Categories
NFT Sports

March Madness Degen Bracket Challenge to Raise Money For Ukraine

With all that is going on in Ukraine, many people in the Web3 space are looking for ways that they can help out. That’s why the Knights of Degen NFT project is raising funds by hosting their very own March Madness Degen Bracket Challenge.

Who are the Knights of Degen?

The Knights of Degen are a community of degens building a sports and entertainment kingdom in the metaverse. This brand was co-founded by Jared Augustine, Drew Austin, Jack Settleman, and their head artist Blake Jamison.

Knight of Degen was created to form a Web3 community whose focus is on sports, sports betting, and NFT alpha. From college football playoffs to professional league playoffs, the community’s activities are often organized around various sporting events. Oftentimes they will split into groups and compete against each other for a chance to win special NFT prizes.

Their most recent tournament is called the Degen Bracket Challenge!

What is the Degen Bracket Challenge?

The Degen Bracket Challenge introduces a new way for all of Web3 to enjoy the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. With that, the Knights aim to achieve three things:

  1. Bring together people in Web3 using major sports events.

The Knights do this by creating content, events, NFTs, and storylines around these big moments with their own community, but also with other like-minded communities. That’s why they decided to do something very special for March Madness, and bring together more people in Web3.

  1. Create an onramp for the Web2 community to learn and experience Web3.

Jared firmly believes that the Knights of Degen collection has brought more newcomers into the NFT space, than most other projects on the market today. It’s simple, many people love sports and are also curious to know more about Web3, hence the results. 

That’s one of the reasons the Degen Bracket Challenge exists. Most people are already filling out a bracket for March Madness, why not learn more about Web3 and experience the love of the community at the same time?

  1. Introduce a philanthropic arm to help Ukraine.

The main aim for the March Madness Bracket Challenge is to raise funds, and ensure that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Ukraine Fund.

How to join the Degen Bracket Challenge

To join the Degen Bracket Challenge is easy and very similar to filling out a traditional bracket.

Simply go to DegenBracketChallenge.io, connect your wallet, make your picks, and then mint your bracket for FREE, with the opportunity to donate upon submitting your bracket. Your bracket is then minted on the blockchain for eternity.

Minting will be available from Sunday, March 13 at 9 PM EST through Thursday, March 17 at Noon EST.

Of course, it wouldn’t be called a “Degen” Bracket Challenge if there weren’t some other Web3 elements incorporated into it. If you already have NFTs in your wallet, you can choose any of them to represent your profile on the leaderboard!

Also, this is the first of its kind in that there will be a market to buy brackets mid-tournament. You can buy and sell brackets as the tournament progresses, on Opensea.

For example, say you see a bracket rising up the leaderboard, you can attempt to purchase the bracket and potentially take the lead.

Ultimately, you are competing for a prize pool of over 50 ETH in NFTs from other top NFT collections. There are first, second, and third place wallets established holding various NFT prizes. The Knights alone have donated 6 ETH worth of Knights NFTs to the prize pool.

If you are already planning on filling out a March Madness bracket, consider minting your own Degen Bracket, and join the challenge for your shot at winning your own pool of NFT prizes.

To learn more about the Knights of Degen and the Degen Bracket Challenge, make sure to give them a follow on Twitter.

Categories
Culture News

Here’s How You Can Help the People of Ukraine Right Now

For nearly the past week, we have all watched the invasion of Ukraine unfold—almost in real-time—on our TVs and social media feeds. We’ve seen the people of Ukraine struggle to survive and escape this unjust invasion, looking for any means to protect themselves and their families and friends. As technology advances, so does the ability for warfare to become even more destructive and the potential to inflict casualties that much greater.

Civilians caught in the crossfire are always one of the most tragic consequences of war, and with many in Ukraine trying to find a way to flee the conflict, it’s only right that those with the ability to do so step up to help in any way we can. If you’ve been looking for places to donate, we’ve compiled a list of organizations supporting various causes in Ukraine right now. These are just a handful of groups on the ground helping, so we also encourage you to look to other places and spread the wealth.

Support Civilians
Donate to CARE

Per their mission statement, “CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We seek a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security.”

In addition to the great work they already do, CARE has started a fund that is dedicated to providing more than four million people with much-needed aid. The packages include food, water, and hygiene kits, and the organization is also providing psychosocial support.

With Ukrainian men aged 18-60 temporarily prohibited from leaving the country to fight, CARE is prioritizing the well-being of women, children, and the elderly.

DONATE HERE
https://my.care.org/site/Donation2?df_id=31067&mfc_pref=T&31067.donation=form1&s_src=172220UCF000&_ga=2.216054870.1391704333.1646060383-1001133444.1646060383
Donate to Voices of Children

This Ukrainian-based charity, Voices of Children, started in 2015 to respond to the conflict that began in the eastern portion of the country. Its goals include the protection and welfare of children affected by this war, and as the invasion unfolds, they are offering non-stop support for families across the country. In addition to providing psychological support, they are helping in the evacuation process for civilians.

DONATE HERE
https://voices.org.ua/en/
Support Razom for Ukraine

Prior to the war, Razom for Ukraine was dedicated to “unlocking the potential of Ukraine” by creating spaces for people to cooperate and foster growth. Now, the non-profit is focusing on purchasing medical supplies and ensuring they reach the proper areas using their team of volunteers and logistic professionals.

DOnate here
https://razomforukraine.org/donate/
Support Save the Children

Save the Children has supported the welfare of children across the globe for more than a century, and its latest mission is to protect those kids in Ukraine. Per their website:

  • “$50 – can provide enough food to keep 3 children from going hungry for a month
  • $150 – can wrap warm, cozy blankets around 30 children affected by conflict
  • $300 – can provide 150 face masks to refugee health workers on the front lines”

You can also set up a recurring donation system that will charge you monthly and will go towards helping those in Ukraine and other warzones.

Donate Here
https://support.savethechildren.org/site/Donation2?df_id=5748&mfc_pref=T&5748.donation=form1
Support Journalism in Ukraine
Keep Ukraine’s Media Going

Many journalists from around the world, and more specifically reporters from Ukraine itself, are doing fantastic work to keep the world informed of what is happening on the ground.

Unfortunately, the war has impacted the industry significantly as outlets and journalists constantly have to shuffle around to keep themselves safe and move to where the stories are. Unlike international outlets like CNN or the BBC who have the funds necessary to operate, Ukrainian media lacks the means to keep things running. Your money will go towards relocating journalists, security, medical supplies, and more.

Donate Here
https://www.gofundme.com/f/keep-ukraines-media-going
Other Organizations to Check Out
Getty Images

In addition to the organizations listed above, groups like UNICEF, The International Committee of the Red CrossDoctors Without Borders, and the United Nations Refugee Agency have begun to set up operations in Ukraine.

While they are receiving assistance from foreign powers like the United States, NATO, and European Union countries, the Ukrainian military is underfunded. It desperately needs supplies in order to push back the Russian forces. You can help raise funds for them here.

Promote Awareness
Getty Images

It doesn’t sound like much but ensuring that people are made aware of certain situations in Ukraine is crucial right now. In conjunction with reporting on the ground, we all have access to our social media accounts that afford us the opportunity to keep stories alive.

This idea all comes with the caveat of promoting disinformation and false narratives. The more certain posts and pictures are shared, the faster the information spreads, so it is of the utmost importance to verify things as best you can before doing so.

Getty Images

It’s on all of us to do what we can, no matter how small of an impact you might think you might be making, to help in some way. We encourage you to donate to one of the organizations listed above or others that you can find in order to help the people of Ukraine.

Categories
NFT Tech

How Reli3f Raised Over $1 Million For Ukraine in 30 Seconds Selling NFTs

In the midst of geopolitical turmoil, 37 NFT artists banded together to create a humanitarian initiative in a joint effort. 

As Vladimir Putin declared a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, the human cost of a modern global conflict was displayed in full array.

In response to Russia’s invasion, the region saw unprecedented levels of economic sanctions, choking up the financial institutions. As a result, the question of how the public could provide financial aid to those in desperate need was left open. 

A web3 community recognized an unconventional solution — crowdfunding through NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. 

The community of over 37 artists and NFT leaders formed RELI3F, a web3 initiative consisting of NFT leaders to provide global humanitarian aid. Within 30 seconds of the initial launch, the project sold out earning over a million dollars.

To this date, the NFT collection has now crossed over 620 ETH (​​$1,702,676.44 USD) in trading volume, with 100% of its primary sales going towards the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

The Birth of RELI3F

Influential NFT community builder Andrew Wang woke up to the atrocities unfolding in Ukraine as Russian airstrikes bombarded Ukrainian cities, marking the beginning of the Russian invasion. 

Terrified and shocked, soon turning into conviction and resolve, Wang was determined to take action in the best way he knew how — bringing people together.

Compelled by Wang’s tweet, members of Wang’s network responded within seconds, offering their commitment to the humanitarian effort. 

Fully recognizing the magnitude of this effort, Wang knew this mission had to be handled with utmost diligence.

There was a key moment where an influential NFT figure, Giovanni who co-founded NFT project Smilesssvrs offered his contribution and in turn, the brainstorming process amongst the NFT thought leaders began. 

Entrepreneur, activist, and social impact consultant, Satvik Sethi is also one of the co-founders for RELI3F who brought together Andrew and Gio after seeing Andrew’s initial tweet.

Additionally, SignorCrypto who’s a developer extraordinaire was excited to put together RELI3F.xyz, the project’s official website, as well as our smart contract, and undertook all technical work.

The group envisioned raising funds through NFTs as an innovative way to help those in unimaginable circumstances. 

“That was all we needed to get started,” Wang said. 

This is how RELI3F was born. The collective consists of 37 influential NFT artists who combined compassion with their expertise including Danny Cole, Vinnie Hager, Sartoshi, Super Gremplin, Hawkward, Ravi Vora, Arial Jade, and more.

“If web3 empowers artists,” Wang said, “we can unite artists, lead with art, and make an impact.” 

Since then, influential artists such as WithHearts, Sarah Script, Clon, and others volunteered to the cause — asking nothing in return. 

“The NFT community is filled with innovative and passionate individuals. This is the time to call on them,” Wang said, “And since blockchain technology enables all transactions to be transparent, the public can be assured that the funds are actually going to the people of Ukraine.”

In being part of the project, Wang commented, “many of the artists featured have collections with a 1 ETH floor or higher, meaning many people are priced out,” Wang said, referring to the 0.05 ETH price for each of the 37 pieces. “With this collection, you can help the situation in Ukraine and purchase art that would be above the average price range for casual NFT collectors.” 

Whether through word of mouth, or seeing different artists expressing their desire to help, the wave of empathy continued to flood NFT Twitter.

Spotlighting Ukrainian Artists

The group decided to allocate 10% royalty on secondary sales, with all of the artists having the option of opting in or out of those royalties. 

“We did that because there are artists on our roster that are not only from Ukraine but are in Ukraine right now,” Wang said. “We wanted to give back to artists who could really use the royalties.”

One Ukrainian artist featured in the RELI3F collection is Julia Beliaeva — her piece in the collection is titled, “The Last Human Mother And Baby.”

The piece depicts a mother in dense jungle vegetation, watching over her infant son, with birds of prey watching from the trees. In this powerful illustration, Beliaeva imagines what will remain of humankind if “reason loses the battle to primeval aggression.” 

“Julia is especially meaningful to our team, she is in Ukraine with her son right now, hiding,” Wang said. “Julia is an artist and a mother and we are grateful she partnered with us, even in such times.”

Another artist leading the charge, inspired by his sentimental ties to Ukraine is Ukrainian photographer and urban climber, Vitaliy Raskalov. His piece, “South Bridge,” is part of a collection of photographs taken during his residence in Kyiv in 2011.

“I could not even imagine that in the future I would witness how enemy troops invaded my country,” Raskalov said. “Stay strong, Ukraine.”

How the funds will be distributed

On February 27th, RELI3F donated half of the funds ($485,000) to 4 different Ukrainian non-profits. Below is a breakdown of how they will be allocated.

Members of the RELI3F team have been liaising with Ukrainian government officials and non-profit organizations to decide on where the remaining funds should be allocated to.

Aleksandra Artamonovskaja is one of the members who joined the group to help tirelessly by coordinating with local officials and community members in Ukraine to identify Ukrainian organizations and to donate to.

“Whether it’s helping those on the ground, giving to hospitals, donating to those fleeing the country; we promise to keep the process transparent for the public.” Wang said, “We are carefully considering distribution options that will be swift and effective.”

Checking the Validity and Credibility of a DAO/Charity

Whether it is RELI3F, Ukraine DAO, or other projects that are aiming to support Ukraine, it is important to ensure your donations are received by those who are truly in need. 

Many scammers are taking advantage of this tragedy as an opportunity for financial gain. With that in mind, many entities that may appear to be legitimate charity organizations can be a front for fraudulent operations. 

Use etherscan to verify the project’s contract. The blockchain is transparent so users are able to track where the money has been and where it’s going.

Do your research. Put your trust in communities you know and people you trust however, always verify by doing your due diligence. 

“We’re putting our reputations on the line, we know who cares and who supports the cause,” Wang said. 

Wang hopes this will cause a ripple effect in the NFT community and demonstrate how powerful web3 crowdfunding can be. 

“I have faith that the people inside the NFT community and ecosystem can see that a fervor for art and collecting can turn into doing good, very quickly.”

To learn more, make sure to follow RELI3F on Twitter, check out the NFTs on Opensea, and view RELI3F’s contract on Etherscan.