Non-Profit Opens Bitcoin Technology Center in Ghana

The Built With Bitcoin Foundation (BWB) has constructed a new resource for Ghanaians, a brick-and-mortar technology center to host free education and community resources for bitcoiners in one of Ghana’s most populous cities, all in the wake of a massive African Bitcoin conference that the nation hosted this month.

Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a notoriously anti-crypto bastion of traditional finance, has been made to acknowledge that Africa is far and away the world’s fastest-growing region for Bitcoin adoption. Although still smaller than the traditional centers for Bitcoin, like Europe, the Americas and East Asia, African bitcoiners reached a staggering $20 billion in crypto transactions per month in mid-2021, and have only been growing since, according to the IMF.

Despite some skeptical regulators showing initial hostility to the growing crypto community, ordinary Africans have plenty of reasons to be excited about a new economic model that may serve them more fairly. Promising a decentralized model that is fundamentally run by the community, Bitcoin has a number of advantages for people around the world without bank accounts or traditional wage-paying jobs. Bitcoin wallets don’t require a permanent address, a passport, credit score or any such restrictions common to bank access, and bitcoin is often used as a store of value. Although many first-worlders may be skeptical about bitcoin’s price fluctuation in dollars, it still does not hold a candle to some of the hyperinflation characteristic in several African currencies.

As a part of this growing adoption and sense of community, people from all over the continent and the international space came to the first African Bitcoin Conference (ABC 22), which was hosted in Ghana. It featured some of Bitcoin’s biggest luminaries like Jack Mallers and Jack Dorsey announcing massive new projects in the continent, alongside a wide array of African crypto advocates and developers. The conference ended on December 7, 2022, but the BWB marked that occasion with a permanent fixture in Ghana. In Ejisu, a suburb of Ghana’s second-largest city, a Bitcoin Technology Center, or BTC for short, was built to service the needs of a growing community.

Officially opening on December 8, the center will be run and staffed entirely by Ghanaians, retaining control of the center’s operations and staying integrated as a part of Ghana’s own society. The BTC, with a mission statement to “equip the local community with skills and knowledge within the finance and technology industries — it’s also intended to build community and foster a safe environment to learn,” will host educational lectures and rigorous developer training sessions, as well as regular meetups for any Bitcoin enthusiasts in the community. All of these services will be provided free of charge. The center aims to train 400 people in its first year of operation, from coding workshops to lectures on financial literacy in general, among many other lessons.

This is far from the first ambitious project that the BWB has undertaken in Africa alone, building a similar center in South Africa and a clean water project in Nigeria, as well as providing ferry and school supplies to a village in El Salvador. The foundation’s aims are diverse; interested in “creating equitable opportunity by providing clean water, access to quality education, sustainable farming, and humanitarian support,” all due to the power of Bitcoin. Projects with such diverse aims as this show a clear understanding of the idea that adoption of sophisticated new technology can not simply take root anywhere overnight. People need more than just the opportunity to bet on Bitcoin, but also the support to feel that they can make what might feel like a gamble. Above all else, people need the education to make an informed decision about their own economic future.

Ghana’s new BTC aims to do all of these things, and shows a model that could be replicated all over the growing African crypto space. People from many walks of life can benefit from a center like the one in Ejisu, whether it be an early-adopter who can make a living working at the center, a novice who uses the center’s resources to become a full-fledged Bitcoin developer or even total neophytes who become attracted to regular meetups hosted at the center.


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