Canadian universities are focusing more and more attention on Bitcoin, as they see the benefits and potential of not just using it as a currency, but also supporting the underlying technology. Simon Fraser University in Canada now lets their students use Bitcoin to pay for textbooks, and no less than three Bitcoin ATM’s have been installed on the campus grounds.
SFU Embraces Bitcoin
Attending university in the US and Canada is rather expensive, and the additional costs of textbooks make it only more challenging to make ends meet from a financial point of view. Granted, there are student loans to lessen the burden, but that doesn’t mean there are no other viable solutions to make life a bit easier.
Bitcoin could – and, in this case, will – play an interesting role in the everyday student life of those attending Simon Fraser University in Canada. By integrating Bitcoin payments – which can be made from any mobile device – into SFU’s bookstores, students can now pay for any material necessary with digital currency.
“It is still a very new, techie kind of subject and it takes — I think, for the average person — a lot of time to be able to understand it and be comfortable using it. The way we’ve integrated it at the bookstore, allowing you to quickly buy bitcoins under 10 seconds and spend it under 10 seconds, makes it a lot easier.” – SFU Bitcoin Club Founder Michael Yeung told the media.
Considering the virtual currency aspect of Bitcoin – which is often associated with illegal use and money laundering by uneducated people – this can be seen as a “vote of confidence” from Simon Fraser University. After all, they are using this new and disruptive payment method to let students buy anything from the on-campus bookstores.
Speaking of using Bitcoin on Campus, Simon Fraser University will enable Bitcoin payments on all three of their campuses, located in Burnaby, Vancouver, and Surrey. That being said, enabling Bitcoin payments on campus is one thing, but how will the students get their hands on the digital currency? As far as we know, there will be no airdrop, such as the one taking place at McGill University a little while ago.
A Bitcoin ATM For Every Campus
SFU Students will be able to exchange their fiat currency to Bitcoin by using the local Bitcoin ATM. In doing so, the Unversity avoids any risks associated with providing Bitcoin liquidity themselves. Given the volatile aspect of the Bitcoin price, it could end up in a financial disaster is SFU decided to stockpile a load of Bitcoins for their students.
“There were students on campuses around the world getting into it. It was not predictable where it was going to go. “It may not necessarily mean that Bitcoin is the be all and end all of electronic money or the future of the currency, but it is a step forward for exploration and learning,” Michael Yeung concluded.
It is interesting to note this is not SFU’s first venture into the world of Bitcoin and digital currency. Last year, the University became the first Canadian post-secondary institution to openly accept Bitcoin donations. And with this move, Simon Fraser University added another notch to their belt when it comes to Bitcoin and digital currency.
Images courtesy of Simon Fraser University and Shutterstock