Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With Donations

Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With Donations

The popular Binance exchange has decide to replace its token listing fees with donations. The move follows a recent wave of strong criticism against cryptocurrency exchanges for the supposedly excessive fees they charge projects.

Also Read: Binance Wants to Invest in Africa, Reaches Out to African Projects

Donations Instead of Fees

Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With DonationsThe Binance exchange has announced today a major change to its token listing fee policy. The team revealed that: “Starting immediately, and going forward, we will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100% of them to charity.”

According to the new policy, leaders of any project will be able to determine their desired fees (donations) themselves. Binance’s charity initiative will then disclose those sums to the public. The company claims it will not dictate any minimum viable donation fees. “A large donation does not guarantee or in any way influence the outcome of our listing review process,” added Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

400 BTC per Listing?

Binance Exchange to Replace Token Listing Fees With DonationsThis move can be seen as part of Binance’s recent drive to push crypto adoption into the philanthropy scene. Back in July of this year the company launched the “Blockchain for Charity” foundation, led by United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Helen Hai in partnership with the president of Malta, with the stated aim of helping the U.N. narrow down its Sustainable Development Goals funding gap.

The change can also be seen as a response by Binance to a wave of strong criticism hitting all popular cryptocurrency exchanges this year for the supposedly excessive fees they charge projects, which desperately need such platforms to reach more investors. This issue has been on the mind of the Binance leadership for a while now and Changpeng Zhao has addressed it before. Back in August we reported that the CEO publicly denounced as a liar a project founder who claimed Binance demanded 400 BTC to list a token.

How should exchanges decide which tokens to list? Is it legitimate to charge a fee? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies

UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies

The French office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has started accepting donations in 9 of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC). The announcement comes after earlier this year the UN agency launched several other crypto-related initiatives.

Also read: Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

UNICEF Accepts Crypto Donations in France

UNICEF FranceUNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies has announced it’s now accepting donations in 9 cryptocurrencies, according to a press release published by French media. The local office of the organization collects contributions in some of the most widely known digital coins, including bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), ripple (XRP), eos (EOS), monero (XMR), dash (DASH), and stellar (XLM).

Donations in all supported cryptos are currently accepted directly through the website of the French branch, the Cryptonaute outlet reported. Commenting on the announcement, the director of UNICEF France, Sébastien Lyon stated:

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology used for charitable purposes offer a new opportunity to appeal to the generosity of the public and continue to develop our operations with children in the countries of intervention.

The UNICEF official pointed out that cryptocurrencies and crypto technologies represent an innovation in fundraising for solidarity but are still employed by few organizations in the field. At the same time, he noted the positive trend in regards to the spread of cryptocurrency donations.

UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 Cryptocurrencies

Announcement Follows Two Successful Crypto Campaigns

This isn’t the first crypto-related initiative of the United Nations Children’s Fund. In February, UNICEF launched a fundraising program to collect funds needed for the protection of the children suffering from the civil war in Syria.

UNICEF France Accepts Donations in 9 CryptocurrenciesThe campaign called “Game Chaingers” was targeting computer gamers. Participants had to download and install a special mining software application from the organization’s website. Their PCs were then used to mine ethereum for the program.

Later, in May UNICEF Australia started a similar campaign through a dedicated website called “The Hopepage”. Visitors are asked to share some of their computing power to mine and donate cryptocurrency by simply opening the page and consenting to their devices being used to process crypto transactions while surfing the internet.

As of the time of writing, more than 22,000 people are currently mining and donating cryptocurrency via the platform set up by the Australian office of the UN agency.

Do you agree that cryptocurrency provides a great alternative for charities and humanitarian organizations to collect funds? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

Using cryptocurrency for political donations has been a hot topic in many societies. Two recent developments demonstrate different views on the matter. A Taiwanese politician who has accepted bitcoin from his supporters believes crypto donations can help keep his country’s political system clean and transparent. At the same time, the California campaign watchdog says cryptocurrency can raise questions about transparency and is hard to track.

Also read: Russian Law Won’t Mention ‘Cryptocurrency’, Russians Won’t Stop Trading

Bitcoin Donations Help Transparency, Taiwanese Politician Says

Cryptocurrency has entered Taiwanese politics. A candidate for the Taipei City Council announced on social media he had accepted a number of small bitcoin donations – a first, according to local media reports. Hsiao Hsin-chen, a representative of the minority New Power Party, received the digital cash worth NT$10,000 (~US$325) from anonymous supporters. The money was sent after an announcement on Facebook last month that his campaign is ready to accept donations in BTC.

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans ThemIn his call for support, Hsiao said the development has political as well as technological implications. Crypto donations could help keep Taiwan’s political system clean, he stressed, quoted by the Taiwanese Business Next outlet. The nature of the cryptocurrency, the fact that every transition is recorded on a public blockchain, can lead to more transparency, he added. “Accepting bitcoins as a political donation is more symbolic than the act appears,” claimed the politician.

In Taiwan, crypto contributions are currently classified as non-cash political donations – a definition given by the Interior Ministry. According to the country’s recently updated Political Donations Act, candidates can accept up to NT$10,000 from anonymous donors, a limit that applies to the value of donated cryptocurrency as well.

If the sum exceeds the maximum amount, politicians are obliged to return the excess money to the donor or hand it over to the state. However, it’s unclear how the value of crypto donations will be estimated as the prices of digital assets can change significantly in a short period. Control Yuan, a government monitoring agency, has advised candidates to keep full records of their donations.

‘Independent’ Commission Says No to Crypto Donations in California

Officials in the US state of California, however, share a different view of campaign contributions in crypto. A commission charged with overseeing the political process in the Golden State has recently announced that donations cannot be made with cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, according to an Associated Press report. On Thursday, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted 3-1 to ban them. The watchdog says it may be hard to track the origin of cryptocurrency contributions which could raise questions about transparency.

According to its website, the FPPC is an “independent, non-partisan” commission responsible for the administration of the state’s Political Reform Act which regulates campaign financing along with other potentially controversial aspects of political campaigns such as conflicts of interest and lobbying. Promoting transparency and fostering public trust in the political system are two of its core objectives.

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

The Commission is composed of five members appointed for four-year terms. The Chair and another member from a different party are appointed by the Governor. The other members are appointed by the State Controller, Secretary of State and the Attorney General. No more than three commissioners may be from the same political party. Currently one of the seats is vacant, which may be interpreted as a positive in terms of finding the balance in the generally bipartisan political landscape of the US.

A similar body on national level, the Federal Elections Commission (FED), allows bitcoin donations to federal candidates. In 2014 the FED decided that every US citizen can donate cryptocurrency worth up to $100. A number of states have already addressed the issue as well – Colorado and Montana allow crypto contributions with certain restrictions, South Carolina and Kansas have banned them. In April, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission discussed a proposal to cap crypto donations with the limit applicable to cash contributions – $100. Larger donations require a credit card or a bank check.

What is your opinion about campaign contributions in cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief, we cover the addition of Vietnamese đồng fiat to Huobi OTC, venture capital fund Dymon Asia backing a new institutional crypto platform, and Paxful donations supporting the building of a second school in Rwanda.

Also Read: US Government to “Aggressively Pursue” Unregulated Services Around the World

Huobi OTC to Support Dồng

The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto PlatformHuobi, the Singapore-headquartered trading venue, has announced its plan to support Vietnamese đồng transactions on its proprietary peer-to-peer trading platform, Huobi OTC. This means that Vietnamese traders can now use Huobi’s OTC trading platform to exchange between crypto and fiat currencies.

The OTC service is meant to act as an intermediary that reduces the risk of fraudulent activity for traders in countries where regulatory guidelines have not yet been established. With the addition of the Vietnamese đồng, Huobi’s OTC trading platform now supports 18 fiat currencies including CNY, USD, SGD, INR, CAD, AUD, KRW, CHF, TWD, RUB, GBP, HKD, NGN, EUR, IDR, PHP and KHR.

Dymon Asia Backs Crypto Platform

Dymon Asia Venture Capital Fund has announced it is backing LXDX, a cryptocurrency trading platform that offers technology services for exchanges, including software for public retail exchanges and private exchanges for institutional block trading. Dymon Asia Ventures is the venture capital arm of Dymon Asia Capital, an alternative investment manager headquartered in Singapore with approximately US$5 billion under management. The fund’s support is meant to help LXDX make the cryptocurrency space more accessible to investment banks and hedge funds.

CEO Joshua Greenwald said: “We built LXDX in response to the aversion conventional finance institutions have had to the cryptocurrency space. Joining forces with Dymon allows our team, with decades of trading experience, to bring the qualities of traditional lit and dark exchanges to these new markets.” Christiaan Kaptein of Dymon Asia Ventures added: “We are extremely pleased to be a part of LXDX’s mission to improve the infrastructure of cryptocurrency trading. We believe that blockchain investors deserve the reliability, performance, and professionalism found in traditional markets. We are thrilled to be supporting LXDX in their vision and execution of a more efficient trading system.”

Paxful to Build Second School in Rwanda

The Daily: Huobi OTC to Support Dồng, Dymon Asia Backs Crypto PlatformPaxful, which launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin program in 2017 by donating $50,000 for the construction of a nursery school in Rwanda, has announced today the latest development in its charitable initiative. The company will sponsor the construction of a school for students aged 6-15 in the Nyamata Sector of Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Paxful jump-started the project with a $20,000 donation. Total construction is estimated to cost $100,000, with the balance to be collected through an online crowdfunding campaign. Donations can be made via BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and Dash. And Paxful vowed to match all community donations until the $100,000 goal is met. “The #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is a testament to the power of cryptocurrency,” said Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful. “We firmly believe that it can improve lives and make the world a better place.”

The new school is expected to be almost double the size of the first, with six classrooms and six full-time teachers serving up to 300 primary school students. It will include a cafeteria, a 35,000-liter potable water well, solar panels, and other resources for the education and enjoyment of students, staff, and faculty. “Education is a crucial tool for helping those in developing nations increase their standard of living, so we are very pleased to partner with Paxful to serve these bright young students,” said Yusuf A. Nessary, founder and president of Zam Zam Water, the humanitarian organization handling the project. “This is only a small glimpse into what we can and will continue to do with the power of cryptocurrency.”

Latest Scare: Crypto Mining Students

The mainstream media loves to make sensationalist headlines out of cryptocurrency. And their latest scare story is a supposed “wave of crypto mining at colleges”. CNBC talked to just one student from Penn State who was GPU mining using the free electricity in his dorm room back in 2017 and turned it into a wide phenomena threatening to burden universities with growing new energy costs. The report claims that cyber security firm Vectra conducted a study of mining on eleven campuses and found evidence of mining in every school. Furthermore, they claim universities are witnessing students starting mining operations between one to four times every day. And to add more interest, they even tried to link mining to somehow making the schools more vulnerable to hackers.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin Cash Fund to Help Promote Future r/MillionaireMakers Drawings

Bitcoin Cash Fund to Help Promote Future r/MillionaireMakers Drawings

Back in early 2015 a Reddit forum was created called r/millionairemakers which is a subreddit that tries to create a millionaire by getting one million Reddit users to donate $1 each and the forum subscribers give the money to a random person in hopes they can create a millionaire. Now the lottery-style forum is allowing bitcoin cash (BCH) donations with Tippr and Chaintip. The forum administrators are also partnering up with the Bitcoin Cash Fund, and the non-profit plans to donate $200 in BCH towards the pot of each draw.

Also Read: Japanese Crypto Exchanges Working on Lowering Margin Trading Limits

r/MillionaireMakers Partners With the Bitcoin Cash Fund

Bitcoin Cash Fund to Help Promote Future r/MillionaireMakers DrawingsJust about three years ago some Reddit users on the forum r/showerthoughts proposed a theory: “If a million of us picked a certain Redditor and all donated just $1, we would have the power to make someone a millionaire.” Since that observation was stated back in 2015, a new subreddit was born called r/millionairemakers. Now all the attempts have so far been unsuccessful as far as making a millionaire is concerned, but the forum had made mainstream headlines in publications like Business Insider, and some people have made a few thousand dollars. At one time a few selected winners have won around $12,000 USD and the site grew to gather over 100,000 subscribers.

Just a few days ago the subreddit declared that it would be using BCH tips that stem from tipping platforms like Chaintip and Tippr. Further on the social media platform Yours.org the community driven non-profit the Bitcoin Cash Fund (BCF) announced a strategic partnership with r/millionairemakers and BCF plans to donate $200 worth of bitcoin cash towards the pot of each draw.  

“The Bitcoin Cash Fund will help promote future drawings, offer programming support, and add $200 in BCH to the pot of each draw to rapidly get this great sub up and running again,” explains BCF’s Yours announcement.

We hope this partnership will allow r/millionairemakers finally make someone a millionaire and drive the adoption and use of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin Cash — Let’s all participate in the draws in the coming months.

Bitcoin Cash Fund to Help Promote Future r/MillionaireMakers Drawings

Spreading Bitcoin Cash Awareness

The r/millionairemakers subreddit administrators say that the partnership enables the forum to grow beyond its 100K subscribers. Moreover, the admins explain that they also get to work with talented developers and individuals that can help make the subreddit processes more automated. “This collaboration is directly for the benefit of the winners, this subreddit and to spread awareness of Bitcoin Cash,” emphasizes the Reddit user and r/millionairemakers moderator u/lilfruini.

“As always, the type of donations sent are all determined by the donors. Of course, people are welcome to use tipping bots listed and any others that I have not been made aware of, but other cryptocurrency addresses for donors will continue to be present (at the choice of the winner), such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin, among more,” u/lilfruini writes. “Additionally, cash transfers will continue to be in use, including Google Wallet, PayPal, and now, Square Cash — The winner is welcome to exclude certain forms of payment themselves in what they accept, should they be chosen.”

What do you think about the partnership between r/millionairemakers and the Bitcoin Cash Fund? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


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U.S. Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Can’t Keep Pace with Crypto, Libertarian Candidate Accepts Bitcoin Donations

U.S. Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Can’t Keep Pace With Crypto, Libertarian Candidate Accepts Bitcoin Donations

In recent regulatory news, the CFTC chairman has warned that the regulator is falling behind its international counterparts with regards to virtual currency and blockchain regulations; a U.S. Congressional bill is advocating the incorporation of cryptocurrencies into the regulatory mandate of FinCEN; and a candidate of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party is accepting donations in the form of bitcoin despite a state Ethics Commission finding that cryptocurrency donations may not be legal.

Also Read: Altcoins Round-Up: Bitgo Adds ZEC, Wirex Supports XRP, PwC to Audit Tezos

CFTC Chairman Warns Regulator is Failing to Keep Pace with Crypto and DLT

U.S. Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Can’t Keep Pace With Crypto, Libertarian Candidate Accepts Bitcoin DonationsWhilst speaking to the House Committee on Agriculture during a Congressional hearing on the “upcoming agenda for the CFTC” that took place on the 25th of July, J. Christopher Giancarlo, the chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, warned that the CFTC is falling behind its international counterparts with regards to regulation in the spheres of cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology.

“We’re falling behind. Just two days ago, the Bank of England announced that they’re putting in a new bank-to-bank payment system in the U.K., and it’s gonna be blockchain-compliant. And they’ve had the last four years […] to participate in all these blockchain beta tests that we’ve not been able to participate in. […] So I feel like we’re four years behind, because we do need to test it, […] we need to see how it can help us do a better job as regulator. […] Emerging financial technologies are taking us into a new chapter of economic history. There’s a lot of coordination going on,” the CFTC chairman said.

Mr. Giancarlo also promoted a bill put forward by Ag Committee member Georgia Representative Austin Scott that the CFTC believes “would greatly enhance the Commission’s ability to keep pace with emerging technology, explore its potential, and facilitate its adoption.”

U.S. Congressional Bill Proposes FinCEN Mandate Covering Cryptocurrencies

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Can’t Keep Pace With Crypto, Libertarian Candidate Accepts Bitcoin DonationsA Congressional bill filed by U.S. Congressmen Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Steve Pearce (R-NM) on July 18th seeks to establish a regulatory mandate for the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to examine the use of cryptocurrencies for the financing of illegal activities.

The “FinCEN Improvement Act” claims that “Although the use and trading of virtual currencies are legal practices, some terrorists and criminals, including international criminal organizations, seek to exploit vulnerabilities in the global financial system and are increasingly using emerging payment methods such as virtual currencies to move illicit funds.”

Wisconsin Libertarian Candidate Accepts BTC Donations Despite Ethics Commission Concerns

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Can’t Keep Pace With Crypto, Libertarian Candidate Accepts Bitcoin DonationsLibertarian candidate for the governor of Wisconsin, and chair of the state branch of the Libertarian Party, Phil Anderson, has stated that he will accept campaign donations in the form of bitcoin, despite a state Ethics Commission finding that BTC contributions could be in violation of Wisconsin law.

“We will not allow the lack of appropriate interpretation of the current statute (to) affect the First Amendment rights of those who want to show support and contribute,” said the candidate, adding that he holds “no faith in the Assembly to handle this fairly nor expeditiously.”

Mr. Anderson asked the state Ethics Commission to permit candidates to accept political donations in the form of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies earlier this year. In May, the commission found that “allowing cryptocurrency contributions presents a serious challenge to the commission’s ability to ensure compliance with state law,” ultimately deferring the issue to the state Legislature.

Do you expect that Mr. Anderson will face recourse for his decision to accept bitcoin donations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat

UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat

A British Mosque has collected four times more donations in cryptocurrencies than fiat, showing another example of the growing importance of the innovative instruments in charity. People from all around the world donated to the mosque using cryptocurrency during Ramadan, including one transaction of over £5,200.

Also Read: The Daily: Poloniex Goes Mobile, Cobinhood Adds USD Fiat, Bitmain Expands

Crypto Mosque

UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than FiatThe Shacklewell Lane Mosque, also known as Masjid Ramadan, in Dalston, East London, UK has decided to accept cryptocurrencies as charity, as we reported back in May. The move has paid off well for the house of prayer as it reportedly collected four time more donations in crypto than fiat  during the month of Ramadan. It received £13,983 from cryptocurrency donations, compared with just £3,460 from fiat donations.

The Hackney mosque’s chairman, Erkin Guney, told local media inews: “Many people at the mosque were initially sceptical about us accepting this new money, but the fact we received four times more in cryptocurrency donations shows how important it is to be open to these new digital currencies.” He added: “When the donations started to flow in, we were blown away. We received four times more in cryptocurrency donations than in cash from our local worshippers during Ramadan, and we are still receiving cryptocurrency Sadaqah [donations]. It is amazing!”

Bitcoin Charity

UK Mosque Collects Four Times More Donations in Crypto Than Fiat24 people from around the world donated to the mosque using cryptocurrency, including one transaction of over £5,200. The funds are earmarked for repairs to the facility, offering food and shelters to needy locals, as well as supporting poor Muslim families with funeral costs. Gurmit Singh, founder of London-based Islamic finance startup Combo Innovation who advised the mosque on how to support cryptocurrency donations, commented: “I hope other mosques and charities will now follow Masjid Ramadan’s lead to take advantage of this important new revenue stream”.

This is just one example how the cryptocurrency community is supporting all kinds of charitable organizations. Other recent cases include Binance donating $1 million to Japanese flood victims, and Paxful granting academic scholarships to female Afghan refugees in the US. And this mosque is not the first religious establishment to turn to aid from crypto users. Back in January we reported about ICF Zurich, an evangelical church from the largest city in Switzerland, which begun accepting voluntary offerings from its parishioners using cryptocurrency.

What is stopping more religious organizations from accepting crypto donations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Coinbase Founder Launches Cryptocurrency Fueled Charity ‘Givecrypto’

Coinbase Founder Launches Cryptocurrency Fueled Charity 'Givecrypto'

On June 27 the CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency powered charity called Givecrypto.org. Armstrong says he’s always believed in the power of cryptocurrency funded philanthropy and explains the new nonprofit is all about empowering, educating, and elevating global communities.  

Also read: Cryptocurrency Firm Circle Sees Institutional Interest Spike 30%

Givecrypto.org Aims to Empower Those in Need With Cryptocurrencies

This Wednesday the CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong introduced his new nonprofit called Givecrypto which aims to “distribute cryptocurrency to people living in poverty.” In recent a Medium post, Armstrong explains the funds will derive from cryptocurrency holders and Givecrypto will distribute small payments to people all around the globe.

Coinbase Founder Launches Cryptocurrency Fueled Charity 'Givecrypto' “Initial recipients will be people living in emerging markets, especially those going through financial crisis,” Armstrong details.

The goals behind Givecrypto.org are to help people in need by sending money to them directly, advance real-world usage and benefits of cryptocurrency, and provide universal access to an open financial system.

Crypto-Luminaries With Deep Pockets Can Donate to Those in Need Rather Than Buy Lambos

Givecrypto donors can send funds with the cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, and ZEC. So far the organization has raised a bunch of funds from users donating $1Mn to over $10K USD from blockchain luminaries, firms, and venture capitalists such as Zooko Wilcox, Chris Larsen, Joanne and Fred Wilson, Matthew Roszak, Roger Ver, Fred Ehrsam, Ted Rogers, and Bitmain.

Coinbase Founder Launches Cryptocurrency Fueled Charity 'Givecrypto'
The Givecrypto.org website.

Armstrong states that people who have invested in cryptocurrencies from the early days have amassed tons of wealth over the years. However, the Coinbase CEO has noticed the image of “bros in Lambos” has misrepresented the crypto-community as a whole.

“This doesn’t represent the best of our community. Most people I respect and know in the crypto ecosystem believe we have a responsibility to help this technology reach a much wider audience,” explains the Coinbase founder.

It’s still very early days in crypto and yet we’re already seeing philanthropy in cryptocurrency, from Ripple giving away $29 million to public schools to the Pineapple Fund or projects like Eat BCH. Now is the time to make sure we fold philanthropy and giving back into the fabric of this new industry.    

Armstrong has also detailed that since the initial fund is being raised the nonprofit is looking for an executive director to run the operations. “This role would report to and work directly with me, to help grow Givecrypto.org — I will remain on the board of Givecrypto.org,” Armstrong concludes.

What do you think about the new charity Givecrypto? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.  


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, and Givecrypto.org. 


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Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and Digital IDs

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

The city of Zug, home of the Swiss Crypto Valley, will invite its residents to take part in an experimental blockchain-based vote. They are expected to share opinions on several questions of local importance, including the fireworks display during the annual Lakeside Festival and the use of digital IDs to borrow books and pay parking fees. This and other fintech and crypto-related stories from the Alpine nation and other corners of Europe are featured in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief.   

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Tuesday: POT Saves World, Coinbase Pumps ETC, Binance Wants EUR

Zug Experiments with Blockchain-Based Vote

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsAuthorities in the Swiss city of Zug plan to ask local residents to participate in a consultative blockchain-based vote this month utilizing the city’s electronic ID system. They will be able to vote via their smartphones by downloading and installing an app. The experimental vote will be held between June 25 and July 1. Citizens will be asked if they are in favor of setting alight fireworks during the annual Lakeside Festival, and whether they think digital IDs should be used to borrow books from the library, pay parking fees, and for identification on regular referendums.

According to Swissinfo, the results of the vote will be non-binding. Nevertheless, the initiative, which aims to test whether blockchain can be used on a broader scale, highlights again the positive attitude of Swiss authorities towards cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology. The canton of Zug, dubbed Switzerland’s Crypto Valley, has become home to many fintech startups and even established crypto companies like the Chinese giant Bitmain, which has opened an office there.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsFor some time now, Zug has been accepting cryptocurrency payments for municipal services, including company registrations using bitcoin and ether. The city introduced its eID system to provide citizens with digital access to council services. The pilot phase of the project started last fall. The system is based on blockchain technology.

New Swiss Body to Simplify Capital Markets

In another example of Switzerland’s serious approach to fintech innovations, leading representatives of the country’s financial, technological, academic and legal sectors have recently formed the new Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) to facilitate the use of blockchain in financial markets. In a press release, they noted that “the blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the complexity of the capital markets system and lower the barrier of entry for startups.”

According to CMTA’s founders, the lack of legal certainty is slowing and can potentially compromise development in the field. They hope to facilitate access to funding for new businesses by defining a set of industry-supported open standards. These should ultimately contribute to value creation throughout the economy said Jacques Iffland, CMTA’s chair and partner at Lenz & Staehelin, the largest Swiss law firm.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

Swissquote Bank Ltd, a leader in online banking, and Temenos, which specializes in banking software, are also behind the initiative. CMTA promises to work to create toolkits that can be used by new or established companies, businesses and startups to access funding and raise capital securely and efficiently, using new technologies and leveraging digitalization. The association is based in Geneva.

Irish Blockchain Startup Delivering Aid to Refugees Raises €1m

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDsAn Irish startup, using blockchain to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid, has raised an estimated €1 million from investors, according to industry sources quoted by The Irish Times. The Dublin-based Aid:tech is working in refugee camps, often in hotspots like the Middle East. On Wednesday, Enterprise Ireland and SGInnovate, the venture capital arm of the Singaporean development authority, announced simultaneous investments in the Irish company. This is the first time both state-backed organizations have allocated funds to support a blockchain business, the Irish daily notes. Amsterdam-based Blue Parasol Investments and Tin Fu Fund, a closed private equity fund managed by Shenzhen Capital Group, also took part in the funding round.

Aid:tech aims to increase transparency in the distribution of aid, welfare, remittances, donations, and healthcare services through digitizing their delivery using blockchain technology on its platform. According to the company, only a fraction of the estimated €306 billion (~$360 billion) transferred each year by non-governmental aid organizations is currently delivered via transparent systems which, the startup claims, are extremely expensive to administer. The blockchain technology employed by the Irish firm would allow all international aid to be accounted for, including the distribution of medicine, food and other essentials, the publication details.

Government-Backed Platform to Promote Ireland as a Blockchain Hub

In an attempt to highlight Ireland’s capabilities in the blockchain ecosystem, authorities in Dublin have launched a new government-backed platform. Blockchain Ireland, founded in partnership with a young company called Consensys, aims to create conditions for greater cooperation between startups working in the sector, both on national and international level. The platform was launched by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group and backed by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Department of Finance, leading members of the country’s blockchain industry and representatives from a number of academic institutions.

Bitcoin in Brief Wednesday: Zug Tests Blockchain to Decide on Fireworks and IDs

The online platform is a source of useful information about the Irish blockchain ecosystem. It will be used to promote the country as a blockchain hub by highlighting the Irish technology sector and business environment which turn Ireland into an ideal location for blockchain-enabled business, Silicon Republic reports. The services it will be offering include providing information on setting up a new company and support for blockchain projects in Ireland. Its activities, however, will stretch beyond Irish borders. Blockchain Ireland will be working to develop the European and international blockchain ecosystem as well.

What are your thoughts on today’s topics in Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments below.


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Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for Campaigns

Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for Campaigns

The state of Colorado is considering giving political candidates the ability to raise funds using cryptocurrencies. This week the Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, presented the proposed guidelines and officials are looking for commentary from Colorado residents.

Also read: “Stablecoin” Trueusd Pumps After Binance Listing

Colorado Secretary of State May Allow Politicians to Accept Cryptocurrencies for Campaigns

Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for CampaignsColorado is a state that is well known for testing new laws and guidelines like allowing recreational cannabis throughout the state. This week politicians from the Rocky Mountain state are considering allowing political candidates to accept bitcoin and other forms of digital assets. Secretary of State Wayne Williams proposed the new rules in a draft submitted on May 16, 2018. The proposal states:  

A committee may accept contributions in cryptocurrency, up to the acceptable limit for a cash or coin contribution. The amount of the contribution is the value of the cryptocurrency at the time of the contribution. The committee must report any gain or loss after the contribution as other income or receipts.

Crypto-Campaign Acceptance: An Accounting Nightmare

In an interview with the Denver Post Suzanne Staiert, Colorado’s deputy secretary of state explains the proposal going through is likely to happen. “The FEC is doing it now,” Staiert details. “So we are just going along for the ride.”

However, the FEC advisory’s guidelines are making the accounting process more difficult explains the deputy. The FEC advisory laid out how the organization thinks committees should deal with the accounting aspects of accepting cryptocurrencies. “It’s going to be an accounting problem, potentially, for campaigns who want to use it,” Staiert further noted.

Colorado Proposal Aims to Allow Cryptocurrency Donations for Campaigns
Back in 2014, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, from Boulder Colorado accepted $2,000 worth of BTC for his campaign. Polis thinks politicians who hold cryptocurrencies should also declare their holdings.

U.S. Politicians Have Already Accepted Cryptocurrencies in the Past for Campaigns

A Colorado state official already has accepted donations in Bitcoin Core (BTC) back in 2014 as U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder accepted $2,000 worth of BTC that year. Other bureaucrats have accepted BTC in the past for political campaigns as well such as Rand Paul and Gary Johnson. Further, news.Bitcoin.com recently reported on the largest BTC donation given to a candidate so far this past December. The Republican U.S. Senate candidate Austin Peterson accepted roughly 0.284 BTC which at the time was worth over $4,500 USD.

The Colorado Secretary of State is asking state residents to comment on this issue before officials come to a decision on the matter.

What do you think about the state of Colorado allowing politicians to accept cryptocurrencies for political campaigns? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


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Tipping Point Gala Accepts Crypto Donations, Raises $14 Million

Tipping Point Gala Accepts Crypto Donations, Raises $14 Million

A gala held by Tipping Point, a non-profit organization that seeks to invest in efforts aimed at breaking the poverty cycle in the San Francisco Bay Area, has raised more than $14 million USD. The gala comprises the time that Tipping Point has accepted cryptocurrency donations, with the event being attended by the respective chief executive officers of Coinbase, Ripple Labs, and Pantera Capital Management.

Also Read:  A Brief History of Hidden Messages in the Bitcoin Blockchain

CEOs of Cryptocurrency Companies Attend Tipping Point Gala

Tipping Point Accepts Crypto Donations at Gala, Raises $14 MillionTipping Point has raised over $14 million during a gala in San Francisco that saw the non-profit accept cryptocurrencies for the first time. As such, the event saw attendance from many leading figures from the cryptocurrency sector.

“It’s great to see in the Bay Area because this is all about making sure that wealth is getting to people who need it most, and this helps lubricate that goal,” said Chris Larsen, the chief executive officer of Ripple.

“It’s a productive and worthwhile application from a nonprofit that’s driven by some of the most innovative minds in San Francisco,” said Dan Morehead, the CEO and founder of Pantera Capital Management.

“I think a lot more charities will be accepting crypto in the future,” said Brian Armstrong, the CEO and co-founder of Coinbase.

Donors Give ‘Crypto Gifts’ at Gala

Tipping Point Accepts Crypto Donations at Gala, Raises $14 MillionTipping Point spokeswoman, Marisa Giller, has indicated that all “crypto gifts” received will be converted into fiat currency and spent within the next financial year. Cryptocurrency donations were encouraged through a page in the event’s programme hosting QR codes facilitating donations in the form of BTC, ETH, and XRP.

“Trust me, no one is doing this in New York yet,” auctioneer Lydia Fenet stated of the cryptocurrency donations accepted by Tipping Point.

Cryptocurrency Drives Innovation Among Charities

The cryptocurrency revolution has inspired numerous innovative fundraising efforts on the part of charities and non-profit organizations.

Tipping Point Accepts Crypto Donations at Gala, Raises $14 MillionIn recent weeks, Unicef Australia launched The Hopepage – a website that the company states will “allow Australians to provide help and hope to vulnerable children by simply opening the page while they are online.” The Hopepage uses Authedmine, an opt-in version of Coinhive’s API to divert donors’ computing power to mining XMR on behalf of the organization.

News.Bitcoin.com also recently covered ‘eat BCH’, a charity using Bitcoin Cash donations to relieve hunger among Venezuelan children and citizens.

Have you ever donated cryptocurrency to a charity, organization, or random stranger on the internet? Share your experiences in the comments section below!


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Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin

Authorities in the state of Wisconsin have discussed the adoption of guidelines regarding cryptocurrency contributions to political campaigns, as requested by the Libertarian Party. Other states, like California, have urged politicians not to accept bitcoin donations. Kansas is the only state prohibiting such contributions. The Federal Election Commission allows crypto donations to campaigns for federal office. 

Also read: Majority of US States Have Taken a Stance on Bitcoin and Blockchain

Libertarians: The Question Is Not “Whether” but “How”

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission held on Tuesday a public hearing on a request from the state’s Libertarian Party regarding the adoption of guidelines for crypto contributions to political campaigns. The party’s chairman, Phil Anderson, wants to know how such donations would be counted toward the limits set by the state in dollars.

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin“Digital currencies, such as bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum, are more and more widely accepted as currency and as stores of value,” the libertarian said, quoted by the La Crosse Tribune. “The Chicago Board Options Exchange offers a futures market for bitcoin. Corporations and governments are weighing in on not ‘whether’ to address cryptocurrencies, but ‘how’,” Anderson wrote in the request.

David Buerger, staff counsel for the commission, admitted he is not yet aware of any instances in Wisconsin in which cryptocurrency contributions to state campaigns were given or accepted. Libertarians are among the stronger supporters of bitcoin. The idea of a decentralized cryptocurrency, not controlled by a central authority or bank, is in line with their political views and opposition to government control over the national currency.

During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners suggested that if digital currencies were counted as a monetary contribution, crypto donations would be subject to the $100 limit applicable to cash contributions. Larger donations must be made by a credit card or a bank check.

Only One State Prohibits Crypto Donations

The question of cryptocurrency contributions to political campaigns is one of many crypto-related issues that have been addressed differently in each state. For example, California has issued a warning against such donations. The Fair Political Practices Commission in the Golden State urged campaigns not to accept digital coins because their transactions are considered “virtually impossible to trace”. Last year Kansas became the first state to ban bitcoin contributions. According to its ethics commission, cryptocurrency is “too secretive”.

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in Bitcoin

Most US states have adopted some crypto regulations according to a recently published report by the Brookings Institution. The attitude towards cryptocurrencies, however, varies significantly between different jurisdictions. On national level, crypto contributions to campaigns for federal office were approved by the Federal Election Commission. In 2014 FEC said they should be treated as “in-kind donations” and “noncash items”.

Politicians Taking Bitcoin

The popularity of bitcoin among American politicians seems unaffected by recent market volatility. A growing number of political candidates are accepting cryptocurrencies to fund their campaigns. Republican Andrew Hemingway, the youngest gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire, was the first to do so in 2014, as reported by CNBC. Hemingway, also a tech entrepreneur, said he decided to accept crypto contributions after many of his supports asked if they could donate bitcoin.

Wisconsin Mulls Guidelines for Campaign Contributions in BitcoinAustin Petersen, Republican candidate from Missouri, received 24 bitcoin contributions while running for Senate. He is also the beneficiary of the largest crypto donation worth $4,500. Democrat Patrick Nelson, running for Congress from New York, is accepting cryptocurrency contributions through the payments provider Bitpay. “We’re a 21st century campaign and as such we embrace new technologies like bitcoin,” he tweeted. Democratic candidate for Congress Brian Forde of California and Republican Kelli Ward running for the Senate from Arizona are also taking bitcoin donations.

The first candidate for the White House to do the same was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who ran for the Republican nomination at the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Paul has in the past stated that the US government should adopt a “hands off” approach to controlling money. His campaign accepted bitcoin donations worth up to $100. That’s the maximum amount for individual contributions in cryptocurrency, as set by the Federal Election Commission.

What do you think about bitcoin contributions to political campaigns? Share your views in the comments section below.  


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