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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday April 29 2014, @05:53PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Crypto-Workstudy dept.

The Boston Globe reports that two MIT students have raised half a million dollars for a project to distribute $100 in bitcoin to every undergraduate student at MIT this fall aimed at creating an ecosystem for digital currencies at MIT. "Right now there is not a geographic place that you can go to and assume that people have relatively broad access to bitcoin," says Daniel Elitzer, suggesting that that could change with their experiment, which might make for an interesting case study. "What might the world look like if bitcoin, or something like bitcoin, were widely accepted?" The bulk of funding for the project is being provided by MIT alumni who plan to distribute the $500,000 already pledged to all 4,528 undergraduates.

Plans for the MIT Bitcoin Project involve a range of activities, including working with professors and researchers across the Institute to study how students use the bitcoin they receive, as well as spurring academic and entrepreneurial activity within the university in the field. "Giving students access to cryptocurrencies is analogous to providing them with internet access at the dawn of the internet era," says Jeremy Rubin, a sophomore studying computer science at MIT. 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. "Everybody has access to the Internet, right so you want to launch a webapp? Everybody can do that. You want to launch a bitcoin or cryptocurrency app? That's a little bit harder. You can't test it in your immediate friend group. But hopefully [that's] what we'll enable."
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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29 2014, @06:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29 2014, @06:29PM (#37780)

    and nothing of value was lost

    • (Score: 1) by Snow on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:53PM

      by Snow (1601) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:53PM (#37813) Journal

      I don't get it. What doesn't have value? 1/2 a million dollars, or the two MIT students?

  • (Score: 2) by TK on Tuesday April 29 2014, @06:53PM

    by TK (2760) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @06:53PM (#37791)

    The way I image this playing out is a large percentage of the students that either don't know how or aren't interested in buying things that can be purchased with bitcoins will sell theirs to an entrepreneurial student or group of students at fifty cents on the dollar. That student will proceed to hoard as many bitcoins as possible, cashing out at a profit at some point in the future, and using that money on tuition, books, or more likely, booze and weed.

    --
    The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DECbot on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:46PM

      by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:46PM (#37809) Journal

      Normally, I would agree with you except that this is MIT and the majority of the students are likely to be very interested in crypto currencies. Of course, you're right that they'd still either hoard it or use it for booze and weed.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29 2014, @11:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29 2014, @11:28PM (#37916)

        Bullshit. Only fucking idiots are interested in Bitcoin and I doubt the majority of MIT students are stupid.

    • (Score: 1) by Snow on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:57PM

      by Snow (1601) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:57PM (#37817) Journal

      PUBLIC NOTICE:

      I will buy any amount of bitcoin ($20,000 at a time) for 51 cents on the dollar. Please contact me if interested.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @11:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07 2014, @11:08PM (#40729)

      But it also japan calls for early screening for marijuana reform have been motivating our salespeople. This is not new to Osaka?, royal vegas online casino [onlinecasi...iazone.com], [url="http://onlinecasinoaustraliazone.com/ "]royal vegas online casino[/url], >:-D, online casino [bestcasinoclubcom.com], [url="http://bestcasinoclubcom.com/"]online casino [/url], 03877,

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Blackmoore on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:10PM

    by Blackmoore (57) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:10PM (#37799) Journal

    .. on books required by classes. Gone in 60 seconds.

    • (Score: 2) by carguy on Tuesday April 29 2014, @11:20PM

      by carguy (568) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @11:20PM (#37913)

      > .. on books required by classes. Gone in 60 seconds.

      Ummm, there aren't many textbooks that cost $100 or less. And we haven't heard yet if the bookstore will be accepting bitcoins.

      One prediction, young Elon Musk-types will set up private bitcoin==dollar exchanges.

      I wonder what I would have done with ~$20 in 1974 (inflation corrected to when I was an undergrad)? That was about what I made per week with a term-time job, which mostly paid for my groceries...

  • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:11PM

    by GlennC (3656) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @07:11PM (#37800)

    I wonder if, once this project gets going, any MIT students would be interested in purchasing the contents of my wallet file?

    Until then, I wonder what I could get for the wallet file contents on the open market?

    --
    Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
    • (Score: 1) by Snow on Tuesday April 29 2014, @08:36PM

      by Snow (1601) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @08:36PM (#37833) Journal

      I suppose that would depend on how many bitcoins are in the addresses listed in the wallet file. If you don't have any bitcoins, then the wallet file has no value.

      • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Wednesday April 30 2014, @01:21PM

        by GlennC (3656) on Wednesday April 30 2014, @01:21PM (#38081)

        How badly do you want to know?

        I can guarantee that only 100% recycled electrons were used to generate the file, if that helps!

        --
        Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
  • (Score: 1) by Statecraftsman on Tuesday April 29 2014, @11:41PM

    by Statecraftsman (1149) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @11:41PM (#37923)

    This reminds me of how Facebook started. Facebook began with users from the top college in the college-age social hierarchy. Who wouldn't want to be friends with their Harvard-going friend?

    Similarly, what techie in or out of college wouldn't want to work with or on whatever their MIT buddy was doing? Giving bitcoins to MIT students means a) they'll be more interested to work on a novel project involving crypto and b) their friends and colleagues are more likely to view or participate in their crypto-projects with interest. It'll be interesting to read studies done in 5-10 years on the effects of this giveaway.