Cryptocurrency For Kids? – Marketplace – Tech Tribune France

Cryptocurrencies — those new forms of currency that are often constructed using blockchain technology — have infiltrated Super Bowl ads and iconic sports venues and captured the attention of government leaders around the world. Now crypto is coming for kids.

Vox Senior Correspondent Rebecca Jennings recently wrote about the growing and “mildly controversial” new industry dedicated to teaching children about cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens and Web3. The following is an edited transcript of his conversation with “Marketplace” host Reema Khrais.

Reema Khrais: So crypto for kids. Can you tell me a bit more about what we see?

Rebecca Jennings: What we’re seeing a lot over the last two years, especially during the pandemic, is that there’s this, like, a network of summer camps, startups, videos, and book content just for teaching kids about crypto and Web3 and blockchain and all these really complicated concepts.

Khrais: Yeah, you wrote in your article, there’s this camp, I think, [that] was in California, where they gave each child a laptop, a drone, a robot, a [virtual reality] headphones and a phone with a crypto wallet, and they can keep it!

Jennings: Yes, I was shocked when she told me that.

Khrais: Yeah, so what’s the pitch these companies are making to parents and investors?

Jennings: So I think for Crypto Kids Camp — which targets kids of people who are historically underrepresented in tech fields, so a lot of kids live in poor neighborhoods — what they’re trying to do is reduce the wealth gap. The very volatile market has made a lot of people very rich, so I think they see this as an opportunity to, like, “Hey, can we have, like, people who aren’t really lucky enough to work for , you know, traditional banking or technology training to get some of those skills? »

Khrais: Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. I feel like there’s a lot of crypto [fear of missing out] it’s happening right now. For example, if you’re not doing it right now, then you’re missing out.

Jennings: Yeah.

Khrais: And so, it only makes sense that parents would want to give their children a step up. But is there evidence that these programs actually prepare children for the “future”?

Jennings: I mean, they haven’t been around long enough to really say for sure. I mean, I’m sure what they teach kids is probably not something they get in public schools or private schools or wherever they go. But I think it’s kind of like an attempt to compensate for the fact that personal finance education in most school systems in the United States is just extremely poor. Kids don’t learn how to deal with money in a real way, and so I think that’s sort of presented as a counterbalance to that.

Khrais: Yeah, I really wish I had received some education in school. But you know, cryptocurrencies are different, right? Like, it’s unpredictable. It’s quick. What are some of the criticisms you have heard about these initiatives?

Jennings: Yeah, I mean, I talked to a psychologist who studies finances and families, and her concern is that, you know, that kind of way of looking at money and dealing with money rewards investments at very high risk, which is not necessarily the thing you want to teach a child or teenager. She had an analogy where she was, like, you know, you can tell a kid that only one in 1,000 people is really going to hit the jackpot. But a teenager is going to be like, “Oh, I’m going to be the one. It will be me. And so his advice was to, you know, give the kids, like, $5. Tell them go ahead, go invest that. See what happens. Because they will probably lose it.

Khrais: It’s interesting. Yeah. So some of these programs that you talked about are for very young children, like, as young as 5 years old. But you write that a lot of teenagers, they have these crypto stars in their eyes and are already investing. What do you see as the possible societal implications of teens engaging in these potentially risky financial habits?

Jennings: I mean, I think the real big problem is that the stories that are being told are success stories. We never see, you know, the full picture of how many people have lost everything. It’s really, it’s a perspective that we really need right now and don’t have enough of.

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Cryptocurrency For Kids? – Marketplace – Tech Tribune France


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