Cyprus university accepts Bitcoin for tuition


A university in Cyprus has begun accepting Bitcoin for tuition fees, the first educational institution in the world to do so.

Anonymous digital currency Bitcoin has been making major strides in recent months to become a recognised legitimate currency, with investment from venture capitalists, ATM machines and cabs that have started to accept the currency, and now the University of Nicosia in Cyprus has started allowing its students to pay with the digital funds.

The university will also begin a new degree next year, with students able to study for a Master of Science Degree in digital currencies, with Bitcoin being a central focus of the course.

Bitcoin has had a tumultuous last few months, with the closure of the infamous libertarian marketplace Silk Road, where users used the anonymous currency to buy everything from drugs to explosives, was shut by US authorities alongside its more mainstream growth. There have also been a number of high profile hacks of Bitcoin accounts and wallet systems, where the hackers have made off with millions of dollars-worth of Bitcoins, transferring the funds anonymously.

As the currency becomes more widely used around the world, without the interference of governments or large banks, the currency remains extremely volatile. One Bitcoin is currently worth $747 (£461), down from a peak only a few days ago at $900 (£559) after a US senate hearing on the currency. This kind of volatility is the reason that the currency is still yet to find widespread adoption amongst businesses and the general public, but as it matures if this dies down then Bitcoin may start to offer a truly independent and reliable currency.

This chart shows the volatile but rising value of Bitcoin over the last 12 months
Value of Bitcoin over the last 12 months

[Photograph by Zach Copley]

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