The project was established by MIT students Jeremy Rubin and Dan Elitzer, who raised half a million US dollars in a plan to distribute Bitcoin to every undergraduate at MIT.
Alex Morcos, an MIT graduate with a background on Wall Street, who recently co-founded cryptocurrency think-tank Chaincode Labs, funded half of the project. He said:
"Jeremy and Dan had dreamed up this wonderful project, and I believed that it would provide a great opportunity for both MIT and the Bitcoin ecosystem. I’m hopeful that this experiment will both showcase the positive promise of Bitcoin and also excite a new generation of computer scientists to this fascinating new field. It will also help move MIT to the forefront of this research area."
Students will be able to spend bitcoins on the MIT campus. The MIT student bookstore "The COOP," which already offers a Bitcoin exchange in-store, recently announced that they will accept Bitcoin for books and merchandise through payment processor BitPay, making them the first major university bookstore to accept the cryptocurrency.
BitPay Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Tony Gallippi said:
"Students are the next generation technology leaders and we expect them to be at the forefront of new technology adoption like bitcoin. As MIT and The COOP are two of America’s most historic examples of innovation, the adoption of bitcoin continues this tradition."
The MIT Bitcoin Club seeks to provide forums where Bitcoin-related ideas, projects, programs, events, and businesses can be studied, discussed, and developed. Through club activities, they seek to increase awareness and use of Bitcoin within and beyond the MIT community.
"We believe Bitcoin has the potential to be not just a digital currency, but the future of money. While it is still in the early stages, we see Bitcoin as a protocol or platform on which financial and non-financial transactions can be conducted and verified as part of a global public ledger. Bitcoin lies at the intersection of several important academic research areas, including cryptography, distributed computing, graph theory, finance, and economics."
What do you think of the MIT initiative? Comment below!
Images from MIT, f11photo and Shutterstock.
Last modified (UTC): October 30, 2014 3:51 PM