the mining difficulty will have dropped four times in a row. The last time the BTC mining difficulty dropped more than four times in a row was in 2011. From August to November 2011, the mining difficulty dropped eight times in a row.

2018 Saw Three Difficulty Drops in a Row, Five Mining Pools Currently Command 59% of Bitcoin’s Hashrate

The only other time BTC’s mining difficulty came close to the four times in a row record was in 2018 for three consecutive difficulty drops between November and December.

4 Consecutive Difficulty Drops Make Bitcoin Block Rewards 49% Easier to Find
August to the end of November 2011 saw eight consecutive difficulty drops in a row.

The most recent number of difficulty drops saw 49.21% shaved off the difficulty, which is slightly less than the 51.54% shed in 2011. Back then, the difficulty tapped a high of 1.89 million in August and by November it was 1.09 million at block height 155,232.

At the time of writing, the top mining pools on Friday afternoon include Viabtc, Antpool, Poolin, F2pool, and Btc.com. These pools are followed by Binance, Foundry and Slushpool, but the top five operations command 59.4% of the global hashrate.

Binance, Foundry and Slushpool capture 21.9% of BTC’s hashpower on Friday afternoon. That leaves ten known pools and 4.79 EH/s of unknown hashpower, commanding 18.7% of the global hashrate.

What do you think about the four difficulty drops in 2021 compared to the eight drops in 2011? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Visa, Mastercard Monitor Binance’s Regulatory Compliance as More Regulators Scrutinize the Crypto Exchange

Visa, Mastercard Monitor Binance's Regulatory Compliance as More Regulators Scrutinize the Crypto Exchange

Payments giants Visa and Mastercard say they are monitoring Binance’s regulatory compliance developments as more regulators come after the global crypto exchange for operating in their countries without authorization.

Visa, Mastercard Monitoring Binance’s Regulatory Troubles

Visa and Mastercard have not severed ties with cryptocurrency exchange Binance despite rising regulatory scrutiny. The two payments giants have not blocked Binance and cardholders can still use Visa and Mastercard to deposit funds into their accounts at the exchange.

Visa told the Financial Times Friday that it was “aware of the recent FCA statement regarding Binance,” noting that it was in “dialogue with Binance to monitor developments,” the publication conveyed. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning on Binance stating that the exchange is not authorized to engage in regulated activities in the U.K.

Mastercard similarly told the publication:

We continue to monitor this situation, including how the exchanges fulfill their regulatory requirements.

Binance also offers a Visa-branded debit card that allows its users to spend funds from their crypto wallets at retailers. The Binance card, available in many European countries, is issued by Contis, a company that provides payments services in the EU through an e-money license from Lithuania’s central bank.

A number of banks in the U.K. have halted fund transfers to Binance following the warning by the FCA, including Barclays and Santander. Payment service providers Clear Junction and BCB Group have also reportedly ended relationships with Binance. The exchange has disabled sterling withdrawals through Faster Payments and euro deposits through SEPA bank transfers.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in an open letter last week that the company “has grown very quickly and we haven’t always got everything exactly right.” Claiming that his exchange has already “cleared multiple external anti-money laundering audits,” Zhao promised to take measures to improve regulatory compliance.

Besides the U.K., other countries that have issued warnings on Binance include the Cayman Islands, Japan, Thailand, Italy, and Lithuania.

What do you think about Binance’s troubles with a growing number of regulators? Let us know in the comments section below.

China Reveals Digital Yuan White Paper: Smart Contracts, $5.4B Settled, Large Transfers Traced

China Reveals Digital Yuan White Paper: Smart Contracts, $5.4B Settled, Large Transfers Traced

The working group involved with the research and development of the digital yuan for the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has published a paper describing the digital currency’s progress. The PBOC initiated a task force dedicated to the creation of a digital yuan in 2014, and the recently published document is the project’s first white paper released in seven years.

China’s Digital Yuan Is No Different Than Physical RMB

After the creation of Bitcoin and a few years after the cryptocurrency economy started getting recognized, the PBOC was one of the first central banks to introduce the idea of creating a central bank digital currency (CBDC). China’s central bank has recently allowed the digital currency working group to publish a white paper that details the CBDC’s current progress.

The white paper titled “Progress of Research & Development of E-CNY in China” notes that over the course of history, “the form of currency has evolved.” The PBOC’s digital currency working group stresses that the digital yuan often referred to as the “e-CNY” is no different than the physical form of money used by the Chinese today.

“The issuance and circulation of e-CNY is identical with physical RMB, while the value of the former is transferred in a digital form,” the white paper notes. “Thirdly, e-CNY is the central bank’s liabilities to the public. Backed by sovereign credit, e-CNY has the status of legal tender.”

The e-CNY white paper also comes with a number of statistics and defining characteristics that make it different from the likes of bitcoin (BTC) and stablecoins. The paper claims more than 20 million digital yuan wallets have been created thus far, and $5.4 billion or 35.5 billion yuan has been settled on the e-CNY network.

In addition to the growth of wallets and the settlement seen on the CBDC network, the progress report notes that the digital yuan protocol has built-in programmability. The working group’s study alludes to the use of smart contracts and decision-based transactions.

“[The] e-CNY obtains programmability from deploying smart contracts that don’t impair its monetary functions. Under the premise of security and compliance, this feature enables self-executing payments according to predefined conditions or terms agreed between two sides, so as to facilitate business model innovation.” the white paper highlights.

Anonymity for Small Value and Traceable for High Value

Meanwhile, the digital yuan also supports interoperability with traditional electronic payment systems. The paper further details that in addition to the 20 million digital yuan wallets, 3.5 business wallets have also been deployed.

The white paper explains that the digital yuan is “non-interest accrual,” which means it is simply a substitute for the monetary supply that “carries and pays no interest.” The paper also touches upon anonymity and privacy and highlights that the network has some elements of privacy, but it also guards against illegal financial activities.

“[The] e-CNY follows the principle of ‘anonymity for small value and traceable for high value,’ and attaches great importance to protecting personal information and privacy,” the white paper notes. “It aims to meet the public demand for anonymous small value payment services based on the risk features and information processing logic of [the] current electronic payment system.” The PBOC’s digital currency progress report adds:

Meanwhile, it is necessary to guard against the misuse of e-CNY in illegal and criminal activities, such as tele-fraud, Internet gambling, money laundering, and tax evasion by making sure that transactions comply with AML/CFT requirements.

What do you think about the e-CNY and the PBOC’s recently published white paper? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Position Exchange: The New Next-Gen Decentralized Trading and Exchange Platform

PRESS RELEASE. Position Exchange’s Team is pleased to announce the launch of its new Decentralized Trading & Exchange Community driven platform.

What is Position Exchange?

Position Exchange is the new Decentralized Trading & Exchange platform, powered by a virtual Automated Market Maker (vAMM) and operating on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), aiming to bridge the gap between people and the cryptocurrency markets and enhance trading experiences.

The platform is designed to deliver all the advantages of Decentralized Finance whilst bringing the traditional Centralized Finance experience and tools onboard.

Position Exchange offers easy and accessible on-chain Derivatives trading with high leverage, low slippage and low costs on Crypto assets and much more to come.

“Our Vision is to build the most decentralized and community driven platform in the DeFi industry, where every single user plays an important part of the decisional process by having an effective role in defining and shaping Position Exchange and its future development.”

The Main Features

The core features of Position exchange consists of on-chain Derivatives trading on Crypto assets as a start (with a plan to expand into other assets in the future), NFTs, Staking, Farming as well as a Build feature offering easy and fast built on-top API creation.

Trading derivatives on Defi with a focus on Futures contracts

Staking POSI tokens into Pools and generating rewards

Farming that allows Liquidity Providers to earn rewards by facilitating transactions

Introducing POSI NFTs as a new feature with a process encouraging the community to hold tokens and maintain its stability

DAO and API building allowing a strong participation of the community on the future development of Position Exchange

A Token for the community: POSI

POSI is Position Exchange’s native BEP20 token empowering its ecosystem.

The POSI token is a hyper-deflationary token. Position Exchange’s team will implement several mechanisms to maintain the price of POSI stable and guarantee its long-term sustainability such as Token buyback & burn, Anti-whale, Emission rate control, and a Harvest lock-up period (when staking is open)

“Position Exchange is implementing a Buyback & Burn mechanism using the total amount of fees generated from the Trading platform to Buy Back & Burn the POSI Token. This strategy will allow us along with our community to control the number of POSI in circulation and maintain the stability of its value in the long term.”

This is truly a community-driven project and its success depends on each member of the community. We are implementing RFI technology, which allows holders to share a 1% fee on all transactions just by holding the tokens in their wallets. So that being said, HODLing is what you need to do.

 

Token distribution:

The Total supply of POSI tokens will be set at 100,000,000 tokens

1% will be dedicated for the Airdrop

5% for the whitelist sale

4% for the liquidity which will be added at $1 per POSI

80% For the Community: The vast majority of the POSI tokens will be dedicated to the community through staking and farming rewards. This is one of the highest shares addressed to the community in the similar existing protocols!

10% Team and Advisors: The tokens will NOT be available to the team immediately but will rather be minted over time. Position Exchange’s team will retain a position of 10% of any new minted token ensuring a community driven and fair launch.

 

You can find more information about the Position Exchange protocol and the POSI token in the Whitepaper.

Stay informed with news and content via the Telegram Announcement channel.

Website: position.exchange

WhitePaper: https://position.exchange/whitepaper.pdf

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/PositionExchange

Medium: https://positionex.medium.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PositionEx

Telegram: https://t.me/PositionExchange

TG Channel: https://t.me/PositionAnn

Github: https://github.com/PositionExchange

“By the Community — For the Community — Don’t trust us, Read the code!”

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

Stablecoins Swelled by $13B in 30 Days, Captured 67% of Today’s Crypto Trade Volume

Over the last few weeks, cryptocurrency markets have fallen in value as most of these assets reached all-time price highs three months ago. Despite the price drops, 2021 has still been an explosive year for crypto gains and fiat-pegged stablecoins have grown massively as well. 53 days ago, the entire capitalization of fiat stablecoins crossed the $100 billion mark, and the stablecoin market valuation continues to grow, swelling 13% since the end of May.

Stablecoin Market Valuation Grows by 13% in 30 Days, Tether Issuance Slows

Stablecoins have made their mark in the crypto economy over the last five years as these fiat-pegged tokens have grown immensely during that time period. While digital currency markets have dipped in value, the use of stablecoins has remained frothy and today the market capitalization of all the stablecoins in existence is $113 billion.

Of course, tether (USDT) is the largest stablecoin in terms of market valuation and the amount of transactions the stablecoin network processes daily. At the time of writing, the market capitalization of tether (USDT) is $62 billion and USDT’s overall valuation is 4.94% of the entire market valuation of all the crypto coins in existence.

Stablecoins Swelled by $13B In 30 Days, Capture 67% of Today's Crypto Trade Volume
Top ten stablecoins by market valuation on Friday, July 16, 2021.

Coingecko statistics show tether commands $43.5 billion in global swaps on Friday, but messari.io data shows “real volume” is around $12.51 billion. Either way you look at it, tether has more volume than BTC and ETH markets combined.

Stablecoins Swelled by $13B In 30 Days, Capture 67% of Today's Crypto Trade Volume
Tether captures more than 62% of today’s BTC trades and 51.4% of ETH trades on Friday. BUSD commands 4.5% of today’s BTC trades and 7.9% of ETH swaps on Friday as well.

Moreover, most of the BTC and ETH trades are swapped for tether (USDT) as BTC statistics show USDT captures 62.48% of today’s share of trades. The stablecoin BUSD, issued by Binance, captures 4.61% of bitcoin (BTC) swaps and is just under the U.S. dollar as BTC’s third-largest trading pair, according to cryptocompare.com data.

Tether was growing exponentially from July 2020 up until June 2021, when issuing tethers started to slow down at $61.7 billion. At the start of June, usd coin (USDC) went from $22 billion to mid-July’s $26.5 billion market capitalization.

6 Stablecoins Saw Double and Triple-Digit Growth Last Month

At the start of June, the Binance stablecoin BUSD’s valuation went from $8.72 billion to $11.25 billion. In fact, most of the last 30 days of stablecoin growth can be attributed to non-tether stablecoins like USDC, BUSD, DAI, PAX, TUSD, HUSD, GUSD, and LUSD.

Stablecoins Swelled by $13B In 30 Days, Capture 67% of Today's Crypto Trade Volume
Stablecoin market valuation on Friday, July 16, 2021.

Out of all the well known fiat-pegged tokens, GUSD saw the largest 30-day growth, gaining 56.7%, and the synthetix.io stablecoin SUSD has seen 37.7% growth during the last month.

BUSD grew by double digits adding 18.9% in 30 days and usd coin (USDC) rose 10.7% in that time span. Three relatively unknown stablecoins saw very large supply increases. The stablecoin defi dollar (DUSD) increased by 257.5% last month, and it was followed by empty set dollar (ESD) which jumped 129%, and frax (FRAX) which increased by over 98%.

Statistics from Coingecko show that combined, the dozens of stablecoins in existence today command $49.5 billion out of Friday’s $82.9 billion in crypto trades worldwide.

What do you think about the growth of stablecoins over the last 30 days? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

US Government Offers Cryptocurrency in ‘Rewards for Justice’ Program

US Government Offers Cryptocurrency in 'Rewards for Justice' Program

The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $10 million “for information on foreign malicious cyber activity against U.S. critical infrastructure.” The department further said that “Reward payments may include payments in cryptocurrency.”

  • The U.S. Department of State announced Thursday that its Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program is offering a reward of up to $10 million “for information leading to the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, participates in malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).”
  • Rewards for Justice is the State Department’s counterterrorism rewards program established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism. The bureau is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service. “RFJ’s goal is to bring international terrorists to justice and prevent acts of international terrorism against U.S. persons or property,” its website describes.
  • The announcement further reveals that the Rewards for Justice program has paid more than $200 million to more than 100 people across the globe since its inception.
  • The program “has set up a Dark Web (Tor-based) tips-reporting channel to protect the safety and security of potential sources,” the Department of State noted.

  • The announcement adds that the Rewards for Justice is also “working with interagency partners to enable the rapid processing of information as well as the possible relocation of and payment of rewards to sources.” Moreover, the department stated:

Reward payments may include payments in cryptocurrency.

What do you think about the U.S. government offering to pay in cryptocurrency for information under the Rewards for Justice program? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lithuania Issues Warning to Binance, Warns Investors Crypto Services Are Not Regulated

Lithuania Issues Warning to Binance, Warns Investors Crypto Services Are Not Regulated

Binance’s regulatory troubles continue with Lithuania being the latest country to issue a warning about the cryptocurrency exchange. Lithuania’s announcement came one day after Italy issued a similar warning.

Lithuania Warns Binance

Lithuania’s central bank announced Friday that it has issued a warning to Binance UAB about its unlicensed investment services provided in Lithuania. The central bank also “ordered the company to ensure that its publicly available information is not misleading.”

The central bank explained that it has assessed publicly available information and found that Binance is “acting as a virtual currency exchange operator and a custodian virtual currency wallet operator” in the country. The bank wrote:

The Bank of Lithuania addressed Binance UAB … and warned the company about its unlicensed investment services provided in Lithuania as well as requested it to ensure that its publicly available information complies with legal requirements and is not misleading.

In addition, the Bank of Lithuania noted that “crypto-asset related services are not regulated or supervised, thus consumers risk losing all their investments.”

The central bank further detailed that some online crypto exchange platforms allow their customers to invest in cryptocurrency derivatives (such as futures and options), contracts for difference (CFD), or crypto-assets linked to securities. The central bank emphasized that these are considered financial instruments and the platforms offering them must be licensed as financial service providers.

However, the central bank clarified, “Companies that are registered in Lithuania as virtual currency exchange operators are not supervised as financial service providers,” elaborating:

They also have no right to provide any financial services, including investment services.

On Monday, Italy issued a similar warning about Binance. Regulators in the U.K., Japan, Cayman Islands, and Thailand also recently issued warnings on the global crypto exchange. In response, Binance has suspended GBP withdrawals and EUR deposits via SEPA bank transfers.

What do you think about all these regulators coming after Binance? Let us know in the comments section below.

Baanx BXX Token: 100% Increase on Its Debut

PRESS RELEASE. BXX listed on the MEXC Global exchange, and jumped from $0.15 at listing, to $0.50, before settling down to the mid. $0.30s- a more then 100% increase over the course of its first few hours of trading. Pools are also now available on Uniswap 2.0 in both USDT and ETH.

Imagine a world where you can borrow for free, remit money across the globe for free, and even earn digital asset rewards from your daily spending- this is the world of the Baanx Group’s platform, a digital assets-as-a-service fintech bridging the worlds of fiat and digital assets. And it is all powered by the BXX token.

Baanx modular platform enables fintechs to offer their users- free crypto lending, free remittance, low cost fiat on/off ramps, physical + digital cards, savings seamlessly integrated into any app or website in days, not months. Also key to the Baanx vision is the ability to spend digital assets as easily as cash. These B2B services are, as they say, “better than a bank”.

Baanx works with leading global digital asset corporate brands- DeFis, wallet providers, exchanges,and other FinTechs, including Tezos, to enable secure and seamless digital asset-friendly services.

To celebrate BXX’s official listing on MEXC, they are hosting a Trading and other Competitions on MEXC with a total of 100,000 BXX tokens to be won over the next few days.

Follow Baanx BXX on Telegram, Medium, Twitter or other social media for the latest updates, and events.

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For any additional information, contact [email protected]

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

Brazil Approves First Latam Based Ethereum ETF

Brazil

Regulators from the CVM, the securities watchdog of Brazil, have approved the first Ethereum-based ETF in Latin America (Latam). The product, presented by blockchain investment company QR Asset, aims to simplify the task of getting Ether exposure for retail and institutional investors. It will be traded with the QETH11 ticker on the B3 stock exchange.

Brazil to Debut First Ethereum ETF in Latam

Brazil will be the first country in Latam that will trade an Ethereum-based ETF. The Brazilian securities regulator has approved the proposal of QR Asset, a blockchain investment firm, to offer an Ethereum ETF. The product, identified with the QETH11 ticker, will be traded on the B3 stock exchange in Sao Paolo.

The ETF’s objective is to provide an easy way for investors to put money behind Ethereum’s performance. QR Asset declared on Twitter that:

QETH11 becomes a simple, safe and regulated option for any investor to gain direct exposure to Ethereum through their preferred brokerage. Without worrying about registrations in exchanges, wallets or private keys.

This new ETF will be 100% backed by assets purchased in the market, and these assets will be guarded by Gemini, which will provide custody services.

QR Asset Amasses Two Crypto ETFs

QR Asset, the company bringing this new ETF to the market, already has a Bitcoin ETF on the market. The QBTC11 product launched last June, and it is trading on the B3 stock exchange too. With these offerings, QR Asset is now the lone provider of crypto ETF products in Brazil.

The securities regulator of the country has been very open to bringing these investment vehicles to the hands of potential investors. In contrast, its U.S. counterpart is reluctant to approve similar products. The SEC reviewed several Bitcoin ETF filings in the past with no luck for their proponents. In the last year, more than 6 proposals have been filed. But the SEC has not yet issued a decision on them.

Bitcoin-based ETFs allow institutional investors to enter the crypto market in a more regulated and mainstream way. However, even in the absence of ETF products in some regions, institutional investors are using Grayscale and Microstrategy as ways to work around the void, gaining indirect exposure to crypto assets via these companies.

What do you think about Brazil approving the first Ethereum ETF in Latam? Tell us in the comments section below.

NGO Announces Plan to Use NFTs for Famine Victims of Ethiopia Tigray War

A non-governmental organization (NGO), Save Tigray, has announced it will be using the proceeds from the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to support its goal of averting famine in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region. According to Save Tigray, the NFTs, which are “based on interpreted photos of the tragedy,” will be sold on the charity organization’s NFT marketplace.

Making NFTs Based on Photos of Tragedy

According to a statement released on July 13, 2021, proceeds from the NFT sales will be donated to organizations that include the World Food Program, International Rescue Committee, UNICEF, and Save the Children.

Also in the statement, Save Tigray’s Mirna Saraswati explains how the NGO switched to the idea of raising funds via NFTs sales. Saraswati explained:

Last year we planned to create NFTs from Fair Trade Art created by women from Tigray. But the advent of the war in November put an end to those plans. So instead, we are making NFTs based on interpreted photos of the tragedy. We will sell them on our NFT marketplace, and donate the proceeds equally to four groups.

In early November 2020, an armed conflict pitting Ethiopian government forces against Tigray rebels broke out. Since then, the conflict — which has also drawn in forces from neighboring Eritrea — has left as many as 1.8 million people on the verge of famine. Already, this conflict is believed to have claimed the lives of tens of thousands, according to UNICEF.

Energy Efficient NFTs

Meanwhile, organizers of Save Tigray say they are hoping “to use the Tigray project as a prototype so that they can later create similar projects to address climate change, racial injustice, disease, and other issues.” Concerning the alleged inefficient energy of blockchain anchored digital assets, Save Tigray’s COO Savannah Partridge said:

“We’ve solved the biggest problem associated with them, which is energy usage. Our platform uses 10 million times less energy than the standard Etherium-based ones.”

Still, just like any NFT, the provenance of each work can be easily traced through the blockchain, explained Partridge. This, therefore, means “buyers can continue to use each image to raise more for the cause if they so choose.” In addition, the NFTs will earn royalties every time they are sold, thus “they can keep fundraising forever.”

Save Tigray’s Greater Objective

Partridge says in addition to using NFTs to highlight the desperate situation in Tigray, the NGO is also planning a publicity drive to make the public aware of the famine and quasi-genocide in Tigray. Partridge said:

“As much as we want to raise funds for victims, we really want to spread the news to millions. The Ethiopian government has announced that aid flights can resume from the capital, but so far none have been given approval. An outcry from the public can compel them to act.”

What do you think of Save Tigray’s idea of using NFTs to raise funds? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.