What is Bail Bloc?
Bail Bloc is a project that aims to help people awaiting trial who can’t afford to post bail by mining Monero using spare computing power off the volunteers’ computers. It is the brainchild of a non-profit online publication, New Inquiry.
The money raised by the project will be donated to the Bronx Freedom Fund, a non-profit that raises money for bail for poor defendants. Initially, the fund will only focus on New York City, but they have plans to expand their scope in 2018. If everything goes as planned, the Bronx Freedom Fund is going to help as many as 160,000 people over the next five years in more than three dozen cities.
How does it work?
It’s quite simple – users need to install the Bail Bloc app on their laptop, and it silently runs in the background using 10 percent of spare processing power to mine Monero. Users can also override the 10 percent default allocation of spare processing power, and boost it to up to 50 percent.
At the end of every month, the Monero that has been mined this way is exchanged for U.S. dollars, and the earnings are donated to the Bronx Freedom Fund. The fund then helps people who can’t afford to pay for their bail. Moreover, Bronx Freedom Fund’s model is capable of recycling the money. So when a person released on bail attends their court appointment, the funds are released to the Bronx Freedom Fund, and recycled to help other people.
According to the calculator on their website, Bail Bloc can generate approximately $30,000 if 1,000 people use the app for 12 months.
The primary reason the creators of Bail Bloc have picked Monero is the low requirement of computing power or specialized equipment for mining Monero, unlike Bitcoin. Moreover, Monero is also supposed to be more secure, private, and untraceable than Bitcoin.
Why opt for cryptocurrency?
According to the creators of Bail Bloc, very few people regularly donate cash to the organizations they support. Therefore, they decided to go the digital route. That makes sense. If people are given the opportunity to help an organization by just installing an app and allocating a portion of unused processing power, they are more likely to do so, as compared to donating cash.
Bail Bloc is designed to enable people to resist the broken justice system of the United States. It’s not just about the money though. Anyone who decides to participate in the project also becomes part of a community working together to end bail.
Is it going to make any difference?
According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of people held in pretrial detention every day in the U.S. is a staggering 450,000. What is even more concerning is the fact that a significant portion of these people are there only because they can’t afford to post bail.
The fact that people have to face such injustice just because they are poor is appalling. But that’s not all – this also perpetuates a vicious cycle where people who can’t post bail have to remain in jail, which in turn can lead to increased criminal behaviour and consequently, make them even poorer.
Bail Bloc has the potential to give these unfortunate people their freedom back. When you think about it, the idea of enabling people to give away a portion of their computer’s unused processing power to give poor people the opportunity to get their freedom back is anything but sheer genius.