Rapper-entrepreneur Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, have partnered to launch a new Bitcoin fund aimed at developing the cryptocurrency’s adoption initially in Africa and India.
According to Dorsey, the duo have put 500 Bitcoin into the venture, currently worth about $24 million, with the mission of making Bitcoin “the internet’s currency.” He said it will be established as a blind irrevocable trust, “taking zero direction from us.” The pair are currently seeking three board members to oversee the fund.
“JAY-Z/@S_C_ and I are giving 500 BTC to a new endowment named ₿trust to fund #Bitcoin development, initially focused on teams in Africa & India,” Dorsey tweeted late Thursday. He didn’t provide additional details of how the fund will operate.
Dorsey is a longtime proponent of bitcoin, once calling it “a long-term path towards greater financial access for all.” Square, his payments-processing company, began supporting Bitcoin in 2018. In addition, Twitter has said it’s weighing the use of currency to pay its employees and suppliers.
As a decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin does not flow through any country’s central bank and can be exchanged directly between users without the need for a third party to facilitate the transaction. The new Bitcoin fund set up by Jay-Z and Dorsey comes as India’s government is moving to ban Bitcoin and other private cryptocurrencies while its central bank is developing its own digital currency.
Bitcoin has recently gained new corporate supporters: Last week, Elon Musk’s Telsa acquired $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, boosting its value, and the company announced that it would begin accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its electric vehicles, reports Variety. And on Wednesday Mastercard announced that it would begin supporting “select cryptocurrencies” on its network starting in 2021.