April 19, 2024
Bitcoin Builder Scales Africa's Tallest Peak to Raise Awareness
Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Builder Scales Africa’s Tallest Peak to Raise Awareness

A Bitcoin educator in Tanzania, known as Kweks, successfully funded his expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, using Bitcoin and Nostr donations. He raised over $1,700 in Bitcoin (0.0018 BTC) to cover the costs of the hike and promote the launch of a new Bitcoin education academy in Tanzania called the “Proof of Work Academy” (POWA). The name “POWA” is a play on Bitcoin’s consensus protocol, proof-of-work, as well as the Swahili word “Poah,” meaning fresh or cool.

To support the academy and express his commitment to decentralized protocols like Bitcoin and Nostr (notes and other stuff transmitted by relay), Kweks used satoshis or sats (the smallest denomination of Bitcoin) for his crowdfunding efforts. Bitcoin Lightning Network donations poured in from various parts of the world through crowdfunding platforms like Geyser Fund and Zapraising, which leverages the Bitcoin Lightning Network via Nostr (also known as Zaps).

During the multi-day hike, Kweks carried a large Nostr flag and shared updates on X, Nostr, and WhatsApp. While the funds raised were essential for covering the climbing expenses, Kweks emphasized that the real impact was educational. He saw this ascent as a valuable case study to demonstrate the power of Bitcoin and introduce more people to it, both locally and globally.

Kweks also received a tip in Bitcoin from one of the guides leading the group to the summit of Kilimanjaro, indicating grassroots Bitcoin adoption in Tanzania.

While there is some understanding of Bitcoin in Tanzania, one of the major challenges is the lack of local currency off-ramps. Major cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini do not operate in Tanzania, making it challenging to convert cash to Bitcoin and vice versa. Throughout the hike, Kweks fielded questions and inquiries from Tanzanians about how he funded the adventure and the inevitable question: “What is Bitcoin?”

Bitcoin adoption in Tanzania differs significantly from the United Kingdom, where Kweks spent much of his life. In East Africa, there is more of a barter system in place, and explaining concepts like money, hyperinflation, and the benefits of a currency with a programmed inflation rate, such as Bitcoin, can be challenging.

Kweks believes that the key to spreading Bitcoin education is to use terms and concepts that resonate with the local population. He discusses the rising costs of essentials like bread and fuel to help people understand how Bitcoin, as a tool, can provide an alternative economic system to address economic challenges.

Kweks remains committed to sharing educational resources on Nostr and X, while the Proof of Work Academy (POWA) offers free educational classes to Tanzanians living near Kilimanjaro.

Image by wirestock on Freepik

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