Feeds

PARTY TIME! MIT slips $100 to each student ... in Bitcoin

We'll wager 0.0189BTC it gets instantly converted into real money and spent at the bar

Security for virtualized datacentres

Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will each be handed $100 of Bitcoin in a bid to create a crypto-currency economy within the university.

The scheme was dreamed up by Jeremy Rubin, 19, a second-year undergraduate, and Daniel Elitzer, an MBA student at the university's Sloan School of Management.

To finance the project, the pair raised more than $500,000, with the majority pledged by Alexander Morcos, who studied at MIT and went on to a career in high-frequency trading.

The two crypto-entrepeneurs are big fans of digital funny money. Rubin is working on the development of Tidbit, a project to replace online advertising with Bitcoin mining, while Elitzer is the founding president of MIT's Bitcoin Club.

They hope to encourage students to get involved in the nascent currency, by building the foundations for a Bitcoin "ecosystem".

"Giving students access to crypto-currencies is analogous to providing them with internet access at the dawn of the internet era," said Rubin.

"This will spark new development," he added to the Guardian. "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."

Of course, nothing ever comes truly for free. The pair of Bitcoin bods want the young recipients of their generosity to actually do something interesting with the cash – $100 is worth 0.22BTC right now – rather than changing it into dollars and buying Friday night booze.

"We decided to announce this project now to give students lead time," added Elitzer. "We want to issue a challenge to some of the brightest technical minds of a generation: ‘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?'"

The staff at MIT are delighted that their students will get an easy introduction to Bitcoin.

Dennis M. Freeman, MIT’s undergraduate education dean, told the uni paper: “By bringing students and faculty together to inform members of the MIT community about what Bitcoin is and to research its use, Rubin and Elitzer are helping everyone to better understand this emerging technology.” ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.