The first iteration of The Bitcoin Academy – Jack Dorsey and Jay Z’ (Shawn Carters) ‘s Bitcoin education program – has come to a close.
After 12 weeks, the initiative ended by airdropping $1000 in Bitcoin to all participants who opted to receive a grant.
Jack and Jay Z’s Parting Gift
As reported by Business Insider, the entire program, including the final airdrop, was personally funded by both Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey. Though it’s unclear exactly how many people received the airdrop, an email from Jay’s mother revealed that the program was attended by over 350 Marcy residents.
“Marcy residents showed up,” she said. “What also matters is providing the necessary resources such as dinner, childcare, devices, internet access, dedicated staff and instructors so that as many people as possible could participate in person and online.”
The Bitcoin Academy was announced in early June as an in-person program for delivering Bitcoin education and resources to the residents of Marcy Houses, New York – where Jay Z grew up. It lasted from June 22nd until September 7th.
At the time, the organizers were transparent about participants receiving various rewards, including free MiFi devices, one-year data plans, and smartphones. Other benefits, such as the free childcare provided by the program, enticed certain residents to attend. The Bitcoin gift, however, was a last-minute surprise.
What the Program Taught
Some of the courses covered by the event included titles like “Wealth Building and Assets,” “Why Decentralization Matters,” “Staying Safe from Scammers,” “Bitcoin & Taxes,” and “Careers in Crypto,” as well as others. All courses were recorded and remain available online – but only for Marcy residents.
“A lot of times, the information doesn’t get to our community,” explained Lamar Wilson, an Academy instructor and founder of Black Bitcoin Billionaire. “Not because people are being intentionally discriminatory, it’s because they’re not being intentional about getting the information there.”
As he noted, many of the residents were able to understand even complex and technical concepts like Bitcoin mining once they were explained to them. They were also taught about how Bitcoin can be used as a tool for building “generational wealth,” which resonated with many attendees.
Wilson, in particular, was intrigued by how Bitcoin can be a tool for historically oppressed groups to protect their wealth from confiscation. One Marcy resident – Mariela Regalado – recognized Bitcoin as a tool that can help secure a financial future for her daughter.
“I’m stacking stacks for her, and I probably wasn’t gonna be able to say that back in June before the Academy, but now I can, because now I know what all that means,” she said.
Both Wilson and Regalado stressed that students of the academy were in no way pressured to buy or trade Bitcoin but were simply educated on it. “It always felt like we’re at a family dinner, and like that cousin that discovered Bitcoin is telling everybody else about it,” said Regalado.