Human Rights Foundation Donates $210,000 In Bitcoin Ecosystem Grants

The Human Rights Foundation has awarded $210,000 in grants to propel six Bitcoin projects, including developers and Lightning apps.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) Bitcoin Development Fund’s latest round will award a total of $210,000 to three Bitcoin Core contributors, two Lightning Network wallet teams and an Arabic translator.

“This round of gifts will focus on: Bitcoin core development, making it easier to run nodes and making it harder to Sybil attack nodes, wallet optimization for emerging markets, privacy improvements for Lightning apps, [and] expanding arabic language Bitcoin education and translation,” announced HRF Chief Strategy Officer Alex Gladstein.

HRF will award the largest sum to the Bitcoin Core developers Calvin Kim, Dhruv Mehta and Abubakar Nur Khalil –– who will receive $50,000 each.

Kim currently researches ways to scale the Bitcoin base layer with the Utreexo client and has recently shown promising results. With this new grant, Kim will take it a step further and work “towards making Utreexo usable by an end user,” he shared on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mehta will continue working on Bitcoin Core’s security, while Khalil will be working on wallet optimization for his home country of Nigeria.

The Lightning Network app ecosystem will receive two grants, each totaling $25,000. According to the announcement, Sphinx Chat, a Lightning wallet and encrypted messaging service that allows for chatting over Lightning, will use its grant for a new donation interface for humanitarians and activists. And Breez, another Lightning wallet, will dedicate its funding towards bounties to add Tor and NextCloud to its platform and integrate Lightning with Matrix.

Finally, Arabic HODL will use its $10,000 grant to continue translating Bitcoin content into Arabic.


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BitMEX, Human Rights Foundation Award $150,000 To Bitcoin Developer Calvin Kim

BitMEX and the Human Rights Foundation have partnered to award Bitcoin Developer Calvin Kim $150,000 to further his work on Utreexo.

Bitcoin exchange and derivatives platform BitMEX has announced that it has renewed a developer grant awarded to Calvin Kim until June 2022, giving him an additional $100,000 one-year grant. BitMEX awarded Kim a $30,000 grant in August 2020.

The announcement also indicated that the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is granting Kim an additional $50,000 in bitcoin.

Kim was focused on prototyping an Utreexo Bitcoin full node, which can help users conduct the Initial Block Download 62% faster than through Bitcoin Core alone, according to recent BitMEX research.

“This year, with the financial support of BitMEX and the Human Rights Foundation, I intend to continue what I was doing last year and continue moving the Utreexo project to something a user can download and use,” Kim said, per the announcement. “I’m excited for the upcoming year of development for the Utreexo project and am confident that the project will have a positive impact on the Bitcoin ecosystem.”

BitMEX and HRF have been active in donating to Bitcoin development. BitMEX parent company 100x Group has donated $250,000 to Bitcoin Core maintainer Michael Ford (aka Fanquake). And the firm has previously given a $150,000 grant to Core developer Amiti Uttarwar.

HRF’s donation efforts have focused on supporting privacy development for Bitcoin.


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