Cryptocurrency For Kids
What cryptocurrency can teach your kids about tech and finance
Could bitcoin be a good way for children to learn about digital currency?
Back in the day, kids learning financial literacy saved their allowance in a piggy bank, and crossed the basics of budgeting. These days, things may be a little more high-tech. Several initiatives of launched targeting children in a bid to teach them about cryptocurrency.
One of them is Piggy Coin, a cryptocurrency designed for kids.
Earned by playing educational games online, and spent in a network of different online stores, Piggies are built using the same underlying principles of bitcoin. One nice thing about them is that parents can even give Piggies to their children in exchange for doing chores. Because Piggies are stored in a software or paper wallet, like Bitcoin, and spendable online, it’s a novel way to teach young ones about finance.
Minecraft + Bitcoin
Other cryptocurrency ventures targeting children include online virtual worlds. Online company recently released a way to play a popular online game Minecraft, while adding bitcoin in the process. It hopes that the system will help kids to understand how money works, while giving them something that they can spend in the real world.
Minecraft has become a worldwide phenomenon since its launch in late 2011. Available on a variety of platforms, it features a vast, randomly generated world built with blocks, made of different materials.
Players can ‘mine’ the blocks for their raw materials and use them to build vast, complicated structures of their own.
Children get lost in the game, which offers limitless possibilities for play. Such was the success of the title that Microsoft eventually bought it in 2014. Conferences and competitions have sprung up around it, and it has created an array of YouTube celebrities who play the game while others watch.
‘Stampy Longnose’, aka Joseph Garrett, has 333,000 followers and his Minecraft series is hugely popular with kids.
Minecraft can be played in standalone mode, but one of its big draws is the ability to share worlds together online. Many players can play on these Minecraft servers at once, interacting with each other in the virtual world.
Online gaming company PlayMC has married Minecraft with bitcoin, allowing people to earn and spend the cryptocurrency in its online world. It now hosts a Minecraft server with its own ‘Bitomony’. It has created its own currency, called Bits, that players can exchange during the game. Each bit is worth 100,000,000th of a bitcoin. This makes it equivalent to a Satoshi, which is the smallest possible fraction of a bitcoin that can be exchanged on the bitcoin blockchain.
PlayMC features games inside its Minecraft server, such as Archer Games, a last-person-standing game in which players take pot shots at each other with bows and arrows. Another is Wave Fighter, in which you can lay traps for relentless waves of bad guys.
Kids that play these games will earn Bits when they win, but in time there will be other ways to earn, such as bug reporting and voting on things.
They’ll be able to withdraw bitcoins when they reach a threshold, enabling them to spend the digital currency on other things.
This isn’t the only way that kids can get involved in virtual currencies. Roblox, another online virtual world, also targets children. They can use free software tools supplied by the publisher to create their own in-world games, and can then charge each other units of the in-game currency, ‘Robucks’, to play them. They can sell merchandise in the game, too.
One enterprising teenager began coding his own games within Roblox, and now earns the equivalent of $20,000 each month in the currency. Not bad for someone on the verge of leaving high school.
Three ways to get kids engaged in finance and technology online. Somemore entrepreneurial than others, and some more educational.
Will any of them suit your children?