- jack dorsey and jay-z launched a bitcoin education program at a brooklyn public housing complex.
- offers free summer classes for residents that focus on bitcoin and financial literacy.
- Critics say the program may not be the best way to help low-income communities.
jack dorsey and jay-z face questions after launching an educational program at a brooklyn public housing complex that billionaires say will help underserved communities achieve financial independence through cryptocurrency.
The bitcoin academy program will first be open to residents of marcy houses, where the rapper and businessman whose real name is shawn carter grew up, according to his website.
Reading: Jack dorsey jay 23m bitcoin
Organizers said residents can attend free financial education classes focusing on bitcoin twice a week during the summer. They said they plan to expand the project to other neighborhoods.
dorsey and jay-z are funding the show themselves. Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and CEO of the block payments company, is worth an estimated $5 billion, while Jay-Z’s net worth is about $1.3 billion, according to Forbes.
“education is where we start. it’s not just about bitcoin…it’s about long term thinking, local economies and self confidence,” dorsey tweeted Thursday.
He and jay-z are longtime bitcoin advocates. Last year, the pair created a bitcoin endowment to fund cryptocurrency projects in Africa and India, techcrunch reported.
However, the value of the program has been questioned by some critics. cryptocurrencies are largely unregulated and their value is extremely volatile.
Bitcoin is trading at around $30,000, more than 40% below its recent high of around $69,000 in November. “The way bitcoin fluctuates…I’m having a hard time seeing the point of this,” Twitter user Gabby said of the show.
See also: FAQ – Bitcoin
Others have also asked if the two billionaires should help vulnerable communities more directly. “If you ask the residents of marcy houses how to best meet their needs, how many would say ‘a bitcoin class’?” cryptocurrency enthusiast austin robey asked dorsey in a direct tweet.
There is also concern that putting cryptocurrency in the hands of marginalized communities could make them more vulnerable to financial fraud.
Last year, scammers stole more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency from more than 46,000 people, according to a June 3 report from the federal trade commission.
tonantzin carmona, a member of brookings metro, told techcrunch: “they say you will have financial freedom, but that also means you will have access to the volatility and complexity of cryptocurrencies. you will gain access to a space that is riddled with scams, fraud, piracy and all kinds of things, because there are no consumer protections.”