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Artist Grant Opportunity

One day I visited I-ron-ic Cafe with my family for brunch and I met David Smith, co-owner of the café! He was such a wonderful host. Through conversation while waiting for our order he shared that the Cultural Alliance of York County had an artist grant opportunity!

Artist Grant with CAYC

Artist Grant

Founded in 1999, the Cultural Alliance of York County is South Central Pennsylvania’s only United Arts Fund. Over the past 20 years, they’ve invested more than $10.4 million in essential arts groups that bring arts and culture to life for thousands of residents of York County. 

Funded in partnership with the Loucks-Bose and Langione Funds of the York County Community Foundation, the purpose of the Artist Professional Development Grants is to provide artists with funding to pursue opportunities which will advance their creative practice and further their career.

2021 Quarter 2 Artist Grant Recipient

My proposal was based on moving myself forward as an artist by stepping into the digital art world through NFT’s, and creating a curriculum to teach others about the future of art in a global economy. I am super excited about this project!

So far I have two NFT’s uploaded to Rarible, and am in the process of making more of my pieces digital to upload! I have many ideas about series of work, as well as work that unlocks special content once purchased. Now that I have been awarded this grant, I am able to purchase tools that will help me be more time efficient when creating digital art!

NFT Blockchain Curriculum

With all new things, comes new learning… and the best place to start is with our youth! This is the future, and I believe in the importance of setting up our youth for success by teaching them about the art world.

People all over the world are talking about NFT art and how the artworld is taking over the blockchain. The time is now.

All change starts with Art!

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NFT Art

There is so much hype going on around the NFT art scene.

An artist that goes by BEEPLE sold one of his NFT art collections at Christies auction for $69 million, the first time ever a digital work of art was sold at Christies!

NFT Art by BEEPLE

Kings of Leon released their newest album as an NFT with special perks, generating over 2 million in sales.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will sell NFTs of digital artwork. “The Museum of Mahomes,” will launch March 17 on the digital art market MakersPlace.  Mahomes will donate part of the proceeds to his foundation called 15 and the Mahomies as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs in Missouri.

So what is NFT art?

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token… A unique digital file stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain. NFTs are not mutually interchangeable and thus are not fungible. An NFT is created by uploading a file, such as an artwork, to an NFT auction market.

Basically, it is a smart contract that is put together using bits of open source code, which anyone can find from platforms like GitHub, and used to secure that digital item. Then minted, or permanently published, into a token on a blockchain, like Ethereum.

Some sites you can use to mint an NFT are:

Any digital asset that the creator wants to make unique can become an NFT, like articles or event tickets.

Once the NFT is purchased, the owner has the digital rights to resell, distribute or license the digital asset as they please. The creator can program code for how it gets used, and write in any extra bonus’ for the purchaser. NFT creators also have the opportunity to earn royalties off of future reselling transactions.

Things to consider

So there are many uncharted territories when it comes to this digital crypto reality. There are many questions about the carbon foot print of minting an NFT, this is because cryptocurrencies and blockchain are run through an algorithm called Proof-of-Work (PoW). Things in the blockchain world are shifting and changing fast! Proof-of-Stake is happening soon.

Proof-of-Stake (PoS) concept states that a person can mine or validate block transactions according to how many coins he or she holds. This means that the more Bitcoin or altcoin owned by a miner, the more mining power he or she has.

This uses less energy, but it also allows those who hold THE MOST coins to have more power. This is less decentralized then PoW, however there are benefits that we must allow to out-weight the cons, because this is not going away. Blockchain technology is the new digital paradigm. Just like our current system was the new paradigm to the “founding fathers”.

So yeah NFT’s are like collecting digital baseball cards, and are selling for extremely high prices to people who have the crypto to buy them.

But artists can also use NFT’s to create rare one of a kind pieces for their patrons. For example, an image of an actual painting can be sold as an NFT, and with the token the purchaser receives the actual painting. Some artists are also adding bonus’ to the purchase, where you receive a video of the work being created! I really like how artists are adapting to this technology and making it work for them and their patrons!

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For the First time…

All Maryland public schools will be closed from Monday March 16th until March 27th because of the coronavirus.

As of this moment, we will not have to teach for those two weeks. However they mentioned that we will have to use our spring break time to make it up.

This is the first time something like this has happened to me, as I am sure its a first for many. We are history in the making.

So to keep track of my experience with this virus, I thought I would write about it.

Students are aware of a lot of information about the virus. They have researched, watched and listened to information about it. A lot of students mention to me that they didn’t understand the hysteria around it. While there were a few who voiced their anxiety about it.  Most students were excited by the idea of getting out of school, and being apart of something so… historical.  They even shared information that in every decade in the 20th year, there was some type of pandemic! The black plague, spanish flu, and now the coronavirus.

Most of my friends online have expressed concern for the elderly and the sick, however they also do not understand the hype. Why are people purchasing all of the toilet paper? We went to the grocery store and the toilet paper was all gone, as were all of the cleaning supplies!  Those were the only two things missing on the shelves.

I also want to mention that the stock market is crashing, and people are promoting using digital platforms to help eliminate spread of the virus. There could be a correlation between the idea of money spreading the virus and the use of digital platforms as a financial solution.  Though cryptocurrency is also tanking… at this moment, it is down to $5k.

So as I prepare for my last day of school tomorrow before our 2 week closure, I want to remind you, change is inevitable… so just breathe.

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Financial Service Innovation

The other day I went to PNC bank to make a wire transfer*.

This blog is about my experience and how it relates to technology innovation.

First off, I had to take off of work early to get to PNC before they closed at 4pm.  The closest branch was about 5 miles away. Once I arrived at the bank I met with an associate who assisted me in the process.

The visit took a total of 30 mins or so, from the time I sat down to the time I left the building.  To begin, I had to have the account and routing number of the bank the transfer was going to, as well as the person’s name and address. The associate input the information and had me visually and verbally verify that it was typed correctly.  He then printed out the information receipt, which was 2 pages stapled together, and had me read over the printed receipt to check once more.

The transaction also has a fee of $30 for an outgoing domestic transfer.

It takes about 2 hours for the transfer to be sent and arrive in the recipient’s account.

I mention all of this, because time and energy are currency.

All of this affirms the importance of blockchain technology education, so we might learn and know how to manage our finances for ourselves!

To be financially stable and secure is something we work for our whole lives.  A lot of times people find their stability in the forms of entities outside themselves, and this happens for many reasons; whether it’s time, energy, money, or the lack thereof. If you are not interested in learning to use it yourself, you should at least be aware of its implications and talk to someone who might be able to assist you in diversifying your investments and take back control of your funds.

So, lets say this transaction was performed using blockchain technology.

The amount of time, energy and currency needed to fully complete the task would be far less than 30 mins; that’s if both parties had all accounts set up and active. 

A blockchain transaction could look one of two ways:

  1. Recipient requests funds from their wallet to your wallet address which you have provided to them. Sender then confirms transaction to transfer funds.
  2. Sender acquires recipients wallet address, logs into their wallet and sends funds to the recipients wallet address.

These two types of transactions cost no more than $10, and the average transaction time is .65 seconds.

As I sat in the bank, I realized how much currency I could save to refocus into things I have a passion to do, like painting or doing henna.

So, later that day I was using my PNC mobile account and I noticed that I could transfer money via Zelle.  I created an account and transferred some funds, when I realized… ITS ALREADY HERE.  Zelle is basically blockchain technology, with a user friend interface, and regulated by PNC. The downfall is that there is a limit to how much money you can send in a transaction depending on your account type.

I realize now how important it is to share my experiences and learning with my community.  Time is currency! Begin learning more about what’s changing with our financial system, and blockchain technology here, or contact me to talk!

 

*wire transfers are necessary when your bank has a limit on how much you can transfer, and usually for larger amounts.

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Blockstack

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We believe in a future where the rights you enjoy in the physical world extend to the digital world.

However, the rules of today’s web browsers and apps were written by the large internet companies responsible for violating our rights.

We’re building an app ecosystem that works for users, not against them, so that apps can’t be evil and your digital rights are protected.

 

Blockstack is a blockchain-based, decentralized internet platform where users completely own and control their data, and the network apps that may use the data are run locally on the user’s browser. A compatible browser is sufficient to access everything on Blockstack.

Imagine not having to upload data on an external site like Facebook or on an app like WhatsApp, and yet being able to share it with friends and other users.

Blockstack enables this by offering an all new internet platform, where all decentralized apps are run locally on the user’s browser, and users continue to own their data (text, images, videos, and files).

Using the power of blockchain, a Blockstack user gets digital keys to create their identity on the Blockstack network. User data can be stored locally or connected to his/her storage hosting providers, allowing the user to retain full control.

Sharing of content is achieved through a secure and encrypted medium. The Blockstack network supports tokens like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and are available for peer-to-peer transfer or charging for downloads, subscriptions, and more.

Blockstack is also in the preregistration stages of releasing their own token. Stacks (STX) token is the native utility token of the Blockstack network. Stacks tokens are consumed as “fuel” when users register digital assets, like usernames, or when they register/execute smart contracts. Using Stacks, developers can build and distribute apps that let users maintain ownership of their data and protect their digital rights.

This has promise and sounds like the beginning of a new direction for the way we use the internet!

 

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4 Crypto Question Survey

I have recently developed 4 survey questions’ in order to learn more about cryptocurrency awareness in my community. The responses I receive will assist in the creation of future learning opportunities for all. Please take a minute and complete the survey by clicking the link below:
 
Thank you for your participation! If you are interested in learning more, or have any questions please message me!
– Raine Dawn
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Stablecoins

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to minimize the volatility of the price of the stablecoin, relative to some “stable” asset or basket of assets. A stablecoin can be pegged to a currency, or to exchange traded commodities.

Examples of the best-known stablecoins include

Demand for such coins has been growing. Stablecoins are designed to tackle the inherent volatility seen in cryptocurrency prices. They are normally collateralized, meaning that the total number of stablecoins in circulation is backed by assets held in reserve. Put simply, if there are 500,000 USD-pegged coins in circulation, there should be at least $500,000 sitting in a bank.

Stablecoins give owners a safe place to store their assets whenever there might be turbulence in the crypto world. Consumers can quickly and easily convert from cryptocurrencies to stablecoins when they are worried about where the markets are heading next, eliminating the need to return to a fiat currency. These conversions can also be less expensive than when switching between crypto and fiat, as it takes the transaction fees of payment processing providers and banks out of the equation.

Everyone — from banks to social networks — is getting in on the action. Facebook and J.P. Morgan are getting in on stablecoins.  Elsewhere, IBM has launched its blockchain-powered World Wire in collaboration with Stellar (issuer of XLM) — also with the goal of building a cross-border payments network. Here, international banks can create their own stablecoins backed by their local fiat currency — and institutions from Brazil, South Korea and the Philippines have reportedly registered their interest so far.

There are four features that a cryptocurrency needs in order to become global, fiat-free, digital cash:

  1. Price stability
  2. Scalability
  3. Privacy
  4. Decentralization (i.e. collateral is not held by a single entity, like Tether)

None of the current stablecoin projects have all of these features, but some are aiming to offer all of these. Scalability and privacy are likely further out. But stable, decentralized crypto-assets are possible today.

Stablecoins can play a significant role in the future development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general. The key feature for the companies here would be operating in the most transparent way possible.

I am learning of many new things around blockchain technology, and I will continue to share as I learn them!  So many exciting new things on the horizon!

 

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Coinbase Learning

I discovered recently that you can earn crypto while learning about crypto on Coinbase. I am learning how specific cryptocurrencies work — and I get a bit of each currency to try out for myself.

So I have been learning about Stellar Lumen and XLM.  Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payment systems, and people. Stellar unites the world’s financial infrastructure so money can flow quickly and cheaply between banks, businesses, and people. It has some amazing potential.

For people sending money to family members overseas, Stellar offers a cheaper, faster alternative to traditional money transfer services.

Banks, businesses, and people can use Stellar to turn traditional assets, like dollars and euros, into tokens. These tokens can then be transferred and exchanged with any other participant on the Stellar network.

As a Coinbase customer, you can learn how it all works and you’ll earn XLM.  XLM is the Stellar networks own cryptocurrency which facilitates low-cost, universal payments on Stellar.

Digital assets on Stellar are protected by a decentralized global network of computers running Stellar’s open source software. These computers cooperate to confirm legitimate transactions and prevent malicious ones.

Stellar is a cooperation token, that globalizes the marketplace. I can see many benefits from participating in learning and sharing how Stellar works and how it can be applied to businesses as well as personal financial transactions. If you own a small business, Stellar could be a new platform for your business to connect to the digital world.

Click here to get started! Once you have watched the five 1-2 minute videos, you can invite up to 4 friends to earn XLM too! They can be new or existing Coinbase users. You’ll earn $10 in XLM for each eligible friend who completes a lesson.

Happy Learning and Earning!

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The Process

Get a driving desire to create.

Gather materials and tools.

ACT : Apply Creation Techniques

ART : Action Rewards Truth

<3

Raine Dawn

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What is an ICO?

ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering, which is a fundraising mechanism for new projects. It’s somewhat similar to an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in which investors purchase shares of a company.  Through the process of selling their underlying crypto tokens, via a “presale” in exchange for bitcoin and ether, a company can raise funds for the development of a new application.

 

Legally, ICOs have existed in a gray area, however the Security Exchange Commission has declared: “federal securities laws apply to those who offer and sell securities in the United States, regardless whether the issuing entity is a traditional company or a decentralized autonomous organization, regardless whether those securities are purchased using U.S. dollars or virtual currencies, and regardless whether they are distributed in certificated form or through distributed ledger technology.”

The most important criteria to consider is whether or not the token passes the Howey test. If it does, it must be treated as a security and is subject to certain restrictions imposed by the SEC. In some cases, the token is simply a utility token, meaning it gives the owner access to a specific protocol or network; thus it may not be classified as a financial security. On the other hand, if the token is an equity token, meaning that it’s only purpose is to appreciate in value, then it looks a lot more like a security.

So what do I do with this information?

There are many companies that have created ICOs and more are being created everyday. If you were to find a company and a project that resonates with you and your vision for the future, you could invest in them by participating in their token presale.  This would not only help fund their project, but it would also get you a large amount of their tokens at a very low price.

When a project launches their tokens on the exchange, and it is a success, the price of the tokens rise exponentially. For example, say you participated in a presale for an ICO that gave you 10,000 tokens for $.10, then the token becomes popular and other people start to invest, making the price of each token rise to $1… You would profit from you investment.

The key is in the ICO you choose. There are many people out there promoting their ICO picks based off of knowledge gained through experience in the market, I suggest doing your own research made up of different ICO “pickers” and companies offering ICO presales. There are some ICOs that United States citizens can not purchase, make sure you read the white papers and any information the company has posted.

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