Jack Dorsey’s ₿trust acquires African Bitcoin organization Qala


₿trust, a nonprofit organization funded by Twitter (now X) co-founder and Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Jack Dorsey, is scaling up its programs in Africa with a new acquisition.

The nonprofit has acquired Qala, an organization dedicated to training Bitcoin and Lightning Network engineers in Africa. The acquisition will help ₿trust in its mission to drive the development and education of Bitcoin open-source engineers from across the Global South, the organization said in a joint announcement.

As part of the transaction — which was completed on Sept. 1 — Qala will rebrand as the ₿trust Builders Programme. Founded in 2021, Qala has been engaged with sourcing, training and matching African software developers with global Bitcoin firms, helping them obtain the most relevant skills for the global Bitcoin ecosystem. 

The rebranding notice on Qala’s website. Source: Qala

According to the announcement, Qala has built one of the biggest online communities of Bitcoin developers in Africa, spanning over 42 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. The program’s alumni have secured roles at firms such as Bitcoin-native banking platform Galoy, Lightning-based messenger Sphinx Chat and peer-to-peer platform Bitnob, in addition to obtaining open-source grants from ₿trust and Superlunar.

Under the acquisition terms, Qala CEO Femi Longe and program manager Stephanie Titcombe will join ₿trust as program leads at ₿trust Builders.

Related: Securitize acquires $40B crypto fund manager Onramp

“We’re incredibly proud to welcome Femi and his excellent team to ₿trust,” ₿trust board member Ojoma Ochai said, adding that Qala has made “rapid progress in driving open-source development in the Global South.” 

Dorsey announced the creation of ₿trust in February 2021. Worth 500 BTC, or $23.7 million at the time of the announcement, the nonprofit initially focused on teams in Africa and India. Apart from Dorsey, the trust was initially funded by crypto-friendly rapper Jay-Z. The nonprofit is currently headed up by a board of directors including Abubakar Nur Khalil, Carla Kirk-Cohen, Obi Nwosu and Ochai.

Magazine: Magazine: Bitcoin in Senegal: Why is this African country using BTC?