Ciro Santilli is actively looking for donations and contracts so he can continue to work full time on sustainably, and develop free hardcore university-level STEM education for all ages!
At 100k USD, I quit my job to work full time on it for one year. During this year I will use my contacts with STEM students of a world leading unviersity near where I live and solve as many of their problem sheets as possible, mostly by refering to articles I'll be writing. The goal is to get as much STEM konwledge as possible into the world, and highlight how flawed presential and sequential Higher Education is, while positioning as an alternative way to organize humanity's knowledge. Quite grand.
Status: ~144k / 200k USD reached. 1st year locked in and started 1st June 2024 to 31st May 2025[ref], 2nd year stretch goal open. A second year greatly improve chances of success: year one I solve a bunch of courses, year two I come guns blazing with the content and expand further. Donation breakdown:
  • 2024-03-18: $126,352 (!!!): anonymous 1000 Monero donation to self-custody wallet. Further comments: 1000 Monero donation.
  • 2024-03-13: $1,375: anonymous 10 Monero donation to self-custody wallet
  • 2023-11-20: $14,860: anonymous 100 Monero donation to Binance wallet
  • 2023-09: $810: anonymous 0.032 Bitcoin donation to Coinbase wallet
  • subscriptions up to 2024-01: $143,795
More details: Section "Accounting method"
How to give:
  • one time donations:
    • cryptocurrency: note that Ciro is not a regular crypto user, so you might want to make a smaller test donation and confirm that it worked by contacting Ciro before going for colossal amounts (one can dream):
      • Monero address: 4A1KK4uyLQX7EBgN7uFgUeGt6PPksi91e87xobNq7bT2j4V6LqZHKnkGJTUuCC7TjDNnKpxDd8b9DeNBpSxim8wpSczQvzf. Secret view key: 7ccaf885ff5540b0ff18927e6ac5da30130afb1eaee09ad95d3c4536a6337e0f. This is a self-custody wallet on a "clean" dedicated Monero laptop connected the Internet. I check for incoming trasactions from my dirty main laptop via a view-only wallet each weekend. The cashout method used is latest simplest thing that wasn't yet blocked in my country on a given week, the last time that was centralized swappers[ref]. The fact that the cashout method changes weekly confirms that Monero privacy hadn't yet been broken by countries and that Monero is still one of the most useful cryptocurrencies: Section "Are cryptocurrencies useful?". For transparency, I announce all non-trivial transactions on social media, and the full list of transactions can be seen by anyone with the scret view key provided. I previously had different addresses, so pre-existing donations on older addresses will not be visible there.
      • Bitcoin address: 3KRk7f2JgekF6x7QBqPHdZ3pPDuMdY3eWR. This is a Coinbase wallet, off-chain transactions with no transaction fees accepted from other Coinbase users. This method has been tested, I have been able to receive funds from this address in 2023. Fees: non-fixed trading fees[ref] + 0% withdrawal fee on top of any Bitcoin network for on-chain transactions[ref]
      • Ethereum address: 0x44cF8C9C015F46d3b2Df730b6492823FD7A91044. Test transaction recommended.
      • Solana address: DjdaGawoVFdqxJEqpBGsSWuR4G4MVFNiNkAEu89HuKcE. Test transaction recommended.
    • TransferWise tag: It shows as "Ciro Duran Santilli" and that's correct. No fees apparently? Love it!
    • PayPal: Note that dots in Gmail address are ignored, and it is perfectly normal if the email you see has some extra dots in it. Fees: 2.9% + 0.30 GBP[ref].
  • monthly subscriptions of 1$/month or more on either:
    Symbolic 1 dollar/month donation are extremely welcome to signal your interest! This way if a certain critical mass of sponsors is ever reached (~100?), Ciro can start to more actively asking slightly higher amounts to really try to achieve full time self sufficiency.
  • larger grants/contracts from filthy rich individuals or organizations: contact Ciro as mentioned at: Section "How to contact Ciro Santilli" to discuss.
    Ciro is interested in contracts/voluntary work that would be compatible/synergic with the project. Some possibilities include:
    • interacting directly with classes of university students to help them learn the class subject, while at the same time spreading the university knowledge outside of the university walls
    • one-to-one mentoring of individuals of any age that are looking to make an impact in the world, and not just pass their exams
    • fixing specific bugs in related projects Ciro has experience in. These could be either via one-off contracts, or on platforms such as:
And if you have a different preferred payment mechanism not listed above, please contact Ciro, and he will set it up.
Ciro's current ambitions require him to remain in developed countries, because Ciro wants to document advanced science and technology by liaising with top universities, and there is not nearly as much high technology in poor countries. Remaining in developed countries is also a required due to family reasons.
If you would like public acknowledgement for your support, Ciro will very gladly give it, just let Ciro know how you'd prefer it. Due to Ciro Santilli's campaign for freedom of speech in China, many supporters have chosen to be anonyomous, and that is totally fine, not everyone is interested in politics, or has a situation where going public is acceptable, so we don't have a standard setup yet, let's build it together. A acknowledgement section at the bottom of this page would be a minimum, but I for larger donations we could add a your advertisement in a locations such as:
100k USD/year is a semi arbitrary ammount that sounds nice. My last day job total compensation as of 2024 was about 150k USD/year.
Video 2.
OpenGL GPU GLSL fragment shader real time v4l2 Linux webcam computer vision box blur vs CPU
. Source.
Figure 1.
Ciro Santilli playing with a pipette at the University of Cambridge circa 2017
. Altough totally disqualified for it, Ciro would really like to understand and explain cool scientific experiments in insane detail much as he does with computer software, related:Maybe if he ever gets enough credibility, such opportunities would actually materialize. It could be a bit like Periodic Videos, but for molecular biology and physics, and backed by OurBigBook text/tree with minimal openly licensed videos. The fact that such opportunities are essentially impossible outside of the boredom of the university system is something we should really change about education.
So that he can work full time on and revolutionize advanced university-level science, technology, engineering, and mathematics eduction for all ages.
Donating to Ciro is the most effective donation per dollar that you can make to:
Ciro's goal in life is to help kids as young as possible to reach, and the push, the frontiers of natural sciences human knowledge, linking it to applications that might be the the next big thing as early as possible. Because nothing is more motivating to students than that feeling of:
Hey, I can actually do something in this area that has never been done before!
rather than repeating the same crap that everyone is already learning.
To do this, Ciro wants to work in parallel both on:
Ciro believes that this rare combination of both:produces a virtuous circle, because Ciro:
  • wants to learn and teach, so he starts to create content
  • then he notices the teaching tools are crap
  • and since he has the ability to actually improve them, he does
As explained at and high flying bird scientist, Ciro is most excited to make contributions at the "missing middle level of specialization" that lies around later undergrad and lower grad education:
  • at lower undergrad level, there is already a lot of free material out there to learn stuff
  • at upper graduate level and beyond, too few people know about each specific subject, that it becomes hard to factor things out
But on that middle sweet spot, Ciro believes that something can be done, in such as way that delivers:
  • beauty
  • power
in a way that is:
  • in your face, without requiring you to study for a year
  • but also giving enough precision to allow you to truly appreciate the beauty of the subject
    Ciro's programming skills can also be used to create educational, or actually more production-like, simulations and illustrations.
Ciro believes that today's society just keep saying over and over: "STEM is good", "STEM is good", "STEM is good" as a religious mantra, but fails miserably at providing free learning material and interaction opportunities for people to actually learn it at a deep enough level to truly appreciate why "STEM is good". This is what he wants to fix.
The following quote is ripped from Gwern Branwen's Patreon page, and it perfectly synthesizes how Ciro feels as well:
Quote 1.
Omar Khayyam's chill out quote
Omar Khayyam also came to the Vizier... but not to ask for title or office. 'The greatest boon you can confer on me,' he said, 'is to let me live in a corner under the shadow of your fortune, to spread wide the advantages of Science, and pray for your long life and prosperity.'
In addition to all of this, financial support also helps Ciro continue his general community support activities:
A detailed list of all transactions is kept atat: sponsor/budget.js.
Ciro Santilli use the following accounting for this sponsorship calculations.
For significant one time donations, he takes the final money received in one of his cash GBP accounts, then he checks how much that is in dollars on Google at the time of cashout, and then writes that ammount down as the final dollar value which is what ultimately counts. This exposes Ciro to USD/GBP fluctuations, but it simplifies accounting for donors which is more important, so it is likely worth it.
For small regular donations, Ciro just tallies it all up in GBP from time to time and converts it all to dollars in one go as it is not worth spending too much time updating those too often.
Ciro Santilli is a UK resident. He will register as a "solo trader" (slightly funny legal term) and treat donations that he uses for projects as grants, which pay regular income tax:The rates are given at: and are as of writing:
  • 0 - £12,570 0%
  • £12,571 - £50,270: 20%
  • £50,271 - to £125,140: 40%
  • £125,140: 45%
National insurance is also likely going to be paid:
  • 6% on profits between £12,570 and £50,270
  • 2% on profits over £50,270
Fortunately however VAT does not need to be paid.
The ammount that will be declared is the same as he grant ammount that was requested, e.g. if 100k USD is requested for 1 year, then 100k USD will be pro-rata declared on that year.
Any remaining donationa that don't yet meet specific grant goals will be initially treated as cash gifts which pay no tax. If in the future they are used as grant money after further goal ammounts are reached, then they will taxed as grants.
Note however that if the donor is UK-based and dies within 7 years of the gift being given, inheritance tax has to be paid on them as per:, at a maximum of 32% and going to to 0% at 7 years, so let me know from the afterlife.
Crazy shady crypto people seem to like Ciro Santilli, so this is in order.
For the love of God do dot give us proceeds of crime.
Giving to Ciro Santilli is the worst possible way to launder your money, as donations ammounts are clearly publicly disclosed (though not donor identities if they with to remain anoymous), and clear records kept of every donation made (including private note of donor identities if known). Also suspicious donations are promptly reported to the authorities.
Donation refunds upon donor's requests are only made at our discretion, and may be declined, unless required by law of course. This is to reduce the risks of us unknowingly serving as money mules or aiding money laundering.
Ciro Santilli believes that he is not require to report large donations to either:
But note that Ciro will preventively report if there are any further suspicious aspects to any donations received.
Ciro Santilli wants to make sure that you get clear highlights of what your donation money is going into!Sponsors also receive the "Ciro's Edit" email newsletter if desired, which contains similar updates to the above, but delivered directly to their inbox.
On 2024-03-18, Ciro Santilli received an anonymous 1000 Monero donation (worth ~126k USD at the time) to his self-custody wallet, which pushed him over his public plea for 100k USD goal to quit his job for one year.
Since this donation is so huge, it deserves some comments and a bit of a retrospective. The path to this donation has been an interactive one, and it is described below.
After starting the OurBigBook Project, Ciro started the sponsor Ciro Santilli's work on page on and setup some donation methods to help support the project, and possibly try to capitalize a bit on Ciro Santilli's Stack Overflow contributions.
His sponsors are absolutely crazy amazing people, but Ciro simply could attract a large enough amount of small sponsors to reach life changing amounts under those circumstances. This is partly due to Video "And I am not and never have been 'familiar' scene from The Big Short (2015)".
As such, Ciro came to realize more and more that the best approach would be to reach out to a smaller number of rich people, given that the things he works on niche, but may appeal to a particularly wealthy tranche of the population: STEM people. Other experiences and ideas that contribute to this realization are:
  • the creation of the OurBigBook Fellowship, which as of writing consisted of a single donation. During this exercise, Ciro Santilli gave about 2k USD to help a promising Brazilian student. In doing so, he understood a lot about what goes on inside a "rich person's" head when considering a donation
    • it is hard to decide who to donate to and find those people. In part because as soon as you create a public donation system with an application process, people will game the fuck out of it. Perhaps the Lost Horse LLC approach of "they find you" is the best?
    • it is basically impossible to donate more than 1% of your net worth if you have a family. Even 1% you may be discouraged about. Perhaps with reason due to previous bad donations they have made.
  • the increasing wealth inequality of this world, perhaps one of the greatest problems we now face
Then, whenever a larger donation would come through and surprise Ciro, he would improve his sponsor page statements. First a private 150 USD by an awesome sponsor. Then the 2023-09 ~810$ Bitcoin one. Finally came the 2023-11-20 100 Monero one. And it was that one that pushed Ciro to start his "100k USD = 1 year campaign".
Finally on 2024-03-13, Ciro received an anonymous 10 Monero donation to self-custody wallet. He had clearly stated that one should make a test donation to that wallet before the big one, so 10 Monero felt like it could be the test one. Ciro communicated the reception at: / Over the next few days, Ciro checked his wallet more often than his previously self imposed once a weekend max, and as expected, he found the big one on a slightly despaired around midnight sleepless night (partly due to parenthood). He was feeling particularly bored and a bit sad with his work life that night. And there it was. 1000 Monero on the wallet. Needless to say, not much sleep was done on that evening!!!
Video 1.
1000 Monero donation (~126,000 USD) reaction video by Ciro Santilli
. Source.
Figure 1.
Screenshot of Ciro Santilli's Monero wallet with 1000 Monero in it just after the donation
The following days were also tense, with Ciro having a trial by fire on selling large amounts of Monero on the UK, which is not trivial as it had been banned from all major exchanges. But he managed. Further notes on that at: Ciro also decided to keep about 200 Monero around just for fun as a crazy moonshot.
Another major factor likely Ciro having published his article: Section "Cool data embedded in the Bitcoin blockchain" in 2019. This is something he wrote entirely for fun during an intense 3 week side-time binge in 2019, though some large updates were made later on. It was this article that likely some crypto-dude attention to Ciro Santilli's profile. As of 2024, there is said to be about 20 crypto billionaires, so perhaps there are about 2000 crypto 10 millionaires[ref], which is the minimum net worth for a donation of 100k USD to be feasible (1% mark). And perhaps a reasonable number of them are just nerds who got rich, and want to improve the world. There are two lessons from this:
  • follow your instincts, always. If something seems mega fun and quick, do it!
  • making money from a few rich people (or entities like organizations) is easier than working for a bunch of poor people, because you have to convince less people. If you reach many poor people however, things are much more stable as you can lose a few customers and still be fine
Another factor in the donation, Ciro Santilli believes, is that many rich people thing that education is bullshit. As mentioned on the awesome series The Playlist via a hypothetical Peter Thiel, a large number of rich people are neurodiverse, and it is obvious why: you have to be different to make it big, but you are worse off on average for it. Section "How can I be as great by Justine Musk" comes to mind. As such, it is only natural that a large number of rich people want to improve our educational system, which tends to be the very epitome of "boring and average normalness" which Ciro Santilli so much detests. This can also be seen in people such as:
Amazing reacaions from the Monero Reddit community:
  • geonic_ comments:
    Reaction video is fake. Very bad acting.
  • Inaeipathy comments:
    Well, anyways, I would be very unsurprised if this 1000 XMR was sent to him by himself for... reasons.
  • -TrustyDwarf- comments:
    Anyone mind to explain wtf this ugly piece of webpage reminding me of geocities from the 90s is about? I'd read it myself but I can't because it already gave me eye cancer.
  • rbrunner7 comments:
    It's all quite strange. Never mind the 90s design, people built good websites already back then with the tools at hand, but even their "About" isn't very clear. If you need 5 minutes to be reasonably sure what it is all about they are still doing it wrong.
These people have some serious trust issues!!! Perhaps not surprising from a privacy coin community. Ciro's Twitter post:
Figure 2.
It's a role given to me by the Internet people
. Source.
The anonymity of the donation is mind blowing.
The first sensation Ciro Santilli got was as if God himself had come down from heaven to toy with an unsuspecting human being. God running an experiment. Or perhaps an AGI that had already secretly taken over. Not very different.
Like with God, this was the answer to Ciro's prayers on Twitter. A one way conversation that leaves you uncertain of the details.
Whichever the case, Ciro is going to put on the best show he possibly can for youe money, documenting every step along the way in usual fashion!
Besides the awesomeness however, anonymity is a risk.
Ciro ran this over and over in his head, and the only big risk of anonymity is that if this money is ever proven to be from the proceeds of crime, he would have to give it back to the government and "lose one year's salary he would have otherwise gained".
However, that worst case scenario is not bad enough. If anything, it was a great excuse to quit his job for his family and wife is already worth it. Ciro could do it and survive, though situation would deteriorate slowly. But he was a coward previously.
Ciro does however feel that there is good chance that it is legitimate.
Ciro Santilli's Stack Overflow contributions are exceptional, he's amazing right! He deserves this! Of course, there is danger in this rationale which scammers could exploit. But bro, if scammers are going to send 100k USD to me, then please continue to do so!
Also which criminal would be stupid enough to donate proceeds of crime to a highly public person who is going to clearly announce it?
Just be warned, if you come with a baseball bat trying to get the money back by force, I will call the police immediately and by God you will not get it!!
Given this, Ciro just keeps thinking about the likely profile of the donor:
  • 10m+ net worth
  • either got rich with Monero, or thought Monero was interesting and wanted to test it out while doing something cool. Also perhaps he has a personal stake in Monero and is trying to advertise it?
But the "why anonymous if not criminal" question remains. Generally rich people want recognition both for:
  • reputation washing
  • to make their donation mechanisms higher profile which allows raising more and attracting better candidates and reach greater impact
Two options that come to mind:
What if I fail? What if one month in I discover that the project is undoable for some reason? Etc.
Nothing can scare a man as much as allowing him to pursue his dream! Because then he may find his dream was purely an empty illusion.
But still, we must try.

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