Being financially literate means understanding how skills like money management, budgeting, and investing can be used to make effective financial decisions. The sooner these skills are adopted in life, the greater the number of opportunities for accruing wealth. Unfortunately, the education system severely lacks teaching the financial literacy and application skills we need to succeed, and we are still learning how this affects economics on a larger scale.
Changing service providers and deciding on the best mortgage rates – these are the kind of decisions that most people will come across. But not fully understanding how it all works can cost a significant amount of money, according to recent research. The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) found that, on average, American adults estimated they lost $1,634 in 2020 due to a lack of money management skills. Extrapolating these figures, the lack of knowledge cost United States’ citizens approximately $415 billion in 2020.
Given that in 2018 the respondents estimated an average loss of $1,230 for that calendar year, this suggests that an increasing number of people are potentially missing out on building a financially stable future. With Web3 and crypto becoming more and more popular with the upcoming generations, teaching children proper finance and financial application skills becomes even more important.
Learning financial literacy with crypto
Many hope that the rise of digital currencies may eventually help to solve the growing problem of money mismanagement on both an individual and an institutional scale. Thanks to the flexibility blockchain technology offers, many different use-cases can be adopted to achieve this. One of those use-cases is teaching kids about finance and taking on financial responsibility early on.
Banano (BAN) is a freely-distributed, “potassium-rich” cryptocurrency project launched in 2018, running on Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) architecture. The network is feeless, instant, and sustainable, making it the ideal environment to learn about crypto and finance.
The project has the primary aim of providing an accessible and educational avenue for entering the intricate world of digital assets. They provide intuitive tools, informative workshops, and helpful guides in an easy-to-understand way so that financial experience and massive computing power is not required.
Banano has many programs that have evolved from its ecosystem, one of which aims to address and improve on the issue of financial illiteracy. With the program Banano in the Classroom, teachers can leverage blockchain technology to teach students financial literacy and application skills, problem-solving skills, and individual and group accountability through crypto and rewards.
One success story of Banano in the Classroom is about the Canadian teacher Mr. G who uses the program as a point system to reward students in his class for being respectful of their surroundings, completing certain tasks, and staying focused. Mr. G distributes Banano throughout the week, and “buys it back” in time to cycle rewards out again for the following week.
To save or not to save?
Aside from feeling rewarded, students can spend their hard-earned Banano in Mr. G’s Banano Store. The teacher accepts BAN tokens for pizza, extra time to play outside, games, toys, school supplies, computer time, and much more. This rewards system introduces kids to the concept of earning, saving, and spending.
It also teaches conflict resolution, as major group purchases must be made with 100% group approval. The students must discuss the possibilities and eventually come to an agreement. For example, does everybody want one piece of candy today, or should they save up and combine their funds for pizza next week?
Teaching children about financial responsibility also touches many other areas of development. Mr. G. states that before implementing the program in 2019, he was exhausted due to bad behavior in his class. Since then, things have reportedly improved a lot, as cited by the Banano community-curated news website Daily Peel:
“Banano in the Classroom has been a huge hit and has significantly improved behavior, overall class cleanliness, and class morale. The students get super excited to cash in their $BAN for weekly prizes. Some groups even will save their Banano week-to-week to save up for better prizes. That helps to tie in many of the financial literacy skills that I wish I had learned at nine years old.”
Banano aims to eliminate high entry barriers that plague most other crypto projects. The easy-to-use crypto platform offers the infrastructure for people of all ages to learn about personal finance, group economics, asset management, and other valuable financial literacy and application skills, making it an impactful use-case for crypto.
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