Mine With Your Spare CPU Power, Fund Bail for the Poor
Can cryptocurrency….? Whatever the remainder of the question, it would seem the answer is almost certainly an emphatic yes. The innovative ways in which a seemingly insignificant can be leveraged to change lives are amazing.
The bail system was initially created as an incentive for people accused of a crime to come back to court. A 300 year old legal concept, it has seen no reform since 1984. At any given time, half a million people are held in custody at local jails without being convicted of a crime because they cannot afford to post bail.
Poor people have to decide between pleading guilty to a misdemeanor(with an accompanying sentence of no jail time) in order to go home, or sit in jail until the court can hear their case. This can take weeks or even months. As a result, defendants who are unable to post bail are nine times more likely to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Pleading guilty to a crime — even if it’s a misdemeanor — can put defendants at risk of losing their homes and jobs.
Earlier this month, a new app, Appolition, was launched which allowed users to donate their spare change to help post bail for those who couldn't afford it themselves. Once users link their bank account to the app, purchases will be rounded up to the next dollar. When a user spent $4.35, the amount is rounded up as $5, with 65 cents being donated to Appolition's bail fund.
Bail Bloc – Donate With Spare Cpu Power
Deriving inspiration from Appolition, Bail Bloc, a new “slacktivist” app mining cryptocurrency to pay for bail funds was launched on November 15th.
“Bail is a tool of coercion, predictive policing, and surveillance, but it is also a form of currency mining from low-income individuals and communities of color. Bail Bloc allows you to offer your computer as the target for that mining in their stead,” said Maya Binyam, a member of the collective of Bail Bloc creators, Dark Inquiry.
She also insisted that Monero mining is not as energy-intensive as Bitcoin mining, “It is important to make the distinction, however, between Monero mining and Bitcoin mining. The latter has been in the news for its considerable environmental impact. Bail Bloc will not cost more in electricity than it donates toward posting bail as it uses considerably less energy than playing a 3D computer game.”
Created by The New Inquiry, an online magazine of cultural and literary criticism based in New York City, Bail Bloc is a cryptocurrency mining tool which mines Monero with your computer’s unused processing power. The mined Monero is then converted into U.S. dollars and donated to the Bronx Freedom Fund and soon The Bail Project.
Bronx Freedom Fund highlights that 96 percent of their clients who had bail posted returned for all their court dates. Meanwhile, 90 percent of people who cannot pay bail end up pleading guilty under the coercive weight of detention.
The projects arrive after a successful campaign to raise bail funds for black mothers last Mothers' Day, which inspired Kortney Ziegler to create Appolition.
Bail Bloc Conclusion
Currently, the bail system in the United States disproportionately negatively impacts poor people for being too poor to afford bail. Money shouldn’t buy justice, but until comprehensive bail reform is a reality, you can do your part by donating bail money to those who cannot afford it.