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Canadian University Adds Bitcoin ATMs to Bookstore Locations

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on May 25, 2015 at 21:20 BST
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British Columbia's Simon Fraser University (SFU) announced today that its campus bookstore would begin accepting bitcoin payments starting 26th May.

As part of the initiative, SFU will install bitcoin ATMs at its three bookstore locations in Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver. The units will be provided by Ontario-based ATM operator BitSent, which boasts seven ATM locations across Canada according to its website.

SFU executive director of ancillary services Mark McLaughlin told Georgia Straight that the decision was made as part of an effort to increase conversation about innovation on campus.

McLaughlin told the news source:

"The only way to have an opinion about digital currencies is to learn about it, and we are providing a firsthand experience in that regard.”

To promote the launch, events will be held on 27th and 28th May marking ATM debuts at SFU bookstores in Burnaby and Surrey. The first 100 customers who spend CA$20 or more in bitcoin, the news source said, will receive CA$5 gift cards.

The announcement marks the latest effort from Simon Fraser Bitcoin Club, the on-campus student interest group that helped encourage the university to accept donations in bitcoin last August.

The news further comes at a time when the number of new bitcoin ATMs being added to the bitcoin network appears to be slowing. Data from CoinDesk's Q1 State of Bitcoin Report showed a 69% decrease in new bitcoin ATMs from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015.

Representatives from Simon Fraser Bitcoin Club and Simon Fraser University did not respond to inquiries as of press time.

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