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New York Preschool Accepts Bitcoin, Shuns Credit Cards

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM
Sonny Axis
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM

Ease of payment, low fees, and speed of transactions are some of the reasons why a preschool in New York City has opted for tuition payments in Bitcoin.

Co-founded and chaired by Marco Ciocca, Montessori Schools is an early childhood education program built upon the classical methods of Maria Montessori. After following the growth cryptocurrency industry over the years, the school decided to start accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum in May, eschewing the traditional credit card payment system due to the ease of payment, low fees, and security that cryptocurrencies offer.

“There’s about a 1% transaction fee, which is less than, you know, 2, 3, 4% sometimes with credit cards,” Ciocca told Business Insider .

Montessori Schools is the largest preschool program in Manhattan with close proximity to the city’s tech hub, the “Silicon Alley”. Due to this proximity, the school has a lot of parents working in tech companies who often inquire about paying their children’s $30,950 tuition fee in either Bitcoin and Ether. The constant inquiry piqued Ciocca’s interest in cryptocurrency payment, taking him to several blockchain conferences and one-on-one discussions with developers about the pros and cons of accepting this new form of payment.

However, not every parent was in agreement with the announcement, citing market volatility and misconception about the possible nefarious usage of the currency. Ciocca was quick to reassure the parents and allay their fears, pointing out that many Fortune 500 companies  have embraced this new form of payment. The payment model also fit with the school’s philosophy emphasizing creativity, problem-solving, and independence. Ciocca was also quick to point out that parents who invested in Bitcoin back in May when it was $2,300 are essentially paying reduced tuition now that one Bitcoin costs between $7,100 and $7,400.

Bitcoin market volatility has always been the reason why most organization refuse to accept it. However, Montessori Schools has found a creative way around this problem by opening a merchant account with one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US. The account allows them to instantly convert cryptocurrency payment into fiat, protecting the sum deposited against market volatility.

Despite the massive gains, the crypto industry has recorded in recent months, Ciocca says the school will not be profiting from market fluctuations because they only want to ease payments for parents.

Asked whether the school will be accepting credit cards payment, Ciocca was swift to reject that possibility “A lot of them get declined and then you have more fees and then you have to recharge them and that’s been kind of, sort of a headache for – especially for schools.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.