Unlocking the Power of Peer-to-Peer Crypto Education: Web3 Products Redefine Learning in the Digital Age
Three years ago, I remember stumbling upon a Bitcoin room while navigating the first mainstream audio app Clubhouse. I chanced upon an opportunity to learn about cryptocurrency and the power of blockchain through random strangers. Little did I know peer-to-peer education would become a primary factor in learning about the most powerful financial technology to grace the 21st century. However, the current state of crypto education has room for improvement. In this post, I'll share how various Web3 products attempt to solve this problem with unique approaches based on audience, behavior, and rewards models native to crypto culture.
Origin of Crypto Education
Satoshi Nakamoto may have released the Bitcoin White Paper in 2009, but people still don't know where this documentation actually came from and who wrote the code. The first part of understanding crypto education is realizing that there will always be a sense of anonymity, representing a shift in decentralized peer-to-peer pedagogy. We look to places like Youtube and gravitate to Github repositories from people like Patrick Collins and Bantg to share knowledge on how to build a smart contract or a trading strategy bot. These developers are influencers and educate hundreds of programmers, yet they do not hold official “blockchain developer” degrees. On a technical level, peer-to-peer learning in public has been crucial for standardizing code like ERC721, which basically allows NFTs to trade and appreciate and depreciate in value.
So how does one get “normal people” to learn about new blockchains, coins, and protocols? You pay them! In the last decade, one framework that has ruled over the crypto education space is the "learn-to-earn" model for onboarding crypto curious individuals. Learn-to-Earn is a popular framework that is the go-to-market strategy for well-known crypto exchanges like Coinbase because it's a guaranteed brand awareness and engagement tactic for onboarding the crypto curious.
Although it proves relevant to acquiring new users, more is needed to keep people engaged. One clear sign of how poorly cryptocurrencies are educating us is that there is no standard framework for "learning" them to earn crypto. Coinbase's model includes high-quality infographics, cartoon-like learning videos, and quizzes, but it could benefit with more critical thinking exercises. If you want to invest in the crypto market, it's great that many of these companies have whitepapers and thoroughly explained business models, but they still need to provide more than essential advice on where to look and what to do.
Gitcoin and open-source funding platforms
With that being said, the current state of crypto education has room for improvement. What better way to learn than by doing? Almost all blockchains have a foundation approach that has allocated an exuberant amount of funds for developers, data scientists, and creators of all forms to explore this new technology with developing public goods. This presents new knowledge portals like Gitcoin. Founded in 2017 by Kevin Owocki, the educational platform is built on Ethereum, has its own native token, and has invested over $50M in projects based on what matters to the community. Dozens of e-learning crypto platforms have started from zero and have managed to attract and change lives just by bringing the technology back to their communities, all thanks to the funds raised on Gitcoin.
Lastly, DeFi is the cure for the banking system, but can the same be true for crypto education?
Decentralized finance is the heartbeat of crypto, and there's a lot of responsibility to onboarding the next generation of crypto users via DeFi protocols. Uniswap was one of the first DeFi platforms to make crypto education accessible. Uniswap has a "community" section on its decentralized application (dApp) that provides educational content on the latest lending, staking, swapping and tokenomics opportunities. They even launched an easy-to-use mobile application . Which is why other protocols like Pancake swap and Yearn.Finance have followed suit on content strategy focused on education.
Community is the one common thread that has contributed to the success of Web3 education. There are so many factors that play into the growth. Still, one thing that stands out is an opportunity to create interoperability within blockchain education when onboarding the next generation of crypto users. There are portals of crypto education at every corner of the new internet, whether someone chooses to learn-to-earn, develop, or read a white paper, should not reflect how much knowledge they receive. Let’s continue to push the boundaries of Web3 products by collaborating and working in unison.