The Bitcoin Club at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) –because naturally MIT has a Bitcoin Club — said this week that it will give a $100 gift to all of the school’s 4,528 undergraduate students come this Fall when they start school. This money will be allotted to the new MIT students to spend however they choose, with the ultimate goal of the distribution of the cryptocurrency being to create a functional system of use and exchange of the coin on the campus.
MIT Bitcoin Club students see providing undergrad students with Bitcoins right now, and right at the beginning of their academic career as something very advantageous to them and extremely cutting edge. According to the club, they are really helping students to get ahead of the game, since many believe Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, to be the way of the future. One main idea of the project is for students and administrators to get to see exactly how the students will use the Bitcoins that are allotted to them at the beginning of the year.
An MIT Bitcoin Club member described giving the undergrads the gift of free Bitcoins as akin to giving them internet access right at the dawn of the age of the internet. The Bitcoin Club, specifically two members who have worked on Bitcoin-related projects before, Jeremy L. Rubin and Daniel B. Elitzer, raised a hefty sum of money – $500,000 – to bring this project to fruition. They gathered donations from some 25 different donors in order to raise the sums for the project. The two met with MIT administrators to inform them of their plans for the Bitcoin Club to give a $100 gift to all undergraduate students and to create a school-wide Bitcoin “ecosystem” (as they called it), that will hopefully reach outside of the school and start to impact other communities. The administration at MIT wished the club all the success with their project and becoming hopefully the world’s first official economy of Bitcoin users. They have stressed, however, that undergraduate participation in the program is completely optional and not required.
Although, there are only two restaurants in Cambridge, Mass., the home of MIT, that currently accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, the Bitcoin Club is hoping that more and more restaurants, shops, and other businesses will start accepting it at a method of payment. They are hoping for further success when they hear that the Bitcoin Club at MIT will give a $100 gift to all undergraduate students this upcoming fall in the hopes of expanding the use of Bitcoin. The club also hopes that more businesses will begin to accept it because the idea behind cryptocurrency is that the more people get behind it, support it, and start to use it, the greater the likelihood that it will continue to survive as a real method of payment, and possibly even grow into something greater than what it already is. Another one of the project’s goals is to help area businesses set up a method of accepting Bitcoin, including tech workshops that explain how the cryptocurrency works. An expo for that purpose is set to take place on May 3.
By Laura Clark