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Charitable sustainable NFTs for the United Nations’ 17 SDGs

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Charitable sustainable NFTs for the United Nations’ 17 SDGs

In her monthly Expert Take column, Selva Ozelli, an international tax attorney and CPA, covers the intersection between emerging technologies and sustainability, and provides the latest developments around taxes, AML/CFT regulations and legal issues affecting crypto and blockchain.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is holding its 76th annual meeting between Sept. 14 and 30 to bring countries together at a critical time for marshaling collective action to tackle the global environmental crisis, which has worsened the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: How will blockchain technology help fight climate change? Experts answer

Ahead of the UNGA meeting, the latest report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change points out that ambitious climate action has now become a matter of urgency — especially since the publication of “Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. Synthesis report by the secretariat,” which shows that the world is not on track to reach the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to address climate change in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

Furthermore, 200 of the world’s leading health journals released a joint statement, pleading with global leaders to cut greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, which they say is the greatest threat to public health (Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 13).

Related: Blockchain tech makes sustainable development goals more achievable

A plan for sustainable green recovery from the pandemic necessitates understanding the links between climate change, health and inequality; and implementing ambitious climate change policies that align with the Paris Agreement. The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a call for action by all countries and people to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. More important than ever, these goals provide a critical framework for a green recovery from COVID-19.

Blockchain technology and nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, have been instrumental in funding these goals during 2021 — declared by the UN General Assembly as the “International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development” — which has witnessed the rapid spread of highly transmissible variants of COVID-19 amid the worst wildfire season on record.

COVID-19: Art charity and blockchain

The COVID-19 pandemic has created both a public health crisis and an economic crisis. The pandemic has disrupted lives, pushed the hospital system to its brink and created a global economic slowdown resulting in losses totaling over $1.7 billion for the United States arts and cultural sector alone.

According to X4Impact — a data insights, research and consulting services company for social innovation in the United States — over 457,000 nonprofit organizations in the U.S., which have combined funding of around $2.9 trillion, continue to experience an increase in demand for their services against a significant decrease in income. The extent to which the coronavirus has affected the U.S. charitable sector remains unknown.

Pinpointing the urgent need for funds for charities and artists as well as COVID-19 victims (SDG 3), Bundeep Rangar — CEO of PremFina, the United Kingdom’s first venture capital-backed alternative insurance premium finance company — explained to me: “Last June, Art & Co held a first of its kind blockchain technology-assisted charity art auction. The auction bidding sales process, tracking sale proceeds and distribution of proceeds to charities was tracked by LuxTag Blockchain/NEM.”

Since June 2020, when I held my first digital art show inspired by climate change and COVID-19 (SDGs 3 and 13), NFTs and blockchain technology have steadily seeped into the art and charity world, enabling artists and museums to monetize their work and continue to receive payments for their work even after it is sold.

Related: Digitizing charity: We can do better at doing good

COVID-19: Museums and blockchain

Among the sectors most impacted by the pandemic are museums, which play an important role in raising awareness about climate change (SDG 13) and providing reliable information (SDG 4). With essentially all U.S. museums shutting down, these institutions saw great financial losses while having to incur digitization costs to survive and continue to reach the general public during lockdowns.

Diane Drubay — the founder of We Are Museums and a minter of NFTs on the platform Hic Et Nunc, who exhibited at DoinGud’s first “Origins Exhibition” — told me: “I see clean blockchains, such as Tezos, as a fabulous opportunity for museums. Low carbon footprint currencies and marketplaces provide an easy, fair and ethical access to blockchain and NFTs, shifting the industry from this high energy-consuming, exclusive and money-making space depicted by the media.” She continued:

“We are still in the education phase when museums need to become blockchain literate to fully understand its potential.”

She explained further: “But once they do, they’ll find fabulous ways to reach out to new young and creative audiences ready to engage into purposeful projects, share their collections through innovative, interactive and immersive processes, as well as new models to self-sustain themselves.”

Indeed, NFTs have been a game changer for digital artists and museums by providing them with new income opportunities that sustained them through COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Related: NFTs are a game changer for independent artists and musicians

In August, OpenSea — the largest nonfungible token marketplace — saw NFT sales volume balloon to $4 billion, followed by a bearish correction during September. But there is a race among artists and museums to tap into the NFT market to monetize their work.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Hermitage Museum, the largest art collection in the world, sold NFTs of several masterpieces in partnership with Binance’s NFT marketplace in order to cover the budget shortfalls brought about by the continuing COVID-19 crisis, with the auction including the sale of a work by Leonardo da Vinci for $440,000. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the U.S., is expected to do the same by selling 219 prints and photographs to help make up for $150 million in lost revenue, according to Artnet News.

Drubay indicated that along with other NFT artists, she will be launching a new sustainable blockchain-based platform called alterHEN on Sept. 30, which she said is a lively lab on emerging models for the art market that has a new way of creating, collecting, selling and exhibiting art.

Charitable, sustainable NFTs for the UN’s 17 SDGs

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million and donated the proceeds in Bitcoin (BTC) to GiveDirectly, a charitable organization that sends funds to families in Africa impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (SDG 3). Bids were handled on a sustainable platform called Valuables that lets people make offers on tweets that are “autographed by their original creators.”

Other sustainable nonfungible token platforms where artists can mint NFTs and showcase and sell their creations to inspire greater awareness in the context of the UN’s 17 SDG goals include DigitalArt4Climate, the Enjin NFT platform and DoinGud, where I am launching my first NFT, “Recovery Roses,” at the first-ever Origins Exhibition — with sale proceeds of my NFT donated to fund SDG-focused charitable organizations around the world.

DoinGud co-founder Manu Alzuru told me: “DoinGud’s blockchain-based social media and marketplace is designed to facilitate charitable giving via NFT sales to vetted social impact organizations of the creator’s choice. It will lead to ever-increasing opportunities to support worthy charitable causes that share the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals like ending world hunger, solving climate change and more.”

William Quigley — a cryptocurrency investor, co-founder of NFT blockchain platform Worldwide asset eXchange (WAX) and co-founder of the first fiat-backed stablecoin Tether (USDT) — told me about WAX’s new charitable initiative that addresses SDGs 13 and 14. The company — which provides an eco-friendly blockchain for NFTs, video games and collectibles — has released a new collection of “Carbon Offset vIRL” NFTs. As Quigley said: “For every $1 ‘composted’ in WAX’s sustainability-driven collection, the National Forest Foundation will plant one tree sapling, each of which offsets an average of one tonne of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. WAX is officially setting higher standards for responsibility across the blockchain. We’ve been working tirelessly to ensure our blockchain is both energy efficient and inspires our community to act with the environment in mind. With Carbon Offset vIRL® NFTs, we are confident we can all make a massive, positive difference together.”

Related: Prioritizing humanity ahead of profits through NFTs

Cryptograph, on the other hand, is the first luxury and celebrity NFT auction platform to use blockchain technology to introduce a new way to do philanthropy in the digital age and make charitable fundraising easier, instantly global and perpetual in nature. Tommy Alastra, a blockchain pioneer and Cryptograph’s co-founder, explained to me: “Cryptograph is a major breakthrough for charitable organizations wanting to ride the wave to improved donations that are borderless and accessible from across the world. With the new post-COVID world and less in-person large scale charity galas, Cryptograph will permit charitable foundations to continue to fundraise successfully and receive percentages of each NFT auction item even in the resale market on an ongoing basis.”

Cryptograph sells NFTs made by Vitalik Buterin, Emin Gün Sirer, Erik Voorhees, Evan Van Ness — the writer of “Week In Ethereum News” and former director at ConsenSys — and others, with the proceeds funding organizations working toward SDGs 1, 2, 4 and 14. Creators can also choose their own SDG-focused charitable organization to fund. For example, the Autism Science Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting and funding innovative autism research (SDG 3), announced that it is accepting cryptocurrency and NFT donations via Every.org.

U.S. tax treatment of NFT donations

Since an NFT is considered property for U.S. tax purposes, it will be valued at its fair market value at the time of donation. Donors of NFTs worth over $500 — which are non-cash donations — will be required to comply with Internal Revenue Service appraisal requirements by filing out Form 8283. The donation will be tax-deductible for the individual donor as follows:

  • If the donor held the NFT as a capital asset for more than a year, the donor will be able to deduct the fair market value of the gift, up to 30% of their adjusted gross income.
  • If the donor held the NFT as a capital asset for a short term (less than one year) or as ordinary income property, the donor will be able to deduct the lesser of the cost basis or fair market value, up to 50% of their adjusted gross income.
  • If the donor received the NFT as payment for services rendered, the donor may claim a deduction on the fair market value on the date of receipt.

Related: Nonfungible tokens from a legal perspective

Charitable contributions that are not deductible in the current year, because they exceed the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income limitation, can be carried forward for five years.

Donors of NFTs are urged to do due diligence concerning the platform on which they launch their NFTs to find out whether they are entitled to a U.S. tax deduction or not.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA, is an international tax attorney and certified public accountant who frequently writes about tax, legal and accounting issues for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, other publications and the OECD.

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Price analysis 10/15: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, SOL, DOT, DOGE, LUNA, UNI

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Price analysis 10/15: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, SOL, DOT, DOGE, LUNA, UNI

Bitcoin (BTC) rose within a few steps of $63,000 today for the first time since April 18. The recent surge in the price may have been caused after various documents pointed to the eventual approval of a futures-based BTC ETF by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. According to these documents, the regulator may be close to green lighting the application to list Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund ETF for listing on Nasdaq. 

Analysts pointed out that gold’s price had risen sharply leading up to the launch of the first U.S.-based gold ETF in 2004. Thereafter, the rally continued and gold’s price rose more than 300% since the ETF was approved, before forming a major top. The similarity between gold and Bitcoin being stores of value appear to have generated huge excitement for the launch of a Bitcoin ETF.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Traders seem to have aggressively accumulated Bitcoin before the announcement of a Bitcoin ETF. The Bitcoin futures open interest in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange hit a new all-time high on Oct. 14, surpassing the previous high of $3.02 billion made on April 14.

Could Bitcoin break above the all-time high and continue its northward journey and will altcoins also join the party? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin formed a Doji candlestick pattern on Oct. 14, indicating indecision among the bulls and the bears above the $58,000 level. This uncertainty resolved to the upside today and the rally has resumed.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day exponential moving average ($52,868) is sloping up and the relative strength index (RSI) is in the overbought zone, suggesting that bulls are in control. However, the all-time high at $64,854 may prove to be a difficult hurdle to cross.

If the BTC/USDT pair turns down from this resistance, the first support to watch on the downside is the 20-day EMA. A strong rebound off this support will suggest that sentiment remains positive and traders are buying the dips.

That will increase the possibility of the resumption of the uptrend with the target at $75,000. The first sign of weakness will be a break and close below the 20-day EMA, which could result in a decline to the 50-day simple moving average ($48,514).

ETH/USDT

Ether (ETH) bounced off the 20-day EMA ($3,479) on Oct. 13 and broke above the neckline of the inverse head and shoulders (H&S) pattern on Oct. 14. This completed the bullish setup which has a target objective at $4,657.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI has broken above the downtrend line, suggesting that bulls are back in control. The ETH/USDT pair could now rally to $4,027.88 and then retest the all-time high at $4,372.72.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below the neckline, it will suggest that bears continue to sell on rallies. The pair could then drop to the moving averages. A break and close below $3,257 will indicate that bulls may be losing their grip.

BNB/USDT

Binance Coin (BNB) broke and closed above the neckline on Oct. 13, completing an inverse H&S pattern. This bullish setup has a pattern target at $554.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears attempted to pull the price back below the breakout level but the long tail on the day’s candlestick indicates buying at lower levels. The moving averages have completed a bullish crossover and the RSI is in the positive zone, indicating that bulls have the upper hand.

If the price rises from the current level and breaks above $518.90, it will signal the resumption of the uptrend. The bears will have to pull and sustain the BNB/USDT pair below the moving averages to weaken the bullish momentum.

ADA/USDT

The bulls are attempting to push Cardano (ADA) back into the symmetrical triangle pattern but the bears are not relenting. They are defending the support line and the 20-day EMA ($2.21) with vigor.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down from the current level and breaks below $2.07, the ADA/USDT pair could drop to $2 and next to $1.87. A breach below this important level may pull the pair down to the pattern target of $1.63

Alternatively, if bulls push and sustain the price above the 20-day EMA, the pair could rise to the resistance line of the triangle. A breakout and close above the triangle could clear the path for a rally to $2.47, followed by a move to $2.80.

XRP/USDT

XRP has been holding above the 20-day EMA ($1.08) for the past few days but the bulls have not been able to push the price to the overhead resistance at $1.24. This suggests a shortage of demand at higher levels.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down and breaks below the 20-day EMA, the XRP/USDT pair could drop to $1. This level could again attract buyers but if they fail to push the price above $1.24, the bearish momentum could pick up and the slide could deepen to $0.85.

Conversely, if the price rises from the current level and breaks above $1.24, it will signal that the selling pressure may be easing. The pair could then rise to $1.41 and if bulls clear this barrier, the next stop could be $1.66.

SOL/USDT

The failure of the bears to sink Solana (SOL) below the 50-day SMA ($147) in the past few days indicates accumulation by the bulls. The buyers are currently attempting to sustain the price above the downtrend line.

SOL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If they succeed, the SOL/USDT pair could rise to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at $177.80. This level may act as stiff resistance but if bulls overcome this hurdle, the pair may rally to $200 and then retest the all-time high at $216.

The first sign of weakness will be a break and close below the 50-day SMA. That could pull the price down to $116. This is an important level to keep an eye on because a break below it could intensify the selling.

DOT/USDT

Polkadot (DOT) skyrocketed and closed above the $38.77 overhead resistance on Oct. 13, suggesting that the consolidation has resolved in favor of the bulls.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears tried to pull the price back below $38.77 on Oct. 14 and today but failed. This shows that buyers are aggressively defending the breakout level. If bulls drive the price above $43.22, the DOT/USDT pair could retest the all-time high at $49.78.

If the price turns down from the current level and breaks below $38.77, the pair could drop to the 20-day EMA ($34.84). A strong bounce off this support will suggest that sentiment remains positive and traders are buying on dips.

Alternatively, if bears sink the price below the moving averages, the pair could drop to $25.50. Such a move will suggest that the breakout above $38.77 may have been a bull trap.

Related: CFTC slaps Tether and Bitfinex with a combined $42.5 million fine

DOGE/USDT

The bulls are struggling to sustain Dogecoin (DOGE) above the 20-day EMA ($0.23), which suggests that buying dries up at higher levels. A minor positive is that bulls have not allowed the price to sustain below $0.22.

DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day EMA has flattened out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, suggesting a balance between supply and demand. This equilibrium will tilt in favor of the bears if the $0.21 support cracks. That may result in a decline to $0.19.

If the price turns up from the current level, the bulls will try to push the price to the downtrend line. A breakout and close above this level will suggest that the decline could be over. The DOGE/USDT pair may next rise to $0.32 and then to $0.35.

LUNA/USDT

Terra protocol’s LUNA token is finding support at the 50-day SMA ($36.24) for the past three days but the bulls have not been able to drive the price above the 20-day EMA ($38.86). This suggests that demand dries up at higher levels.

LUNA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day EMA is sloping down marginally and the RSI is just below the midpoint, indicating a minor advantage to bears. A break and close below the 50-day SMA could pull the price down to $32.50 and if this support cracks, the correction could deepen to $25.

Conversely, if bulls drive the price above the 20-day EMA, the LUNA/USDT pair could pick up momentum and advance to $45.01 where bears may again try to mount a stiff resistance. A retest of the all-time high at $49.54 is likely if bulls overcome this obstacle.

UNI/USDT

Uniswap (UNI) rose above the moving averages on Oct. 13 and reached the neckline of the inverse H&S pattern on Oct. 14. The bears are currently attempting to stall the recovery at the neckline.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The moving averages are on the verge of a bullish crossover and the RSI has climbed into the positive territory, indicating that bulls have the upper hand. If the price rebounds off the moving averages, the bulls will make one more attempt to propel the UNI/USDT pair above the neckline.

If they succeed, it will complete the inverse H&S setup, starting a possible rally to $31.41 and later to the pattern target at $36.98. This bullish view will invalidate if the price continues lower and breaks below $22. The pair could then drop to the strong support at $18.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs

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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs

“Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform,” claimed one game developer.

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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs

Video game corporation Valve has informed users no content related to cryptocurrencies or nonfungible tokens will be allowed through its Steam marketplace.

As reported by game developer SpacePirate on Oct. 14, Steam has updated its guidelines for what content creators are allowed to publish on the platform. According to Steam, no applications built on blockchain technology that “issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” are permitted in its onboarding process for partners. The rule appears alongside guidelines prohibiting hate speech, sexually explicit images, and libelous or defamatory statements.

Though the new guideline would seemingly ban all traditional games from including content on crypto or NFTs, it has also reportedly stopped blockchain game developers from publishing to the platform. SpacePirate said their Age of Rust game was being removed, with others likely to follow.

“Steam’s point of view is that items have value and they don’t allow items that can have real-world value on their platform,” said the developer. “While I respect their choice, I fundamentally believe that NFTs and blockchain games are the future.”

Related: The Metaverse, play-to-earn and the new economic model of gaming

The move could be financially disadvantageous to Valve as blockchain-based games grow in popularity. According to a recent report from DappRadar, unique active wallets connected to gaming decentralized applications reached a total of 754,000 for Q3 2021. Many blockchain games offer players the opportunity to earn real-world token rewards and trade in-game NFTs, providing a possible path to further crypto adoption.

However, Valve Corporation has previously targeted crypto and blockchain on its Steam marketplace. In 2018, the company removed a game that allegedly hijacked users’ computers to mine crypto. Valve originally announced it would accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments in 2016, but later stopped this practice, citing high fees and volatility.

Cointelegraph reached out to Valve, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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Privacy-focused altcoins soar after Bitcoin’s ETF news sparks a market-wide rally

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Privacy-focused altcoins soar after Bitcoin’s ETF news sparks a market-wide rally

Traders and the market are showing extreme optimism on Oct. 15 after rumors and an assortment of documents suggest that the path toward a Bitcoin ETF approval has fewer obstacles lying ahead.

Following the positive news, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) rallied to nearly $63,000 for the first time since April and multiple altcoins saw their prices book triple-digit gains.

Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24-hours were NuCypher (NU), Keep Network (KEEP) and Orchid (OXT).

NuCypher partners with Keep Network

NuCyper is a protocol focused on creating decentralized encryption, access control and key management system services for public blockchains by offering end-to-end encrypted data sharing and decentralized storage solutions.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $0.283 in the early trading hours on Oct. 15, the price of new catapulted 535% to an intraday high at $1.80 as its 24-hour trading volume skyrocketed by 19,440% to $2.152 billion.

NU/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The surge in price and trading volume for NU come as the project helped facilitate the launch of tBTC v2 on the Keep Network with is designed to “extend the censorship-resistant properties of Bitcoin onto every network that can interoperate with Ethereum (ETH).

Censorship-resistance comes to the Ethereum network

Keep Network is a protocol designed to offer privacy-focused infrastructure on public blockchains through the creation of an incentivized network for storing and encrypting private data.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for KEEP on Oct. 12, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. KEEP price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for KEEP began to pick up on Oct. 12 and climbed to a high of 75 and the price increased 585% over the next day.

The spike in momentum for KEEP came along with the spike in the price of NU as the two projects collaborated to release tBTC v2 on the Keep Network.

Related: BREAKING: Nasdaq listing hints that the SEC may soon approve ETF application from Valkyrie

Blockchain-based VPN service boosts Orchid price

Orchid is a cryptocurrency-powered virtual private network (VPN) that describes itself as “the world’s first incentivized, peer-to-peer privacy network.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for OXT on Oct. 12, prior to the recent price rise.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. OXT price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for OXT climbed into the green zone on Oct. 12 and reached a high of 75 on Oct. 14, around 15 hours before its price spiked 82% over the next day.

A scroll through the project’s Twitter feed points to an increased focus on privacy concerns as the impetus behind Friday’s price surge, which lines up with the main goals of both Nu and KEEP suggesting that the sector of privacy-related projects could be starting to attract more attention.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.482 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 46.6%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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