BitMEX and Human Rights Foundation provide $150K grant to Bitcoin scaling researcher

BitMEX has collaborated with a non-profit Human Rights Foundation to provide a $150,000 grant to Korean-based Bitcoin scaling researcher, Calvin Kim.

Popular crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX has announced a $150,000 grant for Calvin Kim — a Korean-based Bitcoin scaling researcher.

The grant comprises the second instance in which BitMEX has backed Kim’s research, with the exchange donating $30,000 to Kim in August 2020.

For his current research, Kim plans to implement Utreexo into Bitcoin deployments using the Go and Rust programming languages respectively, while also working on “improving the initial block download time in Bitcoin.”

Utreexo is a Bitcoin scaling solution and hash accumulator that Kim has been working on since mid-2019, with the protocol's design having first been proposed by MIT Digital Currency Initiative researcher Thaddeus Dryja — who also co-authored the Lightning Network whitepaper.

The new grant was issued by BitMEX in collaboration with the non-profit Human Rights Foundation, or HRF — an organization that supports human rights activism globally — with the HRF contributing $50,000 on top of BitMEX’s $100,000 one-year grant for Kim. The researcher stated:

“This year, with the financial support of BitMEX and the Human Rights Foundation, I intend to continue what I was doing last year and continue moving the Utreexo project to something a user can download and use.”

In a May 31 announcement published BitMEX’s research branch, the HRF noted that it has long “worked to promote human rights on the Korean peninsula through technology,” and that it hopes to inspire others from the region to get involved with Bitcoin.

“It is exciting for HRF to have the opportunity to bolster Calvin’s efforts and we hope that his work can inspire others from the region to get involved with Bitcoin and contribute to its mission to provide open-source freedom money for the world,” HRF said.

According to the organization’s website, the HRF support Bitcoin because it “can be a tool of freedom for human rights defenders facing hyperinflation or financial surveillance.”

The HRF’s $50,000 grant to Kim is part of the organization's $210,000 Bitcoin Development Fund, which also included collaborations with Gemini exchange and Square Crypto in support of developer, Dhruv Mehta.

Mehta received $50,000 to work on increasing Bitcoin’s censorship-resistance through BIP324 — a peer-to-peer message transport protocol that aims to protect Bitcoin peers against man-in-the-middle attacks on seed nodes.

The fund also included $50,000 of support to Nur Khalil, a Nigerian Bitcoin developer who develops Bitcoin wallet software for the Nigerian context.

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