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[Updated] A College Non-Profit Handed Out Free Bitcoin to Chicago Students

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Editor’s note: The article has been updated with insights from BEN executive director Dean Masley.

The Blockchain Education Network, a grassroots non-profit college collective of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and advocates distributed free bitcoin to students in multiple Chicago campuses this weekend.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that fundamentally goes against the ideals of centralization and the suits at the top of the financial food chain. Convenience and low to negligible fees are among its core offerings at a time when it is gaining awareness through increasing adoption around the world. Naturally, the cryptocurrency makes a good fit with college students.

The Blockchain Education Network (BEN), previously known as the College Cryptocurrency Network before its rebrand, is now a global collective and network of students that is spearheading the charge for cryptocurrency awareness. Organizing hackathons, events and talks are all of the norm for the non-profit.

On Saturday this past weekend, the group went around several college campuses in Chicago to showcase the potential and promise of bitcoin, by giving it away.

The collective travelled to four Chicago universities, namely Illinois Tech, the University of Chicago, DePaul and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Beyond distributing free bitcoin to those attending, BEN also helped first-time users set up their first bitcoin wallets.

Speaking to Hacked, Dean Masley, executive director of BEN revealed the Chicago bitcoin airdrop was the culmination of  a month-long airdrop event which was hosted at MIT, Berkeley, Georgia Tech, and schools in NYC, Florida, and Canada.

Reflecting on an “incredibly successful event,” Masley stated:

Our event was designed to ONLY give away bitcoin to students who might come out to future club events. Thus this is huge for getting the Chicago student blockchain scene started.

Furthermore, he gave an indication of the amount of bitcoin distributed by the network.

We have the tally on our website BlockchainEdu.org/airdrop. We got students to install a total of 231 wallets worth with 10k bits each (2.31 BTC). This doesn’t include the promotional giveaways where we gave larger amounts for winning raffles, trivia via the radio, etc.

Notably, the entire schedule of events was open to those beyond campus lines, making for a wider audience beyond college students.

MIT

Drawing parallels to other bitcoin giveaways, two MIT students raised $500,000 to start the MIT Bitcoin Project, which saw every undergraduate student to sign up receive bitcoin worth $100. The project went live in late 2014 and was predominantly a success, with over 3,100 students taking part over the course of the project. Two years later, 14% of students are still utilizing their original bitcoin allowance for shopping or trade.

In April 2015, another college cryptocurrency collective airdropped bitcoin to a college campus, taking MIT’s example. 4 bitcoins were raised (approx. $1,000 at the time, $2427 in today’s value) and were distributed to college students by the McGill Cryptocurrency Club, the official hub for cryptocurrency at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Paper envelopes with about $5 in bitcoin were distributed to a number of students.

Meanwhile, BEN is more than certain to organize more bitcoin airdrops in college campuses in the future, according to Masley.

Going forward, we will likely replicate this airdrop and the following Fall 2016 initiative every year so that students have a predictable meta-event to consistently grow their local influence.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsSamburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.




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Bitcoin

Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers Spar on Bitcoin’s Potential

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The bitcoin price is now gunning for $7,500, and after yesterday’s performance, it’s no time to be underestimating the leading cryptocurrency by market cap. It’s been too long since bitcoin’s 10% advance would seem modest in comparison to some of its altcoin peers, but that’s precisely the case today, with coins like Stellar, Cardano and Zcash all advancing between 15%-33%. Bitcoin bulls are coming out of the woodwork, including the likes of billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry, who appeared on CNBC.

Lasry, who is a co-founder of the $9.6 billion investment firm Avenue Capital Group, is calling for bitcoin $40,000. The catalysts will be bitcoin making its way into the mainstream and becoming less cumbersome to trade, the timing for which can be more difficult to predict. Lasry has been a bitcoin bull since at least last year when he reportedly kicked himself for not getting in on the cryptocurrency when it was still trading in the low hundreds of dollars. He told CNBC:

“As it gets more into the mainstream, and as more markets end up allowing it to trade where it’s freely tradable, to me that’s more of the bet.”

While hedge funds are among the institutional investors that are expected to begin pouring capital into the crypto space, Lasry has bitcoin in his personal portfolio, not the firm’s, despite the fact that Avenue Capital is no stranger to risk, as evidenced by distressed debt as its investment strategy. But with companies like Coinbase providing a custody solution, there are going to fewer and fewer reasons for hedge fund traders not to join. Especially given the bullish technical signs that are ahead.

Well, maybe not Lasry’s billionaire peer Ken Griffin, who is at the helm of hedge fund Citadel. He told CNBC he doesn’t believe in bitcoin, and neither do any of his portfolio managers. Griffin finds bitcoin to be a “head scratcher” and even advised the up-and-coming generations to find something more productive to do rather than wasting their money on cryptocurrencies.

Don’t expect Citadel to open a position in bitcoin any time soon, as Griffin told CNBC: “I have a hard time finding myself wanting to be in a position of being a liquidity provider for a product I don’t believe in.”

Moving Average

Meanwhile, with the cryptocurrency market finally out of the doldrums, you might be wondering where it goes from here. Fundstrat Co-Founder Thomas Lee pointed out on CNBC that the bitcoin price currently trading 30% below its 200-day moving average. From a historical perspective in 2011 and 2014, that’s a “positive signal.”

Source: CNBC

Both times that bitcoin was trading 30% below its 200-day moving average, it found a bottom within a month. And looking ahead for the coming six months, “you’re going to do pretty well owning bitcoin here,” Lee said. So basically, he’s advising investors to hold their bitcoin.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 23 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Altcoins

Cryptocurrency Market Cap Approaches $300 Billion as Bitcoin, Altcoins Continue Surging

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Cryptocurrencies were nearing an important psychological milestone Wednesday, as surging trade volumes propelled the market to its highest level in five weeks.

Market Update

The digital asset market has tacked on over $26 billion in the last 24 hours to reach $296.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. At this pace, $300 billion is likely within reach in the coming day. Total market prices have been capped below that level since June 12.

Daily trade volumes on global exchanges now exceed $20 billion for the first time since May. Three exchanges processed more than $1 billion worth of trades.

Bitcoin, which was the main catalyst for the rally, has retained a 43% share of the total market. The largest cryptocurrency by trading volumes and market cap is up nearly 11% over the past 24 hours to trade at $7,741. The bitcoin price peaked just below 7,500 overnight.

Altcoins have also picked up the pace, with all the majors reporting solid gains. Ethereum was up 6% as prices approached $500. Ripple XRP gained almost 9% to $0.513.

Stellar Lumens led the double-digit gainers with returns of 28.4% over the last 24 hours. XLM now sits at $0.296.

Cardano’s ADA coin jumped 19.6% to $0.181. Bitcoin cash, the no. 5 currency, rose 10.1% to $872.

Bitcoin Volumes Double

Bitcoin’s trading volumes have virtually doubled over the past week, as positive headlines surrounding adoption and regulation triggered renewed interest in the cryptocurrency. Hacked previously reported that daily trade volumes of $4 billion or greater are needed to sustain a meaningful rally for the bitcoin price. On Wednesday, bitcoin turned over nearly $6.6 billion.

Tether – a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar that is often traded against bitcoin – continues to exhibit higher than normal trade volumes. On Wednesday, USDT trades generated $4.2 billion in volume, which is an all-time high.

Unlike previous rallies that appeared technical in nature, the latest uptrend was sparked by news that a trillion-dollar asset manager was exploring ways to enter the cryptocurrency market.

BlackRock, which controls over $6 trillion in assets, has assembled a working group to explore crypto adoption. In an interview, CEO Larry Fink said his firm is a “big student of blockchain” but that he does not see “huge demand for cryptocurrencies” at the moment.

Fink has changed his tune compared to last year, when he called crypto assets “an index for money laundering.”

Coinbase, a large and influential digital currency exchange, has also fueled positive sentiment after the firm said it had gained regulatory approval to begin listing security tokens. Last week, Coinbase also said it had short-listed five cryptocurrencies for future consideration on its exchange.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 499 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Bitcoin Blows Through $7000 but Altcoins Still Lag Behind

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The relief rally in the cryptocurrency segment continued in earnest today, as Bitcoin still lead the way higher posting its best daily performance since April. The most valuable coin stole the show, although the whole market blasted higher, with the total value of the coins getting close to $300 billion, up by around 20% in a matter of days.

While the segment is still not out of the woods, BTC triggered a short-term buy signal in our trend model, as it overcame major resistance levels for the first time since May, finally showing some technical progress. That said, most of the majors are still stuck in, or right at the top of their trading ranges, and besides Bitcoin, buy signals are few and far between even considering the smaller coins, as correlations are still very high.

Trading volumes were also the highest in months, as especially Bitcoin triggered automatic orders while surging through several strong resistance levels. Bulls would still need further coins to join the break-out and fro now the long-term setup is still just little changed.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

BTC cleared the $6750, $7000, and $7350 levels in a bit more than an hour, and the epic short squeeze settled down near the latter resistance, for now. The coin is now on a short-term buy signal, and should a higher low form in the coming days, a new short-term uptrend could be established.

The coin needs to stay above the $7000 level to keep the signal intact, and given the relative weakness in Altcoins, the long-term outlook is still mixed. Resistance is now ahead between $7650 and $7800, while further support is at $6500.

Ethereum at $500 as Ripple Tests $0.51

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Bitcoin is already above primary resistance, Ethereum is trading right at the $500 level, leaving the short-term trading range intact. The coin is close to triggering a buy signal, but it remains relatively weak and traders should wait for follow-through before playing a possible trend change. Primary support is still found at $450, with other levels at $420, $400, $380, and $360, while further resistance is ahead between $555 and $575.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

With all of the majors registering large gains, and even some the recently weak coins like LTC, XRP, and Dash are trading near key resistance levels, further short-term buy signals could pop up in the segment, but until a confirmed new uptrend, traders should remain cautious with new positions.

As an example, Ripple is trading slightly above the $0.51 resistance currently, but a break-out is not yet confirmed, and the trading range remains dominant. Further resistance levels are ahead at 0.54 and $0.575, while support is now found at $0.49 and $0.45.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 293 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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