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Government-Imposed Bitcoin Adoption Is Clashing With Community Efforts On The Ground In El Salvador
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Today, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has announced four new grants as part of its Bitcoin Development Fund, a program launched last year to financially support Bitcoin developers who are working to make the network more private, decentralized and resilient.
The non-profit focused on preserving human rights around the world will be donating $25,000 in BTC to Jesse Posner, who is working on adapter signatures and discreet log contracts (DLCs); $25,000 in BTC to the team behind Munn Wallet; $10,000 in BTC to Janine Roem, who manages a Bitcoin privacy newsletter; and $10,000 in BTC to the team behind open-source cryptography non-profit Blockchain Commons.
“This wave of donations will support Bitcoin development, a new open-source wallet, a privacy newsletter and internships for college students to work on Bitcoin software and new user education,” per an HRF announcement shared with Bitcoin Magazine.
The announcement also offered details on how each recipient and project could advance Bitcoin as a sovereignty tool.
Posner was previously working on key management for the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, before shifting to open-source technology development. HRF expects its grant to help him research and implement key management for Bitcoin following the activation of Taproot, highlighting the potential of flexible round-optimized Schnorr threshold signatures (FROST) to help users easily and privately control funds.
The Lightning-compatible Munn Wallet is available for Android and iPhone and seeks to make it easier for users to self-custody their bitcoin. The project is based in Argentina and led by Dario Sneidermanis.
Roem’s “This Month In Bitcoin Privacy” newsletter collects and redistributes the latest news and how-tos in Bitcoin privacy to help readers better protect themselves from bad actors and prying eyes while utilizing the technology.
Blockchain Commons, an organization working to create decentralized blockchain infrastructure, is expected to put its grant toward the launch of a series of Bitcoin-focused internships for university students. The internships will give participants the opportunity to contribute to Bitcoin software development and to help HRF network activists onboard to Bitcoin.
“They will allow, for example, journalists and dissidents under authoritarian regimes to have personalized assistance on how to, for example, set up a bitcoin payment processor on their website to allow them to receive donations from anywhere in the world, configure a wallet that they securely control and sell bitcoin into fiat safely when necessary to pay for program expenses,” per the announcement.
The HRF Bitcoin Development Fund has supported numerous individuals and projects since its inception, including Chris Belcher for CoinSwap, Gloria Zhao for Package Memepool Accept, the Global Mesh Labs team for the Lot49 protocol, Ben Kaufman for Specter Wallet, Openoms for JoinInbox, Evan Kaloudis for Zeus and Fontaine for Fully Noded.