Should universities accept cryptocurrencies as payment?

Adapting to the latest technologies is key for universities – is it time to ask whether tuition fee payments should be paid in cryptocurrencies? Here is a look at the current situation

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining ground

As if 2020 wasn’t complicated enough, as universities navigated through lockdown periods, the year also brought to the forefront cryptocurrencies, as they gained value on the financial markets. So much so, that they have become legitimised in the eyes of most, thanks to important backers like Elon Musk, who have invested billions into it. Now, universities are looking at adapting to this new situation, by creating a way for students to pay their tuition fees using these virtual currencies.

The fact is, many students are now investing on the stock exchange or learning how to invest on Forex trading UK . Some are placing their savings on Bitcoin or Ethereum, and would prefer to keep their liquidity in these currencies. That creates the issue of school payments, which universities have to look into. It may not be the easiest thing to do, since the value of cryptocurrencies vary a lot from one day to the other, but there are solutions and also examples to look at already.

Why some universities have started accepting cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin may have been associated with criminal activities, at the beginning, but today, some universities are accepting their students’ payments in this currency. That is the case for King’s College in New York City, as well as a handful of universities around the worldy. And it isn’t only the ultra-rich students that are looking to pay their tuition fee with cryptocurrencies. Many international students prefer to use that method, instead of paying in the currency of their host country. In a sense, this has forced the hand of some institutions.

The European School of Management and Technology in Berlin has explained that for students in certain countries, getting funds out of their state can be very complicated, usually due to their government’s restrictions. Therefore, the best (if not only) way to settle their account, is by using Bitcoins. The CFO of the school, Georg Garlichs, said that it was their responsibility to make sure that all students wanting to attend their courses could do so, and that it fully justified their decision to accept cryptocurrencies as tuition fees payment.

Technology, business and economic schools are precursors

It is difficult to teach the latest development in these fields, if you don’t apply them yourself. That seems to be the way these universities and colleges think, as they are the precursors when it comes to accepting cryptocurrencies for their establishment. Sometimes, it is only certain departments, inside the institutions, that enable such payments such as the University of Cumbria, who opened this method of payment to only two certificate programmes and a specific PhD.

However, this may soon change, with the concept becoming applicable to all students, in the months and years to come. Is it possible to refuse a method of payment from some students, while accepting it from others? The legality of this is sure to come into question, at some point.

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