The non-profit, ₿trust, has recently located the founding member for its new Africa Open Source Cohort that will be locating and educating new Bitcoin developers in Africa. ₿trust was initially funded with a 500 BTC donation by Square CEO Jack Dorsey and rapper Jay-Z in February 2021.

₿trust was created to decentralize software development within the Bitcoin ecosystem and focuses on developers in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The cohort is the latest program launched by ₿trust to support long-term contributions to the Bitcoin ecosystem. 

Every new member is expected to sign a one-year contract while compensation will be based on contributions to open-source Bitcoin projects as well as a number of other factors. All cohort developers will benefit from this program by gaining access to professional management, mentorship, peer support, and assistance with relationship management. Developers will also receive financial support for stipends, hardware, and other expenses.

Obi Nwosu is a full time Bitcoin advocate and board member of ₿trust who explains this type of investment as “speculative philanthropy.” This is where a return on aggregate value of an ecosystem is more sought after than maximizing more traditional financial incentives.

Additionally, ₿trust identified Vladimir Fomene as the cohort’s founding member. Fomene is a Cameroonian and has skills in software engineering, JavaScript, and Rust. Initially, he will be focusing on the Bitcoin Development Kit that provides tools for developers to build Bitcoin wallets that function cross-platform. Bitcoin custody solutions will be a top priority for Fomene in order to increase sovereignty for Africans and anyone else using these tools.

Like many who start learning about Bitcoin, Fomene shares that he was skeptical but due to a number of government actions over the last few years, he has reconsidered his stance on the topic.

It became clear to me that we had given governments too much power and they could abuse it through their misactions or actions… The people must take back some of that power or have systems that can keep their governments in check.

Others like Fomene are welcome to join ₿trust and the cohort in order to further decentralize the Bitcoin ecosystem. The non-profit continues to seek qualified candidates who are willing to put in the effort to provide tools for unbanked individuals.

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