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HomeDigital AssetsBuilding a Crypto-Savvy Generation: Bitget COO On Blockchain Education
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Building a Crypto-Savvy Generation: Bitget COO On Blockchain Education

1. To begin, could you give us an overview of the current state of crypto education today? How far have we come, and what are the most recent trends you’ve witnessed?

We’ve certainly come a long way, and crypto education efforts have grown significantly over the past few years. Currently, around 40% of universities worldwide offer at least one class on blockchain or cryptocurrencies. This stat alone reflects a growing recognition of the importance of blockchain technology and crypto in academic curricula. And the market itself is also growing rapidly. The global blockchain education market is projected to reach over $3 billion by 2030.

Despite these advancements, there is considerable work to be done. Crypto is still seen as a complex and intimidating investment medium. Many people are either hesitant to engage with digital assets or do so with misguided expectations. Also, beyond its investment potential, the technological use cases of crypto and blockchain remain unclear to the general public.

We’re also seeing more traditional investment products integrate with crypto, such as Bitcoin spot and futures ETFs in HK and the US. As these integrations become common, users need a more nuanced understanding of both traditional and digital assets. Educational initiatives must adapt to cover these hybrid investment products comprehensively.

On a positive note, several global initiatives are helping to bridge the knowledge gap. For instance, Bitget has recently committed up to $10 million to the Blockchain4Youth project, part of our corporate social responsibility efforts. This initiative aims to enhance blockchain and crypto education among young people, empowering the next generation with the knowledge they need to navigate and leverage this transformative technology.

2. Bitget’s educational initiative, Blockchain4Youth has just marked its first anniversary. Could you share some of the key accomplishments over the past year?

The past year has been a remarkable journey for Blockchain4Youth. We have successfully established the program as our flagship educational initiative to bring blockchain knowledge to Millennials and Generation Z. 

In just one year, Blockchain4Youth has engaged over 6,000 participants through a series of 54 campus lectures and workshops conducted globally. These events spanned across diverse regions, including Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, Europe, and South America, demonstrating our commitment to a wide-reaching educational impact.

Our courses have successfully equipped young participants with the tools and knowledge necessary to understand and utilize blockchain technology. We issued over 2,000 certificates to students who completed the courses and passed the requisite tests.

We’ve also built strong relationships with prominent influencers and more than 51 universities. Notable partners include University College London (UCL) in the UK, the National Technological University in Argentina, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, and the National Taiwan University’s Blockchain Club, among many others. 

3. Your objective is user-centric learning with equal access for all. How do you promote equal access in regions where access to tech is limited or a gender gap is present? 

At Bitget, we are deeply committed to promoting equal access to blockchain education and opportunities, particularly in regions with limited tech access or significant gender gaps. Our initiatives are designed to ensure inclusivity and provide support where it is most needed.

Last year, our research found that female-led blockchain startups receive only 6% of total funding. We launched the Blockchain4Her with a $10 million fund to address this gap. This program is designed to equip women with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive. We are also launching an incubation program for female entrepreneurs, providing them with comprehensive support, guidance, and resources to navigate and succeed in the blockchain industry. 

Additionally, Blockchain4Her will host a pitching competition for startups founded by women. This competition offers a platform for female innovators to showcase their ideas and attract potential investments, further leveling the playing field in the blockchain space.

Another key component is the Blockchain4Her Ambassador Program, which allows aspiring female leaders to act as ambassadors and catalysts for change. 

Beyond gender-specific initiatives, our general Ambassador Recruitment campaign invites community owners, influencers, bloggers, and senior blockchain enthusiasts to become ambassadors in their local communities. This campaign helps to spread blockchain knowledge and resources to regions with limited tech access, ensuring a wider reach and greater impact. 

4: Crypto space is one of the most dynamic learning environments out there, so one has to be fairly driven and curious to keep up. How do you motivate Blockchain4Youth students? What are your thoughts on learn-to-earn programs? Is money a good motivation?

Learn-to-earn programs can be effective when structured properly. Financial incentives can certainly motivate students, especially in a field like crypto, where practical experience is highly valuable. However, it’s essential that these programs go beyond monetary rewards. The ultimate goal should be to foster a genuine passion for learning and development.

At Bitget, we recently launched the Bitget COO Apprentice Program as part of our #Blockchain4Youth initiative to drive engagement and motivate the youth. This program targets passionate young crypto builders and offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and mentorship.

Initially available in Europe, the program provides a three-month paid apprenticeship. The top three performers are awarded an exclusive, fully funded mentorship opportunity in Dubai with me. Responsibilities include collaborating closely with our executive team, conducting market research, and assisting in the implementation of go-to-market strategies.

We have begun holding our first online training session mid of May this year, and we are excited to share more details on our social media channels soon!

5: Blockchain and crypto are integral parts of digital transformation. Do you think the industry lacks education and awareness for adults who are new to crypto and wish to gain a solid understanding of the field?

Absolutely, the blockchain and crypto industry does face a significant education and awareness gap, particularly among adults who are new to the field. While there has been considerable progress in integrating blockchain education into university curricula and youth programs, educational resources for adults remain somewhat limited and fragmented. 

Many adults view cryptocurrencies as a complex and intimidating domain, often associating it solely with high-risk investments. This perception can deter them from exploring the broader applications and potential benefits of blockchain technology. To bridge this gap, it’s essential to develop targeted educational programs that cater specifically to adult learners, providing them with a solid foundation in both the technological and financial aspects of crypto.

6. Looking forward, what trends in crypto education do you foresee for 2024 and beyond? And, in particular, what’s next for Blockchain4Youth?

I expect to see more universities and educational institutions worldwide incorporating comprehensive blockchain curricula, ensuring that students from diverse fields gain a foundational understanding of this transformative technology.

Another trend is the rise of online learning platforms specializing in crypto education. These platforms will offer a wide array of courses, ranging from basic introductions to advanced technical training, making blockchain knowledge accessible to a broader audience. I also anticipate a growing emphasis on practical, hands-on learning experiences, such as virtual labs, real-world project collaborations, and internships within the blockchain industry.

We are convinced that our Blockchain4Youth initiative is poised to lead the way in many of these areas. Looking ahead, we plan to expand our reach by providing more scholarships worldwide, making blockchain education accessible to talented individuals regardless of their financial background. These scholarships will help cultivate the next generation of blockchain innovators and leaders. We are also looking into providing campus lectures in different regions of the world, further expanding our reach for Blockchain4Youth.

We are also committed to launching more online courses and content, featuring insights from prominent influencers in the crypto space. By leveraging the influence and expertise of key figures in the industry, we will engage and inspire a broader audience of young learners. 

About Vugar Usi Zade, Chief Operating Officer of Bitget

Vugar Usi Zade - Chief Operating Officer of BitgetVugar is an award-winning senior manager and communications expert with 15 years of progressive hands-on experience spanning Fortune 500 giants to dynamic startups, currently serving as Chief Operating Officer at Bitget.

A stalwart in the Web3 and blockchain arena, Vugar previously assumed the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Beincrypto, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. His journey extends to co-founder and board levels, where he adeptly crafted brands and ushered in compelling products, contributing to the success of a “unicorn” MarTech startup. Vugar held senior positions at renowned brands such as Carlsberg, Facebook, Danone, Coca-Cola, Twitter, SONY, and more, showcasing his versatility and strategic insight. Having also lent his expertise as a senior consultant at Bain & Company, Vugar focused on Web3, blockchain technologies, and private equity, further solidifying his standing as a seasoned professional in the field.

An Edward S. Mason Fellow, Vugar holds a master’s degree from Harvard University and a post-graduate degree in Economics from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Vugar passionately hosts a popular crypto podcast, the “Usi Talk,” delving into technology, Web3, AI, and Blockchain.

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