On February 22nd, 2022, the War in Ukraine erupted. The ensuing conflict has been one of Europe’s most significant, bloodthirsty, and costly conflicts since the Second World War. But as well as revealing flaws in everything from the Russian military to the NATO alliance, the conflict has also revealed some very stark truths about cryptocurrencies.
After all, this conflict is defined by increasing sanctions on the Russian state and has featured numerous innovative crowdfunding models based on blockchain technology. From organisations utilising blockchain to offer humanitarian relief in the war to the authorities of countries attempting to enforce their control over cryptocurrencies, the modern phenomena of blockchain and crypto are playing a significant role in this equally modern war.
One of the main ways that cryptocurrency plays a role is due to the plethora of ways that the transfer of fiat money via centralised systems has been interrupted. Throughout human history, centralised finance systems have been susceptible to collapsing under the pressure of war and political unrest. Cryptocurrency, and the decentralised blockchain technology it’s hosted upon, is able to operate much more efficiently.
In this article, we’re going to look into the numerous applications of cryptocurrency and blockchain that the ongoing war in Ukraine has revealed.
Cryptocurrency Used for Fundraising
In what has been Europe’s most significant military showdown since the Second World War, the conflict in Ukraine has demonstrated how crypto can be effectively used to raise much-needed funds in the midst of war.
At the outbreak of the conflict, the Ukrainian regime in Kyiv publically announced that they would be open to accepting war relief donations in the form of cryptocurrency in an effort to include a wider spectrum of potential donors. In turn, this saw the formation of the Crypto Fund of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation spearheads the Crypto Fund of Ukraine. The fund was established in partnership with the likes of Kuna, FTX and Everstake to support humanitarian aid and provide military support for Ukraine.
The crypto fund is said to have played a serious role in enabling Ukrainian national defence and allowed the Ukrainian regime to accept more than $100 million worth of cryptocurrency donations. The funds were used to buy vital military aid such as body armour, night vision optics for fighting in the winter months, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor Russian positions.
But the Crypto Fund of Ukraine is one of many ways decentralised technology has been used to raise funds to support Ukraine. Other cryptocurrency fundraiser organisations aiming to support Ukraine have also utilised decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs). One of the most well-known is the UkraineDAO.
Like the Crypto Fund of Ukraine, the UkraineDAO was established at the outbreak of the conflict to muster financial support for the Ukrainian military. The project is spearheaded by people like Nadya Tolokonnikova, one of the founders of the Feminist anti-Putin punk band Pussy Riot and seeing involvement from the likes of the generative NFT studio called Trippy Labs. So far, the UkraineDAO project has successfully raised over $8 million in donations.
Interestingly, the UkraineDAO was behind the successful sale of a nonfungible token (NFT) that took its place amongst the list of the top 20 most expensive NFTs of all time. The NFT was centred around a Ukrainian flag and sold for more than $6 million worth of Ether (ETH).
As well as a method to receive donations, various humanitarian organisations have used cryptocurrency on the ground in the war in Ukraine. World Central Kitchen, an organisation which provides food for those in need during times of war and natural disasters, accepted donations in Ether (ETH) during various crowdfunding campaigns to carry out their work to feed those affected by the war in Ukraine.
But, of course, where there are good intentions, there are also malicious intentions. Cryptocurrency has equally been used by those with ill intentions in the conflict in Ukraine, which brings us to our next point.
Malicious Use of Crypto in War
Whilst the helpful intentions of humanitarian organisations and other fundraisers have received considerable attention, there is also an underbelly of malicious crypto activity that has undermined the efforts made by those trying to support Ukraine.
For example, a series of online fraudsters have begun a highly-organized campaign to rip off would-be donors by impersonating spokespeople of approved cryptocurrency organisations taking part in fundraising campaigns for Ukraine.
It’s believed that these cybercriminals have likely dispatched millions of emails in an effort to deceive people worldwide. A common tactic used will be to impersonate Ukrainian people who are desperately in need of aid with the goal of extracting money from would-be donors.
In doing so, the real victims of the conflict in Ukraine will face extreme difficulties in getting the help they really need, as such cybercriminals can easily blur the lines between who is genuine and who is a scammer.
An increasing number of people are reporting that these cybercriminals are also using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram to launch their scam campaigns. Any would-be donors should only donate cryptocurrency via channels that the Ukrainian government officially authorises to evade potential scams. Alternatively, you can avoid scams by making informed decisions on well-known and reliable sources such as this crypto website.
Crypto Scams on the Dark Web
Put simply, the dark web is an overlay internet grid made up of unindexed sites that are hidden from standard web browsers and search engines. The dark web can only be accessed using particular browsers such as Tor.
There is a reason that the dark web is deliberately concealed from everyday users. It bears a wide spectrum of highly illegal activity, including black markets for narcotics, firearms, and even assassination services. In addition, it’s widely used by black hat hackers to buy and sell stolen private credentials.
Naturally, the dark web is being heavily used by shady people to spread fraudulent messages with the aim of stealing money from people looking to support Ukraine. One of the main methods is to send links that take people to phishing sites that are developed to steal cryptocurrencies.
Users have reported that these scammers are using increasingly advanced techniques, from fake AI-generated chat boxes that aim to mimic user activity to fake donation buttons to look more genuine.
In the chaos surrounding the outbreak of the war, a particularly well-trained gang of cybercriminals launched an elaborate fundraising scam that involved the release of a crypto token called Peaceful World (WORLD). Still, it was stopped in its tracks by both the Ukrainian government and various cybersecurity experts.
Governments Can Ban and Control Cryptocurrencies
When the founder of Bitcoin (BTC), Satoshi Nakamoto, created the world’s first cryptocurrency, one of his main aims was to create a financial asset that would give freedom to the owner and take away the overwhelming level of control that global regimes and centralised financial organisations currently held over it.
However, with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, it’s becoming increasingly clear that cryptocurrency can be banned or controlled at a governmental level in more than a few ways.
For example, in October 2022, blockchain companies based in the European Union were strictly barred from offering any form of crypto custodial services to Russian citizens or businesses. The decision resulted from a series of sanctions imposed by the European Commission on the Russian Federation. In addition, Russian cryptocurrency wallets that fell under the control of Europe-based exchanges were also targeted and frozen.
The reason for the wave of crypto sanctions was an attempt to stop Russian from using cryptocurrency to successfully evade fiat currency sanctions placed on the country, as they have done before.
Before the latest sanctions, restrictions were already in place that ensured a strict limit of 10,000 euros for trading and making deposits in crypto wallets and accounts owned by Russian citizens.
In order to dodge a regulatory conflict with the European Union, the recent acts and sanctions announced by the European Union have left significant exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Crypto.com, and Binance to refuse services to Russian citizens and businesses.
U-Turns on Crypto Bans
The wave of crypto-related and fiat currency-related sanctions to hit Russia has left the world’s biggest country in a serious economic situation. Barred from SWIFT and cryptocurrency wallets, Russian citizens were beginning to be backed into a corner regarding viable solutions for moving money at home and abroad.
You may remember that the Russian government notoriously banned using crypto to make payments inside Russia back in July. However, in the wake of the recent sanctions and left with few options, this ban was naturally reversed, and both the Russian central bank and the Ministry of Finance agreed to permit crypto to be used for cross-border payments.
This latest decision was believed to have been made to encourage Russians to use domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, reinforce the economy in the wake of sanctions, and provide a decentralised payment that is largely untouchable by hostile governments, provided it manages to sidestep current sanctions.
The war in Ukraine is one of the most brutal conflicts seen in Europe in decades. But as an inherently modern war, it has taught us practical lessons about the use of cryptocurrency in large-scale human conflict on an international level.
The war has shown how cryptocurrency has been used on a community level through the use of fundraising from people wishing to support Ukraine, and the Ukrainian state has equally used it to raise direct donations worth over $100 million from donors worldwide.
On the flip side of the coin, the conflict has equally attracted the attention of scammers and cyber criminals seeking to take advantage of people’s good intentions and use the chaos of war to scam funds from people.
Sadly, the horrific war in Ukraine shows no signs of ending anytime soon. As it continues to rage in 2023, cryptocurrency will undoubtedly be revealed in many more use cases across the conflict by both sides and for various reasons.
Tips for Successful Retirement Investing
Securing a comfortable and carefree retirement is often high on the objectives we strive for, save, and invest. Retirement signifies a time to put aside professional obligations and enjoy some leisure. However, this phase of life can be quite distressing if not properly planned for.
Despite the availability of numerous resources, tools, and discussions, transitioning smoothly from everyday work life to a serene retirement can still be fraught with errors, especially for those who are unprepared.
For these ‘unprepared retirees’, reaching this intimidating phase only to realize their lack of preparedness can be a harsh reality check. They discover the hard way that post-work life comes with its own set of challenges. Here are hard-earned lessons from retirees and advice on better retirement preparation.
Decide on Your Investments for Your Post-work Years
For the majority of investors, the ultimate long-term objective is retirement. Even those nearing retirement may have a longer investment timeframe than anticipated, as their savings will need to sustain them through a potential retirement period of 30 years or more. As such, it’s vital for investors to thoughtfully evaluate their asset distribution.
Generally, all investors should retain some exposure to the enduring growth potential that stocks present in their retirement portfolios. Check out the Learn About Gold website to learn about ESOPs and how they play a crucial role in mitigating the greater volatility of investments. As one nears and transitions into retirement, the distribution of stocks, bonds, and other asset classes within your investment portfolio will likely require adjustments.
Avoid Concentrating All Your Resources in One Place
Expand your sources of income and experiment with new opportunities and ideas, which can help you increase your wealth. In these uncertain times, relying solely on one income stream is risky, so starting early is crucial and establishing multiple income channels for security is crucial.
While having diverse income streams is beneficial, overdoing it may be counterproductive. Aim to diversify but maintain a manageable number of income streams to avoid the hassle of tracking too many at once.
Make Contributions to Your 401(k) Account
If your employer provides a conventional 401(k) scheme and you qualify for it, you may have the chance to contribute money that hasn’t been taxed yet, which could be a substantial benefit. Suppose you’re in the 12% tax bracket and intend to contribute $100 each pay cycle.
Since these contributions are deducted from your salary before federal income taxes are computed, your net income will only decrease by $88 (plus whatever state and local income tax and Social Security and Medicare tax apply). This means you can invest much of your income without significantly affecting your monthly budget.
Establish Automated Transfers
You can establish this arrangement between your current account and your pension fund to ensure you always remember to save. Configure it so that on a consistent day each month (perhaps on your payday), the money you’ve designated for the future is transferred from your bank account into your investment portfolio. Adopting this method eliminates the possibility of inadvertently spending these funds.
A plan is only comprehensive when its progress is regularly tracked and any discovered inconsistencies are rectified. This makes it imperative to periodically evaluate your retirement strategy, allowing for necessary alterations in expenses, savings, and investments.
One crucial thing to remember is the fluidity of one’s financial situation over time. As one ages, there may be a shift towards better-paying occupations or increased business profits. Consequently, the potential to save and invest more also escalates.
Planning for retirement isn’t trivial, often demanding several decades of judicious saving to amass enough funds for one’s retirement years. However, it’s always the right time to start these preparations. To enjoy a serene and comfortable life after retirement, individuals should aim to build a diversified portfolio, while keeping a careful equilibrium between their lifestyle needs and anticipated returns.
5 Tips to Get the Best Car Title Loan
Title loans are high-interest, excessively guaranteed loans that are often the last resort for individuals with poor credit scores or low income when they fail to qualify for a standard bank loan or credit card. These loans are engineered to trap borrowers in an escalating cycle of debt, where each interest payment only increases the total debt.
Unless you can fully repay your title loan at the end of its term, there simply isn’t a ‘best’ title loan. The most effective strategy when seeking the ‘best’ title loan is to understand that there isn’t a ‘best’ title loan and cease looking. However, if you still choose to proceed with a vehicle title loan, it’s essential to research thoroughly and seek out the least distressing loan available.
Discover the Potential Charges and Ascertain if Any Extra Features Are Mandatory
While high-interest rates are a concern, many title lenders add insult to injury by charging extra fees on top of the interest. That’s not all; they may also require you to purchase specific insurance coverages such as comprehensive coverage, life insurance, or roadside assistance.
A title loan contract might include various fees like origination, lien, processing, document, title, and late fees. In the unfortunate event of your car being repossessed, you could potentially face a repossession fee, despite its illegality.
Consider the daunting task of reclaiming a 0 repossession fee from a title lender without the option for court intervention due to a contract with an imposed arbitration clause! It’s advisable to steer clear of such practices.
Inspect for Early Payment or Delayed Payment Charges
The repayment conditions for No store visit loans at rival establishments can be more stringent. These terms often consider the borrower’s capacity to pay back the bad credit title loans and the lender’s planned repayment timeline.
As long as you meet your obligations, there are no repercussions. Both the balloon payment and prepayment penalty clauses are waived. Any method employed to regain financial stability is acceptable, and if you fulfill your responsibilities, we won’t hold it against you.
Is there a loan office conveniently located near your home or workplace, or perhaps online payment is an option? If online payment isn’t possible, do your loan provider’s operating hours suit your schedule? Late charges may apply if you’re unable to make timely payments. Therefore, before committing to a car title loan, familiarize yourself with your repayment alternatives.
Carefully Review the Terms and Conditions
A prevalent error that many loan borrowers commit is failing to peruse the terms and conditions of their loan before putting their signature. This oversight can lead to expensive consequences, as it’s crucial to completely grasp what you’re consenting to sidestep any unforeseen issues in the future.
Ensure to scrutinize every detail related to your loan agreement and feel free to inquire if anything appears unclear. By doing this, you can guarantee that you’re making a well-informed decision and fully comprehend the entirety of your loan’s terms and conditions.
Utilize for the Appropriate Purposes
It’s crucial to employ car title loans judiciously. Given the ease of their accessibility, many might be lured into using such loans for non-essential indulgences like holidays, new apparel, or other luxuries. To avoid sinking further into debt, car title loans should be strictly used for financial emergencies, such as settling outstanding bills, meeting medical expenditures, or covering the cost of vehicle repairs.
Organize Your Documents Properly
To be eligible for a title loan, certain documents are required. These include evidence of your income, identification, and your car’s title (or registration free from any liens). Compiling all the necessary paperwork in advance is advisable to avoid multiple interactions with the lender. A duplicate of your auto insurance policy is also mandatory. This safeguards the lender in case your vehicle gets damaged or is involved in an accident while the loan is yet to be fully repaid.
Here are five strategies to assist you in obtaining the most favorable car title loan. Doing some initial research and preparation can ensure that your experience with the title loan is beneficial. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to seek clarification, and it’s paramount that you grasp the terms of the loan fully before putting your signature on any agreement.
Tennis History Through the Years: A Look at the Sport’s Iconic Styles
Tennis, along with football and basketball, is definitely one of the most popular sports in the world. It has been played for centuries and has become one of the most popular and well-known sports in history.
This discipline has had the opportunity to establish itself as the most iconic and influential sport over the years thanks to its numerous competitions and championships that leave fans speechless and only filled with emotions; its numerous styles and its fashion will never be forgotten as they are forever included in sports history. Let us look back at some of the most recognizable styles from the history of the sport and enjoy a little tennis fashion.
1# The Beginning of Tennis
The history of tennis dates back to the 12th century, when there were no Melbet bonus codes after registration or online tennis betting sites.
Originally played exclusively with the hands, it originated in France. Initially, the game was referred to as the “game of palm” since players used their hands rather than rackets. Players started using gloves with handles at some point, and those gloves eventually turned into rackets. When put like that, it might all seem to happen very quickly, but it actually took four centuries for the game to evolve and become played with modern-day rackets. The game’s primary regions of popularity were France and England. Henry VIII, who was a fervent fan of the game and actively contributed to its national dissemination, was one of the royal community’s biggest devotees. To the best of our knowledge, England had up to 1,800 indoor courts at this time.
This game began to gain popularity as soon as rackets were introduced, and the royalty began to spread it throughout its populace. By the year 1500, balls made of leather and cork had been created, as had rackets with gut strings and wooden frames. However, this sport was accessible only to the wealthiest, as rackets were uncommon and prohibitively expensive for regular people.
2# Modern Tennis
The game had become much less popular by 1700, but that all changed when vulcanized rubber was developed. This innovation made it possible to produce new hard rubber tennis balls, which altered the rules of the game and enabled outdoor play on grass. This had a significant effect on the gameplay mechanics and style of the game.
Tennis started to become more popular as a modern sport a few centuries later and continued to develop over time. Although the true originator of modern tennis is still unknown, experts and sports historians agree that Major Walter Clopton Wingfield is the game’s official creator. He published the first rulebook in 1873 and applied for a patent on his invention the next year.
It was during this time that outdoor tennis emerged as a new era in tennis. This made it possible to create the most well-known tennis competition in 1877, Wimbledon, which is still highly well-known today. This time period unquestionably signified the dawn of modern tennis since the Wimbledon rules established the norms and styles for the game as we know it today. Following that, tennis’s popularity started to grow at an astounding rate. After being added to the Olympic schedule for the Summer Olympics in Athens in 1896, tennis’ popularity quickly spread around the globe.
3# Style Evolution
Tennis has truly evolved over the last few years; players’ styles have changed more than anything else in this game, making it one of the most evolved sports with the largest number of transformations. The primary causes of these modifications are the equipment that players use and the alteration of the playing field; each of these elements has a significant effect on how the game is played.
Tennis players, for instance, are now able to hit harder and maximize the speed of their rackets thanks to the development of new models, which they were not able to do with wooden rackets back in time.
The evolution of footwork, which now requires players to move quickly from side to side and includes a baseline movement from side to side, is another fascinating evolution to observe. Because most players did not play at the baseline very often in the past, footwork was less significant. Tennis players spend days honing their strokes because they believe that movement is now a crucial component of a winning game.
Another area of tennis that has evolved over time is rotation as a necessary component of movement for a good game. The secret to a successful game on the court is making accurate movements. These days, players place a lot of emphasis on rotating their upper bodies between shots because it allows the ball to hit faster.
4# Best Players and Their Styles
Undoubtedly, each tennis player possesses unique tactics, essential motions, and effective techniques that enable them to perform at such a high level. To demonstrate to both themselves and their opponents that they are the supreme winners, each player is able to develop their own strategies and employ them to their benefit. If you are a tennis fan, you probably already know everything there is to know about the majority of players and celebrities, but let us recap them using their best strategies.
There are currently six official primary categories of players, with them being as follows:
- The aggressive baseliner: This kind of player is typically linked to tennis players who are renowned for their powerful strokes and racket skills. They can hit strong groundstrokes from the back of the court, which is one of their advantages and capabilities. Another advantage of occupying this position is demonstrating dominance over the rival. Rafael Nadal is among the most well-known aggressive baseliners.
- The serve and volleyer: If players like Michaël Llodra or Mischa Zverev are known to you, you are undoubtedly aware of their primary strategies, which primarily involve the conventional style of play. Serve-volleyers usually prefer to control the match by serving first and then moving to the net. This is one of the most traditional types of playing tennis that was used a long time ago.
- The Big Server: There is nothing particularly special there; players who serve quickly are known as big servers and frequently win points in their opening two shots. They are very rapid and have great speed skills.
- The all-court player: Because they are at ease using every tactic and strategy, all-court players like Roger Federer represent the most complete type of tennis player. Given their familiarity with all the tactics, their comfort level with their body and movements, and their knowledge of what to do in every situation, they are able to employ any strategy they choose.
- The solid baseliner: A solid baseliner is a player who effectively manages both attacking and defending from the baseline. They typically move a lot and work on their rotations and movements frequently in order to move correctly on the court.
- The counterpuncher: A counterpuncher is a tennis player who, in most situations, would rather play defense than take the court early in a match. They typically employ this strategy to annoy their opponent or to wait for the ideal opportunity to launch an attack.
In conclusion, given all of the changes it has undergone in recent years, we can state with certainty that tennis history is fascinating and captivating. There are undoubtedly good reasons why this sport, which has been around for centuries, keeps growing and thriving among sports enthusiasts.
The way tennis has evolved over the years, along with the various techniques and equipment that have been used, has had a significant impact on the sport’s ability to adapt and remain one of the most popular sports in the world. It is our firm belief that this discipline will keep growing and satisfying its enthusiasts.
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