Last updated on October 4th, 2015 at 11:44 pm
When we look back into the past, the one thing that clearly seems to stand out is the fact that all revolutions and major changes that the world has seen were mostly encouraged by young people passionate about a cause and willing to fight for it.
Bitcoin, just like the internet, is clearly going to cause a huge shift in the daily affairs of the world. The first signs of this revolution are already visible. The problem with Bitcoin, however, is that it’s a concept quite difficult to grasp, especially if you’re not that tech-savvy. Therefore, the learning curve is quite steep.
This means that in order for young people to embrace the crypto-revolution, they first need to understand the science behind the currency and the possible potential and role it could play in the future. Not that they have to understand all the nitty-gritty technical details of the technology, but it’s essential to have a basic understanding of why Bitcoin is not like other currencies, how its applications are beyond anything other conventional currencies have to offer.
The role of universities
To this extent, some educational institutes have started to do their part. Worldwide famous university MIT has been one of the key players in this cause. They even installed a Bitcoin ATM on campus to facilitate theuse of BTC among their students.
The MIT media lab even made a short video to help simplify the complex concept of Bitcoin to the layman. A couple months ago, the MIT Bitcoin club organized a Bitcoin expo with more than 35 speakers, including CEO of Circle Jeremy Allaire, as well as Litecoin’s creator Charlie Lee and many more.
Furthermore, the institution has also delved into various research-based projects aimed at finding potential solutions to the various financial, governmental and social problems using blockchain and Bitcoin.
To push things further, the MIT media lab also started a Bitcoin project to help all undergraduates in MIT get $100 worth of BTC so they can start their exploration journey. And there’s more: the summer competition BitCom, which was organized a few months ago, also encouraged students to create Bitcoin-related applications. They then distributed over $15,000 in prizes to the most innovative apps created during the competition.
The important thing to retain is that this type of initiatives have the power to really inspire the younger generation to adopt cryptocurrency. Georgia Tech University also recently partnered with BitPay to allow their students to use Bitcoins on over 200 locations on campus. They can use the digital currency to buy food and pay for various services.
Along with organizing events and encouraging usage of the currency, some universities have even started to include Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in their curriculum. Just a couple of months ago, Stanford University created a course called “CS251 – Crypto Currencies: Bitcoin and Friend“. The course aims at helping students understand the basic theory and practical aspect of cryptographic techniques, digital forensics and other complex technical aspects of the technology.
Professor Dan Boneh, who will be teaching the course, said:
“The technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be an indispensable tool for protecting information. Stanford is actively working to address the world’s cyber security challenges. It’s an exciting time to study with us and gain vital skills needed for today’s cyber workforce.”
The biggest benefit in having such courses is that they’re going to lay the foundation and basis for other universities to also include cryptocurrency-related syllabus in their curriculum, even if they’re served as minors or generals. This will certainly make the general student population cryptocurrency-literate.
The importance of knowing more about BTC
In a time where we are working to create applications for people that don’t realize they need them, it’s important to ramp up our educational efforts. For this reason, Steven Michaels, from the Digital Currency Institute, believes having a certification course online that allows people to learn more about Bitcoin and the security and practical aspects of it can act as a standard for what needs to be learned. This will helps society create formal Bitcoin experts.
The Digital Currency Institute aims at helping people become recognized experts and Certified Bitcoin Consultants. They say the certification can certainly add much value to people looking to help companies, startups and other businesses implement new technologies in order to avail the wide range of benefits that Bitcoin adoption offers.
But the good news don’t come exclusively from the United States. Other universities in developing countries like Pakistan are also creating awareness for Bitcoin. Just a year ago, the Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship called on Faisal Khan, a recognized fintech and payment systems expert, to conduct a seminar where he talked about the most fundamental Bitcoin questions like “are Bitcoins real money?”, “who owns/operates Bitcoin?” or “how do I get Bitcoins?”.
However, Bitcoin education goes far beyond than just awareness. Just a few weeks ago, Bankymoon launched a blockchain and Bitcoin-based solution addressing Africa’s paying utility bills problem. Most people in Africa are unbanked and, therefore, have to go through various middlemen in order to pay their bills. This creates unnecessary fees and charges, but Bankymood new prepaid 3G enabled and Bitcoin-based meters will change that. With anyone able to directly send Bitcoins to the wallet connected with the meter, they can pay for their electricity and other utility bills without any intermediaries jacking the price up of the utility bills.
This ingenious solution has only been able to see the limelight now because of the educational efforts taking place in Africa. Once the locals of the country start to understand what Bitcoin can do, they will automatically start working on developing solutions to solve their pressing problems.
Therefore, the focus on the educational aspect of Bitcoin needs to be taken seriously and more institutes need to start encouraging their students to experiment with new upcoming technologies like Bitcoin, which are surely going to play a big part in shaping the future.