In anticipation of the Africa Bitcoin Conference (ABC), a pre-conference with a special focus on developers and members of the Bitcoin community was held in Lagos, Nigeria, on Friday, October 29, 2023.
The event hosted developers, journalists, programme managers, marketing managers, students, and Bitcoin enthusiasts.
The second edition of the Africa Bitcoin Conference will take place in Accra, Ghana, the same city that hosted the inaugural edition of the conference, from December 1 to 3, 2023.
Farida Nabourema, co-founder and convener of ABC, delivered the welcome address and discussed the conference's underlying concept. According to Farida, their goal in hosting the conference is to gain an understanding of how Bitcoin is impacting the continent and devise ways to increase its adoption.
She mentioned that for the upcoming event, they plan to allocate more time to developers, enabling them to create solutions that involve the application of Bitcoin.
The upcoming conference will also feature a trade fair aimed at helping the public gain a better understanding of Bitcoin, encouraging adoption, and fostering lively discussions surrounding Bitcoin.
Farida also announced that all attendees of the Developers Konnect pre-conference event will receive a free ticket to attend the main conference.
Raphael Eyerin, a Bitcoin and Lightning software developer, briefly discussed the topic, "Building on Bitcoin: What It Takes."
According to Raphael, developers interested in working in the Bitcoin industry can do so in various ways. He explained, "You can choose to become a developer, work for a company that develops Bitcoin products, or contribute to open-source projects."
Raphael also advised that the best way to start is by initiating projects and showcasing them through their GitHub accounts.
Prince Akpah, programme manager for the Africa Bitcoin community, and the organisers of ABC shed more light on the upcoming event.
He shared statistics and information from the previous edition of ABC. The conference featured prominent figures in the cryptocurrency and tech sectors, including Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Block and former CEO of Twitter; Ray Youssef, co-founder of Paxful; and Abubakar Nur Khalil, CEO and CTO of Recursive Capital, among other speakers.
He added that they have already confirmed the participation of over 60 speakers from around the world for the upcoming conference.
The event also featured a panel session that discussed the topic "Career Development in Bitcoin: Prospects and Challenges." Ayobami Atolagbe, Ambassador Programme Manager at Noones, moderated the session, with Mary Imasuen, Global Marketing Manager at Fedi, and Raphael Eyerin as panellists.
The panellists shared their journeys into the Bitcoin space and inspired the audience to remain consistent in their pursuits and continue learning. They also emphasised that taking the first step doesn't need to be perfect.
Mary pointed out that there are numerous non-technical opportunities in the Bitcoin space, such as marketing and programme management, among others. She added that now is the ideal time to enter this field.
Megasley, a node operator at Africa Free Routing, a network of lightning nodes in Africa, gave a talk on why people should choose Bitcoin and the opportunities it offers. He discussed the Afrobitcoin Fellowship, an African Bitcoin community initiative aimed at nurturing talent in Bitcoin.
He also mentioned the roles of Btrust Builders and Chaincode Labs in supporting developers and those interested in Bitcoin development. He provided links to additional resources for starting and building with Bitcoin.
Following Megasley's talk, Stephanie Titcombe, Programme Manager for Btrust Builders, discussed the organization's activities and their upcoming "Build for Africa" hackathon.
She outlined the entry requirements, which primarily involve developing solutions to African problems using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. Stephanie encouraged as many people as possible to participate, mentioning a total prize pool of $10,000 for the hackathon.
During an interview with journalists at the event, Prince Akpah noted that global Bitcoin growth relies significantly on adoption within the continent. He pointed out that the majority of countries represented at last year's conference were African, indicating increased Bitcoin usage.
He emphasised the ongoing efforts of conference organisers and the wider Bitcoin community to collaborate with regulators and governments in Ghana and across Africa to promote Bitcoin adoption. He also mentioned that some countries, such as Nigeria, have introduced their own digital currencies, like the e-naira.
Prince added that this year's conference attendees can expect additional exciting activities. He reiterated Farida's emphasis on the special focus on Bitcoin developers, the hackathon sponsored by the Btrust Foundation, and the trade fair featuring over 50 businesses conducting transactions exclusively with Bitcoin.
The Africa Bitcoin Conference will span three days, with the first two days hosted at the Kempinski Hotel and the final day at The Grand Arena in Accra, Ghana.