In brief

  • Paxful has started construction on its fourth "Built With Bitcoin" school in Africa.
  • The new school is in Nigeria and will provide quality education for 100 children.
  • The initiative plans to build 100 schools in Africa's emerging economies, funded by Bitcoin.

Peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace Paxful announced today that work has started on the fourth African school funded through its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative. It’s the first to be built in crypto hot-spot Nigeria. 

The New-York based startup has set itself a challenging target of 100 quality education centers, to be built in emerging economies—funded entirely by Bitcoin.

“Elon Musk can have Mars, I’m interested in the invisible planet of six billion humans right here,” Paxful co-founder Ray Youssef told Decrypt earlier this year when the third Built With Bitcoin school was announced. “It really is like an invisible planet. No one sees these people,” he explained.

Paxful has partnered with the non-profit Zam Zam Water for its mammoth project, which began in 2017 with the construction of two primary schools in Rwanda. Build With Bitcoin now supports over 400 students.

Eventually, Paxful expects to secure a quality education for around 15,000 young people throughout Africa, and jobs for nearly 300 teachers.

The first Built With Bitcoin school in Nigeria

The new school, in Sanga, an area in Kaduna State, central Nigeria, will cater for over 100 children aged between three and six, and double as an adult learning space in the evenings.

"We chose this particular community because of the lack of necessary resources and limited school infrastructure,” said Youssef. "They are in dire need of quality learning spaces and this school is an honest representation of the impact Bitcoin can have on societies as a whole, and more specifically, how it can enhance education.”

Paxful’s mission is to empower the unbanked and underbanked around the world with peer-to-peer transactions. The marketplace has over 4.5 million users, globally, and over 45% live in Africa. The user base on the continent doubled last year.

The new school will incorporate state-of-the-art solar power, and an innovative water well system, provided by Zam Zam Water.

All Build With Bitcoin schools have water filtration systems, which can also provide them with a source of income, as the water can sustainably be sold to the local community. And to correspond with new safety concerns around COVID-19, Paxful is also providing facemasks, hand sanitizers, and other personal protective equipment for teachers and students.

Youssef knows a thing or two about the importance of schooling, and especially during a crisis. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he ended up rebuilding the first functional school. And it only underlined how necessary they are.

“Schools,” he said, “are the core of civilization.”