The Lighthouse Progressive Primary School, located in Limassol, Cyprus, is now accepting bitcoin payments for student fees.
Lighthouse offers a holistic educational experience, aimed at children between the ages of five and 12 years old. According to its Facebook profile, the school is “a progressive, bilingual, primary school created by a multidisciplinary team of professionals”.
The news that the school would take bitcoin as a form of fee payment was originally announced on reddit by parent Marios Neocleous, who lobbied the school to begin taking bitcoin for his son’s fees.
Speaking with CoinDesk, Lighthouse headmaster and co-founder Costa Constantinides framed the decision to accept bitcoin as part of a broader focus on civil self-determination, saying:
“Empowerment means choice and responsibility. It creates freedom and peace. The creation of money supply is a fundamental political decision with huge ramifications of which we, here in Cyprus, have become all too well aware.”
“Thus allowing individuals to impact or co-create the currency with which they use for commerce in their daily lives is an basic step in civil empowerment,” he continued.
Role in education
Lighthouse is not the first educational organization to accept bitcoin. In November 2013, the University of Nicosia announced that it would take bitcoin for tuition payments.
The university told CoinDesk that the decision was based on the technological evolution sparked by bitcoin that is currently taking place.
For Lighthouse, the choice centered on allowing families in the community more financial freedoms. Headmaster Constantinides pointed to recent financial turbulence in Cyprus as a sign that new forms of exchanging value have a place in the community:
“Alternative currencies offer more freedom and implicitly more dignity for all. And until proven otherwise have, for us at least, have the same if not more value as any fiat currency.”
The decision by Lighthouse to accept bitcoin payments is a positive one for Cyprus.
In addition to the choice by the University of Nicosia, which supported domestic bitcoin usage, the country’s central bank decided in February that bitcoin is legal in Cyprus, despite other comments to the contrary.
However, the digital currency’s history in Cyprus has not been without its fair share of controversy.
In early April, the bitcoin services company Neo & Bee seemed to disappear amid allegations of fraud against its CEO, Danny Brewster, whose arrest is currently being sought by law enforcement officials.
Students in computer class image via Shutterstock
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.