Four Africans have been appointed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to serve as board members of his Bitcoin Trust (BTrust) fund that will supervise and support the development of Bitcoin in Africa.
They are Carla Kirk-Cohen from South Africa, Abubakar Nur Khalil from Nigeria, Obi Nwosu from Nigeria and Ojoma Ochai also from Nigeria. The four were selected from a pool of 7,000 applicants.
Kirk-Cohen is a software engineer and had previously worked for one of the largest crypto exchanges in South Africa, Luno. Ochai is a Managing Partner at Lagos-based Co-Creation Hub, a technology innovation workspace.
Nwosu is the co-founder of Coinfloor, a cryptocurrency startup that has raised $300,000 in funding round while Khalil serves as the Chief Technology Officer, Recursive Capital. Khalil received $50,000 in BTC for his work on Bitcoin wallet software from Human Rights Foundation (HRF) in May 2021.
Announcing the four Africans on his board, Dorsey described them as “inspirational” and said they will now help define how the Bitcoin Trust Fund would be administered.
“Announcing the Bitcoin Trust Board: Carla Kirk-Cohen, Abubakar Nur Khalil, Obi Nwosu and Ojoma Ochai! I’m so grateful for you all and so inspired… They’ll now work towards defining the operating principles as they think about how to best distribute the 500 bitcoin towards development efforts,” Dorsey wrote.
In February this year, Dorsey and Jay-Z pledged 500 bitcoin (around $23.3 million) toward Btrust, an endowment to fund bitcoin development, the Verge reported, adding that the development will initially be focused on teams in Africa and India.
Cryptocurrencies are fast growing in Africa, with Nigeria emerging as the second biggest market for bitcoin, trading over 60,000 bitcoins, valued at $566 million, between 2015 and 2020.
Since 2017, the volume of bitcoin trade in Nigeria has increased by 19% while the highest volume of trade (20,504.50) was recorded in 2020, Quartz Africa reported last September.
The West African nation and Africa’s biggest economy trails only the United States on Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer bitcoin market place. The sharp rise in bitcoin trade, particularly in 2020, has been attributed to the lockdown and the “End SARS” protest across Nigeria.