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Draper University Now Accepting Bitcoins for Tuition

Draper University in San Mateo, CA has started accepting bitcoins for tuition and recently processed its first bitcoin payment for its summer program, which starts later this month.

According to information released by Draper U, the educational institution has become the first to accept bitcoin for tuition. Draper, which bills itself as "an unconventional world class boarding school for the brightest young entrepreneurs from around the world," also accepts other non-traditional forms of payment, including barter, equity, profit sharing, and even advertising tradeouts.

According to a spokesperson, Draper U is current using a single centralized address for payments through Coinbase rather than multiple single-use addresses. She said it's been a simple and straightforward process to accept bitcoins.

"Bitcoin was really easy to accept," she told Campus Technology. "Coinbase is a great service for hosting a wallet, and sending money. We are really excited about the future of digital currencies, and are excited to be leading the educational world by accepting it. We are a school for innovation, it only make sense that we assist in the development of the most innovative concepts."

Bitcoin is one of several cryptographic currencies generated by end users ("miners") who tap their CPUs, GPUs, and other processing hardware to solve hash algorithms, resulting in newly minted virtual coins. Bitcoin, which has a fixed ceiling of 21 million coins, is currently by far the most valuable and popular of the cryptocurrencies, trading at a little more than $100 per coin as of this writing. (The currency can be highly volatile and has reached more than $200 per coin in the past.) Similar cryptographic currencies include litecoin, namecoin, and novacoin, to name just a few.

The backbone of bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network that uses dedicated clients to maintain and trade the currency. The clients are available across platforms (OS X, Windows, and Linux), and the currency can also be used on mobile devices and via the Web. Unlike traditional currencies, bitcoins do not require a middle man for payment processing, such as a bank.

According to Draper, bitcoin's decentralized nature is one of its virtues.

"Some of the most forward-looking entrepreneurs are active Bitcoin traders. At Draper University of Heroes, we accept Bitcoin payment of tuition because it is a promising currency with appreciating value. For the time being, we still accept dollars, too," said Tim Draper, founder and managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and founder of Draper University, in a prepared statement.

According to Draper U: "Accepting Bitcoin is just another illustration of how Draper University is following the same innovative model it teaches. Students are taught to think differently and disrupt the standard and accepted ways of practicing business. Bitcoin currency is a great example of new technology being used to disrupt the standard approach to currency and payment systems. Other ways students have bartered for tuition include NFL training by a former NFL player and placement of the Draper University logo on a racecar by a female racecar driver."

The Draper University program covers covers business startup topics for young entrepreneurs. Sessions are held over a six- or eight-week period. The next session kicks of June 24. Additional details can be found at draperuniversity.com.

 

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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