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British Cub Scouts are to learn about Bitcoin as part of a new Money Skills Activity Badge
HSBC are backing the project, which means that Bitcoin will be getting short shrift
An initial report suggested that children were “sceptical” about Bitcoin
Bitcoin is being taught to British cub scouts alongside other more traditional forms of money as part of a new Money Skills Activity Badge. The badge, sponsored by HSBC, will see the digital currency discussed as part of a program aimed at helping children understand how money works and to help them make educated decisions about their spending. While the news is welcome in some respects, the fact that the program is being sponsored by the Bitcoin-hating HSBC suggests that cryptocurrencies won’t be given a fair shot, and early indications suggest that this is so.
Money Skills Activity Badge Promotes Budgeting and Saving
The Money Skills Activity Badge was added to the lengthy list of badges obtainable by British cub scouts in April, but the first sessions aimed at earning it took place this week. The program will be trialed for three years and will target the 6-10 year olds who make up two rungs of the British scouting ladder – Beavers and Cub Scouts.
The activities include learning about the history of money, how it is used today, how it is valued, and how to use it responsibly. With young people today about as likely to use paper money as they are a MiniDisc, certain elements of the financial world are becoming more and more distant to them. According to HSBC the financial literacy program has been designed to help children understand the importance of budgeting and saving in a world geared towards easy spending.
Bitcoin Glossed Over
Where Bitcoin fits into this is pretty clear, although with HSBC backing the project you could be forgiven for thinking that Bitcoin isn’t going to get a fair crack at the whip compared to, ooh I don’t know, saving with a bank. This already seems to be the case, with the similarly anti-Bitcoin Guardian stating that on their visit to a Cub Scout hall in London the children seemed “pretty sceptical about bitcoin” before moving “quickly on” to another subject, like it’s somehow toxic.
This isn’t to suggest that everyone who finds out about Bitcoin has to be mesmerized by it of course, but if a group of inquisitive children learning about money are allowed to gloss over a brand new asset class, new monetary system (now a currency in El Salvador), a new technology, and a coin that has gone from being worth zero to being worth $40,000 in 13 years then it simply isn’t being taught right. And given that HSBC is helping do the teaching, this is a near certainty.