College students are used to getting a plethora of free swag at the beginning of every semester — coupons, Frisbees, food, Bitcoin. Wait, Bitcoin?
If you're an undergraduate at MIT, yes. Two students at the research university have raised $500,000 to distribute $100 worth of the cryptocurrency to every one of MIT's 4,528 undergrads. (Via Vimeo / Duncan Elms)
According to Coinbase, the current price of Bitcoin is $445.24 — that means at current market value each student would receive about 1/4 of a bitcoin.
Now I'm no MIT student, but if my math is correct, that leaves nearly $50,000 left over. The MIT Bitcoin Club, whose president is one of the students behind the project, says the remaining cash will be used to cover the cost of distribution and fund activities associated with the distribution.
So what's the motivation behind this Bitcoin payout? Research, of course. The students hope to pump MIT full of the cryptocurrency so it can be studied while it's in use. "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." (Via MIT Bitcoin Club)
One of the students spoke with The Next Web, telling the outlet he's excited to see what uses MIT undergraduates come up with. "We expect MIT students will embrace this opportunity to find interesting and innovative uses for Bitcoin, as they have time after time with other emerging technologies."
The group says it plans to inform local business owners about the initiative and provide assistance for those looking to accept Bitcoin as a payment method. (Via Flickr / Zach Copley)
CryptoCoinsNews reports the group will host the MIT Bitcoin Expo on Saturday, May 3, to promote the initiative before its introduction this fall. According to the outlet, well-known Bitcoiners are planning to host workshops and presentations.