The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Coop bookstore, a retail store serving the campus’ student body, is now accepting bitcoin payments for apparel, textbooks, school supplies and more.
Interest in bitcoin payments has been growing on MIT’s campus for some time now, with a scheduled “airdrop” of $500,000 in bitcoin for MIT undergraduates. The project at MIT intends to provide $100 to every MIT student, and is scheduled to take place sometime this fall.
According to CoinDesk, the MIT Coop is already equipped with a bitcoin ATM, making the acceptance of bitcoin payments a natural decision. The MIT Coop plans to accept bitcoin as part of a partnership with Georgia-based bitcoin payment processor BitPay.
The acceptance of bitcoin is not widespread as of yet, but MIT Bitcoin Project organizer Dan Elitzer says that he has already completed what was likely the first bitcoin transaction at the MIT Coop, when he purchased an MIT hat at the bookstore.
Despite its slow start, the MIT Bitcoin Club and the MIT Bitcoin Project believe that spending will increase this fall following the airdrop.
The proposed bitcoin project follows the recent conclusion of MIT BitComp, a summer-long app development contest led by the MIT Bitcoin Project. The competition began in June, with online identity startup Ethos winning the competition’s $5,000 grand prize.
The MIT BitComp was not the only bitcoin-specific event to be held at MIT. In May, the university hosted the MIT Bitcoin Expo, a one-day conference that assembled bitcoin industry leaders and MIT students together to learn more about the technology as well as potential careers that may be develop as the ecosystem grows.
Interest in the emerging technology certainly seems evident at MIT. The initiative at MIT is currently awaiting a research proposal, but those close to the project hope to get students using bitcoin for on-campus purchases en masse in the near future.