Jay-Z’s Free Financial Literacy Class Receives Criticism From Brooklyn Residents: He Should Be Doing More For His Community, Not No Bitcoin Academy


Jay-Z’s Free Financial Literacy Class Receives Criticism From Brooklyn Residents: He Should Be Doing More For His Community, Not No Bitcoin Academy

Looks like some New York residents disapprove of hip-hop mogul Jay Z’s latest economic equality efforts.

Recent reports state residents of Brooklyn’s Marcy Houses public housing complex, where rap icon Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter was raised, are skeptical of the rapper’s free finance class. The course, dubbed Bitcoin Academy, offers education on the basics of finance and cryptocurrency. The “Izzo” rapper announced the community initiative earlier this month (June 9th).


Though the program is exclusive to Mercy residents, it appears many of them may be opting not to attend. As one twitter user reported, flyers for the 12 week session were scattered around the floor of the apartment complex’s lobby.

After residents were asked about attending the Jay Z and Jack Dorsey collaboration, one 58-year-old woman stated:

“It’s kind of late to be doing that when people are trying to hold on to their dollars and everything is so expensive,”

She continued:

“Every dime I get got to go to rent, phone, TV and internet. I don’t have money like that to be losing. If I did, I would try to invest in something that’s more reliable, like the basketball game last night. You know I’m going to win something from that….People looking to make money, not lose it.”

Another resident, 24, stated that the rappers efforts don’t align with the communities needs. She told reporters:

“Half the people that’s going to go to that class, probably just going to go to the class for the $25 that you get. The other half of the people, they’ll probably take what they learn and forget it down the line….If you want to do something, fix this place up,”

Then continued:

“We have a basketball court with no hoops. Our parks is broken up in here. He should be doing more for his community, not no Bitcoin Academy….This is where he rep he’s from and all that, but he don’t do nothing for us.”

In New York, reports state that residents who live in public housing, such as the Mercy complex, have an average household income of less than $24,500. It’s no surprise that some people are weary of spending what little funds they have on digital money. Especially with crypto’s turbulent stock history over the past few months. However, reports state that in a twitter post discussing the course, Jay Z assured that his efforts are focused on the long haul. He wrote:

“Shout out to @Jack. #Bitcoin Academy, starting in Marcy, a place that taught me so much, is hopefully the first of many. The simple goal is to provide people tools to build independence for themselves and then the community around them.”

As part of the program, class attendees will receive a free mobile hotspot device and a smartphone with a data plan, and will be lectured on topics such as “What is money,” “What is blockchain,” and “How not to get scammed.” Additionally, participants will be gifted bitcoin worth around $20-$25 after learning how to set up their own digital wallets. Reps from Bitcoin Academy reportedly held an open house recently, attracting a “large and eager crowd of mostly seniors and young people.”


Would you be here for a Bitcoin Academy coming to a city near you? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

Authored by: Kay Johnson