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MIT undergrads to get $100 in bitcoin test

Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley 6084 replies100309 postsFounder Senior Member
According to Reuters, "Every undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next fall will be offered $100 in bitcoins in an experiment that students say will turn the prestigious university into one of the first places on the planet with widespread access to digital currency."

Considering the cost of attendance, a hundred buck "gift" will hardly break the bank, but letting loose a bunch of creative folks with the digital currency could spark some interesting ideas.

More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/29/bitcoin-mit-idUSL2N0NL1XH20140429
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Replies to: MIT undergrads to get $100 in bitcoin test

  • stoccermomstoccermom 40 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Brilliant marketing idea.
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  • MatachinesMatachines 214 replies8 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Well, anyone still wanting to buy them should buy them now and sell them after this starts. They'd make good money.
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  • malkovichiomalkovichio 38 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I read that as 100 BitCoins. Almost got jealous for a second.
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  • lidushalidusha 1253 replies20 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Party party party. :D
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  • JHU518JHU518 91 replies7 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thats not fair
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  • JHU518JHU518 91 replies7 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    "The bulk of the funding for the project came from MIT alumni."

    Never mind I guess it is.
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  • ccco2018ccco2018 624 replies12 postsRegistered User Member
    I am sure the beer stands by campus will be the first to accept it, and off-course Harvard brothers and sisters will want some too. If they are generous enough they might share it with BC & BU.......
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  • chestertonchesterton 390 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    I'd rather have $100 in cold hard US dollars, or better yet, $100 in gold. To me, bitcoins are worth as much as Monopoly money, and I am not in favor of enriching some tech nerds who would love to gain control over the exchange of currency, promising their vision of utopia. I have always joked that nerds rule the world, but it is really not that funny anymore.
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  • chestertonchesterton 390 replies8 postsRegistered User Member
    @immasenior ... The government has done its best to destroy the dollar with its endless printing of money, but at least the dollar is still backed by the full faith and credit of the US government, and that does still mean something, and it does still hold some value beyond what you or I may say the value is.

    That is really the question with the whole concept of the bitcoin. Who is going to be backing the bitcoin? There are uses for the bitcoin, but I don't agree that its best use is as a replacement currency. The libertarian utopias, where people are entirely free of government, sound great on the face of it - except we have one problem - we are depending on imperfect, often greedy, often evil human beings. Too big a government is a problem, but the non-existence of a government structure of some kind is foolhardy. To think that those who are pushing for bitcoins are of greater moral character, and are more in favor of human liberation, so therefore we ought to move from government-based currency to their new-fangled digital bitcoins, is the myth being promoted. Bitcoins will save the world and free the oppressed - yeah right. Basically, what the promoters of the bitcoins want to do is capture the fees the come from the exchange of currency, and the prospect of being in control is what really gets them excited. And if they can disguise those desires by touting the bitcoin as something that is going to put power in the people's hands, they will do it. I just hope people don't believe it.

    Here is where the money will be made with bitcoins: if you are the person who owns and regulates the bitcoin trade. I am sure plenty of people will be sucked in to buying and using bitcoins, just as they were sucked in to giving up all of their private information for free, and enriching those who figured out ways to use all of that private information, for good or bad.

    For me, bitcoins are superfluous, just like most of what the internet has brought us. I love a lot about the internet, but a good deal more is a waste of time, has had a negative affect on daily life, and, if we lost access to it tomorrow, life would go on.
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  • immaseniorimmasenior 360 replies19 postsRegistered User Member
    edited April 2014
    @chesterton‌
    Hold your horses. Nobody mentioned anything about anarchy or getting rid of the dollar. Oi vey.

    Many people see the role of digital currency as a supplement to the dollar, not a replacement. A high school economics course can explain the purpose of money pretty well. Money has 6 characteristics which make it effective: Durability, portability, divisibility, uniformity, limited supply, and acceptability. There are many obvious advantages in these six categories that digital currency has over paper money, namely divisibility, limited supply (controlled and capped by an algorithm), and portability (you have access to bitcoins anywhere you have access to the internet, and you can't lose the internet like you can a wallet).

    I am not saying that bitcoin is perfect. Clearly, acceptability is an issue at this point, but I have a feeling the age of digital currency is young. There are other issues (illegal transactions, which "taint" bitcoins, an issue in uniformity, and bitcoins can be "lost", and issue in durability), but digital currency is under constant development and improvement.

    I see the concept improving to the point that it is an acceptable supplement to the dollar, and I am excited with what MIT is doing. I can't wait to see what happens.


    edited April 2014
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  • DarthelmetDarthelmet 95 replies13 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think this is pretty cool. Every innovation needs some early adopters. To address the random fears about bitcoin being monopoly money: It is now, but even if bitcoin never takes off, we WILL eventually use a unified all-digital currency. The only two questions are when and what.

    I think the primary barrier is technology and access to technology. The security infrastructure we have in place is good enough for a bunch of computer geeks who want to buy a hundred dollars or so worth of stuff with their novel currency, but not good enough for something that would be a primary store of value. The other issue is that while mobile internet technology is pretty prevalent in the middle to upper class of the developed world, poorer people and people living in developing countries still lack this access on a wide enough scale for a digital medium of exchange to be reliably common.

    The what is a bigger question really. A lot of people like bitcoin for its independence from any government and its built in scarcity, but do we even really want that? There is a very good reason most of the world dropped the gold standard and why most countries with even a semi-stable government have a central banking system to conduct monetary policy.

    Besides the obvious benefits of not needing to carry around gold and making money more resource efficient, fiat money is just a way better representation of what you can buy in an economy. Gold may be scarce, but that scarcity is completely arbitrary in terms of the economy. Beyond highly conductive wires and gold foil, gold isn't used for that many things in the economy, so it would be highly illogical to have a situation where the economy doesn't grow, but because some miners found gold now everyone has more money, or conversely, if the economy grew but there was no more gold found, it would become harder and harder to actually make all of the transactions needed even though you are producing more to trade. I don't know what the limit is on bitcoin, but however high it is, we are eventually going to surpass the quantity's usefulness unless it is infinitely divisible. (Which just doesn't happen with computers, at some point you run into a limit based on the bits.)

    A currency which grows in supply to meet the needs of the economy is basically essential, so I doubt the final digital currency we decide on will be a fixed quantity. I also don't think it would be independent of any government like bitcoin is just because there is always the question of how it can be fully trusted. How do you know that this anonymous inventor didn't hide some kind of kill switch into the programming of the system which exchanges bitcoins?

    If I had to guess what will eventually happen, I would say that countries will eventually give up their individual currencies and create an international central bank that would have a similar status to the US Fed in that it would be reasonably isolated from political pressures but have a mission and restrictions created by the conference that chartered it and be somewhat responsible to the UN and its member nations. At any given time it would decide what quantity of money would created the most efficient means of exchange and it would have some way to update quantity of money and price level instantly such that there would be no real costs from resulting inflation or deflation.
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  • princeton2031princeton2031 49 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Cal Tech and Stanford should join the movement.
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  • lilaznswimmalilaznswimma 36 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    go for the gold!
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  • ThatOneWeirdGuyThatOneWeirdGuy 376 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
    Glad to see MIT supporting such an essential innovation.
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  • ThatOneWeirdGuyThatOneWeirdGuy 376 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
    Here's an interesting video on the implications of Bitcoin, if any of you are interested. Yes, the speech is by a libertarian, but hopefully if you do disagree with something he says, it's not because you're afraid "nerds will rule the world." XD

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joITmEr4SjY
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  • MadDestinyMadDestiny 33 replies12 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited October 2014
    I'm a sophomore at MIT and nobody I know got $100 in bitcoins.
    edited October 2014
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  • rothstemrothstem 276 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm a sophmore too and we have until Sunday to claim our $100 in bit coins!

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  • MadDestinyMadDestiny 33 replies12 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Yep - we got them. Sorry about my last post.
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