Btrust Builders Launches Bitcoin Fellowship in Africa

South Africa

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  • Btrust Builders’ fellowship is a pivotal step in African Bitcoin development.
  • The three-month duration of the program raises questions about its sufficiency.
  • Btrust’s acquisition of Qala underscores a commitment to inclusive technology advancement.

Launching the Bitcoin Fellowship

Btrust Builders announced its first fellowship program for Bitcoin developers on Jan 22, 2024. This marks a pivotal moment in nurturing Bitcoin expertise on the continent. The program aims to equip fifty-five software engineers with advanced skills in Bitcoin open-source development. Consequently, this initiative is set to enhance blockchain innovation in Africa.

Program Structure and Duration

Moreover, participants of this three-month fellowship were rigorously selected, having undergone thorough interviews and testing processes. These developers will engage in various activities, including daily stand-ups, written updates, and mentorship sessions. Additionally, their involvement in technical article writing will bolster their hands-on experience. Importantly, the program offers remuneration based on active participation and timely task completion.

However, the fellowship’s duration has sparked discussions. Comparisons with similar programs, which often extend to a year, raise questions about the adequacy of a three-month timeframe for such intensive training. This concern was echoed by Jennifer Ezeobi, a participant from the first cohort, who expressed a desire for more time on open-source Bitcoin projects.

Besides training new talent, Btrust Builders is also leveraging its alumni network. Faculty members of the current batch are graduates from previous programs, bringing invaluable first-hand experience to address past shortcomings. Hence, the program is continuously evolving, integrating feedback for enhanced effectiveness.

Btrust’s Strategic Development and Vision

Before its acquisition, Btrust was known as Qala. The rebranded entity, Btrust Builders, focuses on fostering Bitcoin and lightning development tailored to the African context. This aligns with their mission of ensuring African representation in global Bitcoin development. Femi Longe, the program lead, emphasizes the necessity of developing applications that resonate with the real-world exchange challenges unique to the continent.

Significantly, the acquisition by Btrust has provided the firm with much-needed financial support. Previously, Qala relied solely on grants, which posed sustainability challenges. This strategic move by Btrust signifies a deepened commitment to bolstering open-source development in the Global South, ensuring that technological advancements are inclusive and culturally relevant.

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Jonathan Carls

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