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Bitcoin Academy Three Months On: Has Jay-Z Succeeded in Converting the Masses?

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Three months after Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey launched “The Bitcoin Academy,” the first graduates of the pilot are sharing their thoughts on the scheme, and it appears that the program is already winning converts to Bitcoin.

The academy was first announced in June with an aim to “empower the community” of Brooklyn, New York, from which Jay-Z originally hails.

Announcing the program, Jay-Z tweeted, “The simple goal is to provide people tools to build independence for themselves and then the community around them.”

A Bitcoin success story

The 12-week crash course in crypto was keen to get butts on seats and give people a reason to care, even if they didn’t know much about Bitcoin before the course started.

Attendees received a free meal every evening they attended and a smartphone with a one-year data plan to help them incorporate the lessons into their real life.

Modules in the academy included “Careers in Crypto” and “Why Decentralization Matters.” For some, the lessons appear to have resonated.

“I thought Bitcoin was a scam,” Danny Craft told The Daily Beast. Following the course, the 56-year-old Brooklyn resident became a Bitcoin believer. “I come to find out, you’ve just got to know how to work it. When you put money into it, you just let it sit there, and you let it grow.”

At the completion of the course each attendee was gifted $1,000 in Bitcoin to help them begin their journey to financial freedom.

Participants were asked what they planned to do with the money. An unnamed graduate expressed their intention to hodl.

“If you take it out, then you lose the benefit of having something in the long run,” they said.

Not everyone gets it yet

While a number of respondents received the course well and came back with a newfound admiration of Bitcoin and all things decentralized, not everyone
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