Bentley to accept crypto for tuition payments – Boston.com
By Ross Cristantiello
Bentley University will soon begin accepting cryptocurrency for tuition payments. It will become one of a small number of universities and colleges throughout the U.S. accepting this new, decentralized digital currency, which uses cryptography to secure transactions, the college announced this week.
The Waltham institution will partner with Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange service, to make this possible. Bentley will accept three forms of crypto payment: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USD Coin. The university is also making plans to accept gifts and donations in these three forms. USD Coin is a particular type of cryptocurrency called a stablecoin, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar.
“Bentley University is at the forefront in preparing business leaders with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the changing world economy,” Bentley President E. LaBrent Chrite said in a statement. “We’re proud to embrace this technology that our students are learning about, which will soon transform the global business landscape they’re about to enter.”
The new feature appears to be up and running already. An option for students and their families to pay with crypto now appears on Bentley’s financial services website.
In its announcement, Bentley espoused the benefits and potential of crypto. These new currencies will play an increasingly important role in the global economy, the announcement said. This will tie into the creation of new businesses, new forms of salary payment, and different ways to buy event tickets.
More than 41 million Americans, or 16 percent of U.S. adults, have invested in, traded, or used cryptocurrency, according to the Pew Research Center. The global cryptocurrency market is projected to more than double, from $910.3 million in 2021 to $1.9 billion in 2028, according to Fortune Business Insights.
There is considerable student interest in cryptocurrency and related technologies at Bentley. A new crypto finance course will launch at Bentley this fall. It will focus on blockchain applications and decentralized finance, according to a statement released.
Using cutting edge digital technology is not a new initiative for the University. Last year, Bentley created NFTs to commemorate former women’s basketball coach Barbara Stevens’ induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. These “non-fungible tokens” are digital collectibles that are bought and sold with cryptocurrencies. Bentley was one of the first universities in the world to issue NFTs, the school announced.
Other higher education institutions around the country have taken similar steps. In October, The University of Pennsylvania announced that it would accept cryptocurrency as tuition payment for a new online program at the Wharton School. This made Penn the first Ivy League institution and Wharton the first U.S. business school to allow students to pay their tuition using the digital currency, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Unlike at Bentley, Penn’s crypto option is limited to tuition payments for one course: the Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets course. Penn also accepts payment in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USD Coin.
Bentley student Alex Kim was an early cryptocurrency adopter, according to the university. He started investing in Bitcoin during high school, and last fall launched the Bentley Blockchain Association. This is one of the few student-led blockchain groups in the nation. The group has grown to 257 members just a few months after its creation.
“Students have a real interest in knowing more about blockchain, decentralized finance and cryptocurrency investments,” Kim said in a statement. “These technologies are influencing the industries where they will be working.”
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