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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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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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Cryptocurrency Education Existence Most Popular

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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Creating an Ether Wallet… step by step video

Ethereum plays a huge part in the current and upcoming digital world.

The vision is that ethereum would enable this same functionality to people anywhere around the world, enabling them to compete to offer services on top of this infrastructure.

Scrolling through a typical app store, for example, you’ll see a variety of colorful squares representing everything from banking to fitness to messaging apps. These apps rely on the company (or another third-party service) to store your credit card information, purchasing history and other personal data – somewhere, generally in servers controlled by third-parties.

Your choice of apps is of course also governed by third parties, as Apple and Google maintain and curate (or in some cases, censor) the specific apps you’re able to download.

 

The idea is that one entity will no longer have control over your notes and that no one could suddenly ban the app itself, temporarily taking all of your notebooks offline. Only the user can make changes, not any other entity.

Coindesk

Ether can be used to underpin any sort of computer application you can imagine. The use cases for the ethereum network are only limited by the imaginations of application developers. For example, people are developing apps for energy distributiondigital advertising, and a digital marketplace for unused computing power.

The main selling point of decentralized applications, or dapps, on the ethereum network is that they can be run without a central authority facilitating the transactions.

Dapps, because they’re based on smart contracts, also allow for a relatively easy model of collective ownership and even governance using what are known as “tokens” or ICOs.

The key to the Ethereum blockchain is that communities can create ecosystems that support one another through collective ownership.  Entrepreneurs can create tokens to exchange their goods and services with one another through these ecosystems. This is real self sovereignty.

With that being said, creating an ether wallet is your first step.

I recently uploaded my first video on YouTube that walks you through creating an ether wallet, check it out below.

Migwetch <3

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Cryptocurrency Wallets

Now that you’ve purchased some BTC and ETH on Coinbase it’s time to get a private wallet.

See when you purchase your currency on Coinbase, they hold your wallet information. If something were to occur with the site, your wallets could be compromised. So that’s why we have private wallets.

There are a few types of private wallets that provide different ways to store and access your digital currency. Wallets can be broken down into three distinct categories – software, hardware, and paper. Software wallets can be a desktop, mobile or online.

  • Desktop: wallets are downloaded and installed on a PC or laptop. They are only accessible from the single computer in which they are downloaded. Desktop wallets offer one of the highest levels of security however if your computer is hacked or gets a virus there is the possibility that you may lose all your funds.
  • Online: wallets run on the cloud and are accessible from any computing device in any location. While they are more convenient to access, online wallets store your private keys online and are controlled by a third party which makes them more vulnerable to hacking attacks and theft.
  • Mobile: wallets run on an app on your phone and are useful because they can be used anywhere including retail stores. Mobile wallets are usually much smaller and simpler than desktop wallets because of the limited space available on a mobile.
  • Hardware: wallets differ from software wallets in that they store a user’s private keys on a hardware device like a USB. Although hardware wallets make transactions online, they are stored offline which delivers increased security. Hardware wallets can be compatible with several web interfaces and can support different currencies; it just depends on which one you decide to use. What’s more, making a transaction is easy. Users simply plug in their device to any internet-enabled computer or device, enter a pin, send currency and confirm. Hardware wallets make it possible to easily transact while also keeping your money offline and away from danger.
  • Paper: wallets are easy to use and provide a very high level of security. While the term paper wallet can simply refer to a physical copy or printout of your public and private keys, it can also refer to a piece of software that is used to securely generate a pair of keys which are then printed. Using a paper wallet is relatively straightforward. Transferring Bitcoin or any other currency to your paper wallet is accomplished by the transfer of funds from your software wallet to the public address shown on your paper wallet. Alternatively, if you want to withdraw or spend currency, all you need to do is transfer funds from your paper wallet to your software wallet. This process, often referred to as ‘sweeping,’ can either be done manually by entering your private keys or by scanning the QR code on the paper wallet.

I have experience with using:

Wallets are secure to varying degrees. The level of security depends on the type of wallet you use (desktop, mobile, online, paper, hardware) and the service provider. Online wallets can expose users to possible vulnerabilities in the wallet platform which can be exploited by hackers to steal your funds. Offline wallets, on the other hand, cannot be hacked because they simply aren’t connected to an online network.

Remember that no matter which wallet you use, losing your private keys will lead you to lose your money. If your wallet gets hacked, or you send money to a scammer, there is no way to reclaim lost currency or reverse the transaction. You must take precautions and be very careful! You are solely responsible.

  • Backup your wallet. Store only small amounts of currency for everyday use online, on your computer or mobile, keeping the vast majority of your funds in a high security environment. Cold or offline storage options for backup like Ledger Nano or paper or USB will protect you against computer failures and allow you to recover your wallet should it be lost or stolen. It will not, however, protect you against eager hackers. The reality is, if you choose to use an online wallet there are inherent risks that can’t always be protected against.
  • Add extra security layers. The more layers of security, the better. Setting long and complex passwords and ensuring any withdrawal of funds requires a password is a start. Use wallets that have a good reputation and provide extra security layers like two-factor authentication and additional pin code requirements every time a wallet application gets opened.

<3

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Cryptocurrencies

For the past few months I have been intensely learning all I can about cryptocurrencies. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might have heard of Bitcoin sometime in the past few years and a lot more recently.

Most people hear the word Bitcoin and automatically have an anxious feeling, or have no idea what it is. When I share what I’ve learned with some close friends I get questions like… What is Bitcoin? Is digital currency safe? Whats the point?

So I decided to share my experiences and what I’ve learned so far. Through a number of blog posts I will be discussing what cryptocurrencies are, how they are used and what it means for each of us.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
“decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin now provide an outlet for personal wealth that is beyond restriction and confiscation”
Basically… what makes bitcoin so revolutionary is the technology itself… not so much the coin. Though the coin is valuable as well, to me its the block-chain and smart contract technology that make it so.
Block Geeks explain Blockchain technology really well…
blockchain
I urge you to look into block-chain and cryptocurrencies.  Our financial future will not look the same in 10 years, what better time to get started then now.
In order to purchase some cryptocurrencies you will want to create an account with an exchange depending on where you live…
For example, in Europe, you can use:
  • Bitcoin.de
  • Kraken

USA

Asia

  • OKCoin
  • BTCChina
  • BitFlyer
You can use this link to set up a Coinbase account. Begin investing with a top performing currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum first… and then just breathe… it can feel a little overwhelming and scary at first, however you got this. You have the ability to stand in your full power as a self sovereign individual.
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