Hip-hop and finance have collided with Business Mogul Jay-Z along with Twitter (TWTR +3.71%) and Square’s (SQ -4.30%) CEO Jack Dorsey have teamed up to create ₿trust, an endowment fund dedicated first to the development of Bitcoin in India and Africa. They added 500 BTC, worth roughly $23 million, to ₿trust and maintain that the blind irrevocable fund will have “zero direction” from them. As the two men embark into the cryptocurrency space, particularly in African nations, that are well ahead of many countries, including the U.S. will this experiment also be tested stateside?
Cryptocurrency is more commonly used by financial traders in places like the U.S., but countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa primarily use it for commerce. This difference opens the gate to financial equity on a continent that has been historically pillaged. Nigeria, the continent’s leading economy, recently made cryptocurrency legal, with regulatory guidelines in place for crypto-based companies.
Jay-Z and Dorsey are entering a crypto-environment that has a strong foundation. Dorsey’s portfolio has included Bitcoin for a few years now. His company Square launched bitcoin trading in 2018 with Cash App. In 2019, the company formed Square Crypto and launched the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA).
“Cryptocurrency basically takes what money is to many people and uses technology to make it more transparent and less centralized, so that everybody has a seat at the table when it comes to the future of finance,” said Owusu Akyaw, a Ghanaian-based cryptocurrency marketer.
Digital currency has allowed some African people to start businesses, telecommute, and send money to relatives, at virtually no cost. This is a huge win amid high unemployment, hyperinflation and currency uncertainties across these developing countries.