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NEW YORK (January 4, 2022) — The Human Rights Foundation is delighted to announce 10 new grants spanning the globe and totaling 425 million satoshis as part of its ongoing Bitcoin Development Fund.

This round focuses on Bitcoin core, lightning, and wallet development as well as expanding Bitcoin education and translation in emerging markets and authoritarian regimes.

Gifts and amounts are as follows:

• 100 million satoshis to Jarol Rodriguez for his Bitcoin Core work. Rodriguez has been contributing full time to Bitcoin Core since November 2020. He is on the frequent contributor list, having completed hundreds of pull requests. Funding will allow Rodriguez to continue developer work on Bitcoin Core, as well as continue with a project to build a new GUI client for Bitcoin Core. His goal is to help ship a beautiful, performant client with an intuitive UX.

• 50 million satoshis to Farida Nabourema to create “Togo’s Bitcoin Academy”. This program — led by Nabourema, a leading Togolese human rights and democracy advocate — will provide digital resources to educate Togolese citizens about Bitcoin, giving them the knowledge and opportunity to break free from the dictator-backed CFA currency, an arrangement that Nabourema describes as “a colonial system of theft, corruption, and financial oppression.” Nabourema also aims to create a Bitcoin helpline and to train Togolese human rights activists and journalists how to achieve financial freedom through Bitcoin. Special thanks to Gemini for making this gift possible.

• 50 million satoshis to Roya Mahboob to re-launch “The Women’s Annex”. Originally created in 2013 by Mahboob — an entrepreneur who has been educating women in Afghanistan about Bitcoin for the past nine years — the Annex was a platform where female content creators could be paid in Bitcoin. The newly-rebooted project will help arm Afghan women journalists, writers, designers, and filmmakers with knowledge about Bitcoin. The project will work to leverage Bitcoin to reduce gender bias in finance and help women in Afghanistan earn income in a hard currency. Special thanks to Gemini for making this gift possible.

• 50 million satoshis to Sparrow Wallet for their Bitcoin desktop wallet. Sparrow Wallet is an open-source Bitcoin-only wallet with a focus on security, privacy and usability. Sparrow Wallet has CoinJoin support to allow users to improve their Bitcoin privacy, as well as a built in Tor client, PayJoin support and multisig support. Funding will allow the Sparrow team to continue development with features like Lightning and improved privacy tools.

• 50 million satoshis to Anita Posch to create the “Bitcoin For Fairness Foundation”. The foundation’s goal is to bring Bitcoin to millions of people through educational work and building bridges between emerging countries and the global economy. Posch plans to travel to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Nigeria, and Latin America to report from the ground, connect and boost the profile of local stakeholders, and identify and work with educators on the ground to expand Bitcoin adoption locally and awareness globally. Posch will accomplish these aims through a monthly newsletter, bi-weekly podcast, translation of the Learn Bitcoin book, and speaking and moderating at conferences worldwide. Special thanks to Jameson Lopp for making this gift possible.

• 25 million satoshis to Boltz Exchange to continue to bootstrap the circular lightning economy. Funding will support refactoring the swap protocol for Taproot to use less space on-chain and make swaps indistinguishable from normal spends, making Boltz node implementation agnostic and supporting LN node implementations like c-lightning with end-user CLI tool, and adding support for Liquid and enabling Liquid to Lightning swaps (improving the UX in the process).

• 25 million satoshis to Summer of Bitcoin to develop the next generation of Bitcoin talent. Summer of Bitcoin is a global summer internship program focused on introducing university students to bitcoin and open-source development. Students can apply to the “Developer Track” to code and contribute to bitcoin open-source projects, or the “Designer Track” to design beautiful user experiences for open-source bitcoin products and services. Interested applicants can learn more and apply here.

• 25 million satoshis to Exonumia, a Bitcoin non-profit translating Bitcoin educational content into native African languages. The project aims to ring the bell on the new technological, and economic possibilities brought about by Bitcoin and make sure the bell reverberates in as many native African languages as possible. Funding will support Exonumia as they translate additional content into more languages, upgrade their website to allow more collaborative community driven translation, and the setup of a Mattermost instance to host Bitcoin conversations in different languages and help support different communities.

• 25 million satoshis to Blockchain Commons to expand Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line to include more Lightning information and expand Blockchain Common’s Gordian Server system to automatically deploy Lightning. Blockchain Commons will also seek more translators for Learning Bitcoin from the Command Line, and work on increasing ease of installation of Bitcoin payment processing services like Cypherpunkpay that require less resources than alternative solutions.

• 25 million satoshis to Meron Estefanos for Bitcoin education in Eritrea and the Horn of Africa. Estefanos recently completed a translation of The Little Bitcoin Book into Tigrinya, and she will use this new funding to create an audiobook version of the same book in Tigrinya. She will also create a workshop to educate Eritreans on how to use Bitcoin, and educate Eritreans about Bitcoin via social media. Estefanos has already educated many people in her network about how to use Bitcoin as a payment rail between Europe and Eritrean communities in Eritrea and Ethiopia, and looks forward to expanding this work with the help of this grant.

Special thanks to CMS Holdings, the Gemini Opportunity Fund, and Jameson Lopp for their generous support, making this round of gifts possible.

Launched in May 2020 to support open source software, HRF’s Bitcoin Development Fund focuses on improving the privacy, usability, and resilience of the Bitcoin Network.

To date, HRF has allocated more than $1.1 million worth of Bitcoin and dollars to more than 30 developers and educators across the world. HRF continues to raise support for the Bitcoin Development Fund, with the next round of gifts to be announced in Q2 2022.

HRF is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Gifts can be made at HRF.org/DevFund, while proposals for support can be submitted to [email protected]. Follow @HRF on Twitter for more updates on this project and all of our other programs designed to promote freedom and human rights around the world.