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Free Speech Foundation Raises 550K Donation through Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency–The Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF), an organization started in 2012 to protect the interest of free speech and publication throughout the world, began accepting donations in cryptocurrency on June 18. While the initial offering included only five currencies–Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, BCash and ZCash–FPF reports receiving nearly 550K (1000 ETH) from decentralized application platform Mainframe.

FPF has been a project primarily focused on protecting the integrity and safety of journalists across the globe, including being critical of government attempts to suppress, manipulate and threaten the press. In particular, the program seeks to harbor and promote whistleblowers, which portions of cryptocurrency donations will go directly into supporting,

Your donations support our projects to advance press freedom, including SecureDrop, the open source whistleblower submission platform used by more than 60 news organizations worldwide.

Mainframe, a blockchain-based company building a network to resist censorship and promote decentralized applications, has a substantial amount of overlap with the goals of FPF, including that of the general cryptocurrency user base. In its press release following the high profile donation, Mainframe highlights the importance of supporting the risky efforts of whistleblowers, including the infamous Edward Snowden,

Working closely with journalists, activists, and whistleblowers, including Edward Snowden, they’re on the frontlines in this battle. This donation stems from the mutual goal to fight not only for a free press, but for a free people in a digital age: free from the chains of censorship, free from the tyranny of unchecked surveillance, and free to use our data how we want.

While the principles of decentralization that are paramount to cryptocurrency have naturally found a home with advocates of free speech, particularly in the digital realm, the potential for currencies that transcend government influence is only now being tapped into. WikiLeaks Julian Assange caught national headlines following his assertion that the whistleblower organization had amassed 50,000% returns on its cryptocurrency donations–allowing for a substantial amount of funds to be devoted to continuing their free press efforts.

FPF is likewise tapping into the generosity that has been demonstrated by the cryptocurrency community by advocating a cause that is both transparent and valuable to citizens around the world. Freedom of information as well as better media practices is a useful discourse to both the outlet of journalism and enthusiasts of decentralized currencies. Both groups, FPF and the greater cryptocurrency community, have a vested interest in driving the message of decentralization, and bringing awareness to the inefficiency of government bureaucracies and manipulative authorities.

Speaking on behalf of their decision to support the efforts of FPF, Mainframe echoed the sentiment that decentralized media outlets could find a mutual partnership in fintech-based cryptocurrencies

Public advocacy becomes that much more powerful when coupled with innovation and better choices. Both organizations plan to work towards the mutually beneficial goal of tipping the scales in favor of the fight for freedom of information.

While the crypto markets struggle to see the type of positive price movement that characterized most of 2017, ongoing efforts of adoption and greater visibility for the technology is leading to wider acceptance across a number of industries.


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Freedom of the Press Foundation Now Accepts Donations in 5 Cryptos

The Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) now officially accepts donations made with cryptocurrencies, the non-profit announced Monday.

The move is “a natural fit” for the organization, which aims to support journalists reporting on issues within governments, said executive director Trevor Timm.

FPF – which will now accept bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin and zcash – currently has digital wallets available for direct donations, he said, although the aim is to ultimately utilize a payment processor to automatically convert the donations into fiat currency.

Decentralized technology is a tool that can help prevent online censorship, as well as prevent surveillance by certain parties, according to Timm. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, in particular, can mitigate the risk of “financial censorship” by the relatively small number of traditional payment processors that currently hold a “monopoly” on fund transfers, he stated.

Timm told CoinDesk:

“If cryptocurrencies can lead to more awareness about anti-censorship, and also make it easier for potential supporters to support non-profits like Freedom of the Press Foundation, then I hope many other similar organizations follow suit in the coming months and years.”

“We live in a time when journalists around the world have never been at greater risk of surveillance, arrest, or worse, and it’s incredibly important that supporters of press freedom have all the available options to them to fight back,” he said.

Perhaps in recognition of that mission, blockchain startup Mainframe has already made the first crypto donation, sending 1,000 ether (around $498,000 at press time) to the foundation.

Timm said that the funds would allow the FPF, which notably has NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on its board, to expand its work, adding that “hopefully it might even inspire others to donate.”

Newspapers and chain image via Shutterstock

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