Twitter chief, Jack Dorsey teams with Jay-Z to back bitcoin

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has revealed that he and rap mogul Jay-Z are creating a fund devoted to making bitcoin digital money “the internet’s currency.”

Dorsey, who is also founder and chief of financial services and mobile payments firm Square, said in a tweet that he and Jay-Z are giving 500 bitcoin to fund an independent endowment called “Btrust.”

That amount of the cryptocurrency was worth about US$24 million on Friday.

“It will be set up as a blind irrevocable trust, taking zero direction from us,” Dorsey said, adding that the fund would initially focus on bitcoin development teams in Africa and India.

He said three board members were being sought, adding a link to an online application that stated the mission is to “make bitcoin the internet’s currency.”

Launched in 2009, bitcoin has been on a meteoric rise since March, when it stood at US$5,000, spurred by online payments giant PayPal saying it would allow account holders to use cryptocurrency.

Skeptics say bitcoin is highly volatile and regulators warn it is vulnerable to illicit use.

Bitcoin on Friday touched a new high of US$48,930 after MasterCard and US bank BNY Mellon moved to make it easier for people to use the cryptocurrency.