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Just Cool Enough For School: Coinbase Earn And Education In The Cryptospace




What the 0x-funded program can or can’t teach its students.

As part of its 12 Days of Coinbase promotion, crypto exchange Coinbase announced the Coinbase Earn program, which will allow users to earn 0x tokens (ZRX) while watching videos and taking quizzes around crypto and blockchain subjects. As of right now, the program is invite only, but anyone can view the initial set of beginner lesson videos on Coinbase's website.

According to the announcement, in a survey of Coinbase customers and non-customers, they found that "one of the biggest barriers preventing people from exploring a new digital asset was a lack of knowledge about that asset."

Similarly, a survey of 1,000 online investors conducted by global investment platform eToro US found that 44 percent of respondents state that education, or a lack of understanding, is the main reason they do not trade in cryptoassets. eToro also notes that 69 percent of those who currently do not invest in cryptoassets are interested or very interested in learning more.

Furthermore, eToro's survey showed that, for investors who do hold a cryptoasset, most of their understanding comes from the exchange they use (67 percent) and/or social media (43 percent). Among these investors age 20-65 who already trade in crypto, eToro found that "97 percent of both Millennial and Gen X crypto-traders are interested in learning more about cryptoassets."

Alternative Education

By providing a platform through which users can learn about and earn what might be their first bit of cryptocurrency, Coinbase Earn does appear to be tackling both the perceived needs of its customers and the needs eToro finds of online investors. However, the clear promoting of 0x's platform through the initial lesson plans leaves something to be desired.

Just by looking at the Coinbase's website for the Earn project, it's clear that it's less about learning and earning, and more about only learning about 0x and only earning ZRX. Even the beginner lesson videos only focus on 0x's peer-to-peer trading, the 0x protocol, and the future of 0x. The announcement does state that over time users will be able to earn other coins, but whether each currency will have its own specific lessons the way 0x does is unclear. ETHNews reached out to Coinbase but has yet to receive a response.

Overall, the claim that Coinbase Earn is going to make "cryptocurrencies easier to obtain and easier to understand" is a bit misleading. It does make one cryptocurrency easier to obtain and easier to understand – and that's not nothing – but as far as being a tool for those who want to join in and learn about the cryptospace, we grade it an "I" for incomplete.

Nicholas Ruggieri

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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