Africa’s 1st Bitcoin Academy launches in Cape Town

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The first Bitcoin Academy in Africa has been launched at the Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town, offering basic, intermediary and advanced training in bitcoin and the blockchain.

The Bitcoin Academy has been started by Sonya Kuhnel, who was behind the inaugural Bitcoin Africa conference earlier this year and assisted with the launch of the BitHub at the Bandwidth Barn in May.

Kuhnel said when she first started in the bitcoin space she had encountered significant resistance towards digital currencies from South African individuals and businesses, noting a lack of education on the subject the Bitcoin Academy has been launched to address.

“The level of understanding of bitcoin and its underlying technology, the blockchain, proved to be a real challenge and I realised I would have to first educate the market place before there would be any significant uptake of the digital currency and the cutting-edge technology behind it,” she said.

“I feel there is a real lack of understanding around bitcoin and the blockchain technology and its benefits, which is what drove me to launch the Bitcoin Academy.”

The academy offers basic, intermediary and advanced training in bitcoin and the blockchain, with Kuhnel saying some of the top financial institutions in South Africa have already expressed interest in its courses.

Ian Merrington, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Bandwidth Barn and Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), said the support CiTi was offering the Bitcoin Academy fit in with its fintech incubation strategy.

“Our role is to empower the tech and innovation ecosystem, so hosting the Bitcoin Academy provides support for the formal financial industries as well as entrepreneurs and innovators working with crypto currency,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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