The Hong Kong Free Press has officially added Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its list of accepted donations methods.
For the time being, the organization relies on the BitPay payment processor, but the editor-in-chief claims to be working towards providing true peer-to-peer donations using the cryptocurrencies.
Hong Kong has been the scene of mass anti-government protests that have been going on for more than 10 weeks now.
Clashes in Hong Kong
The protests were sparked by a motion from Beijing authorities which may allow Hong Kong residents to be extradited to the mainland. It has since morphed into a more general pro-democracy movement.
The protesters now have five key demands:
- The amendment threatening possible extradition must be withdrawn.
- The chief executive, Carrie Lam, must resign.
- The Beijing government must retract previous statements defining clashes with police as “riots.”
- The police actions during the period of unrest must be subject to a full inquiry.
- There must be an amnesty for political prisoners associated with the clashes with the state.
Naturally, the Hong Kong Free Press has been providing impartial coverage of the unrest in English and has given the world a window from which to see what is unfolding in the nation.
Independent journalism struggles for financial support at the best of times. In the case of Hong Kong, scant budgets must be spread much thinner than usual. In an effort to increase its funding, the publication has added cryptocurrencies to its list of donation options.
Now Accepting Bitcoin
Those wishing to support the journalists’ cause can now do so in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or a list of other funding methods. Along with more traditional methods like bank transfers, donors can also contribute loose change via Coin Dragon machines and use the publication’s referral link at Book Depository.
The Hong Kong Free Press is using the cryptocurrency payment processing firm BitPay to facilitate its new donation options. However, it appears that the editor-in-chief, Tom Grundy, has plans to accept Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash directly by providing public keys at a forthcoming, undisclosed time.
Grundy thanked those providing financial support via Bitcoin in the comments of a post detailing the increased donation options on the BTC subreddit. After initially calling BitPay “a bit crap,” he stated,
“I’m no expert in these things, but hope to have something better, and a crypto address, posted up soon after these protests settle.”
Naturally, those responding to the editor espoused the virtues of peer-to-peer cryptocurrency use, arguing that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are much more effective for donations to dissident causes when used without a payment processor like BitPay.
Bitcoin has long since proved itself as a worthy means of financing anti-government actions. One of the first incidents that brought the cryptocurrency to popular attention was when it was used to subvert the blocks placed on WikiLeaks by traditional payment processors in 2010. The likes of PayPal and MasterCard terminated services to the whistle-blowing platform, forcing it to turn to Bitcoin.
What do you think about the current situation in Hong Kong? Do you see a peaceful resolution anytime soon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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