A small liberal arts college in New York’s financial district on Friday became the first accredited U.S. college to accept Bitcoin for tuition bills, donations and other expenses.
Bitcoin, introduced in 2009, is a peer-to-peer currency that operates with no central authority or banks.
Known as The King's College, the Christian institution signed with Coin.co to accept the digital currency and convert it to U.S. dollars, allowing the institution to avoid credit card fees of 2 to 3 percent.
“As the first institution of its kind to make this move and accept digital currency, The King’s College will signal to other institutions that Bitcoin acceptance is not simply for technology companies,” Tyler Vawser, director of marketing at King’s, wrote for the school’s website. “Much like the first universities or businesses to obtain email addresses, The King’s College is standing at the forefront of change.”
The school's president, Gregory Alan Thornbury, said using Bitcoin for payments “decreases our costs while simultaneously allowing our students to be a part of this exciting new technology.”
Coin.co CEO Brendan Diaz said his team has been working with U.S. colleges and universities and other institutions to accept Bitcoin “without incurring any currency risk.”
In May, Bitcoin’s value shot up 34 percent to pass $600 per Bitcoin. The virtual coin began 2013 at only $13 per Bitcoin and began 2014 at $800 per Bitcoin.
Last year, the University of Nicosia in Cyprus made headlines for accepting Bitcoin.