Jay-Z, Jack Dorsey launch fund to help develop bitcoin

Rapper Jay-Z and tech mogul Jack Dorsey are launching a roughly $24 million fund to help develop bitcoin.

The Brooklyn-born artist and the Twitter CEO are putting 500 bitcoin into an endowment called “₿trust,” Dorsey announced Friday.

The fund’s mission is to make bitcoin “the internet’s currency” and it will initially focus on aiding efforts to develop the cryptocurrency in India and Africa, according to Dorsey.

It will be set up as a blind irrevocable trust that will take “zero direction” from Dorsey and Jay-Z, who was born Shawn Carter, Dorsey said in a tweet.

Dorsey put out an open call for three board members to help oversee the trust. Anyone interested in applying just has to fill out a Google form with their name, email address and “proof of work.”

Dorsey is a longtime bitcoin fan. His Twitter bio simply reads “#Bitcoin” and his digital payments firm, Square, bought $50 million of the cryptocurrency last year. Twitter finance chief Ned Segal said this week that the social media giant might follow suit.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a longtime bitcoin fan.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a longtime bitcoin fan.
Dado Ruvic/Reuters

The trust is the latest chapter in Dorsey and Jay-Z’s budding relationship. A report emerged in December that Square was interested in acquiring Tidal, the struggling music streaming service that Jay-Z bought in 2015.

The duo was also spotted lounging on a yacht with Jay-Z’s wife Beyoncé in August and hanging out on a beach with actor Sean Penn in November.