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DeFI + DeCredential - How Education Can ⬇️ Debt + ⬆️ Access with Decentralization

Scott David Meyer
Scott David Meyer
👋 Welcome back!
After our inaugural issue over the weekend, I’m excited to start a more regular cadence. You can look for weekly issues for now as we dive into the fast-moving ed3 space.
Two topics to discuss today: DeFi to help “De-debt” and decentralized credentials.
👨‍🏫 That’s lots of “de” - which is interesting because education is DEfinitely centralized. We traditionally come together at a central location to listen to a few people talk about a few topics.
It’s unlikely that decentralization will be quickly adopted by the traditional education system - and maybe it shouldn’t be! It probably doesn’t fit their business models in most cases. What excites me about decentralization, however, is its ability to unlock new modes of education.
Some traditional education institutions will adopt elements of decentralization, which will help them compete and create unique experiences for students. Others will now be empowered to become an “educational institute” thanks to the ability to finance and credential the educational experience.
My lens is “and.” We know that the majority of Americans don’t have a higher education degree - and almost 40% who have college debt don’t have a degree to show for it! Add in the fact that only 7% of the world has a higher education degree, and there is room for “and.”
My hope is ed3 brings new opportunities to students everywhere - and those opportunities can be realized by students and recognized by industry.
So how might ed3 do that?
Well, that’s where DeFi and decentralized credentials come in…

DeFi in Education
💰 DeFi to help De-debt (and more)
Last week I had the pleasure of working with Vriti Saraf on forecasting potential intersections of decentralized finance - of DeFi - and education.
DeFi could clearly help students lower their debt burdens. Loans on DeFi platforms like Aave enable borrowers to earn interest on what they’ve borrowed (among other things).
Imagine a loan where the interest earn is automatically applied against the loan amount, so the debt is being paid down without the student even realizing it. 🤑
This simple application of DeFi along with higher returns and the ability to borrow against crypto assets could unlock education for an entirely new swath of students while lowering the debt burden for all students.
As Vriti and myself point out, however, it’s not just for students.
Schools and universities could leverage DeFi for funding education, attracting new students, and bringing decision-making closer to stakeholders.
DeFi could enable schools to:
📈 Earn more from endowments and savings
🏦 Access capital at lower interest rates
🪙 Mint tokens that enables decision-making and could generate return

The city of Miami already minted @MiamiCoinWallet
Dive in below to learn more about the potential of DeFi for ed3 and learn about some interesting projects and companies working in the space.
If all these terms are making your head spin, DEfinitely check out the Web3 Starter Pack here.
How DeFi can Reform School Funding Models — Mirror
Decentralized Credentials
✅ Grassroots Credentialing is Here
This week, I started fleshing out a broader piece on credentials. Expect the final version in your inbox in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can read this thread on decentralized credentials.
The key takeaway: grassroots credential models have been around for over a decade, but are now providing a useful way to store, showcase, and create opportunities.
I've been going deep into the world of credentials and what this looks like in the #ed3 future.

The big question: how do we store, showcase and create opportunities from formal and informal learning?

There are myriad models. Here's the early version of my thoughts 👇
Open Badges, POAPs, and “the Super Skills model” point to useful structures that could be used.
Other experiments are pushing the envelope on what's possible.

The amazing work of @Learnonomy recently launched Super Skills - a game that explored how to integrate:
🔎decentralized identifiers (DIDs)
✅verifiable credentials (VCs)
👜digital wallets
Key elements in all of these models are:
  • Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) - the person (or thing) getting the credential
  • Verifiable credentials (VCs) - credentials that are secure and trustworthy
  • Digital wallets - the place you store and showcase your credentials
Understanding these three primitives will help educators and technologist choose the right solution.
* * * * *
Thanks for reading and sharing this article. In web3 the saying is: we’re all going to make it - WAGMI. 🚀
I think that is even more true in the ed3 space.
Through collaboration, we can increase educational opportunities and help people reach their potential and truly flourish. I’m excited you’re joining for the journey.
See you next week!
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Scott David Meyer
Scott David Meyer @MrScottMeyer

Ed3 is about scaling education, especially at the intersection of web3 + education 📈

Enjoy blueprints and ideas for traditional education, as well as businesses, DAO's, and startups.

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Scott Meyer, Fargo, ND 58103, USA