Using Cryptocurrency to Increase Student Motivation and Agency: Thoughts from Vietnam


  • John Andre National Economics University



cryptocurrency, student motivation, agency, higher education, Global South


This paper will argue that cryptocurrency can be used as a tool to motivate and increase the agency of students in higher education. Although just a few cryptocurrencies, or coins, dominate the headlines (bitcoin, ether, etc.), more than 10,000 different coins currently exist. Each coin targets specific problems (inter-user payments, unlocking specific services, etc.) and two key problems in Vietnamese higher education are student motivation and student agency. The argument is that by rewarding particular behaviors (good grades, attendance, etc.) with a grant of coins to each student, the coin can bring the benefits of badging but can go even further because coins, unlike badges, can be spent. One major weakness of cryptocurrencies is that they are like money but with less utility. This paper argues that this weakness can be turned into a strength by making a new coin that is targeted specifically to education. Students with better academic performance would receive more coins than other students. These coins can then be used to purchase exclusive options such as entry to watch or even meet a guest speaker or the student could buy time from the teacher to help them improve their study plan. While teachers do offer office hours, some students are hesitant to attend as they feel they do not deserve to consume the teacher’s time, because it was their parents, not the students, who paid the tuition. However, by earning the coins to buy the teacher’s time, it is anticipated that students would become more agentic and more willing to take advantage of those resources that have been available yet remain underutilized. Students without coins may be able to buy them from other students at a market price. This can provide even greater motivation for students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to perform well because their reward (the coins) can be exchanged for real world money.




How to Cite

Andre, J. (2022). Using Cryptocurrency to Increase Student Motivation and Agency: Thoughts from Vietnam. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 17(12), pp. 4–15.