Human Rights Foundation Donates Over $500,000 to 15 Global Bitcoin Projects

Earlier today, The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) announced their latest round of philanthropic efforts from their Bitcoin Development Fund. These 15 grants from HRF are focused on worldwide education, Bitcoin Core development, lightning-related DLCs, ecash, and providing developers from repressive regimes financial aid to offset travel costs in order to speak at Bitcoin events across the world, with a noted focus on projects and contributors from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

The grant program includes 7 $50,000 grants, 5 $25,000 grants, and 3 $10,000 grants, totaling just over half a million US dollars, or about 19 bitcoin at time of publishing. This announcement comes only a few months after the launch of their 20 bitcoin bounty challenge, bringing the HRF’s pledged contributions to bettering both Bitcoin and the working lives of those developing it to nearly 40 bitcoin since just the end of July.

So far, only the “Open Sourcing the Design Guide” bounty has been claimed and half of the “End-to-End Encrypted Nostr Group Chats” bounty has been claimed. Bounties will be open until December 31, 2024, with more updates and details available here.

As for the newly announced grant winners themselves, $50,000 will be given to Gee Deer for his work on Bitcoin Core and Lightning native stablecoins. Using Discrete Log Contracts (DLCs), Gee’s proposed stablecoin will attempt to minimize counterparty risk and increase potential decentralization of US dollar instruments. Gee will also continue assisting developers, examining code, and further testing Bitcoin Core.

Jarol Rodriguez will get $50,000 for his contributions to Bitcoin Core. Jarol will make use of the money to evaluate PRs and solve problems in Bitcoin Core, increase developer education, enhance the Bitcoin Core App — a free and open-source project regarded as the standard implementation of a Bitcoin node — and contribute to making it feasible to operate a Bitcoin Core node on a mobile device.

$50,000 will be given to Furszy for his contribution to Bitcoin Core, where he ranks in the top 10. By analyzing PRs, correcting bugs, suggesting performance and code improvements, and adding to public debates and discourse, he will be able to use this funding to continue making crucial contributions to improving the stability, performance, and security of Bitcoin Core’s software.

Summer of Bitcoin will receive $50,000 to fund their summer fellowship program. The goal of the international, online Summer of Bitcoin internship program is to familiarize college students with Bitcoin programming and design. More than 10,000 individuals from more than 70 nations applied to the 2023 program. Click here to apply and learn more about the summer program.

Justin Moeller will get $50,000 for his work on Fedimint. Justin will concentrate on putting in place a database migration system that will let guardians upgrade their Fedimint servers without constraint. Additionally, he will look at Fedimint’s current performance in order to find and improve the usage of ecash for users.

Giving the Kawaakibi Foundation $50,000 will help them create a MENA Bitcoin Hub. In order to help liberate one of the most repressive regions in the world, the MENA Bitcoin HUB will instruct activists, journalists, and organizations on how to use Bitcoin to transact freely, receive foreign donations, and retain their money safely and pseudonymously.

$50,000 will be awarded to Vinteum for their efforts to advance open source Bitcoin development in Brazil and Latin America. Funding will be used by Vinteum to help Latin American Bitcoin Core developers, cultivate Bitcoin communities, and establish a developer pipeline education program in the region.

Revolutionary cypherpunk D++ will receive $25,000 for her work on FOSS projects and worldwide educational activities. By offering talks and workshops at conferences in the Global South, hosting a free Bitcoin bootcamp and continuing maintaining Bitcoin Core and other FOSS projects, D++ will utilize funding to carry out worldwide Bitcoin education.

Bitcoin Ekasi, for their work creating a circular Bitcoin economy in South Africa, will receive $25,000. The money will be used to onboard new neighborhood companies to Bitcoin, pay the wages of coaches, instructors, and lifeguards, and run a skill development center to impart practical knowledge and Bitcoin expertise to the neighborhood. In the upcoming years, HRF anticipates that more villages in Africa will follow Bitcoin Ekasi’s lead.

Amiti Uttarwar will get $25,000 for her efforts on Bitcoin mentoring, ADDRMAN, and Bitcoin Bytes. The money will enable Amiti to coach Bitcoin Core developers to help them reach their full potential, enhance ADDRMAN to make Bitcoin nodes more secure and private, and continue her work on Bitcoin Bytes to serve as a platform for educating people about Bitcoin.

Ben Perrin will receive $25,000 to support his channel promoting global Bitcoin education. Ben teaches people about Bitcoin and is the host of the BTC Sessions on YouTube and X. Ben will be able to utilize funding to produce instructional materials aimed at educating dissidents on how to securely use Bitcoin as well as deliver in-person and online trainings and workshops to NGOs.

La Librería de Satoshi (Library of Satoshi) will receive $25,000 in support of its efforts to make technical education available to as many Spanish-speaking people as possible. To enable Spanish developers to become Bitcoin Core Contributors, Bitcoin technical Educators, developer advocates, and ecosystem entrepreneurs, La Librería de Satoshi will utilize the grant money to offer Bitcoin and Lightning courses.

With $10,000 in travel awards to three individual events, HRF will aid in financing the attendance of Bitcoin developers from challenging political environments. Awardees include the technical Bitcoin conference, TabConf, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month, as well as the largest Bitcoin conference in Brazil, Satsconf, in Sao Paulo this November, and the upcoming Bitcoin++, a serialized developer conference currently dedicated to Nix and software reproducibility this October in Berlin, Germany.

“The Human Rights Foundation remains committed to advancing access to financial technology,” explained Christian Keroles, the Financial Freedom Director for HRF. “We believe this round of grants furthers both technical and educational causes to make Bitcoin more accessible globally, especially for the people who need it most.”

The Bitcoin Development Fund is open year-round where educators, developers, and meetups can apply for funding by sending a proposal to [email protected]. The majority of the following announced grants have already been paid out, with the remaining payouts being made shortly.

More details on the grants, the HRF and the Bitcoin Development Fund can be found here.