Bitcoin: Rethinking Funding for NGOs

This past May, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency was worth over 2,000 USD per coin for the first time ever. This made Bitcoin’s estimated market capitalization around 30.92 billion USD and its valuation is expected to continue increasing in 2017. The surge was primarily due to the influence the Japanese Yen has on the Bitcoin market, being the single largest currency being exchanged after the country recognized Bitcoin as a legal form of payment in early April.

Obviously, Bitcoin is doing a lot better than the early days when the first transaction involved an offer of 10,000 bitcoins for two large pizzas (25 USD). But despite its growth, some global markets still view the cryptocurrency as “magic internet money” and refuse to recognize it as having any true value. Then again, you might be reading this and thinking to yourself, what is Bitcoin and why should I care?

Without diving too much into the technical side, Bitcoin can be generally described as a type of virtual currency with most of its power stemming from the internet. Like traditional currencies (dollars, pounds, yuan), bitcoins can be used for a variety of transactions both online and offline. However, one of the selling points for users is the fact that bitcoins are a decentralized form of money. So instead of being tied to an economic system plagued by counterfeit, inflation, and human greed, Bitcoin is largely controlled by itself in a cyber world using encryption methods.

Ever go through the hassle of sending money to a family member in another country? Maybe buy something online and have to deal with processing fees? In the current system, many transactions are deemed inefficient because a huge portion of economic activity has to pass through a bank or credit card company and are accompanied by associated fees. Another highlight to using bitcoins is the elimination of the middle man. With Bitcoin, money can be sent instantaneously without remittance fees — a concern for much of the global population as many individuals do not have access to formal/semiformal financial services.

Now before you decide to forsake your traditional currency, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the few drawbacks to using the digital currency. The first point of caution is the tendency for the value of Bitcoin to fluctuate in the short term. Case in point, Bitcoin reached over 1100 USD in late 2013 but then spent years in decline, ultimately bottoming out at 200 USD in the middle of 2015. Another concern relates to the longevity of Bitcoin. Though Bitcoin was the first to capitalize on blockchain technology, there have been several competitors that have expanded upon the features of the original cryptocurrency. And just as the price of Bitcoin has increased over the last month, so has its chief competition, Ethereum.

So where do non-governmental organizations (NGOs) figure into the Bitcoin world? As not-for-profit organizations, many NGOs spend a considerable amount of time and energy raising funds to support their cause. But with an unpredictable global economy and declines in donor funding, it’s vital that an organization be able to procure financial resources thus ensuring its sustainability. Considering that today’s society largely interacts in a digital world, cryptocurrency is a logical, innovative strategy to generate funds for nonprofit organizations.

With transactions happening in real-time, Bitcoin allows local charities to create a truly global campaign without the transaction fees that often accompany online donations. Organizations like the Human Rights Foundation already use Bitcoin to raise funds, with the following message being found on the organization’s donation page:

Human Rights Foundation only accepting Bitcoin donations because we care about our donors privacy and making sure that governments, government agencies other secret services can’t gain access to the funds.

We all have already seen in the past that some governments forced payment processors such as Visa and PayPal to block the public from financing organizations like WikiLeaks.”

Offering an alternative system not tied to a political system or ideologies can be a huge benefit for NGOs, especially if serving regions of geopolitical instability. Furthermore, Bitcoin almost becomes essential to developing economies in need of capital. Even the farmer in the middle of sub-Saharan Africa is able to access the internet via a cell phone. Using the power of the internet, Bitcoin makes getting those financial resources to the individuals its intended to for much easier and convenient.

So as NGOs continue to search for the means to continue their humanitarian efforts, using a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin as a form of funding is definitely worth considering. And who knows, maybe those 10 bitcoins could be the $20,000 needed to bring clean and safe drinking water to a community in India, provide healthcare to the people of Ethiopia, or build a school for a village in Cambodia.

 

Interested in learning more about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Check out the links below:

How Bitcoin Works http://money.howstuffworks.com/bitcoin.htm

TEDxBeaconStreet: What the #?!* is Bitcoin? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzjtvt77mgc

TEDxMidAtlantic: Digital currencies like bitcoin are coming (and it’s a good thing) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GL9PTQiqxw

TEDxTampaBay: At the Speed of Money: How Cryptocurrency Will Transform Everything https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a53YgjlGM2c

TEDxBermuda: The future will be decentralized https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97ufCT6lQcY

Fundraising Bitcoin by Bit http://www.ngopulse.org/article/2015/08/13/fundraising-bitcoin-bit

Should Your Non-Profit Accept Bitcoin for Donations? http://www.thefundraisingauthority.com/internet-fundraising/non-profit-bitcoin/

Safello Enables Charitable Donations With Bitcoins https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2014/08/17/safello-enables-charitable-donations-with-bitcoins/#40b90f0f32fe

 

 

Bitcoin: Rethinking Funding for NGOs

Lauren Case

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Blast rocks Jiangsu kindergarten, children among the dead and injured.

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At least seven people were killed and 66 were injured, including children, in a blast Thursday near a kindergarten in eastern China, according to Chinese state media.

Two people died at the scene in Fengxian and five died at the hospital, Chinese Central Television reported. Nine are in serious condition, according to CCTV. It’s not clear if children were among the dead.
The explosion occurred in front of the gate of the Chuangxin Kindergarten at about 4:50 p.m., according to Fengxian police.
“The police and related departments rushed to the scene as soon as it was reported and conducted rescue and investigation work on the site,” police said on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform similar to Twitter. “Currently, the investigation work is still underway.”
Authorities have not said what caused the explosion. The Fengxian communication department did not answer a phone call from CNN.
Graphic images purporting to show the chaotic aftermath of the blast have circulated on Twitter and Chinese social media.
A child with a bloodied face, stumbling back and forth and only in her underwear, could be seen surrounded by children splayed out on the ground. Screams were heard in the background.
CNN has not been able to independently verify that the video is from this incident, but it’s been recirculated by various Chinese state media outlets.
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Fengxian is in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, about 370 miles (595 km) northwest of Shanghai.
It’s home to 1.2 million people, according to the government’s website.

“Welcome To Today” Review

-Lauren Nicole

Inhale, exhale, rest & repeat. In a global city of over 25 million people, it’s easy to get caught up in  the  daily grind of Shanghai without thinking twice about present-day issues plaguing our global community. Yet “Welcome to Today”, a joint effort from Beyond the Bund and The Dirty Panda Society brought many global issues to light while encouraging the local community to interact and  take  action. With each day centered around a key theme (Societal Engagement, Discovering Cultural Identities, Environmental Cues & Concerns), Welcome to Today was more than an exhibition —it was an experience.

Held at The Foundry, the flow of the space encouraged a mindfulness of natural resources, consumer trends, and societal array. With the installations, performance art, film screenings, and workshops capturing the idea of the day, visitors couldn’t help but take notice of the conditions often ignored in our present-day world.

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“Beauty + Mayhem” by Trillion Rexford

Adrian Tyus, who credits his works under the alias Trillion Rexford, said the original concept was designed with community awareness in mind. “I wanted to theme the works around my personal experiences and witnessing of nature’s decay and overconsumption.

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“The Fish” by Trillion Rexford

I felt nothing spoke truer to mankind’s destruction of planet and self as Rexford’s piece, “The Fish.”  A sensory overload, the work featured a plate of fish that had been eviscerated; its stomach contents containing objects like drinking straws, bottle caps, a fingernail clipper, and maggots. I liked this piece as it highlighted the conditions of our oceans and the waste that affects aquatic life. But on the flip side, it could also be seen as an expression of human consumption as society continues to consume in such a way that is slowly causing  our  own demise.

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“By Product” by Jared Mimm and Jack Zeeff

Though some aspects of Welcome to Today illuminated current problems impacting society, the sense of community fostered through conversations and performances encouraged solutions.

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“Put it Back” by Vita

Jonas Merian held an informative session on how upcycling has transformed the way individuals view waste materials, and had some of his biscuit tin light fixtures featured in the space. Anne Ursinus and Nitin Dani led a dynamic dialogue in relation to sustainability and the work that Green Initiatives has been doing in and around Shanghai. Encouraging individuals to take part in their useLESS water campaign, the duo reinforced the idea that living sustainably doesn’t need to be incredibly daunting but it does begin with a conscious awareness.

“I wish I was here” by Fred Farrow

Much of the action art featured remarkable individuals whose work not only encapsulated the themes of Welcome to Today, but encouraged interaction whether through voting on immigration issues in Fred Farrow’s “I wish I was here,” assisting a wanted man evade capture in “The invisible man” which highlighted local live performer Zac, or participating in a healthy exchange of ideas among those present.

“The Invisible Man” by Zac

“Rite” by Jared Mimm and Dannie Zhang

I  found  myself  in  several  engaging  conversations  including  one  on duality after “Rite |天记” from Jared Mimm and Dannie Zhang |张黛妮. Inspiring a variety of interactions, “Terra Mater” was an undeniable personal favorite of the weekend.Estel Vilar of the Illumin8tors led a discussion regarding the notions of nature and self before segueing into collaboration with Daniel Rojas on guitar. A sound and movement dialogue on the relationship humans have with the environment, the performance left me with a heightened connection to Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants. Afterwards, I talked to a fellow participant that shared a similar sentiment.

“Terra Mater” by Estel Vilar and Daniel Rojas

Foreign to performance art, “It was weird for me at first, when she put the mud on me that was a really nice experience. I felt like her body and action was connecting everyone in the room through an energy.”

“Silence” by Baiba Rozenfelde and Pauan Soares

After a fruitful endeavor in bringing the local community together for a creative expression of contemporary issues, what’s next for Adrian Tyus? “I am currently in post-production of my first feature length documentary, Sunwudian,” revealed the interdisciplinary artist. The film, taking place in China’s Anhui province, reveals the stories of local villages dealing with social disenfranchisement and the constant gamble with conglomerated interests. Tyus is also nearing completion on a second film, Operation: Resurrection, a behavioral case study that features key community influencers, educators, and artists from his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, USA and surrounding areas. Both projects are set to be complete sometime next fall.

Video Installation “Let Them Talk” by Trillion Rexford

As for Welcome to Today, it was a reminder that every day is an invitation to become enlightened. That every day we are presented with the immense changes and challenges impacting today’s world. And every day we have a choice: to continue listening and watching or to truly participate and engage with our global community.

“There is a Fly in the Room” by Trillion Rexford

this was a mixed media pop up exhibition: call to comm-unity and expression.

 

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Put it back

In March, I initiated the idea of ​​putting honey back into the hive and sending it to the tree.

Someone asked me why I had to do this.

In the past two years, I have tried to understand and accept all this, but continue to lose, do not know how to understand all the sudden changes in the people who once thought it was beautiful.

Maybe I just want to see a honeycomb in the city’s tree, and maybe I just want to be a bee.

This idea tortured me for more than a month. I have to do it.

It is divided into two parts

Part1:

Time: April 13, 2017 14:20

Venue: a tree in the park

I put a honeycomb filled with honey into the tree branches. People looked at me and climbed a tree.

Time: 20:17 on April 30, 2017

Venue: a tree in the park

I found the hive in the night run is still in, but the above long insects.

Now look, it should be able to find it.

Time: April 16, 2017 18:10 to 19:03 pm.

Location: A small gallery in Jing’an District

Act: Put it back

Originally, I was going to put the honeycomb on the tree in the city, and eventually, when I saw the site, I felt very good.Honeycomb is never just on the tree.

I put the honey back to the hive, the honeycomb back to the tree or under the eaves, is a reverse process.

Put back to the place is not as simple as I imagined, with the mouth of the honey inhaled straw, and then blown into the honeycomb from the straw one hole, is a test of lung capacity thing.

When I hung the hive to the beam, the honey fell from the hive, dripping on the ground, body, hair.

Open up

“You can taste it if you want” During the show, there was an audience reaching out to the honeycomb to taste the honey.

The toilet paper on the ground is not clear to the unknown.

This is a test of lung capacity thing.

Honey dripping on me. I continued to put the other honeycomb back, I put a total of six hives.

The above pictures are photographed by photographer Koshi. grateful.

The end, it’s the last look

When an act is over, it is no longer my own. The original intention of producing this behavior is not the most important. It can lead to follow-up thinking I cherish. My or the viewer. That day on the way back, hair and clothes sticky, and I carried a pile of things out of the subway mouth, I heard a motorcycle driver in front of the loud voice singing, and instantly feel good.

Impressive is that after the end of a few days, a viewer with a micro letter sent me feelings:

Your behavior makes me realize the beauty of passing. Our time is a one-way flow, our reincarnation before you perform, I think it is also one-way. But your behavior inspired me, is there such a time and space, its time is our mirror of the world, or everything is carried out in reverse. Or reincarnation, the same can be from the beginning, or all the time, the cycle did not start, our time is a circle If the beauty of things, in turn, thinking about what will be like?

  • Team Zuo Strange

SEEDS OF TIME

Shanghai Project | Shanghai seed in September 2016 started by the Lee rain and Hans • • Ulrich Obrist joint planning, the second chapter mainly exhibition presented in the form of, named “the documentary of the same name seed time ” , Will be held on April 22, 2017 in Shanghai Himalaya Art Museum opened. In response to the documentary’s call for immediate action to improve the current climate, the exhibition “Time Seed” attempts to better understand the current urgency by integrating art, literature (science fiction), science and technology, sociology, environmental science, biology, medicine and other disciplines the environmental and social issues , to explore a sustainable solution.

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Body and time..

“The strange thing is that I did not hold the hand from the beginning,” the best time to record the body, “the attitude to shoot the human body. Like doing other things, in this matter I have never been confused. Recall the initial motivation, It is only one day, suddenly aware of my body want to speak, and then has been said now. “- After the previous microblogging to see this last year to write this paragraph, with the map is the end of 2013 a back. Now is 2017 , did not think I took so many more than four years.

Compared to the so-called “human beauty”, “the best time”, I care more about is the “time” – who I spent time with my body in this world experience time, I and myself / the world The time of the dialogue … … I am easy to be some of the “metaphysical” temptation, I am obsessed with those who fleeting but it seems to be able to hold things forever.

The first three years I am in a more dramatic form of personality, appear in the image. By the fourth year, I tried to play a more simple “experiment” – from (this year 2017 in 4 Yue 17 date), I intend to take a nude every day, or the self-timer to shoot him, with all the day my status (This time, place, who shoot, what we said at that time, what I was thinking), this plan I call “body and time”, has been photographed “I Think it should end “so far.

April 17, 2017, I live in the house, shoot: small coffin

I just came back from the field to shoot back two days, the coffin just to Hangzhou film, live my home.

That afternoon the sun is very good, but we are very empty, every time I come back from the field, my mind is very empty And just down from the train she was also some spiritual lax. We have not shot together for a long time, and this is probably the first time this year, more seriously took a picture.

April 18, 2017, “I shoot girl” bus, shooting: small coffin

The next day we sleep at noon, to find our friend Kang Liang play. He bought a bus for his company, the appearance of the brush into a pink, the inside is the magic of silver. The weather was hot, we finished the film, paralyzed on the sofa, drink an afternoon of ice milk tea.

April 1917, I live in the house, self-timer

This day the coffin out of the film, I still house at home. Sitting at the window and listening to Beethoven. I particularly like the afternoon, it is like a midnight, like a never ending the world. I took a picture of my own feet, watching the photo laughed, like the completion of a mischief, which is naked so, certainly someone will ask Then maybe we can all rethink what is nude.

April 20, 2017, I live in the house, shoot: small coffin

Coffin in my home patting film, I simply get up, play in the living room, play with my cat

She had just turned down from the bottom of a small branch of wild flowers back, I put it in the shirt buttons, use it tease cat.

April 20, 2017, I live in the house, shoot: small coffin

That day we were playing at home mahjong at midnight.

Doll called Jenny, from a very distant year, and broke once, and repaired again.

Bookshelves and chairs are when I was in a house when the home, then the master do their good, moved to my house, a door and asked me, “You live alone,” I said, “there are only cats.”

April 21, 2017, Lu Jia Tan village road side, shooting: small coffin

That night set up a hand, half-way to accompany friends to take things home. She lives in a very partial village, starts the car like a punk, and makes us all dizzy. She parked her car at the door and took her in the room. We found that the red light to look good, ah, with a cell phone took a picture.

April 22, 2017, I live in the house, shoot: small coffin

Just playing the card, I am ready to sleep.

April 23, 2017, I live in the house, shoot: small coffin

She lived in my house for seven days, and we played the mahjong almost every day.

And only when playing cards, my mind was a little bit to live a little bit.

I like this game too much, and I like to let my brain burn up.