Bitcoin Ekasi, a nonprofit organization seeking to establish a bitcoin economy in Mossel Bay, South Africa, has opened the Bitcoin Ekasi Center. The center will provide financial literacy education to local residents, with a focus on the area’s younger generation and business community.
The center was co-founded by Hermann Vivier, who also co-founded The Surfer Kids, a non-profit that teaches surfing and life skills to disadvantaged kids from the same locale. Bitcoin Ekasi has already enrolled 20 kids into its program and set up 10 stores to accept bitcoin for payment.
“Ekasi” is South African for “township.” Bitcoin Ekasi is Vivier’s attempt to create a circular bitcoin economy in Mossel Bay’s JCC Camp township – a poverty-stricken community overlooking the Indian Ocean. A circular bitcoin economy is one where individuals receive and make payments in bitcoin as they would with a traditional fiat currency.
“We recently celebrated Bitcoin Ekasi’s first anniversary and it's a surreal feeling to officially open the center. In that time I have witnessed financial empowerment through bitcoin – affecting seemingly unrelated social issues in positive ways,” Vivier said in a press release. “Through the Bitcoin Ekasi Center, I am honored that our team will be able to grow this movement and inspire other communities to think differently about money.”
The center will provide basic math and English training to younger residents. Adults will receive training on foundational bitcoin topics with a focus on three key questions: one, what is bitcoin; two, how does it work; and three, why is it important?
“Our society is based around money: who has it, how to get it, ways to grow it, what to do with it. For the millions of people who are unable to access banks and credit, bitcoin is a real solution for them to be able to join those conversations. That’s why local education is vital and why Paxful is committed to bitcoin’s purpose over price,” said Ray Youssef, founder and CEO of Paxful, a popular peer-to-peer exchange that operates in several key African markets, in the press release.