Everything you need to know about bitcoin, from its lack of origin to its staying power
1. What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an open-sourced online currency, a completely digital form of money that can be shared through a peer-to-peer payment network. Created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a name many believe to be an alias, bitcoins can be used to purchase just about anything online, from pizza to pornography.
Though this “crypto-currency” lacks any national origin or backing, it still operates with an exchange rate like physical money – meaning it usually costs traditional currency to obtain the digital kind. Right now, one bitcoin costs about $800, though the market is constantly changing.
Other alternative currencies have spun off from bitcoin, including dogecoin, which is named after the popular doge meme.
2. How is it being used in higher education?
Universities haven’t found much use for bitcoin yet, but several universities are starting to experiment with alternative currencies.
The University of Puget Sound recently accepted a bitcoin donation worth $10,000.
The University of Cumbria announced last month that it will accept bitcoin payments for two programs, a certificate of achievement in sustainable exchange and a postgraduate certificate in sustainable leadership.
(Next page: Will bitcoin go mainstream?)