A new charitable project hopes help people get out of jail if they are stuck in pretrial detention. Despite the fact that a “fair and speedy” trial is held up as a core tenant of the US legal system, many people are stuck behind bars for months or even years in some cases, before they are given their day in court. Through the process of bail, people who are of a lower income are at a disadvantage and many often spend extended amounts of time in jail before they face their charges.
The amount of people incarcerated without charges has steadily increased over the years. According to a recent report from the Pretrial Justice Institute, nearly two-thirds (63%) of the people in U.S. jails are unconvicted individuals, Compared to slightly more than half (51%) In 1990.
There are many charities and nonprofit groups involved with helping unconvicted people make bail, but a new effort called “Bail Block” is hoping to achieve this goal by harnessing the power of the blockchain. Bail Bock uses cryptocurrency miners to generate bail funds for unconvicted inmates.
According to the groups website,
“When you download the app, a small part of your computer’s unused processing power is redirected toward mining a popular cryptocurrency called Monero, which is secure, private, and untraceable. At the end of every month, we exchange the Monero for US dollars and donate the earnings to the Bronx Freedom Fund.
100% of the currency your computer generates is used by the Bronx Freedom Fund to post bail for low-income people detained in New York effective immediately.Bail funds are “revolving,” which means they’re returned to their source when people appear for all their court dates–which, for clients of The Bronx Freedom Fund, happens 96% of the time. Most Bail Bloc users can expect to generate around $3 to $5 per month. It might not seem like much, but because of the revolving funding model, it adds up quickly.”
Bail Block uses a newer cryptocurrency Monero instead of Bitcoin. Monero has been rising in popularity especially on the dark web due to its increased anonymity, as well as its lower fees and transaction times.
As the FAQ portion of the website explains, Monero is an ASIC-resistant cryptocurrency, which means two things: that computers designed for the singular purpose of mining cryptocurrency are unable to mine it, and that consumer-level computers can mine it in a financially viable way. It also has a stable value relative to other high value cryptocurrencies. The open source code base for Monero mining software made this a tenable project for our team.
Many cryptocurrency users have been drifting away from Bitcoin for more workable alternatives as the classic version of the currency has had difficulty scaling to meet the explosion in demand. In fact, Roger Ver, one of the most well known Bitcoin investors in the world recently declared that Bitcoin was dead and that Bitcoin Cash would be its replacement.
“The reason that bitcoin was able to [increase in value over time] was because it had fast, cheap, reliable, censorship-resistant transactions for the entire world to participate in. And [Bitcoin] no longer has those properties, but Bitcoin Cash does. I can’t exactly say how soon it will happen, but I think it’s going to surpass [Bitcoin] here shortly as well,” Ver told The Crypto Show.
As we reported last month, an unidentified person donated tens of millions of dollars in Bitcoin to several charities, including $1 million to the psychedelic research and legalization non-profit MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies).
In recent months, cryptocurrencies have rushed to all new highs in value, and have now reached a market capitalization higher than mainstream banks.
Image: Mining Rig/Pilotae/Shutterstock.