The cryptocurrency industry is not only becoming popular for spenders, but also for those seeking an education. Gigaom reports that university students are now being given the opportunity to receive bitcoin upon enrollment, and some institutions are even accepting the alternative currency as payment for tuition.
This fall, more than 4k students enrolled at one of the world’s leading tech-focused institutions will receive $100 worth of bitcoin. Jeremy Rubin, a computer science sophomore at MIT, and Dan Elitzer, President of the MIT Bitcoin Club and a first year student in the MBA program at MIT Sloan, have successfully raised more than half a million dollars for their new project.
With help from MIT alumni and the bitcoin community, together they’ve managed to make it possible to provide 2014 fall students a chance to develop their bitcoin wallets.
According to Rubin, “Giving students access to cryptocurrencies is analogous to providing them with internet access at the dawn of the internet era.”
It seems like a clever analogy, particularly with all of the recent developments connected to bitcoin, including Xapo’s expansion into linking storage to usage through their new Xapo Wallet.
“When the distribution happens this fall, it will make the MIT campus the first place in the world where it will be possible to assume widespread access to bitcoin.”
Giving college students access to bitcoin makes sense, especially when universities have begun to accept alternative currencies as payment for tuition.
The University of Cumbria in the UK not only launched a series of curriculum aimed at examining the role of alternative currencies and how they affect economic and social systems, but it’s also become the world’s first public university to let students pay for courses in bitcoin.
Currently, the University of Cumbria is using a third party system called BitPay to process bitcoin payments. However, for now, bitcoin is only accepted for programs focused on alternative currencies.
As the five year-old alternative currency progresses, the market in which it can be used continues to expand. According to a January article by the NY Post, bitcoin will now buy you an array of things, including:
- Lamborghini – an upscale car dealership in California is now accepting bitcoin as payment for this luxury vehicle
- A night at the “D” in Las Vegas – a popular Vegas hotel and casino destination
- An education – students can pay for tuition at the University of Cumbria
- BBQ – one of America’s most popular BBQ joints located in Salt Lake City, Utah
- A flat screen TV – multiple retailers are now accepting bitcoin, including TigerDirect.com, which is known for selling computer parts, TVs and cameras
The vendors below also accept bitcoin:
Cryptocurrency technology continues to enter markets in which critics said it would never succeed. As Bitcoin becomes more versatile, its user network is expected to improve and grow exponentially.