The Blockchain Academy’s Founder and Managing Director Sonya Kuhnel is one of the pioneers in the bitcoin and blockchain industry in South Africa. She has always been passionate about technology and its opportunities, and in 2013 she started Bitcoin Payments, a BitPay Affiliate partner, so that online merchants in South Africa could accept bitcoin as a payment method.

In 2014, Sonya co-founded Bitcoin Events that has already hosted three Blockchain & Bitcoin Africa Conferences in Cape Town and Johannesburg. While chatting with Ian Merrington, CEO of the Cape Innovative and Technology Initiative (CiTi), at one of these conferences, they realised that a lot of people know very little about bitcoin and blockchain technology.

And so, in 2015, the entrepreneurial bug bit Sonya again and she founded the Bitcoin Academy – renamed the Blockchain Academy in 2016. Watch Sonya on CNBC Africa’s Power Lunch discussing the benefits of bitcoin and the blockchain, as well as the start of the Bitcoin Academy.

Watch Sonya Kuhnel on CNBC africa

Besides running the Blockchain Academy, Sonya also co-organises the Bitcoin Cape Town Meetups which currently has over 500 visionaries.

View Press Releases

‘Cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology to take centre stage at info session’

“Windhoek-With cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology dominating news headlines, Bank Windhoek has confirmed that it will host an information session on these topics on February 15, 2018. Gavin Marshall, from the Blockchain Academy in South Africa, will deliver the keynote presentation at the event. He will give the audience insight into the workings of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.” Read more.

‘10 South Africans to know in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space [Digital All Stars]’

“Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others.” Read more.

‘80 hackers expected at game-changing Santam blockchain hackathon’

“MD of the Blockchain Academy, Sonya Kuhnel says the Academy is excited to be part of the Santam Blockchain Hackathon, the first of its kind in South Africa: ‘Blockchain technology has the potential to improve productivity, efficiency and transparency in the insurance industry, so we believe this hackathon is a great initiative by Santam,’ said Sonya.” Read more.

‘First Bitcoin Academy launches in Africa to teach people about digital currency, blockchain’

“The level of understanding of bitcoin and its underlying technology, the blockchain, proved to be a real challenge and I realised I would have to first educate the marketplace before there would be any significant uptake of the digital currency and the cutting-edge technology behind it.” Read more.

‘Bitcoin Academy opens in Cape Town’

“Sonya Kuhnel launches the first Bitcoin Academy in South Africa to offer training courses on bitcoin and the blockchain technology for institutions, entrepreneurs, schools, and developers.” Read more.

‘Bitcoin Academy opens in Cape Town to teach Capetonians about digital cash’

“The academy will primarily focus on providing training to financial institutions, corporates, developers, start-ups, entrepreneurs, government and individuals on bitcoin and blockchain technology.” Read more.

‘Africa’s 1st Bitcoin Academy launches in Cape Town’

“Kuhnel said when she first started in the bitcoin space she had encountered significant resistance towards digital currencies from South African individuals and businesses, noting a lack of education on the subject the Bitcoin Academy has been launched to address.” Read more.

‘Africa’s First Bitcoin Academy Launched’

“Bitcoin is often hailed as the world's first crypto-currency and it is certainly the most-used. Since its inception in 2009, the currency has gained international notoriety for both positive and negative reasons.” Read more.

‘South Africa welcomes Bitcoin Academy’

“The academy will try to bring around awareness and also the knowledge to the digital currency market that is needed to help it prepare for the next level and help the ever-growing cryptocurrency market in Africa to get steady and join the rest of the world in waking up to the delights of the digital currency.” Read more.