UoC became the first public university in the world to accept Bitcoin in tuition fees
The University of Cumbria in northwest England became the first public university in the world to accept the online currency Bitcoin as payment for fees. The acceptance of Bitcoin will initially be limited to the two programmes that address complementary currencies.
- These are the Certificate of Achievement in Sustainable Exchange, which will be taught from the university’s London campus in July 2014, and the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership, which will be taught from its Lake District campus, in June 2014.
- Both courses are run by the new Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS).
- The university uses the system Bitpay to process any payments. Bitpay is a US-based company that enables thousands of merchants to accept Bitcoin.
- Due to the risk of currency volatility, the university advised students against purchasing Bitcoin in order to pay their fees. They should only use this facility if they already have bitcoin, or can receive bitcoin donations in order to pay their fees. The acceptance of Bitcoin by university is for trial basis.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an online currency and payment system which enables the international transmission of funds. It is a distributed peer-to-peer digital currency that functions without the inter-mediation of any central authority. Bitcoin is also called a “cryptocurrency” since it is decentralized and uses cryptography to prevent double-spending, a significant challenge inherent to digital currencies.