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Human Rights Foundation Announces Finney Freedom Prize on Bitcoin Halving Day

Human Rights Foundation Announces Finney Freedom Prize on Bitcoin Halving Day

Apr 19, 2024

Human Rights Foundation Announces Finney Freedom Prize on Bitcoin Halving Day

To commemorate the fourth Bitcoin halving, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has introduced the Finney Freedom Prize, named in honor of Hal Finney, a pioneering Bitcoin advocate and one of its earliest supporters. The prize celebrates individuals or institutions that significantly advance Bitcoin and human rights within each halving era. Each winner will receive a monetary award of 1 BTC.

Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer of HRF, spoke to Bitcoin Magazine about the motivation behind the prize: “We wanted to help inspire people to use Bitcoin to advance human rights — to help more people achieve economic liberation around the world.” Gladstein expressed that the halving day was an opportune time to announce a Bitcoin-related prize that promotes the cause of economic freedom.

The inaugural laureate for the 2009-2012 halving era is posthumously awarded to Hal Finney himself, with 1 BTC being allocated to "causes that matter to Hal's family." The HRF, in collaboration with the Finney family, will set up a "Genesis Committee" of seven individuals who will oversee the selection process for future laureates for the subsequent eras of 2012-2016, 2016-2020, and 2020-2024. Starting from the 2024-2028 era, a new committee will assume the responsibility of choosing the winners.

Criteria for consideration include educating about Bitcoin, demonstrating financial freedom through Bitcoin, contributing to Bitcoin's codebase, making Bitcoin more accessible, and advocating for digital privacy.

In total, 33 Finney Freedom Prizes will be awarded through the 2130s, corresponding with each Bitcoin halving era. The treasury for the award is publicly verifiable, ensuring transparency in the allocation of the prize.

Gladstein likened the impact of the Finney Freedom Prize to that of the Nobel Prize, stating, “In as much as the Nobel Peace Prize or the Nobel Prize in Economics inspires people, yes. We want people to be inspired to be like Hal.”

The HRF's announcement detailed the structure of the prize, the selection committee, and the nomination process. Notably, the prize aims to recognize those who have made significant contributions to Bitcoin and human rights during the relevant era without consideration of their work outside that timeframe.

The Finney Freedom Prize stands as a tribute to Hal Finney's legacy and a beacon for future innovators who value economic empowerment and digital privacy. As the world watches the progress of Bitcoin, the prize will continue to highlight the efforts of those who push the boundaries of technological freedom in the spirit of Finney's pioneering work.

Human Rights Foundation Announcement

Bitcoin Magazine Article


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