MIT undergraduates to receive $100 in Bitcoin to create world’s first Bitcoin economy

By Daniel S Levine,

Two MIT undergraduates announced the MIT Bitcoin Project, which will give all undergraduates at the Cambridge, Massachusetts university $100 in Bitcoin to spend however they want. The club is hoping to create the world’s first economy to use the cryptocurrency.

The MIT Bitcoin Project was created by sophomore Jeremy Rubin and MIT Bitcoin Club founder Dan Elitzer. They raised $500,000 to cover $100 in Bitcoin for all 4,528 undergraduates at the university this fall.

“Giving students access to cryptocurrencies is analogous to providing them with internet access at the dawn of the internet era,” Rubin said in a statement. Most of the funding was provided by MIT alumni and support from the Bitcoin community.

The students may find it hard to spend the currency, though. According to IBTimes.com, there are currently only two restaurants in Cambridge that are accepting it.

Rubin told VentureBeat that the idea of giving students $100 in Bitcoin to get the Bitcoin economy moving at MIT came to him while he was brainstorming ideas in bed. He first thought of only doing it within a single computer science class, but Elitzer, a first-year MBA student, suggested expanding the scope to the entire campus.

“We’re trying to seed an ecosystem and see what emerges,” Elitzer explained to VentureBeat. “That’s how startups work.”

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