Learn the Basics of Cryptocurrency in Tagalog, Cebuano with Bitskwela

Enter the world of crypto, Pinoy-style.
Photo/s: Photo courtesy of Bitskwela

Watching YouTube videos about cryptocurrency one night, Jiro Reyes noticed that nearly all available information about digital tokens online is written in English and often presented in a technical manner that could be quite difficult to understand for the typical Juan dela Cruz.

As he fell deeper into what he called a "bitcoin rabbit hole", the 23-year-old realized that the language barrier is one of the major reasons why cryptocurrency adoption among Filipinos is quite low despite rising interest, and why some fall prey to scams.

"I realized this was a very big barrier for newcomers who want to start their crypto journey because if you put yourself in the shoes of a new investor or enthusiast, matatakot ka talaga na ang dami mo pala kailangan basahin tapos masyado pang technical at mahaba 'yung iba," Reyes told reportr in an interview.

Some 53% of 110 million Filipinos are interested in possessing digital tokens but only around 4 million are in ownership of virtual coins, a study by blockchain and cryptocurrency data aggregator TripleA showed, highlighting the huge potential of crypto in the Philippines.


"There are many Filipinos who are not as fluent in English as others so that becomes a barrier in terms of adoption of cryptocurrency," Reyes said.

READ: Crypto Guide: Here's a Glossary of Basic Terms

The prevailing language barrier problem led Reyes to come up with the idea of edutech platform Bitskwela, which aims to help Filipinos learn and understand digital tokens and blockchains better with modules in different local languages.

"We want to help people understand crypto better with modules in a language that they are more comfortable with," Reyes said.

What is Bitskwela?

A portmanteau of "bitcoin" and "eskwela", Bitskwela provides free cryptocurrency lessons in different Filipino languages: Tagalog, Cebuano, and Ilocano aside from English.

Some of the cryptocurrency lessons offered by Bitskwela on their website and YouTube channel are "Introduction to Bitcoin", "Types of Currency", and "How to Properly Invest in Bitcoin."

"We wanted to deliver quality when it comes to translations so we went with professional translators so that we can deliver these lessons in a local manner," Reyes said.

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Bitskwela also has a glossary of common crypto terms, and a quiz section on its website so Filipinos can test their knowledge of digital tokens.

While Bitskwela is still in its infancy, having launched just in May 2022, Reyes said the team had provided cryptocurrency seminars to some 2,000 people in partnership with different companies, proceeds of which are used to support the edutech platform's operations to keep online modules free.


"Our commitment is that the modules on the Bitskwela will be permanently free," he added.

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Coming soon: lessons in more languages

Filipinos can also expect cryptocurrency lessons to be available in more local languages soon namely Ilonggo, Bicolano, Waray, Kapampangan, and Pangasinense according to Reyes.

"We do plan to add more languages in the future. The priority is to complete translations for these languages since these are the most widely used ones in the Philippines," he said.

"We're working to double or triple our userbase for next year. We want to help with the regional adoption of cryptocurrency, particularly in the provinces," he added.

Reyes hopes that Bitskwela will serve as a vehicle for a wider understanding of cryptocurrency among Filipinos, recognizing that there are individuals who have fallen prey to scams due to a lack of a general understanding of digital tokens.


"To anyone who wants to invest in crypto, study first. This applies to any investment out there. Lahat po ito, kailangan niyo muna mag-aral dahil at the end of the day, kayo din ang tatamaan if the risk goes against your favor," he said.

"Don't invest what you can't afford to lose," he added.


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