Human Rights Foundation Introduces Finney Freedom Prize During Fourth Bitcoin Halving

Today, on the day of the fourth Bitcoin halving, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) announced the Finney Freedom Prize, commemorating the work of Hal Finney, one of the earliest public champions of Bitcoin. Today, the Human Rights Foundation has launched the Finney Freedom Prize in honor of Hal Finney, a champion of privacy, open-source software, and electronic cash.

The 1 BTC award celebrates those who have made significant contributions to Bitcoin and freedom in each halving era. Let it inspire many more Hals!— Alex Gladstein 🌋 ⚡ (@gladstein) April 19, 2024

The prize will be awarded to the individual or institution that does the most for Bitcoin and human rights in each halving era, and the recipient will receive a monetary award of 1 BTC. “We wanted to help inspire people to use Bitcoin to advance human rights — to help more people achieve economic liberation around the world — and we thought that creating a prize that could be persistent throughout the early lifecycle of Bitcoin would be one way to do it,” said Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer of the Human Rights Foundation, in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. The halving is a significant day that anyone can celebrate, regardless of their circumstances, and it’s a perfect opportunity to announce a Bitcoin-related prize. The prize winner for the 2009-2012 era is Hal Finney himself, and his 1 BTC prize will benefit causes that are important to Hal’s family. The HRF will work with the Finney family to appoint a seven-person “Genesis Committee” to select Laureates for different eras. A maximum of two Laureates can be chosen for each era, and in the event of two Laureates, each will receive 50 million satoshis (half of a bitcoin). To be eligible for the prize, individuals or institutions must excel in areas such as educating people about Bitcoin, demonstrating financial freedom using Bitcoin, contributing to Bitcoin’s codebase, making Bitcoin accessible to the average person, and advocating for digital privacy. A total of 33 Finney Freedom Prizes will be awarded, one for each Bitcoin halving era, with the award being distributed until the last Bitcoin block is mined in the 2130s. The treasury for the award is publicly verifiable here. Is the Finney Freedom Prize the Nobel Prize of Bitcoin? “In as much as the Nobel Peace Prize or the Nobel Prize in Economics inspires people, yes,” replied Gladstein. “We want people to be inspired to be like Hal — to think beyond themselves and work towards making this tool accessible to more people.”

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