Original Article By Chris Lema at ChrisLema.com
What is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising?
You’ve heard of crowdfunding, right? So what is peer-to-peer fundraising? It’s like that but on steroids. In other words, Peer-to-Peer fundraising is a type of crowdfunding fundraising that lets tons of people create their own campaigns but aggregates all the funding to a single cause.
If that sounds powerful to you, it is. But how does it work and how can you leverage it? Let’s get into it.
How Does Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Work?
You’ve likely experience peer-to-peer fundraising before. Think about it this way – if your child is on a baseball team and he, and all his teammates, all have to raise funds by selling chocolate bars, you’ve experienced a peer-to-peer campaign. Your child doesn’t make the money. Neither does their teammate. It’s a series of campaigns (one per student) that are all working towards one goal – raising money for the team.
How does this work? Simple – you give every person involved the opportunity to create their own landing page, their own campaign. Each one is out there working to raise money. And then when it’s all done you’ll notice two important things:
- The total money raised is higher than if one person had worked on it alone.
- The number of people reached is higher than if one person did the work.
Let’s dig into that last one…
P2P Fundraising Multiplies Your Reach
The second dynamic with peer-to-peer fundraising is critical. No one runs a fundraising campaign to fail. You want to raise as much money as you can.
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But how do you get the word out? The answer is that you use as many people to help you and your cause. You “deputize” them to get out there and run a campaign. And the best part about it is that you reach their audience – an audience you may never have gotten without them.
To highlight that point, let me tell you a story…
It’s All About Team Fundraising
Years ago I worked for the YMCA’s professional staff, working with their Youth and Family programs. I was a year out of college and got invited to my first fundraising event. I was given a goal and told to get out there and collect donations.
Now here is the thing. I was just out of collect. My friends didn’t have a ton of money. But you know what? None of the other people who were fundraising had any access to my friends. They were all requesting money from the same professionals that they all knew.
I, on the other hand, had unique and direct access to people that none of the other YMCA staff had access to. So off I went and worked to raise a few thousand dollars ($20 at a time).
It helped me learn a lesson very clearly – raising funds is about reaching as many small communities as possible. The more diverse your fundraising crew, the better.
But you can’t just use hope as a strategy…. you have to set individual goals for each fundraising. And that’s what peer-to-peer fundraising supports.
Success Requires Setting Individual Goals
My son is in high school and in the theater program. He has an upcoming show and part of his responsibility is raising money for the show by selling tickets. But they don’t just say, “go sell tickets.”
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That won’t work.
So instead, they give each student a goal. Sell 10 tickets. That’s not a lot. But for my son, who doesn’t know anyone, it seems massive.
Or at least until my daughter decided she would buy 5 and take her friends to the show. And my wife bought 3 for the three shows.
Now he has to sell 2. And he feels comfortable doing that.
Imagine 30 kids each selling 10 tickets. That’s 300 guests over three nights. Exactly what they need.
And only because each campaigner has a goal.
Recognize your Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Participants
Peer-to-Peer fundraising is not just done by individuals (like my son). It’s also the domain of teams. And whether it’s a single person, or a team, the one thing that will help drive results is to honor the folks doing great work.
You’ve seen this before if you’ve ever been invited to support someone running a 5k for a cause. You visit a page and see the top teams. You’ve seen this for all sorts of fundraising efforts. It shows you who is leading the pack – and that motivates those who are leading to stay in the lead, and motivates others to get into the leader’s circle.
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Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Ideas
So how can you use peer-to-peer fundraising? Here are three simple ideas that we’ve all experienced already.
Add fundraising to events like 5k races. It’s easy to invite every runner to participate in a broader fundraising effort, and to invite their own audience to participate in reaching their specific goal.
Viral Video Challenges
A few years ago there was an ice bucket challenge. But if you didn’t want to poor ice over your head, you could make a donation. Or I think that’s how it worked. I know I donated to several teams. You can do something similar with any kind of campaign, a video challenge, and peer-to-peer fundraising software.
My wife was a teacher for almost 3 decades. October 5th is World Teacher’s Day. You could create a fundraising campaign for that special day and make it a giving day for people who love teachers (which should be everyone).
Are there more ideas? Of course. These are just three simple ones that lend themselves to peer-to-peer fundraising.
Choose the Right Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Platform
So the last question is what platform you should use to do all this great stuff and the good news is that I have an answer for you. On Monday, September 27th, GiveWP is going to finally release their Peer-to-Peer fundraising solution.
I’ve written about GiveWP before when I told you how great their pricing page is. But their Peer-to-Peer stuff is fantastic. And easy to use.
And it runs on WordPress – making it and easy and inexpensive platform to use for all your fundraising efforts. So check it out.
Original Article By Andrey Sergeenkov At Coindesk.com
Bitcoin’s price has been struggling to break above the psychological barrier of $50,000 for over 130 days now. What’s going on?
On Sept. 8, Standard Chartered’s cryptocurrency research team projected the price of bitcoin could reach $100,000 in the last days of 2021 or the early months of 2022. Several crypto CEOs have also made similar predictions, as has Thomas Lee, managing partner of Fundstrat Global Advisors.
However, apart from a momentary break beyond the $50,000 price mark in the first week of September, bitcoin has failed to attract any bullish momentum. At press time, the price of bitcoin is around $43,700, as it continues to range between the $41,000 support and the resistance level near $50,000. So what’s causing this downward pressure?
1. DeFi continues to grow exponentially
It goes back to last year. For the better part of 2020, the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector recorded unprecedented trading volume and saw thousands of crypto users lock away their assets in multiple DeFi protocols in order to generate high-interest yields. As such, it would be expected that many investors would have converted their bitcoin holdings to ether or other smart contract-supported tokens to participate in the craze.
Although there was a momentary drop in DeFi-related activities in the latter part of 2020 and into early 2021, the sector experienced a second wave of investment in recent months as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) started to gain prominence. On Sept. 7 the total value of assets locked (TVL) in DeFi almost surpassed the $100 billion milestone for the first time, according to DeFi Pulse. This latest surge has already exceeded last year’s growth, with the TVL ballooning 253% from $23.8 billion to $84.1 billion compared to 183% last year ($8.39 billion to $23.8 billion.)
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A lot of this new growth is thanks to the arrival of new competitors in the decentralized application space, including:
Each of these smart contract-focused platforms have already established their own DeFi ecosystems of native dapps and tout cheaper fees and faster transaction speeds than Ethereum’s current blockchain technology.
2. The NFT boom
It’s not just DeFi that is stealing the spotlight away from bitcoin. The NFT market has also enjoyed significant success in 2021. The amount spent to purchase NFTs through a 30-day period has risen dramatically from around $10 million at the beginning of 2021 to roughly $2.6 billion as of Sept. 17.
Due to the ascendancy of DeFi and NFT, bitcoin’s dominance (the total percentage of bitcoin’s market cap relative to the total cryptocurrency market cap) has dropped significantly – it was 69.7% at the beginning of the year but is now down around 41.9%. In other words, bitcoin is not commanding the same level of interest and attention it was nine months ago. This could point to why it has struggled to gain the type of buying pressure necessary to break above $50,000.
3. U.S. regulatory pressure
The U.S. Senate recently passed the contentious infrastructure bill. This involves a $1.2 trillion budget intended to be used to improve various areas of the economy. Part of the proposal includes amending the rules around cryptocurrency taxation in order to help foot this gargantuan bill. One of the changes includes requiring crypto brokers to report transactions. While the requirement itself is seen as a means to surveil crypto users and ensure better tax compliance, the main bone of contention is the lack of a clear definition for the term “broker.” Crypto advocates argue the term is too broad and may be interpreted to include crypto miners, developers and node validators – none of which are custodians of customers’ funds.
Although there have been attempts by a bipartisan group of crypto-friendly congressional members to amend the bill, it is looking less likely that much can be done to alter the crypto reporting requirements before it is passed into law. Historically, regulatory uncertainties such as this have often impacted the performance of bitcoin
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Then there are the ongoing regulatory tussles between state securities regulators in the U.S. and crypto lending companies, including Celsius and BlockFi. Regulators argue that the interest-bearing crypto savings accounts offered by both companies violate state securities laws. At the federal level, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has maintained its cautious approach to crypto, which is why a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is yet to be approved in the U.S. Analysts believe that the approval of a bitcoin ETF could spur a new flow of retail and institutional interest in bitcoin, which may prove vital to the realization of the $100,000 price projection.
- While the SEC does not seem too thrilled about a bitcoin ETF anchored by physical bitcoin, there is a slim possibility that it might consider approving a bitcoin futures ETF (an ETF that has bitcoin futures as its underlying asset).
4. The dollar is rising
Following the release of the retail sales report for August, the dollar rose to a near three-week high on Sept. 17. The retail sales rose by 0.7% despite expectations they would fall by 0.8%. This data shows that America’s economy is on a bullish trend, and businesses are easing into a new market reality after COVID-19 lockdowns. Despite the outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus, the appetite to spend has not decreased. As such, a recovering economy means less interest in economic hedge assets like bitcoin.
Another economic data that might have spurred the lackluster reaction to the bitcoin market is the drop in the U.S. inflation rate from 5.4% to 5.3% in August. While some believe this figure is high relative to the country’s historical figures, others see it as a positive indicator, considering that the situation could have been much worse.
5. China completely bans bitcoin for the first time
On Sept. 24, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued a new statement regarding the illegality of cryptocurrency transactions and mining, adding that now crypto-to-crypto, as well as crypto-to-fiat transactions, are banned. This means virtually all crypto trading-related activities are prohibited in the country for the first time ever, including buying, selling or trading virtual currencies like bitcoin, ether and tether.
The Chinese central bank also made it clear any citizen found working for offshore crypto exchanges will be investigated.
But it wasn’t just the PBoC that weighed in on the new crypto laws, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also voiced intentions to ramp up the enforcement of the country’s ongoing crypto mining crackdown. In a statement entitled “Notice on the rectification of virtual currency ‘mining’ activities,” officials set out plans to completely phase out crypto mining in the country.
First, new companies looking to enter the mining industry will be restricted. Secondly, local authorities will be ordered to cease all support for existing mining operations – this includes shutting off direct electricity supplies and encouraging other suppliers to ramp up costs to make mining operations financially unviable. Finally, the NDRC has said it will prevent any new investment from flowing into the sector and sever any remaining financial services to crypto mining businesses.
Bitcoin’s price fell by almost 10% when the announcement was made, from $45,099 to $40,693. But since then, prices have recovered around 8% back to $43,890.
Original Article By WND.com
The CEO of a cybersecurity firm hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to audit the 2020 election results in Maricopa County said Friday he found more than 57,000 problem ballots, however his team’s count confirmed that Joe Biden won.
Those mixed results produced contrasting reactions on Friday, with media reporting the five-month, $6 million effort was a waste of taxpayers money while President Trump, Arizona Republican lawmakers and voter-integrity activists pointed to findings that verify their belief that the election was fraudulent.
Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, said his team found 57,734 ballots with serious issues, the Gateway Pundit reported.
In the official statewide count last November, only 10,457 votes separated Joe Biden from Donald Trump.
Ben Cotton, the founder of the digital forensics firm CyFIR, claimed in his presentation to the senators he has evidence that Maricopa County workers intentionally deleted data.
He said his team caught the election workers at the keyboards of computers in February purging results from the Election Management System the day before the audit began.
His team, he said, captured screen shots and time stamps and has identified the workers.
The audience, despite instructions to remain silent during the presentations, erupted in applause when Cotton said he had the evidence.
Maricopa County responded with a statement on Twitter saying it “strongly denies claims that @maricopavote staff intentionally deleted data.”
“As we’ve stated, staff were conducting the March election & compiling info required to comply w/ Senate subpoena. We have backups for all Nov. data & those archives were never subpoenaed.”
‘If you find it appropriate’
The president of the Arizona Senate, Karen Fann, referred the results of the audit Friday to state Attorney General Mark Brnovich for further action.
She acknowledged the hand count nearly matched the Maricopa County count but spelled out concerns, urging Brnovich to investigate further “if you find it appropriate.” The audit found 99 more votes for Joe Biden and 261 fewer votes for Trump.
Fann said the auditors’ findings “are concerning because they suggest less-than-perfect adherence to Arizona’s standards and best practices.”
The most urgent concerns, she said, are improving the signature verification process, correcting voter rolls, securing vote technology and machinery, and preserving records to ensure transparency.
At the end of the hearing, Fann said she is asking Brnovich “to open up a formal investigation so that he can pursue and seek additional information, additional facts, perhaps get some of these missing things that we were never able to get, verify all this information, and take the appropriate actions of anything that is necessary to do.”
“I have every confidence that he will be doing that,” she said.
On Thursday, Brnovich promised in a statement that he would “take all necessary actions that are supported by the evidence and where I have legal authority.”
“Arizonans deserve to have their votes accurately counted and protected,” he said.
Cotton also told the senators Friday that the Dominion counting machines that were analyzed included data from outside of Maricopa County, from South Carolina and Washington state.
He criticized the county for not granting the audit team access to computer routers. The county has insisted that giving access would be a security risk.
Maricopa County repeatedly has stated its vote-counting equipment is never connected to the internet.
In a tweet, the county said Cotton “cannot tell you about the internet connection but we can.”
“The tabulation equipment was never connected to a router or the internet. 2 audits confirmed this.”
Dr. Shiva weighs in
Another 17,000 ballots in Maricopa County should not have been counted because they were duplicate votes, contended Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT-trained data analyst hired by the Senate Republicans.
He said there were ballots that eventually were double or triple counted that had a “verified and approved” stamp pre-printed on the front. Among the examples he presented was a ballot that was stamped as approved even though it didn’t have a signature.
However, Ayyadurai, who was a U.S. Senate candidate in Massachusetts last fall, said he didn’t “want to accuse” officials of fraud. Instead, he called for a “full signature verification audit.”
Reacting to his presentation, the county said on Twitter that election officials contacted voters who mailed ballots in an unsigned envelope. The county insisted that “only one ballot [from each voter] is counted.”
“Unfortunately, AZ Senators gave unvetted, unqualified, private companies with known biases a platform to share misguided theories and faulty assumptions about Maricopa County elections,” the county said.
‘Obstruction from the county’
In opening remarks, Arizona Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen said the report was incomplete because the county failed to cooperate and obstructed the audit.
“This is the first time in the history of country that an audit of this scale and magnitude has ever been conducted,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that it is an incomplete audit due to the lack of cooperation and obstruction from the county. However, in spite of that, this is still the most complete audit that has ever been done.”
After hearing the evidence, state Rep. Mark Finchem, a candidate for Arizona secretary of state, called “for decertification of the Arizona election, arrest of those involved in tampering with election systems, and an audit of Pima County as a next step.”
Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers said 41 legislators from multiple states have written a letter calling for a 50-state audit, “decertification where appropriate” and possible convening of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
After Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai’s opening presentation, former President Trump said the audit “was a big win for democracy and a big win for us” that “shows how corrupt the Election was.”
He accused “CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, and other Lamestream Media” of “feeding large-scale misinformation to the public about the Arizona Audit.”
Original Article By Bonchie At RedState,com
Over the weekend, a judge forced federal prosecutors to release surveillance footage of the happenings on January 6th, and despite claiming the video would endanger national security, what was shown was far from an “insurrection.” Instead, unidentified men in black systematically entered and opened the doors for perplexed protesters to walk through, at which point they mingled and took pictures. The video did not show a violent rush as part of an organized attempt to overthrow the government.
It was another blow to the predominant narrative that January 6th was “worse than 9/11” and the “worst attack” on our country since the Civil War. It also illustrated how far the federal government has been willing to go to push false perceptions. Why hide that footage in the first place? And why do we not know who the men in black are, but we know who every other random grandma is who took a selfie at the Capitol that day?
For a long time, onlookers have suspected that the reason is that the FBI had agents and informants at the January 6th protest. Now, that’s been confirmed, at least in one case.
The informant in question was a member of the Proud Boys, and while it doesn’t say specifically, I’d guess it’s the same guy people have suspected all along as working for the FBI. I won’t mention his name here, because the fact-checkers would love to ding this article, but he’s an outspoken personality that just so happened to be one of the only attendees that the DOJ didn’t charge for being in the Capitol Building.
But, I think it’s a distraction to focus on this one informant. Understand, as someone who has watched many prior leaks from the government get published by The New York Times and The Washington Post, this kind of thing only gets printed if it’s an attempt to get out in front of a much bigger revelation. Remember that recent leak to The Washington Post involving John Durham indicting Michael Sussman? The Post’s write-up made it sound like Sussman was innocent. Then the actual indictment dropped and it was far, far worse.
That’s the pattern going well back into the Trump years, and that’s likely what’s happening here. The FBI needs to normalize for the public the idea that they had people participating in what happened on January 6th. That way, when we learn who the men in black are that opened the doors, or something else related to the FBI’s involvement, it seems like less of a big deal.
In short, you can bet this doesn’t end here. Stay tuned.
Original Article By Mark E. Jeftovic At BombThrower.com
Cryptos are the antidote to repressive Central Bank Digital Currencies
Yesterday I wrote up why I don’t think any kind of China-style ban on Bitcoin and cryptos would be tenable in (so-called) liberal democracies here in the West. It referenced an earlier piece that described the threefold governance structure I see competing for relevance over the coming decades.
Somebody linked to those in the comments from a Tom Luongo piece (which I rather enjoyed enough to subscribe to his newsletter) but when I read through some of the other comments around Bitcoin, how it’s a globalist Trojan horse for surveillance capitalism and social credit I realized I needed to get a piece out to speak specifically to this aspect of future governance.
I cover this a lot in The Crypto Capitalist Letter, in fact it’s a pillar of our macro economic thesis (which you can download free here). It all comes down to the differences between real crypto currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Monero, et al and coming Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), like China’s Digital Yuan, like the coming FedCoin, and anything else that will be issued by central banks, directly from governments or even in conjunction with Big Tech platforms.
There are the two main types of digital money that will co-exist in the future.
Each type of digital money corresponds to a governance mode of the future. Which type of this money you make your own or your business’ financial centre of gravity will have an outsized impact on whether you live in the future as a neo-Feudal serf or as a sovereign individual.
Each one has its own fundamental architecture, and the governance and economics that result from those architectures reflect the governance models of the mode that is built on them. This is critical and builds on what I’ve been writing about for years now, drawing on the work of relatively obscure commentators like Vincent Locascio and Steven Zarlenga. The latter who wrote in his Lost Science of Money, whoever controls the monetary system, controls society.
“a main arena of human struggle is over the monetary control of societies and that control has been and is now exercised through obscure theories about the nature of money. If it had to be summarized in one sentence, it is that by misdefining the nature of money, special interests have often been able to assume the control of society’s monetary system, and in turn, the society itself. ”
It is because of how fundamentally the monetary architecture is reflected in the governance stack that sits atop of it that I can make the case with rather high confidence that Bitcoin and cryptos are not Trojan horses for globalist control. They are the opposite – they are the mechanisms through which people, all people, any person, the masses – can reclaim their own economic autonomy and become self-ruling and free.
The defining feature that makes them so is simply that a liberating crypto-currency is designed such that
- the blockchain is decentralized
- anybody can take part in validating the blockchain
- the possessor controls the private keys to the units he or she owns
This is Bitcoin. These are cryptos in general. They may also contain other features that confer a “sound money” status on them, like Bitcoin’s 21 million unit hard cap or Ethereum’s EIP 1559 protocol. But it is these three attributes, especially the last one, of holding one’s own private keys, that make them emancipatory monetary technologies.
The crypto folks have an expression: “Not your keys, not your coins”.
I expect this to be the defining feature that demarcates the difference between a bona fide crypto currency that empowers its holders and centralized digital cash (tokens) that governments and central banks run to control the populace.
Those skeptical of Bitcoin, who suspect a globalist, Davos-inspired regimen of surveillance and social credit are correct about digital cash being the conduit for those, but they’ve simply conflated all forms of digital money and view Bitcoin as typical or a test-run of them.
This misconception arises simply from not knowing or understanding the differentiators between a crypto like Bitcoin and a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), like a coming “FedCoin”.
CBDCs will very much be tools of elitists to implement top-down command-and-control economics and even Great Reset-style social management through monetary policy.
CBDCs will in all likelihood not be designed to put the private keys over the currency units into the hands of its possessor.
Digital “cash” under CBDCs will be centrally programmable and implemented without end-user consent across all national governance and Davos-inspired initiatives.
CBDCs will be the rails of all manner of economic programs (like UBI and MMT) and social policy objectives which simply are not possible, or desirable under cryptos:
- Expiry dates on “cash” in your wallet
- Negative interest rates if you try to save any of it
- Social credit objectives (no jab / no stimmie)
- Instant taxation on transactions and payments
- Social justice pricing (cup of coffee costs 10X if you’re in a higher tax bracket)
- Built-in climate tariffs
- Capital controls
- Infinitely inflatable, issue on demand
If you thought the Federal Reserve was suffering from mission creep now that they’ve decided to tackle climate change and social justice, just wait until they get the ability to program what you can do with the money that’s already in your wallet.
That is what we’re looking at with CBDCs and if that’s your dystopian vision of what digital cash means, you’re not wrong. You’re just misdirecting your apprehensions if you think that’s what Bitcoin means. This is because it and most of the other digital currencies are the antidote to CBDCs. Which is why they are subject to such hostility from policy makers, the corporate press and elites.
This will be a battle. A never-ending tension between these two digital money systems – crypto currencies, which are actually fungible, inelastic, deflationary (purchasing power increases over time) and which gives their holders economic autonomy in this new era.
On the other side we’ll have these centrally issued, programmable digital tokens.
Which side of the ledger the majority of your economic activity happens on will govern your future status as a Neo-Serf or an autonomous Sovereign Individual. If the dynamic becomes extreme it could even result in a kind of monetary Apartheid.
The good news is that today, at this moment in time, it’s still largely self-selecting.
I’ve written many times, that crypto’s (real cryptos, not CBDCs or even stablecoins) are all about optionality. Crypto’s like Bitcoin confer options on their holders (HODL-ers), while the coming CBDCs will be all about limiting them.