Using Stripe, Skilljar Brings Education and Bitcoin Together

July 19, 2014 17:30 UTC

Thursday, Skilljar announced that they will be bringing their online education platform together with Bitcoin by accepting it as payment for their classes. Skilljar allows businesses to deliver online courses directly to their customers for training, simplifying the integration process and promoting education across the world. One of the most interesting parts of it all though is that Skilljar decided not to go with the popular Coinbase or Bitpay, but with Stripe, a San Francisco based payment startup program currently in beta.

[divider] CCN [/divider]

Skilljar’s decision to use Stripe is simple: They need a payment processing tool that allowed them to cover their wide reach of hosted courses. Skilljar decided Stripe is at its best for their business model.

CEO Sandi Lin with Skilljar co-founders

“Since we power online education courses across many different websites, our e-commerce integration is fairly complex,” Sandi Lin, CEO and co-founder of Skilljar, told CCN in an interview. “Using Stripe meant we could leverage our existing payments integration. We didn’t have to build any Bitcoin-specific infrastructure ourselves.”

The fusion of online education and Bitcoin is something that’s becoming increasing popular. The online technology education platform Treehouse announced in June that they would also be accepting Bitcoin. It was a highly popular move that the Bitcoin community saw as a perfect fit.

Unlike Treehouse, Skilljar doesn’t quite have a focus on one market. They have a wide array of educational classes that can range from scientific fields to lifestyle courses. Because they offer this service to businesses, they’re able to accept Bitcoin from a wide array of audiences all over the web.

“The solutions previously available were legacy systems designed for internal employees, or consumer marketplaces where instructors are mixed in with their competitors,” Lin explained. “In contrast, Skilljar’s platform provides businesses with a seamless course experience they can control through their existing website. We offer a modern and mobile-responsive user interface, flexible access controls, integrations with hundreds of sales and marketing tools, and detailed analytics.”

Why Accept Bitcoin?

While the posed question might seem trivial to some, it’s a serious business decision that all legitimate businesses need to evaluate before taking a step into Bitcoin. The answers could range all over the spectrum, but Skilljar wanted to accept Bitcoin for a few reasons.

“It was a combination of receiving requests from our instructors and learning about the Stripe beta program,” Lin said.

But a decision like this is not always made on requests alone. When it comes down to it, a company has to be interested in accepting this newer, cutting-edge technology because they see some honest and functional benefits. A little bit of personal interest doesn’t hurt either.

“We also have a highly international business in terms of both instructors and students. We’ve experienced the pain of currency conversion fees ourselves, which sparked my personal interest in learning more about Bitcoin,” Lin said.

Skilljar Powered Courses

As said before, Skilljar’s pairing with Stripe doesn’t confine purchasing online courses to a defined subject. Businesses from all over can utilize Skilljar on their websites to offer nearly anything to their audience.

When asked for her favorite class at the moment, Lin pointed to an available yoga course taught by Kimberly Fowler at YAS Fitness.

“I also enjoy the courses offered by Vanessa Van Edwards at Science of People. She’s a body language expert and has an amazing blog,” she told us.

Skilljar has proven functionality for people of all walks of life. Hopefully, this Bitcoin integration expands their network and educates those willing to learn all over the world.

Last modified: July 19, 2014 10:59 UTC

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