Blockchain technology and digital currencies have attracted not only businessmen but also many students around the world. The question is – why the vast majority of universities are still unwilling to accept crypto donations?
Same as many corporations, the universities remain skeptical about digital currency volatility and taxations.
The potential of blockchain technology, and digital currencies related topics, still provoke controversy between university professors and students.
Blockchain hype is compared to a gold rush, where the number of students who want to attend courses about this technology and cryptocurrencies is increasing incredibly fast. Students are interested in courses about smart contracts, decentralized consensus, and Bitcoins.
Students have founded crypto-related clubs designed to bring investors and general enthusiast together, where they can share new ideas and speak about issues. As more students express interest in cryptocurrencies, the academic institutions began to teach blockchain technology but not at a high level.
Professor Dragan Boscovic, at Arizona State University, has expressed optimistic sentiments regarding digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). Professor Boscovic said confidently that cryptocurrencies are seen by institutional investors as “valued investment opportunity”.
Then why are they still against crypto donations?
This May, Associated Press reported that 47 colleges and universities in the United States had endowments that valued more than $1 billion dollars and ten years ago that number was 17. The educational institutions are proven to be proficient at raising money so that’s why they stay hesitant to „atypical donations“ that could disrupt their investment portfolios and the flow of money.
Meanwhile, a few schools like the University of California at Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed that they accept gifts in the form of virtual currency. Many of them are still concerned about crypto donations liquidity. It takes time to sell digital currency and that is process few want to do.
UC Berkeley is also beginning to offer courses in blockchain technology taught by visiting professor and former venture capitalist Po Chi Wu. His blockchain course is now one of a growing number of classes and research initiatives emerging at this university.
The first Bitcoin gift to a U.S. college
A $10,000 gift in bitcoins to liberal arts college University of Puget Sound could be considered as the first Bitcoin gift to a U.S. college.
Bloomberg reported that the school used Bitpay to help facilitate a transaction that saw Nicholas Cary donating 14.5 bitcoins to an Atlanta bank in 2014. This school sold the bitcoin to eliminate potential volatility but the school official said they have received other cryptocurrency gifts since that bitcoin donation.
Bitcoin entrepreneur Nicolas Cary ’07 said he made the gift in the currency that is now central to his career.
“I always wanted to give back to Puget Sound once I was in a position to do it. I was the grateful recipient of scholarships and loans, and now that I’m in a position to make a difference, I want to help others get on the road to success.”
Many students, graduated from this institution, become notable figures inside of the digital currency world such as Erik Voorhees, ShapeShift AG CEO, and Jesse Proudman, Strix Leviathan LLC trading platform CEO.
As universities are looking for long-term donors, the time will show if they are fully ready to accept donations in digital currencies, especially since this is the main interest of young entrepreneurs.