The rapper Jay-Z and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have been criticized for opening the Bitcoin Academy in the rapper’s childhood home.

Jay-Z

 

Jay-Z and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey have teamed up to start The Bitcoin Academy, a bitcoin-focused financial literacy project. The project consists of free bi-weekly workshops for inhabitants of the musician’s boyhood home, the Marcy Houses public housing complex in Brooklyn, New York City, which are offered both in person and online.

Given the pair’s long history in business and bitcoin, the collaboration is unsurprising. In 2021, Dorsey’s digital-payments firm Block (formerly Square) purchased a majority stake in Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service, and the two have used their personal bitcoin holdings to fund a trust to promote cryptocurrency use in Africa and India.

According to the academy’s website, its seminars will empower the community with information and remove some of the hurdles so that citizens may learn more about Bitcoin in particular and finance in general. Two bitcoin influencers, Lamar Wilson and Najah J. Roberts, are the sole listed instructors, promising to teach students about Bitcoin, how it works, why you should care, and how to construct your own financial future.

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While providing free financial literacy seminars is uncontroversial, the academy’s focus on bitcoin has sparked outrage. Financial scams, hacking, and fraud abound in the cryptocurrency industry, as naïve investors are enticed to invest in various coins with promises of quick profits, only to have the rug yanked out from under them and their funds ruined. Many Twitter users labeled the academy’s announcement as a “pyramid scam” in response to the announcement.

The promise of financial freedom has always been a component of the appeal of cryptocurrency. Indeed, it has less barriers to entry than the traditional banking system in several ways.

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