Two MIT students, first-year MBA student and Bitcoin Club founder Dan Elitzer, and sophomore Jeremy Rubin, have raised US$500,000 from MIT alumni and the Bitcoin community to launch the MIT Bitcoin Project.  

The ambitious MIT initiative looks to turn the university into a digital currency ecosystem by distributing $100 in bitcoins to each of the 4,528 undergraduate students starting next school year. MIT will become the first location worldwide with widespread access to Bitcoin.

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“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.

There are no set regulations as of yet for how the students can spend, invest, store or sell their bitcoins, but the MIT Bitcoin Club and MIT administration will distribute and monitor the cryptocurrency. The project plans to work with local businesses on how to accept and process bitcoin payments, and a student opt-in policy is also in development. Elitzer and Rubin will collaborate with MIT’s Living Labs to commission academic studies on the bitcoin ecosystem as well.

As of this morning, the fluctuating bitcoin exchange rate shows one bitcoin to be worth approximately $448, which means $100 would amount to approximately 0.22 bitcoins for each MIT student.

About Rob Marvin

Rob Marvin has covered the software development and technology industry as Online & Social Media Editor at SD Times since July 2013. He is a 2013 graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with dual degrees in Magazine Journalism and Psychology. Rob enjoys writing about everything from features, entertainment, news and culture to his current work covering the software development industry. Reach him on Twitter at @rjmarvin1.