MIT Students Look To Jumpstart Bitcoin Economy

Two students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced a plan that will hopefully create a small bitcoin economy around the school. Recently, Jeremy Rubin and Daniel Elitzer, who are involved with the university's bitcoin club, began to raise money for their cause. To date they've amassed more than $500,000.

With the money they've collected, Rubin and Elitzer have decided to give each of MIT's 4,500 undergraduates $100 worth of bitcoin in the fall. The pair hope that by doing this, the students will not only become interested in the cryptocurrency but that some of them will create businesses centered around it.

The Donor List

According to Rubin, just 25 donors were involved in the process and half of the $500,000 came from Alexander Morcos, an MIT alum who co-founded the New York-based high-frequency trading firm Hudson River Trading.

It took just a matter of weeks for Rubin and Elitzer to court the 25 donors and raise the money necessary to jumpstart what could end up being a bitcoin economy. If it takes off, the economy could encompass MIT and the many surrounding businesses that frequently interact with the university's students.

Getting People Involved

Bitcoin has only been around for five years, but for much of its life the cryptocurrency was only used among small groups of individuals. However, a lot has changed over the past two years, and now even large businesses like Overstock.com accept bitcoin as a valid form of payment.

Though some companies are getting on board with digital currencies like bitcoin, it is still rare for a business to accept it and even more so for someone to actually use bitcoin to pay for something. Bringing bitcoin into the mainstream seems to be the primary goal of Rubin and Elitzer.

By announcing their plan months ahead...

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