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African Bitcoin Startup Qala Acquired by Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey’s Btrust


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Brian Kirubai

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Qala, a startup that specializes in training African Bitcoin and Lightning engineers, was recently bought by Btrust, a nonprofit organization founded by Block CEO Jack Dorsey and Jay-Z.

Related reading : Jack Dorsey And Jay-Z Launch Bitcoin Education Academy

The Qala program has changed its name to the Btrust Builders Program as of last Friday.

Qala’s recent announcement on its website

Through this tactical merger, both organizations will have the chance to collaborate and further their common objective of promoting bitcoin adoption in Africa.

Although Btrust started with an initial funding of 500 BTC and has the resources, it lacks the infrastructure needed to develop a long-term pool of African Bitcoin talent. Grants are the main way that Btrust carries out its goal. 

When asked about Qala’s most significant challenge, CEO Femi Longe openly acknowledged that financing has been their primary obstacle. Qala was established as a social enterprise and does not generate revenue independently. Instead, it has been dependent on receiving grants from various organizations, such as the Human Rights Foundation and Coinbase Giving.

Additionally, the acquisition provided a chance to rebrand Qala as the Btrust Builders Program. The two organizations can fill the roles that are necessary to remain operational. Qala requires finance, which Btrust possesses, and Btrust needs frameworks to cultivate talent.

Qala was formed by Tim Akinbo — who is regarded as possibly the founder of the first bitcoin node in West Africa, Bernard Parah, the CEO of Bitnob, and two Btrust board members, Nur Khalil and Carla Kirk-Cohen.

The Human Rights Foundation, based in New York, awarded Qala a 0.5 bitcoin grant in 2021 to help with the training of 10 Bitcoin developers in Africa.

Through the acquisition of Btrust, the group hopes to accelerate its strategy for growth, which includes giving its community access to essential resources. 

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