The ABCs of BTC: El Salvador Takes Crypto Education to the Classroom

While most of us remember learning about the basics of currency in school—what money is, how to count it, and maybe even some early economics—students in El Salvador are getting ready for something entirely different: Bitcoin 101.

Imagine being a child in El Salvador, walking into a classroom, and your teacher starts talking about blockchain, mining, and digital wallets. Far from a futuristic fantasy, this scene is part of a new pilot program launched by the El Salvadoran Ministry of Education in collaboration with Bitcoin Beach and My First Bitcoin. A cadre of 150 teachers are in the thick of their training, ready to spread this nascent body of knowledge far and wide across the country.

The idea of cryptocurrency in education is not new. A 2018 Coinbase report revealed that 42 of the world’s top 50 universities had at least one course related to cryptocurrencies or blockchain. What’s different now is the scale and the demographic. We’re talking about public schools in a nation that two years ago stirred global headlines by adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. The conversation is shifting from ivory towers to community centers and elementary classrooms.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for El Salvador’s Bitcoin journey. Yes, they’ve been in the spotlight, but the road has been rife with technical glitches and limited on-the-ground adoption. However, an interesting offshoot of this daring venture has been a noticeable bump in tourism. Clearly, the little Central American country has piqued the curiosity of more than just blockchain enthusiasts.

Founded in 2021, My First Bitcoin has already taught a whopping 25,000 Salvadoran students in person. Last year, they rolled out a 10-week Bitcoin Diploma, an open-source courseware that’s as accessible as the MOOCs offered by global universities. The course has also been employed to get El Salvador’s Ministry of Education staff up to speed with Bitcoin basics, ensuring the teachers who will deliver the curriculum know their Satoshi from their smart contracts.

For those concerned about the educational quality, the workbook is no slouch either. It covers a wide range of economic subjects and comes in multiple languages, including English, German, Korean, and Spanish. While Saifedean Ammous, the author of the seminal book “The Bitcoin Standard,” advises the El Salvadoran President, he hasn’t contributed directly to the educational material. That has been the work of a dedicated, small team of teachers in both El Salvador and the United States.

Beyond its borders, My First Bitcoin collaborates with grassroots educational projects in over 20 countries—from Canada and the United States to Hong Kong and Cuba. Recently, they have been approached by two additional Latin American governments keen on introducing a Bitcoin syllabus in their countries.

As El Salvador’s experiment continues to unfold, the global community watches, debates, and, in some cases, follows suit. While we don’t yet know the full implications of this curriculum on El Salvador’s future generations, one thing is certain: these students are part of an educational frontier that could very well redefine how we think about money, not just in Central America, but potentially around the world.

So, as El Salvador turns a page in the educational history books, you have to wonder: could the future of economics education lie not in the old guard of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes but in the pixels and data blocks of the Bitcoin blockchain? Only time will tell.


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Maria Irene
Maria Irene
Maria Irene is a multi-faceted journalist with a focus on various domains including Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Real Estate, Energy, and Macroeconomics. With over a year of experience, she has produced an array of video content, news stories, and in-depth analyses. Her journalistic endeavours also involve a detailed exploration of the Australia-India partnership, pinpointing avenues for mutual collaboration. In addition to her work in journalism, Maria crafts easily digestible financial content for a specialised platform, demystifying complex economic theories for the layperson. She holds a strong belief that journalism should go beyond mere reporting; it should instigate meaningful discussions and effect change by spotlighting vital global issues. Committed to enriching public discourse, Maria aims to keep her audience not just well-informed, but also actively engaged across various platforms, encouraging them to partake in crucial global conversations.


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