Teaching about bitcoin in French schools

Students in French secondary schools will soon be able to learn what bitcoin is during introductory economics lessons. In part of a new teaching package from the French Ministry of Education, extensive attention is paid to the world’s largest cryptocurrency. It highlights the monetary properties of bitcoin with the aim of getting students to think about the role of money and trust in the economy.

It concerns a package of introductory lessons in Economics that are made available by the Ministry to teachers in French secondary schools. Part of the teaching material is a module in which bitcoin is explained. With this, students will learn which monetary properties bitcoin has and what the similarities and differences are with regular money such as euros.

To support the lessons, teachers are provided with a number of educational videos that address issues such as ” Is bitcoin the currency of the future? “, ” Can bitcoin replace the euro? “, ” Do you have confidence in your currency? ” and ” Is bitcoin just like other money? “.

Suggestions are also made for educational activities that students can do, such as writing down what functions money has and what the differences are between bitcoin and the euro.

The lesson is an introduction in which the main focus is on the economic aspects of bitcoin. The technological aspects hardly seem to play a role, but that is not the intention. The contrasts between bitcoin and euros mainly serve to make students think about how money works and what the role of trust is in an economy.

The French Ministry of Education provides the teaching material, but schools are not obliged to include the material. Nevertheless, it is special that some of the students in French schools may soon be taught about bitcoin.

It shows that bitcoin is increasingly integrating into society and becoming commonplace. After all, now, 11 years after the publication of the Bitcoin white paper, there is a generation of eleven year olds (and younger) who have grown up in a world where bitcoin has always existed. They will probably learn more about it in French schools soon. Will people ever speak of ‘the bitcoin generation’?

The French Blockchain Revolution?

The initiative seems to tie in with the French government’s broader drive to embrace cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology. The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire even stated in an interview that the government considers it a priority and that France has the ambition to become a global leader in that field. It set up a special investment fund of ?? 4.5 billion for this purpose. And although it is not without critical comments, France is at the forefront of providing legal frameworks with regard to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Perhaps that is why the French adoption of Bitcoin is also making great strides. There are reportedly more than 5,200 tobacconists across the country where one can buy bitcoin. In addition, it was announced in September that from 2020 it will be possible to spend bitcoins in more than 25,000 French stores of 30 retail chains, such as Decathlon, Intersport, Foot Locker and Sephora.

Bitcoin in Dutch VWO final exam (mathematics)

The Netherlands is still somewhat behind compared to France, but here too bitcoin has already reached the classrooms. That was in 2018 when VWO students had to solve a number of math problems focused on bitcoin during their final exams.

They then had to calculate, among other things, the maximum number of bitcoins and how many can be mined daily , and to demonstrate the effect of the increasing difficulty of mining via a formula .

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