The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has granted $455,000 to a dozen projects worldwide through its Bitcoin Development Fund. The grants focus on improving Bitcoin scaling, privacy, decentralization, global education, censorship-resistant communication and community-building efforts, with areas of focus including Africa and Asia. The HRF has allocated more than $2.7 million in BTC and USD since early 2020 to over 80 developers, educators and open-source initiatives worldwide according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine.
One grant recipient is Meron Estefanos, who will use $50,000 to create Bitcoin Innovation Hub Uganda. The hub aims to equip local youth with practical skills to become sovereign individuals and will host local meetups to serve as a Bitcoin awareness and learning center. Ugandans face difficulty receiving remittances due to high fees and obstacles in obtaining ID cards, the press release states.
Calvin Kim has received $100,000 to research and implement a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol for Utreexo block/transaction messages to prepare Utreexo for a mainnet launch. Utreexo is a Bitcoin scaling solution for faster verification and synchronization of Bitcoin full nodes. The grant will support Kim’s work on improving Bitcoin scaling.
Another recipient is Calle for Cashu, which has received $50,000 for the development of a free and open-source protocol that enables Chaumian ecash on top of Bitcoin. The Cashu protocol conceals user balances and transaction history, offering near-perfect privacy for users of custodial Bitcoin wallets.
0xB10C received $50,000 “for their work on Bitcoin Core Tracepoints, P2P monitoring, fork observer, mining pool observer and Bitcoin data.” In addition, Rootzoll received $50,000 for Raspiblitz, a do-it-yourself lightning node that can be run on a Raspberry Pi.
$25,000 also went to Hampus Sjöberg for Blixt Wallet, a non-custodial open-source Bitcoin and Lightning wallet, and $10,000 will go to Nourou for Bitcoin Sénégal, a group that hosts meetups, creates educational content, and onboards local merchants to Bitcoin.
Charlene Fadirepo got $10,000 for the Bitcoin in Africa Show, providing education, insights and thoughtful conversations “to deepen the understanding of Bitcoin across the African continent,” the press release described. And finally, $10,000 will go to Lorraine Marcel for Bitcoin DADA, a women-centric organization with contributors based in Kenya and beyond that educates African women in the Bitcoin space.
HRF’s Bitcoin Development Fund aims to accelerate the development of privacy-preserving technologies for Bitcoin users and support infrastructure improvements to make Bitcoin more accessible worldwide. The next round of gifts will be announced in August 2023.