Financial savviness — who is responsible to teach our society ?
Latest by the middle of the pandemic, digitalization was on everyone’s agenda. In the payment sector, digital currencies and the globally discussed CBDCs (central bank digital currencies, such as a digital Euro or Dollar) have become more and more central topics. We are expecting for the digitalization to (r)evolutionize the payment as we know it. This leads to the question of who is in charge of preparing and educating our society for this transformation. As a blockchain-based company, we have made an assessment and want to dedicate this article to this question.
Is everyone left to fend for themselves? Or who is responsible for educating all layers of our society for the imminent digital transformation of our monetary and payment systems? Some experts might say that mass knowledge will develop all by itself. We believe, however, that there is a better alternative to enabling all social classes to adapt to this new world of digital money and payments. In the ideal scenario, we see a responsibility split into four sections:
- The public sector and the educational system;
- The entire media landscape;
- The private sector, especially the tech and financial industries;
- Everyone themselves, proactivity is key.
1. The public sector and the educational system
A blockchain core value is to be open for everybody. Is this true in real life? Fact is that technical knowledge is needed to access blockchain-based projects, which is a limiting factor for the unrestricted accessibility. Where can our kids and ourselves aquire this needed knowledge? Looking at the German-speaking educational system, we didn’t make a find. We discovered first results on the secondary educational level. In 2021, Coindesk analyzed 230 universities from all over the world, ranking them by their offer around blockchain and co. The list clearly shows that Asian and American universities are dominating. The DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) only ranked twice under the Top 10, both universities in the Swiss city Zurich. Let’s take a closer look at the biggest Germa-speaking country Germany. The Technical University Munich (TUM) made it to spot 31 of Coindesk’s ranking. Additionally, the private university Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and Mittweida university of applied sciences offer relevant classes, that can be made use of by students as well as working professionals.
We can therefore conclude that there are some options provided by the educational system. However, we continue to wonder if blockchain, web3.0 and crypto currencies should have a more prominent and fix spot in the curriculum so that future generations receive at least a basic knowledge on these topics from an early age, preparing them for the job market of the future.
2. The entire media landscape
The educational sector is the best channel to reach future generations, but who is in charge of educating older generations to make sure that noone is left behind?
Newspapers and TV channels should also have a mandate to educate society. We put this statement to the test and asked around.
German television is split into public and private channels. We wanted to know what their take is on this question of responsibility. The public channel ZDF referred us to the ZDF media library that includes numerous documentaries and reports around blockchain topics. The public channel ARD gave the following statement: „Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are an important part of our modern life. Therefore it is a highly tackled topic in our economy and science editorial teams.“ They also referred us to the ARD media library, which lists a variety of reports. We are delighted to conclude that at least the German public TV channels seem to indeed have an educational mandate. The approached private TV channels did not wish to provide an official statement, making us conclude that these topics are not on their agenda, at least not in an educational capacity.
Looking at another part of the world, we talked to one of the biggest newspaper publishing houses in the United Arab Emirates, who told us the following: „Surely we are inclined to support on such projects to help educate our leadership around the blockchain and crypto. However, we don’t have an education mandate per se from our chief editor. This is purely the government’s responsibility. And it goes without saying that the private sector has to do its part as well.”
3. The private sector
Blockchain, crypto and web3.0 mostly find their place in the start-up landscape of the private sector. Therefore it seems plausible that exactly this industry, that is the birthplace, should also be tasked with the education of the society on these topics. Indeed, more and more companies realize their social responsibility and invest in providing educational resources to their users and the wider community. We have assembled a few notable examples for you:
- Cryptopedia by Gemini: Cryptopedia’s crypto guide;
- SALAMANTEX Blog: #UnderstandCrypto;
- SALAMANTEX #MasteryMondays series on Social Media: explaining FinTech jargon and abbreviations;
- Binance Academy: your one-stop guide for all things crypto;
- Coinbase Learn: Beginner guides, practical tips, and market updates for first-timers, experienced investors, and everyone in between;
- Bitpanda Academy: Learn how to invest, all about personal finance, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
4. Everyone themselves
Overall there are resources availability here and there but proactivity is still crucial to receive the needed knowledge to keep up. If the above is not to your liking, there are still many more entry points thanks to the internet and Social Media. Careful with influencers: looking at the content, it becomes obvious that many influencers are focused on clicks and followers through click-bait and attention-drawing headlines, rather than providing truly valuable content. Only few influencers are dedicated to raising awareness and helping educate society.
In addition to consuming content on Social Media, it is also possible to go one step further and engage with peers through Meetups or Facebook groups. You prefer digital interaction? In this case, Reddit should be one of your best starting points.