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Russia has stunned the world with the speed of its advance through Ukraine this week. Part of the reason it’s overwhelmed its neighbor so quickly, beyond the shock timing, is the vast imbalance between the two countries’ military resources. At $6 billion, Ukraine’s defense budget is just 10% of Russia’s, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 

Desperate to raise cash, and quickly, Ukrainians are resorting to crowdfunding for military equipment. GoFundMe is full of pages that purport to be raising money for Ukrainians in need, and the website of the Ukrainian foundation Come Back Alive, a nonprofit charity benefiting the country’s military, has raised a staggering $4 million in cryptocurrencies as of Friday, with a single anonymous donation clocking in at $3 million. 

funding military conflict via patreon was definitely not on my dystopia bingo card pic.twitter.com/Q519Bi1pNl

— drip

posting (@paradoomer) February 24, 2022New Elliptic research shows how war in the Ukraine is being crowdfunded with #crypto. Crypto funds are used to equip the Ukrainian army and fund cyberattacks against Russia. Crypto donations to these groups increased by over 900% in 2021. https://t.co/7clIA9hZYz pic.twitter.com/1PXcyqfDKG

— elliptic (@elliptic) February 8, 2022

Military-focused crowdfunding efforts are not a new phenomenon for Ukraine. Nor is using cryptocurrency for the purpose. In 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, crowdfunding funneled funds to the country’s army and wider armed resistance, buying medical equipment and military supplies. Civilians have signed up to fight alongside the country’s military with government-provided weapons.

Volunteers lined up to receive their weapons on Friday after the Ukrainian government’s announcement that it would arm civilians to resist the Russian invasion. Once armed, they took cover as jets flew overhead.https://t.co/NPiAq4KROd pic.twitter.com/oqjk9gOhDi

— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 25, 2022

Today, the Come Back Alive Foundation is one of the largest, most prominent groups assisting Ukrainian forces. It was founded in 2014 by Vitaliy Deynega, a Kyiv-based volunteer who began to raise money and supply bulletproof vests to soldiers fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine immediately after Russia annexed Crimea. Deynega wrote “Come Back Alive” on each vest, inspiring the name of his group. Its efforts have been promoted by the Ukrainian government, which has called Come Back Alive “Ukraine’s main charity fund.” Potential donors have also been directed to the National Bank of Ukraine’s “special account” through American and British Chase Bank accounts. 

But on Thursday, the foundation encountered a major setback: one of its primary sources of international funding, the crowdfunding platform Patreon, kicked it off. It remained offline as of 1 p.m. US Eastern time on Friday, February 25. 

A Patreon spokesperson cited the company’s policy on “harmful and illegal activities” to justify the move, saying: “Patreon does not allow any campaigns involved in violence or purchasing of military equipment, regardless of their cause. We have suspended the campaign in question while we investigate.”

The backlash from Ukrainians was swift. Critics accused the platform of cutting off a crucial lifeline for self-defense against Russia and questioned why it had made the decision now, given that the page had been online for years. 

Patreon has become the go-to source for crowdfunding in this conflict; other established Ukrainian organizations like the English-language media outlet the Kyiv Independent also raise funds on the platform. Thus far, GoFundMe has not released any statements on the Ukrainian crowdfunding that’s taking place on its platform.

Such platforms hold tremendous power for their ability to help people raise and move vast sums of cash. But one problem they face is that, especially in the fog of war, it isn’t always clear who is giving and receiving money. There are already countless Ukraine-related scams floating around the internet. To offer an example, one Twitter account was previously used for gambling. Now it’s sharing Bitcoin links and claims to be raising money to help fund the fight against Russia. 

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By: Tanya Basu
Title: Ukraine is turning to online crypto crowdfunding to fund its fight against Russia
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/02/25/1046525/ukraine-is-turning-to-online-crypto-crowdfunding-to-fund-its-fight-against-russia/
Published Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 18:42:47 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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