Today, coinciding with the fourth Bitcoin halving, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) unveiled the Finney Freedom Prize. This award honors Hal Finney, a pioneer in promoting Bitcoin from its inception.

The Finney Freedom Prize will be awarded each Bitcoin halving era to those who have made significant contributions to Bitcoin and human rights, with winners receiving 1 BTC. 

Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at the HRF, expressed that the prize aims to motivate the use of Bitcoin for promoting economic freedom globally. 

He remarked, "we wanted to help inspire people to use Bitcoin to advance human rights — to help more people achieve economic liberation around the world — and we thought that creating a prize that could be persistent throughout the early lifecycle of Bitcoin would be one way to do it."

The winner for the 2009-2012 epoch is Hal Finney, whose prize money will support causes important to his family, as stated by Gladstein. 

The HRF, in collaboration with the Finney family, will establish a seven-member "Genesis Committee" to select laureates for subsequent eras through 2024. 

From 2024 onwards, a new committee will take over the selection process.

Each halving era can have up to two laureates, each receiving 50 million satoshis (half a Bitcoin) if two are chosen. 

Criteria for the award include spreading knowledge about Bitcoin, demonstrating its use as a tool for financial independence, contributing to Bitcoin's codebase, enhancing Bitcoin accessibility, particularly in oppressive regimes, and advocating for digital privacy.

A total of 33 Finney Freedom Prizes will be awarded through the 2130s, aligning with Bitcoin's final block. The prize fund is also publicly verifiable.

Gladstein likened the impact of the Finney Freedom Prize to that of the Nobel Peace Prize or the Nobel Prize in Economics, aiming to inspire actions and innovations that extend the utility of Bitcoin, much like Hal Finney's vision.

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