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Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, donates $10m to turn bitcoin into ‘currency of the internet’


Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is proving just how serious he is about bitcoin and the future of social networks with a $10 million donation to the non-profit OpenSats, which says it will use 100% of the funds for both purposes, without taking a cut for itself.
Dorsey announced the donation—$5 million of which is set aside to fund development of a social protocol called Nostr—on Nostr itself earlier today. After being quietly developed by a pseudonymous creator known only as @Fiatjaf, the network, or protocol as it is more properly called, has exploded to 16 million users, 500,000 of which are daily when they created a way for software developers to integrate bitcoin payments into their applications.

Prior to leaving Twitter in May 2022, Dorsey had conceived of and invested $13 million into a similar open-source social protocol that would let users move their profiles between competitors, now being developed by a team called Bluesky.

Though he’d previously given @FiatJaf 14 bitcoin worth a little over $200,000 at the time it was donated, this latest infusion will level the playing field and reduce any sense that he’s picking favorites in his mission to out-compete Twitter.

While OpenSats didn’t respond to Forbes’ requests for comment, Dorsey responded with Morse code on Nostr asking him what he hoped OpenSats would be able to accomplish with the money?

He said : “That bitcoin becomes the native currency of the internet, and the internet gets a native protocol for social media.”

He did not however, answer whether or not he plans to write off the donation.

The Raleigh, North Carolina-based OpenSats received its 501 c (3) non-profit status in 2021, according to non-profit data site Charity Navigator. Most of the data about non-profits that Charity Navigator offers, such as how much of historical donations have been used for the non-profit’s actual mission compared to the cost of running the organization, are unavailable, as the OpenSats filed reduced paperwork required for organizations with less than $200,000 of annual revenue.

As part of Dorsey’s donation, OpenSats says @Fiatjaf and another Nostr user using the pseudonym NVK will join a committee to help evaluate projects, according to a statement released by the non-profit. NVK and a user identified as Gigi are joining the board.

“We believe that free software and open protocols are necessary for a free and prosperous society,” according to the statement. “Without software that protects the individual user’s rights and freedoms, and without digital infrastructure that is open to all, modern society risks slipping further into digital totalitarianism.”

The OpenSat’s website says the organization’s mission is to “support and maintain a sustainable ecosystem of funding for free and open source projects and contributors, especially BitcoinBTC -1.2% related projects and projects which help Bitcoin flourish…OpenSats will fund software developers, but also designers, reviewers, researchers, educators, and others who support these free and open source tools.”

The organization has previously funded 21 teams, including the Bitcoin Policy Institute, which just hosted an invitation-only event in Washington that touted attendees from Capitol Hill, BTCPay Server, a payment processor hosted by the people who use it, and the Tor Project that develops the Tor browser used by the governments and criminals alike to protect their anonymity. Funds include an operations budget to help run the non-profit and a legal defense fund to help open-source developers in court. It’s unclear if this is the same fund Dorsey said he would create to help pay legal expenses of bitcoin developers being sued for their work.

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