Be it Elon Musk or Twitter, popular cryptocurrency bitcoin never seems to stay out of the headlines. On Friday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that he and influential American rapper Jay-Z have joined hands to give 500 Bitcoin (BTC) to a new endowment they have launched, called Btrust. The aim of Btrust will be to fund the development of the cryptocurrency, with an initial focus on India and Africa.
“It’ll be set up as a blind irrevocable trust, taking zero direction from us. We need three board members to start,” Dorsey announced on Twitter. This move comes at a time when the Indian government is looking to ban all private cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin’s value has risen to at an all-time high, currently at ($ 47.427 per bitcoin) after Elon Musk’s Tesla invested $1.5bn in it earlier this week. 500 BTC has the same value as $23.6 million.
“Even though India is the software development capital of the world, we have not contributed to bitcoin core development in any significant way,” said Varun Deshpande, co-founder of Onjuno. “India always had the skills to contribute but lacked the right incentives. Today’s initiative is even more important because it provides the right incentive for developers from the world’s largest democracy to contribute and has a saying in Bitcoin’s protocol development and brings a variety of ideas into shaping the future of money is. Ironically, as India prepares a bill to ban bitcoin in India, the world is turning to our vast technological talent in India to secure and protect the bitcoin network,” he added.
Africa, especially Nigeria, paints a different picture. Nigeria ranks second in the world in terms of the amount of bitcoin traded in the last five years. Its inhabitants traded more than $ 500 million worth of cryptocurrencies in 2020 alone.
Dorsey has been a strong supporter of cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin, for a long time, citing its decentralized nature as a factor he is hoping to incorporate into social media. He had tweeted on January 14, “The reason I have so much passion for #Bitcoin is large because of the model it demonstrates: a foundational internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity.
This is what the internet wants to be, and over time, more of it will be. We are…funding an initiative around an open decentralized standard for social media. Our goal is to be a client of that standard for the public conversation layer of the internet.”
After the announcement on Friday, Dorsey added that he still needed three board members to start Btrust, providing a link to a Google form where one could file an application to become a board member, asking for contact details and proof of work. The form also mentioned that Btrust’s mission was is to “make Bitcoin the Internet’s currency.”
Dorsey’s payments company Square had bought up to $50 million worth of Bitcoin in October 2020 with the aim to make it more accessible through its mobile payments service Cash App. Twitter was also reported to have Bitcoin payments in consideration for bringing a tipping feature.
Christmas, it seems, has come early for Bitcoin.