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  • Writer's pictureSarah Dixon

Bitcoin bounty for improving activism use? Up to $60k available.

Bitcoin bounty for improving activism use? Up to $60k available.
Bitcoin bounty for improving activism use? Up to $60k available.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a non-profit organization focused on promoting economic empowerment and online privacy, has recently launched a bug bounty program worth 20 Bitcoin (over $590,000) to support the development of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.

The program aims to encourage developers to enhance the accessibility, usability, and privacy of digital currency solutions, particularly for people who are vulnerable to risks worldwide.

The bug bounty program comprises ten challenges, each targeting specific tasks related to mobile wallets, multi-signature functionality, serverless services, end-to-end encrypted messengers, and more. The majority of the challenges are worth 2 BTC and will be awarded to the first individual or team who can fully complete the specified requirements.

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Activists and Human Rights Defenders Will Benefit from HRF’s Initiative

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has introduced a set of 10 bounties aimed at enhancing Bitcoin's capabilities as a tool for human rights defenders and dissidents. Alex Gladstein, HRF's Chief Strategy Officer, revealed that the bounties were inspired by conversations with global activists. Six of the bounties focus on improving Bitcoin mobile wallets, including multi-sig functionality, seed phrase memorization, and Lightning Network support. One of the bounties seeks the open-sourcing of 'Bitcoin UI Kit' design components to make them accessible without proprietary software. Another aims to develop serverless 'Payjoin' payments that don't require public node operation. A third looks to create end-to-end encrypted group chats for the Nostr social network. HRF believes that financial inclusion through Bitcoin and the Lightning Network is critical for enabling human rights defenders to receive donations even if they are cut off from traditional banking services. Any unclaimed bounties will revert back to the HRF's Bitcoin Development Fund after December 2024.

3 BTCs Worth of Bounties Have Already Been Claimed

HRF is offering a bounty program that aims to financially incentivize open-source developers to accelerate innovation that can expand access to Bitcoin's economic empowerment and privacy benefits for advocates, activists, and at-risk communities globally. To qualify for a bounty, individuals or teams must fully complete the specified task and submit proof to HRF. Submissions are then reviewed by external experts to validate that they satisfy the task's requirements. HRF will take a charitable view when judging submissions that make a good faith effort, focusing more on the spirit than the letter of the law. The Bitcoin Bounty Challenge officially runs through the end of 2024, and developers have already begun working on some of the assigned tasks. Two of the three Lightning Network bounties worth 3 BTC each, issued by HRF in December 2021, have already been claimed. HRF views Bitcoin and financial freedom as one aspect of the human rights struggle. The foundation hopes that this initial 20 BTC bounty program will prove an effective model for funding open-source development, potentially inspiring other nonprofits and organizations to launch similar initiatives expanding human rights through technology.

Lighting Network Can Process Nearly $150M in Bitcoin Transactions

According to data compiled by job opportunity marketplace Zippia, 16% of Americans reported using cryptocurrencies for payment, investment, or trading purposes in 2023. Bitcoin is the leading cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization and adoption as a means of payment. The Lightning Network has helped users embrace the asset as it reduces the cost of transacting with it. As of today, the Lightning Network has the capacity to process nearly $150 million in BTC transactions based on the number of active nodes that are currently supporting the layer-two solution, according to data from Bitcoin Visuals. By making it easier and cheaper for users to transact with the cryptocurrency, the developers of the Lightning Network hope to increase the speed at which BTC is adopted as a means of payment worldwide.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


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