Bitcoin will soon be permeating the French high school syllabus for Economics and Social Sciences. It has been noted that the decentralized financial system has made it into an activity card for teachers in order to demonstrate the different properties of money.Bitcoin has become part and parcel of many university courses as of late and is a popular choice for those at the age to pursue tertiary education. However, this move by the French Education Ministry will introduce a new way of viewing money to a younger learner. The level of in-depth analysis of Bitcoin’s role in the economy is noteworthy for a High School syllabus. The activity card goes beyond the usual questions of ‘What is Bitcoin?’ or ‘How does Bitcoin work,’ and instead delves into more complex economic questions of the role of this emerging currency.
Bitcoin Education and PhilosophyAs part of the activities expressed in this teacher resource provided by the French Education Ministry, there are four educational videos that pose questions such as: “Can Bitcoin replace the Euro?; Is Bitcoin the currency of the future?; Is Bitcoin a currency like others, and do you have to trust your currency.” Furthermore, the teacher’s resource then states that the students, after watching the videos, should list the functions of the currencies discussed, and then apply them to Bitcoin. Furthermore, students are also asked to disassociate Bitcoin from the Euro from the point of view of trust. While these videos relating to Bitcoin are from 2017, and thus relatively outdated, the degree of analysis and deduction asked of students in addressing Bitcoin is rather sophisticated. There is a higher degree of economic understanding required in order to tackle this activity card properly. There is an assumption that students in high school already know the basics of what Bitcoin is, and rather the teachers want to see if they can understand where this new form of currency finds itself in relation to the Euro and further into the future of money.
Small but SymbolicWhile the inclusion of Bitcoin in the French high school syllabus is small, it is rather significant and symbolic. The suggestion is that younger students are not only aware of cryptocurrencies, but are analyzing its position and place in the global economy. More so, the analysis of the cryptocurrency is related to its positive facets, such as the potential for a trustless financial system, and one that is positioned as part of the budding digital economy of the future — a future that will be part of these school children’s lives.
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