Welcome To MIT. Here, Have Some Bitcoins.

Next year's undergraduates will each receive US$100 in bitcoins as part of a large-scale experiment to see what kind of financial ecosystem will develop.

What's the Latest Development?


MIT second-year undergraduate Jeremy Rubin and MBA student Daniel Elitzer have announced a new project: When undergraduates return to campus this fall, they will each receive US$100 in bitcoins to do with as they wish. The heads-up is designed to help get students thinking, says Elitzer. "We want to issue a challenge...'When you step on to 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?'" They also want to give local businesses time to prepare in case a customer wants to make a purchase using bitcoin.

What's the Big Idea?

It's not the first time the cryptocurrency has been given away in an attempt to increase visibility to the point where it becomes self-supporting. However, a giveaway of this scale, involving a highly intelligent group of test subjects, offers unique opportunities for growth and infrastructure development. Says Rubin, "Even if students simply use their bitcoin to buy stuff, someone has to build an architecture to enable buying stuff. And what if buying with bitcoin is really convenient? Maybe there will be an active conversion into bitcoin."

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