Cash bail isn’t intended to be a problem, but for low-income folks, that’s exactly what it becomes. According to Teen Vogue, organizers across the country have begun community bail funds to aid in fixing this problem. And now, there are now apps which allow you to donate to the cause.
The first app, Bail Bloc, is a computer app project from The New Inquiry that uses cryptocurrency to convert your computer’s unused energy stores into funding for the Bronx Freedom Fund and eventually a nationwide initiative, the Bail Project. Once downloaded, the app takes advantage of your computer’s unused processing power to “mine” a secure, private and untraceable cryptocurrency called Monero. Cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin) isn’t “real money,” but can be exchanged for real money. At the end of each month, Bail Bloc exchanges the Monero for real money, which it then puts toward bail funds.
The second app, Appolition is also focused on ending cash bail using a different method. This mobile app automatically donates your spare charge to a bail fund. The app is said to allow you to make an encrypted connection with the account you use for your daily purchases (any purchase over $1.80 qualifies); the app will then round all your purchases up to the nearest dollar and then — once you reach at least $2 in accumulated spare change — will donate the money to bail funds. The app is modeled after savings apps that also reallocate your spare change.
While both apps are fresh and new, they are adding a powerful tool to the issue of combating a rigged system. By just allowing people to have the ability to attend their court date, the number of people being convicted drops drastically.