Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter (now X) and a supporter of Bitcoin, has a non-profit organization called ₿trust. This organization recently acquired Qala, a group dedicated to training Bitcoin and Lightning engineers in Africa. The goal is to promote the development and education of Bitcoin open-source engineers from regions in the Global South. Qala will now be known as the ₿trust Builders Programme.
Qala, founded in 2021, has been connecting African software developers with global Bitcoin companies, helping them acquire the skills needed in the Bitcoin ecosystem. They have built a large online community of Bitcoin developers across 42 African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. Graduates of their programs have gone on to work at companies like Galoy, SphinxChat, and Bitnob, and have received grants from ₿trust and Superlunar.
As part of the acquisition, Qala’s CEO Femi Longe and program manager Stephanie Titcombe will join ₿trust as program leads at ₿trust Builders. ₿trust is proud of this addition and sees Qala as having made significant progress in promoting open-source development in the Global South.
In February 2021, Jack Dorsey unveiled ₿trust, a Bitcoin development trust with an initial endowment of 500 BTC (valued at $23.7 million at the time). This non-profit initiative aimed to support Bitcoin development initiatives globally. Apart from Dorsey, the trust received funding from the crypto-friendly artist and producer Jay-Z. The organization is currently supervised by a prominent board of directors, including Abubakar Nur Khalil, Carla Kirk-Cohen, Obi Nwosu, and Ojoma Ochai.
₿trust’s acquisition of Qala marks a significant step forward in its mission to empower Bitcoin developers in Africa and the broader Global South, contributing to the growth and resilience of the Bitcoin ecosystem on a global scale.
It has always been observed that Jack Dorsey has a strong attachment to Africa, particularly in the context of cryptocurrency. In a report by Todayq News on December 7, 2023, it was mentioned that Dorsey’s company, Block Inc., along with Stillmark, invested $2 million in Gridless, a Kenyan company with a focus on community-oriented businesses.
Gridless intends to use these funds to expand Bitcoin mining operations across Africa, utilizing excess energy from renewable sources. CEO Erik Hersman has emphasized their support for renewable energy developers and the pressing need for affordable electricity in Africa.