BSV Academy’s comprehensive Bitcoin courses are rolling out to Mindstone, a next-generation curation platform for online learning aimed at empowering modern professionals in their quest to up-skill and improve their career prospects or knowledge around a specific subject.
Bitcoin Basics, the short introductory coursed created by BSV Academy to introduce newcomers to the world of Bitcoin, is already available on the platform, with more content expected to roll out in the near future. Bitcoin Basics introduces both experienced developers and those with no blockchain or development experience to the mechanics of the Bitcoin protocol and the unique capabilities.
The courses offered by BSV Academy tutor enrolees in the nuances of Bitcoin as manifested by Bitcoin SV (BSV), the blockchain protocol which is most aligned with the original Bitcoin protocol as described in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original white paper.
More content from BSV Academy is expected to roll out to Mindstone going forward, comprising curated variations of the comprehensive infrastructure, development and introductory courses available on the BSV Academy website.
Bitcoin and blockchain-related courses are only a small component of the selection of content Mindstone aims to offer, however – the platform aims to revolutionise online learning by acting as an open curation platform that combines the best features of traditional online certifications with user interaction and discussion.
To find out more about Mindstone and the potential for Bitcoin- and blockchain-related courses on the platform, Bitcoin Association spoke to the platform’s co-founder and CEO, Joshua Wöhle.
The vision behind Mindstone
Traditionally, professionals have entered their careers after spending the first 20-to-25 years of their life in a rigorous education. Once they have completed their studies and received the relevant qualification for their field, the learning slows or stops entirely and they proceed to work until retirement.
Wöhle believes this model needs revision, and that people need to re-learn how to study and up-skill themselves to keep up with the encroaching automation of jobs across industries, as well as evolving technical knowledge requirements. He believes that online, crowd-sourced learning is the key to this evolution of education.
‘The vision behind Mindstone is to allow anyone to take any article, podcast or a combination of articles, podcasts and videos that are already available online, put them in a playlist and then publish that as a course that other people can learn from,’ Wöhle says.
‘There is more than 50 years of video getting published every day, more than 5,000 blog posts an hour, and for some reason, many education and learning projects are constantly reinventing the wheel by just producing more content instead of finding a way to take all this amazing content that’s already available online and making it accessible in a way that people can learn from.’
His own autodidactic learning helped inform his belief that online education holds the key to up-skilling people across the world.
‘I’m a self-taught coder and I learnt everything from the internet, and today if you want to learn how to build a rocket, nothing stops you. Everything is available online, from the low-level physics to the higher-level actual material builds, you can find everything you need. But you need a certain amount of motivation and comfort using technology to make that work,’ he says.
‘What we’re trying to do is build a model where some people can start to curate this content to then make it available in courses so that people that are slightly less technology-savvy, slightly less comfortable with tech and maybe have slightly less motivation but still would like to do it, are able to take advantage of all that the internet has to offer.’
The value of online discussion and the potential for blockchain courses
Wöhle describes Mindstone as something like Stack Overflow for any industry, combined with verifiable certificates and a record of each student’s work.
‘As you go through those courses, the idea is that we also start to record the learning that you’re actually doing, so that when you if you spend 200 hours digging through different articles on decentralised finance, you don’t just end up saying that you have, but you have some kind of track record that shows that you spend 200 hours,’ he explains.
‘You had 500 comments, 30 discussions, 50 questions, 20 answers, five thousand highlights; it quantifies some of the actual work you’ve done so that when you are then having conversations with future employers, whether it is for a promotion or another job, you can you can provide them with some kind of signal that you actually have done the things that you say you did and you actually have built up the expertise that you say you have.’
Blockchain-related curations such as BSV Academy’s Bitcoin Basics course have significant potential for adoption within the online learning space, Wöhle believes, stating that many people are interested in learning about the technology despite the lack of easily accessible information.
‘Decentralised finance and blockchain overall is one of the more promising areas from our platform’s perspective – the reason being that there is a big need and desire for the blockchain and decentralised finance space to educate the rest of the world on what the potential could be for these new technologies,’ he says.
‘There’s a real barrier to entry at the moment where the tech is there, it’s hard to explain, most of the world doesn’t understand it, but a small part of the world sees what it can do.’
The idea of building discussion around topics and courses created and curated by users ties into the example of blockchain-related content in that learners can easily request and find answers to the inevitable questions that arise when dealing with such a complex and multi-faceted topic.
‘One of the things that that sets Mindstone apart is that every question somebody asks, every answer you leave behind, gets left behind for the next person that comes along. So, if you’ve got 50 people going through the course, the 50th person that comes through will not just see the blog posts, podcasts and articles, they will also see the various discussions that have been had around the topic, and so the course content will evolve over time,’ Wöhle says.
‘And the premise of it is that over time, the discussions end up being as valuable, if not more valuable, than the content that sits underneath them. This is especially true probably in the blockchain and decentralised finance world because people are passionate about it, they will have questions and it evolves really rapidly.’
‘Blockchain has an enormous amount of growth still ahead of it, even just because so many people don’t understand it yet. And so, finding new ways to allow people to learn about blockchain faster and remember more of what they’re actually learning is going to be a pretty interesting path.’
Get involved with Mindstone
There are already a wide variety of curated courses offered through Mindstone: from BSV Academy’s Bitcoin Basics to content on product management, game development and whisky tasting. All these courses are available free to everyone, as Wöhle and his team believe the barrier to entry for online self-education should be as low as possible.
‘We want to put the barrier to entry for people to take courses as lowers as possible, which basically means making it available for free, because the more people that take the course, the better the course becomes and the more valuable we become as a company,’ he says.
In the future, Mindstone aims to monetise its platform through offering accredited certificates to graduates, which they can share with potential employers, as well as potentially launching B2B products that enable internal up-skilling programmes. Currently, though, Mindstone is focused on its imminent crowdfunding round, which is set to launch on Monday, November 8.
The platform has partnered with private investors but will also be open to public funding. Those who fund Mindstone will be able to participate in the growth and evolution of the platform going forward.
‘With the crowdfund, we wanted to open up the opportunity for anyone that is passionate about this problem, to join us on the journey,’ Wöhle says.
‘As we launch this and we get past our crowd funding during the month of November, we will start to look at the job industries with the highest degrees of automation and we’ll start stimulating re-skilling and up-skilling paths for the people that need it most.’
To find out more about Mindstone and the courses available on the platform, visit the official website.