It is registration time at a big comprehensive in Edgware, north London. Today, like every morning so far this term, the sixth form girls sit around chatting in twos and threes while most of the boys are in one large huddle.

“I’m up over £100 in one day, bitches!” a boy in the centre crows. Others proclaim their gains in a conversation peppered with the words shiba inu, dogecoin and Elon Musk.

Their form tutor, a recent history graduate, looks on with a growing sense of unease. “Isn’t trading cryptocurrencies just like gambling?” she asks them.

More than half the boys in her class are Muslim and gambling is not something the Koran looks on kindly. The student in the middle gives her a scornful look. “Nah Miss,” he says. “It’s investing.” 

This boy has failed to show much interest in schoolwork over the years, but here he is, the Gordon Gekko of form 13J. He spends all his time on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube absorbing tips from dubious celebrities, which he then passes on to his disciples.

God help these boys, their teacher says to me later, if they are putting their money at risk on advice from this particular student.

Similar scenes are playing out in schools across the country as teenage boys — girls seem almost entirely unmoved by this latest craze — buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is not hard to see why they have whipped themselves into such a frenzy. There is the cool language of technology and an endless drip-feed of hype on social…

Read more…