This week, two new apps dropped that could play important roles in the fight for bail reform. They're called Appolition and Bail Bloc, and both hope to provide low-income defendants with bail relief from individual donations that are so small, you probably won't even notice them.
Appolition was first proposed (and eventually created) by Kortney Ryan Ziegler in a tweet posted last July. The downloaded app is linked to the user's bank account, and automatically rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar. That extra change will be held in a secure bank account and sent to the National Bail Out Fund.
Bail Bloc harvests donations from the world of cryptocurrency, leaving your checking account untouched. To accumulate cryptocurrencies such as Monero, users must "mine" it using a computer's processor. Once installed on a user's computer, Bail Bloc uses a small amount of the computer's power to mine for Monero in the background, so daily use of the computer is unaffected.
A lot of power is required to mine a single unit of cryptocurrency every day, and each user can expect to generate around $3 or $5 a month. But if enough people use the app, it can translate to real results: according to the Bail Bloc website, 5000 people running the app for one year straight could result in $149,808 (USD) raised for bail.
At the end of every month, all the Monero mined will be converted to USD and donated to The Bronx Freedom Fund, helping low-income families in New York City. And thanks to the "revolving" system of bail, each bail payment is returned to the Bronx Freedom Fund when the people it's working with attend all their court dates. That means your donation won't just be used for one case, but potentially endless ones.
Bail Bloc was created by Grayson Earle, Maya Binyam, Francis Tseng, JB Rubinovitz, Sam Lavigne, Devin Kenny, and the Dark Inquiry collective.