Digitizing charity: We can do better at doing good

Charity fundraising risks being left behind in the shift to online activity. But taking inspiration from the COVID-19 pandemic trends, and new payment technology, could open doors.Change comes whether you’re ready or not, but being ready means you can seize the opportunity. The past year has accelerated the pace of digital transformation dramatically — sure, personal contact was already moving online, and contactless payments were slowly replacing cash, but the pandemic did not so much push as shove the world faster and farther than anyone expected. This creates specific challenges for the nonprofit sector — and with those, some exciting possibilities.Related: Philanthropy: A missing catalyst of blockchain adoptionBring the message homeCharity events and street fundraising — two major traditional revenue streams — have been sharply curtailed by the pandemic. However, lockdown has unlocked some inspirational creative thinking, such as the 2.6 Challenge, in which sports and fundraising agencies asked the public to come up with their own private challenges to fill the gap left by the London Marathon. The brilliance of such personal fundraising efforts is that, well, they’re personal.Consider how Captain Tom Moore raised over 32 million euros ($44 million) by walking around his garden! This shows rather dramatically how an individual effort can drive far stronger engagement than might be achieved by, say, a marathon team: When supporters can see the motivation behind each challenge, they are inspired. It’s all about storytelling and authenticity. To stand out among a host of issues vying for public attention, and to restore the path to the positive feelings of giving, it’s important to reinforce the “why” — keep it personal, keep it relatable.But while big moments like this capture the imagination and attract a flood of impulse contributions, charities need repeat donations and peer-to-peer fundraising for their financial health. It is crucial that organizations convert one-time donors into engaged supporters who are committed to sharing their message.Related: The future of philanthropy lies in blockchain technologyOnline fundraising can be particularly effective at this task, thanks to the power of storytelling.According to research, 57% of the people who watch a fundraising video go on to make a donation, but think about how much more could be done. A charity or activist website can become a place for helpers and the helped alike to share their experiences, their motivations and the impact of their actions. How can individual online actions translate into greater change? How can online social tools build community? And how can we mobilize a demographic that no longer trusts established groups to do the right thing once the donations have been made, or accepts that the agenda should be set only by the biggest donors?Transparency and accountability are in increasing demand in all aspects of life. So it is with social causes: Young people want to know they make a difference. Show them a track record of effective action coupled with responsible stewardship, and they will spread the word for you. Explain what resources are needed, and how they will and have been put to use. Groups who make use of social networks and universal tools that are easy to access and understand will be best placed to win the trust and loyalty of the generations that are coming of age now.Embedded payments open new doorsLet’s talk about the nuts and bolts of payments. The actual process of making a donation online can be a significant hurdle. Donors usually need to complete a detailed form, providing their name and several methods of contact, even before going into the details of payment. A moment of generosity and a true desire to participate might sour as more and more demands are made of people who imagine that their personal details are being stockpiled in a database.Blockchain technology could simplify this step dramatically. If a charity website implemented a micropayment layer that allowed donors to give any amount with the click of a button — no forms to fill, no personal data to give up — wouldn’t you expect that to unlock goodwill, not to mention giving? This is a real possibility. Once the tech has gained widespread acceptance, it won’t just make online donations easier, it will pave the way for exciting new forms of fundraising.Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Donations from that social media phenomenon reached $115 million, enabling the beneficiary, the ALS Association, to nearly double its funding for research into the disease. During lockdown, TikTok and Instagram challenges spread like wildfire, although few were linked to a cause. Imagine what might be achieved if you could craft a viral social media challenge that harnessed that energy, tied it to an action that held meaning — and embedded the donation mechanism directly in the posts created. If viewers were asked to donate a few pennies to watch the video, and a few pennies more to upload their own, viral campaigns could achieve more than just spreading awareness.The trivia game Freerice has raised around $1.4 million (through advertising) for the United Nations World Food Program — it works because players are motivated partly by the addictiveness of the simple game but also by the sense of doing good. Making giving easy through an embedded, decentralized micropayment system could be deployed to combine small donations to fund any manner of positive, transparent, effective efforts. One could even imagine a free marketplace of information that drives funds toward the most valued causes.Related: Your crypto taxes can be donated to charity insteadWhat can you offer?Fundraisers need to employ some sharp marketing thinking to broaden their revenue base. Asking for donations, in many ways across multiple platforms, is a must. But apply the bake sale principle: What can you give, in order to get?Any nonprofit is likely to have specialist knowledge. If it can leverage that to create an online course or e-book, or offer expert lectures, that’s a valuable product. Online donors typically give less, so fundraisers need to work harder on cultivating them and providing different channels for donation. Online or hybrid events are another option, less risky than traditional fundraising events (which are vulnerable to weather and other unpredictable factors) and with greater reach. Embedded payments make it possible to offer this extra value in a frictionless way, without compromising data protection or investing any overhead in payment processing contracts.Target the next generationRemember that, above all, younger donors are likely to engage with online content and offerings — and younger donors can deliver a full lifetime of support. So, fundraisers need to pay attention to young people’s online behavior. We know that Generation Z is active online, especially on mobile devices, and is turned off by out-of-date websites. Social media is a big part of their lives, so online community building is crucial. And they rarely use cash.As cash payments become a rarity, small change donations have gone the way of the dinosaur, arguably leaving more than just a financial gap. Dropping a few coins in the charity jar by the till, or in the “take a penny, leave a penny” plate familiar in some United States regions, generated a sense of solidarity. Could micropayments offer a way to recapture the social and economic benefits that came from the anonymous circulation of small amounts of money? And could they help to engage young people at a level that works for them, opening the door to increasing levels of support in the future?The leap forward in remote networking in 2020 could combine with emerging payment technologies to bring transformative possibilities for charities. We can see now that far from being a poor substitute for in-person activities, online engagement can be hugely powerful in its own right. New digital payments could prove to be a similarly great step-up on cash. Now, it’s over to fundraisers to apply the lessons learned and build new models for the future.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.Stephanie So is an economist, policy analyst and co-founder of Geeq, a blockchain security company. Throughout her career, she has applied technology within her specialist disciplines. In 2001, she was the first to use machine learning on social science data at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. More recently, she researched the use of distributed networking processes in healthcare and patient safety in her role as a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University. Stephanie is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Rochester.

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Pro traders look for this classic pattern to spot Bitcoin price reversals

Every trader aims to buy low and sell high, but only a few are able to muster the courage to go against the herd and purchase when the downtrend reverses direction. When prices are falling, the sentiment is negative and fear is at extreme levels, but it’s at times like these that the inverse head and shoulders (IHS) pattern can appear.The (IHS) pattern is similar in construction to the regular H&S top pattern, but the formation is inverted. On completion, the (IHS) pattern signals an end of the downtrend and the start of a new uptrend. Inverse head and shoulders basicsThe (IHS) pattern is a reversal setup that forms after a downtrend. It has a head, a left shoulder and a right shoulder that are upside down and placed below a neckline. A breakout and close above the neckline completes the setup, indicating that the downtrend has reversed.Head-and-shoulders bottom pattern. Source: TradingViewAs shown above, the asset is in a downtrend but after a significant decline, value buyers believe the price has reached attractive levels and will start bottom fishing. When demand exceeds supply, the asset forms the first trough from the left shoulder and the price starts a relief rally.In a downtrend, traders sell on rallies. The bears sell aggressively after the pullback and the price dips below the first trough, making a lower low. However, bears are unable to capitalize on this weakness and resume the downtrend. The bulls buy this dip and start a relief rally, forming the head of the pattern. As the price nears the previous peak where the rally had stalled, the bears again step in.That starts the decline, culminating in the formation of the third trough, which is arrested almost in line with the first trough as buyers anticipate a turnaround and purchase aggressively. This forms the right shoulder of the setup. The price turns up and this time, the bulls manage to push the price above the neckline, completing the pattern.The neckline thereafter becomes the new floor as traders buy the dip to this support. This signals the start of a new uptrend. Identifying a new uptrend with the (IHS) patternBTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewBitcoin (BTC) had been in a downtrend since forming a local top at $13,970 on June 26, 2019. The buyers stepped in and arrested the decline in the $7,000 to $6,500 support zone, forming the left shoulder of the (IHS) pattern. This started a relief rally that pushed the price to $10,450. At this level, short-term bulls booked profits and bears initiated short positions, aiming to resume the downtrend.Aggressive selling broke the support at $6,500 and the Bitcoin/Tether (USDT) pair plunged to $3,782.13 on March 13, 2020. The bulls viewed this fall as a buying opportunity and that started a strong relief rally, which reached close to $10,450. This second trough formed the head of the setup.The right shoulder was shallow because the selling pressure was reduced and bulls did not wait for a deeper correction to buy. Finally, the bulls pushed the price above the neckline on July 27, completing the (IHS) pattern.The bears tried to trap the bulls and they pulled the price back to the neckline. Although the price dipped just below the neckline, traders did not allow the pair to sustain below $10,000. This suggested a change in sentiment. The bullish momentum picked up as buyers pushed the price above $12,500.How to calculate the pattern target of a IHS setupBTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewTo calculate the minimum target objective of the (IHS) pattern, calculate the depth from the neckline to the lowest point, forming the head. In the above example, the neckline is around $10,450, and subtracting the lowest point at $3,782.13 gives a depth of $6,667.87.This value is then added to the breakout level, which in the above example, is near $10,550. This gives a target objective at $17,217.87. When a trend changes from down to up, it may fall short or exceed the target objective. Therefore, traders should use the target as a guide and not dump their positions just because the level has been reached. Patience pays o because sometimes the pattern failsNo pattern succeeds at every breakout and traders should wait for the setup to complete before initiating the trades. Sometimes, the pattern structure forms but the breakout does not happen. Traders who preempt the completion of the pattern and initiate trades get trapped. LINK/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewFor example, Chainlink’s LINK topped out at $4.58 on June 29, 2019, and started a correction. The buyers attempted to stall the decline in the $2.20 to $2.00 zone. This formed an (IHS) pattern with a head and two shoulders as can be seen in the chart above.Although the price reached the neckline on Aug. 19, 2019, the buyers could not push the price above it. Due to this, the pattern did not complete and the buy signal did not trigger.The LINK/USDT pair turned down from the neckline and broke below the head of the setup at $1.96, invalidating the pattern. This trapped traders who may have purchased in anticipation of a trend reversal.Key takeawaysThe (IHS) pattern could be a useful tool for traders to jump on a new uptrend as it is getting started. There are a few important points to remember while using this setup.Traders should wait for the pattern to complete, which happens after the price breaks and closes above the neckline, before initiating any long positions. A breakout of the neckline, which is on above-average volume, is more likely to result in a new uptrend compared to a breakout that happens on low volumes.When a trend reverses, it generally continues for a long time. Therefore, traders should not be in a hurry to dump positions only because the pattern target has been met. At other times, the pattern completes but quickly reverses direction and the price plummets. Traders should closely watch the other indicators and price action before squaring up a position.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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5 easy ways crypto investors can make money without needing to trade

Large price jumps and 100x gains get a lot of attention from pundits and influencers in the cryptocurrency community because they offer the hope of overnight riches. In reality, these opportunities are few and far between. Not to mention, only a handful of traders actually manage to catch these waves and cash out in time to lock in life-changing money. Fortunately, catching a large price surge is far from being the only way for crypto investors to make a buck, and the recent rise of decentralized finance (DeFi), nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the slow march of mainstream crypto adoption provides a near endless stream of investment opportunities. Let’s have a look at five different ways crypto holders can make an easy buck without actually having to trade. Staking Staking, which rewards users for locking tokens on a protocol as collateral for transaction validation, is one of the best ways to earn a yield on assets held in a crypto-based portfolio. In August, the Ethereum network will switch from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus model to a proof-of-stake (POS) model, and Ether (ETH) holders who stake in the Eth2 contract can earn up to 5.83%.Under this new PoS system, token holders actively participate in transaction validation by locking their coins in nodes on the network that then vie for a chance to verify transactions, create new blocks and receive the rewards that come along with it. Data from Staking Rewards shows that a stake of 10 Ether currently results in a weekly earning of 0.0075 ETH, worth $17.96 at current prices, and a yearly earning of 0.3876 ETH which is currently worth $933.69. Calculated staking rewards for Ether. Source: Staking RewardsThe percentage yield for Ether decreases as more tokens are locked on the network so the final earnings may change. Currently, the top five crypto assets by staked value are Cardano’s ADA, Ether, Solana (SOL), USD Coin (USDC) and Polkadot (DOT).Top 5 crypto assets by staked value. Source: Staking RewardsAll things considered, staking provides one of the best low-risk opportunities in crypto to gain a bigger stack regardless of market sentiment or performance, while also helping to support the network through transaction validation. Lend crypto for low-risk yieldsThe growth of the DeFi sector led to the development of a diverse crypto lending ecosystem, where users can deposit their cryptocurrencies to various lending protocols in exchange for rewards in the underlying token or in different assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether and various altcoins. Aave is the top lending protocol at the moment and the platform offers yield opportunities for tokens on the Ethereum and Polygon network with its native coin MATIC.Top 7 Aave lending pools on the Polygon network. Source: AaveThe chart above shows the top seven lending pools available through the AAVE protocol on Polygon and rewards are paid in Wrapped MATIC (WMATIC), with the current deposit annual percentage yield (APY) being 1.92% and a yearly estimated APY of 6.1%. Other top lending protocols include Curve (CRV), Compound (COMP), MakerDAO (MKR) and Yearn.finance (YFI).Lending offers another low-risk way to earn a decent yield, in both bull and bear markets, on tokens that don’t offer user-controlled rewards like staking.Earn fees and tokens from providing liquidityLiquidity provision is one of the primary components of a DeFi platform, and investors who choose to provide funds to emerging platforms are often rewarded with high percentage returns on the amount staked, as well as a percentage of the fees generated by transactions within the pool. Rewards for ETH-USDC liquidity pool on QuickSwap. Source: QuickSwapAs seen in the image above, providing liquidity to an Ether/USDC pool on QuickSwap will entitle an investor with a percentage of the $23,098 in total daily distributed rewards and a fee APY of 33.81%. Ideally, long term investors would be wise to research the available pools on the market, and if a liquidity pair comprised of solid projects or even a stablecoin pair such as USDC/Tether (USDT) looks appealing, it has the potential to be the blockchain version of a savings account that offers far better yields than can currently be found in any bank or legacy financial institution. Maximize returns by yield farmingYield farming is the concept of putting crypto assets to work in a way that generates the highest yield possible while minimizing risk. As new platforms and protocols emerge, they offer high incentives to depositors as a way of mining for liquidity and increasing the total value locked (TVL) on the protocol. Rewards for STKGHST-WETH LP deposits on DinoSwap. Source: DinoSwapThe high yields offered are generally paid out in the native token of the platform as seen above, where a user has deposited a liquidity pool token for an STKGHS-WETH pair which has an APR of 189.2% and has so far generated a reward of 3.312 DINO. For long investors who hold a portfolio filled with an assortment of tokens, yield farming is a way to gain exposure to new projects and obtain new tokens without having to spend new funds Related: Here’s why DinoSwap’s (DINO) TVL rose above $330M a week after launchNFT and blockchain gaming make ‘play-to-earn’ a realityBlockchain gaming and NFT collecting is another way to produce a return on a crypto portfolio without spending new funds. Axie Infinity is the most popular example at the moment, and the in-game play involves trading, battling, collecting and breeding NFT-based creatures known as Axies.Playing Axie Infinity generates rewards in the form of Smooth Love Potion (SLP), an in-game token that is used in the Axie breeding process and also trades on major cryptocurrency exchanges. Users can swap SLP for dollar-based stablecoins or other large-cap cryptocurrencies. According to data from Your Crypto Library, “Today, the average player earns between 150 to 200 SLP per day,” which, at current market value, is worth between $40 and $53.50.In some parts of the world, that amounts to the income provided by a full-time job. For this reason, Axie Infinity has seen a massive uptick in user activity and new accounts in countries like Venezuela and Malaysia.Crypto investing, lending, staking and play-to-earn blockchain games provide a much higher return on investment than traditional banks offer on savings and checking accounts. As the blockchain sector grows, it’s likely that investors will continue to flock to platforms that offer high yields for engaging with the protocol.Want more information about trading and investing in crypto markets?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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