Broke MIT students miss 13,000% gain on free BTC after selling for food and shoes

In October 2014, the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) launched the MIT Bitcoin Undertaking, an initiative that sought to offer away $500,000 value of Bitcoin to its undergraduate college students.

College students have been capable of declare $100 value of BTC in trade for filling out a survey, equating to roughly 0.3 BTC on the time. The mission was spearheaded by college students Jeremy Rubin and Dan Elitzer, who raised $500,000 from college alumni and representatives of the Bitcoin neighborhood.

The mission was meant to encourage exploration into digital belongings and foster the campus as a world hub for crypto analysis.

With 3,100 college students capitalizing on the provide 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 most of the college students presumably spent their freely obtained Bitcoin stash, with the MIT coop bookstore launching assist for BTC as cost for textbooks, faculty 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 at this time, MIT alumni Mary Spanjers describes her expertise with cryptocurrency as “actually outstanding,” including:

“Most of us thought it was a little bit of a joke.”

Bloomberg additionally caught up with different MIT alumni who had shortly spent their Bitcoin, with a number of members lamenting that they had spent their BTC on groceries or eating places, together with a close-by sushi joint that accepted Bitcoin as cost. On-line boards recommend different college students spent their crypto on beer, sneakers, and different trivial expenditures.

Christian Catalini, an MIT affiliate professor who oversaw the Bitcoin Undertaking, estimates that 10% of collaborating college students had cashed out their BTC inside two weeks, whereas 25% had exited as of the mission’s completion in mid-2017.