The privacy driven platform, Tor opened up a new crypto donation portal on its website and is now accepting donations in the form of various cryptocurrencies. As of now the site is accepting nine of the major cryptocurrencies including, Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), Stellar Lumen (XLM), Augur (REP) and Zcash (ZEC).
The Tor project is free software and an open-network that defends users from traffic analysis, which is a form of network surveillance. Privacy is key for Tor hence they ward off threats to personal freedom and confidentiality. The project is basically made for onion routing, the technology of anonymous information exchange.
Furthermore, the Tor project is a non-profit and the Tor network is a group of volunteer-operated services all ensuring secured privacy. Owing to its privacy features Tor is being used by journalists, NGOs, activist groups and even by a branch of the United States navy.
Crypto donations might be a new frontier for Tor, but the site also offers a number of alternative donation methods including:
- Amazon Payments
- Amazon Smile
- Giving Assistant
- EU Bank Transfer
- Checks or Money Orders
- Donate Stock
- Credit card
The platform’s newest portal urges people to take a stand for the universal human right to privacy and freedom. In this digital age, we are prone to privacy breaches, now more than ever, with the amount of information we put online. Interested individuals can make donations through the portal by filling out a pretty basic form that help in being notified quickly. Then they can send their coins to the appropriate wallet. The donations will be used to help keep Tor robust and secure. The page also specifies that users can contact the project if they would prefer to donate in a cryptocurrency not listed there.
Tor isn’t the only non-profit to have stepped into the crypto space. In fact there are other charities that are accepting cryptocurrencies as donations like:
- Save the Children
- The Water Project
- Seans Outpost
- Songs of Love
- Wikimedia Foundation
However people residing in the countries wherein the Internet is heavily censored, will not be able to access Tor because countries like Russia, China and Venezuela have all imposed a ban on Tor and other similar tech, such as virtual private networks.
Venezuela only recently imposed its ban on Tor, which was being used by Venezuelans to circumvent recent sanctions and get access to national and international news sites, amongst other things. But according to the Tor Project, the network can still be accessed in Venezuela by using bridges in Tor Browser.
The reason behind this ban can be accredited to the prevailing political and economic disarray in the country, leading government officials to ramp up censorship and surveillance of its critics.So tools like Tor have become critical for independent journalists, activists and members of the civil society to stay safe online. However, Access Now, an NGO, is calling on the government to review their decision, as well as refrain from further sanctions in order to restore free and open communications that are vital to any healthy democracy.
READ MORE: A Venezuelan-based Family Saved by Bitcoins
In addition to increasing censorship, the Venezuelan government is being suspected of throttling Internet speeds to keep people from getting online access to tools such as Tor. Furthermore, since 2016 provision of communication services in the country has also been under threat as the interconnection fees between the local operators and international companies skyrocketed. And it is since then that Internet has become more of luxury limited to those who can afford it.
Cryptocurrencies have been known to transform quite a few traditional systems as well as ideologies regarding the fiat currency. It has managed to alter the way we perceive, spend, store and even donate money. And several industries and platforms have embraced cryptos as they incorporate it into their ecosystem, the digital privacy software, Tor, is one of the several platforms on that list.