Barely a day after announcing that it would be accepting cryptocurrencies as donations, Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) has received 1,000 ETH in its first-ever crypto donation. The donation was made by decentralized communications network Mainframe and is worth $530,000 at current market rates. Mainframe stated in a blog post that the decision to donate to the press freedom advocacy group stemmed from the mutual goal of fighting for freedom in a digital age that has seen increasing cases of unchecked surveillance.
We are at a crossroads in the advancement of technology where we must make a decision to leverage technology to save our privacy and security or risk seeing it float away, Mick Hagen, the founder of Mainframe, wrote in a blog post. This was what had informed the startup’s decision to work with FPF. Together, the two companies pledged to support initiatives geared towards fostering the freedom of information.
Established in 2012, FPF champions free speech and freedom of the press and is renowned for working with some of the most famous whistle blowers and celebrated journalists. Edward Snowden, the NSA whistle blower who gained worldwide recognition after leaking classified NSA information in 2013, serves as the organization’s president. FPF is also behind SecureDrop, an open-source platform that facilitates secure communication between journalists and whistle blowers. SecureDrop is used by leading media publications including Forbes, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Associated Press and The New York Times.
Mainframe is an incentivized and decentralized communications platform that promises its users secure packet routing, delivery and holding, as well as storage services and data storage. It touts itself as resistant to censorship, disruption and surveillance, with its end-to-end encryption assuring its users of the privacy of their data.
In May, Mainframe announced that it had raised over $1.4 million which it would use to fund non-profit organizations that align with its values related to freedom and privacy. The money was raised through its Proof of Heart initiative in which its community raised money and then voted for the most deserving organizations. They included Amnesty International, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and FPF.
The crypto community has continued to contribute to worthy causes over the years, with both individual users and institutions participating in various humanitarian causes. One of the institutions that made headlines with a generous contribution to support American public schools was Ripple. Its donation of $29 million worth of XRP was made through DonorsChoose.org and addressed the needs of more than one million students across the US. OmiseGo also teamed up with Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin in March to donate $1 million to GiveDirectly.org, a non-profit organization that assists the extremely poor in East Africa.
Donations by the crypto community could spur the growth of crypto use in small communities which would ultimately support the overall growth of the industry. This is according to Coinbase founder and CEO Brian Armstrong, who in a blog post advocated for the creation of a cryptocurrency non-profit fund. The fund would disburse assistance all over the world, which would increase the real-world utility of cryptos, he noted.
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