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Human Rights Foundation awards $500,000 to 14 Bitcoin projects around the world


Today, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) announced its latest round of Bitcoin Development Fund grants, according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine.

$500,000 is being awarded to 14 different projects around the world, focused on global education, Lightning Network development, decentralized communications, and providing nonprofits and human rights groups with a easier access to “financial freedom tools,” according to the press release. The main focus areas of these grants focus on Latin America, Asia and Africa.

This announcement comes just months after their last round of grants in December, also donating $500,000 to Bitcoin projects around the world. Although the HRF has not disclosed exactly how much each project is receiving, the following 14 projects are the recipients of today’s round of grants, worth a total of $500,000:

E-Cash USD for Bitcoin by Street, a Chaumian electronic payment system based on the Cashu protocol and based on the US dollar. This system aims to enable private, affordable and stable use of USD-denominated credits, all interoperable with the broader Bitcoin Lightning network. USD E-Cash is positioned as an alternative to major stablecoins, as it has no ties to the traditional banking system. The central idea is that activists around the world can exchange their bitcoins for privacy-protecting dollar-denominated electronic cash, with the trade-off of being gatekeepers. The funding will support the full development of this project.

BTCPay Server, a free, open source, self-hosted payment solution that allows individuals and businesses to accept Bitcoin payments. BTCPay provides a platform for merchants in difficult political and economic climates to process global payments, manage crowdfunding campaigns, and offers developers the opportunity to launch their projects on Bitcoin. BTCPay server funding will support UI/UX improvements, feature enhancements, contributor rewards, and training programs.

BOB Builders Residency Program, an in-person residency for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers located in Thailand. The new cohort of developers will focus on “tools to strengthen Bitcoin’s decentralization” in order to combat the centralizing forces of the software ecosystem. The previous cohort, also supported by HRF, focused on privacy. The funds will be used to support residents in this second cohort, by covering living and travel expenses. 议报中文, a popular information platform run by Citizen Power Initiatives for China, serves overseas Chinese scholars, intellectuals and writers. Dedicated to promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law within the global Chinese-speaking community, Yibao has gained a significant readership, particularly in pro-democracy communities in China. HRF’s grant will support the salaries of the site’s writers, editors and translators, as well as social media promotion efforts, as they translate educational materials and Bitcoin news into Chinese for wide distribution in the world’s largest dictatorship. world.

Bitcoin Innovation Hub, a physical space and community center promoting the socio-economic transformation of refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable communities led by Noble Nyangoma in Kampala, Uganda. The hub offers a range of professional training and financial education to women and men in various fields, where they learn how to use and earn Bitcoin, regardless of the type of ID they hold. The funding will support the addition of vocational courses (i.e. digital skills, carpentry and baking) for thousands of students in the East Africa region, enabling stateless communities to earn Bitcoins for their work.

BITCOIN DADA, a non-profit initiative founded by a Kenyan entrepreneur Lorraine Marcel, aims to empower African women through financial education. BITCOIN DADA provides a safe space for women to learn about Bitcoin as a tool for financial freedom and develop their skills. The funds will support expansion across Africa, the creation of multilingual educational resources, and drive Bitcoin adoption by women-led businesses. This round’s grants to Bitcoin DADA and the Bitcoin Innovation Hub are generously supported by Strike’s non-profit initiative.

The Bitcoin Design Foundation, supporting the Bitcoin design community, is dedicated to providing design infrastructure and resources to Bitcoin designers and developers, including those building for people living under authoritarian regimes and in developing economies . Funding will support the development of the Bitcoin UI Kit (a resource that helps people learn, design, prototype and create full Bitcoin applications) as well as the addition of new and emerging privacy and self-sovereignty techniques to the guide of Bitcoin design. . Improving the UX of Bitcoin wallets remains one of its main goals.

Bitcoin Op-Tech, a Bitcoin technical newsletter renowned for cutting-edge resources, technologies and techniques tailored to Bitcoin developers, businesses and organizations. The newsletter regularly covers issues of privacy, censorship resistance and decentralization that are central to HRF’s mission. Additionally, Bitcoin Op-Tech offers workshops, documentation, original research, and case studies. The funds will be allocated to operational expenses and growth strategies.

Damus Android, a communication application using the nostr protocol. Developped by Will Casarin, Damus guarantees freedom of expression online – essential for people living in difficult political environments without being censored – and allows users to receive Bitcoin through its “zapping” functionality. The funding will be used to develop the Damus app for Android devices, helping to potentially onboard millions of new users in authoritarian and developing countries.

Pablo Martin, lead developer of Bitcoin, whose initial work focused on a vulnerability that caused a Bitcoin node to crash and shut down. Martin continues to contribute, review, and present proposals advancing Bitcoin, including http-rest, bitcoin-cli, p2p, rpc, and wallet in the Bitcoin repository, while also contributing to the Bitcoin Core GUI repositories. The funds will support his continued contributions to the development of Bitcoin, which are essential for Bitcoin to remain a secure tool for activists around the world.

LNbits, a multi-user and account system for the Lightning Network, allows users to create separate Lightning wallets for friends and family. Built by a software developer Ben Arc, LNbits aims to decentralize custody and provides users with a robust suite of Bitcoin tools that they can run for themselves, for others, or as part of a stack. Funding will support salaries, bonuses and outreach efforts for key contributors through workshops and video tutorials.

Bitcoin Policy Summit 2024, a one-day conference bringing together policymakers, academics and industry leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges of Bitcoin. The event aims to reshape the narrative around Bitcoin, defend its benefits in liberal democracies and highlight its potential to undermine closed societies. The funding will support event logistics, speaker travel and the participation of human rights defenders.

Bitcoin for Billions, an informative video series created by a Bitcoin educator, Paco from India. The videos, initially available in four regional languages ​​– Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and Gujarati – aim to reach a wide audience among the 750 million people in India who speak these languages. Topics include the concept of Bitcoin as freedom money and practical advice on purchasing and self-preserving Bitcoin safely, elements that are increasingly important under a regime that continues to become more authoritarian. The grant will be used for research, content creation, translation and promotion of the videos.

Scalar School, founded by Luciana Ferreira, a Brazil-based Bitcoin and Lightning development program dedicated to training entry-level Bitcoin developers. The school gives students a comprehensive understanding of Bitcoin development, philosophy, and community engagement, preparing them for future opportunities at renowned programs such as Chaincode Labs. The grant will go towards teacher salaries, training workshops and university outreach and will provide a boost to developers living in South America.

Learn more about the HRF

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on societies closed. The HRF continues to mobilize support for the Bitcoin Development Fund, and requests for support can be submitted here.


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