co-founder of Twitter and Block CEO Jack Dorsey teams up with artist Jay-Z (Sean Carter) for launch Bitcoin Academy at Marcy Houses, the public housing complex in Brooklyn, New York where Jay-Z grew up.
The initiative aims to provide financial education with a focus on Bitcoin as a path to financial freedom, offering free face-to-face and online classes hosted by Lamar Wilson, who runs content site Black Bitcoin Billionaire, and Naja J. Roberts, founder and CEO of the space. for events and education Crypto Blockchain Plug. The program will run twice a week from the end of June to September, and program participants will be provided with smartphones, MiFi devices, and an annual data plan. There is even a weekend program for children.
Dorsey and Jay-Z are longtime bitcoin collaborators and evangelists. In addition to working on TIDAL, which Jay-Z sold to Dorsey, the duo expanded 500 BTC investment together last year with a focus on developing the popularity of cryptocurrencies in India and Africa. But Bitcoin Academy is funded by personal grants from two entrepreneurs.
Nevertheless, the prospects of cryptocurrencies as a safe path to economic stability for the low-income segments of the population are far from guaranteed.
Considering volatility cryptocurrencies and prevalence fraud, there are fears that this project may negatively affect the participants, even if it has good intentions. Cryptography creator Austin Robie put it this way: “If you asked the residents of Marcy House how best to meet their needs, how many of them would answer “bitcoin class”?”
“The simple goal is to provide people with the tools to become independent for themselves and then for the community around them,” Jay-Z tweeted.
A Bitcoin academy spokesperson told TechCrunch that a small amount of bitcoin will be provided to participants, but the project is for learning. The nature of the program will depend on who registers — for example, they can teach classes in Spanish — and will cover the basics of what cryptocurrency is, how blockchain works, and how to detect fraud. Teachers don’t necessarily advise residents of Marsi to invest in cryptography, but it’s not hard to see how such guidance could be implied.
Some vulnerable populations, such as immigrants and unbanked individuals, may be interested in learning about cryptocurrencies as an alternative to traditional banks, which charge high international transaction fees and often require legal documents to access. While wealthier investors can safely survive the cryptocurrency’s dips and surges, a market crash would have more immediate, potentially catastrophic consequences for those who regularly transact with their bitcoins.
In El Salvador, about 70% of the population does not have bank accounts, but after the country became first to accept bitcoin as legal tender last yearresidents have not witnessed the economic progress they had hoped for. The International Monetary Fund even urged the country to stop using bitcoin as legal tender. citing risk inflation and lack of consumer protection. The Central American country is expected to return $800 million worth of sovereign bonds in January 2023but some analysts believe the country could default on the loan.
“I don’t really blame marginalized communities who end up believing in a lot of hype and promises. [around crypto],” said Tonantzin Carmona, a Brookings Metro employee who studies race, income inequality and social mobility. “It is clear that they are looking for alternative ways to accumulate wealth or make payment transactions. But that doesn’t mean the alternative is actually better, safer, or will actually help them reach their goals.”
Carmona notes the connection between the promise of financial freedom based on cryptography and “predatory inclusion”, a term coined by Princeton University professor Kianga-Yamakhtta Taylor to describe housing discrimination. Even after the abolition of racist policies such as the “redline” that regulated where black homeowners could build and buy homes, blacks continued to be unfairly targeted. subprime loansspecifically designed for communities of color.
“I see cryptocurrencies as part of this legacy of predatory inclusion,” Carmona told TechCrunch. “This access comes at a price. They say you will have financial freedom, but that also means you get access to the volatility and complexity of cryptocurrencies. You are accessing a space rife with scams, scams, hacks and all because there is currently no consumer protection.”
TechCrunch asked the Bitcoin Academy if there would be any guarantees that residents would not experience negative financial impacts from the project. While there is no formal protection for participants, the spokesperson for the program stressed that the point of the program is to focus on education to avoid these potential bad outcomes.
While the program is funded by Dorsey and Jay-Z, the academy will operate day-to-day with the help of a small staff of staff from the Sean Carter Foundation, led by Jay-Z’s mother Gloria Carter as co-founder and CEO.
“The Sean Carter Foundation has always been committed to providing access to education and opening doors of opportunity to low-income communities,” Carter said in his speech. statement. “Everyone should be able to make informed financial decisions to take care of themselves and their families.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /