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El Salvador’s ‘My First Bitcoin:’ How to teach a nation about crypto

The grassroots Mi Primer Bitcoin or “My First Bitcoin” program has picked up steam in El Salvador. The first cohort of Bitcoiner-come-students began studies in May this year. Founded by John Dennehy, an American activist and journalist, the program also has the support of the El Salvador government. 

El Salvador’s first #Bitcoin diploma program launched with the support of its Ministry of Education pic.twitter.com/ajIHPHzqap

— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) May 2, 2022

Cointelegraph spoke with Dennehy and Gilberto Motto, El Salvador’s Director of Education, to delve into the country’s struggles and successes in Bitcoin education and to understand the rate at which Bitcoin education is spreading among the land of volcanoes. 

The Genesis Block

When El Salvador adopted Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender on June 8, 2021, very few El Salvadorans besides President Nayib Bukele could explain concepts like seed phrases, Satoshis or mining. There was “Bitcoin Beach,” the name donned to the sleepy surf town El Zonte, the birthplace of Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador.

But, the 3,000 local residents would have their work cut out to teach the remaining 6 million population. Indeed, Salvadorans would require hundreds of hours of training, learning and “orange-pilling” to be able to save and transact in Bitcoin.

The moment Bukele onboarded up to 6 million people into the Bitcoin protocol. Source: Twitter

A mammoth task loomed for the Salvadoran government. Motto told Cointelegraph that as per Article 6 of the Bitcoin Law, approved on June 8, 2021, “The State will provide training on the use of this cryptocurrency.” However, what would that training look like? How could the state rapidly and effectively introduce Bitcoin classes when they themselves would also have to get to grips with new money?

All the while, Bitcoiners, commentators and the mainstream media watched as the El Salvador experiment played out. Dennehy, who had spent the past living and working in Latin America, told Cointelegraph that upon the law’s announcement, he had to get to the…


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