MANILA - A Filipina entrepreneur has founded an education company where students are paid to learn using crypto.
Proof of Learn aims to make education accessible globally and has so far raised $17 million, according to its co-founder and CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo.
"As you're completing courses, we’re giving you money. You can turn those rewards into cash or crypto to learn advanced courses," she told ANC's Headstart.
Proof of Learn's initial project is MetaCrafters.io, a "part game, part learning platform" where student developers or Crafters are tasked to learn Web3 or decentralized apps that run on blockchain or system of recording information that is difficult to hack.
The project was conceived when Marcelo heard of a 65-year-old grandmother in Cabanatuan who played non-fungible token (NFT) game Axie Infinity, which gained popularity in the Philippines during the pandemic.
"This game was creating significant income, more than the rural average wage... It inspired me to come out of my sabbatical. We really need to do something to help the Philippines, not only to be consumers on the internet, but how do we train them to create. Filipinos are so incredibly talented," she said.
"How do we teach Filipinos, who are by the way one of the largest holders of crypto wallets?"
The project aims to work with universities and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, Marcelo said.
"There are numerous business models. We’re gonna work with BPO employers. If you have web2 developers, we want to talk to them," she said.
Marcelo, who is also the founder of caregiver service website care.com, said it was important for her to "be grounded."
"Importante sa'kin (what's important to me is) I’m Filipina first and foremost... I feel God gave me a blessing and a privilege to help more people," she said.