HRF Gifts 4.25 BTC to Bitcoin Projects

The Human Rights Foundation has announced its latest round of bitcoin grants, totaling 4.25 BTC, offered to developers, educators, and activists dedicated to improving the bitcoin ecosystem around the world.

The 425 million satoshis will be given to 10 different recipients, each working on a different aspect of Bitcoin, including Lightning, Bitcoin Core, education, translation, and wallet development. Special consideration is also given to people using Bitcoin in authoritarian countries to help spread information about how the technology works and can empower those in need of financial freedom.

1 BTC grant

A full bitcoin will be awarded to Jarol Rodriguez, a Bitcoin Core developer working on a new graphical user interface (GUI) for Bitcoin’s main client software. Its goal is to bring a better user experience in interacting with Bitcoin Core, hoping that it will be easier for novices and non-technical users to use the original Bitcoin software. The funding will also allow Rodriguez to continue working full-time on Bitcoin Core.

0.50 BTC grants

Four recipients will each receive 50 million satoshis: Farida Nabourema, Togolese human rights lawyer, Afghan entrepreneur and bitcoin educator Roya MahboubSparrow Wallet and Bitcoin Educator and Author Anita Posch.

The HRF grant to Nabourema will help him create “Togo’s Bitcoin Academy”, a program that will bring Bitcoin education to Togolese citizens to help them regain control of their finances as their country is held hostage by “a colonial system of theft, corruption and oppression,” according to the human rights defender.

Mahboob’s funding will be directed towards reviving “The Women’s Annex,” a platform she created in 2013 that allowed female content creators to be paid in bitcoin.

“The recently restarted project will help equip Afghan women journalists, writers, designers and filmmakers with knowledge about Bitcoin,” HRF said in a statement. “The project will work to leverage bitcoin to reduce gender bias in finance and help women in Afghanistan earn hard currency income.”

Sparrow Wallet, an open-source desktop bitcoin wallet focused on privacy and security, will receive funding to further develop its Lightning integration and add additional privacy tools. The wallet recently added a suite of features related to safeguarding sensitive user information, including CoinJoin, Tor, PayJoin, and PayNyms. Sparrow also offers security-focused features such as hardware wallet integration and multi-signature support.

Anita Posch will use her 50 million sats grant to create the “Bitcoin for Fairness Foundation,” an initiative that aims to bring Bitcoin education to millions around the world and connect developing countries to the global economy through a monthly newsletter, a bi-weekly podcast, translations of the Learn Bitcoin book, and speaking and moderating at Bitcoin conferences around the world.

“Posch plans to travel to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Nigeria and Latin America to report from the field, connect and build the profile of local stakeholders, and identify and work with educators on the ground to expand Bitcoin adoption locally and awareness globally,” HRF said in a statement.

0.25 BTC Grants

Five other beneficiaries will each receive 25 million satoshis, including Boltz Exchange, Summer of Bitcoin, Exonumia, Blockchain Commons and Meron Estefanos.

Boltz is a Lightning service provider and non-custodial Lightning-based, privacy-focused bitcoin exchange that allows users to trade without creating an account. HRF said in a statement that the funding will allow the project to “support the refactoring of the exchange protocol for Taproot to use less on-chain space and make exchanges indistinguishable from normal expenses, making implementation node-agnostic Boltz…and adding support for Liquid”. Boltz will also enable Liquid to Lightning exchanges and improve the user experience.

Summer of Bitcoin, a global summer internship program focused on introducing students to open source Bitcoin development, will direct its funding toward improving its curriculum to better prepare the next generation of Bitcoin talent. Summer of Bitcoin also has an alternate design track, in which interns work on Bitcoin’s user interface (UI) and experience (UX).

Exonumia, a non-profit organization focused on translating Bitcoin content into multiple African languages, will invest HRF’s grant in adding support for multiple languages, improving its website, and setting up a Mattermost instance to foster community conversations about Bitcoin in different languages.

Blockchain Commons, another nonprofit focused on Bitcoin and related technologies, will get funding to expand its popular Learn Bitcoin from the Command Line course to include additional information about Lightning and add more translators to the project. Blockchain Commons will also focus on expanding its Gordian Server system to automatically deploy Lightning and increase the usability of Bitcoin donation tools like CypherpunkPay.

Translator and trainer Meron Estefanos will use its grant for bitcoin education in Eritrea and the Horn of Africa, including the creation of an audiobook version of its Tigrinya translation of The Little Bitcoin Book and a workshop to educate Eritreans on how to use bitcoin.

The Bitcoin Development Fund

HRF’s Bitcoin Development Fund was launched in May 2020 to support open source software. The initiative focuses on empowering people and projects to improve the privacy, usability, and resilience of the Bitcoin network. CMS Holdings, Gemini Opportunity Fund and Jameson Lopp helped support this round of donations.

HRF said in a statement that it has allocated more than $1.1 million in BTC and US dollars to more than 30 Bitcoin developers and educators around the world. The next set of giveaways will be announced in the second quarter of 2022.

HRF is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Gifts can be made to proposals for support can be submitted to [email protected].

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