Gitcoin is an organisation that supports open-source projects around Ethereum’s blockchain. They have deactivated a grant because it was directed at individuals who are from sanctioned countries. The grant, called “Free Smart Contract Development Course for Farsi Speaking Communities,” was directed and organized by an organization called Women in Blockchain Farsi. Social media was flooded with criticisms of the decision.
Gitcoin Announces the Defunding of Farsi Speaking Community Grant
Gitcoin promotes open-source software through the grant process. deactivatedDue to legal concerns regarding U.S. Sanctions for Other Countries, a grant was denied. The grant, titled “Free Smart Contract Development Course for Farsi Speaking Communities,” was directed to make the instruction of Farsi speakers on Solidity (Ethereum’s smart contracts language) much easier.
Women in Blockchain Farsi organized and directed the course. However, it is currently without funding to carry out its activities. Consensys was another Ethereum software firm that had banned 50 Iranian students last month from taking coding classes because they were located in U.S.-sanctioned places. Blockchain Farsi for Women criticizedThis is the take:
Farsi-speaking people are eligible for the grant. It is absurd to assume that someone who speaks Farsi is Iranian and must therefore be sanctioned.
Gitcoin’s Take on the Issue
Gitcoin asserts that they had to do so because the law required them to. Gitcoin argued that they were obligated to react this way because of law and jurisdiction. Gitcoin responded:
The reporter running a larger story about Ethereum, sanctioned states and this grant brought the news to our attention. The US-based company is compliant with OFAC as well as US law. The US sanctions laws are applicable to any US person, no matter where they may be located.
Gitcoin further explained that the grant could have been a hindrance to their operation and put them at risk of being sued by government agencies. Gitcoin stated, “They are…” focusingThey will offer dGrants to organizations that can bypass legal obstacles by creating a decentralized grants program.
How do you feel about Gitcoin’s deactivation? Please leave your comments below.
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