Free Bitcoins for students is not something new. It started way back in Oct 28, 2014 when two MIT students, Jeremy Rubin and Dan Elitzer, raised $500,000 from university alumni and members of the bitcoin community. Under the MIT Bitcoin project it was announced that each MIT undergrad became eligible to claim $100 in bitcoin by completing the survey hosted by the MIT Bitcoin Project. The main objective of this was to spur academic and entrepreneurial activity at the campus. Their goal was simple – to create an ecosystem for digital currencies at MIT.
Bitcoin has been heralded as the future of money, an anonymous way to purchase anything from a coffee to illegal drugs. But it has struggled to make the transition to a common currency. By injecting bitcoins into a real-world community, the MIT Bitcoin Project hoped to spur acceptance of the cryptocurrency among people who might not have otherwise tried it.
The organizers admitted that they still didn’t know how students will use their bitcoin at the time of giveaway, but that was largely the point. The program offered a unique opportunity to study behavior, spending habits, identify potential problems and alternative uses for bitcoin – no strings attached.
The students had options to spend their bitcoins however they wished, as long as it was legal. Students who were early adopters already had a lot of options to spend their bitcoins, in exchange for buying textbooks and college tuitions for development. There were a lot of takeaway food joints like Patty Chen’s Dumpling room and Veggie Galaxy which accepted Bitcoin.
Later that year Fireflies App made by Sam Udotong, an aerospace engineering student, let students request or carry out tasks for each other on campus in return for bitcoins, like picking up a meal from the cafeteria on a cold night. It was also found that a lot of students chose not to spend the bitcoins instead kept them for later investment or just sold it for regular cash. It was very evident that you could give a student $100 worth of bitcoin but you could not ensure that they use it.