How Built With Bitcoin is changing the world one Bitcoin at a time.
Tradition exists for a reason. It speaks to the way things are done and how people love sinking into its comforts. But rules are meant to be broken and that’s where innovation gets its fuel.
When Bitcoin was first introduced, it was seen as the ultimate rulebreaker—a rebel in a sea of traditional finance. Decentralized and anonymous, it gained the reputation of being an insurgent and usurper of everything banks stood for.
Just over a decade after its creation, Bitcoin has taken on new life. What was once thought of as a disreputable Internet phenomenon is on its way to becoming a household name, recognized as a viable form of currency that can be used for more than just investments. With each passing day, an increasing number of adopters are using it to make payments and purchase goods, effectively making it a source of survival for many.
Bitcoin was created to fill a need and that purpose has not been lost on industry leaders. Of all the identities it’s assumed, the most unlikely one came from an even unlikelier friendship. From a shared passion for education and bringing about sustainable change, the once-elusive digital currency made way for something unexpected—a school.
Paxful’s mission of education
Five years ago, the idea for Paxful was hatched in lower Manhattan when founders Ray and Artur realized they shared the same vision of wanting to help others. Through a series of timely chance encounters, the people-powered marketplace found itself partnered with Zam Zam to begin construction of a school in Rwanda. Just two short years after Paxful’s launch, the Built With Bitcoin initiative was born.
Ray and Artur wanted to show the world that Bitcoin was more than just a currency—it was a way to empower communities by providing education, safe drinking water, and essential aid. Every once in a while, they’ll get asked why they spend so much time and resources on this project. Their answer is simple.
“We want there to be opportunity—to capture the energy that you can do something that can change the entire world. It’s a chance to build something that can take care of people. Hope is what’s going to help humanity. That’s what we’re building,” said Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful.
The ultimate goal? To build 100 schools, water facilities, and provide financial support to the places that need it most.
“Bitcoin and crypto are here to make the world a better place. You have to be caring and put love into what you’re doing. That’s why we started Built With Bitcoin. We put a lot of work into this project because we believe it will lead us to a more peaceful world. That’s what Paxful is all about,” said Artur Schaback, CPO and co-founder of Paxful
Fighting poverty with Zam Zam
When Yusuf Nessary, founder of Zam Zam, received a donation from Estonia, he thought someone had played a prank on him and made up a country that didn’t exist. The son of two refugees from Afghanistan, he grew up understanding the value of love and opportunity in a difficult environment. Using a birthday gift from his father, Nessary started Zam Zam to bring clean water, education, and sustainable farming to impoverished communities around the world.
“We don’t just build wells—we build relationships. That’s something I very much so believe in. Zam Zam can build a million wells around the world but it’s not going to mean a thing unless there’s a connection with the people we serve,” said Yusuf Nessary, Founder of Zam Zam.
A partnership between Zam Zam and Built With Bitcoin was a step that felt both natural and necessary. Together, they opened their very first school in Rwanda on a hot summer’s day in 2017. Three years later, they’ve seen two more schools built and countless lives changed forever.
“One of the most beautiful aspects of Built With Bitcoin is being welcomed into the lives of these people and their communities. To be able to create positive change into their lives is very gratifying. There are parents who know that their childrens’ books and uniforms were paid for by Paxful using Bitcoin. It’s an amazing story and I think we’re going to hear hundreds more just like it,” said Nessary.
Empowerment and opportunity
One of the most wonderful aspects of the schools is how much strength it brings to the surrounding neighborhoods. Aside from being places that provide education for younger generations, they serve as a venue for town hall meetings, local gatherings, and even weddings.
On the grounds of our school in Rwanda, you’ll find a water center built by Zam Zam. Powered by solar panels that sit on top of the school buildings, the filtration system brings clean water to hundreds of residents throughout the Bugesera district. Monica, whose daughter and son attend the school, is one of those residents and she was given a wonderful opportunity to become a leader in her community. With so many depending on the center, they needed someone reliable to help run everything. Monica stepped up and now serves as manager of the entire water filtration system. She oversees day-to-day operations and even leads her own team.
“This school has changed my family’s life. I got a job here, receive a monthly salary, and I am able to pay for the needs of my family. Now, I am managing and leading other people. This project comes as an answer,” said Monica.
Monica’s story and countless others remind us of how Bitcoin can be utilized as a vehicle for real change. Ray and Artur had a vision when they started Paxful and as we see it slowly come to life, we couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved so far.
Brighter days ahead
Today, Built With Bitcoin is moving full-speed ahead with three schools on its roster and another on the way in Nigeria. Understanding the complexities of Bitcoin may not come easy to those unfamiliar with the technology behind it but there’s no denying the capabilities of the popular digital currency. Though it may not always appear that way, Bitcoin, at its core, is a true vehicle for change.
Why Built With Bitcoin? Easy. Because Bitcoin is education. It’s health insurance, school uniforms, and textbooks. It’s job creation, PTA meetings, night school, and sustainable gardens. It’s scholarships, equal access, and food on the table. Bitcoin is for everyone and Paxful is making sure that no one is left out.
So, is Bitcoin a rulebreaker? It certainly seems to be the case. It’s broken years of tradition and conformity, bringing about a much-needed shift in the way we provide some of life’s most basic necessities to people. Leaders like Ray, Artur, and Yusuf have created a movement and with the help of Paxful’s users and many other allies, we can change the world.