The King’s College, a private Christian liberal arts college located in New York City’s financial district, is now accepting bitcoin for tuition and other expenses through a partnership with merchant processor Coin.co.
The announcement by The King's College marks the latest major university to accept bitcoin following decisions from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus and more recently the UK's University of Cumbria.
Although California-based online and residential school Draper University announced its decision to accept bitcoin in 2013, the move by The King's College into the bitcoin ecosystem is notable due to the fact that it is a more storied private institution, having been founded in 1938.
Despite coming from the more traditional educational system, Dr Gregory Thornbury, President of The King’s College, told CoinDesk that the decision to accept bitcoin is one that is very much in line with his school's core values:
"We have a strong emphasis on the founding documents of the US, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which are very individual based. Bitcoin represents that, it's the empowerment of individuals."
Further, Thornbury suggests that the move is one other universities would be wise to consider, given the current problems facing the higher education system in the US, saying:
"Adopting or taking seriously disruptive technologies in the delivery of the educational program is something that everyone needs to be studying, and I think [bitcoin] is one aspect of that."
The King's College campus is located at 56 Broadway, New York, in close proximity to the epicenter of traditional finance, Wall Street.
Thornbury further discussed The King's College curriculum, drawing comparisons between bitcoin and the teachings it could help impart on its roughly 600 students.
The school president explained:
"We have an Oxford University-style politics, philosophy and economics core, with a strong emphasis on business and finance. We're always very interested in developing advent technologies in business and finance, and certainly bitcoin would be one of those."
Additionally, Thornbury stressed that, while not an avid user of bitcoin, he sees the technology as a powerful one, likening the transformations it could bring to the financial system to the advent of email in the 1990s.
He added: "I think any college president would be wise to get in on that."
The move is also a significant announcement for New York-based processor Coin.co, whose board of directors includes Matthew Mellon, the former chairman of New York's Republican Party Finance committee and whose family founded Carnegie Mellon and Tufts University.
Mellon told CoinDesk that his company, led by CEO Brendan Diaz, believes that the bitcoin ecosystem would be wise to focus on spreading bitcoin awareness, stating:
"It's becoming more and more important and relevant to the financial sector, as a lot of universities are cooperating with companies on Wall Street."
The sentiment seems to be shared by others in the bitcoin community. Most recently, MIT Bitcoin Club announced it would distribute $500,000 in bitcoin to MIT students this fall, while California-based merchant processor Coinbase unveiled plans in May to provide $10 in free BTC to university students who enrolled in its consumer wallet offering.
Image via The King's College