El Salvador school program hits 1 BTC in donations


There’s a beacon of light in the bear market tunnel. The El Salvador nonprofit program, “My First Bitcoin” (Mi Primer Bitcoin), raised over 1 Bitcoin (BTC) in donations-not from venture capitalists and investors–but from generous Bitcoin education advocates worldwide.

Donations flooded in from Venezuelans, Poles and Canadians as 100s of people around the world sent Satoshis (small parts of Bitcoin) over the Lightning Work, to fund the expansion of My First Bitcoin’s Bitcoin Diploma program.

Cointelegraph wrote to John Dennehy, founder of the My First Bitcoin program to understand how the crowdfunding campaign reached 1 BTC in less than three weeks. Dennehy told Cointelegraph, “Bitcoin’s greatest potential is empowering the individual and making it easy to donate value is a big part of that.”

“Bitcoin crowdfunding makes it possible for anyone to participate, which is revolutionary when compared to the existing fiat system that restricts who can participate. This is a way to level the playing field.”

As opposed to Paypal or GoFundMe, Bitcoin’s censorship-resistant and self-sovereign properties make it one of the most efficient ways of sending money online. Plus, it’s far cheaper. Money is sent over the layer-2 Lightning Network, which costs a fraction of legacy payment services. Dennehy explains:

“Bitcoin crowdfunding is an example of how Bitcoin allows people to take control of their own money.”

The crowdfunding campaign was boosted by efforts made by Bitcoin Beach, the Bitcoin circular community in El Zonte, on El Salvador’s Pacific Coast. Bitcoin Beach was the spark that led to Bitcoin being declared legal tender in El Salvador in 2021. On April 27, Bitcoin Beach declared it would match all donations to the project until midnight on April 27:

However, the campaign had begun with lightning fast levels of generosity. Metamick, the founder of Geyser, told Cointelegraph it’s “Definitely the biggest educational project on Geyser ever! Insane traction in just a day!” Adding that it’s also the third largest crowdfund ever on Geyser after one day.

Related: El Salvador’s ‘My First Bitcoin’: How to teach a nation about crypto

Indeed, in April, the Bitcoin crowdfunding platform Geyser hit a new record, reaching over 2 BTC sent in donations:

Source:@kerooke Twitter 

In all, despite the fact that the Bitcoin price grinds lower–and wipes out traders–the Bitcoin community continues to build and educate. Dennehy sums it up:

“We are inspired everyday by the support we receive from the Bitcoin community. We couldn’t do what we do without it.”

To date, My First Bitcoin has educated 6,000 students in El Salvador. Cointelegraph attended the second graduation ceremony in San Marcos in November 2021.

Magazine: What it’s actually like to use Bitcoin in El Salvador