Salvadoran crypto education program Mi Primer Bitcoin (“My First Bitcoin” in English) has announced the new version of its ten-week Bitcoin Diploma course in English. It is based on the textbook titled "Bitcoin Diploma Financial Education for the Bitcoin Era," which can be downloaded for free from the program's official website. The same program was first launched in Spanish last year with an aim to teach students from 38 high schools in San Marcos.
While Mi Primer Bitcoin has been improving its course in Spanish, planning to release its version 4.0 in the second quarter, the organization also decided to share its experience worldwide. To achieve this goal, a new program in English has been launched.
"We expect people to use the Bitcoin Diploma we created all on their own in a variety of new places, but we’ll also be involved with some of those efforts. We are in the early stages of working with partners to expand into a number of new nations, such as the United States, Honduras & Mexico," the educators stated in their January 23 blog post.
The team behind Mi Primer Bitcoin also plans to translate the course into other languages, and encourages the crypto community to verify the translations posted on the project's website and GitHub profile. The program's hosts are doing their best to create a comprehensive online education offering.
"This is how we will scale: by empowering others," says the project's team, while also encouraging its most prominent graduates to teach new students.
Mi Primer Bitcoin has already achieved great success in its goal to expand Bitcoin education. For example, according to the official post, 10,000 students participated in the program in 2022, which was 25 times more than in 2021. The program has also been expanded to twelve of fourteen Salvador's administrative areas called departments.
Mi Primer Bitcoin is a completely free educational program that relies on the funds provided by international donors and sponsors. One of the most prominent supporters of Mi Primer Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
The organization believes that "education MUST be independent and impartial — the point of all of this is to empower people to think for themselves. Bitcoin education is not the end goal, but rather a means to that end." According to Mi Primer Bitcoin, it aims to "build a world that encourages critical thought, a world in which we have agency over our own lives and power and responsibility resides with the individual," which is especially important in the modern world where critical thinking skills have "atrophied."
What is in the course?
The latest version of the Bitcoin Diploma course includes ten sections covering various aspects of Bitcoin and fiat money. It begins by defining money and understanding its functions, with a focus on the historical development of exchange media and centralization. The textbook highlights the dangers of the "abuse of centralization":
"Centralization of power often leads to corruption, which can result in the mismanagement of resources, including financial resources. This can disproportionately affect those lower in the hierarchy and without as much influence or power, causing them to bear the greatest burden of the consequences of corruption and mismanagement."
The book also uses the metaphor of a tree to explain the vulnerabilities of centralization:
"A centralized system can be thought of as a tree with a single trunk. The trunk represents the central authority or point of control, and the branches represent the various parts of the system that are controlled by the central authority. In this analogy, the tree is vulnerable if the trunk is damaged or diseased because the entire tree relies on the trunk for support."
The course has a strong emphasis on activities and exercises that allow students to apply concepts related to economics and Bitcoin in practice. It provides students with the practical knowledge needed to safely use Bitcoin and Bitcoin wallets, explains mining, and shows the technical side of transactions on the network.
Although Mi Primer Bitcoin sees the world's first cryptocurrency as a solution to many economic and social problems, it also mentions challenges, especially related to Bitcoin regulation and its impact on the environment.
To complete the course, students must submit a final assignment. They can opt to write an essay or complete a practical assignment to create a new bitcoin wallet and perform a 51% attack using the Bitcoin Blockchain Simulator Tool.