₿trust, a non-profit 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 non-profit has acquired Qala, an organization dedicated to training Bitcoin and Lightning engineers in Africa. The acquisition will help ₿Trust succeed on 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 in the global Bitcoin ecosystem.
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 programs’ alumni have secured roles at the firms like the Bitcoin-native banking platform Galoy in the Cloud Galoy, the Lightning Network-based messenger SphinxChat, and the peer-to-peer platform Bitnob, in addition to open-source grants from ₿trust and Superlunar.
Under the acquisition terms, Qala CEO Femi Longe and programme manager Stephanie Titcombe will officially join ₿trust as programme leads at ₿trust Builders.
“We’re incredibly proud to welcome Femi and his excellent team to ₿trust,” ₿trust board member Ojoma Ochai said, adding that the Qala has made “rapid progress in driving open-source development in the Global South.”
Dorsey announced the creation of the Bitcoin development trust ₿trust in February 2021, aiming to fund Bitcoin development around the world. Worth 500 BTC, or $23.7 million at the time of the announcement, the non-profit initially focused on teams in Africa and India. Apart from Dorsey, the trust was initially funded by crypto-friendly artist and producer Jay-Z. The non-profit is currently headed up by a board of directors including Abubakar Nur Khalil, Carla Kirk-Cohen, Obi Nwosu and Ochai.