In October 2014, the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) launched the MIT Bitcoin Challenge, an initiative that sought to present away $500,000 value of Bitcoin to its undergraduate students.
Students have been in a position to declare $100 value of BTC in change for filling out a survey, equating to roughly 0.3 BTC on the time. The mission was spearheaded by students Jeremy Rubin and Dan Elitzer, who raised $500,000 from college alumni and representatives of the Bitcoin neighborhood.
The mission was supposed to encourage exploration into digital belongings and foster the campus as a world hub for crypto analysis.
With 3,100 students capitalizing on the supply and near $200,000 value of Bitcoin going unclaimed on the time, the college distributed roughly $33.8 million value of BTC at present costs.
Whereas lots of the students presumably spent their freely obtained Bitcoin stash, with the MIT coop bookstore launching assist for BTC as fee for textbooks, college provides, and different MIT merchandise from September 2014, Bloomberg spoke to 1 pupil who nonetheless holds the Bitcoin MIT gave her seven years in the past.
Regardless of the worth of 0.3 Bitcoin falling from $19,500 in mid-April to almost $11,000 right this moment, MIT alumni Mary Spanjers describes her expertise with cryptocurrency as “truly remarkable,” including:
“Most of us thought it was a bit of a joke.”
Bloomberg additionally caught up with different MIT alumni who had rapidly spent their Bitcoin, with a number of contributors lamenting they’d spent their BTC on groceries or eating places, together with a close-by sushi joint that accepted Bitcoin as fee. On-line boards recommend different students spent their crypto on beer, shoes, and different trivial expenditures.
Christian Catalini, an MIT affiliate professor who oversaw the Bitcoin Challenge, estimates that 10% of taking part students had cashed out their BTC inside two weeks, whereas 25% had exited as of the mission’s completion in mid-2017.