The MIT Bitcoin Club — because of course there is an MIT Bitcoin Club — has a very important announcement to make. Come fall, all 4,528 undergraduate will be treated to $100 in bitcoin to spend however they please with the goal of creating a functional cryptocurrency ecosystem on campus.
“Giving students access to cryptocurrencies is analogous to providing them with internet access at the dawn of the internet era,” sophomore Jeremy Rubin said in a statement. He and MIT Bitcoin Club president Dan Elitzer (all hail) raised a whopping $500,000 to bring this project to life. Most of the cash came from an MIT alum who works as a high-frequency trader on Wall Street.
Although there are currently only two restaurants in Cambridge that accept bitcoin, the hope is that more businesses will find ways to start accepting the currency. The idea is that the more people use bitcoin, the higher the likelihood that it will survive as a viable payment model.
“We’re trying to seed an ecosystem and see what emerges,” Elitzer told VentureBeat. “That’s how startups work.”