Digital literacy: should younger generations learn about cryptocurrencies?
7th November 2023
Since their creation, cryptocurrencies have attracted varying reactions from the financial community and the public. Although they have made significant progress over the years, with Bitcoin and Ethereum at the forefront of mainstream acceptance, they continue to be considered a controversial asset class. Despite growing familiarity with how to buy cryptocurrencies, consensus on their role in the financial system is still divided. Therefore, whether to educate younger generations about digital currencies has become a topic of heated debate.
A reality we cannot ignore
Given their newness and unpredictability, it is difficult to say whether cryptocurrencies will still exist ten years from now. But we might as well see them compete with fiat money in a few years. Both scenarios are equally possible. The fact that digital currencies have managed to survive numerous bear markets and scandals and are still going strong despite the current regulatory crackdown is proof enough of their strength and resilience.
Whatever your opinion on cryptocurrencies, they could end up influencing people’s futures. This is why it is better for them to be prepared and aware of crypto than to struggle to make sense of it later. When they reach adulthood, this will allow them to take advantage of the benefits that crypto offers, minimize the risks it involves and thus make more informed financial decisions.
Additionally, compared to older demographics, younger generations are digital natives, growing up in a world dominated by technology and surrounded by smart devices that they learned to use from a young age. This means that there is no point in trying to keep younger generations away from current digital realities such as the existence of cryptocurrencies, because sooner or later they will appear on the radar and they will eventually. find out one way or another. another.
Therefore, it is best for adults to step in and control the narrative by deciding when is the right time and how much people should learn about digital currencies.
The ABCs of cryptography
No matter how you look at it, cryptography is a large and complex subject. It’s hard enough for adults to grasp the concept of digital currencies and understand the inner workings of the technology that powers them, let alone for a child who has yet to learn the basics of money and finance . Age is therefore a major factor to take into account when introducing younger generations to this new asset class.
Although most experts agree that financial education should begin as early as possible, you may want to leave crypto lessons for later. Only once young people have acquired a solid understanding of how money works can they begin to learn about cryptocurrencies. Ideally, this should happen around adolescence, when people generally become more interested in the world of finance and their exposure to digital innovations like crypto also increases.
However, for them to digest crypto-related information, it is important to make it a gradual process. Microlearning or learning in small chunks might be the most suitable method in this regard. This involves breaking down complex and lengthy information into smaller, more manageable chunks that younger generations can process easily. If they receive too much information at once, they might feel overwhelmed and give up on trying to decipher complex cryptographic concepts.
Another effective way to become familiar with digital currencies is to take advantage of social media platforms. Tweens and teens especially enjoy spending time on social media to connect with their friends and stay up to date on topics that interest them. So, platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok can provide them with the opportunity to learn more about crypto as many content creators are covering the topic on all major social media sites. Many of them are knowledgeable and able to present complex cryptographic concepts in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner, which can make the learning process more enjoyable for them.
Nonetheless, adults should still help young people select sites and sources they can use to improve their cryptography knowledge. The Internet is as useful as it is dangerous, and misinformation spreads easily, especially when it comes to cryptography. There are tons of shady websites and ill-intentioned influencers trying to lure people in with get-rich-quick schemes and other unrealistic promises, and it’s easy for naive minds to fall into their trap. Since young people do not know how to filter online content, it is important for adults to closely monitor the sites and applications that children access to protect them from common online risks.
When it comes to crypto topics people should know about, there are a few essential aspects to highlight. After learning what cryptography is and how it works, they should be informed about the use cases of cryptography. Many articles online only talk about crypto as a trading or investment mechanism, but do not provide information about its other applications and how one could benefit from it on a daily basis.
Next comes the topic of accessing cryptocurrencies and storing funds safely, as there are specialized platforms that can help in this regard. Choosing reliable crypto exchanges is another important aspect to consider.
Obviously, we must not forget the risk of getting into cryptography. Despite their growing popularity, people should be aware that digital currencies are high-risk assets due to their price volatility. The use of cryptography must therefore be approached with great caution.
Some may say that cryptocurrencies are a subject that does not concern younger generations. But the reality is that they are already exposed to cryptographic information today, whether we are aware of it or not. So, helping them process this information and ensuring they have a good understanding of these assets when the time comes is something adults might want to consider.
The editorial unit