Alternative Finances

MIT's Bitcoin Give-Away

In what probably has to be the strangest experiment to come out of MIT in 2014, the Bitcoin Project will give every MIT student $100 dollars in bitcoin to see what they will do with the digital currency if everyone in their academic community has it.

“I was laying in bed one night, brainstorming ideas,” sophomore computer science major Jeremy Rubin told VentureBeat. What he came up with was initially only aimed at his computer science classmates until first-year MBA student Dan Elitzer suggested taking it to the next level and bringing it to the whole campus.

“Unlike every other payment system,” Elitzer told VB, Bitcoin “allows provisionless innovation, so you don’t have to go through a central authority.”

The funds to buy everyone bitcoin were raised through the University's alumni association.  Half the funds come from Alexander Morcos, an NY-based high volume trader and MIT alumni. The Bitcoin Project will work with MIT professors and staff to track what the usage patterns are in a highly educated community of bitcoin users. Students will be both allowed to cash out and buy back into the program.

At the start of business today the price of bitcoin was hovering around $443 according to the PYMNTS Bitcoin Price Index.  Later today we will be featuring the second part in David Evan's multi-part series on just what makes bitcoin so special. Check back in with PYMNTS at 1 pm to get the next installment.


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