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Luxury Platforms Have China’s New Millionaires Spending Their Cryptocurrency


It’s no secret that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have made many people quite wealthy. While some choose to simply exchange their bitcoins for fiat, others prefer to spend their wealth on luxury platforms like Dadiani Fine Arts and The White Company.

When Lambo? More like when Rolls-Royce?

Eleesa Dadiani is the founder of the former. Her London-based fine art gallery accepts a range of cryptocurrencies as payment including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. The gallery forms part of her Dadiani Syndicate, a platform offering gems, yachts and even private jets to be exchanged for virtual currencies.

While these items may only live on the average person’s wishlist, Dadiani, like other cryptocurrency enthusiasts, believes that this type of payment system should eventually be used by everyone. According to the South China Morning Post, she explained:

We haven’t had a universal currency since gold and silver. A decentralized economy allows for borderless trade, which hasn’t been possible before with such ease; people are used to decision-making in trickles, with the group up top choosing what everyone can and cannot do … cryptocurrency requires a cognitive shift. People need to understand why cryptocurrency should be adopted wider, integrated into our existing way of life, for gradual change.

The White Company describes itself as being “purveyors of luxury to the cryptocurrency world” and if their website is anything to go by, this is exactly what they do. The platform sells extremely high-end products such as valuable art, diamonds, and Lamborghinis. There is currently a Salvador Dali artwork on offer for 79.70 BTC.

Despite China’s clampdown on the cryptocurrency industry, Elizabeth White, the founder, and CEO of the company has said that this is exactly where she is seeing growth in her customer base. She added that some of her customers in Asia “invested early in bitcoin ahead of the 2017 market boom and are looking for ways to spend their crypto wealth.”

The fact that Bitcoin’s astronomical price surges last year did indeed make a few millionaires could potentially mean that more expensive brands will begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. White added:

Our vision of the future is where anyone can walk into a Rolls-Royce showroom and pay directly, or attend a Sotheby’s auction and bid from their phone with a few swipes of a finger.

Luxury merchants still cautious of cryptocurrencies

However, some of these luxury brands may still be viewing virtual currencies, particularly privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Monero, as a means to a dodgy end. According to John Patrick Mullin though, this is an issue that regulation could potentially solve. The managing director of the Hong Kong office of trade.io explained:

Most people in the cryptocurrency space are working hard to get bad actors out and go the regulated route.

In addition to regulations, merchants who are new to the industry need to be educated about the fact that while Bitcoin is often associated with criminals, that’s not necessarily the case. Not only is every single transaction traceable and can be seen on a public ledge, a recent study by cybersecurity firm Elliptic found that only 1% of Bitcoin transactions were of criminal origin.

Can the same be said of traditional cash?

Do you think more high-end brands will soon start accepting cryptocurrency payments? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Delaware Real Estate Agent Sells State’s First Bitcoin Home

Delaware Real Estate Agent Sells State’s First Bitcoin Home

Even though some ‘experts’ feel that Bitcoin and the like have no value, these virtual currencies continue to be used as payment methods. In this case, Bitcoin was recently used to purchase a stunning home in the state of Delaware.

The process of buying a new house evokes a myriad of feelings. You are of course excited that you’ll be enjoying a new space but also worried about the financial aspects. Will your bank give you a loan? What are the transfer costs involved? How many reams of paper need to be signed?

As cryptocurrencies continue their quest for streamlining processes and providing financial inclusivity to its users, it also continues to show new ways in which it is being adopted into everyday life – like buying property.

Bitcoin has been used to purchase homes before, in Dubai, the UK and in the US. A major residential contractor in Ireland has also started accepting the virtual currency as a viable means of payment. Now, the state of Delaware is on that list.

A First for the First State

According to the Delaware Business Times, a Newark home worth $1.75 million was recently sold by Michael Kelczewski, a real estate broker for property giant, Sotheby’s International Realty.

The five-year-old house, which is located on a 4.2-acre plot in the city of Newark, offers beautiful bedrooms, sun-drenched living areas, and a chef-ready kitchen. Added luxury comes in the form of a sparkling swimming pool, a wine cellar, and a theater room.

Kelczewski’s real estate website shows that the house was sold for $1.35 million on the 6th of July but does not show that the sale was done with bitcoins. Bitcoinist has noted that Sotheby’s website is still showing the property as being listed and available for $1.75 million. We contacted Kelczewski who has advised us that the website will be updated with the sale.

The agent’s Facebook page shows that it was originally listed on the 14th of January this year and described it as “the first property within the first state to offer Bitcoin payment support”.

Just the Beginning for Bitcoin

After the reported sale, Kelczewski confirmed that it was indeed made possible through Bitcoin. His post also went on to mention his belief that disruptive technology like virtual currencies is the way of the future and that he hopes to continue to harness it as he grows his business.

This approach is exactly what platforms such as BitProperty and CryptoHome are employing. Kenny Hayslett, CryptoHome founder, touched on the benefits of Bitcoin in real estate:

The most mysterious thing about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is why they aren’t used more. It is simply digital money, a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to safely and securely transfer assets.

As some cryptocurrency traders gain their wealth through their virtual investments, these platforms and initiatives can give them an opportunity to translate this into brick-and-mortar investments.

Would you use your cryptocurrencies to buy property? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Facebook/MAKRealtyDE

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UK’s Cryptocurrency Task Force Concerned Over Recent Exchange Hacks

UK's Cryptocurrency Task Force Concerned Over Recent Exchange Hacks

The latest hacks in the cryptocurrency industry have had some British MPs questioning whether customers’ funds are safe.

The word “hack” has the ability to send fear into the hearts of many a cryptocurrency holder. Were you affected? Are your funds safe? Will you be compensated if you’re a victim? These are thoughts that run with frightening speed through your mind until you get confirmation.

However, in today’s age of regulation, holders are not the only people on alert. Authorities with their eye on virtual currencies are always ready to ask questions when things go south, as was the case with the recent security breaches of both Bithumb and Coinrail.

Cold Storage is Required

According to Stuff, Iqbal Gandham, the chairman of CryptoUK, sought to reassure authorities by providing some insight. The self-regulating agency represents a range of cryptocurrency trading websites including eToro, Coinbase, and Coinfloor. Gandham has stated that they request that all of their members store at least 90% of their virtual funds offline in an effort to protect them against hacks. He added that “security is improving.”

Iqbal Gandham

Lack of Institutional Support

Even though regulation is the name of the game, solid and clear frameworks are still hard to come by. In fact, Gandham believes that this lack of decisive action has made traditional banks wary of working with cryptocurrency exchanges. This, in turn, has resulted in said exchanges working with foreign banks. He explained:

99.9 per cent [of exchanges] have bank accounts in far-flung jurisdictions and UK consumers are sending their money to high-risk jurisdictions.

Gandham also hoped to allay fears of volatility by noting that although still unpredictable, cryptocurrency prices are not shifting as much as they used to. Regardless, the UK’s cryptocurrency task force will most likely still be keeping a close eye on the markets.

The Possible Impact of Hacks

These security breaches not only set aflutter the hearts of possible victims, but of traders in general as it was believed by many that the breaches led to price declines. This may have been the case with the Mt. Gox hack a few years ago, but according to CNBC’s Brian Kelly, today’s market appears to be too bullish to be substantially affected by breaches.

Two hacks in one month may have cryptocurrency holders wondering how they can protect their funds. The obvious choice is to follow CryptoUK’s lead and store their digital currencies in a cold storage wallet. While some exchanges are working towards improving their security features, this could be a way to retain your peace of mind as well as the possession of your cryptocurrencies if a breach does occur.

Do you agree with Gandham that security is improving in the cryptocurrency industry? Do you think that hacks drastically affect prices? Let us know in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of AdobeStock, Iqbal Gandham

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Is the Catholic Church the Next Stop on the Blockchain Train?

The Catholic Church is probably not the first thing that jumps to mind when thinking of blockchain. However, according to uCatholic, this is exactly where the technology could be heading to next.

The term “Catholicism” may bring to mind images of dusty scrolls, solemn sermons, and centuries-old methods of performing tasks. But it seems as though those very scrolls could soon be moved onto a distributed ledger.

Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but if Catholic Blockchain is successful in their endeavors, the Catholic Church could benefit greatly from the advantages of this technology.

A Testament to Blockchain

The platform’s main goal is to encourage and help integrate blockchain technology into the processes of the Catholic Church. One of its co-founders, Brantly Millegan, explained:

I believe blockchain technology is one of the most important innovations of the last ten years, and the Catholic Church, as the world’s largest global organization, is uniquely placed to benefit from using it.

The platform has also outlined practical uses of blockchain within the Church itself, and one of them is providing financial inclusivity for the unbanked population. This benefit has already been widely publicized with some platforms working hard to bridge that gap.

The technology is not the only thing that can make a difference. Virtual currencies could also be used by the Church to facilitate faster international payments, an idea that the country of Argentina is actively pursuing.

Depending on your denomination, belonging to a church comes with some administrative paperwork, such as Baptism and marriage certificates, births, deaths, and other parish events. We know that blockchain provides an efficient and secure way to store data, which could make it ideal for keeping track of church records.

Now, the Catholic Church is no stranger to scandal and, like Bitcoin, has been accused of money laundering in the past. With the inherent transparency of blockchain, pilfering priests will have nowhere to hide.

Speaking of money, smart contracts could pave the way to legally lining the Church’s pockets.  The organization could sell portions of land that is not currently being used to investors through smart contracts.

A Testament to Blockchain

A Revelation in Technology

Millegan concluded:

Much of the Church is still playing catch-up on old-news technologies like websites, smartphones, and social media. We need to do a better job of taking seriously new up-and-coming technologies before we’re already behind. And we believe blockchain technology should be near the top of the list.

While it’s true that blockchain is finding its place in industries like finance and supply chain management, it can be a viable option for many others if due diligence is applied. If successful though, it could be a perfect fusion of tradition and technology

Do you think that the Catholic Church should embrace the blockchain? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Pixnio, AdobeStock

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South African Reserve Bank (SARB): Virtual Currencies Are ‘Cyber-tokens’

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced that disruptive cryptocurrencies cannot be seen as actual currency as they do not conform to the traditional definition of money.

Even though digital currencies were first introduced to the world nearly a decade ago, interest and trade have only arguably increased significantly since last year. This has however left authorities struggling to develop regulations fast enough to keep up with the growing demand.

One issue that seems to be a sticking point when compiling these frameworks is determining the definition of cryptocurrencies. Contrary to the name, most authorities do not even consider them as actual currencies.

SARB Says No to Currency Definition

According to BusinessTech, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is one such authority. The bank’s Deputy Governor, Francois Groepe, has stated that the institution would “prefer to use the word ‘cyber-token’” as a definition.

It seems as if most of these authorities are reading the same book as Groepe’s reasoning is eerily familiar to that of other centralized organizations:

We don’t use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ because it doesn’t meet the requirements of money in the economic sense of the stable means of exchange, a unit of measure and a stable unit of value.

Crypto Task Team in Place

Like some governments, SARB is also establishing a task team with the specific aim of determining where the bank stands on the crypto issue as well as developing a guideline and regulations with regard to virtual currencies.

Groepe added:

We want to ensure or establish whether there is still compliance with the relevant financial surveillance or exchange-control regulations.

Regardless of the definition, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has confirmed that cryptocurrencies will be will adhere to regular SARS rules. Owners will have to declare their gains or losses when they file their tax returns.

Crypto Making Headlines in SA

Crypto Making Headlines in SA

The country’s law enforcement authorities are also familiarizing themselves with cryptocurrency, albeit through unfortunate circumstances. In March, some South African crypto enthusiasts were victims of a multi-million dollar crypto ponzi scam run by Steven Twain of BTC Global.

The country’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, is working on the case. It was initially reported that $50 million was lost, but this amount has now increased to $80 million. Authorities, however, feel that the amount could grow even more.

The acting National Head for the Hawks, Yolisa Matakata, said:

This may prove to be the tip of the iceberg with potentially thousands more yet to discover they’ve lost money.

This week also saw 13-year-old Katlego Marite held to ransom for 15 bitcoins. The boy was subsequently found and safely returned to his family in Witbank, a city in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Even with the uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrencies in the country, enthusiasts in South Africa are still interested in investing in digital currencies or according to SARB, cyber-tokens.

What do you feel about SARB’s definition of cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of AdobeStock

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American Express Could Use Blockchain to Protect Clients’ Identities and Combat Fraud

US-based financial corporation American Express is researching how blockchain technology can provide solutions to issues such as fraud and identity protection.

More and more financial services companies are exploring how blockchain technology can make a difference, not only in their existing processes but also in providing improved user experiences for their clientele.

Amex on Board the Blockchain Train

Mastercard is turning to the crypto-supporting technology as is American Express. According to TechRadar, the latter will make a concerted effort to research how blockchain may not only protect their customers against fraud but also how it can keep their identities safe too.

While at the Oktane18 conference in Las Vegas, the company’s VP of technology, Tereasa Kastel, chatted about the future blockchain plans of American Express:

American Express is a very innovative company. They were working on blockchain specifically for financial transactions, but we were starting to explore what would an identity wallet look like, and could blockchain be used to help serve as, both internal, but also external card members and merchants.

In another customer-centric show, the company announced that they would be using Hyperledger blockchain technology to assist their merchants in customizing Membership Rewards programs for customers.

Amex on Board the Blockchain Train

The Key to Solving Core Issues

However, the technology will be used for more than just giving back to clients. It will give cardholders a viable solution to safeguarding their identities. Kastel explained:

Being in the financial industry, we have to be somewhat conservative on what legal and regulatory requirements there are. Out on the other hand, what I would say is that what it empowers an individual user to do in terms of controlling their identity, and have that identity be immutable, is something you can’t pass by – despite what the regulatory controls might be at this time.

These benefits of blockchain can also be used in the fight against fraud. Because records cannot be changed in the ledger, it allows for tamper-proof transactions. In addition, there is a high level of transparency, essentially leaving fraudsters no place to hide as every record’s life cycle can be traced.

This, in addition to identity protection, should be a major drawcard to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Keeping Up With the Times

Kastel concluded:

When identity is done well, with the latest technologies, it removes the impediments for transacting. If you’re in this industry, you have to have a voracious appetite for all things identity. To be able to work in a world where there is constant change, you have to always ensure you can stay ahead of the curve.

This is definitely sound advice for companies and not just those in the financial industry. Blockchain technology could be exactly what a business needs to run more efficiently and securely. In using blockchain, these companies could have the edge over their competitors while giving their clients technologically advanced solutions.

What do you think of another major corporation looking to blockchain technology as the answer? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of

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BANKEX Smart Justice is Bringing Arbitration to Blockchain

The Smart Justice service is an innovative and community-driven way to resolve disputes in the crypto industry. Top-50 FinTech company, BANKEX, launched the beta version of its service on the 14th of May as a way to introduce complete partiality during these disputes.

There is no doubt that blockchain technology has the potential to drastically change our lives.  It offers security, immutability and a high level of transparency.  It also an essential part of creating a paperless society, as are smart contracts.

Eliminating the need for reams of paper and intermediaries not only frees up time, but is also a more cost-effective and efficient way of doing business.

However, because of the decentralized nature of the industry as a whole, arbitration for disputes regarding virtual currencies can be tricky.  If you’re using a smart contract to facilitate payment for services rendered and things go south, you won’t be able to go to your nearest arbitration court for help.

BANKEX is aware of this and has a solution – its Smart Justice service.  If users are having a disagreement about goods or services received, this platform can help settle it.  By basing the service on the law of big numbers and the game theory, there is also minimal opportunity for corruption.

BANKEX Smart Justice

Dodgy Service Providers Beware

Even though blockchain technology is reliable, some people aren’t.  Terms of the smart contract on BANKEX’s Trust Service could state that payment will be released by Person A once a project is complete and submitted by Person B.  However, what happens if that completed project isn’t up to scratch?

Just as in a real-world court, Person A would file a dispute as the plaintiff.  Unlike the real world, he or she would file it through the Smart Justice service.

How Does it Work?

Initially, the two parties involved would have to initiate a smart contract through the BANKEX Trust Service.  All conditions of the contract will, therefore, be permanently available as and when the need arises, in this case, when arbitration is required.

As with any situation, there are always two sides to a story.  With BANKEX’s arbitration board, Person B, or the Counterparty, would be able to give their version of events with the smart contract correspondence to validate or reject those claims.

With Smart Justice being a community-based service, it works on a voting system to determine which of the parties wins the dispute.  In this case, these voters are actually arbitrators, or Decision Makers, who are randomly chosen by the platform to oversee these proceedings.  They will have access to all of the information, including the smart contract details, as well as evidence provided by the plaintiff and defendant.

BANKEX has researched how to use statistics and math and to provide a comprehensive solution with a minimal margin for error.  A coin toss is a good analogy to explain the law of large numbers. There are two sides to a coin, which means that statistically, each time you toss it, there’s a 50% chance that it will land on either side.

In reality, you may find that it actually lands on heads seven out of 10 times. However, if you toss it for 10 or 20 more times, it may even out in that it lands on heads maybe 15 times out of 30. This shows that in the case of the voters, the more people that vote, the higher the chance of the right verdict being reached.

Initially, the approved arbitrators will be the opinion leaders of the platform.  However, community members can become arbitrators simply by purchasing voting tokens on the platform.

Once a case is available, 51 voters will be randomly assigned to work on it.  With all of the information available, they will be able to vote in favor of either party or abstain.  In the case of the latter, the Decision Maker will have their voting token returned to them.

In the event a resolution cannot be reached within the prescribed period for any of the above reasons, the Moderator fees fixed by the complaining party in BKX will revert to that party’s wallet, vote tokens will be returned to the Moderators, and the case will be closed without a resolution with all parties receiving notification of the causes.  The complaining party may wish to initiate a new case repeating the process, taking into account the reasons why decision-makers decided to abstain from voting.

BANKEX Trust Service

Leveraging the Game Theory

To encourage fairness, those voters who voted on the majority decision will get financially rewarded.  This will not only cover their initial cost in becoming a decision maker, but will also provide them with some extra earnings as a reward.

Once a verdict is reached, all of the case information will be recorded on the blockchain.  Not only does this provide a high level of transparency to the rest of the community, it also gives others in similar situations a point of reference.

Improving Service Delivery Through BANKEX

This seems like a great way to solve the disputes resolution problem in the decentralized industry.  In addition, it will force service providers to always deliver an excellent product or experience to their clients so as not to be on the receiving end of a Smart Justice guilty verdict.

BANKEX has launched their beta version of this service on the 14th of May.  The platform’s community is encouraged to test it and provide feedback.

If you’d like to know about BANKEX, have a look at their website.  You can also read their blog discussing their Smart Justice service or join their Telegram channel if you’d like to have a chat with one of the founders.

Do you think that BANKEX’s Smart Justice system will make people less apprehensive about using smart contracts and thereby actually increase mainstream adoption?  Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of AdobeStock, BANKEX

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Colorado: A Tale of Two Blockchain Bills

Forget the Rocky Mountains. The US state of Colorado is hoping to make a name for itself as a blockchain hub in America. They’ve put through two bills supporting this, but only one has made it through the Senate gauntlet.

Crypto regulations seem to be up in the air in most countries, but this hasn’t stopped certain US states from taking the initiative to actively be a part of the decentralized revolution.

According to the Denver Post, Colorado seemed poised to be the next state to welcome both this technology and virtual currencies. Sponsors of House Bill 1426 hoped that the legislation would help develop a framework which would assist in determining which virtual tokens should be recognized as securities.

Essentially, the bill states that tokens that are created for non-financial gain, such as those used for blockchain-based games, would be seen as collectibles. On the other hand, virtual coins created for financial gain would be seen as securities.

What Else Does the Bill Say?

Yes and Then No

House Bill 1426 was set to become a revolutionary piece of legislation for the state of Colorado when it was given the go-ahead. However, a second vote held just minutes after it was initially approved, dashed the hopes of its supporters.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Senator Tim Neville, voiced his disappointment had the downward turn of events:

We usually come together to create more opportunities for Colorado companies and startups. In this case, this was an epic fail for those who chose not to support it.

The negative outcome likely came as a surprise as the House vote was an emphatic victory: 57 for and only eight against. The first Senate vote seemed to secure success until a second vote resulted in a loss when 18 voted against and 17 voted for.

One of those against the bill, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, explained her reasoning:

The language in HB14-26 that would have carved out open blockchain tokens from the definition of a security under the Colorado Securities Act was overly broad and vague. The language would have created immunity from criminal liability for someone who commits securities fraud in that context, putting Colorado consumers at risk. That is why my office opposed the bill.

A Lack of Understanding

Senator Lucia Guzman voted ‘no’ even though she doesn’t understand the bill, explaining that “these are new ideas and possibly good ideas, but I’m not comfortable with it.”

David Gold, a venture capitalist with Access Venture Partners, touched on this issue a bit:

This is an opportunity for Colorado to say, ‘Look, we’re going to provide an environment that provides clarity for the sector. That doesn’t mean charlatans can violate security laws. Those who oppose it simply don’t understand it.

Blake Cohen, who is a co-founder and chief business development officer of blockchain-based Salt Lending, agreed:

There’s too many questions people had, and we understand that.

A Silver Blockchain Lining

There is, however, some good news coming out of Colorado. According to the EconoTimes, the state has recently passed a bill promoting distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), including blockchain.

The bipartisan Senate Bill 86, presents guidelines on how to use cyber coding cryptology to keep track of state records. It also proposes that additional research be conducted by the state to determine how blockchain and other DLTs can be used in “accepting business licensing records and when distributing department of state data to other departments and agencies”.

However, this bill is not just about streamlining admin processes. It went on to suggest that regulation authorities use this type of technology to “protect against falsification, create visibility to identify external hacking threats, and to improve internal data security.”

Not Just for the State

A knock-on effect of this, and also detailed in the bill, is that higher education institutions will have the option of including both courses in, as well as research and development projects on, DLTs.

Colorado Senator Angela Williams said:

Colorado is an entrepreneurial state and this bill recognizes the vast opportunity of blockchain technology. It will ultimately shape a better future for Colorado’s students, entrepreneurs, and government alike.

A Move in the Right Direction for Colorado

Blockchain-based platform, Filament, has also worked with Senator Williams and her colleagues during the legislation process.

The platform’s CEO, Allison Clift-Jennings, said:

Filament has a strong presence in Colorado, and we are committed to furthering the benefits of blockchain technology in both the public and private sector. With the passing of this bill, Colorado has demonstrated that it understands distributed ledger technology and is interested in giving businesses the space they need to innovate as applications of the technology continue to emerge.

The competition is definitely heating up to see which US state will come out tops for actively embracing and promoting blockchain technology.

What do you think about Colorado’s bill drama? Do you agree with House Bill 1426’s token definitions? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Disney Educational Productions

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Silicon Valley Philanthropists Dig Deep into their Crypto Wallets during Fundraising Event

In a time when we’re bombarded with the supposed evils of Bitcoin (right, Mr. Baby Brains Munger?) on a seemingly daily basis, it’s refreshing to see crypto take the spotlight for a worthy cause.

According to Bloomberg, this is exactly what happened at a San Francisco fundraising gala held on the 3rd of May. The event was held to raise money to combat poverty in the Bay Area and was planned by the Tipping Point Community non-profit organization (NPO).

Raising more than $14 million is definitely worth celebrating, as is the fact that this is the first time that the NPO allowed pledge drive donations to be made in cryptocurrencies. Contributors were able to donate using Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple.

We have reached out to Tipping Point Community to determine how much of donated amount was in crypto and will update this story as soon as we receive a response.

Well-known Crypto Industry Guests

Attending the event were several high profile names within the crypto community, including CEO of Ripple, Chris Larsen; founder and CEO of Pantera Capital Management, Dan Morehead; and co-founder and chief executive of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong.

Speaking about the event, Larsen stated:

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.

Morehead added:

It’s a productive and worthwhile application from a nonprofit that’s driven by some of the most innovative minds in San Francisco.

Armstrong was feeling positive about what the inclusion of crypto donations could mean:

I think a lot more charities will be accepting crypto in the future.

No Stranger to Bitcoin

Tipping Point Community had already received a Bitcoin donation in 2014. However, this is the first time that digital currencies have been accepted during the group’s annual pledge drive.

Guests were able to contribute through QR printed codes that were displayed on the gala’s program. Crypto donations will subsequently be converted into fiat currencies to be spent on developing data-driven solutions to combat issues relating to housing and education for lower-income households.

Caring Through Crypto

Caring Through Crypto

Silicon Valley seems to be a great place to encourage crypto donations. Filled with tech industry giants and lucrative new start-ups, some of this wealthy set are all too familiar with cryptocurrencies and, more likely than not, are holding onto quite a bit in their digital wallets.

By using crypto to contribute to charity organizations, these professionals have the ability to not only donate but also to spread awareness of virtual currencies and to foster readier adoption by other organizations in other states.

Silicon Valley is definitely setting a trend. Christie’s Manhattan auctioneer, Lydia Fenet, who led the donation drive at the event, said:

Trust me, no one is doing this in New York yet.

Perhaps after possible Bitcoin futures trading on the New York Stock Exchange, this could soon change.

Have you ever donated to charity by using cryptocurrencies? Would you if given the option? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Pexels, Shutterstock, Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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Blockchain Technology to Combat Dodgy Ticket Resales

Secondary ticketing in the UK is a billion-dollar problem, one that Aventus hopes to solve with blockchain technology.

Whether it’s your favorite football match or your music idol’s concert, front-row tickets are probably what you’re after. However, if they happen to be sold out by the time you can afford them, you might be tempted to purchase these tickets from unscrupulous secondary parties.

Prepare to be met with counterfeit tickets and sky-high prices. According to The Guardian, secondary tickets for shows for big artists, such as Adele, can fetch up to $12,000. Preventing these so-called ticket touts seems to be a decades-old issue, but something that blockchain technology could solve.

Blockchain to the Rescue

Annika Monari and Alan Vey, who are the founders of Aventus, will have the opportunity to test this theory at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. Their blockchain-based program will be used for more than 10,000 tickets to fan events in the US and Europe.

By using blockchain technology, the records for each ticket will be immutable and therefore protected against counterfeiting. Essentially, each ticket will be linked to its owner, which will combat fraud.

By doing this, Monari and Vey, who both have degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Particle Physics, have said that Aventus will “virtually eliminate ticketing fraud and the scourge of unregulated touting”.

A New Solution for an Old Problem

A New Solution for an Old Problem

The Aventus founders discussed their excitement at working towards a solution for this problem:

“It has been an amazing journey. We used to sit in this common room having coffees and worrying about our coursework. But now, hopefully, we will be the people who can solve the problems in the ticketing industry. That would feel incredible and be such a huge achievement for us.”

The platform’s ICO in September last year sold out in just seven minutes, raising a total of just over $35 million.

Positive Impact

Professor Mike Waterson from Warwick University acted as a technical advisor to Monari and Vey. He had this to say:

“It has a lot of potential. Thinking through the market from a fresh perspective is very useful. If they get genuine buy-in from a wide enough range of people then it is going to have a big impact on the market.”

Expanding Blockchain-based Solutions

Waterson also conducted a government report into the secondary ticket industry, including ticket sales for Premier League games. This is also an issue that Aventus hopes to help with. The platform will be working with another blockchain-based platform, Blocside, for the FIFA World Cup initiative, but hope to expand their offerings to Premier League football clubs soon.

Ticket fraud is quite a lucrative industry in the UK, with an annual value of about $1.3 billion. Bernie Dillon, an entertainment industry expert, discussed how Aventus could make a difference:

“Anyone who has ever attended, hosted, or produced a live entertainment event has been affected by counterfeit tickets or extortionate resale prices. Aventus brings a refreshing solution that could end fraudulent activity and ticket touting once and for all.”

Do you think that blockchain technology is the answer to the ticketing industry’s biggest problem? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

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