Cryptocurrency startup Bail Bloc, a project aimed at releasing from pre-trial detention those who remain incarcerated only because they can’t afford bail, announced a platform upgrade that included an expansion of its scope. Co-founder Maya Binyam noted in her update that Bail Bloc 2.0, announced on the first anniversary of the project, would increase the brief of the project to take in those detained as part of an expanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, which they labeled “notoriously cruel”.
Monero Will Set You Free
For the past year, volunteers have been donating their spare computer power to help Bail Bloc mine cryptocurrency Monero, which is then sold on the market and the proceeds given to the Immigrant Bail Fund in New Haven, Connecticut and distributed accordingly. In the U.S, about 65% of people on any given day in local jails are awaiting trial simply because they cannot afford bail, with the only other recourse often being unregulated loans. The project’s other co-founder, JB Rubinovitz, wanted to find a solution that took wealth out of the equation, and was rewarded for his vision and efforts recently when he was listed as one of Forbes’ 30-under-30 list for his work on Bail Bloc.
Cracking the ICE
Bail Bloc states that ICE detainees in particular face enforced and protracted isolation and have no guarantee of legal counsel, which was the motivation behind them expanding their aims to help this section of society. Bail Bloc isn’t the first charity to leverage cryptocurrency or the blockchain, with many charities such as Heifer International and Autism Speaks accepting Bitcoin donations. On top of that, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao recently announced that Binance listing fees would now be donated to charity. Anyone with a computer can sign up for Bail Bloc through the Bail Bloc website.