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2022 was an exceptional year for Bitcoin Ekasi! In August 2021, we set out to create a Bitcoin circular economy in a South African township, using a well-established community platform in The Surfer Kids Non-Profit. And we have made significant progress towards that goal!
We have on-boarded (and continue on-boarding) shops in the township where our staff of 11 coaches, teachers and lifeguards spend their salaries (paid 100% in Bitcoin) on daily necessities.
We represented the project at three large conferences: La bitconf in Argentina, Adopting Bitcoin in El Salvador, and the Afro Bitcoin Conference in Ghana, while our Twitter profile surpassed 12,000 followers!
The project also made appearances in significant productions. First on "Bayerischer Rundfunk”, a German TV and Radio Channel, filmed during a visit by Anita Posch.
In January 2021, hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger sent a production team and produced a beautiful video. And a major exchange is set to release a production filmed here in early 2023.
Stephan Livera also hosted Hermann on his podcast, the most high-profile podcast on which the project had been featured thus far. And Max DeMarco produced a video entitled The Silent Bitcoin Revolution Of Africa that went viral after Michael Saylor retweeted it.
These are only some of the highlights, but not only our achievements. We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who has liked, retweeted, commented, engaged with, or visited the project.
Speaking of visits, we ended the year with a bang when Michael Peterson of Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador visited Mossel Bay to witness the project in person. And it’s fantastic to see different, decentralized, circular economy projects connecting and strengthening their partnerships. Michael was a crucial part of the first-ever (and first of many) Bitcoin meetups in the township, and 2022 wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Bitcoin Beach.
While public appearances are important to spread the message, the most significant achievements were accomplished within the project itself.
The Surfer Kids / Bitcoin Ekasi went from a staff of two surf coaches in mid-2021 (one full-time and one part-time) to employing 9 people, with 100% of salaries paid in Bitcoin:
2 Full-time Senior Surf Coaches
3 Part-time Junior Surf Coaches
2 Full-time Lifeguards
1 Full-time Teacher (Primary School)
1 Teacher’s Assistant
We also opened an education center with assistance from Paxful & Built With Bitcoin and managed to keep 11 out of 13 shops onboarded, despite the bear market, where coaches, lifeguards, and teachers spend their weekly salaries buying groceries using Bitcoin & Lightning Network.
And most importantly, thanks to the new education center, we almost doubled the number of children in our daily program, where children now learn not only surfing but also mathematics, language, and Bitcoin! Whereas in 2021, we had approximately 40 children recruited, in 2022, we ended the year with over 60 children approx.
2022 has been a fantastic year, and we’re determined to make 2023 even better. There’s so much more potential. We’re determined to prove that Bitcoin works here. Because if it works here, it can work anywhere else.
Goals for 2023:
Double the number of kids in our daily program by expanding the education center.
Add two more lifeguards to the team.
Erect a permanent lifeguard tower at Diaz Beach.
Kickstart a restaurant that accepts Bitcoin in the township.
Re-onboard the shops we lost during the bear market and add at least ten more shops to accept sats.
Add a skills development center where (among others) carpentry will be taught.
Train 2 Lightning Node operators in the township.
Integrate an NFC Card system into our successful kids’ rewards program and expand the program.
Help test and deploy a community-custody model to end reliance on stranger custody of private keys.
We require a budget of at least 1,5 Million Rand to reach these goals and keep the project going. We have added 21% to that total to give us a buffer and room to complete any additional side projects and goals we’d like to add to the list as the year progresses.
Any questions or feedback is welcome.
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