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MIT Pair raises $500K, preparing to rain bitcoins on undergrads

Pair raises 500K preparing to rain bitcoins on undergrads The Tech


Donors have committed to giving $100 in bitcoins to each of MIT’s about 4,500 undergraduates this fall.

Jeremy L. Rubin ’16 and Daniel B. Elitzer, a first-year Sloan MBA student, are spearheading the project, which they hope will sow the seeds of an innovative bitcoin “ecosystem” at MIT.

Rubin and Elitzer said they’ve secured more than $500,000 in commitments from about 25 donors. Half of the money will come from Alexander Morcos ’97, who co-founded Hudson River Trading, a high-frequency trading firm based in New York.

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I'm skeptical.

One bitcoin could be bought for about $443 at press time, according to Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet service. The value of one bitcoin rose from less than $15 in January 2013 to a peak of over $1,100 in December.

Rubin and Elitzer’s announcement months in advance is timed to give local businesses a chance to begin accepting bitcoin and to give students and researchers a chance to develop bitcoin-related applications.

“What I’m hoping is that infrastructure gets sufficiently built around MIT that bitcoin actually becomes a useful commodity to have,” Rubin said.

This does not feel organic.

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