- Blockchain.com vice chairman, Nicolas Cary, decided to gift his former school with a Bitcoin donation.
- Despite the usual policy of refusing atypical gifts, the University of Puget Sound eventually accepted the unusual donation.
- The move may mark the beginning of universities opening up to crypto, something that even the most technologically advanced schools were reluctant to do.
As cryptocurrency use cases continue to grow on their journey to mainstream adoption, some new problems are beginning to emerge. One such issue arose recently when a former student of the University of Puget Sound decided to gift his old school with a donation made in Bitcoin (BTC).
Using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is exciting for new would-be investors. However, it appears that not everyone is as enthusiastic about using them or even owning them. This is since cryptocurrencies, also as gifts, remain complicated and unstable. Additionally, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin remain incredibly volatile. Not to mention the fact that hackers often target their holders.
University receives a donation in crypto
When it comes to donations to schools and universities, they are often atypical, which can cause problems for donation recipients. While colleges are quite capable of handling money donations, they are less skilled when it comes to handling art, shares, stocks, and similar gifts. Recently, this list of complicated gifts expanded to include cryptocurrencies.
This is the issue that the University of Puget Sound had to deal with recently, after its former student, Nicolas Cary, decided to gift the school with 14.5 BTC ($10,000 at the time of the donation). At first, the University was unwilling to accept the gift, and Cary, who is also the vice chairman and co-founder of Blockchain.com, had to convince them to do so. Furthermore, he also had to explain how cryptocurrencies work, and how can they be handled.
This has caused a lot of difficulties for the University, which even had to go as far as to change its policy to be able to accept this gift. Additionally, the school needed to use services such as Bitpay and generate an invoice for Cary, which he received during a conference in Berlin. After receiving a QR code, Cary used it for transferring his donation, but even then, a surprise snowstorm in Atlanta postponed the arrival of the donation for an entire day.
Still, Cary remained persistent, eager to prove that with a little effort, crypto donations can be performed even when it comes to colleges. After all, universities such as Puget Sound are responsible for their students becoming skilled with new technologies in the first place. And, while cryptocurrencies have had a lot of troubles of their own throughout 2018, they are still worth over $200 billion in total.
US Universities have started experimenting with crypto
Many others decided to follow Cary’s example, and Puget Sound has received even more digital currency donations since the original gift. However, it seems that other universities, including even the most tech-savvy ones, are still behind on the new trend. Even so, some universities such as Stanford and Harvard recently started making moves in the crypto world. Yale also made several steps toward entering the crypto sphere, with reports claiming large investments in crypto funds established by the University.
Several other universities, such as the MIT and Cornell University have taken cryptocurrencies but were not willing to share information regarding these donations. Even so, most other universities remain unwilling to join the crypto space. For the most part, gifts such as art, shares, and the like, are mostly being rejected by these institutions. While security issues are often the main reason for dismissing atypical gifts, there are also reputational risks, especially when it comes to accepting cryptocurrencies.
Finally, many are simply intimidated by the sole idea of having to deal with exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, volatility, as well as providing personal information required as a part of KYCs and AMLs.
As for Cary’s donation, it still managed to go through successfully, and numerous others have followed. Whether this will serve as an example to other schools, remains to be seen. However, many are supportive of the idea, believing that Cary’s move might be just the icebreaker that was needed for a new trend to take place.