MIT is proving to be a rather cool university these days and it plans to hand over Bitcoins to all students.The project took shape after two MIT students, Jeremy Rubin and Dan Elitzer, who is also the leader of MIT’s Bitcoin Club, managed to raise over $500,000 (€361,500) so that all 4,528 undergrads at MIT could receive $100 (€72.3) worth of Bitcoins.
The purpose of this entire effort is to educate MIT students on cryptocurrencies and get all the merchants working on campus be ready to adopt Bitcoin by next year.
“Through the MIT Bitcoin Project, Rubin and Elitzer aim to help MIT continue its long tradition as the preeminent educational institution at the forefront of emerging technologies, and establish MIT as a global hub where Bitcoin-related research, ideas, and ventures are studied, discussed, and developed. The bulk of funding for the project is being provided by MIT alumni with significant additional support from within the Bitcoin community,” reads the announcement.
Jeremy Rubin said that giving students access to cryptocurrencies is the same as providing them with Internet access at the dawn of the Internet era. The MIT campus will be the first place in the world where it will be possible to assume widespread access to Bitcoin.
Of course, no one can know what students will decide to do with their newfound money, but they have until the fall to make up their minds. Either way, this will kick off a Bitcoin ecosystem over at MIT.
“Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies pave the way for personal data to be recognized as a new digital asset class. The MIT Bitcoin Project is a truly exciting venture that will provide the foundation for research into other classes of digital assets,” said Thomas Hardjono, executive director of the MIT Kerberos & Internet Trust Consortium.
The two organizers, Rubin and Elitzer, are currently working to develop details of the academic studies and logistics for the disbursement of the Bitcoin in consultation with the supporters of the program.
“We decided to announce this project now to give students lead time. We want to issue a challenge to some of the brightest technical minds of a generation: ‘When you step onto campus this fall, all of your classmates are going to have access to bitcoin; what are YOU going to build to give them interesting ways to use it?’,” said Elitzer.