A club at MIT wants to see what will happen when an entire community has access to a digital currency, and to find out, it plans to give every undergraduate student on campus $100 worth of bitcoin this fall. The MIT Bitcoin Club says that it's raised a half million dollars from alumni and the bitcoin community, which it plans to use to cover the cost of bitcoin for the campus' more than 4,500 undergrads and to finance informational programs about bitcoin. The group also plans to work with researchers on campus to study how students are using the new currency.
"Giving students access to cryptocurrencies is analogous to providing them with internet access at the dawn of the internet era," Jeremy Rubin, a sophomore computer science student at MIT and one of the two students behind the project, says in a statement. The club says that it has no idea how students will actually end up using their bitcoin, but it hopes to work with merchants around campus to begin accepting it to give students a way to get started. Logistics and timing for distributing the bitcoin are still being decided, but the project's organizers say they're working with quite a few members of MIT's faculty for support.