Supporting El Salvador's Bitcoin Adoption from a Bottom-Up Approach !

Supporting El Salvador's Bitcoin Adoption from a Bottom-Up Approach !

At PlanB, we believe that hyperbitcoinization and mass adoption will occur through bottom-up approaches where communities and individuals take responsibility for their financial freedom. Although El Salvador adopted Bitcoin through a top-down approach, it is up to each citizen to embrace this new technology. To achieve this, PlanB is proud to support the Node Nation initiative, which aims to educate the next generation of BTC engineers.

Node Nation : An Ambitious Salvadoran Educational Project
Imagine a future where every school in your country is running a BTC node, engaging with LN, and mining some sats. All of this is maintained by the students themselves. This future is what Node Nation is striving to build in El Salvador.

Launched by DécouvreBitcoin (DB) in 2023 with one pilot school, Node Nation is now a collaboration between the Bitcoin office, DB, and the Ministry of Education with the support of the PlanB Network. The project is simple: Set up one LN node and one Bitaxe in every school in the country. While the 2024 school year will focus on 5 primary schools as a large-scale pilot, the ambition is to cover the entire network of 5,000 schools around the Bitcoin Nation.

The Ministry of Education and Oscar are launching the first school of the year

The goal of this project is to bring advanced Bitcoin education to the high school system and to shape the future engineers of tomorrow. By teaching them rudimentary coding, as well as LN/Mining knowledge, we hope for the students to become engaged in the Bitcoin community and be more aware of the technology their president has adopted for them. 

The synergy between an LN node, hardware wallet, mining, and an LN ATM at school can create a strong network effect for a circular economy there. The students can effortlessly change their pennies into Sats and spend them around, while the student council in charge of the infrastructure learns how to run a micro-business in BTC (a local, non-KYC exchange).

Which hardware and why ?

Oscar, a Node Nation teacher, is inaugurating the first class.

A key component of this project is the use of Start9 Server One servers, a robust and reliable infrastructure that will enable schools to efficiently manage these nodes. These servers will provide the necessary platform to facilitate students' learning and experimentation with Bitcoin technology while ensuring stable and secure connectivity. The course received trains them to manage the node themselves and pass on this knowledge to the next generation of students. 

Additionally, the project includes the introduction of Bitcoin mining hardware called Bitaxe into the educational program of the participating schools. This device will allow students to learn the basics of Bitcoin mining, thereby acquainting them with the technical and economic aspects of this essential activity for the Bitcoin network's operation.

Regarding security, hardware wallet courses will be taught to emphasize the importance of self-custody. Considering the cost of such hardware for the average Salvadoran income, the students will practice on simulated hardware, with solutions like Jade or Seedsigner being our primary focus. Finally, Lightning ATMs are also being deployed to enable seamless dollar-to-sat conversions for the students.

Block 1 of the Node Nation Program

From High School to Real World Use Cases

It's crucial to understand that the Node Nation project extends beyond mere node installation and mining education. It signifies the onset of a comprehensive initiative designed to foster Bitcoin adoption and enhance technical understanding of this nascent technology in El Salvador. By initiating this pilot phase in five carefully selected schools, the Node Nation project aims to establish a strong foundation for broadening its influence across the nation through entrepreneurship and engineering. These institutions will act as trailblazers in incorporating Bitcoin into the formal educational system, thus setting the stage for a new generation of Salvadorans who are well-versed in this groundbreaking technology. The five chosen schools are:

  • Complejo Educativo Ignacio Pacheco Castro (San Salvador)
  • Complejo Educativo Antonio J. Alfaro (Ahuachapán)
  • Instituto Nacional de Usulután (Usulután)
  • Instituto Nacional Doctor Francisco Martínez Suárez (Chalatenango)
  • Instituto Nacional Isidro Menéndez (San Miguel)
Ministry of Education Signing the Pilot Program

Forming strong BTC/LN engineers in financial technology, mining, and more is crucial for El Salvador's success in its Bitcoin transition. While "Mi Primer Bitcoin" focuses on the basics for numerous students, we aim to form only the most passionate students and offer them the opportunity to participate in even more selective programs such as Cubo+. 

Node Nation is just at its infancy, but at PlanB, we believe in its potential to have a real-life impact on the lives of many and to be an inspiration for other Bitcoiners and countries to follow. If you are interested in the Node Nation curriculum and how it works, follow them on social media and discover their program soon on the PlanB platform.