Two MIT students have raised half a million dollars for a project to distribute $100 in bitcoin to every undergraduate student at MIT this fall.
Jeremy Rubin, a sophmore at MIT, and Dan Elitzer, founder and President of the MIT Bitcoin Club, have decided to pursue the project to create the first ecosystem for digital currencies at MIT.
“When the distribution happens this fall, it will make the MIT campus the first place in the world where it will be possible to assume widespread access to Bitcoin,” Rubin said.
The organizers plan to work with professors and researchers across the Institute to study how students use the bitcoin they receive, as well as spurring academic and entrepreneurial activity within the university in this burgeoning field.
The $500,000 raised will cover the distribution of bitcoin to all 4,528 undergraduates, as well as infrastructure and informational activities related to the initiative.
“If Bitcoin is going to succeed in the broader world, then I think we’re going to see it succeed here at MIT and see some real compelling cases come out of this,” Elitzer said.
The organizers admit they do not know how students will decide to use their bitcoin. However, they will use the time between now and when the bitcoin is distributed to build up the Bitcoin ecosystem at MIT. This will include working with members of the MIT Bitcoin Club to educate merchants around campus and help them get set up to accept Bitcoin payments.