A cryptocurrency has been specially designed to reward students for their studies. The currency bears the apt name Smileycoin or SMLY and is used within the tutor-web online learning platform. The tutor-web is a freely accessible and completely open web-based platform, initially developed as a research tool for on-line education.
In order to make the SMLY more attractive several approaches have been used, including support from companies whose services can be purchased for SMLY.
A few thousand students have taken courses using the SMLY.
The SMLY recently celebrated its second birthday, making it an established cryptocurrency and no longer a newcomer.
A separate project, Education In A Suitcase, uses the tutor-web and SMLY on servers and tablet computers distributed to very low-income regions of Africa. The picture shows an EIAS member handing out crowdfunded tablets to students at the primary school on the island of Takawiri in Lake Victoria. The island has no Internet nor general electricity, but one of the school buildings has solar panels which give unstable electricity. The unstable electricity is all it takes for the system to run. The server has a complete copy of the tutor-web along with all of (English) Wikipedia and the Khan Academy math videos.
The longer-term hope with the SMLY is that it will be picked up by students in places like Kenya and that it will become easily exchangeable with other mobile money such as Mpesa, widely used in Africa.