July 18, 2023
July 18, 2023
The Bitcoin Classic (TBC) is a unique event. Part basketball tournament, part bitcoin learning opportunity, the program is putting a new spin on financial education. TBC’s approach is what Block (formerly Square, Inc.) looks for when awarding our Discovery Grant: a nonprofit taking a creative, impactful approach to making financial education accessible to under-resourced communities. TBC is now a two-time Discovery Grant recipient, a testament to the program’s growing success. In June, we traveled to Atlanta to get a courtside view of the tournament in action.
With eight teams competing in front of a packed house, Pedro's Posse walked away with The Bitcoin Classic’s (TBC) grand prize, the Bitcoin Bag. In all, TBC awarded $30,000 in prize money across the tournament's top-place teams. “The atmosphere, the camaraderie, everyone who came out to support — it was just a great event overall,” said Chad B, a player on Pedro’s Posse. This is B’s second time playing in TBC; last summer he traveled to Harlem’s famed Rucker Park to compete. “I’ve learned a lot about bitcoin,” said B. “TBC has me thinking long term, about next steps and investing.”
Between games, The Bitcoin Classic (TBC) hosts learning sessions on bitcoin for players and spectators. One of the speakers in Atlanta was Lamar Wilson, educator and founder of the investing social club Black Bitcoin Billionaire (another Discovery Grant recipient). “TBC has always been a safe space for people to come, watch games, and get some really, really good basketball,” said Wilson. “In Atlanta, I think we’ve seen some of the greatest streetball teams that we’ve ever seen.” Besides its high-quality competition, Wilson sees TBC as an opportunity to lift communities. “Bitcoin is a transformative technology that actually allows you to be empowered. And so to give bitcoin to people who are normally marginalized and disenfranchised is to empower them,” said Wilson. “I think that sharing bitcoin knowledge is an act of love.”
The Bitcoin Classic (TBC) founder Yusuf Abdul-Ali is excited to see the tournament grow and continue to make an impact. “We’re seeing that a lot of people still don’t know what bitcoin is,” said Abdul-Ali. “So the fact that we’re doing this and introducing the currency to more people, it just goes to show that we need more programs and events like this in our communities.”
Our Discovery Grant helped make The Bitcoin Classic’s (TBC) education sessions possible. We created the grant as a way to support nonprofit organizations working towards one aspect of our purpose: making financial education (fiat and/or bitcoin) open and available to all.
Creativity is key; we look for programs that defy tradition, invite innovation, and bring people together.
We accept applications on a rolling basis, so it’s always a good time to apply. Even if you’re hesitant, shoot your shot — we want to hear what you’re up to. Education and open access are fundamental to Block’s purpose of economic empowerment. And elevating organizations working towards the same goal can help us all get there.