Jack Dorsey, Jay-Z start $24M Bitcoin development fund


The entire financial sector has been in flux to start the year. Whether it was Reddit users pumping GameStop stock to ridiculous levels or cryptocurrencies reaching all-time highs, things in the world of money aren’t what they used to be. That disruption has fueled renewed interest in Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency.

Not only has Bitcoin risen to an all-time high of more than $47,000 per coin, it has also drawn interest from companies like Tesla as well as big-name investors. Recently, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and rapper Jay-Z have teamed up to establish a Bitcoin development fund called ₿trust. Together, the duo injected 500 Bitcoin into the endowment, giving it an initial value of about $23.6 million.

It’s a significant show of support for the cryptocurrency and is designed to help Bitcoin grow in Africa and India. Ironically, India recently announced plans to ban cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Growth

Although Bitcoin has done well in the U.S., the cryptocurrency is currently booming in places like Nigeria and other African countries. In areas where currency manipulation and devaluation are common, Bitcoin is a safer way to hold money, TechCrunch reports. Last year alone, Nigerians traded more than $400 million worth of cryptocurrency, putting the country second only to the U.S. in terms of volume over the past five years.

India, meanwhile, recently announced its intention to enact a complete ban on all cryptocurrencies. That being said, investors have time to transition their holdings to other currencies. It’s an interesting move that seems to go against the tech-forward nature of India considering that it is often known as the software development capital of the world.

The new ₿trust endowment could change things as it provides plenty of incentive for India to get on board with the cryptocurrency. Of course, it could also fall flat, leaving ₿trust with no option but to stop focusing on the country.

Although Bitcoin adoption internationally is varied, companies are largely starting to see the cryptocurrency in a new light. A number of noteworthy firms have recently started accepting Bitcoin payments. Mastercard is the latest payment platform to support the digital coin.

Meanwhile, Dorsey’s other company, Square, also allows Bitcoin transactions. Electric carmaker Tesla recently purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and plans to start accepting cryptocurrency payments for its vehicles.

Endowment Details

Moving forward, the ₿trust endowment will operate without the influence of its two main donors. Both Dorsey and Jay-Z will step back, establishing the fund as a blind irrevocable trust. In other words, they won’t have any influence on how it is run.

That being said, the duo is currently looking for three board members that will helm the initiative. Ultimately, ₿trust’s mission is to “make Bitcoin the internet’s currency.”

It’s unclear at this time how ₿trust will pursue that mission. However, there are a variety of potential avenues to choose from.

By pushing the adoption of Bitcoin in developing countries, the cryptocurrency will gain even more traction and continue to revolutionize the world of finance.


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