The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has awarded $455,000 to a dozen projects around the world through its Bitcoin Development Fund. The grants are focused on improving Bitcoin scaling, privacy, decentralization, global education, censorship-resistant communication and community building efforts, with focus areas including Africa and Asia. HRF has allocated more than $2.7 million in BTC and USD since early 2020 to more than 80 developers, educators and open-source initiatives around the world according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine.
A grant recipient is There is Estefanos, who will use the $50,000 to create the Bitcoin Innovation Hub Uganda. The hub aims to equip local youth with practical skills to become independent individuals and host local meetings to serve as a center for Bitcoin knowledge and learning. Ugandans are facing difficulties in receiving remittances due to high fees and obstacles in obtaining ID cards, the press release said.
Calvin Kim received $100,000 to research and implement a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol for Utreexo block/transaction messages to prepare Utreexo for the mainnet launch. Utreexo is a Bitcoin scaling solution for faster verification and synchronization of full Bitcoin nodes. The grant will support Kim’s work on improving Bitcoin scaling.
Another recipient is Calle for Cashu, which received $50,000 for the development of a free and open-source protocol that enables Chaumian ecash on top of Bitcoin. The Cashu protocol hides user balances and transaction history, offering almost complete privacy for custodial Bitcoin wallet users.
0xB10C received $50,000 “for their work on Bitcoin Core Tracepoints, P2P monitoring, fork observers, mining pool observers 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 with Bitcoin Senegala group that hosts meetups, creates educational content, and onboards local Bitcoin entrepreneurs.
Charlene Fadirepo earned $10,000 for the Bitcoin in Africa Show, which provides 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 with Bitcoin DADAis 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 around the world. The next round of gifts will be announced in August 2023.