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Human Rights Foundation Bitcoin Grant to Fund Lightning, Activism Tech

The Human Rights Foundation’s newest grants are funding everything from the Lightning Network activism tech to Arabic translations of Bitcoin content.

The HRF’s Bitcoin Development Fund latest round will allot $210,000 to Bitcoin developers, two Lightning Network wallet teams, and an Arabic translator. In this round, Bitcoin Core contributors Calvin Kim, Dhruv Mehta and Abubakar Nur Kahlil will each receive $50,000; the Breez and Sphinx wallet teams will pick up $25,000 each; and English-Arabic translator Arabic_HODL will receive $10,000.

Kim will use the funding to work on Utreexo, a Bitcoin node scaling project which takes Bitcoin’s transaction history and represents it in under a kilobyte of data, reducing the time and effort it takes to bootstrap the node software that is the backbone of Bitcoin’s network. Mehta will continue his work on Bitcoin’s security with Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 324 to reduce Sybil attack vectors on Bitcoin nodes. Kahlil will be working on a wallet purpose-built for his home country of Nigeria, a land where bitcoin adoption is thriving in response to political corruption and capital controls.

Sphinx Chat, a Lightning Network wallet and encrypted messaging service that allows its users to chat using the Lightning Network, will use its grant to build out a directory to connect their users with activists for humanitarian funding. Breez, another Lightning Network wallet, will use its money to build out its own encrypted chatting capabilities, as well as to improve node backup support and add Tor support for Android and iOS. Arabic _HODL will continue to translate Bitcoin content into Arabic.

Jaewoo Cho, an assistant professor at Hansung University, and an anonymous cryptocurrency investor, RenoHQ, led the donations for this round, which also included funding from Anthony Pompliano’s Bitcoin Pizza Day sales and Cygni Capital.

The Human Rights Foundation joins BitMEX with its support of Kim, while Mehta a...

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