The Human Rights Foundation is a non-profit based in New York City. It was founded in 2005 and it focuses on protecting and promoting human rights globally. The organization has been a longtime advocate of Bitcoin and its ability to promote freedom.
A New BTC Privacy Fund
As part of its continued belief in BTC, the HRF recently announced that it would launch a Bitcoin fund to make BTC more private. The first grant from the fund is for around $50,000 and it has been awarded to Chris Belcher, a developer based in London. HRF gave the grant to help him develop the Coinswap protocol. The organization plans to announce a grant of similar size soon.
According to Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer at HRF, the BTC network was improving. However, a lot more needed to be done before it could be considered private and usable. He added that with financial support, developers such as Belcher could make it for activists to receive donations in BTC and continue with the important work.
According to Gladstein, human rights reporters and defenders globally face financial oppression when their bank accounts are frozen. Besides that, there are strict restrictions on foreign funding, surveillance on their financial activities, and difficulty in receiving donations or earning an income. He said that BTC could be a powerful tool that helps in the future alongside encrypted messaging apps and projects such as the Tor Browser.
Donations Coming In
The HRF said that a person who heard about their work and who wanted to donate $100,000 to the development fund recently contacted them. Their donation was made without any conditions, trusting that the organization would utilize the funds well. The organization wanted to award the funds to projects that are in line with their goals.
To pick someone to receive the funds, they conducted a poll amongst experts in the BTC privacy sector. The aim was to find a pair of projects that would help to boost BTC privacy, resilience, and decentralization. According to Gladstein, the experts unanimously suggested Belcher and the CoinSwap proposal. He explained that CoinSwap stood out because if a robust mobile wallet was developed for the platform, it would offer better privacy to transacting parties and keep them safe from chain analysis.
How CoinSwap Can Improve Bitcoin Privacy
CoinSwap is a privacy technique that was created in 2013 by Gregory Maxwell. It allows users to exchange coins without revealing any traces of how the coin exchange took place without the swap being identified as so on the BTC network.
Belcher recently published an outline of how CoinSwap can successfully be implemented. The developer detailed solutions to various issues such as potential privacy risks while also proposing a liquidity market for coin mixing. Additionally, he also proposed transaction routing to avoid tracing transactions from single points and multi-transactional swaps to avoid amount correlation.
If a working CoinSwap solution were developed, it would no doubt be a big step for BTC privacy. The HRF foundation plans to give another $50,000 to a developer working on BTC pseudonymity soon.
Other Companies Doing The Exact Opposite
Cryptocurrency is such an intriguing space because you essentially have two sides to the industry. You have people that are using digital assets in a centralized way, and then you have users who only value a decentralized approach. With regulators cracking down on the industry, it’s going to be very difficult to scale in a decentralized manner. We’ve already seen industry giants like Coinbase essentially working with regulators. With many users valuing privacy, they’re starting to leave Coinbase and go elsewhere. In the most recent developments, users started leaving Coinbase after it was announced that the entity was planning to sell blockchain analysis software to the government. This is just another reason why interest in decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges has grown so rapidly the last couple years. With the digital asset space maturing fast, it will be interesting to see which infrastructure will ultimately win. HRF will continue investing in developers, with the ultimate goal of expanding privacy across the industry.
Image Source: Pixabay