Students Offered Free Bitcoins in Coinbase Giveaway

Inspired by a similar giveaway at MIT, the digital wallet provider is handing out bitcoin to some students.

May 15, 2014 at 12:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:46 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin digital wallet and payment processor Coinbase has announced a unique bitcoin giveaway aimed at college students.

The company says it is handing out $10-worth of bitcoin to students who create a new Coinbase account using approved .edu email addresses.

The giveaway kicked off a few days ago and Coinbase says interest is "impressive".

The company published a leaderboard on its blog, featuring the most popular university domains so far: University of Illinois is in the lead, with 496 students signing up using illinois.edu email addresses. Bitcoin loving Texans rank second, with 290 signups originating from utexas.edu email addresses. California’s Berkeley University came in third with 232 signups.

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Spreading the word

Coinbase is asking users to tweet or share the blog post, which includes simple step-by-step instructions and terms of service.

This is a limited time offer, but Coinbase is not saying how long it plans to keep going. The offer is good only for one customer and one access device. Recipients will not be eligible for referral bonuses provided in other Coinbase promotions.

Furthermore, interested participants should be aware that not every .edu domain is covered by the terms of offer.

“We have tried to include the top 500 universities worldwide (this is not US focused) but we can’t guarantee all universities are supported. We may also disable certain universities where we see abuse,” said Coinbase.

Of course, those new to Coinbase are encouraged to sign up – and tell their friends.

MIT inspiration

In offering this giveaway, CoinBase said it was inspired by a project launched by two MIT students, under which all 4,500 undergraduates at MIT will receive $100 worth of bitcoin.

The original idea came from the MIT Bitcoin Club, more specifically members Dan Elitzer and Jeremy Rubin.

However, Elitzer and Rubin do not intend to hand out bitcoins for nothing. This is a serious, $500,000 research project, aimed to use the giveaway as a huge cryptocurrency experiment and foster further research and entrepreneurial activity.

With $100 worth of free bitcoin at their disposal, students have a good incentive to take part once the programme launches this fall.

The Coinbase giveaway is not as ambitious, but it will encompass more students and hopefully encourage more people into the world of digital currencies.

Mortar board image via Shutterstock

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