What blockchain could do for financial literacy
There is a widespread idea that once you start learning about Bitcoin, you go deep down the rabbit hole. Today, I’d like to connect Stuart Hylton’s book “What the Railways Did for Us: the Making of Modern Britain” – specifically the chapter on literacy – with crypto. Here’s what the author says:
“The train was a natural place to sit (or stand), and read, and it remains so: a railway carriage probably plays host each day to more people reading than the average small town library. (Harrington) The early railway years saw some significant advances in the nation’s literacy. One estimate has 75 per cent of the population of 1840 able to do some reading and 60 per cent some writing. Male literacy, by another estimate, rose from 67 to 80 per cent between 1841 and 1870, with the rate for women going from 51 to 73 per cent.”
Not all people who were considered literate would have been familiar with Shakespeare’s entire works, but how many of them were capable of doing much more than signing their names in a marriage register? Similarly, you don’t have to become a blockchain developer, but you do want to distinguish worthwhile projects and know how to set up your own wallet.
How did people find out about the world of cryptocurrencies?
“Before the railways, there was no such thing as a real national newspaper. By the time the London papers got out into the remoter parts of the provinces, their news was getting out of date, and they generally carried little of specific interest to the provinces. By the same token, provincial newspapers like the Manchester Guardian (founded 1821) carried only ‘late echoes of the London press”.
In a similar manner, people never fully controlled their money before blockchain introduced a decentralised, trustless environment. What I noticed, however, is that people should first understand what money is, and how it works, before proceeding to decentralised money on blockchain. Here are some resources that help novice blockchain enthusiasts.
- The Udemy platform is a real find for anyone who wants to get acquainted with cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and trading. Many free courses and lessons are available on the site.
- The Coin Diligent website engages blockchain industry experts and shares their experiences and opinions with its readers. Experts research crypto investment topics, provide security advice, recommend the best exchanges and discuss the latest crypto industry news and developments.
- BLOC-511DL: Introduction to Digital Currencies is a free online course on blockchain technology and digital currencies. At the end of the course, an exam tests your understanding of the concepts presented.
- The 99Bitcoins website is a must-read for anyone beginning to delve into the crypto space. The platform is constantly updating its manuals and adding new reviews. Whether you are looking for a good cryptocurrency exchange or setting up your first installation for mining, you will find the answer to any question within this resource.
“The rise of industrial capitalism, with its work ethic and its emphasis on self-improvement, is one, as is the transformation of the state’s view of education, from laissez-faire, through support of voluntary providers, to the Education Act of 1870, providing compulsory education for all children between the ages of five and thirteen“.
Lessons must be carefully planned to address all the behavioral biases that make kids (and adults) lousy with money. Students need to see actual case studies of people who made poor decisions and suffered financial losses. They also need to learn about those who have amassed wealth gradually rather than miraculously. Above all, students must be carefully taught the value of money. How to earn it, how to invest it, how to grow it and save it, and wise ways to spend it.
Just as they learned to use steam as a steam-powered printing press a couple of centuries ago, making it possible to publish many more copies of books, blockchain introduced features that others could apply to one’s work and business: an immutable ledger, smart contracts, and a trustless network of participants. But one can acquire not only in theory but also by practice.
Approaches to increase knowledge of the crypto:
- Airdrop is a type of marketing strategy used by cryptocurrency entrepreneurs. It entails giving tokens to current cryptocurrency traders in exchange for a minor promotional service or giving them free tokens to put in their wallets. The Airdrop aims to expand ownership of the cryptocurrency startup and raise awareness of it.
- Bitcoin cranes were popular in the early days, allowing users to earn some bitcoin (and eventually learn about it) while performing small tasks or watching ads. Payments were made in extremely small amounts, therefore using several dozen cranes and doing the activity for several months was required to earn real money.
- Bounty is a cryptocurrency incentive given to anyone who can finish a specific task or collection of tasks. Crypto projects that need to expand their community and draw in new users frequently create bounties. As a result, you might be given a bounty only for carrying out easy actions like joining their Telegram channel, following the project on Twitter, and retweeting one of their tweets or blog articles.
- Learn-to-earn is a procedure in which individuals can gain expertise in a particular field while making money by passing Q&A exams. For cryptocurrency investors, it is an income model that motivates them to learn some technical expertise, promoting cryptocurrency trading and education.
- Play-to-earn are online games that allow players to earn rewards with real-world value by performing tasks, competing against other players, and advancing through multiple game levels. In-game items including cryptocurrency tokens, virtual land, as well as skins, weapons, and other NFTs are used as these rewards.
“The enforced inactivity of a train journey created a huge captive market for readers (60 million passenger journeys a year by 1850) and retailers spotted the opportunity.”
The enforced observation of currency inflation led people to explore new ways to preserve capital… just as railroads were instrumental in giving Britain the equivalent of mid-nineteenth-century email, blockchain will play an important role in the world, providing every person with a tool to create and store value.