Cryptonite or superpower? Why these institutes are teaching kids about cryptos and blockchain

Institutes are offering online and offline fintech courses for children as young as five years old. (Representational image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash)

Institutes are offering online and offline fintech courses for children as young as five years old. (Representational image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash)

Hemadri Saha and Abdul Nasir have enrolled their children, both aged 9, in a financial technology course at Hyderabad-based training institute BrightCHAMPS. As part of the curriculum, the kids are taught about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. They’re also taught money mantras and the basics of finance management, among other things.

“As parents, the onus is on us to provide them with the right information, teach them the importance of savings and investments, and how to be financially prudent. I feel a sound knowledge of finances will help children become responsible adults and also enjoy a carefree retirement,” says Saha, whose son is in the third grade.

Nasir, meanwhile, is very proud of his son’s performance through the course. “With his savings, he was able to purchase his own toy money bank and comic books. Along with this, he is learning about new digital currencies that could take over the future.”

Eye on the future

The collapse of FTX, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has wiped out billions in investor wealth, with the contagion spreading to other parts of the industry and causing a meltdown.

Earlier in the year, the cryptocurrency industry went into a downward spiral after the collapse of stablecoin TerraUSD and its sister coin Luna. Stablecoins are pegged to a fiat currency, such as the dollar, and as the name suggests, these cryptocurrencies are supposed to be stable. But the reality proved otherwise.

However, despite the turmoil in the industry through 2022, which has turned crypto into a bad word and made cryptocurrencies the butt of jokes on social media, some institutes have been offering courses on cryptos for kids.

These educational institutes are keeping their focus solely on the long term and the next generation. And to this end, they have rolled out courses on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, to help the little ones get familiar with these concepts. The folks offering these kiddie courses believe things will eventually change for the better and it’s best to catch them young.

Hyderabad-based BrightCHAMPS, cited above, trains students as young as five, going up to 15. Besides digital currencies, students are taught about the latest developments in banking, Decentralised Finance, and innovative financial instruments such as NFTs.

It offers three courses — beginner, foundation and certification. The foundation course, which has a fee of Rs 64,999, has 60 classes on cryptocurrency, equity and early entrepreneurship. The certification course, with a fee of Rs 1,39,000, has 150 sessions on investing, advanced cryptocurrency, hands-on entrepreneurship and a deep dive into various case studies.

Two other institutions, Udemy and Lavner Education, are also coming up with short-term courses (4 weeks) and online crypto camps (1 week) for kids. Similarly, 5ire and Zeeve, two companies in the crypto space, are developing digital universities to engage young kids with blockchain technology. The course fees at these institutions range from Rs 349 to Rs 22,000.

“In the years to come, knowledge of blockchain will open up numerous job opportunities, both direct and indirect. The right foundation and skill set can help kids adapt to this evolving wave in a much smoother and swifter manner,” says Kartik Sharma, Director of Curriculum and Learning Experience at BrightCHAMPS.

An evolving field

Blockchain technology is an evolving field and not something that can be understood easily. Hence, the educational institutes also use a play-based, 1-on-1 approach customisable to every child’s interests, learning style, needs, knowledge level and natural talent. This is done to keep students engaged throughout the course. Global house events and hackathons are also conducted to keep things going.

Ashish Kulkarni, co-founder of the education in metaverse project ClassAvatar, believes that while classes are conducted in an online or in-person format at the moment, going forward, even blockchain will be taught in a gamified immersive state through the Metaverse.

“That is akin to learning chemistry in a chemistry lab rather than in a conventional classroom. In simple words, children will learn about Web3 in Web3,” he says.

Demystifying blockchain: It’s not a cryptocurrency

Experts say that education around blockchain is the need of the hour as people confuse the technology with cryptocurrency and those two with non-fungible tokens. However, all three have different meanings.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies. They use blockchain as a ledger to store records of crypto transactions. Blockchains, however, go way beyond cryptocurrencies and have a range of use cases, including storing and accessing medical data, supply chain and logistics information, as well as financial records.

According to Investopedia, NFTs are cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency.

While theoretically, the distinctions seem clear, not everyone understands the concepts when it comes to the application as the field is evolving.

Dr Ravi Chamria, Co-founder and CEO of Zeeve, a blockchain infrastructure automation startup, which is looking to launch a university to educate students in blockchain technology, believes educating businesses, enterprises, developers, and students about the technicalities and benefits of blockchain is important.

“Campus builder programs, hackathons, and grants can be great ways to invite more people to try public blockchain. This provides a platform for budding developers and students to come up with solutions that can make the blockchain space more inclusive and accessible to the masses,” he said.

Are crypto jobs the future?

Although the kids enrolled in these courses have years of study ahead of them before they enter the job market, their parents are giving them an early-mover advantage, should they choose to seek jobs in the crypto, NFT or blockchain field some day. And that job market, while small now, is expected to explode if the crypto world can shake off its problems and right itself.

The year gone by has seen a surge in cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFT job listings, albeit on a small base. Industry insiders predict that the trend will continue into 2023 and beyond, and that talent from India will be in demand world over.

The Indian tech industry directly employs nearly 75,000 blockchain professionals today. The latest report by NASSCOM notes that India has over 11% of the global Web3 talent, making it the 3rd largest Web3 talent pool in the world. According to the report, this talent pool is expected to grow by over 120% in the next 1-2 years.

Raj A Kapoor, Founder and CEO of India Blockchain Alliance, believes that the emergence of Web3 technologies has given rise to a new sector of the economy and a new kind of talent.

The final call is for the child to make

Every technology comes with pros and cons. It should be noted that cryptocurrency investment is only a part of blockchain technology and parents should keep that in mind while enrolling their children in a blockchain tech course.

“Keeping aside the volatility part of assets like cryptos, it is always a great idea to teach kids about the right approach and safest ways to invest in them,” says Poorvi Sachar, Head of Operations at Tezos India. “This is because when children learn and are aware of this, in the long run, they may not fall into traps or greed; instead, they could make prudent investment choices or help others in making them.”

However, if a child doesn’t adapt to the learning environment, then s/he shouldn’t be forced to take such classes, says Professor Aamod Sane, Computer Science, Flame University.

“As for what parents should do regarding blockchain courses, it is much more important to ensure you are not overloading children. Where possible, encourage a child to explore in a stress-free manner. If they enjoy something, well and good, otherwise just skip it. Teach them that they can pick up these ideas later if they develop their expertise in mathematics and programming” says Prof Sane. Source

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Cryptonite or superpower? Why these institutes are teaching kids about cryptos and blockchain

Institutes are offering online and offline fintech courses for children as young as five years old. (Representational image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash)

Institutes are offering online and offline fintech courses for children as young as five years old. (Representational image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash)

Hemadri Saha and Abdul Nasir have enrolled their children, both aged 9, in a financial technology course at Hyderabad-based training institute BrightCHAMPS. As part of the curriculum, the kids are taught about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. They’re also taught money mantras and the basics of finance management, among other things.

“As parents, the onus is on us to provide them with the right information, teach them the importance of savings and investments, and how to be financially prudent. I feel a sound knowledge of finances will help children become responsible adults and also enjoy a carefree retirement,” says Saha, whose son is in the third grade.

Nasir, meanwhile, is very proud of his son’s performance through the course. “With his savings, he was able to purchase his own toy money bank and comic books. Along with this, he is learning about new digital currencies that could take over the future.”

Eye on the future

The collapse of FTX, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has wiped out billions in investor wealth, with the contagion spreading to other parts of the industry and causing a meltdown.

Earlier in the year, the cryptocurrency industry went into a downward spiral after the collapse of stablecoin TerraUSD and its sister coin Luna. Stablecoins are pegged to a fiat currency, such as the dollar, and as the name suggests, these cryptocurrencies are supposed to be stable. But the reality proved otherwise.

However, despite the turmoil in the industry through 2022, which has turned crypto into a bad word and made cryptocurrencies the butt of jokes on social media, some institutes have been offering courses on cryptos for kids.

These educational institutes are keeping their focus solely on the long term and the next generation. And to this end, they have rolled out courses on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, to help the little ones get familiar with these concepts. The folks offering these kiddie courses believe things will eventually change for the better and it’s best to catch them young.

Hyderabad-based BrightCHAMPS, cited above, trains students as young as five, going up to 15. Besides digital currencies, students are taught about the latest developments in banking, Decentralised Finance, and innovative financial instruments such as NFTs.

It offers three courses — beginner, foundation and certification. The foundation course, which has a fee of Rs 64,999, has 60 classes on cryptocurrency, equity and early entrepreneurship. The certification course, with a fee of Rs 1,39,000, has 150 sessions on investing, advanced cryptocurrency, hands-on entrepreneurship and a deep dive into various case studies.

Two other institutions, Udemy and Lavner Education, are also coming up with short-term courses (4 weeks) and online crypto camps (1 week) for kids. Similarly, 5ire and Zeeve, two companies in the crypto space, are developing digital universities to engage young kids with blockchain technology. The course fees at these institutions range from Rs 349 to Rs 22,000.

“In the years to come, knowledge of blockchain will open up numerous job opportunities, both direct and indirect. The right foundation and skill set can help kids adapt to this evolving wave in a much smoother and swifter manner,” says Kartik Sharma, Director of Curriculum and Learning Experience at BrightCHAMPS.

An evolving field

Blockchain technology is an evolving field and not something that can be understood easily. Hence, the educational institutes also use a play-based, 1-on-1 approach customisable to every child’s interests, learning style, needs, knowledge level and natural talent. This is done to keep students engaged throughout the course. Global house events and hackathons are also conducted to keep things going.

Ashish Kulkarni, co-founder of the education in metaverse project ClassAvatar, believes that while classes are conducted in an online or in-person format at the moment, going forward, even blockchain will be taught in a gamified immersive state through the Metaverse.

“That is akin to learning chemistry in a chemistry lab rather than in a conventional classroom. In simple words, children will learn about Web3 in Web3,” he says.

Demystifying blockchain: It’s not a cryptocurrency

Experts say that education around blockchain is the need of the hour as people confuse the technology with cryptocurrency and those two with non-fungible tokens. However, all three have different meanings.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies. They use blockchain as a ledger to store records of crypto transactions. Blockchains, however, go way beyond cryptocurrencies and have a range of use cases, including storing and accessing medical data, supply chain and logistics information, as well as financial records.

According to Investopedia, NFTs are cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency.

While theoretically, the distinctions seem clear, not everyone understands the concepts when it comes to the application as the field is evolving.

Dr Ravi Chamria, Co-founder and CEO of Zeeve, a blockchain infrastructure automation startup, which is looking to launch a university to educate students in blockchain technology, believes educating businesses, enterprises, developers, and students about the technicalities and benefits of blockchain is important.

“Campus builder programs, hackathons, and grants can be great ways to invite more people to try public blockchain. This provides a platform for budding developers and students to come up with solutions that can make the blockchain space more inclusive and accessible to the masses,” he said.

Are crypto jobs the future?

Although the kids enrolled in these courses have years of study ahead of them before they enter the job market, their parents are giving them an early-mover advantage, should they choose to seek jobs in the crypto, NFT or blockchain field some day. And that job market, while small now, is expected to explode if the crypto world can shake off its problems and right itself.

The year gone by has seen a surge in cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFT job listings, albeit on a small base. Industry insiders predict that the trend will continue into 2023 and beyond, and that talent from India will be in demand world over.

The Indian tech industry directly employs nearly 75,000 blockchain professionals today. The latest report by NASSCOM notes that India has over 11% of the global Web3 talent, making it the 3rd largest Web3 talent pool in the world. According to the report, this talent pool is expected to grow by over 120% in the next 1-2 years.

Raj A Kapoor, Founder and CEO of India Blockchain Alliance, believes that the emergence of Web3 technologies has given rise to a new sector of the economy and a new kind of talent.

The final call is for the child to make

Every technology comes with pros and cons. It should be noted that cryptocurrency investment is only a part of blockchain technology and parents should keep that in mind while enrolling their children in a blockchain tech course.

“Keeping aside the volatility part of assets like cryptos, it is always a great idea to teach kids about the right approach and safest ways to invest in them,” says Poorvi Sachar, Head of Operations at Tezos India. “This is because when children learn and are aware of this, in the long run, they may not fall into traps or greed; instead, they could make prudent investment choices or help others in making them.”

However, if a child doesn’t adapt to the learning environment, then s/he shouldn’t be forced to take such classes, says Professor Aamod Sane, Computer Science, Flame University.

“As for what parents should do regarding blockchain courses, it is much more important to ensure you are not overloading children. Where possible, encourage a child to explore in a stress-free manner. If they enjoy something, well and good, otherwise just skip it. Teach them that they can pick up these ideas later if they develop their expertise in mathematics and programming” says Prof Sane. Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *