The non-profit organization Btrust, co-established by musician Jay-Z and Block CEO Jack Dorsey, has purchased Qala, a company focused on nurturing Bitcoin and Lightning engineering talent in Africa. Post-acquisition, Qala will be rebranded as the Btrust Builders Program.
News on September 6th indicates that this acquisition aims to mutually benefit both organizations in promoting Bitcoin development across the African continent. While Btrust possesses the financial capability, it lacked the infrastructure to cultivate African Bitcoin talent effectively. Conversely, Qala had an established system but was resource-constrained, primarily since it operates as a social enterprise without revenue generation.
Before the deal, Qala depended on funding from various organizations, such as Coinbase Giving and a $100,000 grant from the Human Rights Foundation. Femi Longe, Qala’s CEO, and Stephanie Titcombe, a program manager, are now slated to become program leads for the newly-formed Btrust Builders Program.
The new program will shift its attention to open-source training and invite senior software developers from Africa to engage in Bitcoin and Lightning projects. On February 11, 2021, both Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey committed 500 BTC to Btrust to assist projects in India and Africa, although no specific instructions were given by the co-founders. Subsequently, Btrust has funded activities like the inaugural Africa Bitcoin Conference, scheduled for December 5-7 in Ghana, as part of its broader mission to decentralize Bitcoin development.